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Close matches: 11
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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Donald Byrd & The BlackbyrdsJazz Funk Collection (3CD set) ... CD
Robinsongs (UK), 1970s/Early 80s. New Copy 3 CDs ... $26.99 30.99
An amazing tribute to some of the greatest jazz funk of the 70s – the groundbreaking work of trumpeter Donald Byrd, both as a solo act on his own, and as the inspiration for the mighty Blackbyrds group – both of whom are featured on this set! Byrd first broke into new territory in the early 70s with a string of amazing records on Blue Note – all done with help from genius producer Larry Mizell, who helped Byrd's trumpet find a way to groove in an electric space, but at a level that was very different (and a lot more soulful) than any sort of Miles Davis electric modes! This work quickly inspired a young group at Howard University, who chose the name Blackbyrds as a nod to Donald – who quickly became their mentor and producer, and helped them forge a great blend of jazz and funk before they took off on their own. This set features 39 tracks from both artists, illustrating a fantastic partnership and shared musical inspiration – with work from Byrd's Blue Note and Wea albums, and all the great Blackbyrds records for Fantasy in the 70s. Titles include Donald Byrd tracks "Dominoes", "Black Byrd", "Lansana's Priestess", "Wind Parade", "Flying High", "Thank You For Funking Up My Life", "Onward Til Morning", "Dance Band", "Science Funktion", "Dominoes", "Flight Time", "Witch Hunt", "Stepping Into Tomorrow", "Sexy Dancer (12" mix)", "Star Trippin (12" mix)", "Pretty Baby", "Giving It Up", and "Dancing In The Street". Blackbyrds cuts include "Blackbyrd's Theme", "Do It Fluid", "Flying High", "Cornbread", "Time Is Movin", "Happy Music", "Rock Creek Park", "Walkin In Rhythm", "Lookin Ahead", "Street Games", "Gut Level", "Party Land", and "Supernatural Feeling". CD

Close matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Jimmy CastorButt Of Course/Supersound/E-Man Groovin (with bonus track) ... CD
Atlantic/Robinsongs (UK), 1974/1975/1976. New Copy 2 CDs ... $14.99 20.99
A trio of albums from Jimmy Castor – complete with bonus tracks too! First up is Butt Of Course – a funky funky classic from Jimmy Castor – a set that kicked off a tight run of records for Atlantic – and which firmly established his rep as a master of 70s funk! The sound of the set follows nicely from Jimmy's work on RCA – some of the fuzzy "Troglodyte" guitar work of those years, lots of earthy rhythms on the bottom, and Castor's trademark sense of wit – which was firmly in place even during his Latin Soul years! There's a few smoother, sweeter moments too – but these all come off nicely – and as always, Castor's a one-man soul music machine – able to handle plenty of sounds and styles with effortless ease! Titles include "Bertha Butt Boogie", "E Man Boogie", "Hallucinations", "Let's Party Now", "Potential", and "One Precious World". On Supersound, Jimmy Castor bursts forward with a groove that's different than his fuzzier work for RCA Records, but still equally funky throughout! Castor's still quite the multi-instrumentalist on the record – as in addition to singing lead, he plays plenty of soprano sax and timbales – the latter of which have this great skittish energy that really pushes the grooves forward strongly! And although the timbales are quite different than in Jimmy's earlier Latin work from the late 60s, there's a definite Latin-izing element in the way they're used – kind of an "it's not heavy enough – let's add more percussion" approach to the core 70s funk styles of the combo! Tunes are nicely quirky, and have a sense of humor in keeping with the cover – and titles include "Magic In The Music", "Supersound", "Bom Bom", "King Kong", and "A Groove Will Make You Move". E Man Groovin is a great extension of the funky style that Castor first started forging at RCA – touches with plenty of Jimmy's multi-instrumental touches on tenor, alto, and timbales – and given that great monster-inspired approach to lyrics – which ensures that the whole thing stays plenty vivid throughout! Vocals are nice and rough, and the instrumentation is heavy on basslines and clavinet – on titles that include the two part "Dracula", plus "Super Love", "I Love A Mellow Groove", "E Man Groovin", "I Don't Want To Lose You", and "Space Age". 2CD set features bonus tracks – "Space Age (12" disco version)", "King Kong (part 1)", "Supersound (7" version)", "The Christmas Song", "Merry Christmas", and "Bertha Butt Boogie (7" version)". CD

