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Close matches1
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ AirtoFree/Identity/Promises Of The Sun (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Arista/BGO (UK), 1972/1975/1976. New Copy 2 CDs ... $14.99
A trio of albums from percussionist Airto – with bonus tracks too! First up is Free – one of the coolest, grooviest albums you'll ever hear from the legendary percussionist Airto – a set that mixes his own Brazilian roots with the electric genius of 70s CTI – all with stunning results! Airto's in the lead – and blows some beautiful wood flute lines alongside percussion – but the album also features killer contributions from Joe Farrell on soprano sax, Hubert Laws on flute, Keith Jarrett on piano, and Chick Corea on Fender Rhodes – as well as a hip bit of vocals from Flora Purim as well! There's some added horns at parts – but the arrangements are relatively spare and subtle – so that most tracks have a core organic quality, very similar to Airto's work on Buddah/Cobblestone, but given a bit more of a CTI twist. Most tunes are quite long and free-flowing – and titles include "Lucky Southern", "Flora's Song", "Creek (Arroio)", and "Return To Forever". Identity is a soaring set of grooves from one of the world's greatest percussionists – a standout set as a leader from Airto, and a key set in his wonderful run of work from the 70s! The album's still got the loose, free feel of Airto's earliest work, and isn't nearly as crossover-oriented as some of the Flora Purim sets from the time – still strongly in a rootsy, earthy sort of vibe – and produced with a very respectful sound by Herbie Hancock. Herbie plays some Arp on the record, and Wayne Shorter brings in some soprano sax too – but the core elements of the album are Airto's range of percussion instruments, keyboards and piano from Egberto Gismonti, drums from Roberto, trombone from Raul DeSouza, and a bit of vocals from Flora. Titles include "Flora On My Mind", "Cafe", "The Magicians", "Tales From Home", "Identity", and "Encounter". Promises Of The Sun is a record that departs nicely from earlier work, yet still keeps all the best elements intact! Airto's percussion work is firmly at the core of the set – giving it a nice acoustic base to work from, while also adding in touches of electric guitar by Toninho Horta, bass by Novelli, and keyboards from Hugo Fattoruso. The groove is a wonderful blend of the acoustic and electric, organic and synthetic – and is often crafted in a majestic vibe that seems to be inspired by the work of Milton Nascimento from the early 70s. Tracks include "Circo Marimbondo", "Zuei", "Candango", "Ruas Do Recife", "Georgiana", and "La De Casa". CD features bonus tracks "Creek (alt version)", "So Tender", and "Jequie". CD

Close matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Arthur BlytheLenox Avenue Breakdown/In The Tradition/Illusions/Blythe Spirit ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99
Four great albums from reedman Arthur Blythe – all together in one collection! First up is Lenox Avenue Breakdown – a stunning Columbia Records debut from Blythe! At the time of the date, Blythe had already spent years working in the jazz undergrounds on both coasts – developing a searing sound on alto sax that's perfect for the focused structure of this album – almost a tone poem of sorts, offering up a portrait of the Harlem scene that was a key part of Arthur's life at the time. The sounds are sharp, but also have a sense of energy that really holds them together – guiding the players through long readings of well-penned tunes by Blythe that are filled with loads of energy and life! Players include James Newton on flute, James Blood Ulmer on guitar, Bob Stewart on tuba, Cecil McBee on bass, Jack DeJohnette on drums, and Guillermo Franco on percussion – and titles include "Odessa", "Slidin Through", "Down San Diego Way", and "Lenox Avenue Breakdown". In The Tradition is a gem – as the set represents the modern musician taking on a host of older jazz currents, while carving things out with his own special sort of soul! Half the tunes are familiar favorites, the other half originals – and Blythe moves far past his avant roots, to showcase his deep understanding of so many different shades of jazz – blowing alto beautifully throughout, in a very hip quartet that features Stanley Cowell on piano, Fred Hopkins on bass, and Steve McCall on drums! Titles include great takes on "Naima", "Jitterbug Waltz", "Caravan", and "In A Sentimental Mood" – plus the originals "Break Tune" and "Hip Dipper". Illusions is maybe the boldest of Arthur Blythe's albums for Columbia Records – as the set bristles with newly creative energy right from the start, and provides a great showcase for some of the criss-crossings of styles and rhythms that were taking place on the New York scene at the time! The lineup alone announces something special – a cool combination of James Blood Ulmer on guitar, John Hicks on piano, Fred Hopkins on bass, Abdul Wadud on cello, Bob Stewart on tuba, and Steve McCall on drums – working together in some slight variations at times, often with these angular edges that are perfectly sharpened by Arthur's amazing work on alto sax. The music's never too free, but quite outside for a major label at the time – balanced out so that it's never overindulgent at all. Titles include "Bush Baby", "Miss Nancy", "My Son Ra", and "Carespin With Mamie". Blythe Spirit is a set that showcases the never-ending growth and imagination of reedman Arthur Blythe during this fruitful period of his career – and his ability to effortlessly blend together different elements in his music – especially sides of the New York loft jazz scene, and the Chicago-based AACM! The tunes are beautiful – mostly originals, and showing a richer spirituality than even a year before – while still working in that compellingly rhythmic mode that Arthur was hitting during these years – in a lineup that features Blythe on alto, Abdul Wadud on cello, Kelvyn Bell on guitar, Steve McCall and Bobby Battle on drums, John Hicks on piano, Amina Claudine Myers on organ, and Fred Hopkins on bass. The mix of electric and acoustic elements is fantastic – very fresh, even all these many years later – and titles include "Misty", "Spirits In The Field", "Just A Closer Walk With Thee", "Reverence", and "Contemplation". CD

Close matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Dr JohnRemedies/Desitively Bonnaroo ... CD
Atlantic/BGO (UK), Early 70s. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99
Two funky classics from Dr John – back to back in a single set! First up is Remedies, one of the records that made Dr John a legend back in the day – a set that steps off from New Orleans roots into a world of weird funk, tripped-out sounds, and lots and lots of super-heavy grooves! The album's got a nicely exploratory vibe – as the first side features shorter funky cuts, but the second half really stretches out, and features a side-long track that has the Doctor at his most freewheeling – mixing deep currents from soul and blues with all the great ear for studio techniques he'd developed over the years – fused into a sound that's almost a fantasy of a soulful subculture in the swamps. Titles include "Loop Garoo", "Wash Mama Wash", "What Goes Around Comes Around", "Mardi Gras Day", and "Chippy Chippy" – plus the side-long "Angola Anthem". Desitively Bonnaroo is filled with tight funky work from Dr John – a second collaboration with producer Allen Toussaint, and a set that follows strongly on their Right Place record of the year before! The groove's not as messed-up as on the first few Atlantic records by the Doctor – but in it's place is a sweet electric funk mode, kind of an update on 60s New Orleans grooves – handled here by The Meters and a host of other key players from the Crescent City scene! Toussaint's production and arrangements are tight, but never slick at all – still much earthier than the later work, especially that on Warner Brothers, that was handled by the producer. And the tunes have a good focus that keeps Dr John on track lyrically – even though we'll admit that our main love of this record comes from the keyboards, bass, and funky drums! Titles include "Stealin", "What Comes Around (Goes Around)", "Mos' Scocious", "Rite Away", "R U 4 Real", "Let's Make A Better World", "Sing Along Song", "Go Tell The People", "Quitters Never Win", and "Can't Git Enuff". CD

Close matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Earth Wind & FireEarth Wind & Fire/Need Of Love ... CD
Warner/BGO (UK), 1971. New Copy ... $13.99
A pair of spiritual soul classics – the rare early Warner Brothers albums from Earth Wind & Fire – back to back on a single CD! Earth, Wind & Fire's first album was recorded at a time when the group recently had ties to the Chicago soul and jazz scenes, and a range of experience that ran the gamut from work with Sun Ra, the Artistic Heritage Ensemble, The Pharoahs, Ramsey Lewis, and countless other influential groups. Headed up by Maurice White on drums and percussion, the group forged an amazing blend of all these influences, creating a future soul sound that pushed black music to the next level – taking a wealth of previously underground modes of expression, and fusing them into a soaring sound that would soon put them at the top of the charts. This album's a lot looser and freer than their Columbia albums – with plenty of raw funk and some nice off-beat jazz soling. Includes the classic break track "C'Mon Children", plus "Fan The Fire", "Bad Tune", and "Moment Of Truth". Need Of Love is one of the two early Earth Wind & Fire LPs recorded for Warner – and the one that shows their amazing roots in the avant-garde jazz scene in Chicago! At the forefront, the record's a righteous soul album with an ensemble funk sound – but deeper in, there's a lot of jazz-based playing, and a number of moments that almost get "out" in the solos! Surely this one couldn't have been made without the spiritual advancements in jazz made by the AACM – and EWF couldn't have helped rubbing shoulders with those players, considering that they all often gigged together in the Chicago studio scene, and that they'd also shared some time together in groups like The Pharoahs and Phil Cohran's Artistic Heritage Ensemble. Titles include "Energy", "Beauty", and a nice remake of Donny Hathaway's "Everything is Everything". CD

Close matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Don EllisAutumn/Shock Treatment ... CD
BGO (UK), 1968. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99
Two late 60s classics from trumpet legend Don Ellis – back to back in a single set! Autumn is an album of explosive power and imagination from Don Ellis – a set that shows him very firmly shaking off the more academic mode of earlier years, and heading into hipper, more youth-oriented directions! The group's still a bit band on most numbers – but it's one with a lean, well-crafted sound that's not really big band jazz, and which also features some elements of later soundtrack scoring. Players on the date are all great – and include Frank Strozier, John Klemmer, and Ira Schulman on saxes – plus Pete Robinson on clavinet, piano, and electric piano! The set begins with the beautiful extended "Variations For Trumpet" – a suite-type number that has plenty of great colors from Ellis, plus loads of other horn work too. Other titles include "Indian Lady", "Pussy Wiggle Stomp", "Scratt & Fluggs", and "Child Of Ecstasy". Shock Treatment is one of the first really funky records from Don Ellis! Ellis was an emerging California trumpeter/composer who'd noodled around with some modern big band work in the mid 60s – but this hip 1968 session has him adding in elements like clavinet, Fender Rhodes, sitar, timbales, vibes, percussion, and even a spot of vocals to change the groove to a more mod and swinging one. Titles include "Mercy Mabye Mercy", "New Kind Of Country", "Zim", "Star Children", "Opus 5", "Rasty", "The Tihai", and "Milo's Theme". Plus, the CD also includes some bonus tracks not on the original album! CD

Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Joe FarrellJoe Farrell Quartet/Outback/Moon Germs ... CD
BGO (UK), Early 70s. New Copy 2CD ... $15.99
A trio of classic LPS by Joe Farrell – in a 2CD set! The self-titled quartet set is one of his first LPs as a leader – and a stellar session that's easily one of the early high points for the legendary CTI label! It features a key quintet of like-mined up-and-comers that includes Chick Corea on keyboards, John McLaughlin on guitar, Dave Holland on bass, and Jack DeJohnette on drums – players who definitely know the farther reaches of jazz, yet hang just on the inside here with Joe – providing some amazing accompaniment for his lines on soprano, tenor, and flute. Titles include "Molten Glass", "Song Of The Wind", "Motion", "Follow Your Heart", and "Circle In The Square". Outback is another killer set – a drawn-out quintet side – with Chick Corea on electric piano, Buster Williams on bass, Elvin Jones on drums, and Airto on percussion. It's got some strong choppy reed/percussion interplay – but with a sharpness and focus that you don't always hear – and the are all nice & long. Titles include "Outback", "Sound Down", "November 68th" and "Bleeding Orchid". Moon Germs is one of the best records ever cut by funky sax man Joe Farrell! The album's virtually the blueprint for later 70s funk of this type, and played perfectly by Farrell and a very hip quartet lineup! Players include Joe on soprano and tenor sax, Herbie Hancock on keyboards, Stanley Clarke on bass, and Jack DeJohnette on drums – playing with a very angular sense of rhythm that really dives the record! Titles include the great cut "Great Gorge", which has a tight modal sample groove, plus "Times Lie", "Bass Folk Song", and "Moon Germs". CD

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Joe FarrellPenny Arcade/Upon This Rock/Canned Funk ... CD
BGO (UK), Mid 70s. New Copy 2CD ... $15.99
3 killer CTI classics from Joe Farrell in a 2CD set! Penny Arcade has grooves so sharp you could cut your trousers on them! Farrell's angular reed style is in perfect form here – grooving with a small group that includes Herbie Hancock on piano, Joe Beck on guitar, Steve Gadd on drums, and Don Alias on percussion – a combo that's got a harder, tighter feel than most CTI groups – a key reason why Joe's records of this time are so legendary! Includes a version of Stevie Wonder's "Too High" – one that breaks all over the beginning with these riffs by Farrell, then grooves into a CTI electric funk mode for about 13 minutes. All tracks are long – and other tracks include "Hurricane Jane", "Geo Blue", "Penny Arcade", and "Cloud Cream". Upon This Rock is another massive set from the funky reedman – with a lean, edgy groove to the set that's totally great. One cut features a guest group – with Herbie Hancock on piano, Steve Gadd on drums, and Don Alias on percussion – and the album includes the massively break-heavy title cut "Upon This Rock", plus "Seven Seas", "I Won't Be Back", and "Weathervane". There's nothing canned on Canned Funk – as the sound, style, and groove of the record is as fresh and freaky as the classic image on the cover! The sax lines are as angular as the rhythms – tight, choppy, and completely funky – no wonder the record's a CTI classic that folks have dug for years! Tracks are all nice and long – and titles include "Canned Funk", "Animal", and "Spoken Silence". CD

Close matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Jim HallConcierto/Big Blues/Studio Trieste ... CD
BGO (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99
3 great CTI records from Jim Hall – including work with Art Farmer, Chet Baker & Hubert Laws – in a great 2CD set! Concierto is one Hall's most compelling albums from the 70s – a mix of lightly swinging tunes and more complicated numbers, recorded with some of his best partners from earlier years! Chet Baker is on trumpet, Paul Desmond is on alto sax – and the rest of the group includes Ron Carter bass, Roland Hanna piano, and Steve Gadd on drums. The centerpiece of the album is the 19 minute long "Concierto De Aranjuez", and other tracks include "The Answer Is Yes", "Two's Blues" and 5 bonus tracks including "Rock Skippin'", "Unfinished Business" plus a few alternate takes of album tracks. Big Blues is sweet and subtle genius from Art Farmer and Jim Hall – in a quintet with vibes by Mike Mainieri – in a style that eschews the electric funk of other CTI records, but has a similar sense of space, sound, and rhythm overall – proof that the label's groundbreaking approach didn't always have to be electrified! Tracks are quite long, and the two leaders effortlessly craft notes that magically hang in space with an airily soulful feel. Titles include wonderfully reworked versions of "Whisper Not", "A Child Is Born", and "Pavane For A Dead Princess". Studio Trieste is great later date with Chet Baker & Hubert Laws! The session's a larger group effort headed up by Don Sebesky, and featuring key solos by Chet Baker, Jim Hall, and Hubert Laws – all of whom get plenty of room to do their thing on the album's longer tracks! Other players include Kenny Barron, Jack Wilkins, Jorge Dalto, George Mraz, and Steve Gadd – plus bit of added percussion – and although the group is large, the overall sound is relatively lean – spacious and airy, in keeping with Baker's best moments on records like these, and always sensitive enough to let Hall's gentle work on the strings of his guitar shine through nicely! Titles include "Malaguena", "Django", "Swan Lake", and "All Blues". CD

Close matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Thad Jones & Mel Lewis OrchestraMonday Night/Central Park North ... CD
Solid State/BGO (UK), 1969. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99
Two early albums from this hip late 60s ensemble! Monday Night is genius work from the Jones & Lewis group – easily one of their best albums! If you've ever wondered why these guys got the chance to make so many records, check out this excellent early set and hear them at their finest. The group's a kick-ass one – with a host of all-star players like Jerome Richardson, Jerry Dodgion, Eddy Daniels, Seldon Powell, Roland Hanna, Richard Davis, and of course Jones and Lewis themselves – and the overall groove is similar to the Clarke-Boland Big Band at their best. Lots of rolling riffing rhythms, and breakout solos that really respect the members of the group – and which light a fuse under nearly every track. Features the funky groover "Mornin Reverend", plus "The Waltz You Swang For Me", "Say It Softly", "The Second Race", and "Kids Are Pretty People". Central Park North is excellent work from the team of Thad Jones and Mel Lewis – arguably one of their best albums from the late 60s, and a set that's got some really great funky big band numbers! There's a nice bouncing groove to the group that they normally don't have – possibly because Richard Davis is playing some Fender bass on the set, which brings in a nice focus on the bottom end – and the best numbers have a sock-soul feel that's in the best late 60s large group soul jazz mode! Titles include "Tow Away Zone", "Jive Samba", "The Groove Merchant", and "Central Park North". CD

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Steve KhanEyewitness/Modern Times/Casa Loco ... CD
Antilles/BGO (UK), 1981/1982/1983. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99
A trio of early 80s albums from fusion giant Steve Khan – all lined up in a single collection! First up is Eyewitness – an early 80s effort from guitarist Steve Khan – a set recorded after some big records for Columbia, and one that follows very strongly in their legacy! Khan's super-deft here, but also able to create these washes of sound as much as some bold lines on his instrument – moving between the modes freely in the company of a tight quartet – with Anthony Jackson on bass, Steve Jordan on drums, and Manolo Badrena on percussion – all much more in the loose, open style of fusion from the mid 70s than you might guess from the date of the record. Titles include "Where's Mumphrey", "Dr Slump", "Guy Lafleur", and "Auxilary Police". Modern Times has Steve Khan stretching out even more htan before – working on a set of three long tracks that really expand his ideas strongly – almost pushing his guitar sense of tone and color into some of the territory Pat Metheny was exploring at the time! The group is Khan's great quartet with Anthony Jackson on bass, Steve Jordan on drums, and Manolo Badrena on percussoin – and titles include "Blades", "The Blue Shadow", "Modern Times", and "Penguin Village". Casa Loco is a record that's maybe a bit more electric on the rhythms than some of Steve Khan's previous sets – thanks to use of Simmons drums by drummer Steve Jordan – but a record that's still got Steve himself playing very strongly in the lead! Khan's as deft as ever here, working out these swirling chords that brew together in waves of sound – that special place a few fusion artists found themselves after the rock-jamming years of the 70s. The album features a bit of vocals from percussionist Manolo Badrena – which come across surprisingly well – and titles include "The Suitcase", "Uncle Roy", "Some Sharks", "Breakaway", and "Casa Loco". CD

Close matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Steve KhanPublic Access/Headline/Crossings ... CD
GRP/BGO (UK), Late 80s/Early 90s. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99
A trio of later albums from a guitarist who first rose to fame in the 70s! First up is Public Access – a record that's got a slightly goofy cover, but a sound that's much richer than you might expect – thanks in part to great work on the album from percussionist Manolo Badrena! Some of the music here echoes the earlier fusion of guitarist Steve Khan – but other tunes bring in some warmer, Brazilian-y elements – including a bit of vocalization from Badrena, with occasional chorus work from Lani Groves and Vivian Cherry. The rest of the group features frequent partner Anthony Jackson on bass and Dave Weckl on drums – and titles include "Sise", "Silent Screen", "Mambosa", "Butane Elvin", "Botero People, and "Kamarica". The set then follows with three long tracks from Headline – a record that has guitarist Steve Khan almost returning to straight small combo work – although still with some of the wider colors of the fusion modes he first unleashed in the 70s! The album's got a tight core group here – Khan on guitar, Anthony Jackson on bass, Dennis Chambers on drums, and Manolo Badrena on percussion – and Chambers' drum performance is maybe more direct and swinging than some of Khan's previous drummers, which works especially well on the album's versions of songs by Joe Henderson and Ornette Coleman! Titles include "Caribbean Fire Dance", "All Or Nothing At All", and "Turnaround". Last up is Crossings – a great title for this set from guitarist Steve Khan – as the crossings here reflect Steve's increasing ear towards other cultures and rhythms in his music as the years moved on – even while still keeping things in a relatively fusion-based mode! Steve's got plenty of those warm colors that he always brought to his playing – working with a tight lineup that includes bassist Anthony Jackson, drummer Dennis Chambers, percussionist Manolo Badrena, and tenorist Michael Brecker. Titles include "Descarga Khanalonious", "Melancholee", "Inner Urge", "Capricorn", "What I'm Said", "Pee Wee", and "Think Of One". CD

Close matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
LA ExpressLA Express/Shadow Play ... CD
Epic/BGO (UK), 1976. New Copy ... $9.99
A pair of jazz funk classics from this group who got their start with reedman Tom Scott! First up is the self-titled LA Express – funky fusion with a bit of a studio feel – played by the LA Express, a combo best known for their work with Tom Scott – stepping out here strongly on their own! Even without Scott's sax in the lead, the sound here is still pretty darn sharp – and the lineup features Robben Ford on guitars, Victor Feldman on keyboards, Max Bennett on bass, and John Guerin on drums and percussion – plus saxophones from David Luell, who kind of steps in where Scott left off! There's some nice jamming that's on the tighter side of the CTI sound – with lots of choppy sax lines from Luell over sweet electric rhythms – and titles include "The Shrug", "Stairs", "Cry Of The Jungle", "It's Happening Right Now", "Western Horizon", and "Down The Middle". Shadow Play is proof that the group could stand strongly on their own away from former leader Tom Scott! This time around, the sound is a bit more built-up than before – put together with a slight dose of soul in the mix, which really warms things up from the sharper sound of their debut! The album features vocals on 3 numbers – wonderful wordless scatting from Joni Mitchell on the track "Nordic Winds" – which almost comes across like a rare Euro fusion cut from the time – and straighter soulful singing from Paulette McWilliams on the tunes "Double Your Pleasure" and "Dance The Night Away". Players include Victor Feldman on keyboards and percussion, David Luell on saxes, Peter Maunu on guitar, Max Bennett on bass, and John Guerin on drums – and other titles include "Shadow Play", "Chariot Race", "Velvet Lady", "Mad Drums & Englishman", and "Vortex". CD

