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✨✧ Beau WilliamsBodacious ... CD
Capitol/FTG, 1984. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Bodacious grooves from the great Beau Williams – an under-remembered talent in Capitol's excellent early 80s soul run – a strong male vocalist with a great approach to an 80s groove! The tunes here are often set to stepping beats and keyboard lines with a clear, clean sort of sound – never that too-commercial groove that sometimes held back other male singers at the time – and instead that lean grooving style that made Capitol so great. Titles include an early take on "C'Est La Vie", plus "Dark & Lonely Nights", "Danger Zone", "Don't Say No", "Slave", and "You Do It". CD
 
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✨✧ Norman ConnorsValentine Love – The Buddah/Arista Anthology ... CD
Soulmusic.com (UK), 1970s/Early 80s. New Copy 2CD ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A fantastic collection of work from Norman Connors – a musician who first started out playing drums in spiritual jazz groups at the start of the 70s, then moved on to take over the worlds of funk and soul! Connors' material of this time was essential at bringing a new sort of depth to soul music – taking some of the lessons learned in the farther reaches of the underground, and working them into a new tapestry of sophisticated expression – sounds that were able to fold together lots of styles and spirit, and help elevate their audience at the same time. This package might be the best we've ever seen to bring together Norman's work of the period – as it also includes some of the Aquarian Dream and Starship Orchestra recordings, as well as Connors tracks with singers who include Michael Henderson, Jean Carn, Gloria Jones, Prince Philip Mitchell, Phyliss Hyman, Eleanor Mills, James Robinson, Al Johnson, and Beau Williams. 34 tracks in all – and titles include "So Much Love", "Dindi", "Saturday Night Special", "We Both Need Each Other", "Captain Connors (12" version)", "Say You Love Me", "This Is Your Life", "Stella", "Handle Me Gently", "Your Love", "Invitation", "Be There In The Morning", "Take It To The Limit", "Mr C", "She's Gone", "You've Been On My Mind", "Melancholy Fire", "Romantic Journey", "Slewfoot", "Give The Drummer Some", "Valentine Love", "Once I've Been There", "Phoenix", "Once Again", "You Are My Starship", "Betcha By Golly Wow", "Kwasi", "Maiden Voyage", and "Disco Land". CD
 
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✨✧ Charles McPhersonBeautiful! (with bonus track) ... CD
Xanadu, 1975. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Incredible work from Charles McPherson – his first for Xanadu in the mid 70s – wherein his amazing quartet breathes fresh, bop-inspired urgency and a deft sense of soul into some older standards – maybe even as strongly as on his best work for Prestige in the 60s! It's truly timeless – holding true to the classic songcraft of the compositions, but leaving plenty of room to riff and improvise in ways that add both subtle shades and energetic flourishes. The group includes Duke Jordan on piano, Sam Jones on bass and Leroy Williams on drums – all on their game. Beautiful indeed! Songs include "It Could Happen to You," "Lover," "This Can't Be Love", "They Say its Wonderful", "Body And Soul","But Beautiful". CD includes a bonus track, and it's a great one – a tremendous 9 minute take on "All God's Children Got Rhythm". CD

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JR BaileyJust Me & You (Japanese paper sleeve edition – with bonus track) ... CD
MAM/P-Vine (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... $28.99
A really sublime rare groover from JR Bailey – vocalist in the Cadillacs back in their doo wop years, but a heck of a great 70s mellow soul artist in this obscure little set! JR wrote and co-produced all the tunes on the set – in a mode that steps along beautifully with a subtle groove at the bottom, but takes off with complicated touches in the backings, and some vocals from Bailey that really stand out from most of his contemporaries. There's echoes here of other 70s great like Donny Hathaway, Leroy Hutson, or Al Johnson – and like all those artists, JR's drawing a fair bit of jazz into his work – making for complicated changes and warmer overtones that really help take the record way past conventional soul! Arrangements are by Bailey with Bert De Coteaux, Ken Williams, Paull Griffin, and Horace Ott – and titles include "Love Love Love", "Cute As A Button", "After Hours", "Heaven On Earth", "She Called Me", "Everything I Want I See In You", and "Not Too Long Ago". CD

