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✨✧ Richard EvansDealing With Hard Times ... CD
Atlantic/Collectables, 1972. Used ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A sublime set of soul instrumentals – very funky work, and sort of a 70s follow-up to the Soulful Strings albums on Cadet Records from the 60s! Maestro Richard Evans is at the top of his game here – stepping out with that hip Chisoul mode he first forged at Chess, tuned here towards some even more sophisticated modes for Atlantic Records! Many of Evan's previous players are on board to make the record great – including Lennie Druss on flute, Paul Serrano on trumpet, Odell Brown on organ, and Phil Upchurch on guitar. Evans himself plays bass for the record – using a very funky bottom sound – and the set also features some wicked vibes from the legendary Billy Wooten, working away from his Nineteenth Hole group on a rare major label date! The sound is blacksploitation soundtrack, part Curtom funk – and titles include the great originals "Pie Daddy's Dream", "Wado City", "Angela My Sister", and the great "Patutu" – which was done by the Soulful Strings – plus a few nice covers like "Mercy Mercy Me" and "Ellie's Love Theme", by Isaac Hayes. CD
Also available Dealing With Hard Times ... LP 39.99
 
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Possible matches: 12
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Kenny BurrellSoulero ... CD
GRP/Argo, 1966/1967. Used ... $8.99
A great selection of tracks that Kenny recorded for the Argo/Cadet label in the mid 60s – some of his grooviest work from the decade, with a lean sound that has him soloing brilliantly in rhythmic settings that bring out the best of his soulful side! A number of tracks were arranged with larger backings by Richard Evans - who gives the tracks the same swing as his work for Ramsey Lewis – and other sides feature a quartet with Richard Wyands on piano. Titles include "Hot Bossa", "La Petite Mambo", "The Tender Gender", "I Want My Baby Back", "Con Alma", "Soulero", "Blues Fuse", and "Isabella". Includes the 10 tracks that make up The Tender Gender LP, 5 more from Ode To 52nd Street, and 1 more – "My Favorite Things" – from Have Yourself A Soulful Christmas. CD
(Out of print.)

Possible matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Gordon Staples & The String ThingStrung Out ... CD
Motown/Reel Music, 1970. New Copy ... $14.99
A damn funky record – way more so than you might expect from the "string" in the title! The group's kind of an answer to the Soulful Strings ensemble headed by Richard Evans for Cadet/Concept in Chicago – and like that group, it mixes up funky rhythms with some sweet large orchestrations – in a style that's almost a precursor of blacksploitation funk to come in the 70s! Paul Riser handles arrangements – very much in the same spirit of Evans – and he picks up a hip Motown groove that bridges sweeping soul and gritty funk – all played to perfection by an ensemble led by Gordon Staples, and featuring players from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra! There's lots of funky nuggets in the set – and titles include excellent originals like "Strung Out", "Toonie", and "Sounds of the Zodiac" – plus "The April Fools", "The Look Of Love", "Get Down", "If Your Love Were Mine", "Someday We'll Be Together", and "From A Heart That's True To Only You". Beautiful high-quality reissue – of a record that's darn hard to find on wax! CD

Possible matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Dorothy AshbyRubaiyat Of Dorothy Ashby (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Cadet/Universal (Japan), 1970. New Copy ... About March 30, 2016
Incredible work from the amazing Dorothy Ashby – a brilliant set of funky and spiritual tunes, set to full backings from Chicago soul arranger Richard Evans! This album is easily one of Ashby's greatest, and it's dedicated to the writings of Omar Khayyam – one of the forces guiding Dorothy's more spiritual sound at the end of the 60s, clearly opened up in a way that's not unlike the direction of Alice Coltrane's work, but a lot more focused and a lot more funky! Ashby not only plays her usual jazz harp, but also koto as well, and even sings a bit too – and the larger group directed by Evans features work by Stu Katz on vibes and kalimba, Lenny Druss on flutes, and Cash McCall on guitar – all in a groove that's really a precursor to the Earth Wind & Fire generation of the Chicago scene! Titles include the amazing break "The Moving Finger" – worth the price of the album alone – plus "Dust", "Joyful Grass & Grape", "Heaven & Hell", "Wax & Wane", "Shadow Shapes", "For Some When Young", "Myself When Young", and "Drink". CD

