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Close matches: 10
Close matches1
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Grant GreenMain Attraction ... LP
Kudu, 1976. Near Mint- ... $6.99
Quite an unusual album from Grant Green – a record that's quite different than his earlier records for Blue Note, but still pretty darn great overall! Grant's working here in a large group – Kudu style – with arrangements by David Matthews, but a sound that's still pretty lean overall! There's a fair bit of great players in the lineup – including Jon Faddis on trumpet, Hubert Laws on flute, and Joe Farrell on tenor – and the horns soar out nicely to set the scene over some tightly stepping backings – all served up with plenty of room for Grant to solo spaciously on guitar! The title track – "The Main Attraction" – is nearly 20 minutes long – and the other two tracks, "Creature" and "Future Feature", both approach the 10 minute mark themselves! LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has a cut corner and a light crease.)

Close matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Idris MuhammadTurn This Mutha Out ... CD
Kudu/Soul Brother (UK), 1977. New Copy ... $16.99
A great late 70s chapter in the career of funky drummer Idris Muhammad – moving into very different territory here than his early soul jazz with Lou Donaldson, and even his earliest solo material too! David Matthews arranged the tracks, and he's given them a slick but soulful sound, with lots of spacey fusion elements, and a nice funky soul vibe that's a bit similar to some of Larry Mizell's work – stretched out in this great mix of grooves and deeper jazzier elements – even at a level that's hipper than Matthews' usual material from the time. Idris is at the core on percussion – and the lineup also includes Jeremy Steig on flute, Eric Gale on guitar, Randy Brecker on trumpet, and Wilbur Bascomb on bass – and titles include the seminal "Could Heaven Ever Be Like This", plus "Cambay Bolongo", "Tasty Cakes", "Crab Apple", "Moon Hymn", and "Say What". CD

Close matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Esther PhillipsAlone Again, Naturally ... LP
Kudu, 1972. New Copy (reissue)... $11.99
One of the deepest soul sets from Esther Phillips' 70s years on Kudu Records – a set with some nicely gritty grooves and a surprisingly earthy feel at times – especially when compared to some of her other albums of the time! Backings are by James Brown's old reedman, Pee Wee Ellis – and although there's some of the usual Kudu electric funk in the mix, there's also some deeper soul elements too – a vibe that's often a bit laidback and open, almost more Atlantic Records at points – which is a mighty good fit for Esther's wonderful voice! As usual for Kudu, the players are an all-star lineup – one that includes Richard Tee on keyboards, George Benson on guitar, Maceo Parker on tenor, and Bernard Purdie and Billy Cobham on drums – and Don Sebesky's also on deck a bit, to sweeten a few tracks up with light strings. The album's got a great version of Bill Withers' "Use Me" that features a tasty break in the intro – and other titles include a great version of "Alone Again (Naturally)", plus the cuts "Let's Move & Groove", "Cherry Red", "Let Me In Your Life", and "You & Me Together". LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Esther PhillipsCapricorn Princess (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Kudu/Soulmusic.com (UK), 1976. New Copy ... $13.99
A pretty amazing set from Esther Phillips – her final album for Kudu – and a beautiful mix of soaring soul sounds from one the most unique, emotionally-inflected soul vocalists of her era! Esther's in prime Kudu mode here – working with jazzy arrangements by David Matthews and Pee Wee Ellis, adding her unique, grit-inflected soul chanteuse vocals to a smoother mix of instrumentation that creates a perfect counterpoint that took her way past her earlier work! There's also a couple of really sweet disco skewed numbers that work incredibly well – with spacier bits of synth and a dancefloor soul bed of percussion and rhythms – and in general, the arrangements are pretty great from track-to-track! Players include Randy Brecker and Mike Brecker on trumpet and tenor sax, Bray Miles on synthesizer, Bobby Lyle on clavinet, Eric Gale on guitar, Joe Farrell on tenor sax and alto flute, percussionist Ralph MacDonald and other excellent name musicians and others bring a grand sweep and sweeter intimacy when the mood requires. Titles include "Magic's In The Air", "A Beautiful Friendship", "Boy I Really Tied One On", "Higher & Higher", and "All The Way Down". CD features bonus tracks – "All The Way Down (single mix)" and "Magic's In The Air/Boy I Really Tied One On (12" single mix)". CD

