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✨✧ Special EdYoungest In Charge (extended version) ... CD
Profile/Traffic, 1989. New Copy ... $6.99 14.98
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: 4
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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

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VariousGolden Age Of American Rock & Roll – Special Novelty Edition ... CD
Ace (UK), 1950s/1960s. New Copy ... $8.99 18.99
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
Also available Golden Age Of American Rock & Roll – Special Novelty Edition ... CD 8.99

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✨✧ Ed MottaAOR (English version with bonus tracks) ... CD
Dwitza/Tummy Touch, 2013. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Tremendous work from Ed Motta – a record that not only lives up to all the promise we've found in his music over the years – but which also goes way way beyond, and really knocks it out of the park! The title here is no lie, as Ed's a huge fan of AOR modes from the 70s – especially those magical sounds from the west coast that perfectly blended jazz, soul, and pop with sweet studio perfection – an approach he goes for wonderfully here, with results that are even better than we expected! Motta's always had soul music at his core, but has professed a strong love for Steely Dan over the years – and this set's a sublime balance of both modes – especially on this English version, where Ed's lyrics are able to reach American ears that have never been able to fully appreciate his genius. Everything about the album is totally right, and totally great – an instant classic set that should get Motta's music out to generations of fans for generations to come. The set features guest work from David T Walker and Bluey of Icognito – and titles include "Playthings Of Luv", "Simple Guy", "Lost In The Night", "Smile", "1978", "AOR", "Dried Flowers", and "Dondi". Includes two special US bonus tracks – "Marta (alt piano solo)" and "Mais Do Que Eu Sei". CD

Possible matches5
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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
 
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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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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 ... $26.99
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

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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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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

Partial matches11
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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 ... $26.99
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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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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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

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✨✧ 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

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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

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Donald EdwardsPrelude To Real Life ... CD
Criss Cross (Netherlands), 2016. New Copy ... $9.99 18.99
A really different album from drummer Donald Edwards – one that adds in some Fender Rhodes from Nicholas Payton and a bit of vocals from Vivian Sessoms – all in this cosmic blend of jazz and soul that's not too different at times from some of Robert Glasper's recent work! Some tracks are still straight jazz – and are still pretty darn great – with strong lead tenor from Walter Smith III, and bold tones on guitar from David Gilmore – in a group that also includes bass from Luques Curtis. But the vocals are an especially nice surprise – sung in an angular, edgey way, with lyrics penned by Edwards on the tunes "Hop Scotch", "Way To Her", and "Thought For A Day". Trumpeter Antoine Drye joins the group on the track "Prelude To Real Life" – furthering the collaborative spirit of the record – and other titles include "Incantation", "Apple Street", "Beautiful Intuition", and "Queen & The Princess". CD
Also available Prelude To Real Life ... CD 8.99

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Teddy EdwardsInimitable Teddy Edwards ... CD
Xanadu, 1976. New Copy ... $14.99 15.99
70s brilliance from tenorist Teddy Edwards – a really overlooked album, and one that marks a great step forward from some of Edwards' better-known material of the 60s! That impeccable tone is still very strongly in place – that Edwards way of blowing smooth, but with a subtle bite, too – and Teddy's also developed this sense of flow that's really special – a difference than the way he played fifteen or twenty years before – with almost a Sonny Criss-like approach that really holds us rapt, even in more subtle moments. The album's beautifully recorded – in that stunning Xanadu label way – and the group's a quartet, with Duke Jordan on piano, Larry Ridley on bass, and Freddie Waits on drums. Edwards is clearly the start of the show, though – and really shines on titles that include "Sunset Eyes", "Imagination", "One By One", and "Stella By Starlight". CD

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ElcadosWhatever You Need ... CD
PMG (Austria), 1979. New Copy ... $14.99
The Elcados serve up a new sort of Nigerian groove for the end of the 70s – one that's got an electric vibe that definitely matches the look of their sweet suits on the cover! There's a fair bit of keyboards amidst the guitars that riff along with the rhythms – and the style has a bit of a reggae current, too – not all-out Jamaican sounds, but kind of an extrapolation of Kingston roots, fused with sweeter 70s Afro Soul modes! Some cuts are instrumentals, and may well be the best on the set – especially the tripped-out guitar jammer "Funky Music" – alongside other tunes that include "Whatever You Need", "The World Is Full Of Injustice", "Marry The Poor", and "This Is Life". CD
Also available Whatever You Need ... LP 23.99

