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Exact matches: 8
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
Lester Bowie's Brass FantasySerious Fun ... CD
DIW (Japan), 1989. New Copy ... $16.99 24.99
One of our favorite albums from Lester Bowie's big solo run of the 80s – and a set that has some of the more dynamic energy of his Brass Fantasy group, but maybe also a bit more depth as well! The album's part of a handful that the Art Ensemble Of Chicago did with the DIW label at the time – and the AEOC production maybe gives the record a slightly more serious sound – even though the group still take on material from James Brown, Sade, and EU! Yet there's also two Billie Holiday tributes that are surprisingly powerful, and a stunning version of Roland Kirk's "The Inflated Tear" – with a strong trombone solo from Steve Turre, who worked with Kirk in later years, and always championed his work. The lineup features Bowie, Stanton Davis, EJ Allen, and Gerald Brezel on trumpets; Turre and Frank Lacy on trombones; Vincent Chancey on French horn; and Bob Stewart on tuba – plus drums and percussion from Don Moye, Ken Cruchfield, and Vinnie Johnson. Titles include "Inflated Tear", "Smooth Operator", "Strange Fruit", "Don't Worry Be Happy", "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag", and "Da Butt". CD

Exact matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Daniel GrauDisco Fantasy ... CD
Oom Dooby Dochas/Sonar Kollektiv (Germany), 1979. New Copy ... $14.99
Sweet clubby sounds from a very obscure source – the mighty Daniel Grau, an artist who was working on the Venezuelan scene at the end of the 70s – and hardly ever got the exposure of American or European disco artists at the time! The album's way more than a fantasy – as Grau is right on the money, right from the start – able to spin out these beautifully tight, funky grooves that are awash in warm keyboards, riffing guitar, and lots of romping rhythms at the bottom – a groove that almost reminds us of Cerrone or some of his French contemporaries of the period, but a bit warmer overall – touched with this more intimate approach that really makes the music great – and sounds a lot different than some of the more commercial strains of disco from the period. Titles include "Sonido Magico", "Atlantis", "Doopey", "Dulce Armonia", "Swing Rock", "Guitarra Y Amor", and "Disco Fantasy". CD
Also available Disco Fantasy ... LP 23.99

Exact matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Bernard HerrmannFantasy Film World Of Bernard Herrmann ... CD
El (UK), Late 40s/1950s. New Copy ... $13.99
Most folks know Bernard Herrmann for his famous moody soundtracks for Alfred Hitchcock, or his late life genius on the Taxi Driver score – but Herrmann also had a great ear for more fantastic styles, too – and could turn his dark orchestrations into other cool spacey and watery styles too! This collection brings together the best of that music – work that had an undeniable impact on some of the Italian exotic scoring of the late 50s and early 60s, and which also has a bit more intimacy and character than the American soundtracks for bigger, more epic productions. CD features a total of 31 tracks, with a number of selections each from the films The Day The Earth Stood Still, 7th Voyage Of Sinbad, Ghost & Mrs Muir, Beneath The 12 Mile Reef, and Journey To The Center Of The Earth. CD

Exact matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
VariousDisco Fantasy – Songs Inspired By Stage, Screen, & Superheroes ... CD
Essential, Late 70s. New Copy ... $11.99 14.99
Some of the most playful tracks of the disco generation – songs that draw a heavy inspiration from film and TV – sometimes by offering up clubby covers of the original versions, sometimes by taking off in great new directions of their own! There's a decidedly camp vibe to the set – as some older themes are updated with disco rhythms and soaring strings – or other tracks take off into the "fantasy" territory of the title, by bringing a strong 70s vibe to subjects that you might not expect. Our all-time favorite cut here is the wonderful "Superman" by Celi Bee & The Buzzy Bunch – and other cuts include "Night Fever" by Carol Douglas, "Star Wars" by Boris Midney, "Star Trek (ext)" by Shufflin Tymes, "The Entertainer" by JR Bailey, "Love Boat" by Jack Jones, "Theme From Swat" by Inner City Symphony, "More" by Carol Williams, "Don't Cry For Me Argentina (12" mix)" by Festival, and "Secret Agent Man (ext mix)" by Ultimate. CD

