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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Isao SuzukiBlue City ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... $19.99
A wonderful little set from Japanese bassist Isao Suzuki – one that has him playing both acoustic bass and cello, mixing up the instrumentation in a really cool way! Suzuki was really one of the most inventive bassists of his generation of Japanese jazz – able to shift styles and sounds in a way that was a bit like Ron Carter on some of his groundbreaking records of the 70s – a mode that definitely comes into play here. The group's also noteworthy in that it features guest guitar work from Kazumi Watanabe – although Watanabe's playing here in a style that's much more restrained than on his later work – sliding in nicely next to Suzuki's warmly plucked notes on bass and cello, and ringing out with a great sense of lyrical interplay. Other instrumentation includes additional bass from Nobuyoshi Ino, drums from Tetsujiro Obara, and piano from Kunihiko Sugano – and titles include two great long originals – "Blue City" and "45th Street" – plus "Play Fiddle Play" and "Body & Soul". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)
 
Possible matches: 16
Possible matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Bobbi HumphreyCity Beat ... CD
Malaco/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1988. New Copy ... $22.99
An under-discovered batch of jazzy soul from Bobbi Humphrey – an artist we love for her 70s work on Blue Note and Epic, still sounding pretty great here in the late 80s! The overall style of the album's a bit different than Bobbi's 70s work – more in a Patrice Rushen blend of 80s groove R&B styles and jazzy flourishes – and the whole set was done in collaboration with arranger Tommy James, who also plays a lot of keyboards on the set. Bobbi's flute work is as sweet as ever – especially on the mellower, more laidback tracks – and even her occasional vocals still sound pretty nice too! Titles include "Tropical Voyage", "Loop 12", "Come Get To This", "Days Of You & Me", "What The Heart Needs", and "City Beat". CD
(Part of the "Malaco – The Truth Of Southern Soul Definitive Collection" series!)

Possible matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Juan FG Vinuesa/Josh Berman/Jason Roebke/Mikel Patrick AveryBlue Shots From Chicago ... CD
No Business (Lithuania), 2019. New Copy ... $14.99
The kind of record that makes us very proud to say we're from Chicago – as leader Juan FG Vinuesa comes up with a way to keep the city's avant scene moving forward – using some of the mix of structure and freedom from the Mike Reed generation, but also adding in both older elements, and some occasional moments of improvised freedom! A few passages swing here with a vibe that recalls older "city jazz" projects – but those are balanced by bolder statements from all members of the quartet – a superb lineup that includes Vinuesa on tenor, Josh Berman on cornet, Jason Roebke on bass, and Mikel Patrick Avery on drums and percussion. Berman sounds wonderful here – with occasional exclamatory moments that really grab us – and all tunes and arrangements are by Juan, with titles that include "Red Line Ballad", "The Alibi", "Ghost Town Studio", "La Lola", "Afro Asiatic Beat Poem", and "Luther's Mood". CD

Possible matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Sun RaCymbals/Symbols Sessions – New York City 1973 (2018 Record Store Day Release) ... CD
Modern Harmonic, 1973. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
A lost slice of work from Sun Ra's early 70s years on Impulse Records – one of the few new recordings created for his association with that label (most of the titles were reissues of earlier Saturn albums) – but one that was never issued at the time! Cymbals saw some release later, during the 90s – but this package really expands on that album by adding in a whole extra set of recordings from what appear to be the same sessions – and which really flesh out the vibe of the performance! The core group is a sextet – with Ra at the helm on some of his cool electric keyboards – including minimoog, rocksichord, and Gibson Kalamazoo – with acoustic work from Eloe Omoe on bass clarinet, Tal Ebah on trumpet, Ronny Boykins on bass, Harry Ar on drums, and Derek Morris on congas. Much of the core music explores a tension between Ra's cosmic keys and the more earthy sound of the acoustic instruments – but the added material here opens up some nicely different moods, and makes the whole thing explode with deep colors. Titles on Cymbals include "Land Of The Day Star", "Thoughts Under A Dark Blue Light", "The Mystery Of Two", and "The World Of The Invisible" – and added tracks include "Space Landing", "Of Drastic Measures", "Of Otherness", "The Universe Is Calling", and "Destination Of The Known Universe". CD
(Limited edition!)
Also available Cymbals/Symbols Sessions – New York City 1973 (colored vinyl) ... LP 24.99

Possible matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Curtis MayfieldKeep On Keepin' On – The Curtis Mayfield Studio Albums 1970 to 1974 (Curtis/Roots/Back To The World/Sweet Exorcist) (4CD box set) ... CD
Curtom/Rhino, Early 70s. New Copy 4CD ... $32.99 34.98
A massive package of greatness – the first four solo albums from Chicago soul genius Curtis Mayfield! First up is Curtis – a record that not only foregrounds all the subtle politics he'd been forging in the Impressions during the 60s – but one that also really has Mayfield exploding as a force to be reckoned with in the studio! The album's a personal masterpiece – to the career of Curtis what the early solo albums of Issac Hayes were to his own genius – a bold, unfettered statement of pride and power – of the sort that would both make Mayfield and the Curtom Records label forces to be reckoned with in the 70s. Every cut is a classic – and titles include "Move On Up", "If There's a Hell Below We're All Gonna Go", "Miss Black America", "Wild & Free", "Give It Up", "The Makings Of You", "The Other Side Of Town", and "We the People Who Are Darker Than Blue". Roots is one of our favorite Curtis Mayfield albums ever – a massive early 70s effort that's filled with wonderful songs all the way through, and quite possibly one of the most perfect realization of the righteous vibe of the early 70s Curtom years! Curtis is in fine form throughout – as a singer, composer, and producer – but he's also got some excellent Chicago soul help from arrangers Riley Hampton and Johnny Pate – both key talents on the 60s Windy City scene, still able to come up with a deeply soulful groove here – and both able to blend together strings and funk in the way that Curtis was going for at the time. Titles include the massive "We Got to Have Peace" – a tune that never gets old – plus "Underground", "Keep On Keepin On", "Now You're Gone", "Get Down", "Love To Keep You In Mind", and "Beautiful Brother of Mine". Back To The World is pure genius from Curtis Mayfield – and a record that's got all the righteousness and political power you might guess from the cover! The album burns with a sense of empowerment that's every bit the best strength of Curtom in the 70s – a sublime blend of heavy soul, funky undercurrents, and far-reaching arrangements that still always manage to groove! And Curtis' vocals are great too – echoing out with a newfound presence that far surpasses the raspy quality of his early work with The Impressions. Arrangements are by Rich Tufo, production is by Mayfield, and titles include "Future Song" (aka "Future Shock"), "Keep on Trippin", "Can't Say Nothin", "Back To The The World", and "Right On For The Darkness". Sweet Exorcist is a wonderfully wicked album from Curtis Mayfield – one that's not nearly as famous as his Superfly set, but which is every bit as great! The groove here is lean, mean, and totally righteous – a bit more stripped-down than some of the rumbling funk of other Curtom efforts, and served up with a fluid groove that makes the album a killer from start to finish! As with Superfly, there's a nice blend here between uptight funky tracks and some more laidback soul – showcasing both sides of the Curtis Mayfield sound of the 70s – the brash society-changing soul, and the mellower, more fragile voice that first came to prominence in The Impressions. Titles alone tell you the vibe of the record – and they include "Ain't Got Time", "To Be Invisible", "Kung Fu", "Suffer", "Power to the People", and "Make Me Believe In You". All albums newly remastered – in sleeves with the original artwork too! CD
Also available Keep On Keepin' On – The Curtis Mayfield Studio Albums 1970 to 1974 (Curtis/Roots/Back To The World/Sweet Exorcist) (4LP box set) ... LP 66.99

Possible matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Phil RanelinPhil Ranelin Collected 2003 to 2019 ... CD
Wide Hive, 2000s/2010s. New Copy 2CD ... $16.99 19.99
An incredible late-life chapter from trombonist Phil Ranelin – a musician who first flourished on the Detroit scene of the 70s, as part of the Tribe Records underground in that city – and one who dropped off the radar of most folks until a huge revival in the past two decades, spurred on by new interest in his classic recordings! Ranelin got a chance to work elsewhere during this stretch, but his greatest champions may well have been the Wide Hive label – who not only gave Phil new access to the studio, and exposure to a much wider audience than before – but also allowed him to create in some of the larger ensemble modes that were always his strongest suit! The music here is pulled from Ranelin's albums for Wide Hive, but also includes a few new tracks too – and musicians include Pharoah Sanders on tenor, Zane Musa on alto and tenor, Kamasi Washington on tenor, Roger Glenn on vibes, Danny Grissett on piano, Nate Morgan on piano, Henry Franklin on bass, Calvin Keys on guitar, Big Black on congas, and Donald Bailey on drums. Titles include "Living A New Day", "Blue Bossa", "Moorish", "In Search Of The One", "This One's For Trane", "Freddie's Groove", "Full Moon", "Spiritual Vibrations", "How Do We End All This Madness", "Fantasy Vibrations", "Black On The Nu", "A Tear In Elmina", "Close Encounters", "Shades Of Dolphy", and "Perseverance 2019". CD

