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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Afro Blues Quintet Plus OneNew Directions In Sound ... CD
Mira/BGP (UK), Late 60s. New Copy ... $11.99 18.99
Smoking grooves from an incredible group – the amazing Afro Blues Quintet, a combo with a sound like no other! These guys were never one for stardom, but during the mid and late 60s, they burned up the west coast scene with an incredible blend of vibes, piano, and reeds – often kicked up nicely with some hard-rolling rhythm work that gave their tracks a similar mod groove to classics by Johnny Lytle, Ramsey Lewis, or Pucho & The Latin Soul Brothers! But the real difference with the ABQ (if we can call them that!) is that they had a really spacious approach to their sound – never putting too much into the mix, and instead using the space between the notes every bit as much as the notes themselves. The grooves are great, and since most of this work has never been reissued, the set's totally fresh to the ears of most listeners! As usual, the folks at BGP have done a great job with the notes – and the set features 22 tracks from the group's Mira, Surrey, and Crestview recordings – titles that include "Monkey Time", "Freaks", "La La La", "Southside Habit", "Mirror Image", "Afro Rock", "Evening Of The Beast", "Spartacus", "Candie Luv", and "Our Mambo". CD

Partial matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ AirtoVirgin Land ... CD
Salvation/King (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... $13.99
A great little fusion set from Airto – recorded in a mode that's a great bridge between his acoustic roots and some of his smoother albums in years to come! The sound has some key electric elements here – bits of bass, guitar, and keyboards – but there's still a strongly acoustic sound overall too, one that leaves plenty of room for Airto's unique jams on percussion, plus a bit of vocals from the lovely Flora Purim. Airto's got some top-shelf talents helping him out here – Billy Cobham on production, and Stanley Clarke and Milcho Leviev on arrangements – and there's a nice sense of darkness going on that even separates the album from some of Airto's other mid 70s sides on CTI. Titles include "Peasant Dance", "Musikana", "Virgin Land", and "Hot Sand". CD
(Blu Spec CD.)

Partial matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
AkikoHit Parade – A Tribute To London Nite ... CD
Verve (Japan), 2009. New Copy ... $16.99
Man, Akiko always knows how to keep things interesting – always moving between different genres and styles, to serve up a fresh new groove with each release! This set's got the singer hitting a host of British rock tunes, mostly from the 80s – doing them with a harder edge than you might expect from her other albums – some of the heavier modes picked up on her R&B tribute, but a lot sharper overall! There's less jazz in the mix than before, replaced by guitars that fit these tunes well – and there's almost a new wave feel to the record at points. Titles include versions of "Breakaway", "Should I Stay Or Should I Go", "Sugar Baby Love", "Video Killed The Radio Star", "99 Red Balloons", "Wake Up Boo", "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me", and "Goody Two Shoes". CD
(SHM-CD pressing!)

Partial matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Toshiko Akiyoshi & Leon SashToshiko Akiyoshi & Leon Sash At Newport ... CD
Verve (Japan), 1957. New Copy ... $19.99
One of the first American albums to ever feature the piano of Toshiko Akioshi – and a set that's oddly split with work from jazz accordionist Leon Sash – who also appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival at the same time! Toshiko is on side one – in a trio with Gene Cherico on bass and Jake Hanna on drums – and although young, she's already got a tremendous ear for the piano – able to spin out tunes that both have the majesty of some of her later larger compositions, but delivered with a sharp edge that really shows her bop inspiration. Titles include "Between Me & Myself", "Blues For Toshiko", and "Lover". The flipside features material by accordionist Leon Sash, and his group with Ted Robinson on tenor and clarinet – a really cool combo with a vibe that's more jazz-based than work by artists like Art Van Damme at the time – thanks in part to Robinson's solos. The group grooves nicely – and titles include "Sash-Kebap", "Meant For Brent", and "Blue Lou". CD
(SHM-CD pressing!)

Partial matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Aminadav AloniOnce ... LP
Dual Planet (Australia), Early 70s. New Copy ... $22.99 29.99
Weird, wild, and very electronic – an obscure soundtrack from Israeli composer Aminadav Aloni – done in a style that's halfway between the more avant American analogue experiments of the 60s, and some of the spacier European styles to come! The whole thing's a mix of moogy moments, darker keyboards, and some more brash electronic bits – and overall, the sound is never too noisy or jarring – just right at the perfect point of farther expression, before everything falls apart – maybe like Dutch electronic work from someone like Tom Dissevelt. Compelling all the way through – and with titles that include "Those Who Play", "Loss", "Found", "Out Of The Fire", and "Follow The Leader". LP, Vinyl record album