Exact matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Bruch/Bach/Mozart/Prokifieff/Debussy/GershwinHeifetz On Television – Scottish Fantasy Op 46– Heifetz/Sargent/New Symphony Orchestra Of London ... CD
RCA (Japan), 1970. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Legendary violinist Jascha Heifetz performs here on a TV special for NBC – but don't expect the music to be too simplistic or commercial – because the set is a real standout in the later years of Heifetz on record! The performances are beautifully recorded – especially the initial solo on Bach's "Chaconne" from Partita No 2, and the selections of "Rondo" by Mozart, "March" by Prokifieff, "La Fille Aux Cheveaux De Lin" by Debussy, and "It Ain't Necessarily So" by Gershwin – all done as duets with pianist Brooks Smith, recorded at ORTF in Paris. Side two features Heifetz revisiting Bruch's "Scottish Fantasy" with the New Symphony Orchestra Of London, conducted by Malcolm Sargent – a full reading from an earlier date, presented here – in contrast to the abbreviated one that appeared on the television program. CD

Exact matches7
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 ... Out Of Stock
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 matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Eugene RecordWelcome To My Fantasy (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Warner/Expansion (UK), 1979. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A sweet musical fantasy from the great Eugene Record – known by most as one of the driving forces of The Chi-Lites, and the whole Brunswick soul scene as well! By this point in his career, Record's come a long way from his roots in Chicago soul – and works at a level that's much more modern soul than before – yet the overall approach works best on the kind of tunes that Eugene sang and penned in his earlier years – the mellow ballads and midtempo groovers that really let his vocals soar. The set was recorded in Chicago – with arrangements by Record, Tom Tom 84, and Patrick Henderson – and titles include "Pain For Pleasure", "Where Are You", "Fan The Fire", 'Help Yourself To Love", and "Your Love". CD features bonus tracks – "Magnetism", and "I Don't Mind/Take Everything". CD
Close matches: 9
Close matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
AllspiceAllspice ... CD
Fantasy/Dusty Groove, 1977. New Copy ... $5.99 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 matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
David AxelrodHeavy Axe ... CD
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1974. New Copy ... $8.99 14.99
A great back-to-basics solo album from the legendary David Axelrod – cut in the mid 70s for Fantasy Records, after higher-concept projects like The Auction and Messiah! This set gets right to the core – and focuses on the funk currents that were always part of Axelrod's larger arrangements, but which sometimes never got pulled to the forefront as strongly – and the approach is almost like some of the funky jazz albums that were issued by Fantasy/Prestige Records at the time – especially those that Axelrod produced for Cannonball Adderley. The whole thing has that great Axelrod sense of composition, with lots of space, and lots of spare cold bits that are nice nice nice for sample cuts – and titles include the classic track "Everything Counts", plus "Get Up Off Your Knees", "My Family", and "Mucho Chupar". CD
Also available Heavy Axe ... LP 9.99

Close matches11
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✨✧ BlackbyrdsNight Grooves ... CD
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1978. New Copy ... $8.99 14.99
A great album of funky dancefloor tunes! Originally issued in 1978, and clearly for the New York dancefloor crowd – the record takes the earlier work of funk group The Blackbyrds, and remixes the tracks slightly to pump up the groove a bit for the dancers. While the approach might not sound good on paper, it actually works wonderfully on the record – as the tunes retain all of the jazz funk feel of the originals, without any of the cheap tricks you might expect! The album's as essential as any of the group's earlier albums – and it's filled with great versions of classics like "Supernatural Feeling", "Gut Level", "Walking In Rhythm", "Do It Fluid", "Rock Creek Park", and "Happy Music". CD
Also available Night Grooves ... LP 13.99

