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Exact matches: 4
Exact matches1
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Peter Nero with Arthur FiedlerFantasy & Improvisations/Nero Goes Pops ... CD
RCA/Vocalion (UK), 1965/1968. New Copy 2 CDs ... $16.99
Two surprisingly great albums from pianist Peter Nero – both of which have him working with larger backings from the Boston Pops! Fantasy & Improvisations is a unique meeting of two of RCA's biggest instrumental talents of the 60s, and a surprisingly sophisticated album from pianist Peter Nero – one that presents his own title composition on all of side one! "Fantasy & Improvisations" is a wonderful work – one that makes full use of Nero's pointed style of piano performance, but at a level that's a bit more illuminating than some of his pop material – especially during the improvised passages, which have a deftness that really leaves us breathless! Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops are nicely restrained, but get a bit more standard on the second half of the record – which features a reading of George Gershwin's "Concerto In F". Nero Goes Pops has pianist Peter Nero working with some larger backings from the Boston Pops, led by Arthur Fiedler – but at a level that's hardly "pop" at all, given that the whole program features the compositions of George Gershwin! The music returns Gerswhin's songs to a more serious concert setting – with dramatic piano leads by Nero over the larger backings conducted by Fiedler – on titles that include "Rhapsody In Blue", "The Man I Love", "They Can't Take That Away From Me", "Bidin My Time", and "I Got Rhythm". CD

Exact matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Sun Ra & His Astro InfinityCosmo Earth Fantasy – Sub Underground Series Vols 1 & 2 ... CD
Saturn/Art Yard, Late 60s/Mid 70s. New Copy ... $14.99 16.99
A set of varied moods and settings – yet one that really does a wonderful job of fleshing out the Sun Ra aesthetic during these crucial years when Ra dubbed himself the "King Of The Sub Underground"! That humorous title is a reference to the fact that Ra and the Arkestra were still working with largely little mainstream exposure – despite the big growth of avant jazz at the time – and were instead working on beautiful recordings like these, often made without any thought of a larger market at all! The CD brings together material from albums originally issued with Sub-Underground in the title – also under other names as well, including Temple U – and the tracks represent the Arkestra really hitting some of their creative heights in a mix of live, studio, and rehearsal recordings. Titles include the brilliant "World Of Africa", recorded in 1968, but with a chunky groove and weird piano that almost feel like a precursor to Fela Kuti; the sublime "Love Is Always" and "Song Of Drums", recorded live with a spare group in a beautifully echoey setting; surprisingly great takes on "What's New" and "Autumn In New York", played by a small group with Ra on a slightly off-tune upright piano; the long "Cosmo Earth Fantasy" suite, with some very fierce sounds; and a nice live take on "Space Is The Place/We Roam The Cosmos", which jumps right into the groove at the start – with a pretty offbeat feel, and lots of cool vocal interplay! CD

Exact matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Aquarian DreamFantasy/Chance To Dance ... CD
Elektra/Expansion (UK), 1977/1978. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A pair of great albums from this Norman Connors side project! Fantasy is righteous soul, but with a wicked groove too – a killer set from Aquarian Dream, made even better by some great Norman Connors production! In a way, Aquarian Dream were to Norman Connors what Ramp were to Roy Ayers – in that the group wasn't really that dominated by Connors, but they did benefit a lot from his groundbreaking work in the jazz funk field – getting a level of sophistication in their sound that's really wonderful – and mixed with almost equal parts soul, funk, and jazz in the instrumentation! Vocals are often in a harmony mode – again in the manner of Ramp – and there's a classy yet cosmic sound to the record that we totally love. (And there's also one more Roy Ayers-like connection in the vocal department – since the group features Sylvia Striplin, who later recorded for Roy's Uno Melodic label!) The album's got a number of nice groovers with a strongly off-beat sound – and titles include "Friends", "It Ain't Whatcha Say", "You're A Star", "Play It For Me", and "Gentle Thoughts". On Chance To Dance, Aquarian Dream step out on their own – working for the first time without Norman Connors at the helm, but in a groove that's still plenty nice! The clubby aspects of the group's sound are played up by arranger/producer Jeff Lane – who'd worked often with BT Express and Brass Construction, and finds a similar groove here with Aquarian Dream – one in which all the best elements are focused strongly on the rhythms! A few mellower moments round things out nicely with a jazzy vibe – and titles include "Disco Juice", "Gettum Up And Dance", "Big Boy", "Why Can't We Do It Like We Used To", "Dirty Trick", and "Love Slave". CD

Exact matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ DeodatoKnights Of Fantasy ... CD
Warner (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Smooth jazzy work from Deodato – a record that takes off from his electric keyboard work of the early 70s, and shows his growing interest in modern soul and R&B a the time! Deodato's still a few years way from some of his famous soul production work, but he's already got a great ear for a groove – and works in a style that's tight, but never too slick – the best Joe Sample or Crusaders territory, but even more groove oriented too. You can definitely hear Deodato's growing taste for modern soul here – especially on the seminal club jammer "Whistle Bump", which is a tight keyboard-driven groove, with some sweeping strings underneath wah wah guitar. The cut's the real standout on the album – although there's a few other nice moments, like "Space Dust" and "Lovely Lady", which has a great mellow Bob James-ish sound. CD
Also available Knights Of Fantasy ... LP 5.99
 