Possible matches7
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Siegel Schwall BandSay Siegel Schwall (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Vanguard/Wounded Bird, 1967. New Copy ... $10.99 14.99
Early work from Chicago's Siegel Schwall Band – one of the better blue-eyed blues groups to ever come out of the Windy City! Like their contemporaries, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, these guys started with a real love of the music, and worked very close to the source – earning their dues in small clubs on the south side, and continuing to avoid some of the more polished, or more jamming modes that were beginning to birth in the blues rock scene in the years before classic rock emerged. Instead, the quartet keep things very close to their Chess, Cobra, and Vee Jay inspirations – with work from Corky Siegel on harmonica, piano, and vocals, plus more vocals from Jim Schwall, whose guitar work really gets a chance to stretch out here on some of the longer tracks. Titles include "ISPI Blues", "I'm A King Bee", "Slow Blues In A", "I Liked It Where We Walked", and "Bring It With You When You Come" – plus the 11 minute "That's Why I Treat My Baby So Fine". CD features bonus tracks – "Easy Rider", "I Like The Way You Rock", "Don't Want No Woman", and "Sneaky Pete (take two)". CD

Possible matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Reuben WilsonSweet Life ... CD
Groove Merchant/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $16.99
A great groover by Reuben Wilson – and one of his best albums ever! The funky organist really takes off from the sound of his earlier Blue Note albums here – hitting a vibe that's sharper, darker, and plenty darn righteous – still small combo jazz funk, but with a depth that we wouldn't have expected a few years before! The group's a great one – with Ramon Morris laying down some great lines on tenor sax, plus Bill Hardman on trumpet, Lloyd Davis on guitar, Mickey Bass on bass, and Thomas Derrick on tightly funky drums. The album features Reuben's amazing cover of "Inner City Blues" – which has a great jagged groove that was sampled years back by Tribe Called Quest – and it also includes the groovy cut "Creampuff", plus "Never Can Say Goodbye", "Sugar", "I'll Take You There", and "The Sweet Life". CD
(Part of the Groove Merchant Mo' Groovy Collection!)

Possible matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
WoodbineRoots (LP sleeve edition) ... CD
Blue Hour/Big Pink (Korea), 1971. New Copy ... $9.99
An obscure album by a group from Milwaukee – recorded at a time when that city didn't have much of a scene at all – which left these guys to perform in a coffee house for all the songs on the album! The set's got a vibe that's up-close, and more tightly produced than just a local live record – really great acoustics that bring out the personal, folksy qualities of the songs – which get strong direction from group leader Bill Camplin on vocals and guitar. The overall vibe is maybe more Marin County or Woodstock than any Midwestern music of the period – and titles include "Jesse's Mountain Range", "The Harvest", "Old Man", "Hold On", "Save The Life Of A Simple Child", "Red Velvet", and "Can A Star Disappear". CD

Possible matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
VariousMusic Inside Me – 30 Soul Gems & Lost Grooves ... CD
Expansion (UK), 1970s/1980s/1990s/2000s. New Copy 2CD ... $16.99
A great collection of grooves both old and new – pulled from a decades-old tradition of soul music, with a vibe that really lives up to the piles of dusty old records on the cover! The set begins with rare 70s soul, then moves up to the present – and all along the way, there's a focus on well-crafted tracks that really stand out from the mainstream – definitely a few cuts by bigger artists, but not their hits at all – mixed with some great gems from up-and-comers, in a way that makes the whole thing a fantastic discovery in soul! The collection's got a total of 30 tracks in all – all handled by Tony Monson, who gave us the excellent Ethereal Magic collections – with titles that include "Body" by Foreign Exchange, "Don't Let Me Down" by Vesta Williams, "Roster" by Jahiem, "Breaking It Down (downtown orig mix)" by Petalpusher, "Dance Freak" by Chain Reaction, "Rio De Janeiro" by Ugly Duckling, "Don't Be Lonely" by Cameo, "Running Stop Lights" by Mel Waiters, "Don't Wanna Wait" by Lew Kirton, "Twenty Four Seven (Yoruba mix)" by 1968 Featuring Rasheed Ali, "Rescue You" by Ryan Leslie, "Something Inside My Head" by Gene Dunlap, "Afro Jump (nick mix)" by Solodinjgo, "Hangin On" by The Affair, "New York City Blues" by Mark Winkler, "Happier" by Lisa Grand, "Saved By Love" by David Lasley, and "Music & Wine (funkaphonic voc mix)" by Blue Six. CD

Possible matches11
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✨✧ George BraithExtension ... CD
Blue Note (Japan), 1964. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A masterpiece from George Braith – one of the most unique sax players of the 60s! The album's a Blue Note classic in the Larry Young vein – with lots of free spiralling modal lines, and heavenly solos on organ, guitar, and reeds – the former of which are played by Billy Gardner and Grant Green. Braith's playing is incredible – slightly exotic, but also quite soulful – in a vein that recalls Yusef Lateef and Roland Kirk, but which also has a strong voice of its own. Braith plays tenor, soprano, and alto sax on the set – and the album is filled with groovy modal tracks like "Nut City", "Sweetville", and "Extension". Very very nice! CD
(Part of the "Blue Note 80 – More 60 Works" series!)

Possible matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Stanley TurrentineCherry/Don't Mess With Mister T/Sugar Man (with bonus tracks) ... CD
CTI/BGO (UK), Early 70s. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
A trio of classic CTI Records albums from tenorist Stanley Turrentine – with bonus tracks too! First up is Cherry – one of the best CTI albums from the early 70s – and one of Stanley Turrentine's funkiest records as well! The album's got a sharper edge than most other Turrentine albums of the time – a quality that goes beyond Stan's already soulful approach to the tenor, and which brings in some tight changes and more pronounced rhythms that really give the best cuts a great groove! The group's a sextet – with Bob James on electric piano, Milt Jackson on vibes, Cornell Dupree on guitar, Ron Carter on bass, and Billy Cobham on drums – and titles include a monster version of Weldon Irvine's "Sister Sanctified" – a great funk tune that's probably best known as the sample for "My Philosophy" by BDP! Other tracks include "Speedball", "Cherry", and "The Revs". On Don't Mess With Mister T, Stanley Turrentine meets Bob James – on a record that's one of the 70s classics on CTI! Bob James handles the arrangements – with that laidback, mellowfunky approach to jazz that he helped pioneer at the time – lots of modal chords in the rhythms, and these wonderfully soulful solos by the great Stan himself! James plays keyboards on the set – and Harold Mabern adds some piano too – and the lineup also includes the mighty Eric Gale on guitar, and Idris Muhammad on drums. Titles include the great title cut – a remake of Marvin Gaye's "Don't Mess With Mister T", plus "Too Blue", "Two For T", and "I Could Never Repay Your Love". Sugar Man is a classic set from Stanley "Sugar Man" Turrentine – a nickname the reedman had at the time, given the success of his famous CTI Records version of "Sugar"! This set follows in that same great mode – jazzy, but a bit funky too – although couched with this gentle sense of soul that's perfect for that spacious style of soloing that Turrentine perfected over the years – a way of blowing openly, and without too much fuss – but managing to hit all the right notes along the way! There's a great glow to the whole record – an excellent easygoing sense of soul – and titles include an incredible reading of "Vera Cruz", done with Deodato on piano, and at a breakaway speed that's just great, and worth the price of the record alone! Other tracks feature piano by Harold Mabern or organ by Butch Cornell – and titles include "The Stretch", "Just As I Am", and "Pieces Of Dreams". Bonus tracks include "The More I See You", "Don't Mess With Mister T (alt)", "Mississippi City", and "Harlem Dawn". CD

Possible matches13
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✨✧ Caesar FrazierHail Caesar!/'75 ... CD
Eastbound/Ace (UK), 1972/1975. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
2 killers from organist Caesar Frazier – back to back on one CD! Hail Ceasar is a monster bit of funky jazz – filled with long tracks that all jam mightily, all at a level that matches or tops the best work coming out of Prestige or Blue Note Records at the time! The set is one of the rare few on the Eastbound jazz subsidiary of Detroit soul powerhouse Westbound Records – and it's the first to feature organist Ceasar Frazier as a leader – really grooving hard here with a Prestige-styled combo that includes Idris Muhammad on funky drums, Melvin Sparks on heavy guitar, and Houston Person on soulful sax – all produced with a gritty gritty edge by the legendary Bob Porter! The whole album's great – filled with incredible cuts that include a version of "Hicky-Burr", the first Bill Cosby theme – plus the tracks "Make It With You", "Running Away", "Hail Ceasar!", and "See-F". Ceasar Frazier 75 is a tightly grooving set that expands his sound a bit from the first! All the best elements are still in place here – including funky organ from Ceasar, production from jazz funk maestro Bob Porter, and a hip range of players that includes Horace Ott, Wilbur Bascomb, and Bernard Purdie. But the overall sound is somewhat shifted too – brought more into the tightly jamming jazz funk mode of the mid 70s – a bit richer and fuller overall, yet never in a way that's slick or sloppy – just more like some of the best later sides on Prestige or Fantasy from the same stretch. The record features a crazy version of the "Mighty Mouse Theme", a mellow take on the Isley's "Summer Breeze", Stevie Wonder's great "Living For The City", and the original "Funk It Down". CD

