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✨✧ Special EdYoungest In Charge (extended version) ... CD
Profile/Traffic, 1989. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
The late 80s debut full length from Special Ed – classic midtempo funky hip hop and fresh rhymes that still holds up – one from the glory days of straight forward, straight up, solid hip hop! It's hard to believe that Special Ed was just in his mid teens when this album was recorded, he's such a remarkably fluid MC and storyteller – and the bits of guitar in the funky production by Howie Tee sounds great to this day. Titles include "I Got It Made", "Think About It", "Akshun", "Taxing", "I'm The Magnificent", "Club Scene", "Hoedown", "Monster Jam", "The Bush", "Fly MC" and "Heds & Dreds". This extended edtion includes bonus tracks and alternate versions, including "I Got It Made" (Businesslike Version and Up Version), "Think About It" (instrumental and Howie's Slo Mo Party mix), "Ready 2 Attack" and more. 11 tracks from the original album plus 8 bonus tracks! CD
 
Possible matches: 3
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Piero UmilianiPercussioni Ed Effetti Speciali ... CD
Liuto/Schema (Italy), 1972. New Copy ... $18.99
Percussion and special effects – a really wonderful blend, especially in the hands of Italian maestro Piero Umiliani! The album's one of Piero's more experimental and electronic outings – done for the Liuto sound library label, with lots of cool production techniques that make the drums and percussion nice and echoey, and just ripe for layers of keyboards and electronics, too! And although the record is experimental, it's often quite groovy – in the best Umiliani manner, with a few funky passages stepping out of space as well – in a blend of acoustic, electric, and cosmic that reminds us of some of the sci-fi soundtrack work of Peter Thomas. Titles include "Ritmi In swing", "Timbales", "Protesta Giovanile", "Bongos In Suspense", "Dinimica In Beat", "Dinemica In Tensione", "Organo In Suspense", "Fascia Metallica", "Battimenti", and "Esplosioni". CD
Also available Percussioni Ed Effetti Speciali (with bonus CD) ... LP 24.99

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✨✧ VariousGolden Age Of American Rock & Roll – Special Novelty Edition ... CD
Ace (UK), 1950s/1960s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Oh how we love novelty rock – a tremendous genre that really boomed in the 50s and 60s, and which has sadly almost faded from view these days! Novelty tunes were all based around a gimmick – a high-pitched alien voice, strange sound effect, offbeat interview, odd instrumentation, weird lyrics – and used this gimmick in surprisingly catchy ways to craft funny little tunes that ended up doing surprisingly well on the charts. This excellent little set features 30 gems from the glory years of the genre – packaged with a surprisingly great set of notes that tells you more than you'd ever need to know about the songs! Titles include "Martian Hop" by The Ran-Dells, "Yogi" by The Ivy Three, "Mr Bass Man" by Johnny Cymbal, "Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley, "Beep Beep" by The Playmates, "Haunted House" by Gene Simmons, "Leader Of The Laundromat" by The Detergents, "They're Coming To Take Me Away" by Napoleon XIV, "Who Put The Bomp" by Barry Mann, "Kookie Kookie Lend Me Your Comb" by Ed Byrnes & Connie Stevens, and "More Money For You & Me" by The Four Preps. CD

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VariousGuys Go Pop 1965 – 26 Obscure Teen/Pop/Rock & Roll Sides from 1965 ... CD
Teensville, 1965. New Copy ... $14.99 16.99
Great guy pop from that seminal year of 1965 – a time when styles were changing and sounds were moving – and mixing up influences from different strands of rock, pop, and soul! The tunes here are definitely from the pop side of the spectrum, and most were singles on bigger labels of the time – but together, they've got a really special sort of charm – less of the innocence of years before, but also surprisingly free of headier themes in other music of the period – even on the few tracks here from artists who'd only flower more strongly in later years. As with other CDs on the Teensville label, the track selection is great – put together with a great ear for overlooked gems that only ever circulated on 45s – titles that include "I Adore You" by Tommy Regan, "My Hometown" by Jimmy Boyd, "Around The Corner" by The Duprees, "City Lights" by Jerry Naylor, "Knowing I Won't Go Back There" by Kenny Rankin, "Let's Pretend" by Ron Murphy, "You'll Come Crying To Me" by Ray Singer, "Say Goodbye To Donna" by Cory Wells & The Enemys, "Natalie Would" by Joe Perkins, "One Fine Day" by Ed Harden, "Don't Shut Me Out" by Ken Kirkham, "Don't Fool Yourself" by John Summers, and "Have I Stayed Away Too Long" by Robbie & The Revelations. CD
 