Close matches: 17
Close matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Cannonball AdderleyBig Man ... CD
Fantasy/Real Gone, 1975. New Copy ... $15.99
One of the last albums ever issued by the great Cannonball Adderley – and one of the most ambitious, too! The set's a concept album – done in close collaboration with David Axelrod, in a similar spirit to some of Cannon's projects on the zodiac or the bible – but this time turned towards the legend of John Henry! The set's got some fuller orchestrations than some of the others – a bit of strings and a chorus, which sometimes gives the record the feel of a blacksploitation album, sometimes more of a Melvin Van Peebles project. Lead vocals are by Joe Williams, Randy Crawford, and Robert Guillaume – and the core combo features work from Cannonball on alto sax, Dawili Gonga on keyboards, Airto on percussion, and George Bohannon on trombone – on titles that include "Hundred an One Year", "Poundin", "The Steamdrill", "New Star Risin", "On His Bones", "Anybody Need A Big Man", "The Broomstick Song", and "Ten Mile Of Mountain". CD

Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
AllspiceAllspice ... CD
Fantasy/Dusty Groove, 1977. New Copy ... $8.99 12.98
The only album ever from Allspice – but a hell of an incredible soul record – and one that's kept the group's name strong with collectors and rare groove fanatics for years! The album's on of the best Fantasy Records productions by Wayne Henderson and his At Home team – and like some of the others, is handled with a groove that's tight, yet plenty sophisticated too – light years from mainstream disco or common club of the late 70s, and instead informed by plenty of jazz and deeper ideas as well! The vibe is perfect – as heavenly and righteous as some of the best Roy Ayers club tracks of the time – which proves to be a perfect foil for the Allspice style of mixing male and female vocals – which again is often done in an Ayers-like mode. The sound is sublime throughout – one of those real treasures that should have been a huge record in the 70s, but was barely pressed up at all – and quickly forgotten about by the record company. Yet even after all these years, the whole thing sounds amazing – one of those albums we'd never part with at all! Titles include the groovy "Slipped Away", the funky stepper "Hungry For Your Love" – and loads of other great tunes that include "Love Fire", "Destiny", "She's A Lady", "I Don't Know", and "Give It Time". CD
(On the Dusty Groove label.)

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
David Axelrod & OthersAxelrod Chronicles ... CD
Fantasy, Early 70s. New Copy ... $4.99 14.98
It's great to see that David Axelrod's finally getting his due – and this reissue of material from Fantasy is one of the first reissues of his work in the US! Most cuts here are much more jazz-based than Axelrod's higher-concept material under his own name for Capitol in the late 60s – and the music represents Axe's key move to Fantasy after bigger label fame – a move that he made with Cannonball Adderley, who also figures in on some of these tracks. The CD features 8 tracks from Axelrod's Full Axe album – a tasty bit of funky fusion that's one of his best jazz-oriented releases – plus a sampling of tracks from other albums he produced and/or arranged for Fantasy. Titles from Full Axe include "My Family", "Mucho Chupar", "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing", and "Everything Counts" – and other tracks include "Cantaro" and "Solitario" by Gene Ammons, "Bach" and "Sierra Morena" by Hampton Hawes, "Quit It" by Nat Adderley, "Goodbye So Long" by Funk Inc, and "Stayin Place" from the Big Man 2LP set. CD
(CD case has a small cutout notch.)

Close matches8
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Vince GuaraldiBoy Named Charlie Brown – Original TV Soundtrack (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Fantasy, 1964. New Copy ... $10.99 11.99
Vince Guaraldi's wonderful music for the first-ever cartoon to feature the Peanuts characters in animated form – a sublime batch of jazz instrumentals that forever changed the face of music in shows of this nature! Vince steps out with an amazing sound right from the start – even different than his previous jazz records from the San Francisco scene – with a more careful balance of swing and sadness, lyricism and soul – always played in a subtle, understated way that really makes the music come through with a lasting degree of power. Core sounds are from the trio of Guaraldi on piano, Monty Budwig on bass, and Colin Bailey on drums – and titles include key early versions of the "Charlie Brown Theme" and "Linus & Lucy" – plus "Oh Good Grief", Pebble Beach", "Schroeder", and "Blue Charlie Brown". CD features two bonus tracks – "Baseball Theme (alt)" and "Fly Me To The Moon". CD

Close matches9
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Joe LocoLoco Motion ... CD
Fantasy, 1961. New Copy ... $6.99 13.98
2 of Joe Loco's best albums (Pachanga With Joe Loco and Going Loco) compiled together on one double-length CD by Fantasy! The Pachanga album has (as you might expect) a good set of Pachanga grooves with Joe on piano, Mongo Santamaria on conga, and Willie Bobo on timbales. Going Loco is a bit more jazz mambo oriented, with Pete Terrace on vibes alongside Joe's off-beat piano. Both LPs are darn tough to find on vinyl, and between the two of them, the set includes "Mi China", "Bon Bon", "Loco Chris", "Jamaquino", and "Pete Mambos On The Terrace". CD

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ PleasureFuture Now ... CD
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1979. New Copy ... $11.99
A wonderful album from Pleasure – a group who were already great before, but who really seem to hit a great new level with this late 70s classic! Pleasure started out as a sweet jazz/funk combo with a great edge to their music – but by the time of this set, they'd actually gotten even tighter and better – but all without losing their depth at all! Most of the group's contemporaries just got slick and commercial – but instead, Pleasure found a way to hone their skills wonderfully – and take on some new spacey and electric touches in the process – definitely pointing towards the funky future promised in the title. The set's filled with some of the funkiest and most soulful moments of the group's career – including "Space is the Place", which has great funky drums on the intro; the mellow "Thoughts of Old Flames", a real stunner with a great moody feel; and the classic "Glide", a great dancefloor groover that still stands up well. Other tracks are all great too – and include "Universal", "Strong Love", "Nothin To It", and "Dedication To The Past". CD
Also available Future Now ... LP 4.99