Possible matches14
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✨✧ Nick GarrieNightmare Of JB Stanislas (with bonus tracks) ... CD
AZ/Tapete (Germany), 1969. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Genius work by a singer-songwriter you've never heard of – a beautiful little album recorded in late 60s Paris, but done with English language lyrics! Nick Garrie's a hell of a great songwriter – one with the poetry of Leonard Cohen, the fragility of Tim Hardin, and the willingness to record with the larger arrangements that often brought out the best sounds from each of those singers! The set has Nick singing and playing guitar alongside full backings arranged by French producer Eddie Vartan – never too over the top, but spacious enough to set the album proudly next to the best early Columbia work by Cohen, or some of Hardin's sweetest sides for Verve. Titles include "Bungles Tours", "David's Prayer", "Ink Pot Eyes", "Little Bird", "Stephanie City", "Deeper Tones Of Blue", and "Can I Stay With You". Bonus tracks include "Queen Of Spades", "Close Your Eyes", and a number of rare demos too! CD
Also available Nightmare Of JB Stanislas (with bonus tracks) ... LP 44.99

Possible matches15
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✨✧ Lightmen Plus OneFancy Pants (2CD version – mono/stereo versions) ... CD
Judnell/Now Again, 1971. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
Some of the most righteous sounds we've ever heard from Houston legends The Lightmen – recorded at a time when the group was at their most spiritual, and very firmly following a cosmic path set down by drummer Bubbha Thomas! The music here owes nothing to the hippest sounds coming from the coastal cities – and even the undergrounds of Chicago and Detroit in the early 70s – and in fact, there's a vibe here that would be right at home with the Tribe Records spirit of the motor city, as the group balance their freewheeling inclinations with a nice sense of rhythm as well! Players include Doug Harris on some excellent soprano, tenor, and flute – plus Virgil Solomon on flute and alto, James Hensley on trumpet and light whistle, Joe Singleton on trombone, and Marshia Frazier on electric piano. Titles include "Sorrow Bitterness & Revolution", "Hope", "Blue Tip", "On The Road Home", "Song Of Praise", and "Ujimma". 2CD version features the standard stereo mix and the unissued mono version – plus a great booklet of notes! CD

Possible matches16
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✨✧ Sun RaGod Is More Than Love Can Ever Be ... CD
Saturn/Cosmic Myth, 1979. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
One of the rarest 70s albums in the Sun Ra catalog – and one of the most unique, too – given that the format here is a piano trio, of the style often used by other jazz musicians – but completely transformed here in the hands of Ra! The music is sometimes straight, but always with angles – taking off nicely from the Horo Records mode right before – and delivered by Ra with this new sense of confidence and historical imagination on the keys of the piano – with great support from Richard Williams on bass and Luqman Ali on drums. There's no spacey production or weird instrumentation – but still, as with the Horo and Improvising Artists material, Sun Ra shows us what a tremendous jazz musician he can be in a more familiar setting – a great snap back to all those who ever might have called him a pretender. Titles include "Blythe Spirit Dance", "Tenderness", "Days Of Happiness", and "Magic City Blue". CD
Also available God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be ... LP 19.99

Possible matches17
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✨✧ VariousI Fought The Law – The Sound Of West Texas 1958 to 1962 ... CD
Eleven Light City (UK), Late 50s/Early 60s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A very cool look at the west Texas scene at the end of the 50s – a fervent hotbed of musical activity that would impact the worlds of rock and country for decades to come! The scene's most famous graduate, Buddy Holly, had passed on by the time most of these tracks were recorded – but there's still lots of that same great energy in the material here – most of which is produced with a great blend of rock and twang! The set's got some especially noteworthy early recordings by Waylon Jennings, which are quite different than his later famous work – titles that include "When Sin Stops", "Another Blue Day", and "Never Again". Other titles include "Lovely Dovey" and "Ling Ting Tong" by Buddy Knox, "Guess We'll Fall In Love" and "You're In Love" by Bobby Fuller, "I'm A Poor Loser" and "Let Him Try" by Mac Davis, "Joe's Back In Town" by Billy walker, "Tonight" by The Velvets, "More Than I Can Say" by The Crickets, "I Won't Go Hunting With You Jake" by Jimmy Dean, "The Crowd" by Roy Orbison, and "Hey Baby" by Bruce Channel with Delbert McClinton. CD
 
Partial matches: 41
Partial matches18
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✨✧ VariousMusic City Blues & Rhythm ... CD
Ace (UK), 1950s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Fantastic sounds from the Bay Area scene of the 50s – more than enough to showcase a legacy of R&B as strong as postwar work from LA! The music here is great – tight, lively, and often very witty – with the sharpness of jump blues and pre-soul work from south Cali labels like RPM and Crown – done in a similar blend of class and groove that reflects the big changes on the bluesy side of the spectrum as artists and audiences moved to the west coast! All the tracks were recorded by the Music City studio in Berkeley – better known for later funk and soul – and a fair bit of them make their first appearance here – as 22 of the CD's 28 tracks have never been issued before. As usual with Ace Records, the presentation is stunning – lots of notes, history, and rare photos – for titles that include "Music City Jump" by Alvin Smith, "Here Lies My Love" by Roy Hawkins, "She Moves Me" by Jimmy "T99" Nelson, "Moving Out Baby" by Chick Morris with Al Harris, "Baby Call" by Jimmy Raney, "You Gotta Be Mighty Careful" by The Richmond Boys, "Long About Midnight" by Little Willie Littlefield, "Ease My Mind" by Pee Wee Parham, "Roland's Blues" by Roland Mitchell, "You're The One" by Gene Lee & The Blues Rockers, "Walking Blues" by Johnny George, "Wrong Doing Woman" by Jasper Evans, "Tin Pan Alley" by Sidney Grande, "I Don't Stand No Quittin" by Gloria Jean Pitts, "Your Money Ain't Long Enough" by Que Martyn with Del Graham, and "Who Did It" by an Unknown Male Vocalist. CD

Partial matches19
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VariousRockin Rhythm & Blues From Memphis Vol 2 ... CD
Stomper Time (UK), Early 60s. New Copy ... $12.99 18.99
An excellent assortment of rare soul from 60s Memphis – most of it from the great House Of The Blues label – an early contemporary of Stax Records, and almost a precursor to the later soul sound of Hi Records too – given that Willie Mitchell features in a fair bit of the singles collected on this set! The style's nice and raw – definitely with the R&B elements promised in the title, but already more directed to the soul styles that Memphis would pioneer in the 60s – especially at the level in which the city was at such a unique crossroads of the south! Rural blues elements get electrified, and folded into a mix of both solo and group styles, sometimes with an early current of funk – in a smashing set of 21 tracks that includes "I Believe To My Soul" by Bill Yates, "Search No More" by Jimmy Dotson, "Thirty Five Thirty" by Willie Mitchell, "Soul House" by Ed Pauling & The Exciters, "No Fooling Around" by Del Monte, "Good Grip" by Daddy Goodloe, "Sooner Or Later" by Larry Birdsong, "Catch That Teardrop" by Five Royales, "Don't Break My Heart" by Roy Brown, "Please Wait" by Charles Jammer, "Fee Bee" by Billy Adams, "Bowleg Twist" by Gene Bowlegs Miller, and "Squeeze Me" by The Aristocrats. CD

Partial matches20
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✨✧ John Lee HookerUrban Blues ... CD
Bluesway/BGO (UK), 1967. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A fantastic late 60s set from John Lee Hooker – one that has the legend working in a mode that echoes some of the funkier soul styles of the time, but with a vibe that's still very much in the best spirit of his classic work! The groove is slightly amped up by the electric bass of Eddie Taylor and tight drums of Al Duncan, but the session just features a quartet – with the mighty Phil Upchurch on second guitar next to John's lead – and Hooker delivering some fantastic vocals throughout! Titles include "Hot Spring Water (parts 1 & 2)", "Backbiters & Syndicaters", "Mr Lucky", "Cry Before I Go", "I'm Standing In Line", "The Motor City Is Burning", "Want Ad Blues", and "I Can't Stand To Leave You". CD

Partial matches21
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✨✧ George Smith & The Chicago Blues BandBlues With A Feeling – A Tribute To Little Walter (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
World Pacific/BGO (UK), 1969. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A smoking little set from George Harmonica Smith – an album recorded in late 60s LA, but done with plenty of Chicago blues touches! The players here are all top-shelf – and include Muddy Waters on guitar and Otis Spann on piano – who definitely help keep a Windy City vibe going on the record – that spare, raw, but electrified approach to the music that was still wonderfully fresh at the time of the sessions. And Smith's vocals alone are totally great – very deeply soulful – but also alternate strongly with sharp lines on harmonica too. Titles include "Mellow Down Easy", "Key To The Highway", "You Better Watch Yourself", "Last Night", "West Helena Woman", "Tell Me Mama", "Juke", and "Everything Gonna Be Alright". CD features 3 bonus tracks – "Love With A Feelin", with vocals by Lucille Spann – plus "Just A Feelin" and "Goin Down Slow". CD

Partial matches22
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✨✧ VariousBlues Kings Of Baton Rouge ... CD
Bear Family (Germany), 1950s/1960s. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
There's been plenty written about the music of New Orleans – but this great little set pays tribute to the rich legacy of blues music just a bit west of the Crescent City – the hotbed of postwar material that flowed from the city of Baton Rouge! There's a really special vibe to this material – blues that's maybe a bit more gritty, maybe even swampy – different than material from Chicago, Memphis, or any other blues scenes at the time – tied maybe a bit to some of the Texas blues of the 50s in spirit, but done with very different execution overall! The package features 2CDs, 53 tracks, and a huge set of notes that really get at the special qualities in the songs – which include material from Excello Records and some smaller indies too. Titles include "Mean Woman Blues" by Whispering Smith, "I'm Goin In The Valley" by Silas Hogan, "Bugger Bugger Boy" by Lightnin Slim, "One More Day" by Slim Harpo, "Depression Blues" by Herman E Johnson, "Goodbye Slim Harpo" by Robert Pete Williams, "How Can I Stay" by Arthur Kelley, "Showers Of Rain" by Henry Gray, "Boogie Chillun" by The Nitehawks, "Naggin" by Jimmy Anderson, "Jelly Roll" by Butch Cage & Willie B Thomas, and "Strange Letter Blues" by Schoolboy Cleve. CD