Close matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Hubert LawsMorning Star/Carnegie Hall/Chicago Theme ... CD
CTI/BGO (UK), 1973/1975. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99
A trio of CTI classics from reedman Hubert Laws! First up is Morning Star – one of the most sublime Hubert Laws albums for CTI – a set that features his incredibly soulful flute work floating over these beautiful large arrangements by Don Sebesky – all ticked by some sweet electric piano from Bob James! The sound is perfect – that balance of soul and sophistication that really made CTI a groundbreaking label at this point – and which made it a perfect place for a hip artist like Hubert to really hit his stride! And in fact, Laws may not have ever hit this height again – as even though later albums are all still pretty great, and plenty soulful, this set's got an extra something special that we never tire of hearing! Titles include "No More", "Morning Star", "Let Her Go", and "What Do You Think Of This World Now?". The next album features maybe some of the coolest music ever recorded at Carnegie Hall – a wonderful venue that's perfect for the blend of soul and space of the CTI Records years of Hubert Laws! Laws' lead lines on flute really stretch out beautifully in the setting – given ample room to roam amidst a lineup that features Dave Friedman on vibes, Ron Carter on bass, and Bob James on piano and electric piano – all on tracks that have the same open, breathy quality as Hubert's sublime Afro Classic album. Like that set, there's a subtle dose of funk in the mix, but more focus on an airier mode up top – stretched out beautifully over a medley of Chick Corea's "Windows" and "Fire & Rain" – and on a 20 minute take of "Passacaglia In C Minor". Chicago Theme is one of Hubert Laws' funkiest records for CTI – recorded with a full group funky style that's plenty darn great, and a lot harder-hitting than some of Hubert's more laidback sessions for the label! Arrangements are by Bob James and Laws – working here with a large batch of players who come together beautifully, almost in the style of a funky 70s cop show soundtrack! James plays keyboards, and other players include George Benson, Phil Upchurch, Stanley Clarke, Randy Brecker, Don Grolnick, and Ron Carter – on titles that include James' own "Chicago Theme", a great cover of "Midnight At The Oasis" with wonderful drums from Steve Gadd, who also kicks it nice and large on Laws' own "I Had A Dream". Other tracks include "Going Home", "I Had A Dream", and "Inflation Chaser". CD

Close matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Jerry Lee LewisJerry Lee Lewis/Killer Country/When Two Worlds Collide ... CD
Elektra/BGO (UK), 1979/1980. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99
Three important records from Jerry Lee Lewis – the start of his time at Elektra Records, where he was able to find new energy after many years at Mercury! First up is the self-titled Jerry Lee Lewis – a late 70s record that has Jerry Lee opening up nicely – getting back to basics in a session headed by Bones Howe, who gives Lewis just the right sort of songs and special touch that he wasn't getting during his later years at Mercury! There's still currents of the country in the music, but The Killer's also finding some rocking roots as well – maybe not as entirely on fire on the piano as in the early days, but able to open up with just the right sort of energy when needed. Titles include a great cover of Bob Dylan's "Rita May" – plus "Don't Let Go", "Every Day I Have To Cry", "Number One Lovin Man", "Personality", "Rocking Little Angel", and "Who Will The Next Fool Be". Killer Country is a great little set that's every bit what it promises in the title – the country side of Jerry Lee Lewis, but restored to the status of The Killer at his best! The album's got a focused quality that Jerry only got on a handful of 70s records – and he's as upfront in the music as he is on the cover – looking and sounding a bit older, but also a bit wiser in the process. The mellower cuts are as great as the upbeat ones – and titles include "I'd Do It All Over Again", "Jukebox Junky", "Too Weak To Fight", "Late Night Lovin Man", "Change Places With Me", and "Mama This One's For You". When Two Worlds Collide is a great little set, with an even more back to basics vibe than Jerry Lee's first album on Elektra – recorded in Nashville, with a very personal, almost lean sort of vibe – which lets Lewis find his country genius all over again! Titles include "When Two Worlds Collide", "Good News Travels Fast", "Love Game", "Who Will Buy The Wine", "I Only Want A Buddy Not A Sweetheart", and "Honky Tonk Stuff". CD

Close matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Ramsey LewisFunky Serenity/Golden Hits/Solar Wind/Sun Goddess ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), Early 70s. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99
A quadruple-header from Ramsey Lewis – four albums from his great 70s electric period on Columbia Records! First up is Funky Serenity – sweet electric funk from Ramsey Lewis! The album's one of his best from the 70s – and it's got Ramsey on Fender Rhodes, electric harpsichord, and other keyboards, grooving away in an open-ended 70s mode that still retains all the heavy soul of his classic work for Chess. Morris Jennings adds in some very nice percussion with his drum work, and Cleveland Eaton's on funky bass, giving the set a strong bottom groove. Features the sublime sample cut "My Love For You", a great version of "Knights In White Satin" that's done with a weird spacey groove, plus the tracks "Kufany Mapenzi (Making Love)", "Serene Funk", "What It Is!", and "Dreams". Golden Hits isn't a "best of", but instead has Ramsey and his funky mid 70s trio with Morris Jennings and Cleveland Eaton revisiting some of his best loved material from the Cadet years, but with the groovy Rhodes and wah wah sound that we dig so much about his CBS recordings. Unlike some of the other records from this period, the group's nice and stripped down, just the electric piano, bass and drums, so the groove's nice and wide open, Ramsey and company popping along with the sanctified soulful vibe of his 60s work, but updating their sound with some nice electric touches. 9 numbers in all: "Hang On Sloopy", "Blues For The Night Owl", "Hi-Heel Sneakers", "Carmen", "Delilah", "Wade In The Water", "Slippin' Into Darkness", "Somethin' You Got", and "The In Crowd". Solar Wind was cut smack dab in the middle of Ramsey's glory days at Columbia Records – with great production help and work on bass from the mighty Cleveland Eaton! The style is nice and lean, with just some occasional fuller touches – and Ramsey plays plenty of Fender Rhodes, in addition to bits of Arp and moog too – in a setting that's mostly trio, with a few guest players stepping into the mix from track to track! There's a nice degree of fuzz at points, thanks to added help from Steve Cropper – and titles include a great funky version of "Summer Breeze", plus "Solar Wind", "Come Down In Time", "Love for A Day", "Hummingbird", "Jamaican Marketplace", and "Sweet & Tender You". Sun Goddess is one of our favorite Ramsey Lewis albums ever – and a perfect summation of the genius that was brewing on the Chicago scene in the late 60s and early 70s! The album has Ramsey working strongly with Earth Wind & Fire – no surprise, given his close ties to Maurice White, who was the drummer in Ramsey's trio before starting his own group – and the shared relationship both artists had with producer Charles Stepney! The three were all key parts of the late 60s sound at Chess Records – but here, they've brought the same soulful energy to Columbia – working in a wider, more mature groove for the 70s – one that has Lewis' wicked Fender Rhodes lines stretching out strongly over tight, compressed, funky lines from EWF! The centerpiece of the set is the massive 7 minute "Sun Goddess", but there's lots of other nice ones like "Living For The City", "Gemini Rising", and "Jungle Strut". Funky, electric, and sublimely wonderful all the way through! CD

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Ramsey LewisLegacy/Ramsey/Live At The Savoy/Chance Encounter ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99
Four later Columbia albums from Ramsey Lewis – all pretty darn great! Legacy is an overlooked gem from Ramsey's 70s years at Columbia – a record that has him grooving over larger arrangements, sweeping along in a great blend of soul and class that makes for some really great numbers! Side one of the album features Ramsey playing keyboards on the extended "Legacy" suite – a long piece composed and conducted by James Mack, which has Ramsey running through a lot of different moods and modes – some of them nice and funky! Side two features some nice shorter tracks – all electric groovers with plenty of funky keys! Titles include "Moogin On", "Don't Look Back", "Well Well Well", and "All The Way Live". Ramsey is a sweet late 70s groover from Ramsey – not as all-out electric as some of his earlier work for Columbia, but done with some nice arrangements that have a full and soulful feel! There's a bit of Kalimba/Earth Wind & Fire soul to the mix – and some tracks have production by James Mack and soulful backing vocals by Kitty & The Heywoods – both elements of which serve to provide a nice platform for Ramsey to soar over the top on Steinway. A few cuts feature a bit of electric keys, but overall, the style's in that "acoustic solo instrument over electric backings – in the manner that 70s mainstream fusion was using heavily at the time. Titles include "Dancin", "I'll Always Dream About You", "Every Chance I Get", and "I Just Can't Give You Up". Live At The Savoy is, as you might guess, a live set, but one that's got some wonderfully rich grooves – almost one of the first times that Ramsey's excellent studio approach was attempted on record in a concert setting! The backings are quite full, and produced beautifully here by Tom Tom 84 – who really keeps a classy Chicago vibe in place throughout most of the set – one that stretches from Ramsey's late years at Cadet Records, through all the growth and maturation at Columbia during the 70s. The core trio's augmented by fuller horns on most numbers, given a bit of an Earth Wind & Fire/Kalimba Productions groove – and there's a vocal chorus at a few points too. Includes a great version of "Close Your Eyes & Remember" – plus "Sassy Stew", "Callin Fallin", "Baby What You Want Me To Do", "You Never Know", "Lynn", and a "Hits Medley" of Lewis grooves from the 60s. Chance Encounter has a very full, carefully put-together approach – completely arranged and produced by Ramsey Lewis himself, but definitely using lessons learned from some of the other top-shelf talents who guided him during his years at Columbia Records! There's a pretty careful balance of material here – from spare acoustic piano numbers, to sweeter electric grooves, to one vocal track that's trying a bit more for a soul crossover. Ramsey mostly plays Steinway acoustic and Fender Rhodes – and tracks include "What's Going On", "Chance Encounter", "Intimacy", "A Special Place", "I Can't Wait", "Paradise", and "Just A Little Ditty". CD

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Little RichardRill Thing/King Of Rock & Roll/Second Coming ... CD
Reprise/BGO (UK), Early 70s. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99
A trio of revival albums from the legendary Little Richard – all of them pretty darn great! First up is the funky Rill Thing – a stunning comeback session from the start of the 70s – recorded at Muscle Shoals with a heavy funk component in the mix! Richard arranged and produced the record himself – and it's a beautiful illustration of his genius – hardly dimmed at this point in his career, and if anything, really redefined for a new generation – with some razor-sharp grooves that are perfect for his hard-wailing vocals! The title cut – "The Rill Thing" – is a monster 10 minute instrumental jam, with a heavy funk sound that you can't even begin to imagine – and the rest of the set is pretty amazing too, with tracks that include "Spreadin' Natta What's The Matter", "Freedom Blues", "Two Time Loser", "Somebody Saw You", "Lovesick Blues", and "Greenwood Mississippi". Next is King Of Rock & Roll – a much rootsier set than some of Little Richard's other work for Reprise Records – a record that almost goes back to the old days, but via the hipper styles of the early 70s! HB Barnum arranged and produced the set, but the groove is less funkier than some of Barnum's other work of the time – a bit more rockish in some of the rhythms and instrumentation, which is no surprise considering the title – with a nod back towards late 50s modes, but in that new-roots way that Warner was hitting with other artists of the period. Richard's vocals hold up very well in the setting – and apart from the original tunes "Green Power" and "King Of Rock & Roll", the album features versions of "Midnight Special", "Dancing In The Street", "Brown Sugar", and "Born On The Bayou". Last up is Second Coming – funky 70s Little Richard – very much in the spirit of his Rill Thing album, although a bit more polished! The album features production and arrangements from New Orleans soul legend Bumps Blackwell – who first handled Richard way back when – and the record's sort of divided half and half between tracks that have a 70s funky feel, and others that are going back for more of an older styled retro rocking groove – yet not nearly as much so as on Richard's previous Reprise album. Titles include "Nuki Suki", "The Prophet Of Peace", "Thomasine", "Second Line", and "It Ain't What You Do It's The Way How You Do It". CD