Close matches12
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✨✧ Vince Guaraldi TrioCharlie Brown Christmas (2CD 50th Anniversary Edition) ... CD
Fantasy, 1965. New Copy 2CD ... $17.99 19.99
An amazing record – one with a depth that goes way beyond its simple roots, and which has gone on to become one of the true Christmas classics of the 20th Century! Although a Christmas soundtrack, the album's more of a tapestry of sadness, longing, and loss – the best qualities that always emerge in true Christmas classics – underscoring the blue side of the season that's always lurking around corners from the happier moments. Vince Guaraldi penned this score back when he was a rising talent on the San Francisco scene – and in a way, it was almost his musical contribution to the cartoon that made it such a lasting favorite – even over and above the appeal of the famous animated characters. Most tunes are simple piano ones, but played with a phrasing that's beautifully timeless – and the few vocal numbers feature voices from the cartoon, singing softly with the music. Titles include the classic "Linus and Lucy" – plus "My Little Drum", "Christmas Is Coming", "Christmas Time Is Here", "Skating", and "Fur Elise". This 50th Anniversary edition features the core album, a replica of the 1965 book by Charles Schultz, and four double-sided postcards – similar to those from the early Fantasy Records version! Also includes the bonus CD Peanuts Portraits – key character themes penned and played by the legendary Vince Guaraldi, in a set of recordings that features both acoustic piano and Fender Rhodes! A few cuts get really funky, too – the electric numbers, which remind us that back when we were wee ones, watching these cartoons, Guaraldi was already shaping our consciousness with his great way with a groove. The package is one that really gets right to the heart of Guaraldi's genius – and shakes free of some of the holiday spirit of other Peanuts jazz packages, to get into some incredibly groovy numbers that include "Peppermint Patty", "Joe Cool", "Charlie's Blues (variation)", "Blue Charlie Brown (version 2)", "Frieda (alternate)", "Little Birdie", and "Schroeder (alternate)" – plus the famous "Linus & Lucy". CD
(A great package for the price – nicely oversized, too!)

Close matches13
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 5.99

Close matches14
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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 matches15
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Johnny Guitar WatsonListen/I Don't Want To Be Alone, Stranger ... CD
Fantasy/Ace (UK), 1973/1975. New Copy ... $11.99 18.99
2 of Johnny Guitar Watson's best albums ever – back to back on a single CD! First up is Listen – quite possibly the rarest of all Johnny Guitar Watson albums – and his first from the 70s – a mindblowing batch of trippy soul tunes that sounds far different than much of his later work! Johnny's not yet in the funky mode here – and he's working in a very cool flanged-out approach that has his vocals tripping lightly with his guitar – in a spacious soul mode that captures some of the energy of Shuggie Otis at the time. The overall sound is incredibly righteous – and the album's a delight throughout! Titles include "Lovin You", "If I Had The Power", "You Bring Love", "I Get A Feeling", and "You're The Sweetest Thing I've Ever Had". I Don't Want To Be Alone Stranger is sublime mid 70s work from Johnny Guitar Watson – a Bay Area blend of soulful production, jazzy playing, and bits of bluesy phrasing, with a hard-to-match quality that we'd put in the same camp as work by Shuggie Otis from the time. Johnny's vocals and guitar are amazing – very laidback and trippy, without all the silly stuff that you sometimes get on later records. "I Don't Want To Be A Lone Ranger" is a great stepper with a jazzy finish and a really catchy hook – and other good cuts include "Lonely Man's Prayer", "You Make My Heart Want To Sing", "Tripping", "Strong Vibrations", and "It's Way Too Late", a reworking (and real steal) of a song from Jon Lucien's great "Rashieda" album! CD

Close matches16
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Larry WilliamsThat Larry Williams – The Resurrection Of Funk ... CD
Fantasy/Dusty Groove, 1978. New Copy ... $10.99 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 matches17
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✨✧ Cal TjaderConcerts In The Sun ... CD
Fantasy, 1960. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Rare work by Cal Tjader – recorded in 1960, and unissued for years! The album's in a similar format to some of Cal's other excellent live sets for Fantasy from the time – with tracks that are more stretched out than usual, opening up in a Latiny groove with more room for solos, and more excellent work by the great players in the band. Lonnie Hewitt's right beside Cal's vibes on piano, and the set's got some great Latin percussion from Willie Bobo and Mongo Santamaria. Tracks include "Afro Blue", "Cubano Chant", "Day In Day Out", "Walkin With Wally", "Love For Sale", and "Sigmund Stern Groove". CD
Possible matches: 53
Possible matches18
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Toshiko AkiyoshiMany Sides Of Toshiko ... CD
Verve/Universal (Japan), 1957. New Copy ... $19.99
Don't let the title fool you, because although the cover of the record says "Many Sides Of Toshiko", the album only features one – her great approach to bop-inflected trio material – recorded here in a classic Verve session with a distinct Bud Powell influence! Not that we're complaining, though – because Toshiko's at her youthful best here, working with Eugene Cherico on bass and John Hanna on drums – in a set that's even got a few original numbers! The best of these is the 3-part suite "Tosh's Fantasy" – a trio adaptation of one of Akioshi's larger jazz orchestra works. Other titles include "Imagination", "Minor Mood", "Studio J", and "Bags Groove". CD
(SHM-CD pressing!)