Partial matches: 174
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✨✧ VariousSoul Emissaries – Super Funk – Rare Black American Music From The 1970s & 80s ... CD
BGP (UK), 1970s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A really great entry in the excellent Super Funk series – one that offers up cuts that are every bit as strong on their soulful vocals as they are their funky grooves! The track selection is wonderful – rare cuts from 45s, of the sort that funk diggers have been trading for years – plus some of those extra-special unreleased tracks, which the folks at Ace/BGP always seem able to dig up through their access to the vaults! The notes are filled with rare photos, label scans, and loads of information on the cuts – showing that their selection here wasn't just a random process – and despite the title, most tracks here are 70s numbers from the heavy funk years. Titles include "Dark Skin Woman" by Billy Cee, "Love Highjacker" by George Jackson, "You Bring The Tears" by Sampson & Delilah, "Born To Live With Heartache" by Mary Lvoe, "Sweet Thang" by William Bostic, "Foolish Man (part 2)" by The Huck Daniels Co, "Work It Out" by Marcene Harris, "Jodine" by Earl Harris, "Funky Kingston" by Tribe, "Brother Jack" by The Funky Kids, "Forgotten" by Lamont Johnson, "Daddy Please Stay Home" by Obrey Wilson, and "So Fine" by Chet Ivey & His Fabulous Avengers. CD

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Carleen AndersonCage Street Memorial – The Pilgrimage ... CD
Freestyle (UK), 2016. New Copy ... $13.99
The legendary Carleen Anderson goes back to her roots – in a special album dedicated to that time when she was growing up in the household of Vicki Anderson and Bobby Byrd – two of the hippest singers to ever work with James Brown! Carleen's got a great legacy of her own – almost 30 years of recording, both as a solo act and a member of Young Disciples – but this set kind of leapfrogs backward over those years, and touches on some of the spiritual sounds that Vicki was doing in her youth, and the Cage Street setting in Houston in which she grew up. The record is easily Carleen's most ambitious – and was co-created with Orphy Robinson, who plays vibes throughout, and directs the group – on songs that are surprisingly lofty, compared to some of Anderson's earlier records. There's almost a more serious, intense sound to the record at times, mixed with straighter jazz vocal moments at others – and titles include "Your Heart Will Know", "Upwards From The Ground", "Deliverance", "Begin Again", "Be No Puppet", and "Pond Crossing". CD

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Peter BrendlerOutside The Line ... CD
Posi tone, 2014. New Copy ... $11.99 16.99
Bassist Peter Brendler is at the helm of the set, but we're especially enamored of the trumpet work here – played by Peter Evans on both standard and piccolo trumpet – the latter of which has this wonderfully personal sound! Almost all tunes are originals from Brendler, who turns out to be a pretty great writer – and sets up these strong showcases for Evans' trumpet lines, which seem to leap right out front even before his solos – when he's still sharing the lead with tenorist Rich Perry. Perry's pretty great, too – but there's a freshness to Evans' phrasing that's really great – bold at some minutes, with lots of offbeat twists and turns – and more fragile and honest on the piccolo trumpet tunes. Drummer Vinnie Sperrazza completes the group – and titles include "Blackout Reunion", "Drop The Mittens", "The Darkness", "Blanket Statement", "Lawn Darts", and a surprisingly nice cover of "Walk On The Wild Side". CD