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Charlie McCoyReal McCoy/Charlie McCoy/Good Time Charlie/Fastest Harp In The South ... CD
BGO (UK), 1969/1972/1973. New Copy 2 CDs ... $14.99
Charlie McCoy famously played harmonica on some of Bob Dylan's Nashville sessions, and about a few hundred other recordings too – and here, he's in a country music mode all the way through – blowing these wonderful solos over music city backings in the best Monument Records mode! Like other work on that label at the time, the style here is a bit more open than straighter country sessions – still handled with help from a fair bit of Nashville studio pros, but with occasional unusual instrumental touches that include a bit of moog, vibes, and other more contemporary elements. Only one of the four albums has a bit of vocals – and even those are spare – leaving McCoy to handle all the voicing himself, via harmonica – on a whopping 45 tunes that include "Only Daddy That'll Walk The Line", "Grade A", "Real McCoy", "Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues", "Something", "Is Anybody Goin To San Antoine", "Soul Song", "Louisiana Man", "Delta Dawn", and "Fastest Harp In The South". CD

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MountainFlowers Of Evil/Mountain Live – The Road Goes Ever On ... CD
Windfall/BGO (UK), 1971/1972. New Copy 2CD ... $15.99
A pair of classics from Mountain – maybe the group's two best-remembered albums! Flowers Of Evil is a searing standout from Mountain – a studio album, but one that also really captures some of the freewheeling energy that made the group such a great live act at the time – especially given that the studio sessions here are mixed with a bit of improvisation from a live concert too! The double-headed team of Leslie West and Felix Pappalardi are very firmly in charge – the latter with loads of heavy bass, the former with that fuzzy guitar that mixes so well with the heavy drums of the group and titles include "Flowers Of Evil", "King's Chorale", "One Last Cold Kiss", "Crossroader", and "Pride & Passion" – plus a long improvisation that blends together "Dream Sequence Guitar Solo/Roll Over Beethoven/Dreams Of Milk & Honey/Variations/Swan Theme" – and a live take on their classic "Mississippi Queen". Mountain Live is a killer – a completely transformative album for the band. Mountain may be a rock group – and a heavy one at that – but they've also earned plenty of nods from DJs and crate-diggers over the years – thanks to their fierce, funky work on this classic live album from the 70s! You'd be amazed at how many times we turn up this record in collections of soul and funk – and for good reason, as the drums on the leadoff track "Long Red" are stunning right from the start – one of the early blueprints for a new generation of hip hop samples, and a great bit of funk on its own! Plus, the Leslie West/Felix Pappalardi team that drives the record has had more than a few forays into soul – as you'll hear on West's choppy guitar work, and the white boy soul qualities of the vocals. In addition to "Long Red", other great cuts include "Crossroader", "Nantucket Sleighride", and "Waiting To Take You Away". CD

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Gene PageHot City/Lovelock ... CD
Atlantic/BGO (UK), Mid 70s. New Copy ... $9.99
A pair of 70s soul classics from arranger Gene Page – back to back on a single CD! First up is Hot City – an excellent album of Barry White-styled instrumentals – put together by Barry's right hand man Gene Page, and produced by Barry himself! The record's one of the best that Gene Page ever cut – apart from his seminal blacksploitation soundtracks – and it's very much in the mode of White's Love Unlimited Orchestra albums from the same time, although perhaps with less of a string section – and more of an emphasis on funky drums at the bottom. Players are an all-star cast of LA studio groovers that includes David T Walker and Ray Parker on guitar, Ernie Watts and Wilton Felder on saxes, and Clarence McDonald on keyboards – and tracks are mostly originals by Page and White. Titles include "Jungle Eyes", "She's My Main Squeeze", "I Am Living In A World Of Gloom", "Satin Soul", and "To The Bone". Lovelock features Gene Page at the height of his 70s powers – using all the talents he forged as a background artist for other soul talents, and all the majesty he added to his soundtrack work – all focused nicely into a sweet set of warmly soulful grooves! The style's a bit clubby, but also has some wider depth too – maybe an undercurrent of fusion that comes from players like Lee Ritenour and David T Walker on guitar, Joe Sample and Sonny Burke on keyboards, and Oscar Brasher on trumpet – who find a way to work wonderfully alongside the albums vocals from singers Merry Clayton, Edna Wright, and Jim Gilstrap – all with a style that's not unlike some of the best Quincy Jones material of the time! As with Quincy, there's a sense of care and confidence that really holds the album together – on titles that include "Higher My Love", "Organ Grinder", "Into My Thing", "Wild Cherry", "Fantasy Woman", "Straw In the Wind", and "Together Whatever". CD

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✨✧ Tom PaxtonHow Come The Sun (plus Tom Paxton EP) ... CD
Reprise/BGO (UK), 1971. New Copy ... $13.99
A great step forward for Tom Paxton – his first album on the Reprise label, and a set that really pushes the best post-folk modes of the singer! Tom's in this very dark setting here – still singing and playing acoustic guitar, but draped with these mature elements from a well-chosen group of accompanists – which includes some especially great sounds from David Horowitz on piano, organ, and melodica – elements which mix with some light string touches to really bring a moody vibe to the record – maybe more Brit late 60s folk at times than much of Paxton's earlier material. Titles include "I Had To Shoot That Rabbit", "Icarus", "Prayin For Snow", "How Come The Sun", "She's Far Away", "Little Lost Child", and "A Sailor's Life". CD also features the bonus Tom Paxton EP from 1967 – much more folksy overall, with original tunes that include "The Marvelous Toy", "Beau John", "Deep Fork River", and "My Dog's Better Than Your Dog". CD

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RascalsSee/Search & Nearness ... CD
Atlantic/BGO (UK), 1969/1971. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99
A pair of records that really show the evolution of The Rascals – back to back in a single set! See is harder rocking and almost deeper soul than before for the group – and a tremendous evolution in the music of The Rascals – light years past the pop hits of a few years before! The group co-produced the album with Arif Mardin, and the sounds here are even more sophisticated than their Once Upon A Dream album – in modes that are sometimes rootsy rock, sometimes looser jamming, all woven together with the complexity of some of the hipper groups recording for Columbia Records at the time. The vocals are even more confident than before – as are some of the tunes in the set – and titles include "See", "I'd Like To Take You Home", "Remember Me", "Real Thing", "Away Away", "Carry Me Back", "Nubia", and "Temptation's Bout To Get Me". Search & Nothingness is the Rascals' last album for Atlantic Records – and a set that has the combo relying more than ever on the talents of organist Felix Cavaliere! There's a great New York blend of rock and soul going on in the set – a confident, soaring sort of approach to the tunes that's past caring what any simple genre conventions might mean, or which tracks might end up on radio – even though most of the tunes here are still plenty darn catchy. The piano and organ lines on the album snap along nicely, as do some of the drums (especially on the break cut "You Don't Know") – and although group member Eddie Brigati had left by the time the album was released, he still sings lead on a few tracks. Titles include the jazzy "Nama", which is a wonderful surprise – plus "You Don't Know", "Right On", "Ready For Love", "Fortunes", "Glory Glory", and "The Letter". CD

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✨✧ Jerry ReedExplores Guitar Country/Cookin/Georgia Sunshine/Me & Jerry ... CD
RCA/BGO (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99
A really wonderful collection of work from the great Jerry Reed – some more obscure albums than his bigger hits, which makes for a really fresh selection of music throughout! Explores Guitar Country is maybe one of the rootsier efforts during the early RCA years of Jerry Reed – a set that definitely lives up to the "guitar country" promised in the title, as his strong command of the instrument is right up front in the mix – often on these midtempo numbers that sound perfect with his style! Jerry sings a bit, but his guitar is almost the strongest voice on the record – nicely unadorned, especially for RCA at the time – on titles that include "Bluegrass With Guts", "Are You From Dixie", "Wayfarin Stranger", "Barbara Allen", "In The Pines", "Swarmin", and "A Worried Man". Cookin has Jerry Reed reaching for some of the groovier material that would bring him great fame – but the songs are also balanced with some slightly folksy currents, maybe a bit like the late 60s work of Waylon Jennings – with some surprising commentary from time to time, and a richness of feeling that wasn't always allowed Jerry in some of his more famous, joke-heavy moments. Titles include "Turn It Around In Your Mind", "How Many Tomorrows", "Sometimes Feelin", "Plastic Saddle", "Alabama Jubilee", and "My Next Impersonation". Georgia Sunshine is a record that has Jerry Reed really hitting that formula that would make for some big albums in the 70s – a mix of witty, upbeat numbers and some occasional deeper moments – many of which are featured here in songs penned by Jerry himself! The set features the big hit "Amos Moses" – plus "Good Friends & Neighbors", "Talk About The Good Times", "Preacher & The Bear", "Georgia Sunshine", "That's All Part Of Losing", and "Dream Sweet Dreams About Me". Me & Jerry is a great duet album with Chet Atkins – a set that showcases the super-strong guitar talents of both musicians – very different in sound and style, but perfectly matched on a strong set of instrumentals! The tunes are mostly familiar, but nicely fresh in this setting – with lots of creativity from both musicians – and titles include "Tennessee Stud", "Wreck Of The John B", "Nut Sundae", "Stump Water", "Cannonball Rag", and "The January February March". CD

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✨✧ Jerry ReedWhen You're Hot You're Hot/Ko Ko Joe/Smell The Flowers/Me & Chet ... CD
RCA/BGO (UK), 1971/1972. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99
Four albums from the breakout years of Jerry Reed – all collected here in a single CD set! First up is When You're Hot – the record that firmly catapulted Jerry Reed to the top – a set that draws on all his years of lyrical wit and razor-sharp guitar work – served up with some surprisingly funky touches too! That upbeat chugging groove that Jerry began on "Guitar Man" is in place on many tracks here – although there's also a few ballads that balance things out nicely, and some instrumental moments too. Titles include the hit "When You're Hot You're Hot", "Thank You Girl", "Turned On", "My Kinda Love", "Big Daddy", "Amos Moses", and "I'll Be Around". Ko Ko Joe is completely charming work from the great Jerry Reed – a set that often has him continuing that almost-swamp rock mode of his previous album – but also showing some deeper currents on the lyrical tip as well! There's a nice range of songs – maybe as Chet Atkins was trying to match the fuller range of expression that Jerry was capable of – and titles include the great "Another Puff" – plus "Early Morning Rain", "Framed", "You'll Never Walk Alone", and "Seasons Of My Mind". On Smell The Flowers, Jerry Reed steps up to the production helm, working alongside Chet Atkins – at a level that really pushes the singer/guitarist on all his many musical fronts! The album's got some of those great catchy, groovy numbers that always set Reed apart from the rest – and his guitar work graces most numbers in a really great way – sometimes shading alongside the vocals, sometimes right out front in bolder solo moments. Titles include "Pave Your Way Into Tomorrow", "Endless Miles Of Highway", "Take It Easy", "Don't Get Heavy", "Smell The Flowers", "It Ain't Home But It Ain't Bad", and "Don't Let The Good Life Pass You By". Me & Chet is a really wonderful collaboration with the great Chet Atkins – the producer who first recognized Jerry's genius for RCA, and who shares the instrumental spotlight here in a flurry of great guitar numbers! Chet's in one channel, Jerry's in the other – and the guitar interplay is fantastic, and easily some of the best Atkins material from the time – with all the dynamic sound of his earlier work. Titles include "Jerry's Breakdown", "Mystery Train", "Serenade To Summertime", "Limehouse Blues", and "The Mad Russian". CD

