A killer little set from Les McCann – one of his greatest records of the 60s, thanks to a fair bit of Latin Soul influences! The album's got a groove that's much grittier than Les' other work – a solid, soulful emphasis on bottom rhythms – which are mostly in a boogaloo and shing-a-ling mode – clearly McCann's nod to the Spanish Harlem scene at the time! The backings here are a bit fuller than usual for Les too – and his trio with Leroy Vinnegar is augmented with lots of added percussion, plus vibes from Lynn Blessing, sax and flute from Plas Johnson, and trumpet from Lee Katzman. The whole thing's wonderful – a non-stop party that rivals similar boogaloo jazz sets of the time – and titles include "Fakeout", "Boo Go Loo", "Hey Leroy", "Bang Bang", "La Brea", and "Music To Watch Girls By". LP, Vinyl record album
The first secular album by The McCrarys – the start of a great run for this group who started in gospel, then really blossomed even more strongly in soul music! The record's got an endorsement from Stevie Wonder, who also plays harmonica and does a small bit of vocalizing – but the real strength is in the vocal work of the group, which is always very tight in kind of an LA backing group sort of way – but with a lot more depth too – one that clearly comes from their gospel roots, but which is right at home here on an album of tight, upbeat arrangements. The set's got a really positive vibe throughout – and titles include "Givin It Up", "Loving Is Living", "Here's That Feeling", "You Are The Key", "Looking Ahead", and "Don't Wear Yourself Out". LP, Vinyl record album
(Includes the lyric sleeve.)
Howard McGhee & Teddy Edwards —
Wise In Time ... CD Storyville/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ...
Great late life work from these two important figures on the LA jazz scene of the postwar years – trumpeter Howard McGhee and tenorist Teddy Edwards – both sounding wonderful here in a very relaxed, open setting! The record's got an approach that's especially marked by the deeper, soulful tone that Edwards adopted from the 60s onward – that great ear for a ballad, which McGhee follows strongly in his performance, although with a tone that's maybe a bit more offbeat. The rest of the group features Art Hillery on piano, Leroy Vinegar on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums – and titles include a great version of "I Want To Talk About You", plus "Crescent", "Time Waits", "Ruby My Dear", and "If You Could See Me Now". CD
An overstuffed collection of work from this legendary guitarist – a set that features the great John McLaughlin in so many of his best modes from the 70s! John's got a very spiritual current in his music, no matter what the setting – and the collection features McLaughlin working with his Indian-tinged Shakti group, the One Truth Band, and even alongside the legendary Carlos Santana, for an especially beautiful set of tracks! Titles include "A Love Supreme", "Friendship", "The Unknown Dissident", "The Life Divine (quad version)", "Lotus Feet", "Face To Face", "La Danse Du Bonheur", "New York On My Mind", and "The Dark Prince". CD
Medallions Featuring Vernon Green —
Speedin' ... CD Ace (UK), Late 50s. New Copy ...
Wonderful west coast vocal group work from Vernon Green & The Medallions – a group who were rooted in doo wop, but who also step out here with a sound that paves the way for plenty of soul as well! There was something different about some of these great LA groups from the 50s – a quality that was often tighter than some of the more street corner work of the east coast – a sensibility that really comes through in vocals like this, which seem to be striving even further for a powerful punch in the overall package! Green's lead really gives the harmonies something to focus around – and the tracks are a great mix of playful numbers and more heartbreaking tunes – with titles that include "Shedding Tears For You", "Unseen", "Give Me The Right", "Dear Darling", "59 Volvo", "Buick 59", "Coup De Ville Baby", "Push Button Automobile", "Rocket Ship", "The Telegram", and "I Wonder Wonder Wonder". CD
A totally great batch of soundtrack funk from the legendary Franco Micalizzi – composer of some of the best Italian cop and crime work of the 70s, heard here in a new version of some of his grooviest tunes! The recording is of relatively recent vintage, but the style is classic 70s all the way through – a really strong, really faithful recasting of the best modes we love in Italian soundtracks of the period – as Micalizzi himself leads a larger group through a host of his best compositions from years back – including work from the films La Banda Del Gobbo, Roma A Mano Armata, Genova A Mano Armata, and Il Cinco L'Infame Il Violento! Funky rhythms mix with sweet electric touches and some especially great horn work – and titles include "Running To The Airport", "Stridulum Theme", "Trinity", "Big Fight", "Bargain With The Devil", and "Folk & Violence". LP, Vinyl record album
A great lost treasure from the LA scene of the 50s – one of the few albums recorded by trumpeter Jack Millman as a leader, working here with a well-named set of "all stars" that includes Jimmy Giuffre, Buddy Collette, Harry Babasin, and Larry Bunker. The set's got a similar feel to other west coast work of the time, but the tracks are tighter, more composed, and a bit more swinging – sort of halfway between swing and the chamber jazz of some of the headier groups. Titles include "The Great Lie", "Along About F", "Butterfingers", "Thinking Of Russ", and "Da Bloosiest Blues". LP, Vinyl record album
(Heavy blue label pressing. Cover has some light staining.)
At the beginning of the 70s, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles parted company – and while to some, it might have looked like the group would flounder without the help of their famous leader, The Miracles hit the 70s wonderfully, and continued to grow tremendously as a group! Of course, part of that growth was due to the fact that Smokey had been replaced by singer Billy Griffin – who shared many of his talents, but also brought his own approach to the group. This concept record called City Of Angels, was their 4th, and probably most successful LP, with some smart production and nice arrangements from Freddie Perren and Wade Marcus. Includes "Night Life", "Love Machine", "Free Press", "Ain't Nobody Straight In LA", "Poor Charlotte", "Waldo Roderick DeHammersmith" and "Smog". LP, Vinyl record album
Although bassist Red Mitchell later went onto do some more adventurous work, especially in his European years, this album has him sticking fairly close to the LA chamber bop format – with light lively playing by a group that features James Clay on flute and tenor, Lorraine Geller on piano, and Billy Higgins on drums. The nice thing, though, is that the tracks are longer than usual, which gives Clay some moments to stretch out, spurred on by the lively drumming of Higgins. Titles include "Sandu", "Paul's Pal", and "Out Of The Blue". CD
A pretty darn sweet vocal session from the duo of Miucha and Antonio Carlos Jobim – recorded with lots of bossa overtones, very much the same spirit as the legendary Elis & Tom album of the mid 70s! Chico Buarque participates in the session, and Jobim even lends his vocal talents to a track or two – but his real talent, though, is his work on the arrangements – as he gives the whole thing a beautifully dreamy quality, in the manner of his best 70s work, with lots of strange off-kilter melodies floating around the mix of strings, piano, and flute! Miucha's vocals are lovely, and titles include "Sei La A Vida Tem Sempre Razao", "Vai Levando", "Comigo E Assim", "Samba Do Aviao", and "Saia Do Caminho". CD
A pretty darn sweet vocal session from the duo of Miucha and Antonio Carlos Jobim – recorded with lots of bossa overtones, very much the same spirit as the legendary Elis & Tom album of the mid 70s! Chico Buarque participates in the session, and Jobim even lends his vocal talents to a track or two – but his real talent, though, is his work on the arrangements – as he gives the whole thing a beautifully dreamy quality, in the manner of his best 70s work, with lots of strange off-kilter melodies floating around the mix of strings, piano, and flute! Miucha's vocals are lovely, and titles include "Sei La A Vida Tem Sempre Razao", "Vai Levando", "Comigo E Assim", "Samba Do Aviao", and "Saia Do Caminho". CD
Enigmatic beatcraft from LA's Mndsgn – definitely among the more tripped out and distinctive producer/artists in the Stones Throw realm – and that's saying something! Yawn Zen is an apt title, but don't take "yawn" the wrong way. The vibe is dreamy (as opposed to sleepy), mediative and moody. Very cool stuff, and a bit reminscient of the Brainfeeder camp, but still right at home on the ever adventurous Stones Throw roster. Includes "Yawn", "Homewards", "Sheets", "Frugality", "Exchanging", "Convert", "Arklite", "Camelblues", "Txt (MSGS)", "AM", "Afternoon Shuffle" and "Zen". LP, Vinyl record album
A cool tribute to the French jazz soundtrack generation of the late 50s – played here by an equally cool combo from Japan! The Modern Jazz Playboys have a sound here that definitely lives up to their name – a slinky, sexy groove that's perfect for the album's selection of tunes from French New Wave films – a set that features some famous Miles Davis and Art Blakey soundtrack numbers, but which also includes some even better lesser-known gems! Instrumentation is spare at all the right moments, and full at other key parts – and titles include "Estate Violenta", "Clue #9", "Un Temoin Dans La Ville", "Les Loups Dans La Bergerie", "Blues De Memphis", "Cora", "Black Nightgown", "Le Grisbi", and "Black March". LP, Vinyl record album
(Vinyl has light surface marks, but this is a decent copy overall.)
Modern Jazz Quartet —
Comedy ... LP Atlantic, 1962. Very Good+ Gatefold ...
A great early 60s set from Modern Jazz Quartet! This one marked the then growing sophistication in the sound of the Modern Jazz Quartet – a concept album based on themes and characters from the Italian tradition of commedia dell'arte. The music is served up in gentle sound poems that have a haunting, timeless sort of feel – very spare and melancholy – with lots of tragic overtones, and hardly the comedic sound you'd expect from the title! Diahann Carroll sings on the track "La Cantatrice" – and other numbers include "Spanish Steps", "Columbine", "Piazza Navona", and "Harlequin". LP, Vinyl record album
(Red & purple label pressing.)
