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✨✧ Weldon IrvineLive At Dean Street ... CD
Squatty Roo, 1992. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A rare live set from Weldon Irvine – recorded during his last few years on the planet, when the keyboardist was experimenting with a whole range of new ideas! Irvine had been off the scene for a number of years, but returned in the 90s with renewed energy, thanks to the appreciation of a big younger audience – and the setting here is quite different than some of the fuller, more heavily produced albums of Weldon's big 70s years – a stripped-down quartet performance in Brooklyn, with Weldon playing a range of jazz, soul, and funk! Irvine handles keyboards and vocals in a group that also includes alto, bass, and drums – and many tracks are nice and long, and relatively instrumental – although Irvine also tries out a few of his hip hop rhymes at points too. The recording quality is a bit "live" – the set was originally captured by Weldon on a cassette – and titles include "Dr George", "Make It Funky", "Summertime", "Rocket Love", "Blue In Green", and "Funky Vendetta/Big Bad Wolf". CD
 
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✨✧ Charles EarlandComing To You Live ... CD
Columbia (Japan), 1980. New Copy ... $13.99
One of Charles Earland's sweet albums from his years at Columbia Records – done in a mode that's much more R&B than his earliest work, but in a style that's still A-OK with us! The groove here is greatly helped out by arrangements from Tom Washington, Weldon Irvine, and Marcus Miller – all great talents for mixing soul into Earland's jazzier keyboards – yet in a way that still keeps all of the best elements intact! Many of the tracks feature vocals, but in a gently soulful way that glides in nicely alongside the keys – and speaking of keys, Charles plays Fender Rhodes and Arp here in addition to his usual organ. Titles include "Coming To You Live", "Spend The Night With Me", "Take Me To Heaven", "Cornbread", "Good Question", "Zee Funkin Space", and "I Will Never Tell". CD

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RM Jazz LegacyRM Jazz Legacy ... CD
Key Of Life (Japan), 2015. New Copy ... $22.99
A totally wonderful jazz ensemble from Japan – one who definitely work in some of the older modes you'd guess from the "legacy" in their name, especially the hippest funky big band styles of the 70s – yet a group who also have a very fresh, individual vibe of their own! These are all musicians who've been through the past decade and more of Japanese club jazz – more rhythmic uses of the form, crossed over to the funk and soul crowd – yet they're also taking things back towards a more complicated, tonally rich version of a larger group like this – with sublime sounds that emerge from the reeds and brass players, over rhythms that can still be a bit funky when they want! There's a slight bit of electricity in the lineup – a bit of organ and electric piano, plus some guitar – next to the warmer sounds on horns – and in addition to versions of Weldon Irvine's "Turkish Bath" and Al Green's "Let's Stay Together", the group also contribute their own original material on the titles "African Water", "Reborn", "The Spirit", "Night Flight", and "Come With Me". CD

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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Nina SimoneHere Comes The Sun ... CD
RCA (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... $13.99
Classic RCA work from the great Nina Simone – and an album that definitely shows Nina hitting more of the soul spectrum than some of her folk and jazz work of the 60s! The set's got these wonderful arrangements from Harold Wheeler – a bit electric, and done in a way that takes familiar tongs and completely recasts them for Nina's own vibe – a way of shifting the sense of spirit to unlock a special Simone-like quality you never would have expected in the tunes from anyone else! Titles include a great version of "Ooh Child", plus "Just Like A Woman", "Here Comes The Sun", "New World Coming", and "My Way". And the set also features Weldon Irvine's own composition, "How Long Must I Wander?" CD
Also available Here Comes The Sun (180 gram pressing) ... LP 18.99

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Nina SimoneIn Paris 1968 ... CD
Studio Songs (Japan), 1968. New Copy ... $15.99
A stunner of a set from the lengedary Nina Simone – a really special live recording done in Paris in the late 60s – at a time when Nina was working at the height of her powers, and had a young Weldon Irvine in her group as music director! Weldon plays piano, keyboards, and Hammond on the record – and gives the tunes these snakey, long grooves that are nicely different from some of Nina's studio material – and have the singer reaching out with these long takes on tunes that include "Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair", "Ain't Got No/I Got Life", "Mama Lou/Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", "To Love Somebody", "Susanne", and "Be My Husband". And the soulful backing group also features Tom Smith on guitar, Don Alias on drums, and Jumma (Santos?) on percussion! CD

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✨✧ VariousFlying Funk – Ultra Heavy Funk & Rare Grooves From Flying Dutchmen, Bluebird, & RCA ... CD
RCA, Late 60s/Early 70s. Used ... $5.99
A killer batch of funk from the RCA family of labels – long-neglected in the world of reissues, and finally stepping out with this ultra heavy set! The package does a really great job of pulling together disparate elements of funk from the RCA catalog – a bit of jazz vocals, electric fusion, cosmic soul, and rock breaks – all packed together in one nicely priced set that includes some really great surprises! Titles include "Plane Of Illusion" by Johnny Griffith, "Mama" by Esther Marrow, "No More Tears" by Loading Zone, "Afro Strut" by Nite Liters, "Save Me" by Nina Simone, "Tite Rope" by Harold Alexander, "Got To Get A Knutt" by New Birth, "This Is The Me Me" by Richard Groove Holmes & Brenda Jones, "What's Going On/Ain't No Sunshine" by Bernard Purdie, "Happiness Is Just Around The Bend" by Main Ingredient, and "We Getting Down" by Weldon Irvine. 16 tracks in all – and very nice! CD
(Out of print.)

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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Don BlackmanDon Blackman ... CD
Arista/Expansion (UK), 1982. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A jazz funk masterpiece, and THE record by the legendary Don Blackman – the only one issued under his own name for many many years, and a famous little set that's been sampled endlessly over the years, and for good reason! The vibe here is one that's barely been matched again – a blend of 70s fusion, bassy funk, and even tighter riffing – all put together with a greater depth and sense of soul than most other records of its type. Blackman's a GRP contemporary of Bernard Wright, Tom Browne, and Weldon Irvine – and there's bits of all their sound in the work here, but somehow Don does it even better – hitting these grooves, notes, and lines that seem to fall from the heavens – and which still stand as some of the hippest music of his generation. A record to file proudly next to your copies of Ramp and James Mason – and like those gems, the kind of record that only happens once in an artists career! Titles include "You Ain't Hip", "Yabba Dabba Do", "Heart's Desire", "Deaf Hook Up Connection", "Never Miss A Thing", and "Holding You Loving You", and "Since You Been Away So Long". CD
(Remastered edition – completely new version taken from the original source master tapes!)
 
 
 



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