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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Afro Blues Quintet Plus OneNew Directions In Sound ... CD
Mira/BGP (UK), Late 60s. New Copy ... $11.99 18.99
Smoking grooves from an incredible group – the amazing Afro Blues Quintet, a combo with a sound like no other! These guys were never one for stardom, but during the mid and late 60s, they burned up the west coast scene with an incredible blend of vibes, piano, and reeds – often kicked up nicely with some hard-rolling rhythm work that gave their tracks a similar mod groove to classics by Johnny Lytle, Ramsey Lewis, or Pucho & The Latin Soul Brothers! But the real difference with the ABQ (if we can call them that!) is that they had a really spacious approach to their sound – never putting too much into the mix, and instead using the space between the notes every bit as much as the notes themselves. The grooves are great, and since most of this work has never been reissued, the set's totally fresh to the ears of most listeners! As usual, the folks at BGP have done a great job with the notes – and the set features 22 tracks from the group's Mira, Surrey, and Crestview recordings – titles that include "Monkey Time", "Freaks", "La La La", "Southside Habit", "Mirror Image", "Afro Rock", "Evening Of The Beast", "Spartacus", "Candie Luv", and "Our Mambo". CD

Close matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Lorez AlexandriaThis Is Lorez/Lorez Sings Pres ... CD
King/BGP (UK), 1957. New Copy ... $11.99 18.99
Incredible early work from Lorez Alexandria – the kind of albums that instantly set her apart from other singers of the 50s, reissued here properly for the first time in years! On This Is Lorez, the singer is working with sublime small combo backings from the group of pianist King Fleming – an unusual Chicago ensemble that includes Wilber Wynn on guitar, Ronald Wilson on flute and oboe, Vernel Fournier on drums, and Audrey Jones on bongos – a musical lineup that brings in a different sort of sophistication to the record, shading tunes with moody colors on flute and oboe that perfectly support Alexandria's soulful and sensitive interpretations of the tunes. The whole thing is pure genius, and a key look at the new levels of sophistication that were bubbling everywhere on the Chicago scene during the years of Jamal and Sun Ra. Lorez Sings Pres follows in a very similar mode – with backing by a Chicago group that again includes King Fleming piano, plus Charles Stepney on vibes, Paul Serrano on trumpet, and Vernel Fournier on drums – an extremely hip lineup that makes the record far more than just the Lester Young tribute promised in the title! But despite the instrumentalists, the real star on all sides is Alexandria – who sings with dark tones and deep colors that go far beyond conventional jazz vocals – all carried off with that slightly breathy mode that was one more unique aspect of her work! CD features all tracks from both albums – a total of 22 titles that include "Snowstorm", "I'm Glad There Is You", "The Sky Is Crying", "I'm Making Believe", "Necessity", "Penthouse Serenade", "DB Blues", "This Year's Kisses", "Easy Living", "No Eyes Blues", "Jumping With Symphony Sid", and a key early reading of "Baltimore Oriole". CD

Close matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
David AxelrodHeavy Axe ... CD
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1974. New Copy ... $8.99 14.99
A great back-to-basics solo album from the legendary David Axelrod – cut in the mid 70s for Fantasy Records, after higher-concept projects like The Auction and Messiah! This set gets right to the core – and focuses on the funk currents that were always part of Axelrod's larger arrangements, but which sometimes never got pulled to the forefront as strongly – and the approach is almost like some of the funky jazz albums that were issued by Fantasy/Prestige Records at the time – especially those that Axelrod produced for Cannonball Adderley. The whole thing has that great Axelrod sense of composition, with lots of space, and lots of spare cold bits that are nice nice nice for sample cuts – and titles include the classic track "Everything Counts", plus "Get Up Off Your Knees", "My Family", and "Mucho Chupar". CD

Close matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Gato BarbieriEl Pampero ... CD
Flying Dutchman/BGP (UK), 1972. New Copy ... $11.99
A real killer from Gato Barbieri – part of an excellent run of early 70s sessions for the Flying Dutchman label! The album was recorded live, and it's one of those real cookers that have him sounding a heck of a lot like Pharoah Sanders – blowing with these sharp, soulful tones – and really stretching out in this amazingly spiritual way – quite different than some of his more mainstream playing in later years, and his freer sounds of the 60s. The group features Pretty Purdie on drums, Sonny Morgan and Na-Na on percussion, Chuck Rainey on bass, and Lonnie Liston Smith on piano – and Smith lays out these modal spiraling lines that really work wonders with a groove – and Gato solos over them in searing ripping blasts of sound, never going too far out, but hitting that great soulful mode that made Sanders' best work so great. Titles include "El Pampero", "Mi Buenos Aires Querido", and "El Arreiro" – and all tracks are long. CD

