An early session from German pianist Wolfgang Dauner – one with a sound that's every bit as great as you'd expect from the title! The "dream talk" component here is one that comes from Dauner's gentle, yet modern approach to the keys – one that's clearly learning lessons from 50s modernists like George Russell or Bill Evans, but which is stretching out here in some of the bolder freedoms of the European scene at the time – a precursor to later modes on MPS and Saba, but performed here with a bit more careful restraint. The record's nicely free from some of the overindulgences of some of Dauner's 70s sides, and is an acoustic effort throughout – extremely imaginative, with a "set free" quality that's also never too "out", nor too full of itself – a bit like the best early recordings by Steve Kuhn. Wolfgang's approach to the keys is nothing less than revelatory – and he receives well matched accompaniment from bassist Eberhard Weber and drummer Fred Braceful. Titles include "Free Fall", "Dammerung", "Soul Eyes", "A Long Night", "Dream Talk", and "Bird Food". CD
A pivotal album in the development of the use of the Hammond organ in jazz – and Charles Earland's first exposure to a large audience! Durign the 60s, Charles was bumping around the Philly scene quite a bit – and recorded some small group indie sides that first gave a glimpse of his unique sound on the organ. But with this record, Earland really broke out wide – and hit a huge audience that made him one of the most in-demand players of the early 70s! The Earland touch is summed up perfectly here – a really fluid approach to the keys that shakes loose the clunkier styles of older Hammond players, and goes for a tightened-up groove that puts equal emphasis on rhythm and melodic improvisation – in a way that's always made Charles' records some of the best jazz dancers to come out of Prestige. Earland has an amazing way of completely transforming a tune – taking a familiar melody, but riffing on it extensively – slowly expanding it through almost modal progressions – until the tune opens up into a long extended jazzy groove! Proof of this is the album's sublime 11 minute version of "More Today Than Yesterday" – a solid stepper that never gets old – and other tunes include "Black Talk", "The Mighty Burner", "Here Comes Charlie", and "Aquarius". Oh, and players include Virgil Jones, Houston Person, Melvin Sparks, and Idris Muhammed – an all-star lineup, but tightly guided by Charles as if they were his own working group! LP, Vinyl record album
True masterpieces from Duke Ellington – some of his greatest compositions, presented here in an early Columbia LP that offers up "uncut concert arrangements" – clearly grooming a new side of Duke for the long-playing audience! The recordings were made in 1950, with players who include Johnny Hodges and Paul Gonzalves on saxes, Ray Nance and Cat Anderson on trumpets, and Tyree Glenn and Quentin Jackson on trombones. The tracks include "Mood Indigo", "Sophisticated Lady", "The Tattooed Bride" and "Solitude". LP, Vinyl record album
(6 eye pressing with deep groove.)
Joe Giardullo Open Ensemble —
Red Morocco ... CD Rogue Art (France), 2006. Used ...
Just Sold Out!
A well-titled group, as the ensemble's style is very open – almost improvisational, really, given that most players receive very little direction from Joe Giardullo! The performance here was recorded with all musicians sitting in a circle – coming together after a few hours of experimentation, and working with loose instructions from Giardullo – some slight compositional sensibilities, which set the scene for gentle, personal improvisations. Players include Joe McPhee on pocket trumpet, Michael Snow and David Prentice on violin, Dom Minasi on guitar, David Arner on xylophone, Brian Melick on percussion, and Martha Colby and Daniel Levin on cellos. Titles include "Hikori", "OPG", "OPB", "Memory Root", "NFRTT 1", and "Calabar". CD
Isaac Hayes' first album as a solo act – and a much more stripped down record than his later baroque symphonic sides! Ike's working here in trio mode – playing piano and singing, alongside bass from Donald Duck Dunn and drums from the great Al Jackson – who brings in a warmly rhythmic approach, especially at moments where we really wouldn't expect it! The tunes are all standards, but they're expanded by Ike in a unique style of singing and rapping – similar to that which would be used with more force on later albums, but done here in a really personal, intimate, and super-sexy way. Tunes include "When I Fall In Love", "Misty", "Precious, Precious", and "You Don't Know Me Like I Know" – and 2 tracks are done in nice extended medley modes! LP, Vinyl record album
Heat ... LP MCA, 1980. Very Good+ ...
Just Sold Out!
