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✨✧ Roy AyersFeeling Good ... CD
Polydor/Soul Brother (UK), 1982. New Copy ... $16.99
Stellar sounds from the great Roy Ayers – an early 80s album for Polydor, but a set that's still got the wonderfully tight, wonderfully groovy feel of his late 70s albums for the label! Roy's really perfected his sense of balance by this time – and does a great job of balancing groovers with sweet mellow steppers – the kind of cool, compressed, jazzy numbers that we love so much! Ayers heads for the clubs one minute, the bedroom the next – and draws us in beautifully whichever direction he takes – thanks to some sublime vibes and electric piano – and great lead vocals from Roy, and other singers who include Terri Wells, Vivian Prince, John King, and Ricky Williams. Titles include "Ooh", "Let's Stay Together", "Feeling Good""Knock Knock", "Turn Me Loose", "Stairway To The Stars", and "Our Time Is Coming". CD

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Michael CarvinEach One Teach One ... CD
Muse, 1992. New Copy ... $2.99
Michael Carvin's one of those players who always makes us sit up and take notice – not just for his own dynamic work on drums, but also for the way that he manages to lead a group with such soulful fire! This album's a great example of that skill, as Carvin brings together a mix of players who really open up beautifully together – driven by his own direction with the same free-thinking, soul-searching energy that Art Blakey used to bring to the Jazz Messengers in years back. But Carvin's rhythms are hardly Jazz Messengers stuff – given that the tunes here step out in a nice range of modes, and really show a nice evolution of soulbop standards over the years. The group features Antoine Roney on tenor, Claudio Roditi on trumpet, Carlton Holmes on piano, and David Williams on bass – and Houston Person plays guest tenor on one track, and also co-produced the album with Carvin. Titles include "Waltz For Gina", "Nails", "Recife's Blues", "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", "One By One", and "I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance With You". CD

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Incredible String BandIncredible String Band/5000 Spirits Or Layers Of The Onion/Hangman's Beautiful Daughter ... CD
Elektra/BGO (UK), Late 60s. New Copy 2CD ... $16.99
Important early work from The Incredible String Band – three albums in one great package! First up is the first album from the Incredible String Band – a real treasure from the trio of Clive Palmer, Mike Heron and Robin Williamson – who each sing and write, and bring unique charm to their own material! The sound is very folksy, and really lives up to their name – mostly just music on fiddle, banjo, mandolin, and guitar – served up in a blend that both echoes British traditional styles, yet paves the way for new expressions in the acid folk generation to come – especially on the group's original material. The group are really wonderful at this point – with a sound that drew them wide acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic – and titles include "Maybe Someday", "October Song", "When The Music Starts To Play"", "Schaeffer's Jig", "Womankind", "The Tree", "Whistle Tune", "Dandelion Blues", "Good As Gone", and "Footsteps Of The Heron". Next is 5000 Spirits – a UK psychedelic folk gem that finds the group challenging conventions across the board – both artful and inviting, it's wonderful stuff! At this point, Clive Palmer had left, and Mike Heron and Robin Williamson contribute lead vocals with the additional vocalist Licorice also taking lead on a few tunes, the sound is fleshed out with more accompaniment and a rich warmth on a bevy of instruments – guitar, sitar, bowed gimbri, finger cymbals, tamboura, oud, rattles, flute, bass and piano. Includes the lovely and oft-covered "The First Girl I Loved", plus "Chinese White", "No Sleep Blues", "Painting Box", "The Eyes Of Fate", "The Hedgehog's Song", "You Know What I Could Be", "Gently Tender", "Way Back In The 1960s" and more. On Hangman's Beautiful Daughter, The Incredible String Band are paired down to the core duo of Mike Heron and Robin Williamson – using the studio as a most impressive adjunct member of the group at this point! This is an extremely talented pair – each playing myriad instruments – sitar, organ, guitar, hammer dulcimer, harpsichord, gimbri, whistle, pipe, oud, mandolin, mouth harps and more. Previous vocal collaborator Licorice sings on one song, and Dolly Collins and David Snell contribute flute organ, piano and harp – but the main duos incredible way of layering their magic with multitracking in the studio the real masterstroke of the effort. Titles include "Koeoaddi There", "Witch's Hat", "The Water Song", "Swift As The Wind", "Nightfall", "Waltz Of The New Moon", "Three Is A Green Crown" and more. CD