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Kenny BarronInnocence ... CD
Wolf/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $18.99
Sweet electric keys from Kenny Barron – one of those few excellent 70s albums that have the pianist hitting some Fender Rhodes! The record has Kenny playing electric on most of the set – in a mode that's as open, and spiritual as his best work for the Muse label – maybe even better, as the tracks have a freer style, and really open up with a beautiful sense of energy! The other players here really make the record special, too – and include Sonny Fortune on alto sax, Jimmy Owens on trumpet, Buster Williams on bass, Ben Riley on drums, and Billy Hart on percussion – a lineup that really gives the whole thing a level that's right up there with classics on the Black Jazz or Strata East label. As always with the electric piano, Kenny hits some wonderful notes, colors, and tones that make us wish he used the instrument all the time – on titles that include "Sunshower", "Innocence", "Bacchanal", and "Nothing To Fear". CD

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Magnus BrooSwedish Wood ... CD
Moserobie (Sweden), 2010. New Copy ... $18.99
Swedish wood, with plenty of brass – thanks to bold, imaginative work as a leader from trumpeter Magnus Broo – easily one of the most important voices on his instrument working today! The group is a beautifully tight quartet – and Broo's trumpet gains plenty from the equally bold basslines of Torbjorn Zetterberg – a player whose name may not be familiar to American audiences, but one who always seems to set a special sort of fire whenever he joins a session! There's a pulsating grace from Zetterberg that really gets things going – maybe the "wood" promised in the title, given the richness of its tone – which Magnus matches with this beautifully blown mix of soul and soaring, almost in a legacy of Woody Shaw or some of his generation. And the group also features added bass from Joe Williamson – making for a twin bottom-up groove that reminds us of similar sessions from the 60s – punctuated nicely by the drums of Hakon Mjaset Johansen. Titles include "I Hear You", "Swedish Wood", "Oh What A Beautiful Day", "Acoustic Kitten", "Thoughts Are Things", and "New Weather". CD

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Charles DavisFor The Love Of Lori ... CD
Reade Street, 2014. New Copy ... $15.99
Charles Davis is something of a silent hero in jazz – a musician who's been around for decades, with an amazing legacy of performances – and an artist who always gives his best, often without any fanfare of attempt to overstate his own ego! This album's a beautiful demonstration of that quality – as Davis leads a group through some beautiful compositions and arrangements of his own – all with a mixture of soul and lyricism that few other players could hope to deliver this effortlessly. The group's a sextet who play together as if they've been recording for decades as a lineup – Steve Davis on trombone, Joe Magnarelli on trumpet, Rich Germanson on piano, David Williams on bass, and Neil Smith on drums – all exploding with a sense of joy that really illuminates the tunes, and sets a fantastic scene for the solos. Titles include the Davis originals "For The Love Of Lori", "Kid", and "Into The Himalayas" – plus versions of "Begues", "Cedar's Blues", and "Juliano". CD