Close matches11
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Larry WilliamsThat Larry Williams – The Resurrection Of Funk ... CD
Fantasy/Dusty Groove, 1978. New Copy ... $8.99 12.98
A rare funk album from west coast legend Larry Williams – very different than his heavy R&B of the late 50s, or the brief soul comeback he had with Johnny Guitar Watson in the 60s – and instead a heavy groover with a trippy Cali sound! The record's got a sharp groove right from the start – a vibe that's a bit similar to some of the best Johnny Watson funk of the period – a slight jazzy undercurrent in the instrumentation, with wicked guitar and keyboard bits dancing around each other in the rhythms – often mixed with vocals that have a cool sort of electric feel, and topped with some great horn work from Fred Wesley on trombone and Maceo Parker on alto sax! Rudy Copeland plays keyboards on the album alongside Williams, the the set's got a bit of the feel of Rudy's lost Funky Blindman set – and in a way, also echoes the best strutting, sexy modes of Bootsy Collins too. The album's a surprising gem all the way through – a real lost chapter in Larry's career, and the kind of set that might have broken bigger, had he not died mysteriously a few years later. Titles include "Funky Force", "The Resurrection Of Funk", "One Thing Or The Other", "ATS Express", "How Can I Believe", and "Can't Dance To The Music (If It Ain't Got Funky Rhythm)". CD
(On the Dusty Groove label.)

Close matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Cannonball AdderleyLove, Sex, And The Zodiac ... CD
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1974. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A classic from Cannoball and producer-partner David Axelrod – truly great stuff and maybe even better than the Zodiac set Cannonball did for Capitol! The formula is similar to that one – with David Axelrod producing, electric keyboards by Hal Galper and George Duke, spacey solos by Cannonball and Nat Adderley, and some very hip recitations by Rick Holmes on love, sex, and the zodiac! Holmes is best known as the chappie who cut "Remember To Remember" years later with Roy Ayers – but this album's got a similar "wisdom and knowledge" feel that's pretty wonderful. Titles include "Aquarius: Humanity Plus", "Cancer: All Sides", "Leo: Rosebud", "Aries: Damn Right", "Gemini: Ecstasy", and "Virgo: For Pam". CD

Close matches13
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✨✧ Bunny Lion (Puddy Roots)Red ... CD
Starlight/Fantasy Memory, 1979. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Rare work from Bunny Lion – aka Puddy Roots, a crucially overlooked reggae vocalist of the time! The rhythms here all come from Linval Thompson tracks – and the set was licensed by Linval himself – but the real attraction is the vocals, which have these cool, compelling ways of arching up and down over the grooves – almost more London extrapolation than pure Jamaican roots, but we mean that in the best way possible! The album was briefly issues on the London label Starlight, but gets its first appearance here with real credit to Puddy – on tracks that include "Rat Trap", "Bubbling Dub", "Bunny Lion At The Control", "Natty Rise & Shine", "Ilie", "Go Rockers", and "Heart & Soul". CD
Also available Red (with bonus download) ... LP 16.99

Close matches14
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✨✧ Dave PikeBossa Nova Carnival/Limbo Carnival ... CD
New Jazz/Fantasy (Germany), 1962. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A pair of killers from Dave Pike – early work in a tremendous career in music! First up is Bossa Nova Carnival – a sublime set of bossa nova numbers, all written by the bossa pianist Joao Donato! Joao doesn't actually play on the record, but his compositions here are enough – as they help Pike find a new sense of space and pulse in his music – rhythms that really unlock his vibes towards their grooviest ends for the first time ever on record. Most numbers are heavily modal – a great mix with the bossa setting – and the album also features key work from Clark Terry on flugelhorn, Kenny Burrell on guitar, and Chris White on bass – whose loping lines really help shape the overall sound of the record. Also features lots of nice percussion – and titles include "Ginha", "Samba Lero", "Sono", "Carnival Samba", "Sausalito", and "Melvalita". Limbo Carnival isn't some early 60s gimmick session, designed to cash in on a dance craze – and instead, it's a wonderful early Latin set from the great vibist Dave Pike! In fact, given the strength of the grooves here, it would be plenty darn hard to do any limbo action to this one – because the rhythms are bouncy, modal, and very very groovy – served up by Pike on vibes, in a lineup that includes Ray Barretto on conga, Ahmed Abdul-Malik on bass, and Leo Wright on flute and alto – plus a few other straight jazz players like Jimmy Raney on guitar and Tommy Flanagan on piano. Tracks include "Mambo Bounce", "Matilda", "Cattin Latin", "St. Thomas", and a strange groovy version of "La Bamba". CD

Close matches15
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✨✧ Side EffectWhat You Need ... CD
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1976. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Quite possibly the greatest album ever from Side Effect – a wonderful set that mixes their soulful harmonies with some killer jazz funk from Wayne Henderson! The album may be the most perfect realization of the groove that Henderson was going for during his At Home Productions years – lots of funky fusion in the instrumentation, but all directed towards a tighter, more soul-based style – that perfect contribution that Fantasy Records made to the world in the 70s – after labels like Blue Note and Columbia first started setting things down. Whatever the chronology, though, this set's a standout no matter how you slice it – damn catchy tunes, incredible vocals, and a set of rhythms that are every bit as hip today as they were back when first recorded – really genre-defining grooves that you'll definitely recognize in the album's classics "Always There" and "Keep That Same Old Feeling" – and will go on to love in the cuts "Life Is What You Make It", "Changes", "I Know You Can", "SOS", "Time Has No Ending", "Finally Found Someone", and "Honky Tonk Scat". CD