Possible matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Don GoldieBrilliant! (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Argo/Universal (Japan), 1961. Used ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
One of a few albums recorded by trumpeter Don Goldie for the Argo label in the early 60s – and probably the best of the bunch! This set has Goldie blowing with a group that includes Eddie Higgons on piano, Richard Evans on bass, and Fred Rundquist on guitar – gently grooving in a small combo early 60s Chicago mode. Goldie's style is a bit bright – as you might guess from the title – but there's enough soul in the rhythm section to keep things solid, even on the shorter tracks. Titles include "Soon", "I'll Be Around", "Look For The Silver Lining", "Toy Trumpet", and "Tis Autumn". CD
(Out of print. Includes obi!)

Possible matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Woody Herman & His Thundering HerdKeep On Keepin' On: 1968 - 1970 ... CD
Chess, Late 60s. Used ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
This is the kind of reissue that restores our faith in the American music industry! Although you think he'd be in some sort of snoozy deep-freeze during the groovy 60s, Woody Herman cut some amazing sides for Chess records during the end of the decade. The recordings were done with the help of Chess' great soul arranger Richard Evans – and the material has an amazing big-band funky groove quality that you won't hear in any other of Herman's work. Evans' arrangements are incredibly tight, and they make the best of the band's screaming sound – especially as it's applied to groovy material like "Light My Fire", "I Say A Little Prayer", "Hush", "My Cherie Amour", "Aquarius", and "I Can't Get Next To You". The album includes one of the greatest versions we've ever heard of Edu Lobo's "Ponteio", plus some great original material by the band. A great collection of tracks, with 14 titles in all, and a sound that we never expected to be resurrected by the American majors! CD
(Out of print. Booklet has a spot of sticker residue. Barcode has a cutout hole.)

Possible matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Sun RaSun Song (aka Jazz By Sun Ra) ... CD
Transition/Delmark, 1956. Used ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Sun Ra's first album as a leader – originally issued on the Transition label, but presented here in its better-known incarnation by Delmark Records! Even at this early point, Ra had a sound unlike any of his contemporaries – large group and modern, but not in a way that showed any similarities to work going on in New York or LA – a voice that was all his own, and already quite boldly stated, even in these early years! The format might be somewhat familiar – an ensemble with horns and rhythm – but the overall execution really starts to open up as the album moves on – with odd phrasings, timings, and unusual moments that live up to all the promise you might expect from Ra. Even Mingus and some of his better-known contemporaries weren't heading in these directions in the mid 50s – and the record is a proud showcase of the freedoms that players were often accorded in the less-trafficked Chicago scene of the time. Horns include Art Hoyle & Dave Young on trumpets, John Gilmore on tenor sax, Pat Patrick on baritone, Julian Priester on trombone, and James Scales on alto sax – and rhythm includes Jim Herndon on tympani, Robert Barry on drums, Wilbur Green on electric bass, and a young Richard Evans on acoustic bass! Titles include "Brainville", "Call For All Demons", "Transition", "Lullaby For Realville", "Street Named Hell", "New Horizons", "Fall Off The Long", "Possession", and "Future". CD
Also available Sun Song (aka Jazz By Sun Ra) ... LP 12.99