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Tom ScottTom Scott & The LA Express/Tom Cat/New York Connection ... CD
BGO (UK), 1973/1974/1975. Used 2 CDs ... $9.99
A trio of classics from the mighty Tom Scott! First up is the landmark Tom Scott & The LA Express – a real breakout moment for reedman Scott – the first truly big album for the saxophonist who'd been blowing some great records on his own, and lending his horn to a host of classic jazz and soul sessions too! The groove is a lot sharper and tighter than earlier Scott albums, but never too slick – and definitely has that great ear for a funky undercurrent that seems to bring out the most soulful notes in Tom's horns – underscored here by wicked rhythms from the LA Express combo that features Joe Sample on keyboards, Larry Carlton on guitar, Max Bennett on bass, and John Guerin on drums. Titles include the sublime break track "Sneaking In the Back" – plus "Dahomey Dance", "King Cobra", "Easy Life", "Spindrift", "Vertigo", "LA Expression", and "Strut Your Stuff". Tom Cat was a runaway hit for reedman Tom Scott – and the record that helped to elevate him to the ranks of studio and fusion superstardom in the 70s! By the time of the record, Scott had already done some key work under his own name, and was contributing heavily to countless other sessions in the jazz, pop, soul, and soundtrack worlds. But this album's the one that really helped Tom get his groove out there – a particular approach to smooth fusion that still kept things plenty funky overall! Part of the credit for the set really goes to bassist Max Bennett and drummer John Guerin – who bring in a tightly snapping bottom that lets Scott get a bit smoother on the top with his saxes, in a style that's augmented by plenty of great keyboard work from Larry Nash. Titles include "Keep On Doin It", "Tom Cat", "Rock Island Rocket", "Mondo", "Refried", "Backfence Cattin", and "Love Poem". On New York Connection, Tom Scott leaves his LA group behind – and works with lots of great funk-based backings from a combo that includes Richard Tee on keyboards, Bob James on Fender Rhodes, and Eric Gale on guitar! The grooves are every bit as tight as on Tom's previous albums – and like those gems, they've got a balance that's never too slick or commercial – really in the best Kudu Records mode, with a strong ear for a hook, but lots of room for Scott to solo freely on tenor and soprano sax, plus a bit of flute and moog as well. Titles include "Uptown & Country", "New York Connection", "Time & Love", "Midtown Rush", "Looking Out For Number 7", "You're Gonna Need Me", and "Dirty Old Man". CD

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Ben SidranFree In America/Doctor Is In/Little Kiss In The Night/Live At Montreux ... CD
BGO (UK), Late 70s. New Copy 2CD ... Just Sold Out!
Four albums from the great Ben Sidran – a mighty hip jazz singer, and a great pianist too! First up is Free In America – a great little set all the way through – and about as classic as you can get for Sidran in the 70s! The album's got a bit more soul in the mix, but still has some jazzy elements in the backings – and where things were sometimes messed up in the past, they're much more straightforward here – in ways that make the record really sparkle nicely! Ben's voice is still really compelling, and as on his best albums, there's some nice funky grooves in the mix that keep things fresh. Players include Phil Upchurch on bass and guitar, Woody Shaw on trumpet, David Newman and Sonny Seals on saxes, and Richard Tee on organ. Titles include the great instrumental "Let's Make A Deal" – a fast groover with guitar and keyboards riffing away, sounding like some lost jazz funk gem from the Fantasy Records catalog – plus "Beg For It", "Cuban Connection", "Free In America", "New York State Of Mind", and "Feel Your Groove". Doctor Is In is one of Ben Sidran's biggest records from the 70s – a smooth combination of jazz, fusion, soul, and a bit of New Orleans groove! There's still a very unique feel to Sidran's music here – a sense of personality that really makes the whole thing sparkle – and which keeps the record from sounding too much like anyone else. Grooves are a great mix of jazz and soul elements – in territory that certainly has a 70s LA sort of quality, but which never gets too poppy or commercial – thanks to Ben's vocals, and mostly small combo backings from players who include Phil Upchurch on bass, Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Larry Carlton on guitar, and Tony Williams on drums. Nick DeCaro adds in a bit of extra strings from time to time – and titles include "Silver's Serenade", "Charlie's Blues", "Be Nice", "Goodbye Porkpie Hat", "One Way Grave", and "See You On The Other Side". Little Kiss In The Night is one of our all-time favorites from the great Ben Sidran – thanks to a strong dose of fusion in the mix! The grooves here are somehow a bit sharper than the few Sidran records before – with a quality that almost reminds us of Fantasy Records soul from the mid 70s, or some of the best jazz-tinged R&B sets of the time – all linked back nicely to Ben's rootsier elements from the start. As always, Sidran's got some really top-shelf musicians on board to help him find his groove – including Phil Woods on alto sax, Blue Mitchell on trumpet, and Arthur Adams on guitar – and arrangements on many numbers are by Mike Melvoin, who sounds even funkier here than we'd expect. There's a great instrumental on the set called "The Cadillac Kid", which has a nice hard fusion groove – and other cuts include "Face Your Fears", "Doing You", and "Moose The Mooch". Live At Montreux is tightly funky work from Ben Sidran – thanks to a strong lineup of players, and the open-ended relaxed setting of Montreux! The tracks here are a bit longer than some of Ben's studio sides for the label at the time – and almost hearken back to the more open flow of his Blue Thumb years – with plenty of room not only for Sidran's great vocals, but also from instrumental contributions from Steve Khan on guitar, Mike Mainieri on vibes, and the Brecker Brothers on horns. Titles include "I Remember Clifford", "Eat It", "Song For A Sucker Like You", "Midnight Tango/Walking With The Blues", and "Come Together". CD

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Sweeney's MenSweeney's Men/Tracks Of Sweeney (bonus tracks) ... CD
Pye/BGO (UK), Late 60s. New Copy 2CD ... $9.99
Fantastic work from Sweeney's Men – a 60s Irish folk group, but one who were quite different than the more popular Dubliners or Clancy Brothers! These guys traveled in similar territory, but were maybe more akin to the modes of the coming acid folk generation – with some of the timelessness of Fairport Convention and Pentangle! The trio also have a bit of an edge – maybe almost a pre-Pogues sort of vibe, although much more stripped down – as they're a smaller group. Instrumentation is great – mostly just guitar, other stringed instruments, and a bit of pipes or tin whistles – and this great 2CD set features their famous two full albums for Pye Records, plus four more bonus tracks too. Titles include "Brain Jam", "Pretty Polly", "Sullivan's John", "Rattlin Roarin Willy", "The Exile's Jug", "Reynard The Fox", "The House Carpenter", "Johnston", "Old Maid In A Garret", "The Derby Ram", "Waxies Dargle", and "A Mistake No Doubt". CD

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Ike & Tina TurnerWorld Of Ike & Tina – Live ... CD
United Artists/BGO (UK), 1973. New Copy ... $13.99
A fiercely funky live set from Ike & Tina Turner – one that almost feels like some of the James Brown albums at The Apollo – given the expanded structure of the presentation, which also includes the whole Ike Turner universe! The show gets announced with this bold sense of pride – ala some of James' "showtime" announcements – and it begins with funky backings from The Family Vibe, who continue the groove throughout – then opens to the Ikettes singing on their own, before Tina takes the stage and makes the whole thing really come together! There's a great variety of material here – all of which gets a really sharp sound, thanks to the setting – and Ike and the crew really transform the tunes, and set them up perfectly for Tina's vocals to knock them out of the park. Tracks include "Let Me Touch Your Mind", "Shaft", "I Gotcha", "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window", "Dust My Broom", "I Wish It Would Rain", "Get Back", "Games People Play", "Annie Had A Baby", "Chopper", "River Deep Mountain High", and "Just One More Day". CD

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✨✧ Miroslav VitousBass (aka Mountain In The Clouds) ... CD
Vortex/BGO (UK), 1972. New Copy ... $13.99
One of the greatest moments ever from bassist Miroslav Vitous – a very cool album recorded for the trippy Vortex label! The lineup here has Miroslav working with key help from the American underground – piano from Herbie Hancock, tenor from Joe Henderson, and drums from Jack DeJohnette – plus added guitar from John McLaughlin, who seems to have the same spacey sensibilities as Vitous! Henderson really opens up too – in that fluid style of his post-Blue Note work on Milestone – and obviously Herbie's a great one for a set like this too – hitting some of the spiritual modes of his Warner work. Some tracks are nice and long – and titles include "Freedom Jazz Dance", "Infinite Search", "I Will Tell Him On You", "Mountain In the Cloudes", and "Epilogue". Originally issued as the album Infinite Search on Embryo, but expanded here with the additional track "Cerecka". CD

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Andy WilliamsAndy Williams Show/Love Story/Song For You/Alone Again (Naturally) ... CD
Sony/BGO (UK), 1970/1971/1972. Used 2 CDs ... $11.99
... CD

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✨✧ Classics IVSpooky/Mamas & Papas/Traces/Song ... CD
Imperial/BGO (UK), 1968/1969/1970. New Copy 2 CDs ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A quartet of albums by Classics IV – a fantastic late 60s group who hardly ever get their full due! The group's forever remembered for their huge title hit on the first album – but throughout these records they maintain a really wonderful sound – all while also pushing themselves a bit too! Lead singer Dennis Yost has this great raspy style – and maybe brings more soul to their records at times than you might expect, with a quality that's nicely balanced by the later sunshine pop elements that sometimes make these guys an important precursor to the soft rock in years to come. There's a nice sense of evolution over the three years in which these albums were recorded – and the production just seems to get groovier and groovier – on titles that include their classic "Spooky" – plus "You Are My Sunshine", "Goin Out Of My Head", "Bus Stop", "Poor People", "Book A Trip", "Traces", "Soul Train", "Bed Of Roses", "Stormy", "24 Hours Of Loneliness", "Pick Up The Pieces", "Where Did All The Good Times Go", "Traffic Jam", "Rainy Day", "Free", "Mamas & Papas", "Nobody Loves You But Me", "The Funniest Thing", and "The Letter". CD

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✨✧ Maynard FergusonPrimal Scream/New Vintage/Carnival ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1976/1977/1978. Used 2CD ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A trio of heavy-hitters from hornman Maynard Ferguson – all served up in one sweet set! Primal Scream is one of the funkiest records ever from Ferguson – the climax of a great run of bigger group grooves in the 70s! The record's a tight batch of groovers, with production and keyboards by Bob James – and the whole thing's a mixture of big band funk and electronics that's simply out of this world! Side one kicks off with two massive numbers – the Arp-heavy "Cheshire Cat Walk", and the Kool & The Gang-ish "Primal Scream" – and both cuts are quite long, with loads of cool instrumental effects. Side two is a bit softer, but it does include a long keyboard groover called "Swamp". On New Vintage, Maynard really grooves it – playing with a group that's even larger than some of his early 70s funk sessions, in a style that's got traces of disco and R&B-styled fusion! The set was arranged, conducted, and produced by Jay Chataway – who's going for a nice smooth mode on most of the cuts, almost in the slick manner of some late 70s cop show soundtrack. Tracks are a bit longer than usual, with more room for the groove, and titles include the originals "Oasis" and "El Vuelvo", a surprisingly nice disco take on "Maria", and the cuts "Airegin" and "Star Wars". Carnival is a cool cooker from Maynard Ferguson – and a set that has all the upbeat tones you'd expect from the title, but lots of funky currents underneath! The set really sparkles right from the start – and has that sweet vibe that Maynard was really getting perfect on these late 70s records for Columbia – jazzy fusion that's tight, but never too uptight – with lots of room for sweet solos from the leader himself, plus Bill Hannon on moog, John Qdini on guitar, Eric Traub on tenor, and Mike Migliore on alto. Titles include a famous working of Earth Wind & Fier's "Fantasy" – plus "Battlestar Galactica", "MF Carnival", "Baker Street", "Birdland", "How Ya Doin Baby", and "Stella By Starlight". CD
(Includes slipcase.)