Close matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Gary BartzSingerella – A Ghetto Fairy Tale ... CD
Prestige/BGP (UK), 1974. New Copy ... $11.99
One of the last Gary Bartz albums for Prestige – and a really unique session with a different feel than some of his earlier work! Gary's still got plenty of angular funk in his sound here – thanks to some edgey keyboards from Hubert Eaves – but he's also tightened things up a bit without smoothing them out – cutting down on the longer jams in favor of a more focused approach, and singing himself on many cuts, taking on the quirky lyrical role that used to be held by Andy Bey! Bartz also produced the record himself, but Larry Mizell handled the final mix – giving the record a slightly spacier Mizell-inflected groove, but one that's not as full as on other Bartz/Mizell collaborations. The vocals here are all pretty great, and the album's filled with oddly-grooving tunes that really have a heck of a lot of charm – including the call-response track "Dozens", plus "I Don't Care", "Lady Love", "St Felix Street", "Nation Time", and "Blind Man". CD

Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ BlackbyrdsFlying Start ... LP
BGP (UK), 1974. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)... $13.99 19.99
Not the band's first album – as you might think from the "start" in the title – but a classic batch of jazzy, funky, and soulful grooves from The Blackbyrds – one of those combos that few groups could match back in the 70s! The set's got a beautifully put-together feel – tight enough to crossover somewhat big with a larger audience than the group's previous effort – but still filled with the kind of righteous energy that first got them going, a sublime mix of jazzy rhythms and soulful elements, all held together tightly by production from Donald Byrd. Tracks include the big hit "Walking In Rhythm", which was an oft-spun 45 back in the day – plus some great funk moments, like the tasty "Spaced Out", the choppy "The Baby", and the captivating "Blackbyrds Theme". Other cuts include "Future Children Future Hopes", "I Need You", and "April Showers". LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ BlackbyrdsNight Grooves ... LP
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1978. New Copy (reissue)... $13.99 19.99
A great album of funky dancefloor tunes! Originally issued in 1978, and clearly for the New York dancefloor crowd – the record takes the earlier work of funk group The Blackbyrds, and remixes the tracks slightly to pump up the groove a bit for the dancers. While the approach might not sound good on paper, it actually works wonderfully on the record – as the tunes retain all of the jazz funk feel of the originals, without any of the cheap tricks you might expect. The album's as essential as any of the group's earlier albums – and it's filled with great versions of classics like "Supernatural Feeling", "Gut Level", "Walking In Rhythm", "Do It Fluid", "Rock Creek Park", and "Happy Music". LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Camille Lil BobStop/Brother Brown ... 7-inch
BGP (UK), 1969/1972. New Copy ... $9.99
Raw soul from Camille Bob – a singer who only cut a handful of tunes, all of them great! "Stop" has these wicked vocals right up front in the mix – almost as if Camille is trying to blow the needles way into the red – rising high above the fierce funky guitar and bold horns in the groove! "Brother Brown" is a wicked bit of funk – fast guitar with a mad wah wah groove, topped with horns that are tight one minute, weird the next – all given this bad-rapping lyric from Camille that's totally outta site! 7-inch, Vinyl record

Close matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Oscar Brown JrKicks! – The Best Of Oscar Brown Jr ... CD
Sony/BGP (UK), Early 60s. Used ... $8.99
Some of the most unique vocal work ever recorded – a stunning collection of Columbia sides by Oscar Brown Jr, a singer who mixed together equal parts jazz, soul, and folk – and came up with a sound that was all his own! Oscar bubbled out of the hip Chicago scene of the early 60s – and had a much more righteous approach than most of his contemporaries – not only writing his own lyrics for most of the tunes, but working in a genre-blending style that crossed over to a variety of difference audiences. Oscar could groove with the best in a southside club, but also appeal to the northside intellectuals – opening doors wherever he went with a fresh approach to jazz vocals! The set features work from all 4 of his Columbia albums – including a number of tracks on CD for the first time – and features arrangements by Quincy Jones, Floyd Morris, and Ralph Burns – on 23 tracks that include "All Blues", "Work Song", "Excuse Me For Living", "The Snake", "Mr Kicks", "Afro Blue", "Signifying Monkey", "Dat Dere", "Hazel's Hips", "Jeannine", "Opportunity Please Knock", "The Tree & Me", "Elegy (Plain Black Boy)", "Tall Like Pine", and "But I Was Cool". CD