Close matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Hank CrawfordDon't You Worry Bout A Thing ... LP
Kudu, 1974. Used ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Sweet soulful jazz from reedman Hank Crawford – one of his killer Kudu sessions from the 70s – all of which really helped Hank redefine his sound! The setting here is large and full – put together beautifully by Bob James, with that sense of space for the soloist that makes his CTI/Kudu arrangements so crucial – and light years ahead of what other arrangers were doing at the time. The tracks are longish, but never overdone – and the record has all the soulful alto sounds of Crawford's 60s work at Atlantic, but with a definite 70s bent overall. James plays Fender Rhodes, Arp, and clavinet – and other players include Joe Farrell on tenor and flute, Idris Muhammad and Bernard Purdie on drums, and Richard Tee on additional keyboards. Titles include "Jana", "Sho Is Funky", "Don't You Worry Bout A Thing", "Groove Junction", and "All In Love Is Fair". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has a cutout notch.)

Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Hank CrawfordHelp Me Make It Through The Night ... LP
Kudu, 1971. Used ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
One of Hank Crawford's first big records of the 70s – a really great set that helps him shake off some of his stock modes of the 60s and find a very different groove! A big part of the album is arranger Don Sebesky, who gives Hank a backdrop that's sophisticated and smooth, yet still pretty soulful in all the right places – a style that's almost a bit like mainstream soundtrack work of the time, but a bit more jazz focused overall. Hank's solos are right out front on most tracks – blown with that nicely pinched tone that made him a standout back in the day – and other players include Richard Tee on both organ and piano, as well as Idris Muhammad and Bernard Purdie on drums. Titles include "Uncle Funky", "Imagine", "The Sun Died", "Brian's Song", and "Ham", which was arranged by Pee Wee Ellis. LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Grover Washington JrLive At The Bijou ... LP
Kudu, 1977. Used Gatefold ... Out Of Stock
A totally great Grover Washington record – and with 25 years behind us, we really now realize how fantastic all the early Kudu sessions really were! The record was recorded live at the Bijou, and is spread out over 2 long LPs, with lots of room for tasty open-ended solos by Grover and the group. Includes the great version of "Lock It In The Pocket", plus "Funkfoot", "Sausalito", "Summer Song", and a long version of "Mr Magic". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has some edge wear.)

Close matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Esther PhillipsBlack-Eyed Blues/Capricorn Princess ... CD
Kudu/Soul Brother (UK), 1973/1976. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A pair of 70s gems from Esther Phillips – back to back on a single CD! Black Eyed-Blues is one of Esther's strong winners for Kudu – a record that takes her soulful style of earlier years, and wraps it around some sly 70s funky arrangements! Ex-James Brown hornman Pee Wee Ellis arranged the album, and gave Esther a nice little dose of funk that really helped her groove – getting out of the sad bag of her Atlantic recordings, and sounding hipper than anyone would have expected! The record features the great slow funk groover "Black Eyed Blues" – and other tracks include "I've Only Known A Stranger", "You Could Have Had Me, Baby", and "Too Many Roads". CD also features the bonus track "Tangle In Your Lifeline", previously unissued! Capricorn Princess is a pretty amazing, and too long overlooked set from Esther Phillips – her final album for Kudu – and a beautiful mix of soaring soul sounds from one the most unique, emotionally-inflected soul vocalists of her era! Esther's in prime Kudu mode here – working with jazzy arrangements by David Matthews and Pee Wee Ellis, adding her unique, grit-inflected soul chanteuse vocals to a smoother mix of instrumentation that creates a perfect counterpoint that took her way past her earlier work! There's also a couple of really sweet disco skewed numbers that work incredibly well – with spacier bits of synth and a dancefloor soul bed of percussion and rhythms – and in general, the arrangements are pretty great from track-to-track! Players include Randy Brecker and Mike Brecker on trumpet and tenor sax, Bray Miles on synthesizer, Bobby Lyle on clavinet, Eric Gale on guitar, Joe Farrell on tenor sax and alto flute, percussionist Ralph MacDonald and other excellent name musicians and others bring a grand sweep and sweeter intimacy when the mood requires. Titles include "Magic's In The Air", "A Beautiful Friendship", "Boy, I Really Tied One On", "Higher & Higher", and "All The Way Down". CD