Close matches16
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✨✧ Cal TjaderAgua Dulce ... CD
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1971. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
One of our favorite Cal Tjader albums ever – and one of the first to have his vibes working alongside Fender Rhodes! The record's a surprising little set from the start of the 70s – one that almost has Cal picking up some of the New York sounds of a few years before, then mixing them up with a hipper west coast electric style in the end – a Fantasy Records vibe that meshes together a few different modes, and comes up with a rich new style in the process! There's a bit of vocals on the set – somewhat unusual for Cal Tjader, and often used to augment the soulfully snapping grooves of the best tunes – but even more amazing is the heavy use of Fender Rhodes, played here by the amazing Al Zulaica, who's work on the album really ranks right up there with the best early 70s keyboardists on the coast! Zulaica's piano is amazing next to Cal's warmly chromatic vibes – and other instrumentation includes saxes from Bill Perkins, flute from Mel Martin, trumpet from Luis Gasca, moog from Rita Dowling, and percussion from both Pete and Coke Escovedo. Titles include the killer "Aqua Dulce (Cool-Ade)", a fantastic version of "Gimme Shelter", a sublime of Clare Fischer's "Morning", and the cuts "Ran Kan Kan", "Descarga Cubana", "Curacao", and "Somewhere In The Night". CD

Close matches17
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✨✧ BlackbyrdsFlying Start ... CD
Fantasy (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Not the band's first album – as you might think from the "start" in the title – but a classic batch of jazzy, funky, and soulful grooves from The Blackbyrds – one of those combos that few groups could match back in the 70s! The set's got a beautifully put-together feel – tight enough to crossover somewhat big with a larger audience than the group's previous effort – but still filled with the kind of righteous energy that first got them going, a sublime mix of jazzy rhythms and soulful elements, all held together tightly by production from Donald Byrd. Tracks include the big hit "Walking In Rhythm", which was an oft-spun 45 back in the day – plus some great funk moments, like the tasty "Spaced Out", the choppy "The Baby", and the captivating "Blackbyrds Theme". Other cuts include "Future Children Future Hopes", "I Need You", and "April Showers". CD
Also available
Flying Start ... LP 15.99
Flying Start ... LP 5.99

Close matches18
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✨✧ BlackbyrdsWalking In Rhythm – The Essential Selection 1973 to 1980 ... CD
Fantasy/Decision, 1970s. New Copy 2 CDs ... Out Of Stock
Some of the sharpest, jazziest funk you'll ever hope to hear – a smoking collection of the legendary 70s work by The Blackbyrds on Fantasy Records! The group started as a jazz combo under Donald Byrd's supervision – right at a time when Byrd was making his own fantastic funky records in the 70s – but working for the Bay Area Fantasy label, they really took off into an amazing groove that was all their own – still informed by jazz, but free to open up to lots of funk and soul elements too – sometimes with vocals in the lead, sometimes more focus on the kinds of solos that always set them apart from all their contemporaries! The cuts have some wonderful keyboard work from a young Kevin Toney – who's gone onto a lot of fame over the years – and production on all cuts is either by Larry Mizell, Donald Byrd, or George Duke – key 70s jazz funk forces who keep things mighty tight in the studio! The package features work from all Blackbyrds albums of the 70s – including the Cornbread Earl & Me soundtrack, and the Night Grooves remix set – and the package features 25 titles that include "Enter In", "Party Land", "Do It Fluid", "Gut Level", "Summer Love", "I Need You", "The Baby", "Blackbyrds' Theme", "City Life", "Rock Creek Park", "Walking In Rhythm", "A Hot Day Today", "Wilford's Gone", "One Gun Salute", "Supernatural Feeling", "Mysterious Vibes", and "Soft & Easy". CD

Close matches19
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✨✧ PleasureGlide – The Essential Selection 1975 to 1982 ... CD
Fantasy/Decision, 1970s/Early 80s. New Copy 2 CDs ... Out Of Stock
A jazzy combo with a heart of soul – and a group who may well be one of our favorite funk groups from the 70s! Pleasure has an amazing way of being tight, yet never slick or commercial – a sound that's right on the money, but far from the mainstream too – which has kept them at the top of the stacks for crate-diggers and rare groove collectors for years! This sweet double-length package is a very well-chosen set of their gems for Fantasy records, and a few later tracks for RCA – a really expansive look at all that's great about the group – with classics mixed with overlooked album cuts and some great funky numbers you might have missed otherwise. Nearly everything Pleasure ever cut is fantastic, but this set is even more fantastic than the rest – and features 25 titles that include "Bouncy Lady", "Dust Yourself Off", "Joyous", "Ghettos Of The Mind", "Only You", "Sassafras Girl", "Glide", "Farewell Goodbye", "Special Things", "Thoughts Of Old Flames", "Give It Up", "Sending My Love", "Stone Love", "Glide (special disco rmx)", "Space Is The Place", "Living Without You", "Let's Dance", and a previously unreleased "Foxy Lady (disco version)". CD

Close matches20
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✨✧ PleasureSpecial Things ... CD
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1980. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A really special thing from Pleasure – a set that has the group sounding sharper and tighter than ever – with a lean funky groove that's just right for stepping into the 80s! Things are never too slick or commercial – and the core funk combo energy of Pleasure still really comes through strongly – but the guitars and keyboards get even more play than before, following strongly from the vibe of the Future Now album, and it's great mix of mellow steppers and snapping groovers! Pleasure are still very much at the top of their game – with a quality that's way higher than so many other groups who'd been copping their sound for the past few years – as you'll hear on tracks that include "Take A Chance", "Yearnin Burnin", "Law Of The Raw", "You Are My Star", "Spread That Feelin", and "Now You Choose Me". CD