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Stan Getz5 Original Albums (West Coast Jazz/In Stockholm/Steamer/Cool Sounds/Stan Meets Chet) (5CD set) ... CD
Verve (Germany), Late 50s. New Copy 5 CDs ... $21.99
Five classic Stan Getz albums for Verve – all in a special package, in little LP-styled covers! First up is West Coast Jazz – a classic pairing of the tenor of Stan Getz and the gentle rhythms of the LA scene of the 50s – and a record that stands up beautifully over the years! Tracks are all a bit longish, and the group features Lou Levy on piano, Leroy Vinnegar on bass, and Shelly Manne on drums – plus Conte Candoli on trumpet, somewhat in the frontline, but never in a way that overshadows Stan's tenor. The album's got a great David Stone Martin cover – and titles include "East Of The Sun (West Of The Moon)," "Four," "Night In Tunisia," and "Summertime." Stan Getz In Stockholm allows Stan to showcase his affection for a jazz scene that had been growing strongly in the postwar years – often in directions that were similar to Stan's own sound at the time! The session is one of the first to pair Stan's tenor with a Swedish group – in this case the bass of Gunnar Johnson, drums of Anders Burman, and piano of Bengt Hallberg – the last of which brings sharper, more angular style to the music than some of Stan's accompanists on earlier American dates – pointing the way towards new experiments to come in his music! Next is Steamer – not a word that we'd necessarily think to use with the gently flowing tenor tone of Stan Getz – but that doesn't stop the album from being a great one, and perhaps in Getz-like terms, it might well have a bit more steam than usual! The album features Getz in a quartet with a nicely flowing groove – nicely vamping piano from Lou Levy in the background on most numbers, and a definite edge in the lead tenor solos – still blown with the warmth of earlier Getz recordings, but perhaps showing some of the modern flourishes to come. Bass is by Leroy Vinnegar and drums are by Stan Levey – and titles include "Blues For Mary Jane", "There'll Never Be Another You", and "You're Blase". Cool Sounds features a range of unusual material recorded over a three year period with a variety of different players! Some of the dates here definitely fit the "cool sounds" title of the record – in that they feature Getz with the west coast lineup of Lou Levy on piano, Shelly Manne on drums, and Leroy Vinnegar on bass – heard more famously on Stan's West Coast album of the same time. But other sides feature a different grouping – with Jimmy Rowles on piano, Bobby Whitlock on bass, and Max Roach on drums – offering up a different side of the west coast altogether. And still others take things back to more of an east coast modern style – by featuring either Tony Fruscella on trumpet or Bob Brookmeyer on trombone, in groups with John Williams on piano. The mix of material makes for a nicely-rounded portrait of Getz's talents in the mid 50s years! Last up is Stan Meets Chet – Stan Getz meets Chet Baker – A classic meeting of these two talents – recorded in Chicago with a Chicago rhythm section of Jodie Christian, Victor Sproles, and Marshall Thompson. The album's an odd one, and is recorded with less of the impeccability of some of Verve's other sessions (which is probaby how the Chicago team got in the action) – but given Baker's harder-edged proclivities at the time, the set's a very interesting one to hear, and the relaxed nature of the tracks brings out some important solo moments from both players. 4 long tracks – including "I'll Remember April", "Jordu", and "Half-Breed Apache". CD

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✨✧ Charles McPhersonSiku Ya Bibi (Day Of The Lady) ... CD
Mainstream/Solid (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
One of the most distinct early dates from reedman Charles McPherson – a unique "with strings" session recorded as a tribute to Billie Holiday – and with a style that shows off sides of McPherson's playing that wouldn't show up on other records for years to come! The album's got a beautifully understated quality – hip, adult arrangements by Ernie Wilkins – neither in his Basie-esque style of the early years, nor in any sort of slavish relationship to the Billie Holiday recordings of the 40s and the 50s either – which makes for a mode that just lets Charles flow with this wonderfully soulful tone on his alto – almost in a way that points towards some of Stanley Turrentine's music to come in such a setting. The core group features piano by Barry Harris, guitar by Earl Dunbar, bass by Sam Jones, and drums by Leroy Williams – plus larger backing by a string section – and titles include "Don't Explain", "Miss Brown To You", "Lover Come Back to Me", "Lover Man", and "God Bless the Child" – but all shaped beautifully and personally by McPherson! CD

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Red MitchellHappy Minors ... CD
Bethlehem/Solid (Japan), 1955. New Copy ... $8.99
A hell of a cooker from bassist Red Mitchell – a set that's got a sound that's way more mature and modern than you might guess from the image on the cover! Red's at the helm of a hip combo that also features sharp tenor from Zoot Sims and beautiful work on valve trombone from Bob Brookmeyer – working here at that cool compressed height of his 50s style we love so much. Conte Candoli's in the group on trumpet, giving things a surprising sort of bite – and rhythm is completed by Claude Williamson on piano and Stan Levey on drums – players who can be bold one minute, and carefully quiet the next. Titles include "Kelly Green", "Once In A While", "Bluesology", "Happy Minor", and "Long Ago & Far Away". CD