Possible matches9
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✨✧ Natalie ColeInseparable/Natalie/Unpredictable ... CD
Capitol/BGO (UK), 1975/1976/1977. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
A triple pack of early magic from Natalie Cole! Inseparable is Natalie's stunning debut for Capitol Records in the mid 70s – a real surprise, and a set that should have had the singer blossoming even more than she did at the time! As with some of the other Capitol soul sessions of the time, the album's done very firmly under the guidance of Charles Jackson and Marvin Yancey – a pair who give Natalie just the right sort of backing to launch her career – a sound that's full and rich, deeply sophisticated – but also still plenty soulful, almost in the mode of some of Minnie Riperton's work at the time. Given the pair's Chicago roots – and the arrangement help from Richard Evans – that comparison is no surprise, and Natalie rises to the occasion nicely. Titles are all originals too – and include "Needing You", "Joey", "I Can't Say No", "Something For Nothing", "I Love Him So Much", "You", "Your Face Stays On My Mind", and the huge hit "This Will Be". Next up is Natalie – a record that really has Natalie Cole finding her groove – not needing any help from her famous familial legacy, thank you – and instead stepping out with a tight, proud mode that really helped refine the sound of female soul in the 70s! The album's got plenty of influences from the Chicago soul scene – including songwriting and production from the team of Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancy – and work from key session players like Richard Evans and Gene Barge, who worked in the Curtom Studios to craft the grooves on the set! Titles include "Keep Smiling", "Mr. Melody", "Heaven Is With You", "Can We Get Together", "Touch Me", "Hard To Get Along", and "Good Morning Heartache". Unpredictable is an album that reunites Natalie Cole with the smooth soul team of Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancey – the team who did such a great job with Natalie's Capitol debut, and who really continue the groove here too! The album's got a rock-solid approach through and through – a quality that has Natalie really standing out on her own as a positive young artist in soul – without any need to nod towards her father, as in later years. And Jackson and Yancey bring a nice dose of Chicago soul class to the affair – which turns out to be a perfect match for Natalie's vocals! Titles include "Be Mine Tonight", "Party Lights", "This Heart", "I've Got Love On My Mind", and "Still In Love". CD

Possible matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Natalie ColeThankful/I Love You So/Don't Look Back ... CD
Capitol/BGO (UK), 1977/1979/1980. New Copy 2 CDs ... Out Of Stock
Classic early work from Natalie Cole – packaged here in a sweet 2CD set! First up is the album Thankful – the third record in a tremendous early creative and commerical winning streak for Natalie! Thankful has her sweet, soulful voice out from of prodcution by Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancy of the Independents, and they give her a nice jazzy sound that made the record one of her best of the 70s. Richard Evans and Gene Barge arranged, which probably had something to do with that, too – but Natalie truly deserves most of the credit of the strength of this set. It includes the standout groovers "La Costa" and"Annie Mae", but the whole record is really sweet – with "Lovers", "Our Love", "Be Thankful", "Just Can't Stay Away" and "Keeping A Light". I Love You So is a Capitol killer from Natalie Cole – a really great record from the time when she really seemed to be starting out her career with a bang! As with other gems on Capitol, the record features some great production work from Marvin Yancy and Chuck Jackson, getting a bit of help here from Gene Barge too – all wrapped up with a strong, sophisticated sound that shows plenty of Chi-soul touches in the music – a great approach for Natalie's maturing vocals. The sound is wonderfully balanced, and really stays away from easy hit modes – leaving the lady in a space that's all her own, on tracks that include "The Winner", "I Love You So", "Oh Daddy", "Sorry", "Stand By", and "Who Will Carry On". Don't Look Back is an overlooked gem from Natalie Cole – a set that still has her working strongly with songwriter Marvin Yancy, who really helped her find her sound and style during the early years of her career! Natalie actually helped with writing a fair bit on the record herself – sometimes with Yancy, sometimes alone – and the result is a surprisingly personal batch of tunes that really show a deepening of spirit in the singer, especially in the mellower moments. Gene Barge handles the arrangements – still bringing a bit of Chicago soul roots to the record – that mix of deep and sophisticated modes that always brought out the best in Natalie. Titles include "Don't Look Back", "I'm Getting In To You", "Paradise", "Hold ON", "Danger UP A head", and "Someone That I Used To Love". CD

