A much better record than we want to admit, with Natalie moving towards jazzy numbers and standards, for a blockbuster Grammy winning effort. Her voice stands up well to the mainstream polish, and even the creepy "duet" with her father is enjoyable. 22 tracks in all, including "The Very Thought Of You", "Paper Moon", "Mona Lisa", 'This Can't Be Love", "Lush Life", "That Sunday That Summer", "Avalon", "Don't Get Around Much Anymore", "Nature Boy", "Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup", "Thous Swell" and "Unforgettable". CD
(Out of print.)
Con Funk Shun —
Fever ... CD Mercury/Vinyl Masterpiece (Netherlands), 1981. Used ...
One of the sweetest-grooving albums ever from Con Funk Shun – proof that the group was almost better when they tightened things up a bit! The set was produced by Deodato at the height of his hit-making soul powers – and it's got a sharpness that really helps bring the Con Funk Shun groove into focus – a style that's not nearly as commercial as Deodato's work with Kool & The Gang, but which shares a similar blend of jazz and modern soul elements! Most tracks groove nicely, even some of the mellower ones – and Deodato's got a perfect balance in the sound of the set – keyboards, beats, and bass all in the right places, with plenty of soulful vocals flowing warmly over the top. Titles include "Don't Let Your Love Grow Cold", "Hard Lovin", "If I'm Your Lover", "Can You Feel The Groove Tonight", "Indiscreet Sweet", and "Baby I'm Hooked". CD
Thomas Dolby —
Flat Earth ... CD Capitol/EMI (UK), 1984. Used ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
An overlooked early 80s gem from Thomas Dolby – a beautifully mellow album that comes across with less of the quirky pop touches of his earlier work! The Dolby heard here is almost in an Eno/Green World mode – mixing electronics with evocative lyrics – at a level that's a few notches up from soundscape mode, but which is also as concerned with the overall colors and shapes of the music as it is with the lyrics. But the lyrics themselves are the biggest surprise – often quite personal and intimate, with a Prefab Sprout-esque pop quality from time to time, but stronger soul qualities overall. And to our groove-tuned ears, Dolby's electronics here are really a cut above – echoing with some electro styles, but also in a more sophisticated mode that transforms Kraftwerk into more effective pop. Titles include "Dissidents", "The Flat Earth", "Screen Kiss", "White City", "Mulu The Rain Forest", "I Scare Myself", and "Hyperactive". (Rock, Soul)CD
Rough-edged blues from the west side of Chicago – a stone classic from the mighty Magic Sam – a player who was taken from us all too soon! On the west side, they mix plenty of soul in with their blues – and you can definitely hear that on this stone smoker – a record that has roots in the same scene as Syl Johnson, whose modes definitely creep into the groove at times! Sam's combo here is mighty nice – with Eddie Shaw on tenor, Lafayette Leake on piano, and Mighty Joe Young on guitar – and titles include "Stop You're Hurting Me", "Easy Baby", "What Have I Done Wrong", "It's All Your Fault", "You Belong To Me", "You Don't Love Me Baby", and "San Ho Zay". Expanded CD features 8 more bonus tracks – including "Blues For Odie Payne", "Keep On Doin What You're Doin", and six more alternate takes! (Blues, Soul)CD
A pretty great overview of work that Shuggie Otis recorded while working in the studios at the Blues Spectrum label during the 70s – mostly backing up other singers in a series of sessions recorded by his dad Johnny Otis. The Blues Spectrum label was notable in that it featured work by a number of lost greats who'd been important in R&B in the 40s and 50s on the west coast, but who'd not made it into the recording studios in a number of years. Otis Sr got them back, recording for his Blues Spectrum label – and often gave their music a hipper, more 70s-styled sound – an effort that was clearly helped by the presence of Shuggie! The package for this one is great – with a good set of notes on the label and sessions, and images of the covers of the old albums too. Titles include "Driftin Blues" and "Big Legged Woman" by Charles Brown, "Shake Rattle & Roll" and "TV Mama" by Big Joe Turner, "Willie & The Hand Jive" and "Country Girl" by Johnny Otis, "Trackin Machine" and "Doin It" by Richard Berry, "Choo Choo Boogie" and "I Got The Walkin Blues" by Louis Jordan, "Chicken Shack Boogie" by Amos Milburn, "I'm The Midnight Creeper" and "Sugar" by Eddie Cleanhead Vinson, and "I Got A Big Fat Mama" and "Information Blues" by Roy Milton. CD