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Jesse PowellBlow Man Blow ... CD
Jubilee/Warner (Japan), 1959. New Copy ... $14.99
A hard wailer from tenorist Jesse Powell – a musician who's in the same heavy postwar territory as giants like Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Rusty Bryant, and Willis Jackson – and who, like them, has a nice undercurrent of R&B in his sound! Powell maybe never worked as much in that format as the others, but he's got this rich range on his horn, which is captured here beautifully with a bit of echo on the recording – and set up in a small combo that includes Eddie Williams on trumpet, Oscar Dennard on piano, Peck Morrison on bass, and Wilbur Hogan on drums. The album's got a nice sense of variety, and more depth than just a bunch of tenor-honking cliches – and titles include "Cross On The Green", "Que Paso", "No Tomorrow", "Just Chips", "Love Is Here To Stay", "My Silent Love", "This Is Always", and "Jesse's Theme". CD
(SHM-CD pressing!)

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Jimmy RaneyLive In Tokyo (with bonus track) ... CD
Xanadu, 1976. New Copy ... $14.99 15.98
A hell of a great jazz guitarist – working here in a really wonderful setting – a live date that both lets Jimmy Raney hit some beautifully intimate moments out front, but also lets him swing a bit too – thanks to help from Sam Jones on bass and Leroy Williams on drums! Raney still has that raspy tone that we first fell in love with on his 50s records – a clarity on the strings that easily made him one of the most important jazz guitarists of the time – but he's also got a more mature sense of chromes, which creates this beautiful dance of tones as his fingers move along the strings of the guitar – always clear in his vision, but still working with a sense of surprise that always keeps things interesting. Titles include "How About You", "Darn That Dream", "Here's That Rainy Day", "Stella By Starlight", "Watch What Happens", and "Anthropology". CD features the bonus track "Just Friends". CD

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✨✧ Duke EllingtonPopular Duke Ellington (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/Sony (France), 1966. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A beautiful 60s album from Duke Ellington – one that features some of his more popular numbers, as you'd guess by the title – but captured in these sublime, sophisticated arrangements that really reflect the genius sound of his group during the later years! The tracks are familiar, and the arrangements are maybe never too way out – but they're also these mini-masterpieces in color and tone – carried off by a fantastic group of all-stars who've matured and grown as much as the Duke himself – Cootie Williams and Cat Anderson on trumpets, Lawrence Brown and Buster Cooper on trombones, Jimmy Hamilton on clarinet, Johnny Hodges on alto, Paul Gonsalves on tenor, and Harry Carney on piano. There's a darkness in Duke's piano that's maybe missing from earlier versions of this material – that great modern undercurrent of the late years – and titles include "Black & Tan Fantasy", "The Twitch", "Perdido", "Solitude", "The Mooche", "Creole Love Call", "Take The A Train", and "Sophisticated Lady". CD features bonus tracks – "Caravan", "Wings & Things", and an alternate take of "Do Nothin Till You Hear From Me". CD

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✨✧ VariousWindy City Blues – The Transition – 1935 to 1953 (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Nighthawk, Late 30s/1940s/Early 50s. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Pivotal years of the Chicago blues scene – a time when the city was moving from rural influences to electric modes! That great span of work is presented here beautifully – in a set of tracks that begins in the mid 30s and end in the mid 50s – tracing an evolution that would not only go on to transform the music, but also have a huge impact on other styles for decades to come! The set features a 16 tracks in all – including "Please Don't" by Johnny Shines, "Fishin Blues" by Tony Hollins, "Down Behind The Rise"by Guitar Pete Franklin, "Black Spider Blues" by Robert Lockwood, "Sunnyland" by Sonny Boy Williamson, "Prowlin Nighthawk" by Robert Lee McCoy, "Easy Ridin Mama" by Washboard Sam, and "Sweet To Mama" by State Street Boys. CD features 8 more bonus tracks – mostly from the mid 50s – by Willie Nix, Floyd Jones, John Brim, and others! CD