Possible matches19
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Ray Camacho BandReach Out ... CD
PMG (Austria), 1980. New Copy ... $18.99
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
Also available
Reach Out ... LP 23.99
Reach Out ... CD 13.99

Possible matches20
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Crystal WindsFirst Flight ... CD
Cash Ear/BBE (UK), 1982. New Copy ... $18.99
A mellow soul classic from Chicago – and one of the last great records to come out of the city's hip 70s soul scene! We know very little about Crystal Winds – save for this excellent record, one of the few titles issued on the short-lived Cash Ear label, a south-side imprint in the tradition of 70s powerhouse labels like Curtom or Chi-Sound. The work's got a wonderfully polished feel – lots of jazzy harmonies on the vocals, and a smooth midtempo groove that reminds us of some of the best work on Fantasy Records, especially those handled by Wayne Henderson and At Home Productions. Includes a great jazzy stepper called "Signs of Winter's Time", plus other great tracks like "So Sad", "Love Ain't Easy", and "It's A Wondrous Thing". CD

Possible matches21
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George DukeGuardian Of The Light (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
Epic/FTG, 1983. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
A funky concept album from George Duke – and one that's filled with some mighty nice grooves! Guardians Of The Light is a full-on "musical fantasy" – with the story line laid out in the liner notes, yet still a bit difficult to follow – but we can't fault him for that when it's done in his masterful R&B-fusion-funk approach! George sings on all cuts, but he also gets some stellar vocal assistance from Jeffrey Osborne, Portia Griffin, and Patti Austin. The record also has some surprisingly sweet mellow moments that bring a deeper level of spacey soul to the out-there concept – those laidback lines that George could always do better than anyone else! Titles include "Born To Love You", "You Are The Light", "Reach Out", "Give Me Your Love", "Stand", "Soon", and "Fly Away". 3 bonus tracks on this FTG CD edition: "Reach Out (12" Version)", "Celebrate (Instrumental)" and "Brazilian Love Affair". CD

Possible matches22
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John FaheyVoice Of The Turtle ... CD
Takoma, 1968. New Copy ... $11.99 18.99
A tremendous early statement from the great guitarist John Fahey – and a record that has all his best ideas coming into really sharp focus! Fahey was a very collaborative person right from the start – even as a record collector, before his own recordings – and that spirit is felt here on some of the duet tracks, in which John and associates perform these acoustic instrumental tunes that plumb the past of underground America, but turn it out again into something completely new and fresh – not folk revial, but more a reworked fantasy of the nation, almost as a refuge for the changes of the late 60s. The sound is beautiful – with a flute accompaniment here, a bit of fiddle there, and even Fahey duetting with himself on guitar – thanks to the magic of overdub. As usual with these early Takoma records, the style is very fluid – sometimes very tied to the 78rpm generation, but other points much more towards the freewheeling guitar introspection of some of Fahey's underground contemporaries. The overall sound is amazing, too – as Fahey almost uses the studio as an additional instrument, but in very subtle ways. Titles include "Bottleneck Blues", "Bill Cheatum", "Lewisdale Blues", "Bean Vine Blues", "A Raga Called Pat (part 3)", "A Raga Called Pat Part IV", "Train", "Je Ne Me Suis Reveillais Matin Pas En May", "The Story Of Dorothy Gooch (part 1)", "Nine Pound Hammer", and "Lonesome Valley". CD

Possible matches23
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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 matches24
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Five StairstepsFirst Family Of Soul – Best Of The Five Stairsteps ... CD
Buddah, Late 60s/Early 70s. New Copy ... $5.99 6.99
Killer work by this fab Chicago soul group – a bunch of young kids, ala The Jackson Five, with sweet soul sound that actually predates the work of Jermaine and Michael and Tito, and which paved the way for countless 70s groups to come! The Five Stairsteps were first discovered by Curtis Mayfield – who wrote and produced a number of tracks on the set – but they had a strength of their own (thanks in part to a young Keni Burke, who was in the group), and continued to grow over the years, changing their sound to fit their expanding ages, and the changing material they needed to cope with the growth in soul in the early 70s. The set's filled with classics – including the super-huge hit "Ooh Child", plus "The Girl I Love", "Behind Curtains", "Come Back", "World Of Fantasy", "You Waited Too Long", "We Must Be in Love", "Oooh, Baby Baby", "Don't Waste Your Time", "Something's Missing", and the break-heavy "Don't Change Your Love". CD