Close matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Hank CrawfordDon't You Worry Bout A Thing (remastered edition) ... CD
Kudu, 1974. Used ... Out Of Stock
Sweet soulful jazz from reedman Hank Crawford – one of his killer Kudu sessions from the 70s – all of which really helped Hank redefine his sound! The setting here is large and full – put together beautifully by Bob James, with that sense of space for the soloist that makes his CTI/Kudu arrangements so crucial – and light years ahead of what other arrangers were doing at the time. The tracks are longish, but never overdone – and the record has all the soulful alto sounds of Crawford's 60s work at Atlantic, but with a definite 70s bent overall. James plays Fender Rhodes, Arp, and clavinet – and other players include Joe Farrell on tenor and flute, Idris Muhammad and Bernard Purdie on drums, and Richard Tee on additional keyboards. Titles include "Jana", "Sho Is Funky", "Don't You Worry Bout A Thing", "Groove Junction", and "All In Love Is Fair". CD
(Out of print.)

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Hank CrawfordWildflower/Don't You Worry Bout A Thing ... CD
Kudu/Robinsongs (UK), 1973/1981. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A pair of CTI/Kudu classics from Hank Crawford – back to back on a single CD! Wildflower is a sweet bit of electric funk, and one of Hank Crawford's greatest records from the 70s – thanks in large part to the great Bob James – who arranged and produced the record with a mighty soulful vibe – leaving Hank lots of room to solo on his own over the top! The groove is really great – and the record gets surprisingly chunky in parts – with heavier rhythms than you might expect from a Crawford album from the time – not exactly the heavier funk of other CTI records, but with a definite taste of that style too. Arrangements are fairly large, and feature keyboards from Richard Tee – plus backing vocals at a few spots – and titles include great versions of "You've Got It Bad Girl" and "Corazon", plus the tracks "Good Morning Heartache" and "Wildflower". Don't You Worry Bout A Thing is sweet soulful jazz from reedman Hank Crawford – one of his killer Kudu sessions from the 70s – all of which really helped Hank redefine his sound! The setting here is large and full – put together beautifully by Bob James, with that sense of space for the soloist that makes his CTI/Kudu arrangements so crucial – and light years ahead of what other arrangers were doing at the time. The tracks are longish, but never overdone – and the record has all the soulful alto sounds of Crawford's 60s work at Atlantic, but with a definite 70s bent overall. James plays Fender Rhodes, Arp, and clavinet – and other players include Joe Farrell on tenor and flute, Idris Muhammad and Bernard Purdie on drums, and Richard Tee on additional keyboards. Titles include "Jana", "Sho Is Funky", "Don't You Worry Bout A Thing", "Groove Junction", and "All In Love Is Fair". CD
 
Possible matches: 39
Possible matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Mark ColbySerpentine Fire/One Good Turn ... CD
Tappan Zee/Expansion (UK), 1978/1979. New Copy ... $16.99
A pair of sweet funky fusion gems from Mark Colby – back to back on a single CD! Serpentine Fire is an overlooked gem from Bob James' Tappan Zee empire of the 70s – that label that provided the perfect platform for artists to grow a bit more after the CTI years! Reedman Mark Colby is a newcomer to this scene, but hits a groove that's instantly in the best CTI/Kudu mode – with funky jazz backings that often have that laidback, spacious style that's more soulful than jamming fusion – served up by players who include Bob James on Fender Rhodes and piano, Eric Gale and Steve Khan on guitars, Steve Gadd on drums, and Hiram Bullock on some electric guitar. Colby himself plays tenor and soprano sax – and titles include a nice remake of Earth Wind & Fire's "Serpentine Fire" – plus "King Tut", "Renegade", "On & On", and "Daydreamer". On One Good Turn, reedman Mark Colby really comes into his own – crafting sweet lines on tenor and soprano sax, in modes that extend previous 70s fusion work from artists like Stanley Turrentine or Grover Washington Jr! Like both of those giants, Colby gets great backing here in a spacious electric style that allows plenty of room for the solos in the lead – with artists who include Bob James and Barry Miles on Fender Rhodes, Eric Gale and Steve Khan on guitars, and Mike Mainieri on vibes. Titles include "Capativa", "Village Zoo", "Peace Of Mind", "Skat Talk", and "Macbeth". CD