Partial matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Herb Alpert & The TJBConey Island ... CD
A&M/Herb Alpert, 1975. New Copy Gatefold ... $10.99 11.98
Sweet mid 70s work from Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass – still at the height of their powers on Coney Island – rolling effortlessly between upbeat, jazzy numbers and more laidback and melodic ones! This one has a pretty big sound overall, all produced and arranged by Herb, who is in fine, re-energized form here. By this point, Herb could've simply coasted on nostalgia, but there's a more timeless feel on this one than on a lot of his 60s albums, honestly, and the band is really firing on all cylinders. Breezy fun on par with Herb's best of the 70s! Titles include "Coney Island", "I Have Dreamed", "Sweet Georgia Brown", "Catfish", "This Masquerade", "Carmine", "Vento Bravo", "I Belong", "Senor Mouse" and more. CD
Also available Coney Island ... LP 4.99

Partial matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Herb Alpert & The TJBConey Island ... LP
A&M, 1975. Very Good+ ... $4.99
Sweet mid 70s work from Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass – still at the height of their powers on Coney Island – rolling effortlessly between upbeat, jazzy numbers and more laidback and melodic ones! This one has a pretty big sound overall, all produced and arranged by Herb, who is in fine, re-energized form here. By this point, Herb could've simply coasted on nostalgia, but there's a more timeless feel on this one than on a lot of his 60s albums, honestly, and the band is really firing on all cylinders. Breezy fun on par with Herb's best of the 70s! Titles include "Coney Island", "I Have Dreamed", "Sweet Georgia Brown", "Catfish", "This Masquerade", "Carmine", "Vento Bravo", "I Belong", "Senor Mouse" and more. LP, Vinyl record album
Also available Coney Island ... CD 10.99

Partial matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Barry Altschul 3Dom FactorTales Of The Unforseen ... CD
Tum (Finland), 2015. New Copy ... $16.99 19.98
A tremendous trio outing, and a record that really illustrates the newfound strength we've heard from drummer Barry Altschul in recent years – music so great, it's almost as if he's taken a time machine back to the groundbreaking days of his youth! The play on "freedom" in the trio's name is no joke – as a good part of the album features improvised compositions, mixed with very freewheeling takes on a few other jazz numbers – balanced beautifully between melodic elements and rhythmic progressions, served up very equally from Barry on drums and percussion, Joe Fonda on bass, and the mighty Jon Irabagon on tenor, soprano, sopranino sax, and flute! Fonda's presence is especially great – as he plays here with a really soulful, deep-toned quality that holds things together even at their most dynamic, individual moments – and titles include "As The Tale Begins", "Annette's Tale Of Miracles", "And The Tale Ends", and "A Drummer's Tale". CD

Partial matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Gene AmmonsGene Ammons Story – The 78 Era ... LP
Prestige, Early 50s. Very Good+ 2LP Gatefold ... $3.99
An excellent overview of Ammons' early years at Prestige – back when he was recording mostly 78s for the label, and king of the jukebox scene! The sides vary between bop, swing, and a bit of rougher R&B styled tunes – and players include Sonny Stitt, Duke Jordan, Benny Green, Bill Massey, Matthew Gee, and Junior Mance. The feel of the material is similar to Ammons' sides for Chess at the time, but a bit tighter overall – and the set includes 30 tracks in all. Titles include "Back In Your Own Backyard", "Easy Glide", "Walkin", "Chabootie", "Bye Bye", "Archie", "Ammons Boogie", "Jug", "Wow", "Blue & Sentimental", "When I Dream Of You", "A Lover Is Blue", and "Sock". LP, Vinyl record album

Partial matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Chris AndersonInverted Image ... LP
Jazzland, 1961. Very Good+ ... $39.99
Nice and rarely seen trio side from under-recorded Chicago pianist Anderson. He plays here with Bill Lee and either Walter Perkins or Philly Joe Jones on drums, in a trio that made the core of the rhythm section on Frank Strozier's excellent Jazzland date, Long Night. The group is in fine form here, running through both standards and originals, and though Anderson's name isn't as well known as many other pianists, it ought to be, and he was no stranger to other Windy City jazz greats such as Johnny Griffin. Imagine a cross between Bill Evans and Elmo Hope, and you might get a picture of where he's coming from, though Anderson's voice is all his own, weaving some nice sinuous lines on a set that leans heavily on ballads here, including "You'd Be Nice To Come Home To", "My Funny Valentine" and the originals "See You Saturday" & the title track. LP, Vinyl record album
(Black label pressing with deep groove. Cover has light wear.)