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✨✧ Astrud Gilberto5 Original Albums (Astrud Gilberto Album/Look To The Rainbow/Certain Smile Certain Sadness/Windy/I Haven't Got Anything Better) (5CD set) ... CD
Verve (Germany), Late 60s. New Copy 5 CDs ... Out Of Stock
A quintet of wonderful records from the legendary Astrud Gilberto! First up is the Astrud Gilberto Album – pne of Astrud Gilberto's greatest albums of the 60s – a classic session produced for Verve by Creed Taylor, and featuring sweet gentle arrangements from Marty Paich, co-arranged with Antonio Carlos Jobim, who also plays guitar on the session next to the piano of Joao Donato! That's a mouthful of heavy-hitters, we know – but the result is a totally great session that has Astrud's light and gentle vocals drifting over some of the most magical bossa backings you'll ever hear. The whole thing's great, stuffed with bossa classics done in English – and titles include "Once I Loved", "Aqua De Beber", "O Morro", "Dindi", "Dreamer", and "Photograph". Look To The Rainbow is one of the moodiest Verve albums from Astrud Gilberto – a set that has some surprising arrangements by Gil Evans – working here on one of his few 60s dates with a singer! Astrud's blue-tinged vocals work perfectly with Evans' backdrops – and Al Cohn also takes over the helm on two of the album's tracks, but still does a very good job of keeping the groove. There's a nice mix of sadness and lightness in the set – and titles include a wonderful version of "Berimbau" that actually features berimbau playing by Dom Um Romao, a great take on "El Preciso Aprender A Ser So" with English lyrics, and the titles "Bim Bom", "Lugar Bonito", "Frevo", and "Once Upon A Summertime". For Certain Smile Certain Sadness, Verve Records got the great idea of teaming up its (then) biggest Brazilian imports – vocalist Astrud Gilberto and organist Walter Wanderley – both of whom were selling plenty at the time! Astrud's lovely vocals are matched beautifully with the lean, rhythmic bossa grooves of Wanderley's trio – and the result is a record that's near-perfect in execution. Most of the tracks are quite short, as is the record itself – but it's a perfectly concentrated dose of the Verve bossa sound at its best, with tracks that include "Portuguese Washerwoman", "Tu Meu Delirio", "A Certain Smile", "Call Me", "Here's That Rainy Day", "A Certain Sadness", "It's A Lovely Day Today", and a vocal version of Wanderley's big hit "Summer Samba", redone here as "So Nice"! Windy is one of the hardest to find Astrud Gilberto records on Verve – and one of the best! Deodato, Don Sebesky, and Pat Williams did the arrangements – and the sound here is a bit different than some of the straighter Gilberto sets of the time – still very bossa-inspired, but also in a style that mixes in some great Sunshine Pop and 60s easy influences too – particularly on the tracks arranged by Williams! Tracks are all quite short, but get a heck of a lot of magic into a tiny space – and the album features some really wonderful songs that break Gilberto's pattern a bit – including versions of the Marcos Valle tracks "Crickets Sing For Anamaria" and "Chup Chup, I Got Away" – plus takes on "Windy", "Sing Me A Rainbow", "Never My Love", and "Where Are They Now?" I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do is one of the darkest albums ever recorded by Astrud Gilberto – her 60s last session for Verve Records, and a batch of beautifully moody tunes throughout! Arrangements are by Albert Gorgoni, who'd handled Gilberto's previous September 69 album – but the style here is a bit mellower, a bit sadder – touched with more adult themes of love, life, and loss – and very much in keeping with Astrud's tear-stained image on the cover! There's a sound here that almost mixes Gilberto's earlier bossa with the more baroque modes of Scott Walker at the end of the 60s – and as with Scott Walker's classic solo sets, the album shows a side of Astrud's talents that we never would have expected a few years earlier! Titles include "Wailing Of The Willow", "Where's The Love", "Wee Small Hours", "If", "Without Him", "Trains & Boats & Planes", "The Sea Is My Soil", and "Didn't We?". CD

