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Norman ConnorsTake It To The Limit/Mr C ... CD
Arista/Expansion (UK), 1980/1981. New Copy ... $9.99
A pair of groovers by Norman Connors from the start of the 80s – Take It To The Limit and Mr C – together in a single set! Take It To The Limit is excellent album of smooth soul – one that reaches back to some of Norman's earlier records for inspiration, and which takes the sound up a few notches to expand the groove. Norman gets help on the arranging tip from Al Johnson, McKinley Jackson, and Paul Riser – which is why the album has such a great 70s smooth soul feel – and there's loads of guest appearances, like vocals by Johnson, Jean Carn, and instrumental solos from Freddie Hubbard and Gary Bartz. Adaritha sings lead vocals on a number of cuts, and Glenn Johnson takes the lead on "Melancholy Fire". Includes a great version of "Black Cow", plus "Take It To The Limit", "Justify", "You've Been On My Mind", and an excellent remake of "I Don't Need Nobody Else", with Al Johnson on vocals! Mr C is a real sleeper from Norman Connors, but a great record – one that shows him still moving strong in the 80s, always continuing to develop his smooth jazzy soul style! Backing is by the Starship Orchestra, with Marion Meadows on most sax solos – and vocals are by Beau Williams, Jean Carn, and Glenn Jones. There's a number of great uptempo tunes – with a tight hard jazz funk backing, and kind of a sweet early 80s club style in the vocals. Titles include "Love's In Your Corner", "She's Gone", "Stay With Me", "Keep Doin It", "Anyway You Want", and "Sing A Love Song". CD
Also available Take It To The Limit/Mr C ... CD 7.99

Possible matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Norman ConnorsValentine Love – The Buddah/Arista Anthology ... CD
Soulmusic.com (UK), 1970s/Early 80s. New Copy 2 CDS ... $14.99
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
 
Partial matches: 22
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Jimmy GreeneFlowers – Beautiful Life Vol 2 ... CD
Mack Avenue, 2017. New Copy ... $16.99 18.98
A huge step forward in music for saxophonist Jimmy Greene – an artist who's still reeling from the loss of his daughter, who was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 – but who's turning his grief and sorrow into some of the richest music he's ever recorded! The feel here is even deeper than the first volume dedicated to Green's daughter – original songs that burst out with so much life and energy, we're held rapt right from the very first note – almost never mired in the sort of melancholy you might expect from such an experience, and instead ready to set a new fire to light the way ahead! Greene plays tenor, soprano, alto, and baritone – and other musicians include Kevin Hayes on Rhodes and piano, Mike Moreno on guitar, Renee Rosnes on piano, Ben Williams and John Patitucci on bass, and Jeff Tain Watts and Otis Brown III on drums. Titles include "Fun Circuits", "Second Breakfast", "Flowers", "Stanky Leg", "Big Guy", "Amantes", and "Thirty Two". CD

Partial matches4
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Denys BaptisteLate Trane ... CD
Edition E (France), 2017. New Copy ... $18.99 19.99
One of the most beautiful records we've ever heard from reedman Denys Baptiste – a set that pays tribute to the material created by John Coltrane in the last few years of his life, but which puts the music together with a special spin that's Baptiste's own! Some of these tracks are from recordings that were quite far outside, compared to Coltrane's earlier recordings – but here, there's a sense of peace and spirituality that maybe make them more earthly performances – almost as if that territory that Coltrane was soaring towards in the final years was finally reached – as it was by so many of his followers – then captured, brought back, and found a way to live with everyday sustenance. The result is music that's some of the most spiritual that Denys has ever recorded – with beautiful performances by the leader on tenor and soprano –w ith players who include Nikki Yeoh on piano and keyboards, Gary Grosby and Neil Charles on bass, and Rod Youngs on drums and percussion. Steve Williamson plays guest tenor on three tracks – and titles include "Transition", "Living Space", "Dusk Dawn", "Ascent", "Peace On Earth", "Dear Lord", and "Vigil" – all by Coltrane, in new Baptiste arrangements – plus the originals "Neptune" and "Astral Trane". 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 ... $19.99
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

Partial matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
VariousIt Had To Be You – Southern Soul Anthology ... CD
Essential, 1970s/1980s. New Copy ... $8.99 14.99
The singer on the front looks a lot different than the kind of artist usually portrayed on the cover of a southern soul collection – which is a good indication of the sound of the music within! The cuts here are less southern soul tracks with the heavy grit of the 60s, and instead showcase that shift in styles as the 70s moved into the 80s – currents of modern soul production and instrumentation, mixed with deep soul approach to the vocals – in a way that really changes any sort of easy prediction you'd have about the music, as styles criss cross in a beautiful way! The package has no dates at all, but most cuts sound like they're of 70s and 80s vintage – and a few familiar numbers feel like later remakes by the original artist. Titles include "Love Jones" by Norma Jenkins, "More" by Solomon Burke, "Casanova" by Ruby Andrews, "Wish That Someone Would Care" by Irma Thomas, "I'm Gonna Be Rich & Famous" by Jesse James, "Human" by Tommy Hunt, "Stay" by Willie Clayton, "Hold Back" by ZZ Hill, "If You Get Him" by Bette Williams, "Yours Love" by Freddie North, and "I Want To Sleep With You" by Ruth Brown. CD