Possible matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Harold DankoHarold Danko Quartet Featuring Gregory Herbert ... LP
Inner City, 1978. Very Good+ ... $11.99
A beautiful bit of funky jazz – very subtle, but one not to miss! Harold Danko plays Fender Rhodes in a tight little group that would be right at home with bigger names in the business at the time, particularly some of the funky combos on CTI or Kudu. Danko's drummer, Jimmy Madison, has a nice tight crackle on the kit – and mixed with Danko's warm keyboard lines, and the sharp-edged reed work of Gregory Herbert, the album's got a mellow approach to funk that's really great! Titles include "Antiquanova", "When She Smiles", "Intensity", and "Mirth Song". LP, Vinyl record album

Possible matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Maynard FergusonChameleon/Conquistador/Hot ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1974/1977/1979. New Copy 2 CDs ... $16.99
A trio of Maynard Ferguson 70s gems – wrapped up together in a single package! First up is Chameleon – funky Maynard Ferguson – and one of his sweetest albums of the 70s! The set features a wonderful remake of Herbie Hancock's "Chameleon" – done here as a big band version that countless other groups would copy during the 70s – in a way that almost showed that Maynard had a more farther-reaching influence at the time than Herbie! Other tracks are equally great – and mix in funky rhythms with some mellower moments – all topped by great solo work from players who include trombonist Randy Purcell, baritone saxophonist Bruce Johnstone, and keyboardist Alan Zavod. Apart from "Chameleon", other titles include great covers of Wings' "Jet" and Stevie Wonders' "Livin For the City" – plus "La Fiesta", "Superbone Meets The Bad Man", and "Gospel John". Conquistador is a jazz funk masterpiece, and it's proof that Maynard Ferguson always had a good head on his shoulders, and were waiting for a record like this to really come into his own! The arrangements shine with a smooth electric sparkle that reminds us of the best albums on Kudu or CTI – and even his normally "too hot" solos fit in perfectly with the band's smooth funky grooving. Our favorite tune is the spacey sample cut "Mister Mellow", but the whole album's pretty darn nice, including "Soar Like An Eagle", "The Fly", "Conquistador". Heck, we even like the funky version of "Theme From Star Trek"! Hot is full on disco grooving from Maynard – a fact that's apparent from the album's first cut – "Rocky II Disco"! The track takes off from Bill Conti's original Rocky theme with a nice kind of funky soundtrack approach – leaving room for a tenor sax solo, and featuring some great spoken bits and punching bag work from Sly Stallone himself! Other tracks are equally slick, but mix it up nicely – and highlights include the Indian-styled "Om Sai Ram", a take on "Naima", and the cuts "Topa Topa Woman", "Dayride", and "Theme From Star Trek". And heck, Maynard even plays a bit of the "superbone" – a combination valve and slide trombone, invented by himself! CD
Also available Chameleon/Conquistador/Hot ... CD 12.99