Close matches21
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✨✧ SylvesterSylvester/Step II ... CD
Fantasy/Southbound (UK), 1977/1978. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A massive double-header – one that features the first two Sylvester albums for Fantasy Records! First up is the self-titled Sylvester – a reworking of his older groove into one that we love more than any other that he ever used – a smooth modern soul style, not really disco, but with a driving approach that would certainly have worked well in the clubs! You gotta give Syl credit here – as it would have been easy for him to turn up the camp a lot in the 1977 disco days – but instead he's sticking strong to his soul impulses, and has come up with a wonderful album of tracks that's like the first Luther album – one that you can enjoy whatever your take on the man, without any introduction to his person or persona. Of course, a big part of the credit also goes to Harvey Fuqua – who's reemerged here from his years at RCA to produce the record – showing his always strong ability to seek out new talent, and bring out the best in them. Titles include "I Tried To Forget You", "Tipsong", "I Been Down", "Loving Grows Up Slow", "Never Too Late", and "Over & Over". Step II is probably Sylvester's biggest album for Fantasy – and for good reason too! The set pushes onto the dancefloor a bit more than before – often with some slight keyboard touches that hint at the Patrick Cowley years, but with none of the coldness of those records at all. The great Harvey Fuqua's producing here with Syl, and the sound is rich and bold – an even more prideful statement than Sylvester's first album on Fantasy. Two Tons Of Fun deliver some great backup vocals, and Cowley lays down a bit of keyboards – and titles include the all-time disco classic "You Make Me Feel Mighty Real", plus "Dance (Disco Heat)", "Just You & Me Forever", "Grateful", and "I Took My Strength From You". CD
 
Possible matches: 67
Possible matches22
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Jan AkkermanTabernakel ... CD
Atco (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $13.99
Guitarist Jan Akkerman bridges many worlds here – deftly stepping between spare acoustic guitar modes and some much more dynamic electric ones – but all with a sense of care and vision that really makes the record come together! The set begins with a few themes from John Dowland, updated by Akkerman, but still played with an ancient sort of vibe – one that leads into some very cool fusion moments that mix centuries-old aesthetics with the modern – creating a sense of anachronism that really keeps things interesting. Gene Orloff handled some of the larger arrangements, but the focus is always on Akkerman's deft work on the guitar – and titles include "Britannia", "House Of The King", "Javeh", "Lammy", and "A Fantasy". CD

Possible matches23
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Ray Camacho BandReach Out ... CD
Creole Stream (Japan), Early 80s. New Copy ... $22.99
Brilliant brown-eyed soul from Ray Camacho – an artist who was previously known for more border-styled work with his Teardrops band, but who steps out here with a surprisingly great blend of electric jazz and boogie! The approach is wonderful – a real re-direction of Ray's earlier groove into even more soulful territory – handled with that unique fusion that was happening in just a few of the best Texas spots, like the scene in Austin at the time. The album's equal parts soul and funk, but still has a few Latin roots too – and had this gem come out on Fantasy Records at the time, it would have pushed Ray and group into much headier territory. But we're also happy the set's been undiscovered for so many years (consider it our little secret) – and titles include "Reach Out", "Diggin Deep", "Shake What You Got", "Nobody But You", "Nothing But A Party", and "What A Day". CD

Possible matches24
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Michael CochraneDiscovery ... CD
Steeplechase (Denmark), 2014. New Copy ... $15.99 18.98
Wonderfully warm work from the great Michael Cochrane – a pianist we always love, and who also seems to be playing a bit of Fender Rhodes on this album too! The instrument's not credited on the back, but turns up in an excellent version of Denny Zeitlin's "Quiet Now" – which is handled by Cochrane with just the right sort of space and tone to really open up the composition – in a way that's very different from the bolder, more soulful tones the pianist uses throughout the rest of the album. As always with a record from Michael, the original tunes are some of the best – and include "Discovery", "MC's Bossa", "Erie Blues", and "Fantasy" – all the kind of numbers that always have us digging for his records whenever we get the chance. Other tunes include "Oblivion", "Yesterdays", and "Visitation" – and the trio includes Daryl Johns on bass and Steve Johns on drums. CD

Possible matches25
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Courtial with Errol KnowlesDon't You Think It's Time (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Pipeline/Shout (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $19.99
A rare bit of Cali soul – and a lot groovier than you'd guess from the cover! The music is rich in jazzy inflections – funky fusion used behind the lead vocals of Errol Knowles, in a blend that's quite similar to the best Bay Area funk of the time – particularly some of the grooves coming from the Fantasy Records scene! Guitars are great – played by Bill Courtial with lots of snakey, angular lines that really emphasize the groove – and other instrumentation includes keyboards and some mighty sweet percussion. Titles include "Losing You", "Love Nevermore", "Corn On The Cob/Time", "Don't You Think It's Time", "Time To Explain", and "Poem For Helen". CD

Possible matches26
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Art FarmerArt Farmer Quintet At Boomers Vol 2 ... CD
East Wind/Universal (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $13.99
One of the greatest Art Farmer recordings of the 70s – an especially sharp-edged performance, thanks to the presence of Clifford Jordan in the group! The album was recorded live at Boomer's nightclub in New York – and all tracks have a long-flowing, open ended quality – a bit like some of the work that Jordan was recording under his own name at the time, but touches with more of Farmer's warmth. The lineup includes a Jordan's familiar musical trio of Cedar Walton on piano, Sam Jones on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums – all of whom sparkle nicely in this setting – and titles include "Fantasy In D", "Manha De Carnaval", "Blues For Amos", and "What's New". CD