Modern Jazz Quartet —
Django ... LP Prestige, Mid 50s. Very Good- ...
A stone classic from the Modern Jazz Quartet – recorded back when the group still featured Kenny Clarke in its membership, but already with some of the more serious, somber tones that would mark the combo's more famous years! Tracks here are from a variety of sessions in 1953, 1954, and 1955 – and trace an evolution of the MJQ style from initial more composed renditions of bop and modern jazz, to some of the more ambitious colors and tones of the Lewis-penned songbook. Titles include longish readings of "Django" and "La Ronde Suite", plus "Milano", "But Not For Me", "The Queen's Fancy", and "Delaunay's Dilemma". LP, Vinyl record album
(Yellow & black label NJ pressing, with deep groove and RVG etch.)
A double-length live set from the legendary Modern Jazz Quartet – recorded in Scandinavia in 1960, almost as a summation of the group's growing genius in the 50s! The tunes are a mix of John Lewis and Milt Jackson originals, plus other songs all given the wonderful MJQ twist – distilled into a sublime blend of piano, vibes, bass, and drums – all delivered with a sense of class, but never too much polish. Set features 15 tracks in all – including "Django", "Bluesology", "La Ronde", "Festival Sketch", "Vendome", "Odds Against Tomorrow", "Skating In Central Park", "The Cylinder", and"Round Midnight". CD
(Out of print. Barcode has some marker.)
Modern Jazz Quartet/Milt Jackson Quintet —
MJQ ... CD Prestige/OJC, 1952/1954. Used ...
Nice stuff from the early days of the MJQ – recorded back when Kenny Clarke was still playing drums with the group, and giving them a bit more of a bottom! One side of the record features material recorded from one of the quartet's first sessions – in late 1952, with the tracks "La Ronde", "Vendome", and "Rose Of The Rio Grande". The rest of the record features material by Jackson's group with Horace Silver on piano, Percy Heath on bass, Kenny Clarke on drums, and the obscure Henry Boozier on trumpet. That material's a bit more bop-oriented, and titles include "Opus De Funk", "Buhania", and "Soma". CD
A contemporary album, but one that serves as an overdue soundtrack for Luchino Martello's film Island Of The Damned from 1978 – presented here with just the right sort of sounds from Mondo Sangue! The music hits that perfect mix of groovy styles and island elements that we love in Italian soundtracks for tropical settings in the 70s – a bit of electric funk, touches of organic rhythms, and an overall style that's steeped in slinky sex – all with a vibe that's probably closest to the music of Stelvio Cipriani at the time! Production and presentation is perfect – the whole thing hardly sounds contemporary at all – and titles include "La Caccia Di Cocco", "Stranded & Exhausted", "Notte Senza Sonno", "La Castrazione Di Frank", "Rito Di Iniziazione Psichedelico", and "Arriva L'Aiuto". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited hand-numbered edition of 666 copies – with a very cool bonus poster!)
Magnificent Montague in his own words – the incredible life story of the man James Brown calls The Don Of Radio – the voice 50s & 60s soul music from Chicago, to New York to LA! Montague weaves the tale of his career in radio, from segregation era voice on the airwaves, to station owner, to important collector and preservationist of black cultural memorabilia. Co-written by Bob Baker, who listened to Montague on the airwaves as a teenager. An amazing story! Paperback, 192 pages. Book
A great set, and one of the few obscure sides of west coast jazz from Jack Montrose (not to be confused with east coast player JR Montrose). Shorty Rogers supervised the session, and the album features some open-ended tracks done in quintet format that are similar to some of Shorty's best work for RCA in this mode. Jack heads up 2 different groups on the set – but they both have a vibes (Red Norvo) and guitar (Barney Kessel or Jim Hall) lineup that really gives the record an unusual sound for an LA cool jazz set at the time. Titles include "The Horn's Full", "Headline", "True Blue", "Solid Citizen", "Dark Angel", "This Little House", and "Rosanne". LP, Vinyl record album
A very unique little record – and one with a sublime blend of Latin, soul, and vocal styles! The record's a fair bit more sophisticated than most other efforts like this from the 60s – thanks to a strong batch of talents that includes Gil Fuller on arrangements, Phil Moore III on piano, Leni Groves on vocals – and a host of small combo players who include Joe Pass on guitar, Hadley Caliman on tenor and flute, and Francisco Aquabella on percussion! There's a warmly soulful west coast jazz sound here that's perhaps the strongest aspect of the record – a style that steps off nicely from the hipper side of LA, but throws in a few Latin influences – making for a really great sound that's totally fresh, and which really makes this record stand out from the pack! Titles include a great version of "What Is Wrong With Groovin", plus "Midnight Blue", "Batucada", "I Want Your Kiss", "Lavender Lady", and "The 8th Day". LP, Vinyl record album
A lost spiritual jazz classic from pianist Nate Morgan – maybe the musician's best-remembered moment, and for good reason too! The set's got this soaring, spiritual vibe that's much more early 70s than you'd guess from the date of recording – a post-Coltrane spirit with lots of modal energy in the rhythms, carved out by Nate in these bold, dark lines on piano – and topped with some excellent work on alto sax from the great Dadisi Komolate! Both players were key figures in the under-documented LA scene of this period – and work together to make tremendous sounds on this album – on titles that include "He Left Us A Song", "Journey Into Nigritia", "Morning Prayer", "Mother", and "Study in CT". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited to 250 copies! Beautiful pressing – with heavy vinyl and cover, and maybe even nicer than the original!)
A great set from LA pianist Nate Morgan – one of the leading underground talents in the west coast soul jazz scene of the late 70s and early 80s! The album's a trio set, performed in an blocky, exploratory style that recalls McCoy Tyner's best early work – but which also has a free and open sensibility of its own. Titles include "Darius The Bold", "All Blues", "Forest Flower", "Night In Tunisia", and "Invitation". CD
An overlooked gem from Ennio Morricone – great work from his French period of the early 80s, when he was scoring in some especially great ways! The movie's got a spy theme, but as always with Morricone, the music is a lot more than you'd expect – often done with these melodies that are building and brooding, with one key offbeat element throbbing with the rhythm – including some nicely askew piano on a few of the best themes here, which is sometimes matched by trumpet work from Italian jazz legend Oscar Valdambrini! There's a mature approach to the music that really fits the Lino Ventura presence in the narrative – and the trumpet is often muted or subdued, in a way that compresses it beautifully with the rest of the orchestrations. Titles include "Espion Leve Toi", "Marche En La", "Bugle Pour Anna", "Secret Nocturne", "Telephone Sans Reponse", and "Melodie Pour Anna". CD also features 12 more bonus tracks not on the original album! CD
The title certainly gets it right – even if it, like the cover, is a bit spare overall – because the CD features tracks that have never been reissued at all – brilliant work from Ennio Morricone done for a series of projects for the Cometa sound library! Much of the work is in the more majestic side of Morricone's spectrum – less his playful light melodies, and more at the level of his serious, sophisticated themes – of the sort that would flower more strongly in his international work to come in the 80s, but heard here at a formative level that's equally brilliant! The notes are in English and Italian – and do give some indication of the original uses of the music – and titles include "Larghetto", "Largo", "Pavana", "Tra La Foresta E Il Mare", "Rondo Capriccioso", "Sardegna", and "Organo Nel Vento". CD
An archetypal record all the way through – with some of the best Morricone western styles from the period – and still one of the greatest in its genre! To match the darkness of the film, Morricone's working here in a spare, stark mode – using bits of guitar and whistling to state the themes of the tunes in a simple, yet dramatic way. The legendary Alessandro Alessandroni handles both of these aspects of the record – as well as the I Cantori Moderni choir which sings on a few numbers too. Edda Dell'Orso lends her haunting, wordless vocal, too – and the titles include "Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu","La Resa Dei Conti", "Psserviatori Osservati", "Il Corpo", "Poker D'Assi", "Carillon", "Addio Colonnello" and Il Visio Di Uccidere". LP, Vinyl record album
Our favorite side of the genius of Ennio Morricone – and a really wonderful collection that completely illustrates why we love Morricone so much! In the mainstream world, Morricone's best known for his famous scores for spaghetti westerns and horror films – both of which have a trademark sound that's pretty well known to audiences at large. But during the same period he was penning soundtracks for those genres, Morricone was also working in a style that was even more completely his own – a gentle, mellow, easy-grooving mode that was inspired by jazz, bossa nova, and easy instrumentation – yet which emerged with qualities that were completely unique, and which still stand today as some of the most inventive work of its generation! There's a simple, economical approach here that's really mindblowing – rhythms that flow slowly like fog escaping from a riverbank, notes that fall in slight spare patterns like drops of rain from a leaf after a storm, and gently cascading waves of sound that float and shimmer in the mix – rising as carefully as the sun to give the music a wonderfully redemptive spirit. The tracks on the set are carefully chosen from films that include Scusi Faciamo L'Amore, Verushka, La Donna Invisible, Le Foto Proibite, and Il Gatto A Nove Code – and we can honestly say that the set is a perfect introduction to the Morricone that we love more than anyone else! CD