Partial matches7
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VariousNorthern Soul – The Collection – The Ultimate Northern Soul Anthems (3CD set) ... CD
Warner (UK), Late 60s. New Copy 3 CDs ... $11.99 12.99
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

Partial matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
VariousSpaced Out – The Story Of Mushroom Records ... CD
Grapefruit (UK), Early 70s. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99
A totally groovy look at London's Mushroom Records – a tiny imprint that flourished briefly in the early 70s – and gave home to a much wider array of sounds and styles than you might expect! There's a great post-60s approach going on here – a bit similar to the many directions that American FM freeform radio was taking at the time – as bits of rock, jazz, Indian, folk, and other styles come together – all resonating together beautifully with each other, and really creating a mind-expanding sound in the process! The range of artists here is as wonderful as their many styles – and rather than come across like a label with a confusing approach, Mushroom seems to have a really visionary way of putting all these many moments together. The set also features some related work from the Maximum Sound Productions project of label owner Vic Keary – for a whopping 46 tracks in all. Titles include "Cham Cham Cham Cham" by Nitai Dasgupta, "Or Alternatively Nine" by Lol Coxhill, "Where's Your Master Gone" by Simon Finn, "Evil Ways" by Les Flambeaux, "Hangin On An Eyelid" by Second Hand, "Puckaree" by Urban Clearway, "Land Of A Thousand Dreams" by Chillum, "The Phoenix" by Magic Carpet, "The Ould Triangle" by Liverpool Fishermen, "Folk Piece In Kharwa" by Pandit Kanwar Sain Trikha, "Rainbow Chasing" by Andromeda, "Knock On Wood" by Oliver Bone, "My Ways Are Set" by John Williams, "Taboo Man" by Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated, "Never Gonna Love Again" by New Faces, "Summer Leaves Me With A Sigh" by Tuesday's Children, and "I Am Nearly There" by Denis Couldry & The Next Collection. CD

Partial matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ VariousWindy City Blues – The Transition – 1935 to 1953 (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Nighthawk, Late 30s/1940s/Early 50s. New Copy ... $11.99 14.98
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

Partial matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Charles McPhersonCharles McPherson ... CD
Mainstream/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Charles McPherson in the 70s – really hitting a great groove for the new decade – and finding a way to set himself apart from the style of his earlier work! McPherson first rose as a sharp bopper, with an alto style that was in a Charlie Parker mode – but by the end of the 60s, he'd already started experimenting in a great way with color and tone – including mixing his instrument with guitar or electric elements, which he does beautifully here! The group features Charles Lynch and Gene Bertoncini on electric guitars – the latter of whom has an especially great tone that rings out and seems to wrap up the alto, then set Charles loose to soar on really great solos. Also great is trumpeter Lonnie Hilliard – heard on earlier McPherson albums, but maybe finding his strongest voice here – with this rough edge that makes his solos one of the real highlights of the record. Barry Harris plays piano, and Nico Bunik hits the keys too – and the rest of the group features Ron Carter on bass and Leroy Williams on drums. Titles include a nice slightly funky cover of "What's Going On", the spiritual "Serenity", plus "My Funny Valentine", Bird Feathers", and "Another Kind Of Blues". CD

Partial matches11
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✨✧ Charles McPhersonSiku Ya Bibi (Day Of The Lady) ... CD
Mainstream/Solid (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
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

Partial matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Kenny BarronInnocence ... CD
Wolf/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
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

Partial matches13
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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 ... Out Of Stock
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

Partial matches14
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✨✧ Duke EllingtonPopular Duke Ellington (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/Sony (France), 1966. New Copy ... 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

Partial matches15
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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
Captain Marvel ... CD 1.99

Partial matches16
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John WilliamsJaws (2CD deluxe edition – with bonus tracks) ... CD
MCA/Intrada, 1975. New Copy 2 CDs ... $29.99
A 70s soundtrack that hardly needs an introduction – given that its music and image were virtually ubiquitous at the time! The record's best known for John Williams' famous "da-da da-da" theme for the film – used in the titles, and whenever the big guy wanted to attack – but there's a lot more richness going on here too – beautiful orchestrations that get way past any cliches you might expect, and which offer up both moments of subtle tension and great redemption – all scored beautifully by the master. Titles include "Main Title", "Chrissie's Death", "Out To Sea", "The Indianapolis Story", "Hand To Hand Combat", and "Night Search". This massive 2CD version features way way more than just the original album – and includes 36 more tracks from the film soundtrack, including some never-heard alternates – plus 6 more tracks that are dubbed as "Music From Amity Beach", and which were background cues in the beach scenes. Add in a huge book of notes, and this is clearly the best version of the soundtrack ever released! CD