Possible matches11
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✨✧ Gil EvansSvengali (with bonus track) ... CD
Atlantic, 1973. Used ... Out Of Stock
A great example of the way that Gil Evans really opened up his groove in the 70s – moving here way way past the cool jazz and third stream of earlier years – into a soulful style that's far groovier than might be expected! Part of the strength of the set is because of the players – as Gil's working with a group of younger soul jazz and spiritual soloists that include Ted Dunbar, Billy Harper, and Hannibal Marvin Peterson – as well as the older soul modernist Richard Williams. But there's also some other specifically Evans-like touches to the record that stand out – like Gil's stark notes on acoustic piano and his lighter work on the electric keys – plus a bit of inventive synthesizer from David Horowitz, who makes a few tracks really crackle with energy. Tracks include "Zee Zee", "Blues In Orbit", "Cry Of Hunger", and "Thoroughbred" – the latter two of which are lovely compositions by Billy Harper! Features a bonus full length version of "Eleven". CD

Possible matches12
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✨✧ Stan GetzWhat The World Needs Now – Stan Getz Plays Bacharach & David ... CD
Verve, 1966. Used ... Out Of Stock
Stan Getz meets Burt Bacharach – a heavenly combination that brings together two of our most favorite musical talents of the 60s! And while we're at it, we'd also like to mention a third – Chicago soul arranger Richard Evans, who handles all the backdrops for this set – bringing in a groove that you might not expect for tunes by Burt Bacharach – not exactly Charles Stepney at Cadet, but not far, either – a perfect setting for the sparkling, lyrical tone that Getz was hitting at this point in his career. The tunes are familiar, but the blend of talents really keeps things fresh – and with extra contributions from Herbie Hancock on piano and Jim Hall on guitar, you can bet there's plenty going on here. Titles include "Wives & Lovers", "Windows Of The World", "House Is Not A Home", "Walk On By", and "Trains & Boats & Planes". CD
(Out of print.)

Possible matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Dorothy AshbyDorothy's Harp ... CD
Cadet (Japan), 1969. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
One of the grooviest Dorothy Ashby albums of the 60s – a set that has her already-great jazz work on harp backed by Chicago soul arrangements from Richard Evans – all in a blend that's somewhere in the territory of the Soulful Strings, but even groovier! And as an added bonus, Odell Brown even plays a bit of Fender Rhodes on the record – which sounds especially great! Both Ashby and Evans are at the height of their powers here – mixing together bits of jazz, soul, and trippier elements in a sublime late 60s Cadet Records blend – one that's carried off perfectly on the original tunes "Truth Spoken Here", "Tornado", "Cause I Need It", and "Just Had To Tell Somebody" – but which also sounds great on some of the album's cool covers too! Other titles include Brazilian numbers "Reza" and "Canto De Ossanha" – both of which are transformed in Dorothy's hands – plus "This Girl's In Love", "By the Time I Get to Phoenix", and "Windmills of Your Mind"! CD

Possible matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Soulful StringsMagic Of Christmas ... CD
Cadet/Real Gone, 1968. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
One of the coolest Christmas albums we've ever heard – and maybe one of the coolest sets ever from this legendary soul instrumental project from Chicago! The Soulful Strings are already great on other albums, but they really blow us away here with the way they completely transform familiar tunes – using the impeccable arrangements of the great Richard Evans, and a host of hot strings from Dorothy Ashby on harp, Cleveland Eaton on bass, and Phil Upchurch on guitar – plus a bit of hip vibes from Bobby Christian as well! And Evans' style here really outdoes itself – and hits a similar level to the best Charles Stepney material on Cadet at the same time – making for amazing sounds on titles that include "Little Drummer Boy", "Snowfall", "Dance Of The Sugarplum Fairy", "Sleigh Ride", and "Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers". Way more than a Christmas record – and actually one we'll happily play all year long! CD
 
 
 



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