Possible matches25
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Caesar FrazierHail Caesar!/'75 ... CD
Eastbound/Ace (UK), 1972/1975. New Copy ... $11.99 18.99
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 matches26
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✨✧ FruitFruit ... CD
Athens Of The North (UK), 1978. New Copy ... $11.99
A fantastic funk group from the late 70s – one who've got a sharpness to rival the best of the P-Funk universe of the time, but a sound that's much leaner and powerful overall! There's almost a Fantasy Records approach here – as all the elements in the mix come down right on the money, with an instrumental complexity that's mindblowing for such an unheard combo – yet delivered with a sense of groove that makes the whole thing come together with effortless ease! Fruit only ever issued one single at the time, and this album finally presents their never-heard full album – a gem unearthed from a Florida studio, with a quality level that should have made them huge. These aren't just dusty old tapes, pulled out for collectors – nor half-formed demos – and instead, the record's one that can stand head and shoulders next to the best funk albums of the period, filled with killer cuts that include "Space Lady", "Lost The Love", "Say It", "Fruit Of The Universe", "What You Gonna Do", and "Spring". CD
Also available Fruit ... LP 22.99

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Dick GriffinTime Will Tell ... CD
Ruby, 2011. New Copy ... $13.99
A really beautiful album from trombonist Dick Griffin – recorded recently, but every bit as great as his 70s work on the Strata East label! The set has Griffin working with a quintet of key older players – James Spaulding on alto and flute, George Cables on bass, Cecil McBee on bass, and Victor Lewis on drums – all like-minded players who come together fluidly to realize Dick's wonderful set of original compositions – really well-penned tunes that have a searching, soaring sort of quality – taking flight not just from the open rhythms of the combo, but from Griffin's bold lines on trombone too! There's a simple, honest charm to the record that's mighty nice – and it's great to know that records like this are still being made, as long as you know where to look. Titles include "Mind Over", "Let's Take A Chance", "Home Song", "For The Love In My Heart", "Time Will Tell", and "My Fantasy". CD

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Johnny HammondGears (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Milestone/BGP (UK), 1975. New Copy ... $13.99 18.99
One of our favorite albums of all time – and a record that just gets better and better the more we listen to it – and we've listened to it for years! Johnny "Hammond" Smith began his career as a simple soul jazz organist – but by the time of this album, he'd teamed up with the mighty Larry Mizell, the genius arranger/producer who'd breathed new life into the careers of Donald Byrd and Bobbi Humphrey. Mizell works with Hammond in the same way he does with other jazz artists – by taking a groove that works best with their solo style, and slowly layering other instrumentation and effects on top of it, so that when the solo kicks in, it's supported on waves and waves of funky sounds and soulful grooves. Mizell and his brother Fonce both play keyboards on the record, and the rest of the group includes monster fusion players like Harvey Mason, Roger Glenn, Hadley Caliman, and Jerry Peters. The real treat is Johnny, though – as his solos are heavenly, the best of his 70s work, stripped mean and lean, laid in at just the right points. Includes the breakbeat classic "Shifting Gears", the house classic "Los Conquistadores Chocolates", and funky numbers "Fantasy" and "Tell Me What To Do". This stunning version adds in some killer bonus tracks – 6 never-heard cuts from the Milestone vaults, including "Song For My Family", "Funky Native", "Detroit Rainbow", "Can't We Smile (alt)", and slow and fast versions of "A Child's Love". CD
Also available Gears (with bonus tracks) ... LP 26.99