Partial matches17
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Mason WilliamsMason Williams Ear Show ... CD
Warner/Real Gone, 1968. New Copy ... $13.99
A wonderfully weird record from the mighty Mason Williams – a set that's filled with lots of cool little surprises at each new twist and turn – yet which also comes across with a really solid, tuneful feel overall! The album's got a bit of folk, a bit of moog, and a bit of kitsch – but has a way of serving it all up with the kind of warmth and wit we love so much in that unique late 60s Warner Brothers moment – the same sort of vibe you might get from Van Dyke Parks or Harpers Bizarre at their best. Some tunes have Mason Williams singing these beautifully poetic lyrics straight, while others evoke the playful feel of his appearances on the Smothers Brothers Show – but things are really balanced throughout, and give the record that sense of discovery we hardly ever find in albums these days. Titles include a new version of "Baroque A Nova" from Mason's first album, the cool electronic "Generatah Oscillatah" instrumental, the groovy "Last Great Waltz", a "One Minute Commercial", and a wild remake of "Cinderella Rockefella" – plus "Saturday Night At The World", "$13 Stella", and "Whistle Hear". CD
Also available Mason Williams Ear Show ... LP 0.99

Partial matches18
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✨✧ Aziza Miller (Linda Williams)Journey Of Love ... CD
Street Jam Groove, 2016. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
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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✨✧ Stanley CowellNo Illusions ... CD
Steeplechase (Denmark), 2017. New Copy ... $15.99 19.99
A nicely fresh setting for pianist Stanley Cowell – a record that moves past his more frequent trio format, to feature the longstanding genius in a quartet with Bruce Williams on alto and flute! Williams has a laidback, lyrical tone that seems to bring out a different side in Cowell's music – especially as the album mostly features the pianist's own compositions – a way of building up his sound slowly, with a more quiet-burning version of the spiritual energy of Stanley's youth – yet still with end results that are equally redemptive, and very beautiful overall. The rest of the group features Jay Anderson on bass and Billy Drummond on drums – and Cowell also plays a bit of thumb piano and kyma too. Titles include "Celestial Women", "No Illusions", "Miss TE & O", "Sunlight Shifting", "B Minor Folksong", and "Nostalgia For Homelands". CD

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Peter KuhnNo Coming No Going – The Music Of Peter Kuhn 1978/1979 (Livin Right/Peter Kuhn & Denis Charles) ... CD
No Business (Lithuania), 1978/1979. New Copy 2 CDs ... $19.99
Two 70s albums from overlooked reedman Peter Kuhn – back to back here in a single sweet set! First up is Livin Right – a set that was originally broadcast live on New York radio in 1978, and which really captures the openly creative spirit of the loft jazz generation – as Peter Kuhn plays b-flat and bass clarinet alongside a wonderful group that features two trumpeters – Arthur Williams and Toshinori Kondo, each coming out of a different speaker – plus the great William Parker on bass and Denis Charles on drums! The bass and drums really set the tone here – as they rumble and bristle beautifully, almost like they're setting these little fires – which are then fanned brightly by the clarinet and trumpets – on titles that include "Chi", "Red Tape", and "Manteca Long Gone Axistential". The second CD features a live performance from 1979 – with very freewheeling work by Peter Kuhn on b-flat and bass clarinet, plus some tenor too – really opening up alongside some excellent drums from Dennis Charles. Charles' contributions are great – and very thoughtful – and all tracks are long, with titles that include "Headed Home", "Drum Dharma", "Stigmata", and "Axistential". CD

Partial matches21
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✨✧ SphereSphere On Tour ... CD
Red (Italy), 1985. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A killer live set from this cool 80s combo – a later showcase for the mighty tenor talents of Charlie Rouse, working alongside Kenny Barron on piano, Buster Williams on bass, and Ben Riley on drums! The setting's easily one of the best that Rouse had in his later years – a format that allowed him to really stretch out on tenor in new, soulful ways – moving past the more familiar modes of the Monk years and his earlier hardbop sides – still steeped in tradition, but with a freshly creative tone. Barron is great, as you might expect – and the sensitive Red Records production really presents the whole group in their best light. Titles include "Scratch", "Dual Force", "Spiral", "Tayamisha", and "Beautiful Friendship". CD

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✨✧ SphereSphere On Tour ... CD
Red (Italy), 1985. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A killer live set from this cool 80s combo – a later showcase for the mighty tenor talents of Charlie Rouse, working alongside Kenny Barron on piano, Buster Williams on bass, and Ben Riley on drums! The setting's easily one of the best that Rouse had in his later years – a format that allowed him to really stretch out on tenor in new, soulful ways – moving past the more familiar modes of the Monk years and his earlier hardbop sides – still steeped in tradition, but with a freshly creative tone. Barron is great, as you might expect – and the sensitive Red Records production really presents the whole group in their best light. Titles include "Scratch", "Dual Force", "Spiral", "Tayamisha", and "Beautiful Friendship". CD
 
 
 



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