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Close matches: 5
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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Jimmy HelmsJimmy Helms (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Oracle/Creole Stream (Japan), Late 60s. New Copy ... $23.99
Early work from Jimmy Helms – an American soul singer, but one who recorded more famously later on in the UK – heard here on his full length debut! The set was put together at a time when Jimmy was getting some exposure on the Merv Griffin Show (the cover shot is from one appearance) – and the style here is kind of a hip blend of jazz and soul, wrapped around a nice mix of familiar tunes and even better unusual ones! Helms later had fame on the stage, and he's definitely got an expressive style of singing – a mature mode that's different than crossover soul singers of the time, and which has echoes of hip cats like Walter Jackson and Arthur Prysock in both his phrasing, and some of the arrangements he gets on the tunes. Titles include "I Was A Boy When You Needed A Man", "Like A Young Bird", "Listen", "Iliane", "Air Of Confusion", "Until It's Time For You To Go", "Light My Fire", and "Hey Jude". CD

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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Manu DibangoManu 76 (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Fiesta/Creole Stream (Japan), 1976. Used ... Out Of Stock
Sweet 70s Afro Funk from the great Manu Dibango – a record that adds in a bit more of a full production sound than on his earlier albums, but still sounds pretty darn wonderful overall! There's definitely more of an uptempo club groove going on – and the band has a lot more players than ever before – but the funk component is still high, and Manu's work on funky sax solos is as great as ever. Very much in Manu's "Big Blow" mode – and with the tracks "Mimbo", "Angola", "Bokilo's Boogie", and "Mouvement Ewondo", plus the slow spacey "Besoka On Salsa". Essential listening from Dibango's best period – with loads of great little twists and turns in the production and instrumentation! CD
(Out of print. Includes obi.)

Close matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Bad ChildFirst Flight (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Sonodisc/Creole Stream (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A fantastic funky set from the 70s – originally issued on a French label, and hardly known to American audiences at the time – but done with a heavy groove that remind us of some of the best funky soul you'd find on labels like Curtom, Stax, or Atlantic! Lead vocals are by Bill Combs, who can be a deep soul singer on the mellower cuts, and a very righteous talent on the more powerful numbers – giving the set almost a Curtis Mayfield vibe, especially given the richly funky arrangements – which have full backings, but still come across nice and lean – like some of the hippest Curtom charts of the time! The group also features two other vocalists – and the tracks have an extended vibe that goes way past crossover soul – a real surprise, on tracks that include "Sweat", "Ezay", "Bad Child", "These Are Happy Days", "Sad Songs Get To End Sometimes", "Season", and "Get Off My Back Jack". CD

Close matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Manu DibangoAfrovision (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Fiesta/Creole Stream (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A funky gem from reedman Manu Dibango – a set recorded hot on the heels of his huge Soul Makossa hit, and done with a similar blend of African roots and 70s funk! The main focus here is on the instrumentation – not just Manu's saxophone lines, but also some great keyboards too – and some especially nice guitar that both riffs along with the rhythms, then takes off on solo moments that often have some cool processing that makes the sound nice and flangey! The production is a bit tighter than before, but that only seems to sharpen up all the elements even more – making for a massive groove that rolls all the way through cuts that include "Big Blow", "Baobab Sun 7", "Afrovision", "Aloko Party", and "Dakar Streets". CD
Also available Afrovision ... CD 11.99

Close matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ RSVPDon't Look Back ... CD
Creole Stream (Japan), 1985. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Sweet grooves from the American underground of the 80s – a gem of a record by a group who come across here with more of a mellow 70s vibe than you'd expect! There's a few 80s elements in the production, but overall the style is nice and warm, with a beautiful blending of the voices of singers Cheryl Sanchez and Jim Scott – with additional harmonies from the rest of the group that really round things out nicely! Most grooves are in a midtempo mode, and step along with some jazzy touches on woodwinds, trumpet, and keyboards – and the album was recorded at Criteria Studios in Miami, with a sweet vibe that really lives up to the soulful legacy of that spot. A few moments bring up the jazz more than others – almost with a breezy Bay Area vibe – and titles include "On The Run", "Rat Race", "PI", "Secret Sin", "Destiny", "Where I'm Going", and "When You Realize". CD

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