Possible matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Maynard FergusonChameleon/Conquistador/Hot ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1974/1977/1979. Used 2CD ... $12.99
A trio of Maynard Ferguson 70s gems – wrapped up together in a single package! First up is Chameleon – funky Maynard Ferguson – and one of his sweetest albums of the 70s! The set features a wonderful remake of Herbie Hancock's "Chameleon" – done here as a big band version that countless other groups would copy during the 70s – in a way that almost showed that Maynard had a more farther-reaching influence at the time than Herbie! Other tracks are equally great – and mix in funky rhythms with some mellower moments – all topped by great solo work from players who include trombonist Randy Purcell, baritone saxophonist Bruce Johnstone, and keyboardist Alan Zavod. Apart from "Chameleon", other titles include great covers of Wings' "Jet" and Stevie Wonders' "Livin For the City" – plus "La Fiesta", "Superbone Meets The Bad Man", and "Gospel John". Conquistador is a jazz funk masterpiece, and it's proof that Maynard Ferguson always had a good head on his shoulders, and were waiting for a record like this to really come into his own! The arrangements shine with a smooth electric sparkle that reminds us of the best albums on Kudu or CTI – and even his normally "too hot" solos fit in perfectly with the band's smooth funky grooving. Our favorite tune is the spacey sample cut "Mister Mellow", but the whole album's pretty darn nice, including "Soar Like An Eagle", "The Fly", "Conquistador". Heck, we even like the funky version of "Theme From Star Trek"! Hot is full on disco grooving from Maynard – a fact that's apparent from the album's first cut – "Rocky II Disco"! The track takes off from Bill Conti's original Rocky theme with a nice kind of funky soundtrack approach – leaving room for a tenor sax solo, and featuring some great spoken bits and punching bag work from Sly Stallone himself! Other tracks are equally slick, but mix it up nicely – and highlights include the Indian-styled "Om Sai Ram", a take on "Naima", and the cuts "Topa Topa Woman", "Dayride", and "Theme From Star Trek". And heck, Maynard even plays a bit of the "superbone" – a combination valve and slide trombone, invented by himself! CD
(Includes original slipcase.)
Also available Chameleon/Conquistador/Hot ... CD 16.99

Possible matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Eddie FisherThird Cup ... LP
Cadet, 1969. Very Good- ... $9.99
An amazing album by the great guitarist Eddie Fisher – and completely unlike his later funk records! Eddie plays stripped down jazz with a small combo that includes organ by Robert Selby, bass by Paul Jackson, and some rhythm guitar by Phil Westmoreland – and the twin-guitar approach creates this super-dope style that's light years ahead of its time, with a sophistication that points the way to later mid 70s work on labels like CTI and Kudu! Eddie's guitar work is an incredible exercise in spareness and soulfulness – best heard on the fantastic "Third Cup", a long drawn-out jazz stepper that's got to be heard to be believed. The cut's been a favorite on the Chicago jazz stepper's scene for years – and it alone is worth the price of the album. However, the record features some other wonderful stuff – like a sublime version of "Shadow Of Your Smile" that runs for a bubbling 12 minutes – plus the originals "Shut Up", "Scorched Earth", and "Two By Two". LP, Vinyl record album
(Blue label stereo pressing. Cover is wrinkled from moisture on the bottom 5 inches, with a split bottom seam.)

Possible matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Eddie HendersonHeritage ... LP
Blue Note, 1976. Very Good+ ... $29.99
Essential work from Eddie Henderson – one of the trumpeter's hippest albums of the 70s, and a key link between his early righteous days and his later smoother sound! The set's a near-perfect blend of all elements involved – tight funky rhythms, spacey soulful instrumentation, and wicked production work from the mighty Skip Drinkwater in the studio – a record that's as essential to his legacy as Gears is to that of Larry Mizell! Henderson's trumpet work is totally great – often muted, and always snakey inside the rhythms – and other players here include Julian Priester on trombone, Hadley Caliman on flute and soprano sax, Patrice Rushen on keyboards, Paul Jackson on bass, and Headhunter Mike Clark on drums. Titles include the excellent groover "Inside You", plus "Kudu", "Acuphuncture", "Time & Space", "Dr Mganga", and "Dark Shadow". LP, Vinyl record album