Nothing too hot here, as Heat's got a nicely cool feel – a groove that's laidback and easygoing, a perfect fit for the sophisticated sound of soul at the start of the 80s! There's a jazzy feel in the instrumentation that we really love – kind of an extension of the Wayne Henderson sound of the late 70s, compressed a bit more towards a tighter soul groove, but still with all the warmth that reference might imply. Vocals are by male and female singers, often wrapped together nicely – and titles include "It's Up To You", "Just Like You", "This Love That We've Found", "Don't You Walk Away", "Side Steppin", and "Billet Doux". LP, Vinyl record album
Groove and Jug wail away in this classic set of tenor/organ tracks recorded for Pacific Jazz in the early 60s. The backing is spare, with only Gene Edwards on guitar and Leroy Henderson on drums, and tracks include "Morris The Minor", "Good Vibrations", "Hey You, What's That?", and "Groovin' With Jug". CD
A great new chapter in the career of Jose James – and a record that really seems to take his already-amazing vocals to a whole new level! In a relatively short career, Jose's already been turning a lot of heads with his work on other projects, his jazz-based recordings, and his debut for Gilles Peterson's album – yet this Blue Note set may well be his best record to date – and a set that definitely seems to find just the right place for his classic-styled approach to soul music vocals! Backings are mostly live, with a cool small funk group feel – but a bit more laidback too, almost with the jazzy touches you'd hear on some of Gil Scott-Heron's best 70s work, inflected with hipper changes with a 21st Century vibe. The whole thing's great – as important to Blue Note's move into soul as the Robert Glasper Experiment album – and titles include "Vanguard", "Heaven On The Ground", "Come To My Door", "Trouble", "Sword & Gun", and "It's All Over Your Body". CD
A brilliant lost record from the Barry White side of the 70s soul universe – the one and only album issued by Jay Dee, and a set that's every bit as great as other White side projects with artists like Tom Brock, Danny Pearson, and Gloria Scott! Like all of those, the soulful maestro is very heavily involved here – producing, arranging, and writing most of the tracks – and giving the whole thing that funky soul strings approach he was using with his own wonderful music of the period – which makes for some especially sweet tracks that mix deep soul vocals with kind of a blacksploitation groove! The whole thing's great – and titles include the killer "Strange Funky Games & Things" – which has become a funk and sample classic over the years – plus "Jay's Theme", "Com On In Love", "Thinking Of You", "I Can't Let You Go", and "I Can Feel Your Love Slipping Away". CD features two bonus tracks – single and instrumental versions of "Strange Funky Games & Things". CD
Great long jam-session material – played by one group that features Jimmy Owens on trumpet, Charles McPherson on alto, Buddy Tate on tenor, Charlies Mingus on bass, and Milt Buckner on organ – and another that features Dizzy Gillesipie on trumpet, Bennie Green on trombone, Milt Jackson on vibes, and Stan Getz on tenor! LP, Vinyl record album
Contemporary cuts mixed with rare soul nuggets – all in a blend that goes way beyond the usual soul compilation! The Real Side team have issued a number of underground tracks on their own during the past decade – but they've also got ears that are really tuned towards a unique slice of soul from the 70s – those tracks that might have a deep soul feel in the vocals, but a modern soul element in the rhythms – a blend of rough and smooth that really sparkles strongly on the older tracks on this set! These 70s gems are interspersed with some of the newer material discovered by the pair – and the collection is a treasure trove of soul discoveries – with titles that include "Love's Journey" by Mebus, "I Can't Get Enough Of Your Love" by James Bradley, "I Need Your Love" by Patterson Twins, "Real Love (Tom Moulton mix)" by Jacqui Williams, "Rainbow" by Madagascar, "Let Your Love Rain Down On Me" by Jewel Bass, "Looking Up To You" by Michael Wycoff, "Am I Cold Am I Hot" by Bill Harris, "I Can't Do Enough For You Baby" by Tommy Tate, "Hold On To The Blues" by Lonnie Givens, and "I Should Be With You Tonight (Moonlight Studios rmx)" by Jesse Gomez. CD
Amazing music from the great Mac Wiseman – an artist who was as important to the growth of bluegrass in the 50s as Bill Monroe or the Stanley Brothers – but who doesn't always get his due! Mac's voice is amazing – wonderfully expressive, but in a slyly subtle way – and his range of material here is wonderful, and often surpasses most of the settings in which he worked! A good deal of tracks come from Wiseman's time at Dot Records – where he also acted as their country A&R person – and the set features loads of singles that have never been reissued from the Dot years – plus later Capitol Records tracks, including a full Capitol album that was never released! We've really fallen in love with Mac's music over the years – and this collection does him justice that no other package on the market has before – complete with 164 prime recordings on 6CDs, and a massive heavy book that's filled with images, photos, and rich writings on Wiseman's career by Charles Wolfe and Eddie Stubbs! CD