Partial matches23
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Gene Barge, David Matthews, & Andre DavisStony Island – Original Soundtrack ... CD
TK/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $13.99
A sweet set of soundtrack funk – from a film named after one of our favorite streets in Chicago! Although the record's got an approach that's perhaps a bit tighter and smoother than anything going down on Stony in the late 70s, it does manage to share a good deal of styles with the Chi-soul scene of the time – thanks to work on the record from Chicagoans Gene Barge, Sonny Seals, and Tennyson Stephens! Many of the tracks on the set have a bad-walking soul approach – one that's kind of a mixture of funky and bluesy – and these are laid out next to some jazzier instrumentals that we like most of all – tunes that have a great funky soundtrack feel, but with a bit more fusion touches than usual, probably because of the work of David Matthews. Titles include "Percy Fired", "Party Lights", "High Speed Posters", "Back To Business", "Chase The Train", "Gangster City", "Dream Ride", and "Peace Of Mind". CD

Partial matches24
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CatfishGet Down/Live Catfish ... CD
Epic/BGO (UK), 1970. New Copy 2CD ... $8.99 16.99
Two classics from Catfish – back to back in a single set! First up is the self-titled Catfish – a killer classic from Bob "Catfish" Hodge – a hell of a singer from the heady Detroit scene of the 60s, and one who really made his mark with this fantastic debut on Epic Records! Bob's a blues-inspired artist at the core, but he opens up here with enough freak and fuzz to match the music of Shuggie Otis at the start of the 70s – thanks to great guitar from Mark Manko – and like some of Shuggie's first two sets on Epic, the whole thing is a mad mix of blues and rock, funk and soul – with searing guitar solos that really hold the whole thing together! The whole thing's a seminal effort for pushing this style of music past any blues rock cliches – and titles include "Catfish", "No Place To Hide", "The Hawk", "Sundown Man", "Tradition", and "Catfish/Get High Get Naked Get Down". Live Catfish is maybe the best-known of the two classic Catfish albums from the start of the 70s – a searing live set recorded in the group's hometown of Detroit, with a raw, ragged style that sets them up with all of their other hip contemporaries in the Motor City! This time around, Dallas Hodge handles the guitar with a mix of blues roots and freaky fuzz – a perfect match for the rough-edged vocals of Bob "Catfish" Hodge – as the group starts the set with Motown material, the moves into some even headier tunes of their own! Titles include "Money", "Nowhere To Run", "Letter To Nixon", "Mississippi River", and "Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On". CD

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Curtis Clark with Louis MoholoDreams Deferred ... CD
Nimbus, 1993. New Copy ... $9.99
2 great sessions from pianist Curtis Clark – a crucially overlooked player, and one with a style that bridges the modernist gap between Thelonious Monk and Cecil Taylor! The first 5 tracks on the set are all (coincidentally enough!) tunes by Monk – played with a trio that includes Wayne Dockery on bass and Louis Moholo on drums, in a style that really changes up the mood of the original compositions, yet still keeps all their angular charm. Titles include "Misterioso", "Monk's Mood", "Light Blue", and the great "Worry Later/San Francisco Holiday". The remaining 6 tracks on the CD feature the trio with Dockery and Moholo, expanded to a septet with players that include Tristan Honsiger on cello, Felicity Provan on trumpet, and Tobias Delius on tenor sax. These tunes are nearly all originals by Clark, and some of them are a fair bit straighter than his other work of the time – almost in a soulbop mode on the best numbers. Titles include "Sean", "Two Shadows In The Mist", "Nelson", and "Diaphane". CD

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Bennie GreenSoul Stirrin ... CD
Blue Note (Japan), 1958. New Copy ... $16.99
One of the greatest albums ever recorded by hardbop trombone legend Bennie Green – an all-star sextet session that cooks like a mofo! The group features the twin tenors of Billy Root and Gene Ammons (billed just as "Jug" on the session, because of contractual reasons) – and it crackles with electricity from a rhythm section that features Ike Isaacs on bass, Sonny Clark on piano, and Elvin Jones on drums. There's some fantastic tracks on here, including Babs Gonzales' "Lullaby of the Doomed", and a monster jam called "We Wanna Cook", which was once described to us as "all you ever need to have a house party" – to which we wholeheartedly agree! Other tracks include "Black Pearl", "BG Mambo", and "Soul Stirrin" – and the album's one of the heaviest duty Blue Notes from the time! CD
(Part of the Blue Note 80 – Soul Jazz Works series!)

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Jack McDuffDown Home Style ... CD
Blue Note (Japan), 1969. New Copy ... $14.99
A really unusual album for Jack McDuff – one that was recorded in Memphis, with a lineup and a feel that's quite different from other Blue Note sessions of the time! There's a lot of electricity bubbling in the record – and although McDuff normally never worked with a bassist on earlier sessions, this one features a unnamed player who really lays out a nice bottom for the whole session – bubbling the tunes with lots of work on the electric, and letting McDuff concentrate on funking things up with the keys of the Hammond! The set features a key recording of Jack's classic "Theme From the Electric Surfboard", plus the funky numbers "Butter (For Yo Popcorn)", "The Vibrator", and "Down Home Style". CD
(Part of the Blue Note 80 – Soul Jazz Works series!)

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Buck OwensComplete Capitol Singles 1971 to 1975 ... CD
Capitol/Omnivore, Early 70s. New Copy 2CD ... $24.99 26.98
The final chapter of Buck Owens' singles run at Capitol Records – and a set that's maybe the most interesting of the bunch! After bursting out as an instant success back in the 60s, Buck was struggling a bit on the charts during the following decade – despite, or maybe because of, some huge success on the TV screen. Yet that shift also prompted Owens to really open up his bag, recording some material that was a great change from the straight, tight songs that graced so many of his earlier Capitol singles – a move that includes a fair bit of bluer-tinged material that not only show a whole new side of Buck's personality, but also reflect some of the issues he was struggling with at the time. These are also mixed with a few surprisingly strong novelty singles, and other material that continues to open the bag in a really great way. The 2CD set features 42 tracks in all – including some great lost singles that aren't nearly as well-known as other material – with titles that include "On The Cover Of The Music City News", "Arms Full Of Empty", "The Good Old Days", "Made In Japan", "Full Time Daddy", "You Ain't Gonna Have Ol Buck To Kick Around No More", "Get Out Of Town Before Sundown", "Weekend Daddy", "41st Street Lonely Hearts Club Band", "Great Expectations", "Stony Mountain West Virginia", "Ain't It Amazing Grace", and "I Love You So Much It Hurts". 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 ... $17.99 19.99
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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Hayden ThompsonRock A Billy Gal – The Sun Years Plus ... CD
Sun/Bear Family (Germany), Late 50s/Early 60s. New Copy ... $13.99 23.99
A fantastic collection of tracks by Hayden Thompson – an artist who briefly recorded for Sun Records at the end of the 50s, but who also left behind lots of other rare singles and other gems too! Hayden's not one of those more standard rockabilly singers – as he has this really raw, unbridled style, and a fair bit of vocal twang too – which means that most of these numbers are on the wilder side of the spectrum, even if the tunes are nice and lean! And while Hayden's gotten reissue treatment in various ways over the years, this set really tops the rest – as it features a number of unissued early trafcks, and rare singles on labels that include Von, Arlen, Profile, and Beat – and even a full album's worth of material recorded in Chicago for the Sunjay label. 35 tracks in all – including "Oh Mama", "Blues Blues Blues", "Love My Baby", "This Old Windy City", "Lonely For My Baby", "Dream Love", "Tom Thumb", "Pardon Me", "Queen Bee", "Rock A Billy Girl", "I Guess I'd Better Be Moving Along", "Congratulations To You Joe", "The Key To My Kingdom", "Brown Eyed Handsome Man", and "Call Me Shorty". CD

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VariousAcross The Great Divide – Getting It Together In The Country 1968 to 1974 (3CD set) ... CD
Grapefruit (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s. New Copy 3CD ... $24.99
A wonderful look at a shifting sound in British rock at the start of the 70s – a move away from more urban themes to rootsier ones – a shift that almost marks a second huge wave of influence from American music, but in ways that were very different from the blues and soul than first grabbed the UK scene at the start of the 60s! Part of the theme here is an actual one – as many London acts found that they could create music with more concentration out of the city – a geographic shift that's similar to the way that American artists moved from New York City to upstate New York, or San Francisco to Marin. But there's also a stylistic shift too – as these groups are feeling influence from The Byrds, Dylan, and others – picking up acoustic themes, and moving their music from mod, psych, and other styles towards some rootsier rock progressions. You might think of the box as charting UK territory followed by The Band and some of their contemporaries – but that's only part of the picture, as, like other great collections of this nature from Grapefruit, there's a hell of a lot of music, and very detailed notes on all the many facets within. 3CD set features 64 tracks in all – with work by Plainsong, The Parlour Band, Greasy Bear, Man, Carolanne, Rod Stewart, Northwind, Bronco, Traffic, Brinsley Schwarz, Quicksand, Mathews Southern Comfort, Mighty Baby, Fairport Convention, Heads Hands & Feel, Rare Bird, Starry Eyed & Laughing, The Hollies, Tony Hazzard, Shape Of The Rain, Curtiss Maldoon, Jawbone, Natural Gas, Heron, Byzantium, and many more. CD