Possible matches17
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Boogaloo Joe JonesWhat It Is ... LP
Prestige, Early 70s. New Copy (reissue)... $9.99
Killer funkiness from Boogaloo Joe Jones! Grover Washington Jr makes an incredible appearance here – sounding much harder and heavier than on some of his Kudu recordings – more of a gritty soul jazz player, working beautifully alongside the sharp guitar of Boogaloo Joe Jones, and the sweet organ of Sonny Phillips! The groove is lean, clean, and a bit laidback – not as frenetic as some of Jones' other jams, but in a great way that shows a new sense of space and timing in his groove! Other players include Bernard Purdie on drums and Jimmy Lewis on Fender bass – and titles include "Inside Job", "Fadin", "What It Is", and a nice cover of "Ain't No Sunshine". Amazing guitar work throughout – and a very tight batch of funky jazz! LP, Vinyl record album

Possible matches18
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Masabumi KikuchiSusto (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia (Japan), 1981. New Copy ... $13.99
A great album of funky Japanese fusion – one of the few sets from the Japanese scene of the late 70s that got any sort of wider release in the US – and a treasure that we've loved for years! The set's got a really great sound – soulful and funky, but sharp too – in a lineup that features a variety of keyboards from Masabumi Kikuchi, plus work by Terumasa Hino on trumpet, Steve Grossman and Dave Liebman on saxes, and James Mason on guitar! The best cuts have a funky feel that's in the CTI/Kudu mode – perhaps mixed with a bit of Herbie Hancock keyboard jamming – and the album's a surprisingly lost funky gem in the Columbia catalog of the early 80s, with a much harder edge than some of the other work on the label at the time! Titles include "Circle/Line", "New Native", "Gumbo", and "City Snow". CD features bonus tracks "Gumbo" and "Circle/Line". CD

Possible matches19
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Herbie MannBird In A Silver Cage ... CD
Atlantic (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $9.99
Sweet funky 70s work from Herbie Mann – one of his best records of the time, and a set that's got a stretched-out and slightly cosmic feel! The album's clearly the brainchild of writer/arranger/producer Sylvester Levay – who also plays keyboards on the session, and creates a groove that's not that dissimilar from some of the Dave Matthews work on Kudu or CTI – despite the fact that Levay was best known for his work with Silver Convention! The overall sound is slick, but still has plenty of room for solo work – and there's some uptempo numbers that groove out, but without as much of the cheesy disco touches as some of Mann's other records. Titles include "Aria", "Bird In A Silver Cage", "The Piper", and "Birdwalk". CD

Possible matches20
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Yoshiyaki MasuoSailing Wonder ... LP
Electric Bird (Japan), 1978. Near Mint- ... $19.99
A great one from guitarist Yoshiyaki Masuo – a record that seems to have all the cool glide promised by the cover and title! Yoshiaki plays guitar, but the album features loads of great contributions from other American fusion musicians too – including Dave Grusin, Richard Tee, and Mike Nock on keyboards – who all bring in these smooth, soulful styles that really make the record great – almost a crossover between Japanese fusion and some of the later CTI/Kudu Records modes. There's a bit of vocals on one track, but the album's all instrumental otherwise, and also features some guest guitar from Eric Gale. Titles include "Nature's Anthem", "Kirk Out", "Cracker Jack", "Treasure Island", and "Sailing Wonder". LP, Vinyl record album
(Original pressing, with insert.)

Possible matches21
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Dave Matthews Big BandNight Flight ... LP
Muse, 1977. Very Good+ ... $5.99
A lost treasure from Dave Matthews – an artist who's best known for his 70s funky work for James Brown, CTI, and Kudu – but who steps out strongly here in a set of righteous big band material! The ensemble's quite modest overall – no real superstars blowing their heads off – but that makes for a very unified set that lets Matthews take charge and direct the group with a sweetly swinging sound. Titles include "All Blues", "Night Flight", "East Side Lady", and a great version of "Vera Cruz". LP, Vinyl record album
(White label promo.)

