A wonderfully soulful session from percussionist Babatunde Lea – and a shining example of the warm spirits and cross-cultural experimentation going on in the Bay Area scene of the 70s! The record mixes 70s soul jazz with bits of funk, Latin jazz, and breezy west coast touches – making for an album that's got some of the earthy charm of work on labels like Strata East or Black Jazz, mixed with the tighter soulful production of some of George Duke's early 70s sides for MPS. The vibe is incredible – a beautiful mix of warm vocals, tight soloing, and message-oriented grooves – and the whole thing's great all the way through! Titles include "Thailand Stick", "Use Your Hands", "Merely A Suggestion", "Levels Of Consciousness", "Thang", and "Plea From The Soul". CD
Quite a nice little album from Pharoah – the kind of session we always overlooked when we were digging for Impulse titles, and which we're now going back to, and almost appreciating more than the classic ones! The album's a quartet session – recorded live, of course – with a freely swinging rhythm section that features John Hicks, Walter Booker, and Idris Muhammad. The centerpiece of the album is a long quartet version of "You've Got To Have Freedom" – one that's nice and grooving, but in a very different way than the more famous studio version. Another real winner is "Pharomba", a 13 minute long track that has a gentle groove and some extremely nice work on tenor from Pharoah! LP, Vinyl record album
Pharoah Sanders —
Shukuru ... CD Theresa/Evidence, 1985. Used ...
A great album by Pharoah Sanders – recorded in the mid 80s, but with a spiritual style that's kind of a bridge between Pharoah's earlier days and the present. The work is played by a small group that includes Idris Muhammad on drums, William Henderson on keyboards, and Ray Drummand on bass. Henderson plays with some keyboard effects that include strings and voices – and his work in this respect isn't nearly as off-putting as you'd think, and ends up sounding pretty sweet as backing for Pharoah's sax. Leon Thomas sings on two cuts – "Sun Song" and "Mas In Brooklyn Heights" – and other tracks include "Shukuru" and "Jitu". CD
John Hicks —
John Hicks ... CD Theresa/Evidence, 1986. Used ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
A wonderful session that really gets at the lyrical beauty in the playing of John Hicks! The session's quite spare – and features only Hicks on piano, Bobby Hutcherson on vibes, and Walter Booker on bass. Hicks' piano carries most of the rhythm for some of the tracks – stretching out almost in solo format, but without any of the overindulgence that mars some of his solo recordings. Hutcherson's wonderfully restrained, too – very melodic, and perfect at filling in the soft spaces with rich colors and tones. Titles include "After The Morning", "Littlest One Of All", "Star Crossed Lovers", "Steadfast", "Pas De Trois", and "For John Chapman". CD features the previously unissed track "Beantown Blues". CD
A classic set of soul jazz from Chicago – a rare indie date recorded in the early 80s, but with a tight and swinging feel that's more 70s jazz funk than you might think! Corky's on Yamaha keyboards, and he's backed by a hip group of Chicago players that includes Curtis Prince on drums, Artee Duke Payne on saxes, and Stephen Harris on guitars – all working together in a tightly rhythmic sound with some slight spiritual undercurrents – almost in the same territory as James Mason on his legendary record from a few years before! As with that set, there's a bit of polish here, but never too much – a balance that makes the record a wonderfully mature record with a depth that keeps it going for years. Byron Woods sings lead vocals on the album's jazz dance classic "Searching For Soul" – and a few other tracks feature Theresa Davis on lead vocals. Other titles include "Everything Must Change", "Open Wide", "Passion", "Jive Mama T", "Off C", and "Mirror Mirror". LP, Vinyl record album
Pharoah Sanders —
Africa ... CD Timeless/Solid (Japan), 1987. New Copy ...
A brilliant 80s set from Pharoah Sanders – a record that has him a much more understated setting than some of his other albums from the time – but one that's maybe even more soulful and searching overall! The great one plays blistering tenor right from the start – in a quartet with John Hicks on piano, Curtis Lundy on bass, and Idris Muhammad on drums – all players who have this way of doing a lot with a little, especially in the rhythm department – where they seem to give Sanders some of his strongest sense of groove since the key albums for Theresa. Muhammad's got this tight sense of timekeeping, but with a looseness that we love – and Lundy's warm soulful bass does more than enough to give the set a sound bottom – and Hicks' free lyrical piano works nicely with Sanders' spiritual horn. Titles include a remake of "You've Got To Have Freedom", plus "Africa", "Duo", "Heart To Heart", and "After The Morning". CD
This one's the score to an obscure comedy that starred Shirley Maclaine, Alan Arkin, Peter Sellers, and Michael Caine – and which was directed by Vittorio DeSica, working here in a far cry from The Bicycle Thief! Despite the goofy nature of the film, most of the tracks are in the range of Ortolani's more serious work – mostly orchestral and slower numbers. However, there's a few nice groovy tracks – nothing totally wonderful, but done here with a light 60s bounce that makes them stand out from the rest of the pack! Titles include "Three For A Dance", "Lover's Funeral", "They Told Me", "Marie Theresa", and "What To Do?" LP, Vinyl record album
(Rainbow label pressing. Cover has a cutout hole.)
Sonic Youth —
Dirty ... CD Geffen, 1992. Used ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
Sonic Youth's second set for Geffen and perhaps the SC album most burdened by expectations of the time – produced by Butch Vig and with a bigger, yet way noisier sound than Goo. The sound is straight up incredible – whether you'd want to credit Vig, mixer Andy Wallace or Sonic Youth themselves – the feedback and layers of fuzz are massive, making the few quieter moments all the more impressive when they spring up. The great songs and odd changes are all Sonic Youth – and this is another essential set from them. Include "100%", "Swimsuit Issue", "Theresa's Sound-World", "Drunken Butterfly", "Shoot", "Wish Fulfillment", "Sugar Kane", "Youth Against Fascism", "On The Strip", "Purr", "Creme Brulee". CD