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VariousMod Jazz Rides Again ... CD
Kent (UK), Mid 60s. New Copy ... $12.99 18.99
Sammy Davis Jr is looking pretty darn hip on the cover – and all the artists inside are sounding pretty darn hip as well – coming together during the glory days of soul jazz, at a time when blues, vocals, and R&B were also criss-crossing into other styles too! There's an upbeat, soul-drenched, ultra-cool vibe to the whole thing – not too-familiar retro jazz numbers, but instead a wealth of rare cuts that often come from the sort of 7" singles that change hands for big money in the funky 45 underground, next to obscure album cuts too – mixed with the kind of unreleased material that the Ace/Kent label has always done such a good job of digging up! The package explodes with groovy musical delights – and titles include "What Is love" by Bobby Jenkins, "Out House" by Eddie Bridges & His Lowriders, "Empire City" by Gene Walker & The Combo, "Pushin The Button Of Soul" by Hank Jacobs, "Fat Man" by Montego Joe, "The Bold" by Russell Evans & The Nite Hawks, "Hey Mrs Jones" by Jimmy Witherspoon, "Poppa Nickel" by The Tempo Rhythms, "Sherry's Party" by Ray Johnson, "Hot Tamale Man" by Harold Betters, "Shank & Grits" by Ray Shanklin, "Pluckin" by Jimmy Mayes & The Soul Breed, "East 24th Ave" by Billy Graham & The Escalators, and "Do The Thing" by Gate Wesley. CD

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VariousStax 68 – A Memphis Story (5CD set) ... CD
Stax/Craft, 1968. New Copy 5CD ... $62.99 69.99
1968 was the world of revolution around the world – and to our music-trained ears, one of the greatest revolutions occurred at the legendary Stax Records! Before that year, the label had been working with Atlantic Records – who totally screwed them, and took away all their catalog – leaving Stax to start completely from scratch, and reinvent themselves as an even more righteous company in the process! Make no mistake, Stax was already a pretty great company before – the leading light of the Memphis soul scene – but in 1968, the company went back to basics, and also embraced new waves of funk and blues, freed up to go into some very groovy territory. This 5CD set documents that amazing time – by bringing together all the singles released in 1968, both a-sides and b-sides – along with a big booklet of notes and photos that not only talk about the changes at the label, but also the city of Memphis in the tragic year of 1968 – which also saw the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King. The package is overflowing with as much history as it is soul music – and features over 120 songs by artists who include Booker T & The MGs, Linda Lynell, Judy Clay, Harvey Scales, Otis Redding, The Memphis Nomads, Shirley Walton, Bar-Kays, Ollie & The Nightingales, William Bell, The Goodees, Mable John, The Epsilons, The Soul Children, Mad Lads, Charmells, Lindell Hill, Jimmy Hughes, Delaney & Bonnie, Dino & Doc, Daaron Lee, Albert King, Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, Derek Martin, Johnnie Taylor, and many more! CD

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✨✧ Ramsey LewisFunky Serenity/Golden Hits/Solar Wind/Sun Goddess ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), Early 70s. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
A quadruple-header from Ramsey Lewis – four albums from his great 70s electric period on Columbia Records! First up is Funky Serenity – sweet electric funk from Ramsey Lewis! The album's one of his best from the 70s – and it's got Ramsey on Fender Rhodes, electric harpsichord, and other keyboards, grooving away in an open-ended 70s mode that still retains all the heavy soul of his classic work for Chess. Morris Jennings adds in some very nice percussion with his drum work, and Cleveland Eaton's on funky bass, giving the set a strong bottom groove. Features the sublime sample cut "My Love For You", a great version of "Knights In White Satin" that's done with a weird spacey groove, plus the tracks "Kufany Mapenzi (Making Love)", "Serene Funk", "What It Is!", and "Dreams". Golden Hits isn't a "best of", but instead has Ramsey and his funky mid 70s trio with Morris Jennings and Cleveland Eaton revisiting some of his best loved material from the Cadet years, but with the groovy Rhodes and wah wah sound that we dig so much about his CBS recordings. Unlike some of the other records from this period, the group's nice and stripped down, just the electric piano, bass and drums, so the groove's nice and wide open, Ramsey and company popping along with the sanctified soulful vibe of his 60s work, but updating their sound with some nice electric touches. 9 numbers in all: "Hang On Sloopy", "Blues For The Night Owl", "Hi-Heel Sneakers", "Carmen", "Delilah", "Wade In The Water", "Slippin' Into Darkness", "Somethin' You Got", and "The In Crowd". Solar Wind was cut smack dab in the middle of Ramsey's glory days at Columbia Records – with great production help and work on bass from the mighty Cleveland Eaton! The style is nice and lean, with just some occasional fuller touches – and Ramsey plays plenty of Fender Rhodes, in addition to bits of Arp and moog too – in a setting that's mostly trio, with a few guest players stepping into the mix from track to track! There's a nice degree of fuzz at points, thanks to added help from Steve Cropper – and titles include a great funky version of "Summer Breeze", plus "Solar Wind", "Come Down In Time", "Love for A Day", "Hummingbird", "Jamaican Marketplace", and "Sweet & Tender You". Sun Goddess is one of our favorite Ramsey Lewis albums ever – and a perfect summation of the genius that was brewing on the Chicago scene in the late 60s and early 70s! The album has Ramsey working strongly with Earth Wind & Fire – no surprise, given his close ties to Maurice White, who was the drummer in Ramsey's trio before starting his own group – and the shared relationship both artists had with producer Charles Stepney! The three were all key parts of the late 60s sound at Chess Records – but here, they've brought the same soulful energy to Columbia – working in a wider, more mature groove for the 70s – one that has Lewis' wicked Fender Rhodes lines stretching out strongly over tight, compressed, funky lines from EWF! The centerpiece of the set is the massive 7 minute "Sun Goddess", but there's lots of other nice ones like "Living For The City", "Gemini Rising", and "Jungle Strut". Funky, electric, and sublimely wonderful all the way through! CD

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✨✧ VariousCalifia – The Songs Of Lee Hazelwood ... CD
Ace (UK), Late 50s/1960s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A wonderful compilation of Lee Hazlewood songs performed by others in the 60s – magnificent pulp pop, girl groups, starlets, rockers and more covering prime era Lee tunes – songs about lovers, fools, rebels and heartbroken examples of all of the above! There's little we can add to the lore of Lee – but these songs are atypically diverse and the set as a hole does a terrific job of showing just have far the Hazlewood touch could reach! Features Lee duets with Nancy Sinatra & Suzi Jane Hokum, and covers by Duane Eddy, The Hondas, The Darlenes, Al Casey, Sanford Clark, Ann Margaret, The Wildcats, Dino, Desi & Billy, The Sharps, Peggy March and many more1 25 tracks in all: "Lady Bird' by Nancy & Lee, "Sweet Ride" by Dusty Springfield, "You Turned My Head" by Ann Margaret, "Don't Look Now, But I've Got The Blues" by BB King, "(I'm Afraid) You'll Hurt Me" by The Darlenes, "The City Never Sleeps At Night" by The Shacklefords, "Guitar On My Mind" by Duane & Miriam Eddy, "Das Ist Zauberei (And I Loved You Then)" by Peggy March, "Twelve Feet High" by The Hondas and many more. CD

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✨✧ VariousWhere Will You Be Christmas Day? – 1917 to 1959 ... CD
Dust To Digital, 1920s/1930s/1940s/1950s. New Copy Gatefold ... Out Of Stock
A very vintage Christmas set – one that's pulled mostly from the same sort of scratchy 78rpm recordings we've come to love from the Dust To Digital label – a great blend of folk, blues, country, and gospel recordings – all of which offer up quite a change from the usual Holiday fare! The "dust" has been reduced to a minimum, but the records are clearly sourced from analogue discs – which adds to the earthy, timeless feel of the collection – almost as if you're unpacking a special box of records from way back in the attic, bringing them out every year along with the Christmas decorations! Features 24 tracks in all – work by Kansas City Kitty, Leroy Carr, Vera Hall Ward, Pawlo Humeniuk, Cotton Top Mountain Sanctified Singers, Lord Executor, Walter Davis, Bessie Smith, Lord Beginner, and many others. CD