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✨✧ Muntu (Jemeel Moondoc)Muntu Recordings (First Feeding/Eveing Of The Blue Men/Live At Ali's Alley) (3CD set) ... CD
No Business (Lithuania), Late 70s. New Copy 3CD ... $44.99
Seminal recordings from Jemeel Moondoc's important Muntu ensemble – a group who worked with amazing energy in the avant scene of the late 70s – easily offering up some of the greatest performances from the members involved! There's a mixture of structure and freedom to these tracks that's mighty nice – a bold conception of message headed by Moondoc, but executed with these open solos that really show the full talents of every musician. The lineup shifts a bit over the space of the recordings here – the First Feeding album features Moondoc on alto, Arthur Williams on trumpet, Mark Hennen on piano, William Parker on bass, and Rashid Bakr on drums; Evening Of The Blue Men has trumpeter Roy Campbell joining Moondoc, Parker, and Bakr; and the previously-unreleased Live At Ali's Alley is an extended trio performance from Moondoc, Parker, and Bakr – one long track that really opens up! Equally amazing is the package – 3CDs in an oversized case, packaged with a beautiful book that's over 100 pages – with notes on the group, sessionography, vintage photos, poster reproductions, and more. CD
(Hand numbered, limited edition of 1000 copies.)

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✨✧ Tribe Called QuestPeople's Instinctive Travels & The Paths Of Rhythm – 25th Anniversary Edition (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Jive, 1989. New Copy ... $11.99
One of THE landmark hip hop albums – and the full length debut of great Tribe Called Quest! We hardly need to tell you about this classic – but it will always bear repeating. De La Soul might have kicked the door open on leftfield, anything goes artistry about a year or so earlier, but their friends and fellow Native Tongues Tribe's debut was a crucial reminder that the east coast was spinning out of one of the greatest creative growth spurts in hip hop history at the time. Pure excellence. Tracks include "Luck Of Lucien", "Footprints", "I Left My Wallet In El Segundo", "Bonita Applebaum", "Can I Kick It?", "Rhythm (Devoted To The Art Of Moving Butts)", "Mr Muhammad", "Description Of A Fool" andmore seminal, jazzy middle school tracks! 25th anniversary edition – remastered, with bonus tracks "Footprints (rmx with Ceelo Green)", "Bonita Applebum (Pharrell Williams rmx)", and "Can I Kick It (J Cole rmx)". New 2015 remaster – beautiful sound! CD

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Cedar WaltonTrio Vol 2 ... CD
Red (Italy), 1985. New Copy ... $15.99 18.99
An easygoing, long-flowing record from Cedar Walton – one that has the pianist in very relaxed space, playing with a style that's very open, contemplative, and beautiful! There's a bit more sensitivity here than the usual Walton trio date – and despite the cover's emphasis on the other members of the trio, bassist David Williams and drummer Billy Higgins, some of the standout tunes are the ones in which Walton is working out front, almost solo – although when the rhythm duo kicks in, things are pretty great too (we're always huge fans of Higgins' work on drums, especially in the company of Walton.) Titles include "Theme For Ernie", "For All We Know", "Jacob's Ladder", "Bluesville", and "Ojos De Rojo". CD

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JJ Williams & Ernie ShelbyWishbone Masters Vol 1 ... CD
Soulscape (UK), Early 70s. New Copy ... $13.99 19.99
Rare southern soul from a pair of great singers – 45 numbers cut for Wishbone Productions in Alabama and released by Polydor and Capitol back in the day, along with a handful of unreleased tracks – truly beautiful singles by JJ Williams and Ernie Shelby from the heart of the early 70s! The set features a dozen tracks by JJ Williams – a versatile single who handles simmering Muscle Shoals soul style numbers, a funky number or 2, emotive ballads and more. The set has 6 tracks by Shelby, which leaves us wanting more! He's another masterful practictioner of should-be southern soul classics that simply didn't get the commercial traction they deserved. Both singers worked with producers Clayton Ivey and Terry Woodford at Widget and Broadway Sound in Muscle Shoals. Williams tracks include "Gonna Have A Murder On Your Hands", "I'm Gonna Bite That Apple", the funky "Do The Kick Back", "Heavy On Top", "My World Tumbles Down" and more. Shelby tracks include "Carry Me", "Right Here Where You Left Me", "Bend Over Backwards", "Punish Me" and "I'll See You Through". CD