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Johnny HammondGears/Forever Taurus ... CD
Milestone/BGP (UK), 1975. New Copy ... $11.99 18.99
Amazing stuff! Johnny "Hammond" Smith began his career as a simple soul jazz organist – but by the time of Gears, he'd teamed up with the mighty Larry Mizell, the genius arranger/producer who'd breathed new life into the careers of Donald Byrd and Bobbi Humphrey. Mizell works with Hammond in the say we he does with other jazz artists – by taking a groove that works best with their solo style, and slowly layering other instrumentation and effects on top of it, so that when the solo kicks in, it's supported on waves and waves of funky sounds and soulful grooves. Mizell and his brother Fonce both play keyboards on the record, and the rest of the group includes monster fusion players like Harvey Mason, Roger Glenn, Hadley Caliman, and Jerry Peters. The real treat is Johnny, though – as his solos are heavenly, the best of his 70s work, stripped mean and lean, laid in at just the right points. Includes the breakbeat classic "Shifting Gears", the house classic "Los Conquistadores Chocolates", and funky numbers "Fantasy" and "Tell Me What To Do". The second half of this CD is Forever Taurus, which Johnny recorded right after his legendary Gears album, and it features production by Wade Marcus that's very much in the Larry Mizell mode that made Johnny huge in the 70s! As with the Gears record, Johnny's backed by a large ensemble of players – and the overall sound has lots of nice touches, extra percussion, and a good electric groove. Tracks include "Cosmic Voyager", "Walk In Sunshine", "Ghetto Samba", and the title cut. CD

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Jazz InvadersFind The Love ... CD
Unique (Germany), 2016. New Copy ... $14.99 15.98
Were the Jazz Invaders ever this soulful before? We don't seem to remember that – as they come on totally strong and wonderful here – with a groove that might even rival the best previous work by big-name combos like Incognito or Brand New Heavies! Like both those groups, the Jazz Invaders are rooted in classic modes – but they've also picked up a lot more funk than before – putting the jazz off to the side a bit, and focusing on the overall groove – a bit like some of the best artists in the mid 70s run of jazz/funk classics from Fantasy Records! Linda Bloenhard adds some great vocals to a number of cuts – furthering the strong soul vibe here – but even the instrumental numbers are great, and sparkle strongly in a sweet blend of Fender Rhodes, and jazzy riffs on alto, tenor, and trumpet. All tunes are originals – and the writing is great – on tracks that include "Higher On Fire", "Get It Work It", "Get Away", "Disco Fever", "Do It", "Phil's Crossroads", "Discover Disco Lover", and "Much Rosie" CD

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Luciano MicheliniL'Isola Degli Uomini Pesce ... CD
Cometa (Italy), 1979. New Copy ... $19.99
A spooky cover, and some spooky music to match – served up by the lesser-known Italian composer Luciano Michelini! The soundtrack's from the late 70s, but it's got a full, orchestral feel that reminds us a lot more of Italian work from a decade before – especially some of the more dramatic, dynamic adventure scores that reigned during the apex of Italian fantasy films. A few tracks have some 70s touches – bits of funky rhythms at the bottom, or slight electronics – but overall, most of the instrumentation comes from strings and well-placed brass – used starkly and with a great deal of power throughout! Titles include "Atlantide", "Palude", "I Mostri", "Naufragio", "Cosa Resta Dell'Amore", "Il Laboratorio Sotterraneo", "Rito Magico", and "Il Violenti". CD
(Limited edition of 500!)

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Luciano MicheliniLa Conquista Di Luna ... CD
RCA/Schema (Italy), 1969. New Copy ... $16.99
A journey into space with a wonderful sound – served up here as a set of cosmic instrumentals from Luciano Michelini, most of which have a pretty groovy vibe! The mix of 60s instrumentation, spacey touches, and light electric moments reminds us of Peter Thomas or Johnny Harris at their best – and although Michelini's not as well-known as those giants from his generation, he works here with a vibe that perfectly matches everything we love in their music! Light funky rhythms trip along the bottom – peppered with cool keyboards or woodwinds, and occasional wordless vocals – all in this way that provides a wonderful 60s fantasy of the moon, and one that's actually a lot more exciting than any of the real moon landing records out there. Titles include "Tycho", "A Mrs Armstrong", "Il Volto Nascosto Di Luna", "Meteoriti", "Richiamo Di Terra", and "Odissea Nello Spazio". CD
Also available La Conquista Di Luna (with bonus CD) ... LP 22.99

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Mario Nascimbene/Shirley BasseyL'Arciere Delle Mille E Una Notte/La Lotta Dell'Uomo Per La Sua Sopravvivenza ... CD
Digitmovies (Italy), 1962/1970. New Copy ... $18.99
Archery action from a flying carpet – all set to a vintage score from maestro Mario Nascimbene! The music's got that full, orchestral vibe of Nascimbene's more famous work of the time – maybe more Italo blood and sandals than some of his epics, with both dramatic flourishes on the percussion and horns, and some cool use of chorus vocals that create a mythical vibe on some of our favorite tracks. The whole thing's maybe not as boldly bracing as you'd expect from the cover image – but it's definitely on the better side of the Italian fantasy score! CD features four more tracks from the 1970 TV show The Fight For Survival – all very different, and completely great! Robert Pregadio handles the orchestrations, and Shirley Bassey sings on three of the four tracks here – with this cool, soulful, dramatic style that's maybe even better than her work on James Bond films! CD

