Classic early work by Michael Jackson – a record that has him stepping away from the Jackson 5, and really hitting a personal feel with some of the ballads – quite a surprise, given that his standout later solo work would be more focused on groovers! As with the Jackson 5 albums, the album was recorded with arrangements by some of Motown's best at the time – Freddie Perren, Gene Page, and James Carmichael! There's no real standout hits here, but the album's got some really great mellow soul numbers that have Michael stretching out from the sound of his group with his brothers – and titles include "Up Again", "Euphoria", "Doggin Around", "Morning Glow", and a nice version of "All The Things You Are". LP, Vinyl record album
(Original pressing in the textured cover.)
Latin Jazz Quintet —
Chant ... LP Prestige/Tru Sound, 1962. New Copy (reissue)...
Just Sold Out!
One of the best albums ever recorded by this groundbreaking Latin jazz combo – and a magnificent blend of jazz instrumentation and deeper Latin roots! Juan Amalbert's Latin Jazz Quintet was a new sound in Latin jazz – one that took the piano/bass/conga rhythms of smaller groups of the 50s, who were usually a bit more "cool" – and blended it with larger instrumentation that really opened up the groove – but in ways that were freer and more personal than some of the larger Latin orchestras! The blend is completely sublime – one of the best realizations of the concept of Latin jazz at the time – thanks to excellent work from Bobby Capers on alto and tenor sax, Willie Gardner on piano, Victor Allende on flute, and Willie Bivens on some especially nice vibes. Manny Ramos adds in some killer timbales, too – and titles include "GT's Theme", "Invitation", "The Chant", "Star Eyes", "Dorian", and "Jackie's Mambo". LP, Vinyl record album
A great document of the transformation of soul music in the 70s – a unique stretch when folks started experimenting with some of the new electronic elements that were surfacing on the market – using them to really change things up with a new groove! Key examples of this trend can be found in the music of Shuggie Otis (Inspiration Information) and Timmy Thomas (Why Can't We Live Together) – but there was lots more activity going on as well – and this wicked set from Chocolate Industries brings together the best from the late 70s/early 80s underground! Most tracks here were issued on small labels, and barely got any circulation – but they all show a Shuggie-like sense of experimentation with electronic sounds and rhythms – often used in key ways to create a slinky, percolating style of soul music that's mighty nice – not the upbeat electro disco of the 80s, but a mellower soul-based mode that's very unique! Titles include "Don't Challenge Me" by Makers, "It's All Over" by T Dyson & Company, "Master Ship" by Starship Commander Woo Woo, "Love Vibrator" by Johnny Walker, "One More Time" by Steve Elliott, "Are You Ready To Come With Me (part 2)" by USAires, "Time To Go Home" by Otis G Johnson, "A Man" by Key & Cleary, and "All About Money" by Spontaneous Overflow. CD
Here's a world we really don't know at all – but which really comes alive, thanks to the strength of the compilation! Australia's been home to lots of famous global acts over the years, but back in the 70s it was a real hotbed of hipster material in a country vein – work that's like the down under equivalent of late 60s Byrds or Gram Parsons – and often put together with a similar sort of inspiration! Given that these guys were light years from Nashville – and even Bakersfield too – the version of country that comes across is much more in the best singer-songwriter style of LA, especially the Elektra/Asylum side of the spectrum. Lyrics are well-penned, and instrumentation often features lots of acoustic elements mixed with careful electric touches – but all produced with a down to earth style that really keeps the individual spirit intact. The notes are great, and vibrantly illustrate this overlooked world of Australian music (at least in our hemisphere) – and tracks include "Outback Dan" by Sundown, "Wind & Rain" by Bluestone, "The Ballad Of Ned Kelly" by Fotheringay, "Gypsy Queen" by Country Radio, "Ford's Bridge" by Axiom, "Silvertown Girl" by The Flying Circus, "Winter In America" by Doug Ashdown, "Glory Glory" by Johnny Chester, "Sweet Release" by Tymepiece, and "Lay In The Graveyard" by Russell Morris. Even features the track "Sommerville" by Fraternity – an early band with Bon Scott! 2LP set features 28 tracks in all. LP, Vinyl record album
