Warm, wonderful work from pianist John Hicks – stretching out here in a trio set that also features some vibes from Bobby Hutcherson! The best tracks here have that great Hicks groove – a style that's not really funky or modal, but leaping forward with a warm approach to the rhythms – almost like Cedar Walton at his best, but a bit more exploratory, too! The rhythm section is sweet – with Walter Booker on bass and Idris Muhammad on drums – and although Hutcherson doesn't play on every track, he really brings some nice energy to the record. Titles include "Soul Eyes", "Pas De Trois", "Paul's Pal", and "Say It". CD also includes bonus tracks "Take The Coltrane" and "Oblivion". CD
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
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 ...
Out Of Stock
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