A score that's arguably much better than the movie it was written for – a great Ennio Morricone moment for a 70s thriller that starred Rock Hudson! Morricone's a bit restrained, but in a way that's pretty nice – making for some lighter orchestral numbers that offset the darker mood of the film in a good way – that shift of music that often makes the soundtrack almost feel like a separate movie going on at the same time as the images on the screen! Plus, the album also includes themes from a few other films – such as H2S, Quando La Preda E L'Uomo, and Roma Come Chicago. Titles include "Blowing The Dam", "Child's Play", "Una Storia Finita", "1+1+1+1", "The Big Risk", and "Various Troubles". LP, Vinyl record album
A great Ennio Morricone soundtrack – penned for a 1979 assassination thriller that starred an aging Yves Montand! There's a sense of majesty here that really grabs us from the get-go – first the sort of slow-building themes that could make Morricone so wonderful in the 70s, then some equally great passages that have a slightly more dramatic vibe – but always with that subtle, spacious quality that could make the maestro so unique and so powerful. Instrumentation is great – with slight bits of harpsichord, isolated oboe, descending string passages, and off-tune piano – and titles include "Deux Phares Dans La Nuit", "La Verite Et Le Soleil", "I Comme Icare", "Recherche Obstinee", and "Prelude A Icare". Expanded version of the album – with tracks from the original record, and the GDM Club CD too. CD
A pair of Ennio Morricone classics – back to back in a single set! First up is I Crudeli – a really wonderful western soundtrack from Ennio Morricone – done at a level that's a bit different than the usual style for the time – with more of some of the elements that the maestro might bring to later horror material! The main theme is wonderful – with a snapping snare and haunting trumpet part – but then later tracks have a more brooding sense of tension – sometimes abstracting off the main theme in a very spacious way, sometimes working with oddly tuned strings, and that great Morricone way of isolating and abstracting a single instrument – so that the original sound is quite obscured, leaving the listener to reach with their ears with a great sense of curiosity! The whole thing's wonderful – and titles include "I Crudeli", "La Congiura", "Dopo La Congiura", "Un Momento", and "Minacciosamente Lontano". Revolver is dark genius from Ennio Morricone – a surprising album that's one of his best-remembered from the time! Unlike a lot of other 70s composers, who would write a very groovy upbeat score for a police film – Morricone took the task very seriously, and composed some of his darkest work for early 70s thrillers, like this obscure film that features an excellent soundtrack! The work is on a par with some of the more off-kilter moments in La Donna Invisible, or some of the more melodic ones in Barbe Bleue – and much of the record features spare themes with a dominant instrument in the lead, and nicely compressed orchestrations that never get too soppy or cliched! Titles include "Revolver", "Anna", "Quasi Un Vivaldi", "In Un Altro Bar", "Rapimento", and the funky "In Un Bar". Very nice – and another lost Morricone gem finally available again! CD
A beautifully mellow soundtrack from Ennio Morricone – and in ways that are a bit different than some of his more familiar scores from the time! The instrumentation here is heavy on strings, often with lighter woodwinds in the front – and all tunes have a slow-building melody that's really lovely – somewhat sweeter than the usual Morricone instrumental, but still with a haunting quality overall. Edda Dell'Orso sings wordless vocals on half of the album's tracks – further helping develop this compelling little tune – and the whole thing moves along at a pace that's even gentler than La Donna Invisible! CD features 11 tracks in all – including "Incontro", "Titoli E Finale", and nine varations on "Il Maestro E Margherita". CD
Dark brilliance from Ennio Morricone – a great 70s thriller that mixes in some great extra elements with the music! Il Prefetto Di Ferro has a core sound that's very much in keeping with Morricone's approach to crime and cop films – a bit warmer and funkier at times than his horror scores, but also touched here with some slight Mediterranean moments on guitar or flute – little "Sicilian" touches to set the mood of the film, in a way that also creates some nicely exotic touches. The record features some vocals and guitar from Rosa Balestrieri – a new collaborator for Morricone – and titles include "La Mafia", "Omerta", "Canto Di Sicilia", "Siccita", "Morte Di Ferrarello", and "Una Rete Di Protenzi". LP, Vinyl record album
A slightly different Morricone than usual – served up in a variety of lesser known tunes from the mid 70s! These tracks have the older Morricone style of isolated instruments and lightly drifting grooves – but there's also a bit more of an electric feel than before – especially on the strong use of keyboards on some of the best numbers, either in a moogy analogue mode, or more conventional electric piano or harpsichord. The collection focuses on work from a small handful of films that include Rene La Canne, La Smagliatura, Un Genio Due Compari Un Pollo, and Un Uomo Da Rispettare – most of which are now out of print on CD – and although the whole thing's a bit short on notes overall, it's filled with great music and is easily one of the best titles ever from Dagored! Tracks include "A Florinda", "Giallo E Rotativa", "Passaporto Per L'Allegria", "Ipocrisia", "Acidamente Dolce", "Questa Pazza Pazza Cossa", "Un Bacio Asfissiante", and "L'Errore". CD
(Out of print, small cutout hole through digipack barcode.)
Slinky genius from Ennio Morricone – an early soundtrack penned for an Italian sex comedy that starred Uno Tognazzi, and one that's filled with plenty of playful instrumental touches! The tunes here are often a bit less upbeat than you'd expect for such a film – done with a Morricone sense of spareness and isolated instrumentation – in a way that almost creates more of a "mood" feel than a sex one, but which also shows the key work done during this generation to liberate film music from overdone romantic styles of earlier years! The record features a few tracks with vocals – "In Fondo Ai Miei Occhi" and "Un Fiore E Nato, sung by Anna Moffo, and "Ho Messo Gli Occhi Su Di Te", sung by Dino – and other titles include "Giallo E Arancione", "La Moglie Tardona", "Fermateli", and "Menage All'Italiana". CD
Beautiful work from Ennio Morricone – quite uplifting, even if the general theme is a bit dark and contemplative! Gone are some of the atonal moments of other scores from the time, and in their place are some wonderful passages on strings and piano, with occasional isolated solos on harpsichord or oboe, snaking around in those captivatingly subtle melodies that Morricone could cook up when he really wanted! The album reminds us a bit of a more flowery version of Foto Prohibite or La Donna Invisible – and and titles include "La Madre", "La Terra Del Padre", "Questa Specie D'Amore", "Roma Baldracca", "Federico E La Sua Solitudine", and "Giovanna e Federico". LP, Vinyl record album
Dark genius from Ennio Morricone – a surprising album that's one of his best-remembered from the time! Unlike a lot of other 70s composers, who would write a very groovy upbeat score for a police film – Morricone took the task very seriously, and composed some of his darkest work for early 70s thrillers, like this obscure film that features an excellent soundtrack! The work is on a par with some of the more off-kilter moments in La Donna Invisible, or some of the more melodic ones in Barbe Bleue – and much of the record features spare themes with a dominant instrument in the lead, and nicely compressed orchestrations that never get too soppy or cliched! Titles include "Revolver", "Anna", "Quasi Un Vivaldi", "In Un Altro Bar", "Rapimento", and the funky "In Un Bar". Very nice – and another lost Morricone gem finally available again! LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition of 500 white & red splatter vinyl.)
A lost western score from Ennio Morricone – directed with some nice musical flourishes by the great Bruno Nicolai! The work's got the feel of some of Morricone's more famous spaghetti western scores – with some great moody passages that hint at the offbeat instrumentation of his horror work, coupled with more driving action-related tunes that have a more driving feel overall – and together, these tunes weave a very visual tapestry of sound – possibly even more compelling than the actual film! Titles include "Viva La Revolucion", "Tepepa E Price", "A Meta Strada", "Una Povera Casa", "Consegna Delle Armi", and "Tradimento Secondo". LP, Vinyl record album
A really wonderful Ennio Morricone soundtrack from the 70s – and one of his more obscure efforts of the time! The music is mostly dark and brooding, but in ways that are different than some of his horror soundtracks – as odd-tuned orchestrations come into contact with occasional electric elements, which are almost used a stark punctuation next to the weird strings, woodwinds, and piano! The whole thing's maybe more in the vein of some of Morricone's avant scoring – especially with Gruppo D'Improvvisazione Nuova – but a bit more tuneful overall. Titles include "Quinto Potere", "Sogno Nel Sud", "Tensiona Statica", "Casa Sotto La Luna", and "Tensione Articolata". LP, Vinyl record album
(Rare limited 1000 edition pressing – new, but a vintage pressing, too!)
Ennio Morricone & Gino Marinuzzi Jr —
Matchless ... CD CMT/Legend (Italy), 1966. New Copy ...
