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✨✧ Weldon IrvineSpirit Man (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
RCA (Japan), 1975. Used ... Out Of Stock
Massively funky work from the mighty Weldon Irvine – sublimely cosmic and filled with soul throughout! The vibe here is a bit more focused than on some of Weldon's earlier albums – a moody blend of electric keys, heavy percussion, and some slight bits of jazzy solo work by trumpeters Charles Sullivan and Everett Blood Hollins, and saxophonist Sonny Fortune – both players who really help the album find some soulful structure! The album's all-instrumental, and has Weldon really taking off on the keyboards – not just using them for main solos, but also dropping in cool noisy bits and analogue effects that really sound great – almost out-Herbieing Herbie Hcock for the record, and turning in some of his biggest classics on wax! Titles include the massive sample cut "We Gettin' Down", plus "Jungle Juice", "Blast Off", "Softly", "Power & The Glory", "Yasmin", and "Pogo Stick". CD
 
Possible matches: 8
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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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Freddie HubbardStraight Life ... CD
CTI, 1970. Used ... $5.99
An amazing second CTI set from Freddie Hubbard – one that takes off nicely from Red Clay territory, and starts to hit an even funkier mode! The tracks here are all relatively long, with a huge amount of solo space for Freddie on trumpet, Joe Henderson on tenor, George Benson on guitar, and Herbie Hancock on piano. The title track "Straight Life" has a style that's quite searing and righteous at points – almost some of Freddie's boldest playing on record from the time. It's followed by an excellent take on Weldon Irvine's "Mr Clean" – one that's rompingly funky while still as righteous as the work on side long title track – played with some great electric piano from Herbie and sweet guitar lines from Benson. The set closes with a mellow take on "Here's That Rainy Day", played in a way that reminds us of Hubbard's more lyrical style – but still with plenty of CTI 70s overtones. CD
(Out of print.)
Also available Straight Life ... LP 9.99

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RM Jazz LegacyRM Jazz Legacy ... CD
Key Of Life (Japan), 2015. New Copy ... $3.99
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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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

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✨✧ VariousFor The Ladies – 12 Mellow Soul Tracks ... CD
Super Classe (France), Late 60s/Early 70s. Used ... $19.99
Killer batch of sweet mellow soul tracks from the 70s – with very much the same vibe as the legendary Smoocher compilations! You may know some of the groups here, but the set does a great job of pulling out little-remembered album cuts, and it blends the whole thing into a great spacey groove that works perfectly as a whole! Titles include "We Go Back A Ways" by The Impressions, "Keep The Train Moving" by Don Thomas, "Loving Explosion" by The Eliminators, "Tell Me You Love Me" by The Four Tops, "Baby, Make Me Feel Good" by 5 Stairsteps, "If That's The Way You Feel" by White Heat, and "I Love You" by Weldon Irvine. One of our faves, and selling like mad in Chicago! CD
(Out of print.)

Possible matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Don BlackmanDon Blackman ... CD
Arista/Expansion (UK), 1982. Used ... Temporarily 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

Possible matches8
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✨✧ VariousSoul On The Real Side #6 ... CD
Outta Sight (UK), 1970s. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
An all-classic volume of this wonderful series – one that offers up way more rare 70s tracks than on some of their previous editions – including a lot of cuts that we'd never heard before! Lots of this work is in a really unique spot – not funk, not mainstream soul, but also not disco or club either – and instead in a territory that's a bit pre-modern soul, when artists were turning towards upbeat modes, both in sound and spirit – but still mostly keeping things at a warmly personal level! Some of these tunes remind us of some of our favorite Chicago soul – like work from the Brunswick/Dakar label – but others have more of an east coast vibe, and the tunes flow together wonderfully in that way that really makes us know when we've stepped into something special. Titles include "Something New About You" by Silent Majority, "Funny How We've Changed Places" by Debra Anderson, "Thanks But No Thanks" by General Crook, "Woman" by The Nicky Newarkers, "You Got To Know Better" by Touch Of Class, "When A Boy Falls In Love" by Willie Hutch, "I Love You" by Weldon Irvine, "Soul Travelin (part 1)" by Gary Byrd, "Mr Magic Man" by Wilson Pickett, "I Need Your Love" by Clydene Jackson, "Open Up Your Heart" by Wood Brass & Steel, "I Trust You" by Billy Paul, "Now That You're Gone" by Sonny Turner & Sound Limited, "I Only Hurt Myself" by Lonnie Youngblood, and "Better Late That Never" by Diane Ducane. CD

Possible matches9
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✨✧ Nina SimoneIn Paris 1968 ... CD
Studio Songs (Japan), 1968. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
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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