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✨✧ Wayne Shorter5 Original Albums (Night Dreamer/Soothsayer/Etcetera/Adam's Apple/Schizophrenia) (5CD set) ... CD
Blue Note (Germany), Mid 60s. New Copy 5CD ... Out Of Stock
Five very different albums from the great Wayne Shorter – all from a time when he was really taking off with his music! Night Dreamer is one of the greatest Wayne Shorter albums for Blue Note, and one of our favorite jazz albums ever! The record is a masterpiece of lyrical delight – soul jazz mixed with slight touches of experimentalism – but still warm, swinging, and personal enough to captivate even the most novice jazz listener. A players are at the top of their game – and in addition to Shorter's tenor, the group features Lee Morgan on trumpet, McCoy Tyner on piano, Reggie Workman on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums. The tracks unfold in lyrical, modal beauty in a really wonderful way that was barely ever duplicated again – and titles include "Night Dreamer", "Oriental Folk Song", "Virgo", "Charcoal Blues", "Armageddon", and "Black Nile". Soothsayer is a great Wayne Shorter session from the mid 60s – recorded then, but not issued until 1979, for some incredibly unexplained reason – especially given the strength of the set! The group is distinctly modern, and features Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, James Spaulding on alto, and McCoy Tyner on piano – all of who were committed to heavily pushing the boundaries of their playing at the time. Added to the mix is the youthful Tony Williams on drums, fresh from work with Miles Davis, and playing with an incredibly free hand on the kit – plus the great Ron Carter on bass. The resulting mix of tracks is a beautiful example of how these mid-60s Blue Note sessions could keep firmly in touch with modern developments in jazz, yet never lapse into the kind of sloppiness that could sometimes ruin sets like these on other labels – always with a keen sense of timing and rhythm, and a sharpness that made Blue Note's "new" newer-sounding than most. Titles include "Lost", "Angola", "The Big Push", and an amazing jazz take on Sibelius' "Valse Triste"! Etcetera has a very sharp-edged quartet sound – a bit modern and edgey at times, with sharp tenor lines from Shorter, piano from Herbie Hancock, bass from Cecil McBee, and drums from Joe Chambers. Wayne recorded the date in 1965, but the material wasn't issued by Blue Note until 15 years later – a delay that somehow made the whole thing even more of a gem, especially at a time when Shorter wasn't blowing this strongly on record. Tracks include four originals "Toy Tune", "Penelope", "Etcetera", and "Barracudas" – plus the Gil Evans number "Barracudas (General Assembly)". Adams Apple is an incredible album – one of our favorite Blue Notes ever! Despite the fact that the album's a spare quartet session, the record is one of Wayne Shorter's richest – and features his gutsy young tenor soloing insanely with a rhythmically intense combo that includes Herbie Hancock on piano, Reggie Workman on bass, and Joe Chambers on drums – a wonderfully free-thinking rhythm trio! Workman's bass is especially strong, and it underpins the cuts with a throbbing pulse that takes them past any simple hardbop conventions. Every cut's a winner – and this is one album we reach for time and time again over the years! Titles include "Adam's Apple", "El Gaucho", "Footprints", and "Teru". Schizophrenia is a session from the late 60s that has Wayne Shorter pushing into a searching, spiritual groove, but one that's still filled with all the taught electricity of his earlier recordings on Blue Note! Shorter's accompanied by youthful modernists like James Spaulding on alto, Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and Joe Chambers on drums – plus the mighty Curtis Fuller on trombone, whose instrument here proves to be the same key extra ingredient that it was on the best Art Blakey sextet sessions of the 60s. There's a tight, soulful feel here that's sublime – an Adams Apple sort of groove, but a bit fuller – and titles include the classic "Tom Thumb", plus "Playground", "Schizoprhenia", "Kryptonite", "Miyako", and "Go". CD