Really lovely work from Ennio Morricone – one of his more obscure movie soundtracks, but a set that sparkles with the energy of his best classics from the late 60s! There's a wonderfully subtle approach at times – the genesis of that style that set Morricone apart from so many of his contemporaries – and one of the key elements is electric bass, used sparely, but really turned up in the mix – so that each pluck of the strings resonates with this deep quality that colors each new tune – whether sweet or sinister! A few numbers hit a bit of a mod pitch, and some are composed by Gino Marinuzzi – and I Cantori Moderni make a bit of a vocal appearance on the record too. Titles include "Ho Paura", "La Danza Delle Trombe", "Un Sogno Ricorrente", "Una Dolce Corsa", "Suspense", "Marcetta Divertente", and "Titoli Di Coda". CD
Van Morrison at the height of his solo powers – working here in an extended live set that opens up with all the genius for vocal expression and inflection he developed during his initial solo years at Warner Brothers! The setting is perfect to show the growing confidence Morrison has in his talents – an unbridled sense of soul that comes on even more strongly on some of these versions than on earlier takes of the tunes in the studio – especially as they mix with a few great covers here that further illustrate the wide range of inspirations that Van brings into his music. Backing is by a tight, soulful combo – and tracks include "Domino", "Wild Children", "I Believe To My Soul", "I Just Want To Make Love To You", "These Dreams Of You", "Into The Mystic", "Warm Love", "Saint Dominic's Preview", "Bring It On Home To Me", "Listen To The Lion", "Gloria", "Cyprus Avenue", "Caravan", and "Take Your Hand Out Of My Pocket". Special 3CD version is stunning – and presents the full 3 concerts that went into the core album – with over 3 hours of unreleased music! Concerts were recorded at the Troubadour in LA, Santa Monica Civic, and Rainbow in London – and additional titles include "Sweet Thing", "Bein Green", "Buona Sera", "Wild Night", "Hey Good Lookin", "Snow In San Anselmo", "Come Running", "Hard Nose To The Highway", "Since I Fell For YOu", "There There Child", "No Way", "Moonshine Whiskey", and lots more! 45 tracks in all – and comes with a DVD featuring 9 tracks, and 50 minutes of footage from the Rainbow show in London! CD
Ed Motta knocks it out of the park with this one – taking things in an even more soulfully classic direction than on his killer AOR album – and giving us key proof that he's one of the most important soul singers of the 21st Century so far! Ed's got a way of opening doors wherever he goes – as part of a huge global legacy he's left in the past decade or soul – and this time around, he's opening the doors to a classic style of studio production from the LA scene – the kind of warm soul that works perfect for Motta's incredible voice, and which makes the album one of the best he's ever given us! Ed plays Fender Rhodes in the small combo backing here – and is working with a key group of jazz musicians that includes Patrice Rushen and Greg Phillingaines on keyboards, Hubert Laws on flute, Rickey Woodard and Charles Owens on tenor, and Marvin Smitty Smith on drums – a stunning lineup that makes for amazing sounds throughout. All lyrics are in English, and Ed effortlessly blends jazz and soul on original titles that include "Captain's Refusal", "Forgotten Nickname", "The Owner", "A Town In Flames", "Good Intentions", "Hypochondriac's Fun", "Heritage Deja Vu", "Overblown Overweight", and "Reader's Choice". CD
Most folks know Georges Moustaki as a grey-haired, full-bearded fellow from his records of the 70s – but back at the start of his career he was a sharp-dressed singer/songwriter who could match the cool and class of some of his best French contemporaries in the postwar years! This set focuses on all that made Moustaki great in the early days – in a 3CD package that features a full CD of his own initial recordings, including some he cut under the name of Eddie Salem – and two more CD's worth of material from other French singers who quickly championed Georges' songs with their own recorded versions! The package is every bit as great as the similar sets from Fremeux on Serge Gainsbourg and Claude Nougaro – and titles include "J'Attends Le Jour", "Mon Ile De France", "De Shanghai A Bangkok", "Ya Me Leili", "J'Ai Deja Dit Non", and "Reste Avec Moi" by Georges Moustaki – plus "Eden Blues" by Irene Lecarte, "Il N'Y A Plus D'Amandes" by Henri Salvador, "Ma Ville A Peur Du Loup" by Noelle Norman, "La Saint Paris" by Paul Roby, "Mi Muchacha" by Les Whiskys, "Dunkerque" by Michele Arnaud, "De Shanghai A Bangkok" by Barbara, "Le Passager Clandestin" by Daniele Rouille, and "Un Etranger" by Edith Piaf. 70 titles in all! CD
Mr Gasser & The Weirdos —
Surfink ... LP Capitol/Sundazed, 1964. Near Mint- (reissue)...
Way way more than the novelty record you might guess from the cover – and instead a great lost chapter in the LA studio scene of the 60s! Not that we're trying to fault the image on the front – because it's a great pic by Ed Big Daddy Roth – but the music in the grooves of the record is even greater – headed up by Gary Usher, and done with a great mix of surf and sunshine modes throughout! Gary sings lead vocals with Bob Klimes – and the group features keyboards from Leon Russell, guitars from Jerry Cole and David Gates, saxes from Steve Douglas, and tight drums from Earl Palmer – all working in a wonderful studio mode that's right up there with the best LA sounds of the time! Titles include "Surfink Blues", "Well I'm Goin", "Surfer Ghoul", "Doin The Surfink", "Little Fink Surfs Again", "Phantom Surfer", and "There's A Dog Gone Ding In My Ding Dong Boards". LP, Vinyl record album
A great set that brings together themes from some of the best European films of the early 60s – work by composers who include Nino Rota, John Addison, Maurice Jarre, and others – all presented as short, focused instrumental tunes! Werner Muller's instrumental approach features strings mixed with some jaunty rhythms – and titles include "Sundays & Cybele", "Jules Et Jim", "Shoot The Piano Player", "Theme From 8 1/2", "La Strada", and "Last Year At Marienbad". LP, Vinyl record album
A great little session by Murray – recorded at that point in the early 90s when DIW was turning out some especially soulful records! The group on the set features Fred Hopkins on bass, McCoy Tyner on piano, and Elvin Jones on drums – and although you might expect a Coltraney feel from such a group, the range of expression is wider, in a variety of rootsier styles that Murray was using at the time. Titles include "3D Family", "Cousin Mary", "Hope/Scope", "Dexter's Dues", and "La Tina Lee". CD
(Out of print.)
David Murray & Gwo-Ka Masters Feat Pharoah Sanders —
Gwotet ... CD Justin Time, 2004. Used ...
A rich tapestry of Afro-Caribbean rhythms – and one of the most compelling albums we've heard in years from David Murray! The set features an expanded group of percussionists, vocalists, and other instrumentalists – fronted by lead solo stars David Murray and Pharoah Sanders – all jamming freely in styles that bring together bits of African, Haitian, and Cuban rhythms – forging them into a bold new sound for the project! Tracks are all quite longish, and given the previous skills that both Murray and Sanders have exhibited in such settings, they're more than up for the challenge of working with such a heady group of players! Titles include "Go To Jazz", "Gwotet", "Djolla Feeling", "La Jwa", "O Leonso", and "Ovwa". CD
One of the grooviest takes on The Beatles we've ever heard – served up by a hip group of LA players led by pianist Don Randi! The style here is very hard and percussive – more soulful and swinging than the original tunes on the Rubber Soul album, and often done with a tightly vamping set of rhythms that are halfway between instrumental soul and early funk! The rest of the players include the Hal Blain and John Clauder on drums, Julius Wechter on percussion, Tommy Tedesco on guitar, Gary Coleman on vibes, and Hal Gordon on congas – all coming together in a soulful blend that really transforms these tunes. The overall feel is a bit like other piano-heavy soul jazz groovers from the LA scene of the 60s – particularly the work of the Harold Johnson Sextet – and Randi's piano is recorded way upfront in the mix, really dominating the tunes with a strongly rhythmic quality. Titles include "Norwegian Wood", "It's Only Love", "Run For Your Life", ""Think For Yourself", "You Won't See Me", "The Word", and "I'm Looking Through You". CD
Simon Nabatov/Mark Dresser —
Projections ... CD Clean Feed (Portugal), 2015. New Copy ...
