One of the warmest records we've heard in years from Wynton Marsalis – a really unique little album that actually features bits of poetry spoken by Wynton in between the tracks! Before you cringe at the thought, give this one a chance – as the words were penned by Marsalis himself, and have a great deal of charm – dropped in for just a fraction of a minute here and there, in a poetry-meets-jazz tradition that hearkens back to the work that Langston Hughes did with Charles Mingus. The group really respond to the words with a personal sort of feeling, too – opening up with a lyrical sensibility that offsets the poems wonderfully – making the album as musically poetic as it is verbal. Marsalis plays trumpet, in a quintet that features tenor and soprano sax from Walter Blanding, piano from Dan Nimmer, bass from Carlos Henriquez, and drums from Ali Jackson. Titles inlcude "The Razor Rim", "A Train A Banjo & A Chicken Wing", "First Time", "First Kiss", "Zero", "School Boy", and "The Sun & The Moon". CD
From the "Slaughterhouse" LP. The original version of "Jeep...", with Black Sheep style production, much better than the later version that used the Original Concept bass line. Also includes a beat box verson. 12-inch, Vinyl record
Vibist Ichrio Masuda takes on the songs of Richard Rodgers – in a setting that's a lot more fitted to the traditional spirit of the music than you'd guess from the 70s date of the record! The album's almost got a Verve sort of 50s feel – relaxed small combo grooving on familiar tunes, but with lots of very personal inflections from the musicians – especially Masuda on vibes, as well as Kieko Nemoto on piano and Ikuo Shiozaki on guitar. Titles include "Bewitched", "This Can't Be Love", "Where Or When", "Thou Swell", "The Lady Is A Tramp", and "I Could Write A Book". CD
Dave McKenna & Hal Overton —
Dual Piano Jazz ... CD Bethlehem/Solid (Japan), 1960. New Copy ...
Just Sold Out!
A unique dual piano session from Dave McKenna and Hal Overton – and one that's nicely free of any sense of gimmick or cliche! The pair work together in a really loose, personal style – one that has the upfront push of a jazz trio date, but which also allows each musician room to express themselves differently – as you'd expect, given their slightly different approaches. Rhythm is from Earl May on bass and Jerry Segal on drums – and titles include "Monk's Mood", "Keeping Out Of Mischief", "Dizzy Atmosphere", "Ruby My Dear", and a great reading of "Hi Fly". CD
An amazing compilation – and a really groundbreaking attempt to get to the true heart of new age music – that initial moment of meditative sound on records from the American underground – very pure in both spirit and execution before the whole thing got watered down and commercial! The massive set digs way deeper than we might have expected – way past the Bay Area indies who rose the genre to prominence, to a whole host of tiny US labels from the postwar years onward – home to individual players with a very personal sound – on instruments that range from conventional piano to global sources, electronics, and even some items of their own invention. The choice of tracks is perfect – really getting back to the basics of the genre in a great way – and the music is very laidback and meditative, with ethereal qualities that are completely sublime – especially in the context of the great packaging and notes of the whole collection. Many tracks here were never issued on CD – and many were only from rare tapes, too – and the double-length batch of work is one of the most unique musical journeys we've ever taken! Titles include "Lifting Off" by Joanna Brouk, "Arabian Fantasy" by Daniel Emmanuel, "Formentera Sunset Clouds" by Iasos, "Seventh Chakra Keynote B" by Steven Halpern, "Om Mani Padme Hum" by Constance Derby, "Unicorns In Paradise" by Laraaji, "Blue Spirals" by Daniel Kobialka, "As The Earth Kissed The Moon" by Michael Stearns, and "Waterfall Winds" by Alice Damon. CD