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✨✧ VariousNorthern Soul – The Collection – The Ultimate Northern Soul Anthems (3CD set) ... CD
Warner (UK), Late 60s. New Copy 3CD ... Out Of Stock
Maybe not the ultimate Northern Soul collection – you'd need a room full of CDs for that – but a pretty wonderful collection of upbeat 60s soul groovers pulled from the vaults of Warner Brothers and Atlantic Records! The 3CD set features a whopping 85 tracks in all – and most of them are rare cuts, even the ones by some of the bigger names – so that the whole thing really goes way past the obvious, and delivers surprise after surprise over the course of the long listening if has to offer! There's plenty of soul nuggets here that we haven't seen elsewhere on CD – and titles include "A Last Minute Miracle" by Linda Jones, "Baby Help Me" by Percy Sledge, "Call On Me" by The Dynells, "Walkin Up A One Way Street" by Willie Tee, "After Closing Time" by Hal Frazier, "This Beautiful Day" by Levi Jackson, "If You Ask Me" by Jerry Williams, "Mr Creator" by The Apollas, "Seven Days Too Long" by Chuck Wood, "Dance Dance Dance" by The Casualeers, "Can't Help Lovin Dat Man" by Ila Vann, "Skiing In The Snow" by The Invitations, "Teardrops Are Falling" by Little Natalie & Henry, "Bar B Q" by Wendy Rene, "Yes To The Lord" by The Stovall Sisters, "Change My Darkness Into Light" by The Flirtations, "It Hurts Me" by David & Ruben, "Livin In Love" by Sheila Anthony, "Please Operator" by Tony & Tyrone, and "Tell Me Why" by Life". CD

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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
Also available Captain Marvel ... LP 7.99

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✨✧ Slam StewartDefinitive Black & Blue Sessions – Fish Scales ... CD
Black & Blue (France), 1975. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Slam Stewart may well be one of the coolest bassists in jazz – one of the first players to really get the instrument to have as much melodic force as it did in rhythm – a quality that he really emphasizes here by singing along with his basslines! Slam's sung before on record, but never so much in the spotlight as on this one – a set that has his scatting vocals really in the foreground – moving beautifully along with his bass – sometimes breaking off a bit, but always with a groove – as he sings wordlessly in a small combo with Johnny Guarnieri on piano, Jimmy Shirley on guitar, and Jackie Williams on drums! The style is wonderful – very unique, and with a timeless sense of cool – and titles include "Sleep", "The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else", "Fish Scales", "At Sundown", "Bye Bye Blackbird", and "I Want To Be Happy". CD features three bonus alternate takes, too! CD

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✨✧ Jackie McLean & The Great Jazz TrioNew Wine In Old Bottles ... CD
East Wind/Universal (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A very apt title – as Jackie McLean sits in for a soulful session with the Great Jazz Trio of Hank Jones, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams – all "old bottles" at this point in their career, but working together beautifully to brew some very mellow "new wine"! The album's easily one of the best in the trio's run of the time – as Jackie's alto sax really helps flesh things out a bit more than usual – and moves the album past the trio sound of their other records. McLean gets plenty of space to do his thing on the longer tracks – and the piano of Jones, bass of Carter, and drums of Williams have a solid, soulful approach that's really wonderful. Titles include 2 McLean originals titled "Appointment In Ghana Again" and "Little Melonae Again", both remakes of older tunes – plus "Confirmation", "Bein Green", and "Round Midnight". CD

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Aziza Miller (Linda Williams)Journey Of Love ... CD
Street Jam Groove, 2016. New Copy ... $12.99
Wonderful work from Aziza Miller – a jazz keyboardist and soul singer with a very deep range of expression – one that comes from her many years in music, which include an important 70s sting as the music director for Natalie Cole, and her own famous album for Arista – recorded under the name of Linda Williams! This set's got a vibe that takes us back to those days – but just in terms of quality, as the music's not retro soul – but instead a beautiful hybrid of Aziza's jazz leanings and soul phrasings – on open-ended tracks that have a great sense of flow, and which change things up nicely as things move on. Aziza plays keyboards and sings on all numbers – and the set's got additional guitar, drums, bass, and percussion – with maybe an initial focus on the instrumentation first on the tunes, then a shift towards the vocals once the song rolls on – a bit like some of the best Larry Mizell productions of the 70s. The package is slim – just an LP-styled sleeve – but the record's got a lot more depth than its presentation might make you expect – on titles that include "A Song For My Friend", "A Journey Of Love", "I Don't Say Much", "Say Yes", "A Brand New Song", and "A Song For Silver" – the last of which is dedicated to Horace Silver! 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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