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George ColemanMaster Speaks ... CD
Smoke Sessions, 2016. New Copy ... $16.99 17.98
The title certainly gets it right – as master tenorist George Coleman speaks volumes here with his horn – reminding us that he's one of the all-time giants on his instrument, and a player who's really continued to give us so much wonderful music over the decades! Coleman's right at home on the record – which may well be one of his best in years – open and flowing on his solos, but often with a nice sort of bite, even in the mellower moments – that special sort of edge that George has brought to his playing, from his years with Miles Davis to the many decades after. The group features Mike Ledonne on piano, Bob Cranshaw on bass, and George Coleman Jr on drums – making his debut with the elder George here – and Peter Bernstein makes an appearance on one track for some guest guitar. Titles include the originals "Sonny's Playground", "Time To Get Down", "Blues For BB", and "Blondie's Waltz" – plus a great take on "Invitation", and "You'll Never Know What You Mean To Me" and "The Shadow Of Your Smile". CD

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Herbie Hancock5 Original Albums (Takin Off/My Point Of View/Inventions & Dimensions/Speak Like A Child/The Prisoner) (5CD set) ... CD
Blue Note (Germany), Mid 60s. New Copy 5CD ... $21.99
The early genius of Herbie Hancock – perfectly summed up here in five classic albums for Blue Note – each presented in a tiny LP-styled sleeve! Takin Off has Herbie Hancock stepping into the limelight with an excellent batch of soul jazz tunes, including the first recording of his classic "Watermelon Man", the one track that probably put all his kids through school! Although that one went on to become a standard within a few short years in 60s jazz, it still sounds great here in the original – a very fresh take on the sound of soul jazz in the 60s – offered up here in a 7 minute version that has more sharp soloing than most other takes on the tune! The group here is great too – with Dexter Gordon on tenor, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Butch Warren on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums – and the tracks are all also originals by a young Herbie – including "Watermelon Man", "The Maze", "Driftin", "Three Bags Full", "Alone & I", and "Empty Pockets". My Point Of View is a great mix of soul jazz and modernism! The record include a nice groovy "hit", Herbie's "Blind Man, Blind Man" – an obvious follow-up to "Watermelon Man", but still a standout track with a lot of imagination, and a fierce soul jazz hook that just won't quit! The rest of the record, while still groovy, also shows much more signs of Herbie's far-reaching conception – especially shared with players like Tony Williams, Grachan Moncur, Chuck Israels, and Grant Green – all of whom work with Herbie, Donald Byrd, and Hank Mobley – in a larger than usual group that makes for a really great sound! Titles include "A Tribute To Someone", "King Cobra", and "The Pleasure Is Mine". Inventions & Dimensions is really unique little record from Herbie Hancock – one that's almost completely improvised over Latin percussion! The setup is quite spare – and quite different than Herbie's other Blue Note work – and the group features improvised backgrounds by bassist Paul Chambers and 2 Latin percussionists, Willie Bobo and Osvaldo "Chihuahau" Martinez. Herbie only wrote simple sketches for the songs on the album, and most of the work on the tracks was done live, spontaneously, in the studio – creating a very free groove that never goes too far out, but which is far more adventurous than usual. All tracks are long, and titles include "Succotash", "Triangle", and "Mimosa". Speak Like A Child is an oft-overlooked session that has Herbie mixing a nice dose of lyricism into his usual soul jazz approach from the 60s! The sound's a bit farther-reaching than on some of Herbie's smaller group sessions – and the record features a sextet that includes Ron Carter, Mickey Roker, Jerry Dodgion, Thad Jones, and Peter Phillips – all soaring with the warmth and introspection that was showing up in some of the best Blue Notes from the time. The harder-hitting soul jazz riffs and hooks are nicely replaced by more thoughtful lines that get a bit deeper, soufully – and nearly all tracks on the set are originals by Hancock! The album's filled with great moments – and tracks include "The Sorcerer", "Riot", and "Goodbye To Childhood". Last up is The Prisoner – a nice late Blue Note change from Herbie Hancock – a very different album than his previous sets for the label – in that it features a slightly larger group, and a sound that really points the way towards his directions in the 70s! There's a slightly ambitious feel to some of these cuts – not in a way that's over-arranged, but just a new sort of thinking for Herbie's kind of groove – a mode that's partially informed by the seriousness of 60s jazz soundtracks, but which also has the beginnings of some more righteous modes of expression too. Players are all great – and include Joe Henderson on tenor and flute, Johnny Coles on flugelhorn, Garnett Brown on trombone, Hubert Laws on flute, Jerome Richardson on bass clarinet, Buster Williams on bass, and Tootie Heath on drums. Herbie plays both acoustic and electric piano – using the latter here in one of his first recordings on the instrument – and titles include "Firewater", "I Have A Dream", "The Prisoner", and "He Who Lives In Fear". CD