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Lenny WilliamsPray For The Lion ... CD
Warner/Wounded Bird, 1974. New Copy ... $3.99 11.98
The very first solo album from Lenny Williams – and a great step forward from his work with Tower Of Power! The set's still got some of the funkier elements of Lenny's work with that combo, and the overall sound is a bit more gritty than some of his bigger albums in later years – short cuts that hit a hip soul vibe, one that's often a bit more bad-walking than the later, more poised Williams. Mike Melvoin plays some great electric piano on the record – which slides under Lenny's vocals beautifully on the mellow numbers, and kicks things up with funky drums on the more upbeat tracks – and with Eugene McDaniels at the production helm, you can bet that the whole album sounds mighty hip overall! Titles include "Open Book", "River", "Problem Solver", "We're Gonna See It Through", "Keep On Keeping On", "Money", "Sometimes Love", and "Compared To What". CD

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Tony WilliamsLife Time ... CD
Blue Note (Japan), 1964. New Copy ... $13.99
The pinnacle of Blue Note's "new thing" era! This amazing album was led by drummer Tony Williams (then just a wee lad, playing with Miles Davis, in his legendary 60s quintet) – but it's more of a "roundtable" session that features equal contributions by some of Blue Note's best avant garde players from the time, all of them young firey geniuses like Williams. The configurations of the players change drastically from track to track – and some feature Sam Rivers, Richard Davis, and Gary Peacock playing in a 2-bass and tenor lineup with Williams; others feature Bobby Hutcherson and Herbie Hancock playing heavily percussive vibes and piano solos next to Williams' assorted percussion playing; and one track doesn't even feature Williams at all, but has Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter in a beautifully moody bass and piano duet! The record is a treasure – and it's a landmark recording that's probably one of the greatest that Blue Note (or any other label) released during the 60s! Titles include "Barb's Song to The Wizard", "Memory", and "Two Pieces Of One: Red & Green". CD

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✨✧ Art BlakeyLive At Montreux & Northsea ... CD
Timeless/Solid (Japan), 1980. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A beautiful big band set from the great Art Blakey – but one that's got all the sharp focus of his small group sides by the Jazz Messengers! The lineup here is a great one – that very vibrant early 80s version of Blakey's group with Bobby Watson on alto sax, Bill Pierce on tenor, and James Williams on piano – augmented by Kevin Eubanks on guitar, Valerie Ponomarev on trumpet, and the Marsalis brothers rounding out the set with some extra horn work! The sound is strong and proud, and handled by Blakey with a tightness that's similar to his smaller group work of the time – but with a power that's simply incredible – especially when Watson's presence is made known on his tunes "Wheel Within A Wheel", "Linwood", and "Bit A Bittadose". Also features a take on Williams' "Minor Thesis". CD

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✨✧ CashmereCashmere – Let The Music Turn You On (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Philly World/Big Break (UK), 1983. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A killer set from Cashmere – and a batch of music that definitely turns us on! The album's got a lean, mean groove that's mighty nice – a tight, keyboard-driven approach to 80s soul – but one that's also held together beautifully by lead vocals from Dwight Dukes, who was previously a member of Heaven & Earth! Dukes has this sweet falsetto mode that works perfectly with the cuts – and on many numbers, he gets vocal support from Dean Williams, whose deeper style really helps ground the tunes nicely – making for a blend that only gets richer as the album rolls on. Groovers dominate the styles, but there's a few nice laidback numbers too – and the contrast makes for the same energy that always made a record by Heaven & Earth so great. Titles include "Contemplation", "Try Your Lovin", "Inner Feelings", "Let The Music Turn You On", and "Do It Anyway You Wanna". CD features 5 bonus tracks – including "Do It Anyway You Wanna (12" version)", "Let The Music Turn You On (single)", "Try Your Lovin (single)", "Do It Anyway You Wanna (inst)", "Try Your Lovin (12" inst)". CD