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✨✧ Dr JohnRemedies/Desitively Bonnaroo ... CD
Atlantic/BGO (UK), Early 70s. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
Two funky classics from Dr John – back to back in a single set! First up is Remedies, one of the records that made Dr John a legend back in the day – a set that steps off from New Orleans roots into a world of weird funk, tripped-out sounds, and lots and lots of super-heavy grooves! The album's got a nicely exploratory vibe – as the first side features shorter funky cuts, but the second half really stretches out, and features a side-long track that has the Doctor at his most freewheeling – mixing deep currents from soul and blues with all the great ear for studio techniques he'd developed over the years – fused into a sound that's almost a fantasy of a soulful subculture in the swamps. Titles include "Loop Garoo", "Wash Mama Wash", "What Goes Around Comes Around", "Mardi Gras Day", and "Chippy Chippy" – plus the side-long "Angola Anthem". Desitively Bonnaroo is filled with tight funky work from Dr John – a second collaboration with producer Allen Toussaint, and a set that follows strongly on their Right Place record of the year before! The groove's not as messed-up as on the first few Atlantic records by the Doctor – but in it's place is a sweet electric funk mode, kind of an update on 60s New Orleans grooves – handled here by The Meters and a host of other key players from the Crescent City scene! Toussaint's production and arrangements are tight, but never slick at all – still much earthier than the later work, especially that on Warner Brothers, that was handled by the producer. And the tunes have a good focus that keeps Dr John on track lyrically – even though we'll admit that our main love of this record comes from the keyboards, bass, and funky drums! Titles include "Stealin", "What Comes Around (Goes Around)", "Mos' Scocious", "Rite Away", "R U 4 Real", "Let's Make A Better World", "Sing Along Song", "Go Tell The People", "Quitters Never Win", and "Can't Git Enuff". CD

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✨✧ Jim Galloway & Jay McShannJim & Jay's Christmas ... CD
Sackville, 1992. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A great small combo Holiday album – one that really brings out some of the bluer sides of the Christmas songs it features! The group features the legendary Jay McShann on piano, and Jim Galloway on soprano, tenor, and baritone sax – working here with just bass and drums in a quartet, which leaves plenty of room for both of the leaders to really open up on the tunes! There's a bit of a Kansas City vibe to some of the best cuts – as if you're hearing the tracks in the backroom of a tavern, well past midnight on Christmas Eve – when that special sort of Holiday sadness has set in. Titles include "I'll Be Home For Christmas", "The Christmas Song", "Christmas In New Orleans", "Auld Lang Syne", "Christmas Night In Harlem", "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear", and "White Christmas". CD

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✨✧ Siegel Schwall Band953 West ... CD
Wooden Nickel/Wounded Bird, 1975. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
The album's title is a reference to an address on the north side of Chicago – 953 West Belmont Ave – somewhat gritty at the time the album was recorded, now not too far from a giant Target discount store! Yet the address, the cover, and the overall presentation are a great example of the way that the north side folk scene morphed as the 60s moved into the 70s – as a group like the Siegel Schwall Band were able to work in a style that was nicely lean, and free from some of the more commercial inclinations that might have been foisted on them, had they been recording on the coasts! By this point in the 70s, so many once-blues acts had morphed into more mainstream blues rock modes – not always in a bad way, but certainly different than the mix of acoustic and electric blues inspirations these guys use for their very well-penned, often witty songs. Titles include "Traitor From Decatur", "Good Woman", "When I've Been Drinkin", "Off To Denver", "I Think It Was The Wine", and "Just Another Song About The Country Sung By A City Boy". CD

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✨✧ VariousIf You're Going To The City – A Tribute To Mose Allison (CD & DVD) ... CD
Fat Possum, 2019. New Copy CD & DVD ... $13.99
We're not usually the sorts to dig tribute albums, but the mighty Mose Allison is one of our favorite talents from years back – and the lineup here do a great job of reviving some of the classic spirit of Mose, while also pushing things forward with their own creative reinterpretations of his legacy! If you don't know Allison, he was a jazz pianist first, and a singer second – the latter the quality that brought him great fame, with lots of New Orleans-inflected qualities in his vocals, and lyrics that had a nicely biting mix of contemporary wit and more vintage themes. That legacy has held up wonderfully over the years – and is interpreted here by a host of different artists – a lineup that includes "If You're Going To The City" by Iggy Pop, "Your Mind Is On Vacation" by Taj Mahal, "My Brain" by Robbie Fulks, "If You Life" by Jackson Browne, "Parchman Farm" by Richard Thompson, "Ever Since The World Ended" by Loudon Wainwright III, "Stop This World" by Chrissie Hynde, "Numbers On Paper" by Frank Black, and "Monsters Of The Id" by Amy Allison with Elvis Costello. Includes bonus DVD of the film – Mose Allison Ever Since I Stole The Blues. CD
Also available If You're Going To The City – A Tribute To Mose Allison (180 gram LP & DVD) ... LP 28.99

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✨✧ Fabio Frizzi/Walter Rizzati & Alessandro BlonksteinerLucio Fulci's Gates Of Hell Trilogy (City Of The Living Dead/The Beyond/House By The Cemetery) (3CD set) ... CD
Beat (Italy), 1980/1981. New Copy 3CD ... Out Of Stock
Three Italian horror classics – packaged here in a single set! First up is Fabio Frizzi's score for Nella Citta Dei Morti Viventi/City Of The Living Dead – exactly the kind of set that shows why he was one of the true masters of Italian horror! The sounds here are a mix of electric and acoustic elements – but the latter are often played in offbeat ways that they really sound electric – making for a moody mix of music that goes way beyond the usual spare slasher keyboards! A few numbers use wordless vocals, while others have nicely stepping strings – and a beefier bassline comes into play on a few standout funk tracks as well. Titles include "Toward Dawn", "Fatti Misteriosi", "Apoteosi Del Mistero", "Occhi Di Brace", and "Verso L'Alba". Next is Frizzi's Beyond/E Tu Vivrai Nel Terrore L'Aldila – a very spooky soundtrack – and one that stands out as one of the best-remembered from this important second generation of Italian horror! The record's got less of the atonal orchestrations and funk/thriller modes of a few years before – and moves into the spare, eerie quality that John Carpenter helped usher in – with lots of crashing piano lines, atonal guitar parts, and weird descending chords that feel like they're going to suck you into the deep! There's some very nice and sparing use of synthesizer within the score – just the right bit to add a creepy edge, but maybe not as much as on other synth-heavy soundtracks from the time – and titles include "Voci Dal Nulla", "Oltre La Soglia", "Suono Aperto", "Verso L'Ignoto", and "Giro Di Blues". Walter Rizzati's score for Quella Villa Accanto Al Cimitero/House By The Cemetery has lots of keyboards – in a spare, spooky soundtrack from the early 80s Italian horror scene – a blood-dripping masterpiece from director Lucio Fulcio! Walter Rizzati's music here is heavy on the kinds of electric touches you'd hear from both Goblin or John Carpenter – and often paced at a level that's somewhere between the pair – not as jamming as Goblin, but a bit fuzzier than Carpenter – a blend that makes for some really wonderful numbers that are plenty creepy here on their own – even away from the images on the screen! There's plenty of great bits that creep up on you slowly – and others that jump mercilessly from dark corners – on titles that include "Quella Villa", "I Remember", "Incontro", "Blonk Monster", "Verso Il Terrore", "Voci Dal Terrore", "Tema Bambino", and "Chi Sta Arrivando". CD

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✨✧ Merle HaggardBig City/Going Where The Lonely Go ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1981/1982. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A pair of early 80s Merle Haggard albums – back to back on a single CD! First up is Big City – a killer early Columbia Records set from Merle Haggard – a record that has the country legend really stepping up with a strong new sound, yet losing none of his charms in the process! There's a bit of saxophone on the record, which is maybe the only real change from before – and at the core, Merle's still making great magic on original songs with The Strangers as his backup band – evolving past some of the themes of his earliest records, and doing a great job with themes of maturing masculinity and heartworn blues. Titles include "My Favorite Memory", "Are The Good times Really Over", "Stop The World", "Texas Fiddle Song", "I Think I'm Gonna Live Forever", and "Good Old American Guest". Going Where The Lonely Go is great work from Merle Haggard on Epic – the kind of record that some folks might pass over in favor of his late 60s Capitol Records material, but which we treasure just as much as the years go on! Merle's voice is fantastic at this point – able to handle a growing range of themes with an open, honest approach that almost makes us think that some of his earlier modes were a bit of a pose – as he slides into the sounds of The Strangers with an easygoing mode that's so effortless its breathtaking – especially when you realize how many original songs he brought to the session too. Leona Williams is in the group on backup vocals, and contributed two great tunes too – and titles include "Why Am I Drinkin", "If I Left It Up To You", "Someday You're Gonna Need Your Friends Again", "Shopping For Dresses", "Half A Man", "For All I Know", and "You Take Me For Granted". CD

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✨✧ Ars NovaFields Of People – The Elektra & Atlantic Recordings 1968/1969 (Ars Nova/Sunshine & Shadows) ... CD
Esoteric (UK), Late 60s. New Copy 2CD ... Just Sold Out!
A pair of great albums from the overlooked Ars Nova – back to back in a single set! First up is the 1968 self-titled Ars Nova – a wonderful little set of post-folk rock – with lots of lovely baroque touches! Ars Nova were really short-lived group – known for only two rare records – but they've got a sound that perfectly sums up a generation! There's a wonderful LA late 60s sound here – somewhere between Love and The Byrds, with the baroque touches of the former and the best country influences of the latter – all wrapped up in earnest, honest songwriting that makes even the ambitious moments come across with surprising charm. A true lost relic, and the kind of record that should be in any late 60s cannon! Titles include "Album In Your Mind", "Pavan For My Lady", "General Clover Ends A War", "And How Am I To Know", "Fields Of People", "Automatic Love", and "Song To The City". Sunshine & Shadows is the second tripped-out set from Ars Nova – an under-remembered late 60s group who had a great talent for blending together a range of different styles! At some level, Ars Nova share qualities with some of the harder-jamming groups of their time – but they've also got a sound that expands to bring in folk, blues, jazz, and more baroque elements – played by the group with a lineup that includes some nice work on trumpet by Jimmy Owens, who at this point was a core member of the combo. Brooks Arthur handled the overall music direction, with a quality that recalls some of his work on Verve – and the album features the wonderful bossa-styled groover "Walk On The Sand", a romping soul jazz take on Jimmy Owens' "You Had Better Listen", and the cuts "Rubbish", "Please Don't Go Now", "Temporary Serenade", "She Promises Everything", and "Round Once Again". CD