Partial matches10
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✨✧ Borje FredrikssonFredriksson Special ... CD
Dragon (Sweden), Early 60s. New Copy ... $12.99 16.99
Fantastic work from this overlooked Swedish tenor genius – a musician who could open up with modern tones, yet still keep things swinging too – at a level that really makes this collection sparkle throughout! The set brings together live, radio, and studio material from Borje – all of it in the sharpest sort of Swedish modern modes of the early 60s – that point when the scene was really breaking from its west coast jazz influences, and pushing into modal territory, and unlocking a range of colors that really makes things interesting. Musicians include Bobo Stenson, Lasse Werner, or or Goran Engdahl on piano – plus Roland Svensson on trumpet, Kjell Norlen on guitar, Rolf Olsson or Goran Pettersson on bass, and Bosse Warmell on soprano sax – and titles include "Fiskefard", "Blues For Ann Katrin", "Summer In Stockholm", "Expedition 721", "Amanda's Villa", "Adagio Con Espressione", and "Brollopsvals". CD

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Edwin Astley/Tony CrombieInternational Detective/Man From Interpol ... CD
El (UK), Late 50s/Early 60s. New Copy ... $13.99
A pair of cool British TV soundtracks – both of which feature an action jazz style to rival the best early work of Henry Mancini for the television screen! First up is lost spy soundtrack work from the British composer Edwin Astley – best known for his work on The Saint and Danger Man, but also sounding pretty darn great on the earlier program International Detective! The feel here is similar to some of Astley's better-known work – a more dramatic take on the crime jazz used on American TV in the late 50s – one that retains much of the instrumental elements of the sound, especially the well-placed use of saxes – but which also uses larger orchestrations to flesh out the music nicely, creating a stronger, more cinematic feel. The set features a total of 21 tracks from this short-lived show – and titles include "International Detective", "Murder Strip", "Theme For Larceny", "Night Patrol", "The Badge", "Manhunt", "Shock Tactics", "Murder Chase", and "Concerto In Law". Next is Man From Interpol – one of the best spy soundtracks we've ever heard – and one of the only scores we've ever seen from Brit jazz drummer Tony Crombie! The work was done a few years before Barry's famous Bond scores – but it's got a very similar feel, with lots of driving themes that make the best use of brazen horns, fast jazz, and beat-styled rhythms that crackle throughout the set. Most titles are pretty short, but really great – and nearly all of them feature some extremely strong jazz musicianship, in the manner of that used on the best American soundtracks by Mancini at the time! Titles include "Panic Station", "Interpol Cha Cha Cha", "Interpol Chase", "Samba De Janeiro", and "Blues Macabre". CD

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Saul BarbosaO Ar O Tempo E O Vento (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Production Dessinee (Japan), 1984. New Copy ... $24.99
Saul Barbosa may be on the cover, but the record's got a really wonderful female singer on most tracks – a sophisticated Brazilian vocalist who's perfect for the complicated, jazzy vibe of the tunes! The singer almost reminds us a bit of Joyce at times – especially in the way her vocals can soar and cascade over the tunes, leaving waves of color in their wake – and when Saoul sings, he's got a raspier style – which makes for a nice sense of contrast that's really beautiful! The instrumentation is wonderful, too – complex, but always organic – a bit like the best arrangements of Edu Lobo. Titles include "Sao Jorge Dos Ilheus", "Suite Espanhola", "Coracao", "Liberata No 7", "Gismonti Pascoal", "Luanda", and "Destino". CD