The first-ever duo recording from pianist Simon Nabatov and bassist Mark Dresser – a set that has both players standing in very strong individual space, while still making great sounds together! Nabatov's piano has plenty of bold, angular flourishes – sometimes which seem to come from playing inside the piano box, as well as the keys – and Dresser's bass is much deeper, and sometimes more tentative – a sense of spaciousness that balances things out wonderfully, and makes for a really rich palette of colors. Titles include "Aria Attach", "Pliant Giant", "La Ment", and "Parting Shots". CD
Hip hop for the Gainsbourg fan? This Handsome Boy Modeling School spin off has Nathaniel Merriweather, aka Dan The Automator, working in his smoothest, sexiest, loungiest mode ever! Like Handsome Boy, Lovage is packed to the rafters with mysterious guest appearances, including the turntable and mixing skills of Kid Koala, Chest "Prince Paul" Rockwell, Afrika Bambaataa, and Maseo of De La Soul. Guest vocalists include Jennifer Charles of Elysian Fields, Damon Albarn, and Mike Patton. Tracks include "Ladies Love Chest Rockwell", "Pit Stop (Take Me Home)", "Anger Management", "Everyone Has A Summer They Want To Remember", "To Catch A Thief", "Lies And Alibis", "Book Of The Month", "Strangers On A Train", "Sex (I'm A)", "Tea Time With Maseo", "Herbs, Good Hygiene, & Socks", and the best song named after a bad Burt Reynolds movie ever, "Stroker Ace". CD
Don't let the "T-99" on the cover make you think that Jimmy Nelson's just a one trick pony – because despite the greatness of that classic, he's also got a hell of a lot more to offer too – as you'll hear on this stunning collection that's the first to finally dig into the wealth of excellent LA recordings he made in the 50s! Nelson's got a style that's part blues, part jazz, and perfect for all the hip currents that were coming forth from the west coast during these amazing years – and the singer gets plenty of jumping Central Avenue rhythms on these wonderful sides – music that hardly cares anything about the big styles of the previous months, as it leaps forward strongly to uncover whole new modes of expression. There's a jumping joy to most of these tracks that still grabs us after all these years – a moment when blues not only didn't have to be totally "blue", but also could steer clear of so many later cliches. CD features 23 tracks in all – some rare RPM Records singles, some unissued tracks too – with titles that include "T-99", "Cary Hard Luck", "Married Men Like Sport", "Right Around The Corner", "Meet Me With Your Black Dress On", "Rain Drop Blues", "Fine Little Honey Dripper", "She's My Baby", "I Sat & Cried", "Unlock The Door", and "Big Mouth". CD
Funky madness from The New Mastersounds – sounding better here than we remember them in years, with a real nitty-gritty quality that reminds us of their best early singles! The grooves on the set are extremely intense – from the percussion-jamming timbales of "The Tin Drum", to the mad guitar of "Zambezi", to the super-cooking organ of "You Got It All" – and each new track is a delightful surprise, offering a different focus on the group's instrumental strengths – all of which are presented here with raw and stripped-down production! Sam Bell guests on percussion – and other tracks include "Baby Bouncer", "La Cova", "Pure", "Ain't No Telling", "The Minx", and "Land Of Nod". CD
Great lean grooves from vibist Red Norvo – exactly the kind or record that shows why he was such an amazing talent on his instrument in the 50s! The album has Red working without piano or drums – just the guitar of Jimmy Raney and bass of Red Mitchell – both players who are hipper than the usual cats to handle their instruments too, especially Raney, whose sharp tone is a great match for Norvo's vibes. Red's vibes are way up front on most of the tracks, but leave plenty of space for the other players to shine, especially Raney's guitar work on "J9 Hate K9" and "Out Of Nowhere". Other tracks include "Crazy Rhythm", "Puby La Keg", "Just One Of Those Things", "Everything I've Got", and "Prelude To A Kiss". CD
Early work from one of our favorite French singers ever – not only some of his first few recordings, but also a huge host of material by other contemporaries who recorded their own takes on the compositions of Pierre Barouh! Barouh was the ultimate left bank hipster in the postwar years – strongly influenced by American jazz, to a point where he would often pen his own French lyrics to American jazz tunes, and come up with his own jazzy material too – even to a point where he'd go onto record with a fair bit of jazz musicians from both Paris and the US! That influence is already in place here, as the tracks offer up material very different than familiar French chanson – work that's groovier more upbeat, and often filled with hip instrumental touches to match the inherent poetry of Nougaro's words. And although we've made it a point to track down everything Claude ever recorded over the years, we've actually not heard most of the other work here – which represents the bulk of the collection. Titles include "Seulement" by Cyril Dalin, "Mephisto" by Paul Peri, "Coupez Les Moi Au Rasoir" by Paul Roby, "Maman M'La Dit" by Stephen Bruce, "La Folle Chanson" by Zack Matalon, "Joseph" by Philippe Clay, "Le Balayeur Du Roy" by Marcel Amont, "Vise La Poupee" by Elise Vallee, and "Vole Vole" by Les Jazz Baladins – plus "Les Anges", "Il Y Avait Une Ville", "Le Piano De Mauvaise Vi", "Tiens Toi Bien A Mon Coeur", and "Marguerite" by Claude Nougaro himself. CD
A pretty decent album of slightly funky slightly Latin fusion, recorded by this obscure Chicago group from the late 70s. The feel of the record is more along the lines of some of the slicker LA sessions from the 70s, with electric keyboards and guitar, and compressed production on the drums that give them a tight studio sound. Titles include "My Little Red Car", "Spanish Ears", "Doin It Again & Again", and "JT's Hiccups". LP, Vinyl record album
Album features 12 tracks, including "Suru La Fi Nsoko Obinrin", "Madaru Ma Lo", "Eru O Ba Mi", "Iba O Messiah Oba", "Ngo Sun Towotowo Juba Re" and "Ma Ri Temi Gba". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has wear and some moisture stains.)
Ocho 2 ... LP United Artists, 1973. New Copy (reissue)...
A seminal album from the NuYorican Latin generation! Ocho only get better on this second album – mixing together jazz, funk, soul, and Latin into a sound that was shared by few other groups – using vibes, electric piano, and flute in combination with older elements of Latin Jazz to forge a brave new style for the proud Latin scene of the 70s. The range of grooves is amazing – with some fast jammers, some beautiful mellow numbers, and some of the wildest jazzy changes you've ever heard on a Latin album. Great all the way through – and tracks include "Fool'ja", "What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?", "Descarga Con Baja", "La Batanga", and "El Guayabero". LP, Vinyl record album
A contemporary salsa group, but one with a really classic New York vibe – a no-nonsense approach that focuses both on the excellent vocals of leader Jose Conde, and on the rhythmic interplay from the members o fthe group! The lineup features two trombones – in a bold, soulful style that echoes older music from Willie Colon – but all the musicians have a much more contemporary sense of phrasing, and this complex approach that slide in modern currents that create a beautiful array of colors alongside the rhythms! The group also features trumpet, piano, and plenty of percussion – and titles include "Mulata", "Convivencia", "Elixer", "Bizcocho", "Bandera", "El Nino De La Clave", and "Pollitos De Primavera". CD
Sweet modern soul from the Originals – one of Motown's few groups from older years to really adopt a successful 70s sound. Much of the arrangements are by producers Frank Wilson and Michael Sutton – and the album's got a smooth LA soul sound that's different than the group's earlier records, which were much more in a classic Detroit group mode. The ballad cuts seem to work the best for the group – and titles include "Touch", "Natural Loving Feeling", "Count Me Out", "It's So Real", "All I Wanna Do", and "Bring Me Together". LP, Vinyl record album
A beautiful bossa soundtrack from late 60s Italy – somewhat obscure, but easily right up there with some of the better-known classics from the time! The score is awash in bossa-styled rhythms, and features a fair bit of organ, vibes, and piano – often used sparely and spaciously to create a mood that's far dreamier than the tense setting of the film – a really magical approach that's filled with soft colors and wonderful tones throughout! Nora Orlandi sings beautiful wordless vocals on the leadoff track – which is almost a Rosemary's Baby-styled number – and Paolo Orlandi sings in a straighter style on one other track. Titles include "Marcel Deborah", "Night Story", "Ossessione", "Molto Tempo Fa", "I Robot", "Ginevra", "Croisette", "La Bandita", and "Musica Bionda". Great pressing features a whopping 18 bonus tracks – 30 titles in all! CD
A wholly unique late 60s record by Orquesta Afro Brasileira – with these raw, heavy and unforgettable roosty rhythms and chorus vocals that give it something of a spiritual, folkloric vibe – yet the overall sound is still indicative of the genre-busting creativity of the many different late 60s Brazilian scenes! Those folk and roots elements are balanced by more modernly inspired sax, clarinet and piano that remind us a bit of some of nascent Afro jazz and funk from the late 60s. The mix of styles has a really hypnotic effect! Includes "Ago Lonan", "Rei N'Aruanda", "Nagana (Senhor)", "Xango". "Os Oinho De Iaia", "Babaloxa", "Tire O Calundu", "Palmares", "India", "Mo-Fi-La-Do-Fe", "Saudacao Aos Orixas" and "Canto Para Omolu". LP, Vinyl record album
The dances of today – circa 1962 – served up here by Orquesta Aragon with a sweet blend of pachanga and charanga styles! Instrumentation is relatively lean – and even the string elements are used in a nicely punctuated style – one that works well with the sweet-stepping percussion and basslines, and often sewn together with a jazzy bit of flute! There's a bit more bite here than on some of the group's other records from the time – and even some of the slower dancers have this kick that's mighty nice – especially given the mostly instrumental focus on most numbers. Titles include "La Gioconda", "El Sentimental", "La Reina Isabel", "Ave 486", "Daimitillo Y Maranon", "La Chaucha", and "Jovenes De Danubio". LP, Vinyl record album
Orquesta Aragon —
Ja Ja Pacha ... LP Discuba, Early 60s. New Copy (reissue)...