Possible matches27
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Maynard FergusonPrimal Scream/New Vintage/Carnival ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1976/1977/1978. New Copy 2CD ... $16.99
A trio of heavy-hitters from hornman Maynard Ferguson – all served up in one sweet set! Primal Scream is one of the funkiest records ever from Ferguson – the climax of a great run of bigger group grooves in the 70s! The record's a tight batch of groovers, with production and keyboards by Bob James – and the whole thing's a mixture of big band funk and electronics that's simply out of this world! Side one kicks off with two massive numbers – the Arp-heavy "Cheshire Cat Walk", and the Kool & The Gang-ish "Primal Scream" – and both cuts are quite long, with loads of cool instrumental effects. Side two is a bit softer, but it does include a long keyboard groover called "Swamp". On New Vintage, Maynard really grooves it – playing with a group that's even larger than some of his early 70s funk sessions, in a style that's got traces of disco and R&B-styled fusion! The set was arranged, conducted, and produced by Jay Chataway – who's going for a nice smooth mode on most of the cuts, almost in the slick manner of some late 70s cop show soundtrack. Tracks are a bit longer than usual, with more room for the groove, and titles include the originals "Oasis" and "El Vuelvo", a surprisingly nice disco take on "Maria", and the cuts "Airegin" and "Star Wars". Carnival is a cool cooker from Maynard Ferguson – and a set that has all the upbeat tones you'd expect from the title, but lots of funky currents underneath! The set really sparkles right from the start – and has that sweet vibe that Maynard was really getting perfect on these late 70s records for Columbia – jazzy fusion that's tight, but never too uptight – with lots of room for sweet solos from the leader himself, plus Bill Hannon on moog, John Qdini on guitar, Eric Traub on tenor, and Mike Migliore on alto. Titles include a famous working of Earth Wind & Fier's "Fantasy" – plus "Battlestar Galactica", "MF Carnival", "Baker Street", "Birdland", "How Ya Doin Baby", and "Stella By Starlight". CD

Possible matches28
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Five StairstepsFive Stairsteps – The Complete Curtis Mayfield Years (Five Stairsteps (Windy C)/Love's Happening) (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
Outta Sight (UK), Late 60s. New Copy ... $16.99
A pair of killer albums from The Five Stairsteps – 1967's self-titled set for Windy C – plus '68's Love's Happening by The Five Stairsteps & Cubie – together with bonus track on this great set from Outta Sight UK! The Five Stairsteps album is a landmark batch of sweet soul – recorded by the still youthful group that included a 13 year old Kenny Burke! The kids were brought together by their parents Clarence and Betty Burke, but it was Curtis Mayfield who really gave them a push – as he discovered them, produced them, and wrote some excellent songs for them during their best early years. Mayfield's sweet soul style forged with The Impressions runs through most of these tracks – and although the group is young, they really do a fantastic job with the material, and infuse it with a soulfulness way past their years. Titles include "Danger She's A Stranger", "World Of Fantasy", "Ooh Baby Baby", "Don't Waste Your Time", and "Behind Curtains". Love's Happening might be the best record ever by this Chicago soul group! The record's got a full batch of original tracks written and produced by Mayfield – including their amazing, funk steeped version of "Don't Change Your Love", with a breakbeat that lit up the sampler culture for years! That raw drum sound is in effect on even the more delicate numbers, and the lead vocals and harmonies soar or sink deep to the soul, as the groove demands. There's also some kind of tripped out touches in the production in spots, making for a nice balance of sweet soul and leftfield touches. Kind of an underappreciated effort in the grand scheme of Curtis Mayfield productions, but wholly essential! Other titles include "Stay Close To Me", "New Dance Craze", "Baby, Make Me Feel So Good", and "Little Young Lover". 5 bonus singles in the set: "Ain't Gonna Rest (Til I Get You)", "You Can't See", "Change Of Pace", "Madame Mary" and "We Must Be In Love". CD

Possible matches29
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David FriedmanFutures Passed ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $13.99
One of the coolest, grooviest albums we've ever heard from vibist Dave Friedman – a set that really lives up to the promise we sometimes expect from other records of his, but never find this clearly! Friedman plays both marimba and vibes – the latter with this bold, chromatic quality that comes through even in gentle moments – a bit like Gary Burton, but turned towards much more varied ends here – as the songs really shift in mood and approach, keeping things fresh throughout! Vocalist Rimona Francis lends her lovely wordless singing style to about half the album's tracks – but in a way that's more like an instrument than a conventional jazz singer – and the group also features surprisingly great acoustic piano work from Pat Rebillot (who we mostly know from keyboard sessions), plus Harvie Swartz on bass and Bruce Ditmas on drums. Titles include "Rachel's Samba", "Rodney's Dream Of Fantasy & Self Fullfilment", "Three Pieces", "Trinkle Trinkle", and "A Smile On The Face Of Mourning". CD