A great batch of modern soul grooves galore – some from the more natural nusoul realm and others with a slightly clubbier of funkier feel, and really solid stuff all around – and a bargain at under $20!!! Soul Lounge 5 continues the tradition of presenting some of finer tunes from recent releases on Dome Records UK and other soul groove merchants in the UK label scene – with tunes by Incognito, Rahsaan Patterson, Conya Doss, Hil St Soul, Don E, Maysa, Sunburst Band, Seek, James Taylor Quartet and many more! 40 tracks on 3CD: "Oh Lord (Take Me Back)" by Rahsaan Patterson, "Play" by Angela Johnson & Frank McComb, "Stay Ahwile" by Don E, "Head To Toe" by Eric Roberson, "Come Over" by Conya Doss, "In Time" by Beverley Knight, "Step Aside" by Joey Negro, "The Bottle" by Maysa, "Cleo's Mood" by James Taylor Quartet and more. CD
A tremendous legacy in gospel music during the 60s – a crucially important indie from the Memphis scene – and one who recorded really great groups from around the country! Designer were helping shape the sound of modern gospel at the same time as Chess, Savoy, and some of the bigger labels – and doing their work with a similar ear towards some of the more soulful sounds of the secular world – particularly in the way the harmonies and sound of group vocals came together! And despite their name – designer – which might make you think in terms of throwaway fashion – the label has a really classic sound and a rock-solid approach, which makes this overstuffed 4CD set a treasure trove for anyone interested in these key years in gospel music. The set features 101 tracks, in a very cool LP-sized sleeve, complete with an oversized booklet filled with notes and photos – and the collection features work by Foster Brothers, Gospel Songbirds, Twilight Singers, Melody Kings Of Greenwood MS, The Jubilee Hummingbirds, Jackson Trumpeteers, Little Willie Patterson & The Famous South Land Singers, The Shaw Singers, Sister Carrie Daniel, and many many more! CD
One of the hippest sets we've ever seen on Spanish Harlem – a collection that goes way past the Latin Soul hits, to dig deep in the uptown underground at the end of the 60s! The package is compiled with gems from the Fania catalog, but rally moves past the obvious – going for some of the more obscure artists who recorded singles for some of the smaller Fania-held labels – and often focusing on tunes that drew more from late 60s soul and funk than they did from any Latin rhythms of the time. The singers are especially wonderful – and often hit a vibe that's right up there with some of Joe Bataan's best of the period – richly soulful, but often deeply personal too – never as polished as chart soul, and often showing a grittier, more realistic style that's totally great – especially when mixed with instrumentation as tight as this! Titles include "Reflections Of My Life" by 125th Street Candy Store, "On Old Broadway" by 107th Street Stickball Team, "Don't Be Afraid" by Lebron Brothers, "Central Park" by Harvey Averne Dozen, "Heaven" by Tito Ramos, "Your Smile" by Parris, "Some Lonely Heart" by Ronnie Marks, "There's No Girl" by Olivieri, "Maria Maria" by King Nando, "Already Satisfied" by Tony Middleton & Bobby Matos, "Nitty Boo Boo" by The Nitty Sextette, "Lonely Has Been My Day" by Ralphie & The Latin Lovers, "I'm Gonna Leave You" by Russell Cohen & The New Yorkers, and "Ain't No Big Thing" by Ralfi Pagan. CD
A massive batch of music – and almost as worth it for the overall package as it is for the great tunes inside! Like other volumes in this series, this set is beautifully put together – not only stuffed with an amazing array of classic soul from a key year in the 60s – but also done with a full color booklet that's over 60 pages long – filled with track-by-track notes on the tunes, and filled with great photos, images, and historical data! The whole thing's a perfect soul music time capsule – with the depth of production that we've always loved in Bear Family releases for other genres. Titles include "Playboy" by The Marvelettes, "Night Train" by James Brown, "Cry To Me" by Solomon Burke, "I Know" by Barbara George, "I Found A Love" by The Falcons, "You Better Move On" by Arthur Alexander, "Release Me" by Esther Phillips, "Chains" by The Cookies, "I've Got A Woman (part 1)" by Jimmy McGriff, "I Need Your Lovin" by Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford, "Snap Your Fingers" by Joe Henderson, and "Green Onions" by Booker T & The MGs. CD