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Jacek Bednarek & Krzystof P ZgrajaWalking Colour (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Poljazz/GAD (Poland), 1981. New Copy ... $16.99
An album with a very evocative title – and a very evocative sound to match – just the bass of Jacek Benarek and the flute of Krzystof Zgraja – working together to make some hauntingly beautiful music! The approach might be considered jazz, but the sound is also quite loose and open – not in a free or outside sort of way, as the mode is tuneful and poetic – but there's also a quality that's very post-jazz too – a free-thinking, open-ended style of music that's very unique! The bass is often bowed, with nicely dark tones – which are offset by the lighter lines of the flute – especially when it's blown with this cool, compressed sort of sound. The whole thing's fantastic – more like some experimental jazz album from 1970 on the Vortex label than you'd guess from the date – and titles include "Flute Reflections", "La Concha", "Afrosfera", "Luz Blues", and "Walking Colour". CD also features 7 more bonus tracks from radio sessions! CD

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Art Blakey5 Original Albums (Night In Tunisia/Freedom Rider/Buhaina's Delight/African Beat/Free For All) (5CD set) ... CD
Blue Note (Germany), Early 60s. New Copy 5CD ... $21.99
5 classic Blue Note albums from Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers – packaged in a single set, with tiny LP-styled covers! First up is one of a number of Art Blakey albums titled after "Night In Tunisia" – and most likely the best! The tune is a perfect fit for the Blakey Jazz Messengers format – long, rhythmic, really stretching out, yet allowing plenty of space for the horn players to solo. Players include Bobby Timmons on piano, Lee Morgan on trumpet, and Wayne Shorter on tenor – a killer lineup that's in really classic form here – driven on nicely by Blakey's drums and bass work by Jymie Merritt. Titles include "Night In Tunisia", with Blakey thundering through impeccably – plus the tracks "Yama", "Kozo's Waltz", and a version of Timmons' great "So Tired". Next is Freedom Rider – hard driving bop from the group that practically created "Hard Bop". This one features the Morgan/Shorter/Timmons/Merritt lineup, and classic "Freedom Rider" Blakey solo. Morgan and Shorter are at their boldest and baddest on cuts like "Tell It Like Is" and "Petty Larceny" and Bobby Timmons is, as always, funky and soulful. A monster session – and darn tough to find on vinyl! Buhaina's Delight is a landmark recording by a whole new chapter in Art Blakey's career! During the early 60s, Blakey expanded the Jazz Messengers from a quintet to an incredibly tight sextet – adding in the trombone of Curtis Fuller for an extra-punched up frontline that also included Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, and Wayne Shorter on tenor, who had returned to the group after a short departure. The band was augmented by the wonderfully lyrical and soulful piano of a young Cedar Walton – who brought a strong degree of sophistication, and who was a perfect interpreter of Shorter's rich writing talents. The whole group performs together perfectly on this wonderful (and oft-overlooked) session – especially on the tracks "Shaky Jake", "Backstage Sally", and "Bu's Delight". African Beat is a slammin' LP of "jazz meets percussion", hosted by the great Art Blakey, and featuring jazz players like Curtis Fuller, Yusef Lateef, and Ahmed Abdul-Malik – plus a host of percussionists that include Solomon Ilori, Montego Joe, Chief Bey, and Garvin Masseaux. Blakey skirts nicely between the two camps, and although the record probably has more of an Afro-percussion feel than a jazz one, Lateef and Fuller blow through the mix with some nice nice solos. Titles include "Tobi Ilu", "Love, The Mystery Of", and "Obirin African". Last up is Free For All – a masterpiece of focus and direction, and a classic set from the sextet lineup of the Jazz Messengers! The album's a real feather in the mid-60s cap of Art Blakey –and features an expanded sound from the quintet era of his group – with a sublime horn lineup that features Wayne Shorter on tenor, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, and Curtis Fuller on trombone – all gliding along these soaring piano lines from Cedar Walton! Reggie Workman works some real magic on bass, too – and the tracks are all very long – with titles that include "Free For All" and "Hammer Head" – both written by Shorter – plus "The Core", by Hubbard, and a beautiful version of Clare Fischer's "Pensativa". CD