Possible matches30
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Red GarlandSwingin On The Korner – Live At Keystone Korner ... CD
Resonance, 1977. New Copy 2CD ... $22.99 24.99
Never-heard music from pianist Red Garland – working here with a unique trio that features Leroy Vinnegar on bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums – a lineup that only existed for this one set of performances from 1977! The material is great – maybe better than most Garland albums issued at the time – and the tracks were recorded with great care at the Keystone Korner club in San Francisco – at a level that's similar to the best Fantasy Records live dates from the venue, which were often like this album – a great chance for the artist to really stretch out and do something new! Garland still has that fluid, lyrical sensibility we love in his famous 50s sides – but there's also a much richer, more sophisticated approach to the piano as well – an even deeper sense of tonal color that comes through on the album's long tracks. Jones is great too – increasingly complex during these years, as you'd hear on his own recordings – and a great accompaniment to Red's new modes of expression. The whole thing presents 150 minutes of unreleased music, plus some great notes and photos too – and titles include "Love For Sale", "Billy Boy", "Blues In Bebop", "On Green Dolphin Street", "Dear Old Stockholm", "Bag's Groove", "On A Clear Day", "Straight No Chaser", "Autumn Leaves", and even a version of "The Christmas Song" (since the material was recorded a few weeks before Christmas!) CD
Also available Swingin On The Korner – Live At Keystone Korner (3LP set) ... LP 36.99

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Lallo GoriLa Lupa Mannara (Legend Of The Wolfman) ... CD
Quartet (Spain), 1976. New Copy ... $22.99
One of the latest soundtracks we've ever seen from Lallo Gori – an Italian composer we know best for some groovy work in the 60s – turning his talents here to an obscure film about a female werewolf! The music has this really cool approach – a bit of the usual horror, but often mixed with these exotic elements that can create almost a fantasy vibe – through some electronic passages that are especially dream-like, or some more acoustic, organic elements that seem to unlock the beast! There's even a few slightly groovy passages that are a really nice surprise – and which stand here as the real icing on the cake – and the CD features a total of 21 tracks in all, on this very limited pressing. CD
(Limited edition of 500 copies.)

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Alejandro Jodorowsky/Adan JodorowskyDance Of Reality ... CD
Abkco/Real Gone, 2013. New Copy ... $11.99
Beautiful soundtrack material for the last film ever from Alejandro Jodorowsky – composed and performed by his son Adan – aka Adanowsky – in a style that's surprisingly sensitive, and wonderfully thoughtful throughout! The movie is a fantasy autobiography from the legendary filmmaker – and Adan scores the music at a level that takes us back to some of our favorite French soundtracks of the 60s and 70s – sentimental, but never soppy – carefully emotive, yet never overdone – with a haunting blend of keyboards, piano, and light strings – all used in very focused ways, on melodies that range somewhere between the furniture music of Satie, and the whimsical themes of Nino Rota. First-ever release of the soundtrack – with titles that include "Los Mineros", "Bucefalo", "Jose", "Bodisua", "The Midget", "God Doesn't Exist", and "The Clowns". CD
Also available Dance Of Reality ... LP 22.99

Possible matches33
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King YorubaSunlightsquare ... CD
Sunlightsquare (UK), 2014. New Copy ... $16.99
Way more than just the usual Afro Funk sounds – as King Yoruba mix together a trans-Atlantic blend of styles that includes Latin elements, jazzy bits, and even some 70s soundtrack elements – all wrapped up in a tapestry of grooves that are heavy on acoustic percussion and electric keyboards, given a lot of spontaneous energy by jazzy horns! The set was recorded in both Havana and London, and really has that feel – almost like some of the best Gilles Peterson/Brownswood projects from Cuba – but maybe even jazzier. Titles include "Orula", "Ochosi", "Never Go Die-O", "Ogguere", "Breakin Down", and "Fantasy". CD

Possible matches34
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MadagascarSpirit Of The Street ... CD
Arista/FTG, 1981. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
An overlooked gem from that great early stretch when Arista was leading the pack when it came to jazzy, sophisticated funk – really hitting hard with groups like Breakwater and Locksmith, and also giving us this sweet little set from Madagascar! The group may not be that well-known by name, but they've got some very famous help on sax and vocals – a young Gerald Albright – plus other singers Marva King, John Barnes, and Sharon Barnes! Things are funky, but never over the top – less an ensemble funk style than a jazz funk groove – kind of a maturation of the 70s Kudu Records mode, taken into some nice lean territory for the 80s! The groove is very upbeat and positive – a lot like the best Fantasy Records styles a few years before – and titles include "Dance Spirit Dance", "International Jamboree", "Pay Attention", "This is When It Counts", "Thank You For Our Song", and "Here Today Gone Tomorrow". CD

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Mr PresidentHips Shaking (with bonus track) ... CD
Favorite (France), 2014. New Copy ... $16.99
The coolest work we've heard so far from this Patchworks side project – a record that fuses together equal parts 70s jazz, funk, and soul – with just the right smattering of global influences as well! There's a tightness to the set that we really love – careful instrumentation and production that make the whole thing feel like a Fantasy Records jazz funk project that might have happened down in Rio or Lagos – with slight Afro or Brazilian elements sifting in next to a core groove that comes from really classic basslines, keyboards, and drums! There's some vocals on a few tracks – mostly chorus-type that flow along with the grooves – and tracks include "City Rocking", "Candyman", "Hips Shaking", "Gimme All What You Got", "South Street Walk", "I Get So Crazy", and a surprisingly great cover of "I Can't Go For That". CD includes the bonus track "Give My Love". CD