Heavenly sounds from the legendary Roedelius – all hand-picked from the Sky Records collection by the equally legendary Lloyd Cole! Roedelius is a name known to many for his work with Cluster and Brian Eno – but these tracks are all even more personal, poetic electronic numbers issued under his solo name – music that really shows how Roedelius helped strip down and refine German sounds in the waning years of the prog scene – taking elements that once would have been monster jams, and focusing them into just a short smattering of their key elements – but in a way that's equally effective! Most numbers here are very keyboard-heavy, often with little else going on at all – and titles include "Ampher", "Aufbruch", "Schoner Abend", "Etoiles", "Zwei Sind Eins", "Cafe Central", and "Langer Atem". LP, Vinyl record album
Harmony soul – our favorite kind of soul – served up in a sublime batch of 24 rare tunes from the late 60s and early 70s, presented in an all-legit package with great sound and well-done notes! As with the first volume, there's a strong influence here from mid 60s Impressions – a crackling vocal approach that's honest, personal, and heartfelt – and never too smooth, even when the sound is sweet and warm. There's also a few well-chosen female group soul tunes on the set – nicely offsetting the mostly-male approach to harmony with some key cuts that remind us that the girls could often go a deep in the genre as the guys. The whole thing floats along on a heavenly cloud of vocals and lightly-done backings – perfect late nite listening, and a must-have set for any fan of the genre! Titles include "Keep On Trying" by The Invincibles, "Chapel Bells Are Calling" by The Insiders, "You're Gonna Make It" by The Festivals, "Daydreamer" by CC & Company, "I Like The Way You Love Me" by Foxy, "So Glad You're Home" by The Superbs, "Things Will Be Better" by The Just Brothers, "I'm Still Here" by The Notations, "Never Will I" by The Magnificent Seven, and "Someone Else's Arms" by Channel 3. 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! 2CD set features 46 tracks in all! CD
Soaring contemporary grooves – and a great installment in this excellent series of modern soul! This time around, the tracks are even more modern than before – almost all numbers from recent recordings, but pulled together in a way that really highlights some gems that we would have missed otherwise – including a few key cuts that haven't been in strong circulation otherwise! Think of the groove as Neo Soul for the dancefloor – with great vocals and lots of warm rhythms – and dig the track selection that includes "Gimme Dat" by Kenya Henry, "Can We Talk About It" by Vesta, "Into My Life" by Raffia, "Bein In Love With You" by Sheree Brown, "The Party After (Reel People rmx)" by Muzart, "Got To Let My Feelings Show" by Bluey, "Classic Lady" by Personal Life, "Runnin Around" by The Chi-Lites, "Sweet Heaven (12 Shades summer shuffle)" by Tom Glide with Timmy Thomas, "I Still Have You (Soulpersona rmx)" by Charlie Wilson, and "Something" by 76 Degrees West Band with Raheem DeVaughn. LP, Vinyl record album
(Please note that the LP jacket has a creased corner.)
Some of the first great sounds to come from the legendary Studio One Records – an assortment of early rocksteady singles, including a fair bit of rare gems we've never heard before! These rocksteady tracks are the precursor to later reggae work from Jamaica – and show a strong influence from American soul and R&B, especially on the vocals – mixed with more of the slow-loping grooves that would later explode to global prominence in the 70s. The production style is great – very spare and laidback – almost at the same level as American soul indie labels of the time, which makes for an especially great focus on the vocals, especially on the collection's good number of harmony tracks. Titles include "Soulful Music" by The Invadors, "Sugar & Spice" by The Viceroys, "Happy Organ" by Soul Vendors, "I Make A Woman" by The Kingstonians, "Mama Didn't Know" by The Termites, "You're Gonna Lose" by The Octaves, "Reel Up" by Bumps Orkley, and "Reel Up" by The Wigglers. CD
Import-only vinyl of the World Wrestling Foundation LP where MC's rap about various WWF personalities. With some of the MCs and DJs – Kool Keith & Ol' Dirty Bastard, Redman & Peanut Butter Wolf, Method Man, RA the Rugged Man, Ras Kass & Mystical. LP, Vinyl record album