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✨✧ Freddie HubbardGleam ... CD
CBS/BGO (UK), 1975. New Copy 2CD ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Jazz funk genius from Freddie Hubbard in the mid 70s! Gleam was a Japanese-only double album from the jazz giant in its original release – mighty funky at times, too – right up there with some of the best Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock Japanese sets from the 70s! It's a live set captured in March of '75 at Tokyo's Yubin Chokin Hall – long numbers played by a group that includes Freddie on trumpet, Carl Randall on tenor and flute, George Cables on electric piano, Henry Franklin on bass, Carl Burnett on drums, and Buck Clark on percussion! Each player has plenty of space to groove, and it's very well captured – you can hear the most expressive solos and the most subtle nuances. Some great solos by Freddie and the rest of the players – breathless tenor & flute by Randall, keys by Cables that are jazz funk perfection and interplay between Burnett's drums and Clark's congas & percussion that's somehow tense and comfortable at the same time. The shortest number in the set runs more than the 7 minutes and the longest is more than 20 minutes – and none is one second shorter than necessary, actually leaving us pining for more – making it all the more vital in the double album format. Released on 2CDs here! How this great album has been so hard to find over the years is a mystery. Titles include "Kuntu", "Spirits Of Trane", an amazing cover of Stevie Wonder's "Too High", "Midnight At The Oasis", "Ebony Moonbeams", and "Put It In The Pocket". CD

Close matches34
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✨✧ Sonny & CherLook At Us/Wondrous World/In Case You're In Love (plus bonus tracks) (3CD set) ... CD
BGO (UK), Late 60s. New Copy 3CD ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A huge amount of music from Sonny & Cher – a set that not only includes three full albums, but also every one of their singles for Atco Records too! First up is Look At Us – a fantastic moment in 60s pop – and the record that forever launched the duo of Sonny & Cher upon the world – a completely charming, if also mismatched couple whose work together is completely fantastic! Sonny had been bumping around the LA music scene for years by the time of this record – but when he found the young Cher, the pair instantly clicked – with a chemistry that's so different than so many other male/female duos of the time – partly because of the difference in their voices, but also because of the way that each of them remain completely individual, even while singing together. Titles include the massive worldwide hit "I Got You Babe", plus versions of "Then He Kissed Me", "The Letter", and "Let It Be Me". The real treat, though, is the material by Sonny – including the tunes "It's Gonna Rain", "Just You", and "Sing C'Est La Vie". On Wondrous World Of Sonny & Cher, it seems as if the pair can completely transform anything they touch with their talents! The tunes here are a mix of older numbers and a few originals by Sonny – arranged and produced by the man himself, and given an extra dose of soul, thanks to musical backings from Harold Battiste – who finds the sort of balance that also allowed these early records to cross over to an R&B market too. The vocals are wonderful – sometimes together, sometimes trading lines or choruses, on titles that include "I Look For You", "Tell Him", "I'm Leaving It All Up To You", "Bring It On Home To Me", "Set Me Free", "Leave Me Be", "Laugh At Me", and "Turn Around". On In Case You're In Love, Sonny & Cher are singing with this perfect sense of complement that few other vocal duos of the 60s could ever hope to match! They hardly need harmony at all – and could never have it, either – given all the "nose" in Sonny's style – but that separation is what really makes the charm of the pair – guy/girl, young/old, perfect/imperfect – coming together with a set of very groovy tunes, all arranged and produced by Sonny – and given a nice bounce in the backings by Harold Battiste! The set features their classic "The Beat Goes On" – plus lots more Sonny originals, including "Monday", "Podunk", "Little Man", "Living For You", and "Love Don't Come". 3CD package also features 17 more bonus tracks from Atco singles – both a-sides and b-sides – with tunes that include "Plastic Man", "Good Times", "Love Is Strange", "Baby Don't Go", "A Beautiful Story", "Have I Stayed Too Long", "It's The Little Things", "Hold You Tighter", "Good Combination", "You Gotta Have A Thing Of Your Own", "You're A Friend Of Mine", "Circus", and "It's The Little Things" – most originals by Sonny! CD

Close matches35
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✨✧ Don EllisTears Of Joy/Connection ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1971/1972. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
A pair of classics from Don Ellis – back to back in a single set! Tears Of Joy is one of the greatest albums ever from funky trumpeter Don Ellis – partly because he takes off in a whole new direction of tones and sounds! Don blows both a quarter-tone trumpet and four-valve trombone here – both instruments with a very distinctive vibe, which are then set up in a groovy large ensemble that features more trumpet and trombone, plus woodwinds and a bit of strings – and some great electric touches on Fender Rhodes, clavinet, and ring modulator! The tunes have that bold Ellis punch of a few years before, but also really hit an earthier vibe too – not just new ideas in sound, but also some rhythmic pulsation that really gives lots of the tunes a fresh sort of flavor. Titles include "Samba Bajada", "Strawberry Soup", "Euphoric Acid", "Get It Together", and "Bulgarian Bulge". Connection is a great set of electric groovers released at the same time that Don scored big with his soundtrack for The French Connection! As you'd guess from the title, the feel here is quite similar – funky electric big band jazz, with a very hip 70s action soundtrack feel – one that mixes acoustic sax and trumpet passages with some groovier keyboards and electronic bits – all wrapped up in production that's tight, but never too slick to be funky! The album features a great take on Don's excellent "Theme From The French Connection" – plus great electric jazz covers of "Alone Again Naturally", "Superstar", "I Feel The Earth Move", "Roundabout", and "Lean On Me" – as well as album originals "Chain Reaction" and "Train To Get There". CD

Close matches36
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✨✧ Robin TrowerLive/For Earth Below ... CD
Chrysalis/BGO (UK), 1975/1976. Used ... Out Of Stock
... CD
(Out of print.)

Close matches37
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✨✧ Stanley TurrentineSugar/Gilberto With Turrentine/Salt Song (with bonus tracks) ... CD
BGO (UK), 1971. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
3 classic albums Stanley Turrentine! Sugar was a big hit for Stanley and a pretty darn nice record of extended groovers, with a harder sound than you might expect! The original record's only got three cuts – all done in a mode that sounds a lot more like harder Prestige sessions from the same time – that great period when the label was stretching out with some electric piano jazz funk. This version includes the bonus track "Gibraltar (alternate version)" on top of the album tracks "Sugar", "Sunshine Alley" & "Impressions". Butch Cornell's on organ, and his work on the album's part of its success, as is the nice hard drumming of Billy Kaye, who actually hits an Idris Muhammad-ish groove at parts! Gilberto With Turrentine is an incredible batch headlined by the lovely Astrud Gilberto – a rare effort for the CTI label that has her teaming up with arranger Eumir Deodato and Turrentine – and other players include Airto, Sivuca, Hubert Laws, and Dom Um Romao. Tracks include classic versions of "Ponteio", "Vera Cruz", and "Zazueira" that are all some of the most grooving takes on the tunes ever – plus "Historia De Amor", "Where There's A Heartache", "Brazilian Tapestry", and "Wanting Things". Salt Song is an amazing album from Turrentine – quite different than most of his other sessions for CTI, but in a really great way! Stan's playing here with arrangements from Deodato – in a swirling, Brazilian jazz influenced mode that's similar to their work together with Astrud Gilberto – save for the fact that this set's all instrumental, with Turrentine's tenor in the frontline! Instrumentation includes some great keyboards from Deodato and Richard Tee – plus guitar from Eric Gale – and tracks include "Gibraltar", "Salt Song", "I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do", and "Storm" – plus the bonus "Vera Cruz". CD

Close matches38
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✨✧ Arthur BlytheElaborations/Light Blue/Put Sunshine In It ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), Early 80s. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
A trio of 80s albums from saxophonist Arthur Blythe – brought together in a 2CD set! First up is Elaborations – a beautiful moment in which the loft jazz generation really got a chance to shine in the mainstream – and mostly without any sense of overdone attempts at commercialization! The album's a great summation of all the ideas that reedman Arthur Blythe was cooking up in the 70s underground – performed here with a hip group that includes Blythe on alto, Kelvyn Bell on guitar, Abdul Wadud on cello, Bobby Battle on drums, Bob Stewart on tuba, Wilbur Morris on bass, and Mohammad Abdullah on congas – some of them players who you might never have expected to be recording for Columbia Records! And yet the setting of the record doesn't interfere with their creativity at all – and instead, really seems to give Blythe and the group the sort of focus that only makes their ideas even better – on titles that include "Elaborations", "Metamorphosis", "Sister Daisy", "Shadows", and "The Lower Nile". Light Blue is a wonderful record from saxophonist Arthur Blythe – a set that features his group working through a number of tunes by Thelonious Monk – but with very different arrangements and instrumentation that change things up completely! The set came at a time when Monk was receiving a lot of new attention in the world of jazz, and at a time when Arthur's star had risen too – and the meeting of forces is wonderful – as Blythe brings all sorts of new rhythms and tonal combinations to play with familiar tunes that really transform in the process. The group is a familiar one for Blythe – and features Abdul Wadud on cello, Kelvyn Bell on guitar, Bob Stewart on tuba, and Bobby Battle on drums! And while you might scratch your head at the tuba, the instrument is often used in ways that might follow older bassline styles – but with a quality that bridges the alto and cello in a great way. Titles include "Nutty", "Coming On The Hudson", "Light Blue", "Epistrophy", and "We See". Put Sunshine In It is a record that really seems to live up to its title – as the sound here is maybe a little bit sunnier than on some of Arthur Blythe's previous albums! The record features heavy contributions from Todd Cochran – aka Bayete – who plays keyboards on most numbers, and introduces more of an electric vibe to the album than previous Blythe outings. The style isn't entirely fusion, but it's definitely warm and sunny – and Arthur responds as such with his solo work – a tight tighter and less edgey, but still nicely soulful. The album features a nice remake of the tune "Sentimental Walk" – from the movie Diva – plus the tracks "Uptown Strut", "Silhouette", "Put Sunshine In It", and "Tumalalumah". CD