Sweet pachanga grooves from Orquesta Aragon – and a set that's a lot more stripped down than some of their material from the 50s! There's still a few echoes of the cha cha groove here, but the overall approach is definitely in keeping with the image on the cover – light flute lines that skip around wonderfully, carving out a groove with a jazzy sensibility – with some great support from violin and percussion! Most numbers have vocals, but the flute gets plenty of lead space too – and titles include "Gladys", "No Quiero Lios", "La Fruta Ja Ja", "Solamente Tu", "Solo De Ti", "Heriste Mi Corazon", and "La Criticona". LP, Vinyl record album
A rare 70s gem from modernist reed giant Anthony Ortega – very different than his other sessions as a leader, but with an equally compelling vibe! The style here has Ortega working with a bit of electricity – provided by vibes and guitar, in a way that creates some slightly funky undercurrents on a few tracks, and some soundtracky touches on others. Given that Ortega had played a lot in studio groups at the time, the setting's not that unusual – but what is striking is that Tony still blows with an angular, modern, and extremely striking quality – really hitting some great solos in the set, and showing that he's still one of the farthest-thinking players on the LA scene of the time. Vibes are by Mona Orbeck Ortega, guitar is by Joseph Coleman, and the record's got some nice drums by Ronald Ogden. Anthony plays bass clarinet, tenor, alto, and flute – and titles include "Down Here On The Ground", "Kathy Walk", "Hidin Out", "Rain Dance", and "Town Meetin". LP, Vinyl record album
Totally cool stuff – a set of 50s radio broadcasts from LA R&B legend Johnny Otis! And wait, before you say "radio broadcasts? Bet the quality's not good" – don't! The work on here is really great, and the sound quality is equally good – and together, the set offers a totally different side of Otis than you'd hear on the studio recordings. These recordings not only have Johnny grooving with his great 50s band, but they also feature a bit of radio patter, advertisements, and other spoken bits – showing just how plugged in Johnny was to the south central community. Way more than just an excellent set of 50s R&B, the CD's a brilliant document of the time – with a level of quality that makes it even more tremendous. Performers include Johnny, The Dominoes, Marie Adams, The Mermaids, Larry Williams, and The Penguins – and tunes include "Sweet Love", "One Sweet Letter", "Bum On A Log", "Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean", "Not Too Young", "Justine", "The Dummy", and "Dirty Dishes". CD
Man, we don't know if Johnny and show were growing their own weed in the back of the tour bus or what – but these late 60s efforts for the band are nice and messed up! The tipoff's probably a young Shuggie, looking very stoned on the cover of the album Cold Shot (the first one on this set), and just managing to hold up his fingers for a peace sign! (Better than Johnny, though – who's flipping the bird in the same photo!) Shuggie still manages to get in some nice guitar work on the album, though - and Mighty Mouth Evans adds some color to the proceedings with his usual flair. Titles include "Country Girl", "Cold Shot", "I Believe I'll Go Back Home", "You Better Look Out", and "Goin' Back To LA". Next up is the rare album by Snatch & The Poontangs – a bit bluesy, a bit funky, and pretty raunchy all the way through – as you might expect from the name of the group! We're not sure, but this kind of feels like a Johnny Otis side project – especially hearing the guitar and choppy rhythm on a few tracks. No players are named on the album – but vocals are by "The Mouth", guitar is by "Prince Wunnerful", and drums and piano are by "The Hawk", all of which leads us to believe that the record was cut by players with bigger status, who had something to hide. Titles include "Big John Jeeter", "The Signifyin' Monkey (parts 1 & 2)", "Hey Shine", and "Two Girls In Love (With Each Other)". CD features 20 tracks in all, with 2 bonus previously unissued titles by Snatch! CD
An insanely wonderful album! Shuggie Otis is the son of Johnny Otis – the LA R&B maestro who was moving heavily into funk at the end of the 60s – and he has this tripped out, super-dope guitar style that he played to strong effect on Johnny's albums of the late 60s and early 70s, and on his first two solo albums, which were kind of bluesy in tone. For this album, though, he shocked the world by moving into a stripped-down mode that pairs his guitar with spare drum machine rhythms, flanged-out deeply soulful vocals, and one of the most laidback conceptions of funk you'll ever hear. The album's a landmark – one of those gems that's unlike anything else you can think of, but which will redefine your concept of what you want in a record for years to come. Every track's a winner – and the whole thing's a perfectly unified batch of tunes that includes instant classics like "Inspiration Information", "Island Letter", "Aht Uh Mi Hed", "XL 30", and "Rainy Day". LP, Vinyl record album
Marty Paich takes on a host of Broadway tunes from the 50s – but as always with his best work, the result is something quite far from its roots – an amazing batch of jazzy instrumentals that owes very little to the original conception of the tunes! Paich's got an incredible ear for arrangements here – one that manages to make a large ensemble swing with even more dynamic modes than some of his 50s LA contemporaries, but never in ways that fall into some of the more hi-fi oriented tricks or gimmicks of the time. There's always great space for solo voices and personal feelings in the music – which is important, given that the lineup includes Art Pepper on alto, Bill Perkins on tenor, Jimmy Giuffre on baritone, and Stu Williamson on trumpet – not to mention the legendary Scott LaFaro on bass. Titles include "I Love Paris", "I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face", "It's All Right With Me", "Just In Time", "Lazy Afternoon", "If I Were A Bell", and " Younger Than Springtime". CD
A fantastic Art Pepper album – from his best period! The album's one of those smaller-label, mid 50s gems that Art cut in LA during some of his "troubled years" – all sessions that are great musically, but which are often overshadowed by some of Pepper's more famous work for bigger, more enduring labels. If you're at all a fan of Pepper, though, don't pass this one up – because the album's got a razor-sharp edge that's really wonderful – a keen exploration of tone that we'd rank right up there with a rare few Pepper albums of the time – and which is carried off here with an approach that's disarmingly easy-going, but very carefully placed on every note. Marty Paich's the real leader of the group on piano – even though we think Art's the star of the set – and bass is by Buddy Clark, and drums by Frank Capp. Titles include "Abstract Art", "All The Things You Are", "Marty's Blues", and "Pitfall". CD
Brassy LA sunshine big band from Marty Paich – with plenty of subtle, grooving twists & turns, too – with lots of lighter touches and late 50s Hollywood style! Marty is better remembered for his studio arrangement and production genius than as a band leader, but shows a really steady hand here handling a big group of jazz players including Pete Candoli, Herbie Harper, Herb Geller, Mel Lewis and others. Titles are mostly Paich compositions, with the exception of the centerpiece "What's New". Other numbers include "From Now On", "Walkin On Home", "Black Rose", "Tommy's Toon", "Easy Listnin", "Nice And Easy"and "Martytini Time" CD
The title's no lie – as the mighty Earl Palmer has handled the drums on countless rock and soul classics – and also cut some great records on his own! And while Earl's got a huge legacy that even extends through studio work in the 70s, and famous projects with David Axelrod – this set concentrates on the key contributions that Palmer made towards establishing the groove on the LA scene of the late 50s – served up here in a set of key recordings for labels like Aladdin, Specialty, Modern, and Class – which all have Palmer on drums – either behind a heavy soul singer, or leading an instrumental group on his own. The set's got a whopping 30 titles in all – all heavy stompers – and tracks include "Drum Village (parts 1 & 2)" and "Johnny's House Party (parts 1 & 2)" by Earl Palmer – plus "Rockville USA" by The Turks, "Chicken Shack Boogie" by Amos Milburn, "I'm Beggin With Tears" by Eddie Lang, "Mad About You" by Richard Berry, "Don't Feel Sorry For Me" by Jimmy Beasley, "King Kong" by Big T Tyler, "Koko" by Don & Dewey, "Jerry Jerry" by Artie Wilson, "Red Hot Rockin Blues" by Jesse James, and "In The Mood" by Ernie Fields – plus some other big hits you'll certainly recognize, but maybe not in this context! CD
An overlooked later gem from Parliament – a set that's very tight and funky, and which really picks up the groove first laid down on "Flashlight"! There's a tightly snapping approach here that rivals the best late 70s work by Funkadelic – the later P-Funk mode that's even more focused on rhythms than before, and which gets away from the sloppy stuff to really hit home with the groove! Tunes are steeped in horny horns, wah wah guitar, and lots of electric keyboards – and titles include "The Big Bang Theory", which is virtually a blueprint for the LA G-funk sound of the 80s – plus the tracks "The Freeze", "May We Bang You?", "Party People", and "(GloryHallaStoopid) Pin The Tail On The Funky". CD
Proof that Hermeto Pascoal never stopped making dynamically creative music! The great Brazilian reed player was still going strong in the early 80s, a period when a lot of his other contemporaries were flagging a bit in their creativity – and as this great album from 1982 will show, Hermeto was on the cutting edge of the Brazilian jazz scene, and still turning out fantastically conceived arrangements and solos. Titles on this set include "De Bandeja E Tudo", "Serie De Arco", "Cores", "La na Casa Da Madame Eu Vi", "Sorrindo", and "A Taca". LP, Vinyl record album
Florian Pellissier Quintet —
Biches Bleues ... CD Heavenly Sweetness (France), 2014. New Copy ...
The title might sound like a Miles Davis homage, but the record is something else entirely – a really warm, wonderful set of spiritually-tinged jazz tracks – served up with a very classic vibe! The group's led by pianist Florian Pellissier, who also wrote most of the tracks on the set – and the music's got this sense of color and flow that's completely sublime – modes that are almost in the current Blue Note world of Robert Glasper or some of his contemporaries, especially in the way that Pellissier blocks out his chords – but with a vibe that's often more old school too, especially when the music takes off with the trumpet of Yann Loustalot and tenor of Christophe Panzani. Both players are great, and know how to soar at all the right moments – and titles include "J'Ai Du Rever", "Cinq Minutes Avant La Fin", "Dance Cadaverous", "Six Jours Apres La Guerre", and "Biches Bleues". CD
Miguel Angel —
Samba Na Onda ... CD Equipe/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1964. New Copy ...