Possible matches22
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Blue MitchellAfrican Violet/Summer Soft ... CD
Impulse, 1977/1978. Used 2CD ... $7.99
Overlooked greatness from trumpeter Blue Mitchell – two 70s albums back to back! African Violet is sweet electric funk from Blue – recorded in a warm, largely arranged style that's reminiscent of the best Freddie Hubbard fusion work from the 70s – but which has an even tighter sound overall! The groove is great – kind of a Kudu Records vibe, and Blue's actually quite good in this format – stepping off with a bit more confidence than on his electric sides from Mainstream, and getting the benefit of some great tenor sax work from Harold Land on a few numbers! Mitchell's always one of those players who actually seems to stretch out more in a set where he's not the leader of a small combo – and his solos here are surprisingly strong, and filled with soul – as are those of Land and tenorist Herman Riley. Titles include "Sand Castles", "Ojos De Rojo", "Mississippi Jump", "As", "Square Business", and "Forget". Summer Soft is a later set from Blue Mitchell – but a great one too, and done in a fully-arranged soul fusion style that seems to bring out the best in his playing! The album's got a smoother sound than some of Blue's work for Blue Note or Mainstream – but the groove comes out surprisingly well, without any cliches or cheesiness – and Blue himself turns in some wonderful solo work for the record, blowing in an open-ended mode that's similar to Donald Byrd's style of the time. Other players include Bobby Lyle on keyboards, Cedar Walton on piano, Eddie Harris and Harold Land on tenor, and Paulinho Da Costa on percussion – and arrangements for the set were handled by Phil Wright and Cedar Walton, the latter of whom brings in some of the tight funky feel of his own late 70s fusion sets for Columbia. Titles include "A Day At The Mint", "Summer Soft", "Try Not To Forget", "Love Has Made Me A Dreamer", "Evergreen", and "Funkthesizer". CD

Possible matches23
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
David NewmanCaptain Buckles ... LP
Cotillion/Atlantic, 1971. Very Good- ... $1.99
An excellent batch of straight ahead funk from David Fathead Newman! The record's a return to basics after a few more overly-produced sessions – and it features a stripped down quintet with Bernard Purdie on durms, Erick Gale on guitars, Blue Mitchell on trumpet, and Steve Novosel on bass. The overall feel is a bit in the Kudu funky mode – with plenty of electricity in the instrumentation – but Newman's gutsy solos over the top keep the whole thing clean and simple, more in the style of some of the Mainstream small group sessions from the time. Titles include "Blue Caper", "Captain Buckles", "Negus", "The Clincher", and "Joel's Domain". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has taped seams, a card pocket on front, and some pen on back.)

Possible matches24
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Jimmy PonderWhite Room ... LP
ABC, 1977. Near Mint- ... $4.99
A sweet little groover from guitarist Jimmy Ponder – a surprisingly satisfying record that features Ponder soloing out over some tight funky backings that almost sound like the best of the larger group sessions on Kudu or Groove Merchant. Jimmy's playing a sweet hollow body that gives him a tone that's a bit like O'Donnel Levy – warm and chromatic, with single notes picked out in a tight progression that has a lot more jazz than you'd expect for the session at the time. One cut does have some vocals from Jimmy, but the rest is instrumental – with tracks that include "So In Love", "Quintessence", "Bro James", and "Easy". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has light wear & a cutout notch.)

Possible matches25
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Chuck RaineyChuck Rainey Coalition ... LP
Cobblestone, 1972. Very Good+ ... $9.99
Funky instrumentals from bassist Chuck Rainey – a player who was well known for his work on countless sessions as a sideman, but who rarely got a chance to cut a record like this! The album's got a style that's smooth and soulful, yet also a bit down n dirty – almost like some of the similar work from the time on Atlantic. And no surprise, Rainey's working with a number of Atlantic-styled studio players – an elite funky group that includes Richard Tee on keyboards, Billy Butler and Cornell Dupree on guitars, Bernard Purdie on drums, and the legendary Montego Joe on percussion! The album's got a mellow funky kind of approach that's almost a precursor to the 70s grooves of the Kudu label – but with perhaps certain touches of 60s jazz still in the mix as well – and titles include "Eloise", "Lone Stranger", "Theme From Peter Gunn", "Got It Together", and "The Rain Song". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has a cutout notch and a few creases.)