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Federico Bonifazi with Eric AlexanderYou'll See ... CD
Steeplechase (Denmark), 2016. New Copy ... $15.99 19.99
A fantastic record from Italian pianist Federico Bonifazi – one that comes out of time recently spent in New York city, where he developed a fast friendship with bassist John Webber – whose work on the set really sounds tremendous! At some level, the record might be thought of as one of Webber's records with tenorist Eric Alexander – as Alexander makes a wonderful presence here, alongside drummer Jimmy Cobb, who completes the group – but there's also a very special relationship between Webber and Bonifazi, one that has the bassist's strong lines finding a new sense of color and life amidst Federico's great piano lines and original compositions – music that flows beautifully, and seems to give Alexander a different sort of voice as well. That's not to say that the American players aren't every bit as compelling as ever – because they are – just to say that Bonifazi's leadership helps the group flower into something new, and very special. Titles include "Steps House", "Sadness For You", "Suspended In The Air", "Escape", and "The Chicken". CD

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Fabrizio Bosso3 Essential Albums (Sol/You've Changed/Purple) (3CD set) ... CD
Blue Note (Italy), 2007/2008/2013. New Copy 3 CDs ... $14.99
A trio of albums from this great trumpeter – packaged together in a nicely-priced set! Sol is a beautiful session from Italian trumpeter Fabrizo Bosso and saxophonist Javier Girotto – one that's filled with all the Latin Moods promised in the title! The set steps nicely off some of Bosso's other recent work for Blue Note – with a sound that's evocative, but also pretty lively too – especially given the small combo setting for the date! Bosso's trumpet and flugelhorn come into great play with Girotto's soprano and baritone sax lines – dancing beautifully over some rhythmic backings shaded in with keyboards, piano, and electric bass. The large booklet features some poetic prose that really set the scene for each tune – and although there's a bit of vocals on the record, most numbers are instrumental. Titles include "Volver", "Matias", "Pescao Blanco", "Wide Green Eyes", "Ochenta", "El Cacerolazo", "African Friends", and "Penny". You've Changed is a set that has the leader's warmly-crafted solos stepping out over some larger string arrangements from Paolo Silvestri! The music is great – fresher than you might expect, and not the usual batch of overplayed standards – given that Bosso mixes in music by folks like Ivan Lins, Marcos Valle, and Ennio Morricone – as well as some tunes of his own. The set features guest vocals from Dianne Reeves on one track, and soprano sax from Stefano Di Battista on two others – and titles include "Summer Samba", "Rio De Majo", "Estatew", "Joyful Day", "Nuovo Cinema Paradiso", and "Senza Fine". Purple is a set that has Fabrizio Bosso working with his Spiritual Trio – a group that features lots of Hammond organ, and plenty of tight drums! The "spiritual" in their name is a reference to an American gospel and soul tradition – one that's given plenty of play here, as most numbers are old spiritual standards from the church, reworked by Bosso into jazz instrumentals! Given the heavy use of organ, the approach is a bit like some of the Lou Bennett albums on the European scene of the 60s – with maybe a nod to the Donald Byrd albums of a spiritual nature for Blue Note. But there's also some very personal elements here too – either unusual instrumental inflections or production techniques, or some other aspects that show a greatly evolved understanding of this mode in jazz. Titles include "This Little Light Of Mine", "Purple", "A Little 3/4 For God & Co", "Dreams Come True", "Wishy Washy", "Total Praise", "A Change Is Gonna Come", and "Wade In The Water". CD

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Magnus BrooSwedish Wood ... CD
Moserobie (Sweden), 2010. New Copy ... $18.99
Swedish wood, with plenty of brass – thanks to bold, imaginative work as a leader from trumpeter Magnus Broo – easily one of the most important voices on his instrument working today! The group is a beautifully tight quartet – and Broo's trumpet gains plenty from the equally bold basslines of Torbjorn Zetterberg – a player whose name may not be familiar to American audiences, but one who always seems to set a special sort of fire whenever he joins a session! There's a pulsating grace from Zetterberg that really gets things going – maybe the "wood" promised in the title, given the richness of its tone – which Magnus matches with this beautifully blown mix of soul and soaring, almost in a legacy of Woody Shaw or some of his generation. And the group also features added bass from Joe Williamson – making for a twin bottom-up groove that reminds us of similar sessions from the 60s – punctuated nicely by the drums of Hakon Mjaset Johansen. Titles include "I Hear You", "Swedish Wood", "Oh What A Beautiful Day", "Acoustic Kitten", "Thoughts Are Things", and "New Weather". CD