About July 20, 2016 (delayed)
An upbeat groover from 60s Brazil – a highly percussive album that features work by Wilson Das Neves and Rubens Bassini! The record is an unusual one, in that it mixes the bossa harmony sound of groups like Tamba Trio or Os Cariocas with a harder, more percussive sound that owes something to the samba-grooving records of the time. The result is a really great set – one that bristles with electricity on every groove. Titles include "Lagrima Flor", "Telefone", "Da Bola", "Deixa Isso Pra La", "Isto E Samba", "Consolacao", "Roda De Samba", and "Bate A Palma". CD
A beautiful and rare recording – both for singer Alice Babs, and Ellington himself! The session was cut in Paris in 1963 – and it's a moody, intimate album that features Duke backing up Alice with arrangements that are quieter and more subtle than those used with most other Ellington-related singers. Alice is extremely great on the set – and often sings in weird wordless vocals – not really scatting, but more of a horn based-style that's very icy and cool. The whole thing's great – much greater even than the sum of its two famous parts – and titles include "Serenade To Sweden", "Stoona", "La De Doody Doo", "Strange Visitor", "Come Sunday", "Babsie", and "Untitled Lullaby". CD
Genius early work from Pierre Barouh – the artist best known for his contribution to the film A Man & A Woman, but also the owner of the legendary Saravah Records label – one of the grooviest imprints around! The set is a real move forward from Barouh's earlier material, which was a bit straighter – although still pretty hip – and this time around, he's bringing in a wide range of elements – Brazilian bits, folksy touches, and more – all served up with an approach that's as uniquely personal as work by other Saravah artists, like Brigitte Fontaine or Areski! Barouh's a brilliant writer and singer, and his work is a lost link in a tradition that spans Caetano Veloso, Leonard Cohen, Serge Gainsbourg, and others – crucially overlooked on this side of the Atlantic, and extremely important to us over the years. Titles include "De L'Amour A L'Amour", "Le Courage D'Aimer", "80 AB", "La Foret", "Le Petit Cheval De Bois", "Le Petit Cine", and "Paris Wellington". CD
A very cool album that presents Cage at the height of his "chance" composition stage, and which features him and David Tudor playing a mixed bag of sounds on a sound system, recorded live at the Feigen-Palmer Gallery in LA. The work is the kind of stuff you always hear about with Cage, but can't find that easily on record. The album's a haunting melange of random sounds – from radio noise, to gamelon recordings, to sound effects – and it's striking proof of how fresh these ideas still are, even if they've been reduced to drivel by countless "experimental" post-rock bands. LP, Vinyl record album
Soaring soul from Googie and Tom Coppola – much more of an R&B-inflected album than their earlier rock work in the group Air – sublimely produced with help from Jerry Peters, who brings in a sweet LA groove! Googie's vocals are especially great – with a higher-pitch Minnie Riperton-esque sort of feel at points – and the rhythms, while upbeat, never get too over the top – leaving some great space for the sort of offbeat midtempo numbers that Peters always does so well. The album's got some nice jazzy touches and a sublime, sophisticated approach to the overall sound that's very crisply executed without succumbing to commercial gloss. "Joyous Flame" is a sought after, late night mellow groover, this set also includes "Broken Wings", "Missing Love", "Family Of Man", "Everything Is Coming To The Light", and "Shine The Light Of Love". LP, Vinyl record album
Martin Denny —
Latin Village ... CD Liberty/Universal (Japan), 1964. New Copy ...
About April 27, 2016 (delayed)
Martin Denny changes the rhythms from tropical to Latin here – but the overall groove is still highly in his best exotica mode, and nicely augmented by some additional instrumentation! There's some traces here of the shift in production for instrumental music from the time – a bit of electric bass echoing out at the bottom of some cuts, more echo than usual on the piano lines, and a floating quality that's almost even more sublime than the original Liberty sessions. But the core Denny elements are also still in place – tinkling piano, island percussion, and a playful approach to familiar rhythms that never fails to please. The Latin is more of a nod to harder Latin modes than anything else, but it does make for a nice, if subtle change – one that works especially well when Denny's piano is out front, but compressed a bit in the mix. Titles include "Flying Down To Rio", "Ho Ba LaLa", "Something Latin", "Girl From Ipanema", and "Latin Village". CD
Dyke & The Blazers —
So Sharp! ... CD Kent (UK), Late 60s. New Copy ...
About June 1, 2016 (delayed)
Classic west coast funk from Arlester "Dyke" Christian – one of the best 60s funksters west of the Mississippi, with a rich talent that's right up there with the work of Sly Stone or Charles Wright. Dyke's records are probably closest to Wright's with the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – as they groove on madly in a choppy shouting style, sometimes with a stoner funk groove, other times with a straighter soulful quality. This set collects some of Dyke's best work – recorded both in LA with members of the Watts group, and in Phoenix, an unlikely source for funky music. Titles include "Funky Broadway (parts 1 & 2)", "So Sharp", "Let A Woman Be A Woman – Let A Man Be A Man", "The Wrong House", "Funky Walk", "We Got More Soul", and "It's Your Thing". CD
Possibly the best ever from LA punk pioneers The Flesh Eaters – who were a vital piece of the nascent days of SoCal punk for around a half decade by this point in the early 80s, but were arguably just now hitting their strongest creative stride! They're a bit akin to X in the way they show some love for their primal rock & roll forbears, loose and caustic as their tributes may be, and without compromising their edge. They also have some longer songs, a sax player, and other interesting facets that stand aside of punk orthodoxy. Brilliant stuff! Includes "My Life To Live", "A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die", "Secret Life", "The Wedding Dice", "Hand Of Glory", "Drag My Name In The Mud", "Tightrope On Fire" and more. LP, Vinyl record album
A great bit of smooth funky fusion from this Japanese trumpeter – done in a soulful New York groove that we really approve of! The record was cut with arrangements and keyboard work from Leon Pendarvis, who did a lot of good uptempo soul in the 70s, and Harry Whitaker, who'd worked on some of Roy Ayers' best records – and the sound is kind of similar to Ayers' albums at the time, with a jazz base, slick production, and vocals on a number of tunes. Titles include "Send Me Your Feelings", "Samba De La Cruz", "Hino's Reggae", "City Connection", and "Blue Smiles". CD
Terumasa Hino —
Daydream ... CD Flying Disk/Victor (Japan), 1980. New Copy ...
About August 24, 2016
One of Hino's sweeter fusion albums – still soulful enough, but done in a style that's more like CTI funk than some of his earlier albums. Leon Pendarvis handled the group and plays keyboards on the record – and other players include Steve Gadd, Bob James, John Tropea, Masabumi Kickuchi, and Michael Brecker – plus vocals by Lani Groves and Luther Vandross. Not bad, in a soulful fusion kind of way – and with titles that include "Still Be Bop", "Goin For The Gold", "La Hora Azul", "Sweeter & Sweeter", "Late Summer", and "Antigua Boy". CD
Foot-stompin soul from the great Don Julian – one of the hardest talents on the LA scene of the 60s, captured here nicely in a 26 track package of sides recorded for the Money label! Don's probably better known to DGA customers for his 70s blacksploitation soundtrack work – on Savage and Shorty The Pimp – but back in the 60s, he was equally great, adding a lot of fire to the LA soul scene, working with his groups The Larks and The Meadowlarks, in a mode that was a lot like Philly Soul, or some of the harder Detroit groups, particularly the Capitols. The set features 11 tracks from The Larks' one LP on Money, plus a host of rare singles under the names of both groups – with titles that include "The Jerk", "Slauson Shuffle (parts 1 & 2)", "The Roman", "Soul Jerk", "The Philly Jerk", "What Chance Has A Man", "Can You Do The Duck", "Come Back Baby", "I Want You Back", and "The Answer Came Too Late". CD
Jumping Jacques —
Avalon ... CD Petra/Zeitgeist, 1968. New Copy ...
About July 1, 2016 (delayed)
Stunning vocal work by this hip late 60s group – the ultra-groovy Jumping Jacques, a vocal ensemble who really knew how to swing! The group feature male/female voices blended in a style that's reminiscent of some of the best European 60s soundtracks – harmonizing in a mode that's jazzy, but also infused with some very mod touches, snapping along in grooves that dip and turn nicely, with some very swinging moments. Place these guys right next to the best work by Les Double Six, I Cantori Modern, The Gimmicks, or Brasil 66 – but give them a lot of credit for their unique and psychedelic approach to the style, making a record like this mad work that's uniquely their own! Titles include "Chili Peppers", "Haunted House", "Double Francoise", "La Terre Le Ciel Et L'Eau", "Lucinda", "Just A Little Midnight Swim", and "Whispering". CD
Wonderful soul music from Brazil! Nobody topped Tim Maia when it came to soul in Brazil – and this excellent album from 1973 is one of his most perfectly realized sessions. The music is a haunting batch of arrangements that draw heavily from Chicago and LA soul styles – and Maia's voice is rough and raspy, but still pretty sweet in all the right parts, and a perfect accompaniment for the musical backing. A few tracks are even in English – and titles include "Over Again", "New Love", "Balanco", "Reu Confesso", "Preciso Ser Amado", "Amores", and "Do Your Thing, Behave Yourself". Great stuff! CD
Wonderful soul music from Brazil! Nobody topped Tim Maia when it came to soul in Brazil – and this excellent album from 1973 is one of his most perfectly realized sessions. The music is a haunting batch of arrangements that draw heavily from Chicago and LA soul styles – and Maia's voice is rough and raspy, but still pretty sweet in all the right parts, and a perfect accompaniment for the musical backing. A few tracks are even in English – and titles include "Over Again", "New Love", "Balanco", "Reu Confesso", "Preciso Ser Amado", "Amores", and "Do Your Thing, Behave Yourself". Great stuff! LP, Vinyl record album
Straight, strong, and soulful sounds from guitarist Kenny Burrell – quite possibly one of his best albums of the 60s, thanks to a really well-focused sound throughout! The groove here is nice and tight – a cooking little rhythm section that features Richard Wyands on piano, Martin Rivera on bass, and Oliver Jackson on drums – snapping away on the kit on some of the best tracks, and really helping Burrell to hit this groove that's mighty nice! Kenny seems to have a bit more bite than usual too – and even the laidback tunes have plenty going on to keep our ears happy. Titles include "La Petite Mambo", "Suzy", "The Tender Gender", "Girl Talk", "Isabella", "If Someone Had Told Me", and "Hot Bossa". LP, Vinyl record album
(Mono pressing with deep groove. Cover has a "Playable On Stereo" sticker.)