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Georgie Fame & The Blue FlamesRhythm & Blues At The Flamingo (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Polydor (Japan), 1964. New Copy ... About January 25, 2017
Blistering early work from a young Georgie Fame – a set that definitely lives up to the Rhythm & Blues in the title! The set was recorded live at London's hip Flamingo club – and Georgie and The Blue Flames are very much in command of the crowd – burning with the intensity of a American small organ combo, especially the early 60s variety that often played equal parts soul jazz and R&B! Georgie's on the Hammond, and also sings with a rough-edged style that's plenty soulful, and incredibly appealing – a mode that oozes charisma, but never sounds fake or forced. Other instrumentation includes tenor, baritone sax, bass, drums, and conga – plus some great guitar from Big Jim Sullivan – and titles include "Do The Dog", "Eso Beso", "Work Song", "Baby Please Don't Go", "Shop Around", "Humpty Dumpty", and "You Can't Sit Down". CD
Also available Rhythm & Blues At The Flamingo (with bonus tracks) ... CD 13.99

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Lee Fields & The ExpressionsSpecial Night ... CD
Big Crown, 2016. New Copy ... $15.99 17.98
A really fantastic album from the legendary Lee Fields – a set that blows us away every bit as much as his stellar My World album! Like that set, this one's got kind of a moody early 70s vibe – almost a New Jersey soul approach at times, but tinged with more southern modes – mixed with bits of Lee's more familiar funk at others – but often with this moody, almost mellow vibe that's such a fresh take on the territory that Fields has been exploring for years! Lee's lost none of the deep soul elements in his vocals, but there's a shift in arranging styles that's really great – and superbly delivered by the Expressions – a subtle darkness that shows why Fields is really one of the true greats out there in the contemporary funk underground – a true soul singer who's never content to just rest on the laurels of previous success. Titles include "Let Him In", "Lover Man", "Make This World", "How I Like It", "Special Night", "I'm Coming Home", and "Where Is The Love". CD
Also available Special Night (colored vinyl pressing) ... LP 19.99

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Five SpecialFive Special (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Elektra/Big Break (UK), 1979. New Copy ... $14.99
The debut album from Five Special – a wonderful group who push an older harmony soul style firmly into the 80s groove generation! Decked out in skinny ties, suspenders, and soft linen jackets, Five Special manage to keep the vocals sweet while picking up the groove – working with producer Ron Banks to come up with a warm style that has some great touches of jazz at the bottom – a really sophisticated groove that holds up beautifully throughout, with almost a legacy of Philly group soul from the 70s, or some of the hipper Detroit productions too. Titles include "Do It Baby", "It's A Wonderful Day", "Why Leave Us Alone", "It's Such A Groove", "Baby", and "You're Something Special". CD features bonus tracks – "Why Leave Us Alone (Rick Giantos disco mix)" and "Why Leave Us Alone (inst)". CD

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✨✧ Mike GibbsMike Gibbs Directs The Only Chrome-Waterfall Orchestra (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Bronze/Belle Antique (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $33.99
A really wonderful step for UK jazzman Mike Gibbs – a musician who was part of the same big wave of late 60s creative talent that included Mike Westbrook and John Surman – but who really finds his own voice here on this album for the Bronze label! For years, there was a real dancing between UK avant jazz musicians, and some of the more jazz-oriented prog rockers – a mode heard especially on some of the Vertigo albums, such as work by Nucleus. But Gibbs sidesteps that moment beautifully, but really keeping things in a jazz perspective, but allowing in musicians who'd also drunk heavily of some of the electric brew – a core group here that includes Cahrlie Mariano on reeds, Philip Catherine on guitar, Steve Swallow on bass, Bob Moses on drums, Jumma Santos on percussion, and Gibbs himself on keyboards. Mariano and Catherine have an especially great sound here – more focus than on some other records, thanks to Gibbs' great writing and arrangements – and there's also a larger group of like-minded musicians on deck, including Derek Watkins and Kenny Wheeler on trumpet, Chris Pyne on trombone, Henry Lowther on flugelhorn, Ray Warleigh on alto, Alan Skidmore on tenor, and Tony Cole on tenor and bass clarinet – almost enough talent to make for one of those famous Lansdowne Studios sessions. The tunes are awash in color – some of Mike's best writing ever – and include "Tunnel Of Love", "Antique", "Undergrowth", and "Blackgang". CD
(SHM-CD pressing!)

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✨✧ Fredi Grace & RhinestoneTight (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1983. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
Tight is right – as the set's a slicked up, soulful batch of 80s grooves – with plenty of keyboards, electric percussion, and a surprising bit of funk! This is one of those too rare cases where the period's pop soul production aesthetic is done with a genuine sense of soul – especially on the lone ballad in the set – and there's some real funk in the mix, too. Includes the killer title tune, "Dog Eat Dog World","One Man's Woman", "Head Over Heels" and "Work It Out". This excellent FTG Soul & Funk Classics edition fleshes out the original 5-track "mini LP" with a number of bonus tracks – including 7" versions of "Dog Eat Dog World", "Head Over Heels" and "Tight", plus the instrumental versions of those 3 cuts – really showing off how funky those jams are at the core instrumental level – plus the instrumental version of the ballad "One Man's Woman". CD
 
 
 



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