Close matches39
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✨✧ Gary BurtonSomething's Coming/Groovy Sound Of Music/Time Machine ... CD
RCA/BGO (UK), 1964/1965/1966. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
A trio of excellent Gary Burton albums from the 60s – collected together in a single set! Something's Coming is the launch of vibist Gary Burton as a leader – a force in jazz that would continue strongly for decades to come! At the time of the record, Burton had already been making waves as a session player on the Nashville scene – where RCA had some especially strong ears – but he's launched here in a mode that's quite far from those roots, and already filled with those modern, chromatic modes that would have Burton pushing the sound of the vibes forward strongly throughout his career – even on an early record like this! The group is very like-minded, and well-chosen – players who are spacious and modern, but never too much so – a quartet with Jim Hall on guitar, Chuck Israels on bass, and Larry Bunker on drums. Titles include "Melanie", "Careful", "Six Improvisatory Sketches", "Something's Coming", and "Little Girl Blue". Next up is a very cool take on the music of Sound Of Music – handled with some help from arranger Gary McFarland, in a way that really unlocks the modal potentials of the tunes! As you might expect from the revolutionary vibist Gary Burton, the approach here is quite different than the usual jazz album of Broadway material – and instead, both Burton and McFarland do a heck of a lot to open up the coolest potential of the songs – as they bring in other hip players who include Bob Brookmeyer on trombone, Phil Woods on alto, Joe Puma on guitar, and Steve Swallow on bass. Titles include "An Ordinary Couple", "Sixteen Going On Seventeen", "Do Re Mi", "Edelweiss", and a great take on "My Favorite Things". Time Machine is filled with beautiful sounds from Gary Burton – a seminal 60s session that really has the vibist coming into his own, and finding that new path towards musical expression that would flower even more strongly in the 70s! The album has Burton really strengthening up his sense of chrome – matching the boldness of other important 60s vibes players on the rise – like Karel Velebny or Bobby Hutcherson – but also working this really special magic in the way he lets each note resonate in the air – often with a much longer decay on the sound than the actual moment of its creation! Burton also plays a bit of piano on the record, overdubbed with his vibes – but in a way that's quite different than the vibes/piano combo of earlier acts – like the MJQ, or George Shearing Quintet – thanks to work from Steve Swallow on bass and Larry Bunker on percussion. Tracks include "Six Nix Quix Flix", "The Sunset Bell", "Deluge", "Chega De Saudade", and "Falling Grace". CD

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✨✧ Incredible String BandChanging Horses ... CD
Elektra/BGO (UK), 1969. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A really beautiful album from Incredible String Band – a set that maybe lives up to the "changing horses" title just a bit, but which still really follows in the great legacy of the band's earlier albums too! There's maybe a very slight addition of electricity in a few spots – a bit of organ here, electric guitar there – but the core vibe is still very acoustic – and uses the very wide range of instruments the group had been experimenting with – a folk-plus lineup that includes world percussion elements, Chinese banjo, harmonica, vibes, sitar, and lots more alongside the more familiar instruments – and the great vocals of Robin Williamson and the rest of the group. Mike Heron's instrumental touches are still a key part of the group at the time – and titles include "Big Ted", "White Bird", "Dust Be Diamonds", "Sleepers Awake", and "Creation". CD

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✨✧ John JamesMorning Brings The Light/John James/Sky In My Pie/Head In The Clouds ... CD
Transatlantic/BGO (UK), Early 70s. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
Four fantastic albums from John James – an overlooked acoustic guitarist from the same British scene that gave us John Renbourn and Bert Jansch – but one who never fully got his due! James is featured here on four albums for the Transatlantic label from the early 70s – mostly spare sides that just feature his incredible skills on guitar alongside hauntingly understated vocals – a mode that really seems to recall Jansch in the late 60s, but with a different range of guitar tones and colors. The guitar work alone is wonderful – and like his friend and contemporary Stephan Grossman, who produced one of these records, James also seems to have a trans-historic approach that lets him work through many influences at once. 2CD set features a total of 49 tracks in all – more than correcting the lack of some of James' music on the reissue market – all of it beautifully remastered too! CD

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✨✧ Antonio Carlos JobimTide/Stone Flower ... CD
CTI/BGO (UK), Early 70s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A pair of CTI records gems from Antonio Carlos Jobim – back to back on a single CD! First up is Tide – an incredible record from the first off-key note to the last! The album's filled with some wonderfully moody LA studio sounds, arranged by Deodato, and a has a great swirling mix of sound that weaves around Jobim's lofty guitar and piano beautifully – complex, but still with the airy sense of space that Antonio Carlos first brought to his music in the 60s. From the very first note, you can feel the strange magic of Jobim and Deodato at work – as the album appears to be smooth and mellow, yet has a strangely unsettling undertone that keeps us coming back after all these years! Tracks include "Tema Jazz", "Carinhoso", "Rockanalia", and a nice remake of "Girl From Ipanema". Stone Flower is one of Antonio Carlos Jobim's greatest records – and a perfect blend of his subtle bossa genius with the moody electric sound of CTI! Jobim plays electric and acoustic piano, guitar, and sings a bit – and Deodato handled the arrangements with a breezy brilliance that matches all the magic of Jobim's wonderful compositions, but gives them a slightly more fluid feel too – in a way that's somewhat more sophisticated than the sound of Jobim's previous CTI outings – Tide and Wave. Other players on the album include Joe Farrell on soprano sax, Hubert Laws on flute, and Airto on percussion – and there's a great mix of Brazilian and American styles on the set – electric, sinister, breezy, and always wonderful! Includes the titles "Sabia", "God & The Devil In The Land Of The Sun", "Children's Games", "Stone Flower", "Brazil", "Tereza My Love", and "Choro". CD

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✨✧ JohnstonsBitter Green/Colours Of The Dawn/If I Sang My Song (bonus tracks) ... CD
Transatlantic/BGO (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
A trio of tremendous albums by The Johnstons – all recorded right around the start of the 70s, at a time when the group was moving into some even more heady territory than before! The Johnstons got their start as a more traditional Irish folk group, but like most of their British Isles contemporaries at the end of the 60s, they were able to find a way to bridge the ancient and the current – by this point mixing traditional material with some very well-chosen contemporary cuts, all of which really flower even more wonderfully in the beautiful male/female vocal style of the group – who can hit a warm blend that's almost like the west coast post-folk modes of the Sunshine Pop generation, but much more cerebral. Production is nicely stripped-down at most points – with a focus on acoustic instrumentation, but also some slight elements on the second two albums that almost remind us of the hipness of Warner/Reprise productions for this sort of material. 2CD set features all three albums, plus 11 more bonus tracks – with titles that include "Jesus Was A Carpenter", "The Story Of Isaac", "Bitter Green", "The Wind In My Hands", "Border Child", "Going Home", "The Life Of The Rover", "Won't You Come With Me", "Colours Of The Dawn", "Brightness She Came", and "Won't You Come With Me". 42 tracks in all! CD

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✨✧ Ramsey LewisDon't It Feel Good/Salongo/Tequila Mockingbird/Love Notes ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), Mid 70s. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
Sweet electric magic from Ramsey Lewis – four 70s albums in a single collection! First up is Don't It Feel Good – massive keyboard work from the great Ramsey Lewis – easily one of his best records ever, thanks to some spaciously funky production by Charles Stepney! Stepney plays keyboards here along with Ramsey, and the twin-keys approach makes for a sound that's extra-special – one that sums up all the earlier soulful creativity of both artists in their late 60s Cadet Records years, and hones it down to an even sweeter groove for the 70s! A number of tracks have some sort of vocal component, but usually in a chorus mode that soon drops out when the keyboards hit home – and the record features a few great short "interlude" tracks that are almost as great as the longer numbers! Titles include the classic "Juaacklyn", a cover of Earth Wind & Fire's "That's The Way Of The World", and the tracks "I Dig You", "Fish Bite", "Don't It Feel Good", "Something About You", and "Can't Function". Salongo is a tremendous little record, and one of the funky 70s sets that Ramsey Lewis recorded with Earth Wind & Fire! Well, not Earth Wind & Fire entirely – but the Kalimba Productions team of Maurice White and Charles Stepney that gave the group its sound – plus a nice sprinkling of other players that were often associated with sessions by the group! Ramsey's own combo here includes Steve Cobb on drums and vocals, and Derf Reklaw on reeds and vocals as well – and the overall sound has bits of African and Brazilian influences, worked into a soulful fusion groove that sounds a lot like the instrumental backings EWF were using at the time. Titles include "Brazilica", "Slick", "Rubato", "Salongo", and "Seventh Fold". Tequila Mockingbird is an overlooked gem from the Columbia Records years, filled with loads of great grooves, and some pretty mighty keyboards! Part of the record has Ramsey working with Larry Dunn of Kalimba Productions – getting plenty of the Earth Wind & Fire groove that made so much of his Columbia sessions sparkle – while the rest of the set has the great Bert DeCoteaux handling things, and giving Lewis just the right mix of sophistication and soul he was using with other Columbia acts at the time. The album's a perfect example of the way that Ramsey stepped way ahead of the pack during this time in his career – using keyboards and grooves together in ways that so many artists today are still trying to match – but never hit it this right! Titles include "Camino El Bueno", "Caring For You", "Intimacy", "That Ole Bach Music", "Skippin", "Tequila Mockingbird", and "Wandering Rose" – that cool cut by Neal Creque! Love Notes is a great little album of mid 70s funk from Ramsey Lewis – very much in the mode of his Earth, Wind, & Fire related work – no surprise, since the album's dedicated to Charles Stepney, whose influence was such a key part of the sound of the group, and of some of Ramsey's other Kalimba-produced albums from a few years before! Ramsey plays Fender Rhodes, mini moog, and Arp – and he gets help on keyboards from Stevie Wonder and Derf Reklaw, who also plays saxes and percussion on the set. Features versions of Wonder's "Love Notes" and "Spring High", plus Reklaw's "Chili Today Hot Tamale", "Shining", and "Stash Dash". CD

Close matches45
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✨✧ Narada Michael WaldenLooking At Me Looking At You/Nature Of Things/Divine Emotion ... CD
Atlantic/BGO (UK), Mid 80s. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
A trio of mid 80s albums from Narada Michael Walden – all together in one 2CD set! First up is Looking At You Looking At Me – an album with plenty of beats– so much so you might forget that Narada Michael Walden first rose to fame as a drummer – but all the electricity is fine with us, given the 80s groove sound of the set! There's a nice sense of energy that informs most of the tracks – a somewhat funky undercurrent that almost shows traces of the Minneapolis influence on soul at the time, but without a too-Prince sort of sound overall. There's also a few key ballads too – some gentler cuts that round out the set nicely, and which showcase the increasing confidence Walden's had with his vocals over the years. Titles include "Reach Out", "Looking At You Looking At Me", "Burning Up", "Shake It Off", "Dream Maker", and "Tina". Nature Of Things is a highly electric set from Narada Michael Walden – a mid 80s effort that's filled with catchy little tunes! The style's certainly more mainstream than we might have guessed, given Walden's early career – but it's still much better than most of the pop of its generation – thanks to Michael's strong jazz pedigree, which does seem to inform some of his arrangements and instrumental choices on the album. Most of the percussion is in the form of beats, but Walden's also credited with playing drums (roto-toms, perhaps?) – and in addition to his own lead vocals, the set also features work by Patti Austin and Marth Wash. Titles include "Live It Up", "Nature Of Things", "High Above The Clouds", "Gimme Gimme Gimme", "Suspicion", and "Dancin On Main Street". Divine Emotion is sweet 80s soul from Narada Michael Walden – a set that has the singer/drummer very confidently in the tight R&B territory that served him so well during the decade! As with previous records, there's a fair bit of 80s electronic elements in the mix – bursting, bubbling, and exploding with a joyful groove that really fits Walden's spirit – and serves to emphasize his ever-growing talent for penning at catchy tune! Titles include "Wild Thing", "Explosion", "Jam The Night", "Divine Emotions", "Can't Get You Outta My Head", "That's The Way I Feel About Cha", and "Certain Kind Of Lover". CD