Overlooked genius from Jose Feliciano – two great albums on a single CD! On Souled, Jose Feliciano really lives up to the title – stepping out strongly with the same style used on his "California Dreamin" hit – a massive blend of strings, soul, and Jose's unique vocal approach! Feliciano came out of the Latin market in the 60s, but by the time of this record he's really a key crossover force in soul – and one that helped establish the brown-eyed variant of the music through his massive work for RCA. The instrumentation is often as groovy as the record – with backing by a small combo that includes Milt Holland on percussion, Ray Brown on bass, and Mike Melvoin on keyboards – plus added arrangements from RCA talents George Tipton and All Capps. Titles include the groovy "Hitchcock Railway", plus "Younger Generation", "Sad Gypsy", "Hi Heel Sneakers", "She's Too Good To Me", and "Sleep Late My Lady Friend". For My Love Mother Music is kind of a mixed bag of sorts from Jose Feliciano, but a nice one too – recorded in the same year as his sublime And The Feelin's Right album, but not as concise as that one – and more of a collection of different modes explored on Feliciano albums over the few previous years. Steve Cropper's working with Jose on production here – and some tracks have a rootsier Memphis-inspired sound, while others pick up a bit more of a warmer LA glow. Feliciano himself is perhaps a bit too "heartfelt" at times – working the lyrics and notes with an earnestness that's fine, but which kind of holds him back a bit, and doesn't let his voice flow along with the tunes in the way that we really like on other records – but the overall style is still pretty great, and Jose's always a lot hipper than most of his contemporaries! Titles include "Blame It On The Sun", "Mother Music", "Shoo-Fly", "I Like What You Give", "Stoney Heart", "For My Love", and "World Without Music". CD
Kim Fowley —
Outrageous ... LP Imperial, 1968. Near Mint- Gatefold ...
Just Sold Out!
One of the wildest albums ever from LA scenester Kim Fowley – done in a very weird, very messed-up style that sort of sounds like The Stooges meet The Modern Lovers meet Alice Cooper! Fowley's fantastic on vocals – which are sort of of screeched and screamed, with revolutionary Riot On Sunset Strip-type lyrics, fused with a bit of Jim Morrison stoner spiritualism – a lot more compelling than you'd expect, and really mindblowing all the way through! The album's a perfect illustration of the genius that made Kim legendary, even when he wasn't having much of an impact on the mainstream – and titles include the incredible "Animal Man", plus "Hide & Seek", "Chinese Water Torture", "Bubble Gum", "Inner Space Discovery", and "Caught In The Middle". LP, Vinyl record album
A wickedly wonderful album by Antonio Carlos Jobim – recorded in LA in the mid 60s, and a perfect meeting of styles that makes for one of his most compelling albums of the 60s! Jobim sings and plays over pillowy-soft arrangements by Claus Ogerman – lightly dancing numbers that weave strings and woodwinds into a wave of sound that dips, turns, and sometimes hits a surprisingly nice groove. Dick Hyman plays a bit of organ on the set – which we always love – and Dom Um Romao's working in the group somewhere on drums. Lyrics are in English, sung in a warm and fragile style by Jobim – and the album's got a great organy version of "Surfboard", plus "Zingaro", "Bonita", "Off-Key", and "Photograph". LP, Vinyl record album
(Gold label stereo pressing.)
Mr Hood ... LP Elektra, 1994. Very Good (reissue)...
Just Sold Out!
Pre-MF Doom/Metal Fingers, et al, classic from then-Zev Love X and DJ Sub Roc. The last chance before everybody had to be hardcore. Humor, knowledge and pure niceness, on par with the first De La album, though it never broke as huge. A whole other side of the man who'd become Metal Face, before the tragic loss of Sub Roc and subsequently strident and once lost but now widely available LP Black Bastards, this was one of the highwater marks in hip hop. Essential listening. Features "Peachfuzz", "Nitty Gritty" with Brand Nubian, "Humrush", "Figure Of Speech", "Trial 'N Error", "Soulflexin", "Gasface Refill" and the hilarious "Mr Hood At Piocalles Jewelry/Crackpot". LP, Vinyl record album
Fantastically sweet pop from Chris Montez! Chris had a light little voice that was perfect for the A&M Records approach of the 60s – a style that has him singing gently over arrangements that glide and bounce around with ease, sometimes handled by Herb Alpert, in a breezy sunny LA mode that makes us want to be driving down Highway 101 with the top down, AM radio blasting out all of Chris' early singles at once! Chris' real genius here is the way that he takes standards and pop tunes – and, working with Herb, crafts them into a whole new sound – stripped down, streamlined, and perfect for the 60s! Titles include "One Note Samba", "The More I See You", "Fly Me To The Moon", "The Shadow Of Your Smile", "Call Me", "Hey Baby", and "Little White Lies". LP, Vinyl record album
A mindblowing tribute to one of the most important indie rock labels of the early punk years – New York's Ork Records – an imprint that was almost as important to the music as CBGB! The label only lasted a few short years, but had an uncanny ear for capturing the best new sounds of the time – that genre-crossing, style-blending mode that distinguished American punk from its early UK partner – and which sometimes had surprisingly strong ties to earlier scenes too. Ork was surprisingly open-minded, and maybe not as narrowly cast as punk labels would become a few years later – but that's also not surprising, given the scene in which they worked – which is captured here beautifully in a very lavish boo, well over 100 pages – not only filled with notes, details on the music, and the history of the label – but also countless photos from the early years of punk in New York too. But hell, the music is more than enough to make this set great – as the package features a wealth of excellent titles that include "Let It Blurt" by Lester Bangs, "Little Johnny Jewel" by Television, "Fa Ce La" by The Feelies, "I Won't Give Up" by Erasers, "All Of The Time" by Alex Chilton, "I Thought You Wanted To Know" by Chris Stamey & The DBs, "You" by The Idols, "Christmas Weather" by The Student Teachers, "Everytime I Close My Eyes" by Prix, "You Gotta Lose" by Richard Hell, "Fire & Smoke" by Marbles, "Connection" by Richard Lloyd, "Play With Fire" by Mick Farren & The New Wave, "Funky Kinky" by Kenneth Higney, and lots lots more! CD
A mindblowing tribute to one of the most important indie rock labels of the early punk years – New York's Ork Records – an imprint that was almost as important to the music as CBGB! The label only lasted a few short years, but had an uncanny ear for capturing the best new sounds of the time – that genre-crossing, style-blending mode that distinguished American punk from its early UK partner – and which sometimes had surprisingly strong ties to earlier scenes too. Ork was surprisingly open-minded, and maybe not as narrowly cast as punk labels would become a few years later – but that's also not surprising, given the scene in which they worked – which is captured here beautifully in a very lavish boo, well over 100 pages – not only filled with notes, details on the music, and the history of the label – but also countless photos from the early years of punk in New York too. But hell, the music is more than enough to make this set great – as the package features a wealth of excellent titles that include "Let It Blurt" by Lester Bangs, "Little Johnny Jewel" by Television, "Fa Ce La" by The Feelies, "I Won't Give Up" by Erasers, "All Of The Time" by Alex Chilton, "I Thought You Wanted To Know" by Chris Stamey & The DBs, "You" by The Idols, "Christmas Weather" by The Student Teachers, "Everytime I Close My Eyes" by Prix, "You Gotta Lose" by Richard Hell, "Fire & Smoke" by Marbles, "Connection" by Richard Lloyd, "Play With Fire" by Mick Farren & The New Wave, "Funky Kinky" by Kenneth Higney, and lots lots more! LP, Vinyl record album
The mighty Soul Patrol Records is firmly back in business – and this time around they're serving up a collection of newer work pulled from the catalogs of modern funk labels Soul Fire and Timmion! The work on the set grooves with the raw deep funk power of obscure 70s funky 45s – and although we've stocked Soul Fire and Timmion titles religiously over the years, we have to admit that we'd never heard any of the work on this set before! Most of the focus here is on instrumental funk – often in a lean and stripped-down mode – and titles include "Fly By End" and "Sweet Back" by Fabulous Three, "Old Groove Music Maker", "Keep Your Funky Soul Struttin Sassy", "Gangsters Of Rhythm", and "Make The Funk Jump" by Les Anges De La Nuit, and "The Groove Robbers" and "The Funky Git Down" by Inner City People. All legit too (we checked!) – so if you're the type that's always been huffy about Soul Patrol, now's the time to get on board! CD
The Brazilian vibe continues to spread worldwide, as a host of French and European producers go to town on a great set of tracks tinged with the sound of Brazil! This one's a lot more open-ended than some of the other sets on the market with a similar approach, in that the tracks don't necessarily focus on the dancefloor, so much as they expand the groove for a wider variety of experiences. Of course, there's still more than a few toe-tappers on the set – very much in the best style of work on Compost in a similar vein. Titles include "Brazil.com" by Isolee, "Non Fatiguing Natural Silk" by WR, "Ibis Vermelho" by Rom, "My Little Brazilian Pony" by Dr Rockit, "Tridade" by Alex Kid feat Jerome Badini, "Jelba" by Russ Gabriel, "Obrigado" by The Deal, "Bahia Blues" by DJ Spinna, "Tiu Ba La Quieba" by Boyz From Brazil, and "Kotu Rete" by Mental Remedy. CD