Partial matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Ruby AndrewsJust Loving You – The Zodiac Sessions 1967 to 1973 ... CD
Grapevine (UK), 1960s/1970s. New Copy ... $13.99 19.99
A masterful set of recordings from Chicago soul chanteuse Ruby Andrews – tunes she cut for Zodiac Records between 1967 and 1973! Ruby could handle any soul style her producers threw her way, be it driving dancefloor stompers or pure torch balladry, but she had a way of infusing everything she did with a great sense of emotion. It's the same kind of emotive, deep soul sweep that was buried so heavily in Curtis Mayfield's recordings – perhaps it's the Chicago factor! Whatever the case, this is wonderful stuff – essential to anyone interested in the best late 60s/early 70s female soul! 28 tracks in all: "Uh! Uh! Boy, That's A No No", "Help Yourself (Lover)", "Whatever It Takes To Please You", "Tit For Tat", "Good N' Plenty", "Can You Get Away", "Let's Get A Groove Going On", "Just Loving You", "The Love I Need", "Come To Me", "Wonderful Night", "Away From The Crowd", "Didn't I Fool You", "You Ole Boo Boo You", "All The Way" and lots more. CD

Partial matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Chuck ArmstrongShackin Up ... CD
R&R/Essential, 1976. New Copy ... $11.99 14.99
An obscure album of southern funky soul from Chuck Armstrong – an artist we know from his earlier funky 45 work in Chicago, but who sounds quite different on this set! The album was produced by George Kerr in New Jersey, but it's got a rolling, vamping approach on most cuts – a sound that's somewhere between Muscle Shoals and the nascent Jackson style of the 70s – a bit smoother than 60s deep soul, but still with a mighty nice edge – and handled perfectly by Kerr! Chuck's vocals are well-suited to the set, and a few numbers bear traces of his earlier more northern sound – and the whole thing's the kind of rare soul killer that only turns up once in a blue moon. Titles include "Sweet Foxy Woman", "You Got To Deal With It", "Shackin Up", "Goodness Gracious", "I'm A Lonely Man", "She Had The Right", and "Nightmare". CD

Partial matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ ArsonistsAs The World Burns ... LP
Matador, 1999. Near Mint- 2LP ... $14.99
With "Backdraft", "Pyromaniax", "Blaze", "Venom", "Session", "Rhyme Time Travel", "Seed", "Worlds Collide", "Halloween" and "Geembo's Theme". 21 tracks in all. LP, Vinyl record album
(Includes the insert. Cover has a cut corner.)

Partial matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Art Ensemble Of ChicagoPhase One (original America pressing) ... LP
America (France), 1971. Very Good ... $29.99
One of the headiest albums ever recorded by the Art Ensemble of Chicago – a brilliant mix of noise and silence that rivals some of the greatest genius of the 20th century avant composition! The album's lead track "Ohnedaruth" builds slowly with a variety of percussion – traveling in People In Sorrow territory that shows a remarkable sense of sound and space. All members of the group pick up some percussion to build the track as it goes along – then follow suit with a more reed-based approach on the other extended tune on the album, "Lebert Aaly" – the group's brilliant tribute to the late Albert Ayler! The sound is incredibly deep and textured – and draws a clear line between creative improvisation and technical composition that puts the group alongside Cage and Hindemuth! LP, Vinyl record album

Partial matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Ashford & SimpsonMusical Affair (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
Warner/Big Break (UK), 1980. New Copy ... $8.99 13.99
Near-perfect work from Ashford & Simpson – really grooving in full powerhouse mode here, and never missing a beat! By all rights, the team should have run out of steam by this point, but the album's another winner from their sublime Warner years – caught in a unique space between chart soul, ensemble funk, and disco – taking all the best elements of each, and really sending the whole thing home with some incredible vocals and impeccable production and arrangements! Titles include "Rushing To", "Love Don't Make It Right", "We'll Meet Again", "Get Out Your Handkerchief", and "I Ain't Asking For Your Love". CD also features 3 bonus tracks – "Love Don't Make It Right (single)", "Love Don't Make It Right (Jimmy Simpson mix – long)", and "Happy Endings (single)". CD

Partial matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Ashford & SimpsonSo So Satisfied (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Warner/Big Break (UK), 1977. New Copy ... $8.99 13.99
Sublimely satisfying work from Ashford & Simpson – a stone killer from the height of their late 70s glory days on Warner Brothers! The pair are working together wonderfully at this point – wrapped up in that blend of upbeat soul and righteous undercurrents that made them a real cut above in mainstream soul – getting great help from arrangers William Eaton, Paul Riser, and Al Gorgoni – all of whom know how to hit that perfect Ashford & Simpson balance between tightness, class, and soulful spontaneity! Backings are always filled with lots of jazzy touches, too – the kind of sophisticated soul elements other would cop from the pair in years to come – and titles include "Over & Over", "It's You", "If You're Lying", "Couldn't Get Enough", "Destiny", "So So Satisfied", and "Tried Tested & Found True". CD features bonus tracks – "Over & Over (12" disco mix)", "Over & Over (single mix)", "Tried Tested & Found True (single mix)", "So So Satisfied (single mix)", and "Tried Tested & True (Mike Maurro unreleased mix)". CD