Possible matches26
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Leon SpencerWhere I'm Coming From ... LP
Prestige, 1973. New Copy (reissue)... $9.99
Badass organ funk from the mighty Leon Spencer – a set that's got a bit of a fuller feel than some of his previous albums for Prestige – but a groove that's also equally great! The style here is somewhere between blacksploitation funk and some of the grooves from the CTI/Kudu camp – with a bit more horns than before on some of the titles, arranged tightly to provide a great foil for Leon's leaner lines on Hammond! Arrangements are by Ed Bogas on the fuller tracks, and players on the album include Hubert Laws on flute, Frank Wess on baritone, Victor Paz and Virgil Jones on trumpet, Joe Beck on guitar, Melvin Sparks on guitar, and Grady Tate on drums. One track features Leon working in a smaller trio format – and titles include "Superstition", "Give Me Your Love", "The Price A Po Man's Got To Pay", "Where I'm Coming From", and "Trouble Man". LP, Vinyl record album

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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Phil UpchurchMidnite Blue ... CD
King (Japan), 1991. New Copy ... $16.99
Sweet jazzy fusion from guitarist Phil Upchurch – a set that takes us back to his best records of the 70s, particularly his work on the Kudu label! The record's a great showcase not just for Phil's talents as a guitarist, but also as an arranger, too – and the set has Upchurch soloing strongly in a larger group that also includes Kirk Whalum on tenor and Herman Jackson and Kevin Toney on keyboards – plus vocals from singers Hamish Stewart and Durrell Coleman on a few tracks that also feature The Emotions, too! The mix of jazz and soul is a real return to Phil's roots – and titles include "Chicago Stomp", "Need To Belong", "Midnite Blue", "Welcome", "Name Of The Game", and "Round & Round". CD

Possible matches28
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Grover Washington JrBaddest Grover Washington Jr ... LP
Motown, 1977. Very Good 2LP Gatefold ... $3.99
An excellent 2LP set that compiles Grover's killer funky cuts for Kudu – packaged here in an expanded best-of set that Motown issued when they took over the Kudu distribution. We hardly need to tell you how great these cuts are – as the set includes classics like "Mister Magic", "Black Frost", "Do Dat", "Summer Song", "Feels So Good", and "Ain't No Sunshine" – all stone winners from Grover's best years! LP, Vinyl record album
(NOTE – White label promo in a Motown sleeve.)

Possible matches29
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Eddie DanielsStreet Wind ... CD
Marlin/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Late 70s. New Copy ... About May 11, 2016
A funkier fusion set than usual for Eddie Daniels – a great late 70s project for TK Records, and one that's done without some of the too-smooth styles of later years! Eddie's definitely going for a Kudu Records vibe here – one that mixes in doses of soul with the instrumentation, using just a bit of vocals from Patti Austin at points – alongside work from players who include Dave Grusin and Don Sebesky on keyboards, Joe Beck and John Scofield on guitars, and Steve Jordan and Bernard Purdie on drums. Many cuts have a bit of added percussion at the bottom, which further underscores an acoustic element next to the keyboards – and the tunes are sharper than you might expect, and provide a good foil for Eddie's work on sax, flute, and clarinet. Titles include "One Night With You", "Preparation F", "How Deep Is Your Love", "I Go To Rio", "What's At The End Of A Rainbow", "Fantasy Of A Street Corner Flute Player", and "Song For My Son". CD

Possible matches30
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Seldon PowellMessin With Seldon Powell ... CD
Encounter/Essential, 1973. New Copy ... About May 5, 2016
One of the only albums that sax genius Seldon Powell ever cut as a leader – and a tight smooth set of 70s funk tracks with a stone cold CTI or Kudu Records sound! The set was produced by Bernard Purdie –and features Purdie on drums, plus keyboards by Paul Griffin, trumpet by Jimmy Owens, guitar by Cornell Dupree, and some occasional vocals by Maretha Stewart, Barbara Massey and others. Powell's tone is very right-on – sounding a lot like Eddie Harris' from the same time. The track selection scans a bevy of some of the most forward looking soul and jazz numbers of the period, including Gamble/Huff's "Back Stabbers" and "One Night Affair", "Afro Jazz", Leon Ware's "I Want To Be Where You Are", Galt MacDermot's "Weeping", Powell's own Messin'" and "Afro Jazz", and more! CD
 
 
 



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