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✨✧ Chi-LitesLonely Man (with bonus track) ... CD
Brunswick/Solid (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
One of the biggest records ever from The Chi-Lites – thanks to the "Oh Girl" title hit that's referenced on the cover! But apart from that ballad classic, the record's actually got a heck of a lot more to offer – some incredible harmony soul tracks that show that even during their hit years, The Chi-Lites were one of those groups who could still stay true to their roots – and still come up with amazing tunes again and again! Mainman Eugene Record is at the helm producing and writing most of the tunes on the set – and some of the best numbers have that little gentle groove that was the best Chi-soul contribution to the sound of the 70s – that lilt or bounce from the 60s, turned towards slightly more sophisticated modes for the new generation. Titles include "Being In Love", "Love Is", "Coldest Days Of My Life", "Living In the Footsteps Of Another Man", "Ain't Too Much Of Nothing", and "A Lonely Man" – and a cover of "Inner City Blues". CD also features the bonus track "The Coldest Days Of My Life (part 1)". CD

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✨✧ Marvin GayeWhat's Going On – Live ... CD
Motown, 1972. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
A tremendous live performance from Marvin Gaye – recorded at the Kennedy Center in 1972, and based around his classic album What's Going On – yet handled in a completely different way! The set's not just a straight reading of the record – as the song order is different, and the presentation is unusual too – with Marvin at the piano, bringing a more intimate style to some of the songs – while also opening them up with looser, more fluid backings – all in ways that show us just how much was going on in his ever-fertile mind during this high point of creativity! The material was issued originally as a bonus CD of the deluxe release of the core album – but it stands proudly here on its own, in a new package that also offers up an even better mix of the music than before. Titles include "Wholy Holy", "Save The Children", "Right On", "Inner City Blues", "What's Going On", "Flyin High", and "God's Love" – plus a very cool 13 minute "Sixties Medley", which offers changed-up takes on Marvin Gaye tunes from the earlier years of Motown. CD

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Chris Greene QuartetPlayspace ... CD
Single Malt, 2019. New Copy ... $5.99 15.00
Saxophonist Chris Greene has been running one of the sharpest shows around town in the Chicago jazz scene – always tight, always together, and always moving forward with his music – to the point where we're surprised (and pleased) that he hasn't left our city for the coast! Greene returns here with another rock-solid set of his own – blowing a tenor sound that just seems to mature more with each new record, and adding in some soprano too – and working through some fresh originals written by himself and his bandmates – who include Damian Espinosa on piano and keyboards, Marc Piane on bass, and Steve Colrey on drums. The unit is very cohesive, but Greene also gets plenty of space to really open up and run – on titles that include "Three & Six", "Thunder Snow", "Blues For Dr Fear", "Clean & Clear", and "The Crossover Appeal/Uno Mas" – plus a nice take on Wayne Shorter's "Speak No Evil". CD

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Gerry MulliganGerry Mulligan 63 – The Concert Jazz Band ... CD
Verve (Japan), 1962. New Copy ... $9.99
The sound of Gerry Mulligan in the early 60s – and one of the best records by his larger than usual Concert Jazz Band! Given Gerry's piano-less experiments of the 50s, it's surprising to actually have him as the pianist on this session – hitting the keys with a nice light touch, so that the larger horn section can take over most of the tunes – a beautifully-arranged ensemble who have a feel that's lighter than some of the groups of the 50s – such as the Kenton ensemble – yet one that's equally modern at times! The lineup is wonderful – with Clark Terry and Nick Travis on trumpets, Willie Dennis and Bob Brookmeyer on trombones, and Gene Quill, Gene Allen, and Eddie Caine on saxes – plus guitar from Jim Hall, bass from Bill Crow, and drums from Gus Johnson. Titles include "Big City Life", "Bridgehampton South", "My Kind Of Love", "Pretty Gypsy", "Bridgehampton Strut", and "Big City Blues". CD

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Waajeed & OthersDetroit Love Vol 3 ... CD
Planet E, 2019. New Copy ... $14.99
We don't hear nearly enough from Waajeed as we'd like to – but he really returns to glory here on a stunning mix of underground tracks from the Detroit scene – all contemporaries of Waajeed, and part of that rich electronic legacy that he's given us from his early days on the city's musical landscape! The work here definitely reflects the Planet E placement of the mixtape – music that's heavy on the future electric elements that always made Carl Craig and crew such standouts – even amidst a larger global scene – but it's the special work of Waajeed that has us loving this volume of Detroit Love most of all. CD is a continuous mix of 20 tracks – with titles that include "Overbite" by Roddy Rod, "We Out Chea" by 14kt, "Celestrial (club mix)" by D-Love Muzic, "Gonna Tell Me" by Teflon Dons, "WhoRU" by Ladymonix, "I'm In Trouble" by DJ Rimarkable, "Minimariddim" by Matthew Law, and "Mermaid Blues" by DAmon Bell featuring CAmille Safiya. CD
Also available Detroit Love Vol 3 ... LP 25.99

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Lyman Woodard TrioJazzy Weeknights Special ... CD
Uuquipleu, 1974/1993. New Copy 2CDs ... $16.99
Rare work from one of the true powerhouse performers on the Detroit jazz scene – organist Lyman Woodard, famous for a few funk records in the 70s – but a musician who also gigged non-stop for decades in the Motor City! This double-length set features two performances, almost 20 years apart, by Woodard and his long-running trio with guitarist Ron English and drummer Leonard King – both wonderful performers, and working here with the same energy that Lyman had in his famous 60s trio with guitarist Dennis Coffey! The 90s set is every bit as wonderful as the 70s material – and together, the tracks show just how strongly a certain kind of funky, soulful jazz was alive and well out in the smaller clubs in urban America. Titles include "Kimba", "Don't Go Reaching Across My Plate", "Creative", "Love Theme From Spartacus", "All Blues", "Hold It", "Portrait Of Martha", "Red Top", "Don't Blame Me", and "You Make Me Feel Brand New". CD

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VariousShe Came From Liverpool – Merseyside Girl Pop 1962 to 1968 ... CD
Ace (UK), Mid 60s. New Copy ... $14.99 19.99
Liverpool is best known as the home of The Beatles – but back in the 60s, the city was overflowing with tremendous musical talent – including a wealth of female groups and singers who added a heck of a lot to the British scene in the decade! This collection digs very deep into that great well of sound – and pulls together key cuts by a few bigger names, plus lots more work by artists we never would have discovered otherwise – female singers who recorded rare singles for the British major labels, then never graced the charts again – yet left us all the wonderful little gems that make up this package! The set list is wonderful – almost an all-girl answer to the male-dominated sounds of the British Invasion – and the whole thing has the usual wonderful Ace Records notes that detail all the great songs within. 25 titles in all – with tracks that include "That Boy Of Mine" by The Breakaways, "Someone To Love" by Three Bells, "Long Tall Shorty" by The Liverbirds, "Everybody Loves A Lover" by Beryl Marsden, "Baby Don't Look Down" by Tiffany With The Thoughts, "I Want You" by Jeannie & The Big Guys, "A Shot Of Rhythm & Blues" by Cilla Black, "Come See Me" by Sandy Edmonds, "Just Being Your Baby Turns Me On" by Cindy Cole, "Dumb Head" by The Sharades, "I Don't Want To Be The One" by Samantha Jones, "Am I Dreaming" by Tiffany, "Till He Tells Me" by Jacki Martin, and "I Don't Understand" by Nola York. CD

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✨✧ School DaysIn Our Times ... CD
Okka Disk, 2002. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A fantastic slice of dialogue between the important millennial Chicago and Swedish avant garde scenes! The School Days quartet is further augmented by another member this go 'round, Kjell Nordeson on vibes, as they continue to explore themes inspired by and written by modernists of a different period in improvised music, like Bobby Hutcherson, Bill Evans, and Larry Young – a great example of the inspirations that move the genius of group leader, reedman Ken Vandermark. Kjell can be heard elsewhere as the drummer for Mats Gustafson's AALY trio, and is joined by his bandmate from that group here on bass, Ingebrit Haker-Flaten, with another Swede, Paal Nilssen Love on drums, while Chicagoan Ken Vandermark is joined by one of our city's other hidden gems on the frontline, Jeb Bishop on trombone. Recorded live in Norway, titles include "Shift", "Octopus", "Loose Blues" and "Another Double". CD