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
John Carter & Bobby BradfordSelf Determination Music ... CD
Flying Dutchman/BGP (UK), 1970. New Copy ... $11.99
A landmark recording – one of a handful of early documents of the avant garde LA scene, featuring a nimble quartet headed up by the inventive frontline of John Carter on reeds and Bobby Bradford on trumpet, over the fluid rhythm team of Tom Williamson on bass and Chicago expatriate Bruz Freeman on drums! Carter and Bradford's energetic approach followed its own line of development, much in the way that other small cells of improvisers were developing their own take on the "new thing" in the post-Coltrane/Coleman environment of the late 60s and early 70s throughout the country. The compositions unfold in a way that implies both multi-linear improvisation and composed events, but blurs the line between the two, all the while played with a great deal of fire and few of the intellectual abstractions of other free players! Titles include "The Sunday Afternoon Jazz Blues Society", "The Eye Of The Storm", "Loneliness", and "Encounter". CD

Close matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Alice ClarkComplete Studio Recordings (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Mainstream/BGP (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s. New Copy ... $19.99
The great self-titled Alice Clark LP on Mainstream plus earlier singles for Warner Brothers and unreleased tracks – the complete studio recordings from '68-72 – in one great set! There weren't many vocal albums on the Mainstream label during the early 70s, and this rare soul side is a real overlooked gem! Alice Clark has a rich soulful voice, with a style that sounds a bit like Esther Marrow, mixed with some of the lead vocalists in Voices Of East Harlem – a really right-on sort of sound that's totally great, and way hipper than most 70s chart soul! Arrangements are by Ernie Wilkins, who brings in a touch of jazz – but again, with a much hipper feel than most of his other backings – and most of the tracks are quite obscure, well-written tunes – of the sort of material you might expect to hear sung by Gil Scott-Heron or Donny Hathaway. Includes "Don't You Care", "Charms Of The Arms Of Love", "Maybe This Time", "Looking At Life", "Hey Girl", "Don't Wonder Why", "It Takes Too Long To Learn To Live Alone", "Hard Hard Promises" and the rest from the classic and always sought self-titled album from 1972 – plus great earlier Warner Brothers singles "You Hit Me (Right Where It Hurts Me)" and "Heaven's Will (Must Be Obeyed)" from 1969, and the previously unreleased "Before Her Time". LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Larry CoryellBarefoot Boy ... CD
Flying Dutchman/BGP (UK), 1972. New Copy ... $11.99
One of Larry Coryell's greatest albums ever! Barefoot Boy is a much more expansive session than some of Coryell's others, fueled in part by the spiritual intensity of the Impulse Records generation. It's got a momentum that's pretty darn exciting throughout – but the compositions are nice and long, which gives the players plenty of space to explore. Personnel includes Steve Marcus on tenor and soprano sax, Mike Mandel on piano, Roy Haynes on drums, and Larry Killian on congas – working with Coryell on long trippy tracks that remind us a bit of 60s work by Chico Hamilton, Charles Lloyd, and Gabor Szabo. Titles include "Call To The Higher Consciousness", "The Great Escape", and "Gypsy Queen". CD