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Brother AhhDivine Music (Sea/Meditation/Searching) (3CD set) ... CD
Manufactured, 1978/1981/1985. New Copy 3CD ... Just Sold Out!
Three never-issued albums from Brother Ah – the enigmatic musician who may be known best for his work with Sun Ra, and his rare album on Strata East! Both of those moments date from earlier years, though – and past that time, Brother Ah was still working strongly on some amazing musical ideas of his own – work that includes the three albums presented in this package, which together really mark a shift for both Ah and some of his spiritual jazz contemporaries as the 70s moved on! The set begins with the beautiful set The Sea – recorded in 1978, with a long-flowing sound that's quite hypnotic, and very much in the spiritual territory of post-Coltrane material – including work by Trane's wife Alice. Brother Ah plays flute, in these fantastic lines that spin out slowly and echo strongly – amidst a mix of percussion, violin, mbira, bass, and drums – often used in ways that build beautifully, and which provide a great introduction to both the sung and spoken passages – presented by Abena Walker, Jeanean Gibbs, and Nataska Hassan Youssef. Titles include "Nuba", "Far Away", "The Village Drum", "Visoins", and "Africa We Are Your Children". Meditation is from a few years later, and has a different makeup – a sound that's much more spare overall, and which just features Brother Ah on flute, zither, and "nature sounds" – with help from Cleo Jomo Faulks on mbira and gong! The tunes have an earthier feel than you might guess from the album's title – still somewhat meditative, but also more open to the vibes of nature than the space of the studio – with moments that feel more more like the organic sounds of the young Moondog, or maybe some of Alice Coltrane's more home-made moments. Titles include "Stillness", "Spirit World", "Close Your Eyes & See", and "Song Of The Unseen". Last up is Searching – a record from 1985 that maybe moves the spiritual agenda from the political to the personal – that shift towards more interior solutions that some musicians took in the 80s, especially as funding for some kinds of spiritual jazz albums fell by the wayside, and some artists had to adapt to the new age underground. Yet although that shift might be in place here, Brother Ah is still as righteous as ever – just equipped with a slightly different voice – as he works alongside some electronics and percussion from Richard Ashman, and blows trumpet and a variety of flutes, while also handling percussion and harmonica in very spacious ways. The record is more about extended sound textures than individual instrumentation – and titles include "I Am", "Going Within", "Inner Voice", and "Know Thyself". First time release for all three records – presented in a really great package! CD
Also available Divine Music (Sea/Meditation/Searching) (5LP set) ... LP 84.99

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Kenny BurrellUnlimited 1 – Live At Catalina's ... CD
High Note, 2016. New Copy ... $15.99 16.99
Jazz guitar great Kenny Burrell leading the Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra Unlimited – live at the Catalina's Jazz Club in Hollywood! It's a sweet paean to the legacy of live jazz, especially the larger band style at it's most diverse – in turns carrying on a grand orchestral sweep and more delicately-layered intimacy from number to number. Kenny sounds many years younger than his age, but has the range of experience and deep legacy to give this a real sense of history and importance. The set wisely includes his spoken introductions and even some singing, paying tribute to jazz history AND modernity with vibrant performances all around. Includes "Stolen Moments", "Jeannine", "Be Yourself", "Mama Ya Ya", "Fourth Dimension (aka Kenny's Sound)", a sweet Billy Strayhorn medley with "Passion Flower" and "Take The 'A' Train", 'Things Ain't What They Used To Be" and more. CD

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Chief CheckerSounded Original (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Yoruba/Production Dessinee (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $22.99
A really unique hybrid of Jamaican and African grooves – a rare set cut by this Nigerian artist in London, working with help from the Cool Notes! The overall style is definitely reggae, but there's compelling juju qualities in the rhythms – and Chief Checker's lyrical approach and themes are quite different than anything coming from Kingston at the time – especially amidst the dubby production and slow-stepping grooves! The longish tracks really have a lot of nice details – especially when some weird moogy bits come into the mix, and give things a nicely twisted vibe. A very unusual record – much deeper and darker than we're making it sound here – with titles that include "Ire Africa", "Mangos Juice", "Possibility", "Original", and "Solomon Oba". CD