Close matches46
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✨✧ YoungbloodsRock Festival/Ride The Wind/Good & Dusty ... CD
BGO (UK), 1970/1971. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
A trio of overlooked Warner Brothers albums from The Youngbloods! Rock Festival is a record with a bit of a joke on the cover, but one that's also got a much more mature version of The Youngbloods than just a few years before – a group who are moving past straighter folk, bringing in bits of psych and jazz elements – yet still also keeping their cool a lot more than most of their contemporaries! The mix of acoustic and electric elements is wonderful – these compressed guitar lines that are sometimes complex, sometimes flowing in waves – working with very inventive drums and percussion from Joe Bauer – who maybe even nods towards freer jazz styles at times. Piano is acoustic and electric, woven by Banana beautifully around the lead lyrics of Jesse Colin Young – on titles that include "It's A Lovely Day", "Sea Cow Boogie", "Misty Roses", "On Beautiful Lake Spenard", "Fiddler A Dram", and "Ice Bag". Ride The Wind is beautiful work from the Youngbloods – a mixture of folk rock and jazzy phrasing, very much in the same spirit of Tim Hardin or Tim Buckley, with a depth and complexity that's quite surprising, and which has held up surprisingly well over the years – almost more appealing now than when it was first recorded. The electric piano alone is worth the price of admission – jazzy in a way you won't find on the group's other records – and the album features a number of longer tracks – including a sublime reading of Fred Neil's "The Dolphin", and the cuts "Beautiful", "Sunlight", "Ride The Wind", and "Sugar Babe". Good & Dusty is an album that has The Youngbloods making a bit of shift in their sound – especially compared to the jazzier element of their previous album, Ride The Wind – with a move more towards the sorts of styles you'd expect from the "good & dusty" in the title! A number of the tunes are older numbers from the 50s and 60s – redone by the group with a mix of soul, rock, and folk elements – a bit like some of the hipper country-inspired acts of the time, but with the best sort of early 70s Warner vibe. The lineup is expanded past the previous trio – with added horns from Michael Kane, and some harmonica from Earthquake Anderson – and titles include "Drifting & Drifting", "Pontiac Blues", "Stagger Lee", "Circus Face", "I'm A Hog For You BAby", and "Light Shine". CD
 
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✨✧ Strauss (Johann & Josef)150 Years Wiener Philharmoniker 1929 to 1990 – Waltzes/Polkas – Abbado/Bohm/Furtwangler/Bgoskovsky/Karajan/Kleiber/Knapertsbusch/Krauss/Kr ... CD
Deutsche Grammophon, Late 20s/1930s/1940s/1950s/1960s/1970s/1980s. Used 2CD ... Out Of Stock
... CD
(BMG Direct pressing.)

Partial matches48
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✨✧ FallGrotesque (After The Gramme) ... LP
Superior Viaduct, 1980. New Copy ... $19.99
The first great punk rock album of the 80s! The Fall are at their ragged, blurry best on Grotesque (After The Gramme), with Marc E. Smith balancing bored, barbed witticism and coy sarcasm brilliantly over the bands patented tinny trudge. As with the Fall's other great albums, it's difficult to make out just Smith is saying most of the time, but you still get the point. So many indie rock bands owes the inspiration for their career to songs like "New Face In Hell" – and other tracks include "City Hobgoblins", "Put A Block", "Container Drivers", "Pay Your Rites", "Impression Of J. Temperance" and more. LP, Vinyl record album

Partial matches49
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ FallRough Trade Singles ... LP
Rough Trade/Superior Viaduct, Early 80s. New Copy ... $19.99
Fantastic early work from The Fall – some key singles issued by the Rough Trade label as 45s during the first few years of the group – already a great showcase for the mad wit of Mark E Smith! While we love the albums from this time, these singles are maybe the songs we go back to again and again – as they sometimes have surprisingly catchy hooks, even while maintaining an edge – and often resonate with that Smith sense of humor that sometimes takes a few listens to pick up on! Tracks include "Totally Wired", "Putta Block", "How I Wrote Elastic Man", "City Hobgoblins", "The Man Whose Head Expanded", "Ludd Gang", "Kicker Conspiracy", "Wings", "Container Drivers", and "New Puritan". LP, Vinyl record album

Partial matches50
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Grace JonesDisco Years (Portfolio/Fame/Muse/bonus tracks) (4LP 180 gram vinyl set – with bonus download) ... LP
Island (UK), Late 70s. New Copy 4LP ... $39.99
Some of the biggest moments of Grace Jones' career – the records that really helped her cross over big as a singer, and find a great home on the dancefloors of the disco generation! First up is the album Portfolio – a landmark little record from Grace Jones – a set that started off as one of those "hey, let's see if this model can sing" sort of records – but which has gone onto become an enduring classic! Most of the tunes are older ones, but they're remade with a soaring Sigma Sound groove by the best in Philly – taking sometimes-cloying lyrics and pushing them into hipper disco territory for the 70s – all with that odd wink and subtle sense of irony that would emerge more clearly in Jones' later records. Tom Moulton produced and mixed, and titles include "I Need A Man", "La Vie En Rose", "Sorry", "Tomorrow", "What I Did For Love", and "Send In The Clowns". Fame is a classic disco stormer from Grace Jones – recorded at Sigma Sound with a real Philly groove, thanks to arrangements from John Monster Davis – and produced with a full, soaring sound from the legendary Tom Moulton! The set may well be Grace's true club classic from the late 70s – a record that works both on the quirky levels of her early rise to fame, and on the more soulful expectations mainstream clubgoers had at the time – a beautiful balance that owes plenty to the input from Davis and Moulton! Titles include "Do Or Die", "Pride", "Fame", "Below The Belt", and "Am I Ever Gonna Fall In Love In New York City". Muse has Grace Jones still riding high on a disco wave here, but also finding her own space and sound too! The mighty Tom Moulton produced, ensuring some great sound for the set – and arrangements are by Thor Baldursson and John Davis, both of whom bring in nice sense of fullness, but never smother Grace too much – a key factor, given that her vocal approach is often a bit more restrained than some of the other disco divas of the time. There's less covers here than before, and Grace herself even penned some of the tunes. Titles include "Suffer", "Sinning", "Saved", "Atlantic City Gambler", "On Your Knees", and "Don't Mess With The Messer". Box set also features a full bonus album of all the rare mixes from singles – including "Sorry (disco mix)", "That's The Trouble (disco mix)", "I Need A Man (disco mix)", "La Vie En Rose (7" mix)", "Do Or Die (12" disco)", "Comme Un Oiseau Qui S'Envole (12" disco)", "On Your Knees (12" disco)", and "Don't Mess With The Messer (12" version)". Also features a booklet of notes, new mastering, 180 gram vinyl, and a great box! LP, Vinyl record album
(Includes download!)

Partial matches51
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
VariousModern Jazz Dance Classics Vol 1 ... LP
Staubgold (Germany), New Copy ... About February 5, 2019
... LP, Vinyl record album

Partial matches52
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ FallGrotesque (After The Gramme) ... CD
Sanctuary, 1980. Used ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
The first great punk rock album of the 80s! The Fall are at their ragged, blurry best on Grotesque (After The Gramme), with Marc E. Smith balancing bored, barbed witticism and coy sarcasm brilliantly over the bands patented tinny trudge. As with the Fall's other great albums, it's difficult to make out just Smith is saying most of the time, but you still get the point. So many indie rock bands owes the inspiration for their career to songs like "New Face In Hell" – and other tracks include "City Hobgoblins", "Put A Block", "Container Drivers", "Pay Your Rites", "Impression Of J. Temperance" and more. 2 bonus singles in this edition, both great – "How I Wrote The Elastic Man", and "Totally Wired". CD
Also available Grotesque (After The Gramme) ... LP 19.99

Partial matches53
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Dave DouglasBrazen Heart – Live At Jazz Standard (8CD set) ... CD
Greenleaf, 2018. New Copy 8 CDs ... Out Of Stock
A tremendous tribute to the ever-evolving genius of jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas – and a super-expanded live set that puts Dave in the company of classic players like John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, or Dexter Gordon – whose extended live expressions never fail to hold our imagination! The 8CDs of material here were recorded over four nights in 2015 – with Dave's trumpet in the same company as his excellent group on the Brazen Heart album – Jon Irabgon on tenor, Linda Oh on bass, Rudy Royston on drums, and Matt Mitchell on piano – a superb lineup that balances individual expressions with a really coherent sense of soul in the group. Many tunes repeat from night to night, but the solos and conception changes nicely – as you'd find in a box of this nature by John Coltrane – and the whole thing offers up a heck of a bang for your record-buying buck! CD

Partial matches54
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Kurt EllingLive In Chicago ... CD
Blue Note, 2000. Used ... Out Of Stock
We think this guy's one of the best new jazz vocalist to emerge over the past decade, and this album – his 4th for Blue Note – is far and away his best! The album was recorded live at Chicago's Green Mill nightclub – with nice small combo backing by Laurence Hobgood, Rob Amster, and Michael Raynor, plus guest horn work by Von Freeman, Eddie Johnson, and Ed Peterson. Kahil El'Zabar also plays percussion, and Jon Hendricks joins in on vocals a bit. But the best part is Elling's voice – which is a sweet mix between Mark Murphy at his best, and earlier vocalese masters, like Hendricks or Joe Lee Wilson. The album features mostly straight-ahead jazz vocalizing – with little of the hipster monologues that have ruined other Elling albums – and it includes an incredible version of Wayne Shorter's "Night Dreamer", plus the cuts "Oh My God", "Esperanto", "My Foolish Heart", "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", and the King Pleasure classic "Don't Get Scared". A real treat – especially if you like Cleveland Watkiss' Green Chimneys album, or any of the good Mark Murphy recordings for Muse! CD
(Out of print.)

Partial matches55
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Grace JonesFame ... LP
Island, 1978. Used Gatefold ... Out Of Stock
A classic disco stormer from Grace Jones – recorded at Sigma Sound with a real Philly groove, thanks to arrangements from John Monster Davis – and produced with a full, soaring sound from the legendary Tom Moulton! The set may well be Grace's true club classic from the late 70s – a record that works both on the quirky levels of her early rise to fame, and on the more soulful expectations mainstream clubgoers had at the time – a beautiful balance that owes plenty to the input from Davis and Moulton! Titles include "Do Or Die", "Pride", "Fame", "Below The Belt", and "Am I Ever Gonna Fall In Love In New York City". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has a cut corner.)
 
 
 



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