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Native SonSavanna Hot Line ... CD
JVC/Victor (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $26.99
The title's a bit obscure, but the album's a great American outing from the combo of Japanese pianist Takehiro Honda – one that has his Fender Rhodes and clavinet grooving nicely on a number of longish tracks! There's a great funky fusion flavor to the entire album – one that's tight, but never as smooth or slick as many Japanese outings from the time – and which almost shows a bit more of an American soul edge. Kohsuke Mine plays some great tenor and soprano sax on the set, and titles include "In Search Of Beauty", "Savanna Hot Line", "Sexy Lady", "Farewell My Love", and "African Fantasy". CD
(K2 HD Pro Mastering – HQ CD!)

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Joe Newman/Zoot SimsLocking Horns ... CD
Roulette/Warner (Japan), Late 50s. New Copy ... $14.99
We're not sure we've ever heard trumpeter Joe Newman and tenorist Zoot Sims work together on a record – and certainly never as striking a setting as this – a record that really gives both musicians a chance to open up and blow! Despite the title, the players are less "locking horns" here than really working together in the lead – hitting the kind of tight head arrangements that you might hear on some of Sims material with RCA, but getting a grittier groove from both the Roulette Records style of recording, and the efforts of a cool rhythm trio that features Adrian (Johnny?) Acea on piano, Oscar Pettiford on bass, and Osie Johnson drums. Newman's horn has an especially gutbuckety quality, and Sims follows suit with some deeply soulful work on his solos – on titles that include "Corky", "Mambo For Joe", "Midnite Fantasy", "Tater Pie", "Oh Joe", and "Oh Shaye". CD
(SHM-CD pressing!)

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Players AssociationPlayers Association/Turn The Music Up! ... CD
Vanguard/Ace (UK), Late 70s. New Copy ... $11.99 18.99
A pair of gems from The Players Association – back to back on a single CD! First up is the fantastic first album from The Players Association – a group who may well have gotten their name for the great jazzy musicians in their lineup! Players Association are best known for their disco grooves, but they've got a core sense of instrumentation that's really a cut above – with strong leadership from jazzman Chris Hills – who plays drums, guitar, and keyboards – and other players who include Joe Farrell on tenor and flute, Bob Mover on alto and soprano, Jon Faddis on trumpet, and Mike Mandell on keyboards! Ray Mantilla and Buddy Williams add in some great percussion to the mix – which furthers the spontaneous, jazzy vibe of some of the tunes – and titles includes the funky cut "I Like It", which has a nice break in the beginning, plus the tracks "Let's Groove", "Hustlin", "Moon In Pisces", and a sweet cover of "For The Love Of You". Turn The Music Up is wonderful work from The Players Association – a group who were equal parts jazz funk and equal parts 70s club – with a vibe that's maybe like The Blackbyrds or other Fantasy Records acts at their best! The mighty Chris Hills is at the helm – and the record is overflowing with top-shelf talent from the jazz side of the spectrum – work by Bob Berg on tenor, Tom Harrell on trumpet, and Bob Mover on alto – all with room to solo, and really helping bring a musical maturity to the record that other disco records never seem to have! Titles include "Everybody Dance", "Ride The Groove", "The Closer I Get To You", and "I Wish". CD

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Spooky ToothMirror ... CD
Island/Universal (UK), 1974. New Copy ... $13.99
The final album from Spooky Tooth – at least during their initial run – and a surprisingly strong set that really points to a huge amount of new directions and ideas! Mike Patto is in the group this time around – and the presence of his vocals and deft instrumental work really give Spooky Tooth a renewed focus and sense of energy – which seems to push the guitars of Mick Jones into territory that's even bolder than before – with more than a few hints of the Foreigner to come! Gary Wright's vocals are still at center stage, but the whole album almost feels like the whole group coming together to really stretch their wings and soar. Titles include "Fantasy Satisfier", "Two Time Love", "Higher Circles", "Hell Or High Water", "The Hoofer", "I'm Alive", and "The Mirror". CD

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