Close matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
DarondoListen To My Song – The Music City Sessions ... LP
Music City/BGP (UK), 1973/1974. New Copy ... $19.99
The great lost Darondo album – amazing Bay Area funky soul from a singular talent – and material that we did not even know existed! It was cut for Ray Dobard's Music City label – purportedly in just a couple of marathon sessions – most of which we've never heard before now, which is mindblowing in and of itself, as we had thought Ubiquity Records mined what little was available of Darondo for their killer Let My People Go compilation. Lo and behold – here's some more, and it's just as incredible! Slinky, stripped down funk and some sweeter soul that's as much influenced by Memphis recordings as it is the Bay Area – but all with Darondo's distinctive, freewheeling gritty baritone and when the mood strikes, piercing falsetto vocals. A total treasure! It has 10 tracks and approximates the album as it should have been issued in 1974 – with "I Don't Understand It", "I'm Gonna Love You", "Didn't I", "Luscious Lady", "Saving My Love", "Gimme Some", "Do You Really Love Me", "Listen To My Song" and more. LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Dyke & The BlazersWe Got More Soul – The Ultimate Broadway Funk ... CD
Original Sound/BGP (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s. New Copy 2CD ... $15.99 22.99
The best collection we've ever seen of the work of funky soul legends Dyke & The Blazers – a double-length set that features full, unedited versions of their classics – plus a whopping batch of previously unreleased tunes! Dyke & The Blazers had a groove that was mighty solid back in the late 60s – a hard-vamping, tightly rhythmic groove that easily matched the best early funk of the time from Charles Wright, Sly Stone, or James Brown – and which was often served up with a rougher edge, and an overall sound that was a lot more dangerous! However, many of the group's singles really trimmed down their performances – shaving off key instrumental moments that are lovingly re-attached here, and combining them with some even rarer tracks that never saw the light of day back in the 60s. The whole thing's amazing – and the 2CD set features a whopping 33 tracks in all, split into one disc of material recorded in Phoenix, and one more of tracks from Hollywood! Titles include "Black Boy", "Stuff", "Moon", "Booga Jivin", "Runaway People", "Funky Broadway Time (parts 1 & 2)", "Swamp Walk", "Extra Funk", "Let A Woman Be A Woman Let A Man Be A Man", "Soul Cake", "She Knows It", "Let's Do It Together", "Bring It On Back", "Funky Walk (parts 1 & 2)", and "Triple Funk". CD
Also available We Got More Soul – The Ultimate Broadway Funk ... LP 16.99

Close matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Dyke & The BlazersWe Got More Soul – The Ultimate Broadway Funk ... LP
BGP (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s. New Copy 2LP ... $16.99 22.99
The best collection we've ever seen of the work of funky soul legends Dyke & The Blazers – a double-length set that features full, unedited versions of their classics – plus a whopping batch of previously unreleased tunes! Dyke & The Blazers had a groove that was mighty solid back in the late 60s – a hard-vamping, tightly rhythmic groove that easily matched the best early funk of the time from Charles Wright, Sly Stone, or James Brown – and which was often served up with a rougher edge, and an overall sound that was a lot more dangerous! However, many of the group's singles really trimmed down their performances – shaving off key instrumental moments that are lovingly re-attached here, and combining them with some even rarer tracks that never saw the light of day back in the 60s. The whole thing's amazing – and this 2LP set features 18 tracks that include "Black Boy", "Stuff", "Moon", "Booga Jivin", "Runaway People", "Funky Broadway Time (parts 1 & 2)", "Swamp Walk", "Extra Funk", "Let A Woman Be A Woman Let A Man Be A Man", "Soul Cake", "She Knows It", "Let's Do It Together", "Bring It On Back", "Funky Walk (parts 1 & 2)", and "Triple Funk". LP, Vinyl record album
Also available We Got More Soul – The Ultimate Broadway Funk ... CD 15.99