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Greg MurphyBlues For Miles ... CD
Jazzintensity, 2014. New Copy ... $9.99
A really different album from pianist Greg Murphy – an artist we know mostly for his work with Rashied Ali during his later years! This set's not what you might expect from the Blues For Miles title – hardly a recap of Davis' music, or his ideas at all – and instead comes across as a warmly lyrical session that shows a whole new side of Murphy's talents! The pianist is working here with a lineup that also includes Josh Evans on trumpet and Ben Solomon on tenor, plus some occasional percussion from Raphael Cruz next to the piano, bass, and drums – elements that brings these nice rhythmic changes to the music that are almost more Cedar Walton-like than Miles – especially given Murphy's bright, soulful lines on piano – which have an especially great way of cascading along on the album's original compositions. These are the real standouts, as Greg's a hell of a writer – and titles include "Blues For Miles", "Half Fulton", "Nancy's Fantasy", "Hat Trick", "Free Han Solo", and "Split Second". CD
Also available Blues For Miles ... CD 7.99

Possible matches37
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Gene PageLovelock ... CD
Atlantic (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $13.99
Gene Page at the height of his 70s powers – using all the talents he forged as a background artist for other soul talents, and all the majesty he added to his soundtrack work – all focused nicely into a sweet set of warmly soulful grooves! The style's a bit clubby, but also has some wider depth too – maybe an undercurrent of fusion that comes from players like Lee Ritenour and David T Walker on guitar, Joe Sample and Sonny Burke on keyboards, and Oscar Brasher on trumpet – who find a way to work wonderfully alongside the albums vocals from singers Merry Clayton, Edna Wright, and Jim Gilstrap – all with a style that's not unlike some of the best Quincy Jones material of the time! As with Quincy, there's a sense of care and confidence that really holds the album together – on titles that include "Higher My Love", "Organ Grinder", "Into My Thing", "Wild Cherry", "Fantasy Woman", "Straw In the Wind", and "Together Whatever". CD

Possible matches38
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Jaco PastoriusJaco Pastorius Anthology – The Warner Brothers Years ... CD
Warner/Rhino, Early 80s. New Copy 2CD ... $18.99 19.98
Stunning work from bassist Jaco Pastorius – a player who'd already wowed audiences with his seminal 70s sides with Weather Report, and on his own – but an artist who really finds a way to grow even more on these early 80s sessions for Warner Brothers! Pastorious continues to push the electric bass into so many different spaces – from fast rhythmic riffs, almost like a drum – to spare, ethereal lines that have a very evocative quality – to meloic pulses that make Jaco as important to his generation as Jimmy Blanton was to a previous era. Many numbers here feature largeish lineups – with musicians who include Michael Brecker, Wayne Shorter, and Bob Mintzer on tenor; Hubert Laws on flute, Peter Erskine on drums, Don Alias on percussion, Toots Thielemans on percussion, and Randy Brecker on trumpet – and titles include a previously unreleased version of "Donna Lee" – plus songs recorded with other artists – "Nativity" with Airto, and "Mood Swings" with Mike Stern – as well as Jaco material from the albums Word Of Mouth, Birthday Concert, and Word Of Mouth Big Band Live in Japan. Titles include "Okonkole Y Trompa", "Sophisticated Lady", "Fannie Mae", "Amerika", "Reza", "Punk Jazz", "Domingo", "Invitation", and "Chromatic Fantasy". CD

Possible matches39
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Plunky & OnenessNever Too Late ... CD
Name Brand Records, 2014. New Copy ... $7.99
One of the deeper albums we've heard from Plunky in awhile – a set that's still got some of the smoother jazzy styles of his past decade or two, but one that also seems to offer a lot of input from a younger, fresher generation too! The "Oneness" on the cover is well-put – as the whole thing almost seems to be a Neo Soul reworking of his older Oneness Of Juju material from the late 70s/early 80s – that point when Plunky took his spiritual jazz modes, and forged them with a bit more of a dancefloor groove – a style that echoes all the older Oneness elements, but with a more contemporary vibe overall. Titles include the original numbers "Be About The Future", "Never Too Late", "A New Fantasy", "Space Jungle Love", "Sax Afrique", "Tableau Noir", and "Tribal Vibe". CD

Possible matches40
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Dieter ReithDie Kette ... CD
MPS/Show Up (Germany), 1978. New Copy ... $15.99
Really rare work from Dieter Reith – the 70s keyboard giant who was such a big part of the electric scene at the MPS label in Germany – stepping out here in an obscure soundtrack done for TV! Reith plays Fender Rhodes, Arp, and lots of other keyboards too – and works with his Tender Aggression group, who'd cut some club singles at the time – but who have a much more fleshed-out vibe here! The music is heavy on keyboard lines and funky undercurrents – a bit like some of Henry Mancini's best Rhodes soundtracks of the time – and a few cuts bring in some slight disco elements, although usually in subtle ways – and more in a funky fusion style, as you'd hear on MPS or Kudu Records. Some tracks are quite long – especially for a soundtrack – and the group also features the great Wilton Bogey Gaynair on flute and Ack Van Rooyen on flugelhorn. Titles include the sweet sample cut "Uschi", plus "Love & Fantasy", "Beams", "Transmitter", "Pace Maker", and "Lift Off". CD
Also available Die Kette ... CD 10.99

Possible matches41
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Ritchie FamilyAll Night All Right ... CD
RCA/PTG (Netherlands), 1983. New Copy ... $18.99
Sweet dancefloor soul from an early 80s line-up of The Ritchie Family – this one featuring Linda James, Jacqui Smith-Lee and Vera Brown – going All Night All Right on a strong batch of synth flavored grooves! The bigger hits of the commercial disco boom were well behind them by this point, but their sound is updated incredibly well here – smartly not going overboard with too much synth, and letting the the vocal trio lead the vibe. Lots of funky bass in in the mix, and the songs are solid – with titles that include "Real Love", "Stop And Think", "All Night All Right". "I Wanna Be Yours", "Live It Up", "Fantasy", "Cold Winds" and "Lost In Your Love". CD
 
 
 



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