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Exact matches: 3
Exact matches1
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Aquarian DreamFantasy/Chance To Dance ... CD
Elektra/Expansion (UK), 1977/1978. New Copy ... $16.99
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 matches2
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 ... $11.99
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 matches3
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
 
Close matches: 15
Close matches4
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
Also available Big Man ... LP 11.99

Close matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Cannonball AdderleyLove, Sex, And The Zodiac ... CD
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1974. New Copy ... $11.99
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 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
Bunny Lion (Puddy Roots)Red ... CD
Starlight/Fantasy Memory, 1979. New Copy ... $12.99 15.98
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 matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Vince GuaraldiBoy Named Charlie Brown – Original TV Soundtrack (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Fantasy, 1964. New Copy ... $7.99 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
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Dave PikeBossa Nova Carnival/Limbo Carnival ... CD
New Jazz/Fantasy (Germany), 1962. New Copy ... $13.99 18.98
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 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

Close matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Cal TjaderAgua Dulce ... CD
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1971. New Copy ... $11.99
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 matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
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 matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Joe LocoLoco Motion ... CD
Fantasy, 1961. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
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 matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Side EffectWhat You Need ... CD
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1976. New Copy ... 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 matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ 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 matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ David Axelrod & OthersAxelrod Chronicles ... CD
Fantasy, Early 70s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
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 matches17
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ 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 matches18
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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
 
 
 



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