Partial matches21
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Stelvio CiprianiEdipeon ... CD
Digitmovies (Italy), 1970. New Copy ... $16.99
A lovely little soundtrack from Stelvio Cipriani – maybe one of his loveliest of the time – done with lots of wordless floating vocals from the great Edda Dell'Orso, whose presence gives the record a real Morricone-like feel at times! Yet the key Cipriani touches are also strongly in place – especially piano, which is acoustic throughout, and used in these beautiful, watery modes that drift along nicely with the voice – then get heavier on some of the album's standout groovers. There aren't lot of these, but even the mellower cuts have a nice sort of energy – thanks to that love of bass that always made Italian soundtracks soulful, even when mellow. CD features a total of 26 tracks in all, and really wonderful sound! CD

Partial matches22
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Ted CursonPop Wine ... CD
Futura (France), 1971. New Copy ... $12.99 16.99
Ted Curson at his finest – an incredible album that has him blowing hard, and with a wonderfully soulful style on the Paris scene of the early 70s! Curson's always been a hell of a trumpeter – but he's all-out, over-the-top on this amazing session from 1971 – working alongside the legendary trio of pianist George Arvanitas – who themselves really seem to hit a special sort of sound for the record! The tracks have a long, open-ended quality that offers a mix of modal grooving and hard spiritual soloing – perfect territory for Curson to show his stuff, over a groove that you'd hardly expect from Georges' group. Arvanitas' bassist Jacky Samson has this warm, round, wonderful tone that's a perfect foil for Curson's spirited blowing – and titles include "Quartier Latin", "Pop Wine", "LSD Takes A Holiday", and "Flip Top". CD

Partial matches23
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Ted DanielTed Daniel Solo – At Abbazia San Zeno Pisa, Italy ... CD
Ujamaa, 1981. New Copy ... $13.99
Ted Daniel may be one of the most compelling sound-shapers we've ever heard on the trumpet – a very under-acknowledged musician whose playing of the 70s and 80s continues to really grab us over the years! This unissued live set is from 1981, and it features Ted on a variety of horns – blowing in a special way that both links to more conventional trumpet modes, yet also shows a knowledge of the more open phrasing that some of his generation were using – like Lester Bowie or Leo Smith. Yet unlike some of those artists, Ted's performance, although free, is never that far from the more familiar roots of trumpet expression – a fantastic balance that really comes through beautifully in the music. There's a few unusual approaches here – one track features a trumpet played into a grand piano, another a flugelhorn through a phase shifter – but even these never go too far out. Titles include "Sunny Side Up", "Closer & Closer", "Vicissitudes Of A Lover", "Al Fine", "Ciao Bene", and "Deac's Ceremonial Testimonial". CD

Partial matches24
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Edge Of DaybreakEyes Of Love ... CD
Numero, 1979. New Copy ... $14.99 19.98
A really beautiful album of harmony soul – and a set that we'd already love for its music, even if the group didn't have an interesting story! Edge Of Daybreak are part of a small sub-culture of 70s soul groups – an ensemble who existed behind prison bars, like Power Of Attorney or The Escorts – and like both of those groups, they've got an amazingly strong sound – one that goes way beyond their incarcerated status, and which should have made them (like the other two) worthy of greater attention in the outside world! The material was recorded in 1979, but it's got a fragile early 70s vibe – maybe because that was the last time these guys heard work in the mainstream – and the voices come together with a style that's proud, but quite heartbreaking at times too – a bit like The Whatnauts on their best ballad material. If you dig harmony soul, you'll find plenty to love here – especially if you like early 70s material from Philly and New Jersey – and don't even worry about the behind bars gimmick, because the record has way more to offer than that! Titles include "Let Us", "Eyes Of Love", "I Wanna Dance With You", "Bring Me Down", "Edge Of Daybreak", and "Your Destiny". CD
 
 
 



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