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✨✧ VariousSly & Robbie Present – Taxi Gang In Disco Mix Style 1977 to 1987 ... CD
Cree (Germany), Late 70s/1980s. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A very cool side of the Sly & Robbie legend – a series of recordings the duo made with a range of different singers – all as Jamaican-styled remakes of American soul and club tracks from the 70s! The vibe here is definitely more reggae than disco – with a groove slowed down a lot more than the speed of Studio 54 – and the pair are really coming into their own as creative talents, working on the experience they gained for years on other folks' records – which really helps create the right sort of rhythms for these grooves. As you'd guess from the dates in the title, the set stretches into the digital reggae years – which turned out to be one of the most productive periods for Sly & Robbie – and titles include "Sexual Healing" by Jimmy Riley, "Show & Tell" by Ken Boothe, "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love" by Home T-4, "Inner City Blues" by Delroy Wilson, "Break Your Promise" by Barry Biggs, "You Must Believe In Me" by Junior Tamlins Moore, "Fever" by Marcia Griffiths, and "Rainy Night In Georgia" by Tinga Stewart. CD

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✨✧ VariousBrunswick Bubblers – Presented By Gilles Peterson ... CD
Brunswick/Octave (Japan), Late 60s/Early 70s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
The legendary Gilles Peterson turns his magical ears to the catalog of Brunswick Records – and comes up with some of the label's hippest tunes of the 60s and 70s! Brunswick is best known for its famous soul hits of the late 60s and early 70s, but Peterson goes much deeper to come up with overlooked gems that are then laid out in a way that really makes them resonate strongly together – at a level that really illustrates the unified groove of the label! Brunswick often worked with a tight array of producers, arrangers, and session players – and Peterson finds key links between these tunes, often in surprising places – which makes the collection a real delight once you start stepping through it. Titles include "Keep On Dancing" by Bohannon, "Inner City Blues" by The Chi-Lites, "Harlem" by Willie Henderson, "This Is The Lost Generation" by The Lost Generation, "Ain't No Sunshine" by Gregory James Edition, "Light My Fire" by Jackie Wilson, "Disco Boogie" by Total Eclipse, "Will I Find Love" by Gene Chandler, "This Love Is Real" by Dana Valery, and "Go With Love" by Barbara Acklin. CD

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✨✧ VariousButch Ingram Presents Merry Christmas From Philadelphia ... CD
Society Hill, 2017. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Contemporary Christmas tracks from the Philly scene – all put together by modern soul maestro Butch Ingram, with backing from the whole Ingram Family! The style here is similar to some of Butch's non-holiday productions in recent years for the Society Hill label – kind of an update of the Philly soul mode of the 80s, especially that moment when the city had moved past disco and was embracing a newly sophisticated, adult approach to soul – as maybe heard in later work by Teddy Pendergrass and Phyllis Hyman! Here, Butch works with a mix of lesser-known Philly acts, and a few older ones – on titles that include "Christmas Time Is Here" by Toni Richards, "O Christmas Tree" by Wardell Piper, "O Holy Night" by Tru, "I Wish" by Butch Ingram, "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" by Donne Tatem, "White Christmas" by Tony Strong, "What Child Is This" by Wardell Piper, and "Marry Me This Christmas" by The Legendary Bluenotes. CD

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✨✧ Rodney FranklinIn The Center/You'll Never Know/Rodney Franklin/Endless Flight (bonus track) ... CD
Columbia/Robinsongs (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
Four soulful fusion classics from keyboardist Rodney Franklin – all together in a single set! First up is In The Center – wonderful keyboard work from the amazing Rodney Franklin – a player who sounds equally great on acoustic and electric piano! This album does a wonderful job of mixing them both – showing Rodney's more sensitive side on a few acoustic numbers, but then really taking off in a much more groove-based mode for the electric ones – which have a soaring, spacious style that's in that best blend of fusion and soul that was going down at Columbia in the late 70s – but with some spacier Bob James touches too! Most of the cuts were arranged by Byron Olsen, who's got an equally sensitive ear as Franklin – and although there's a bit of vocals on the record, most of the focus is on instrumental grooves – especially Rodney's work on the keys. Titles include the classics "I Like The Music Make It Hot", "Spanish Flight", and "On The Path" – plus "Yours", "Life Moves On", and the extended "Spring Suite". You'll Never Know is fully-formed genius from the amazing Rodney Franklin – one of the best keyboard stars to emerge from the late 70s scene! Franklin's got a great talent for balancing influences from jazz and soul in ways that are similar to contemporaries George Duke and Bobby Lyle – and like both of those players, he still stands strong in jazz, but makes some key nods to soul music on this set – adding in a bit of vocals where needed, and moving into some R&B-drenched fusion lines that all sound pretty darn hip! As on previous records, Rodney plays both acoustic and electric keys – blending them wonderfully for a very deep sound – and the group behind him features some especially nice work on reeds, which bring sharper edges to some of the best tracks on the set. There's a wonderfully deep feel to the whole thing – way more than you'd expect for a major label release at the time – and titles include "Felix Leo", "The Watcher", "The Groove", "Journey", "You'll Never Know", "Return", and "Parkay Man". Next is the self-titled Rodney Franklin – tremendous work from Rodney Franklin – one of our favorite soulful fusion players from the end of the 70s! The album's a keyboard delight through and through – and Rodney plays both acoustic and electric piano, often on the same track – which creates this nicely expanded sound that works well with the album's tight arrangements! There's a fair bit of soul in the mix too – some rhythms that make a few numbers great groovers, courtesy of Tom Tom arrangements – and some other full moments handled by Patrick Williams. Titles include a wonderful version of "Windy City" – the cut you might know from a classic Carl Davis recording – plus "On The Path", "I Like The Music Make It Hot", "Life Moves On", "Creation", and "In The Center". Endless Flight is a brilliant mix of jazz, soul, and fusion – smoothed together nicely, but never in a way that's slick or commercial! Franklin's got a keen ear that lets him sit on both sides of the fence wonderfully – in a way that so many other players tried in later years, but never managed to do without losing their groove or selling out too much. Part of the strength of the album is the way that it mixes together acoustic and electric keys from track to track – deepening the spirit of the album through a good sense of pacing and mood, and also offsetting vocal tracks with some key instrumental numbers. Tom Washington produced and heavily helped in the arrangements – and titles include "Vibrations", "Benetta", "Cancion Para Mi Mama", "Dance Tonight", "Endless Flight", "Return To The Source", "Mensaje De Dios", and a surprisingly great funky take on "Hill Street Blues". Includes one bonus track – "The Groove (single version)". CD

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✨✧ RodriguezCold Fact ... CD
Sussex/Universal, 1970. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
One of a handful of enigmatic albums cut in the early 70s by Sixto Rodriguez – a Latin-tinged singer with a style that's a bit like that of Jose Feliciano, but trippier, and with more rock and folk touches! This set's probably his best one – thanks to arrangements and production by Dennis Coffey and Mike Theodore, both of whom give the album a stoned-out feel that sets it up nicely with other work on the Sussex label at the time. The album's got a lot of "deep" cuts with semi-political lyrics – including the classic "Sugar Man", plus "Inner City Blues" (not Marvin's version), "Like Janis", "This Is Not A Song It's An Outburst", and "Crucify Your Mind" – and Rodriguez was such hip cat back in his day it took decades for the world to catch up and finally give him the acclaim he deserved. CD

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✨✧ VariousTruckers, Kickers, Cowboy Angels – The Blissed-Out Birth Of Country Rock Vol 2 – 1969 ... CD
Bear Family (Germany), 1969. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
An amazing second chapter to this wonderful series – and like the first, a perfectly-chosen batch of tracks that shows the return of country styles to rock music at the end of the 60s! Most of the artists here are those of the LA scene – who had a surprisingly strong respect for the sounds of Bakersfield and Nashville – but the set also includes some other artists who really fit into the mix well – almost all of them big names of the time, or of later years – but working here in a sound that's still very fresh, and free from all the cliches that crept into country rock in the 70s! Bear Family really took a lot of care with the whole thing – and the set features over 50 pages of notes, telling the track-by-track tale of country rock from 1969 – a set of 23 titles that includes "Level With Your Sense" by The Corvettes, "Sin City" by The Flying Burrito Brothers, "Texas Me" by Sir Douglas Quintet, "Drug Store Truck Driving Man" by The Byrds, "Up On Cripple Creek" by The Band, "Make Me Smile" by Poco, "We Need A Whole Lot More Jesus" by Linda Ronstadt, "Ruby" by The First Edition, "I'm Movin On" by Elvis Presley, "Vaccination For The Blues" by The Sanland Brothers, and "Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass" by Buck Owens. CD

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✨✧ VariousWhat's This I Hear – The Sound Of Tulsa 1957 to 1961 ... CD
Eleven Light City (UK), Late 50s/Early 60s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Tulsa, Oklahoma may not be the biggest city on the American scene – but at the end of the 50s, there was definitely something special going on – a strong underground of top talents and sharp-edged musical minds – which includes the great rocker Rocky Curtiss, and later stars David Gates and JJ Cale! Much of the music here is in that cross between country and early rock and roll that you might expect – maybe a bit rockabilly, but also with some Texas bluesy currents drifting through the mix at times – a clear indication of the honky tonks in which some of these artists must have been working! The package features a total of 22 gems from these early Tulsa years – and titles include "Always Be True" by The Tri-Lads, "You'll Be My Baby" by David Gates, "Ain't That Loving You Baby" by Johnny Cale Quintette, "Cool It" by Flash Terry, "Baby Shame" by Clyde Stacy, "Sneaky" by Johnny Cale, "I Hate Myself" by Ale Sweatt, "Cherry Pie" by The Tri-Lads, "Dream Lover" by Rocky Curtiss & The Harmony Flames, "What's This I Hear" by David Gates, and "The Purple Onion" by Johnny Cale. CD
 
 
 



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