Close matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Funk IncChicken Lickin' ... LP
Prestige/BGP (UK), 1972. New Copy (reissue)... $13.99 19.99
Funky organ, hard tenor sax, and plenty of choppy guitar make this another jazz funk gem in the crown of the legendary Funk Inc! The group are still totally at the top of their game here – stepping out with a deep, soulful Indy-bred blend of jazz and funk – a groove that was easily one of the hippest going in the early 70s Prestige Records scene – and that's saying a lot, given the company the label was keeping at the time! The record's got one track that features some nice soulful vocals – the political cut "Let's Make Peace & Stop The War" – but the best cuts are the instrumentals, grooving along hard in the band's best modal funky tradition! Titles include "The Better Half", "Jung Bungo", and "Running Away". LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches17
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Funk IncFunk Inc ... LP
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1971. New Copy (reissue)... $13.99 19.99
A killer instrumental album of hard organ grooves and funky basslines! This was the album that broke Funk Inc out of their Indianapolis scene, and made them a force to be forever reckoned with in the history of funky jazz. The album grooves hard in the same sound as some of the classic work by Prestige jazz funk giants like Rusty Bryant, Charles Earland, or Ivan Boogaloo Jones – but it's almost even tighter than their work, because the Funk Inc combo as a tightly woven group of players who'd been together for a number of years. The record's filled with monster cuts that you'll recognize immediately, like the group's famous "Kool is Back", which has a monster sample on the intro, and hard heavy Kool & The Gang grooves throughout. Other tracks include "Sister Janie", "The Whipper", and "Bowlegs". LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches18
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Funk IncHangin' Out/Superfunk ... CD
Prestige/BGP (UK), 1973. New Copy ... $11.99 18.99
Two excellent albums from Funk Inc on one CD! Superfunk is one of the band's greatest albums – and a really tight batch of funky tunes given some stellar production by David Axelrod! The band's a bit tighter than on earlier releases – leaving behind the hard jazz-jam sound for a more together soul-oriented one, heard to best effect on the album's enduring classic, "Goodbye, So Long" – a rolling funky tune that features vocals on the chorus, and an unbelievably catchy instrumental sound that you might recognize instantly from its use as a sample over the years. The rest of the record's just as great – and the band runs through The Meters' classic "Message From The Meters", Barry White's funky "I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More Babe", and a great rendition of the electric jazz classic "The Hill Where The Lord Hides". Hangin Out features their organ-heavy sound vamping away on some really tight groovers – not as break-heavy as some of the tracks on their first album, but with some excellent modal riffing in a sweet jazz dance mode. The big cuts include "Smokin' At Tiffany's" and "Dirty Red", both groove classics that have a strong Prestige jazz funk sound. Other cuts include a sweet cover of Curtis Mayfield's "Give Me Your Love", plus the tracks "We Can Be Friends" and "I'll Be Around". CD

Close matches19
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Funk IncSuperfunk ... LP
BGP (UK), 1973/1996. New Copy (reissue)... $13.99 19.99
One of Funk Inc's greatest albums – and a really tight batch of funky tunes given some stellar production by David Axelrod! The band's a bit tighter than on earlier releases – leaving behind the hard jazz-jam sound for a more together soul-oriented one, heard to best effect on the album's enduring classic, "Goodbye, So Long" – a rolling funky tune that features vocals on the chorus, and an unbelievably catchy instrumental sound that you might recognize instantly from its use as a sample over the years. The rest of the record's just as great – and the band runs through The Meters' classic "Message From The Meters", Barry White's funky "I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More Babe", and a great rendition of the electric jazz classic "The Hill Where The Lord Hides". LP, Vinyl record album
Also available Superfunk ... LP 49.99

Close matches20
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Johnny HammondGears (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Milestone/BGP (UK), 1975. New Copy ... $14.99
One of our favorite albums of all time – and a record that just gets better and better the more we listen to it – and we've listened to it for years! Johnny "Hammond" Smith began his career as a simple soul jazz organist – but by the time of this album, he'd teamed up with the mighty Larry Mizell, the genius arranger/producer who'd breathed new life into the careers of Donald Byrd and Bobbi Humphrey. Mizell works with Hammond in the same way he does with other jazz artists – by taking a groove that works best with their solo style, and slowly layering other instrumentation and effects on top of it, so that when the solo kicks in, it's supported on waves and waves of funky sounds and soulful grooves. Mizell and his brother Fonce both play keyboards on the record, and the rest of the group includes monster fusion players like Harvey Mason, Roger Glenn, Hadley Caliman, and Jerry Peters. The real treat is Johnny, though – as his solos are heavenly, the best of his 70s work, stripped mean and lean, laid in at just the right points. Includes the breakbeat classic "Shifting Gears", the house classic "Los Conquistadores Chocolates", and funky numbers "Fantasy" and "Tell Me What To Do". This stunning version adds in some killer bonus tracks – 6 never-heard cuts from the Milestone vaults, including "Song For My Family", "Funky Native", "Detroit Rainbow", "Can't We Smile (alt)", and slow and fast versions of "A Child's Love". CD
Also available Gears (with bonus tracks) ... LP 26.99
 
 
 



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