Partial matches17
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
AtomicHere Comes Everybody ... CD
Jazzland (Norway), 2012. New Copy ... $16.99
Quite possibly the greatest album to date from Atomic – a set that steps out with a bold, rich sound right from the start – giving the whole thing the feel of some lost classic slice of avant jazz, but with a freshness that definitely marks the set with plenty of Atomic energy too! The horns are amazing – fierce interplay between the trumpet of Magnus Broo and reeds of Fredrik Ljungvist – locking together at times with these raging lines that have almost an ESP sort of feel – then breaking out with soul-drenching solos on their own – especially when Ljungvist handles the tenor. Paal Nilssen-Love's drums are on fire throughout – Havard Wilk barrels away on piano – and Ingebrigt Haker Flaten rolls things along strongly on bass. Titles include "Morphemes", "HCE", "Milano", "Kreuzberg Variations", "Panama", and "Unity Toccata". CD

Partial matches18
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Albert AylerNew Grass/Music Is The Healing Force Of The Universe ... CD
Impulse (Germany), 1968/1969. New Copy ... $11.99
Late greatness from Albert Ayler – two Impulse albums back to back! New Grass is one of the last albums that Ayler ever recorded – and one of his most memorable! The record shows Ayler at the crossroads, filled with emotion and meaning, struggling to convey his message to a lager audience. At times, he takes a strange soul/jazz format to do so, and has tracks featuring backing by "the Soul Singers" – at others, he plays solo, with some of the most plaintive tones he ever laid down on wax! The record features an incredibly haunting "Message From Albert", plus the tracks "New Generation", "Sun Watcher", "New Ghosts", and "Free At Last". Completely fascinating, and a record that really makes you wonder what would have happened had he not died a mysterious young death! Music Is The Healing Force Of The Universe is a really mind-expanding album that's unlike anything else he ever did! By the time of the record, Ayler had made a full round trip between the New York and European jazz scenes – leaving important influences wherever he went, and trying desperately to pick up new ones the further he moved on. Here, he's working in a style that's a bit like that of Archie Shepp at the time – still steeped in free jazz and new thing ideals, but infused with a free-thinking approach to the music that allows for bold new styles and sounds. In addition to his own stunning work on tenor, Ayler's also blowing bagpipes and vocalizing a bit next to singer Mary Maria, who does a great recitation on one track of the record. Rhythm is by the two-bass team of Stafford James and Bill Folwell, next to drums by Muhammad Ali – and the whole thing's capped off by guitarist Henry Vestine, who plays in modes that range from bluesy to free. At the time, this one was kind of dismissed as a messed-up mistake that occurred at the end of Ayler's too-short life – but honestly, over the years, this record really really opens itself to us more and more, and we have to say that we think it's one of his most groundbreaking albums! Titles include "Island Harvest", "Drudgery", "Oh Love Of Life", "Masonic Inborn (part 1)", and "A Man Is Like A Tree". CD

Partial matches19
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Geraldo AzevedoGeraldo Azevedo ... CD
Som Livre (Brazil), 1977. New Copy ... $13.99
Soaring and soulful work from Geraldo Azevedo – a nearly lost treasure from the mid 70s, but a record we'd rank right up there with the best from Lo Borges or Milton Nascimento from the time! As with those two, there's a blend here between intimacy and majesty – simple, poetic lyrics sung by Geraldo with a beautiful voice that's earnest, yet never overly emotive – accompanied by acoustic guitar, but also getting some larger orchestrations on a number of tunes as well. Arrangements are by Azevedo, Dori Caymmi, and Radames Gnatalli – and the balance here is really beautiful, of a sort that only Brazilian artists seemed to perfect in the 70s! Titles include "Cade Meu Carnaval", "Fulo Do Dia", "Em Copacabana", "Domingo De Pedra E Cal", "Juritis E Borboletas", and "Cravo Vermelho". CD

Partial matches20
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Charles AznavourCharles Aznavour Rarities ... CD
Universal (France), Late 60s/1970s. New Copy ... $9.99
Rare work from French songwriting giant Charles Aznavour – the talent who penned so many great songs for Edith Piaf, then went on to his own tremendous career as a singer! This set brings together lots of obscure tracks from Charles – including some recorded in the 60s and 70s, appearing here for the first time ever – mixed with some under-discovered gems from older records – almost all pulled from Aznavour's great run of records for the Barclay label, with arrangements that move between upbeat and groovy moments, to some of the lush sounds that always worked great for the singer's famous vocal approach. Titles include "Viens Donne-Nous La Main", "La Boheme", "De T'Avoir Aimee", "Ma Mie", "Pour Fair Une Jam", "Un Million De Fois", "Cherie Laisse-Toi Aimer", "Je T'Aime", "Merci Madame La Vie", and "Who". CD

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