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✨✧ Max RoachIt's Time ... CD
Impulse (Japan), 1962. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Stunning! This is a beautiful album that's one of Max Roach's most powerful recordings, and a record that's been the inspiration for countless other imitations over the years. Roach leads a group with Richard Williams, Clifford Jordan, and Mal Waldron – and they're matched with a vocal chorus led by Coleridge Perkinson, who also did the arrangements for Donald Byrd's classic "with voices" albums. Unlike those, though, this set's a damn angry bunch of compositions, and the chorus wails away in a loud screaming powerful mode that will blow away any of your preconceptions about the "with voices" mode. The group sings wordless vocals (except for one cut, which has Abbey Lincoln singing in the lead), and provides a searing backdrop of sound for the band's razor sharp playing. Every cut's a winner, and the whole thing's a masterpiece! Titles include "The Profit", "It's Time", and "Another Valley". CD

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✨✧ Lenny WilliamsRise Sleeping Beauty (with bonus track) ... CD
Motown/Big Break (UK), 1975. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
One of Lenny's first solo records – rawer than later work, thanks probably to the fact that he produced the record with Chester Thompson – and it's wonderful stuff! Thompson plays organ and arp on the record, and gives many tracks a nice heavy funk sound that's similar to his and Williams' work in Tower of Power. Lenny's really working on his vocal skills here, though – and his sweetly cracking voice brings a tremendous amount of charm and honesty to the record! Titles include "Since I Met You", "I'm A Pioneer", "Shame", "Loving Station", "Motion", "Rise Sleeping Beauty", "Sons Of Thieves, Slaves, & Braves", "Cause I Love You", "Run On See What The Ends Gonna Be" and "To Be A Star". This Big Break CD version also includes a bonus oromo single version of "Since I Met You". CD

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✨✧ John Carter & Bobby BradfordFlight For Four (LP sleeve edition) ... CD
Flying Dutchman/International Phonograph, 1969. New Copy Gatefold ... Out Of Stock
Spectacular work from one of the most groundbreaking groups of its time – the legendary John Carter/Bobby Bradford Quartet – quite possibly the hippest thing going in the LA scene of the late 60s! The group includes Carter on alto and tenor, Bradford on trumpet – working together in these amazing lines that have both players running off together in a style that's free, but often quite rhythmic – spurred on to move past the new freedoms unlocked by the Ornette Coleman group a few years before! Yet the vibe here is very different than Ornette, too – given the bold, righteous power that comes through in the voices of both players – working here at a level that seems to blow away just about anything else going on in the American avant garde at the time. The group has just two more players to round out its amazing sound – Tom Williamson on bass, and Bruz Freeman (brother of Von and George!) on drums – and all tracks are long and free, yet also fragile and intimate – with an almost painterly sense of beauty and emotion that stands in stark contrast to much of the avant work of the time coming out of the east coast. Titles include "Domino", "Abstractions For Three Lovers", "Woman", and "The Second Set". CD
(Great LP-styled gatefold cover – just like the rare original album! Pressing is nearly sold out – and we were able to get ahold of just a few more copies! Get it while we got it!)

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✨✧ Stan GetzCaptain Marvel (remastered edition – with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia, 1972. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A wicked album that's one of Stan Getz's best from the 70s! The record features Stan reunited with Chick Corea, whose warm lyricism was the lynchpin in Getz's landmark Sweet Rain – the stunning session from 1968 that is perhaps our favorite-ever Getz album. Corea plays electric piano here, but with none of the indulgence that he was lapsing into at the time. His blocky chords stake out a stark new territory, into which Getz solos beautifully, into a range yet untapped at that time in his career. Tony Williams augments the group on drums, giving the whole thing a sense of freedom, but also a nice tight swing. Tracks include "La Fiesta", "Five Hundred Miles High", "Times Lie", and "Day Waves". Great stuff – and expanded here with the new track "Crystal Silence", plus bonus alternates of "Five Hundred Miles High" and "Captain Marvel". CD

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✨✧ VSOP (Herbie Hancock, et al)Five Stars ... CD
Sony/Wounded Bird, 1979. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
One of the rarest albums ever by this legendary jazz supergroup – a Japanese-only set that we'd rank right up there with some of Herbie Hancock's Japanese albums from the same time! The group features Herbie on piano, Wayne Shorter on tenor, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Ron Carter on bass, and Tony Williams on drums – all working here in an acoustic mode, but one that's definitely informed by some of the shapes, tones, and styles of the players' electric explorations of the 70s. The album's only got 4 tracks, and they're all nice and long – beautiful little tunes that are filled with soul and feeling – all composed by different members of the group. Titles include "Skagly", "Finger Painting", "Mutants On The Beach", and "Circe". CD

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✨✧ Andy Williams with Hank JonesYoung At Heart (plus bonus track) (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
SSJ (Japan), 1960. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Andy Williams like you've never heard him before – singing jazz, and doing a hell of a job of it, too! Sure, Andy was known as a mainstream singer from his TV show of the 60s – but he could also work well in a jazz mode, too – especially with great small combo backing like this! Those trademark Williams vocals really stretch out in this great setting – with combo backing from Hank Jones on piano, Mundell Lowe or Barry Galbraith on guitar, Eddie Safranski on bass, and Bobby Rosengarden on drums – all on rare material recorded for radio shows for The National Guard – all caught in the studio, with excellent clarity. Tunes are relatively short, and Andy takes off beautifully with the jazzy inspiration of the group – on a set of 26 tracks that include "You Are My Lucky Star", "Easy To Love", "An Old Piano Plays The Blues", "Stars Fell On Alabama", "Spring Is Here", "Do Do Do", "Young At Heart", and "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To". CD

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✨✧ Mats Aleklint QuartetMats Aleklint Quartet ... CD
Moserobie (Sweden), 2013. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A beautifully bold session from trombonist Mats Aleklint – a player we don't know well at all, but who really steps out on this set as a leader for Moserobie Records! The sound is a bit looser than most of the recent work on the label – not entirely free, but nicely without any strong structures – so that Mats can stretch out on these amazing lines on both slide and valve trombone, with a sense of voice and vision on the instrument that we haven't heard since Roswell Rudd! The rest of the lineup is great too – a quartet with mighty nice tenor and bass clarinet from Per Texas Johansson, bass from Joe Williamson, and drums and synth from Christopher Cantillo. Aleklint also plays a bit of thumb piano and pump organ too – and titles include "Nattbuss", "Hur Eller Dur", "Braxen", "Algskog", "Landet Runt", and "Snabbt In Snabb Tut". CD
Also available Mats Aleklint Quartet ... LP 11.99

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✨✧ Harrison BankheadMorning Sun Harvest Moon ... CD
Engine, 2011. New Copy Gatefold ... Out Of Stock
The debut as a leader from bassist Harrison Bankhead – long an important figure on the Chicago jazz scene as a sideman, really stepping forth here with a bold new vision of his own! The album's got a very free, open sort of vibe – definitely in the spirit of the AACM, but with some 70s spiritual touches too – especially once things get going, and some of the more rhythmic tracks take hold! The group features the great Ed Wilkerson on tenor, clarinet, and didgeridoo – sounding great, and returning a favor to Bankhead after the bassist's years in Wilkerson's groups. Other players include Mars Williams on saxes, James Sanders on violin, Avreeayl Ra on drums and percussion, and Ernie Adams on more percussion – a lineup that's equally well-suited to free improv numbers, and some of the more groove-oriented tracks. Titles include "Over Under Inside Out", "Chicago Senorita", "East Village", "Morning Sun/Harvest Moon", and "Flying Through Your Dreams". CD
(In a beautiful hand-pressed cover, too!)

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✨✧ VariousFrom Alamo To El Dorado – Great Western TV & Movie Soundtracks ... CD
Bear Family (Germany), 1950s/1960s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Beautiful, simply beautiful! The set features 23 tracks from a range of western-themed movies and TV shows – not really spaghetti westerns, but the sort of popular American work of the 50s and 60s, which often starred bigger names in show business, and which features popular vocal themes interpreted by chart stars of the time. The approach is quite different than most of our other soundtrack selections – a wealth of groovy pop vocal tunes united through western themes, and compiled together in a fantastic package with images from the films. Titles include "Fury" by The Prarie Chiefs, "The Man From Laramie" by Al Martino, "The Ballad Of Cat Ballou" by Nat King Cole & Stubby Kaye, "The Lonely Man" by Tennesse Ernie Ford, "Man With True Grit" by Glen Campbell, "Buttons & Bows" by Bob Hope, "The Wind The Wind" by Dean Martin, "Old Turkey Buzzard" by Jose Feliciano, "Marmalade Molasses & Honey" by Andy Williams, "The Legend Of Wyatt Earp" by Shorty Long, "Stagecoach To Cheyenne" by Wayne Newton, and "Bronco" by Johnny Gregory. CD

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