Close matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Con Funk ShunConfunkshunizeya – The Mercury Anthology ... CD
Mercury/Robinsongs (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99 20.99
Super-sharp work from Con Funk Shun – one of the best of the mainstream funk acts to emerge in the second half of the 70s – working with the sort of style that was trained in the funky 45 underground, then given a bigger, fuller push to album-length glory! The set is a superb selection of their work for Mercury records – and the tracks here also really show why Con Funk Shun were always a cut above – as they had a way of bringing strong soul vocals to play that often illuminated the tunes very strongly – especially when the group would harmonize together. The set features 32 tracks in all – including "So Easy", "Chase Me", "Ffun (12" mix)", "Confunkshunizeya", "Loveshine", "Shake & Dance With Me", "Sure Feels Good To Me", "Electric Lady", "Burnin Love", "Can You Feel The Groove Tonight", "Ms Got The Body", "By Your Side", "Bad Lady", "California 1", "Too Tight", "Lady's Wild", "Let Me Put Love On Your Mind", "Who Has The Time", "Ain't Nobody Baby", and "Got To Be Enough". CD

Close matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Con Funk ShunTouch/7/To The Max (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Mercury/Robinsongs (UK), 1980/1981/1982. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99 20.99
A trio of early 80s efforts from Con Funk Shun in a 2CD set – with bonus tracks! Touch is a killer from the group – one of the few mainstream funk groups who actually managed to sound better and better with each new record – and on this set, they really seem to come into their own! Titles include "Too Tight", "Lady's Wild", "Give Your Love To Me", "Kidnapped", "Welcome Back To Love", "Touch", and "Play Widit". Includes 2 bonus tracks: "Lady's Wild (12" Version)" and "Body Lovers (12" Version)". 7 is not the group's 7th album, but a bold statement of the unity they feel as a 7 piece ensemble – perfectly lived up to in the record's well-crafted grooves! The album's one of Con Funk Shun's best overall – really solid, but never too slick, very tight in the bass department, but still soulful on the vocal tip, and never afraid to slip into a sweeter, more mellow tune. Titles include "Straight From The Heart", "Bad Lady", "Promise You Love", "I'll Get You Back", "A Song For You", and "California 1". To The Mix has snapping grooves and a sweet clubby sound. The bass is tight, the keyboards are electric, and the rhythms are great – never forced or stiff, and always flowing with a sense of soul that's head and shoulders above most of the group's contemporaries. Vocals are strong too – especially on the numbers that step things down a few notches – and titles include "Ms Got The Body", "Let's Ride & Slide", "Everlove", "Hide & Freak", "You Are The One", "Take It To The Max", "The Freak", and "Love's Train". Includes the bonus "Ms Got The Body (12" Version)" and an instrumental version. CD

Close matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Rodney FranklinIn The Center/You'll Never Know/Rodney Franklin/Endless Flight (bonus track) ... CD
Columbia/Robinsongs (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy 2CD ... $12.99
Four soulful fusion classics from keyboardist Rodney Franklin – all together in a single set! First up is In The Center – wonderful keyboard work from the amazing Rodney Franklin – a player who sounds equally great on acoustic and electric piano! This album does a wonderful job of mixing them both – showing Rodney's more sensitive side on a few acoustic numbers, but then really taking off in a much more groove-based mode for the electric ones – which have a soaring, spacious style that's in that best blend of fusion and soul that was going down at Columbia in the late 70s – but with some spacier Bob James touches too! Most of the cuts were arranged by Byron Olsen, who's got an equally sensitive ear as Franklin – and although there's a bit of vocals on the record, most of the focus is on instrumental grooves – especially Rodney's work on the keys. Titles include the classics "I Like The Music Make It Hot", "Spanish Flight", and "On The Path" – plus "Yours", "Life Moves On", and the extended "Spring Suite". You'll Never Know is fully-formed genius from the amazing Rodney Franklin – one of the best keyboard stars to emerge from the late 70s scene! Franklin's got a great talent for balancing influences from jazz and soul in ways that are similar to contemporaries George Duke and Bobby Lyle – and like both of those players, he still stands strong in jazz, but makes some key nods to soul music on this set – adding in a bit of vocals where needed, and moving into some R&B-drenched fusion lines that all sound pretty darn hip! As on previous records, Rodney plays both acoustic and electric keys – blending them wonderfully for a very deep sound – and the group behind him features some especially nice work on reeds, which bring sharper edges to some of the best tracks on the set. There's a wonderfully deep feel to the whole thing – way more than you'd expect for a major label release at the time – and titles include "Felix Leo", "The Watcher", "The Groove", "Journey", "You'll Never Know", "Return", and "Parkay Man". Next is the self-titled Rodney Franklin – tremendous work from Rodney Franklin – one of our favorite soulful fusion players from the end of the 70s! The album's a keyboard delight through and through – and Rodney plays both acoustic and electric piano, often on the same track – which creates this nicely expanded sound that works well with the album's tight arrangements! There's a fair bit of soul in the mix too – some rhythms that make a few numbers great groovers, courtesy of Tom Tom arrangements – and some other full moments handled by Patrick Williams. Titles include a wonderful version of "Windy City" – the cut you might know from a classic Carl Davis recording – plus "On The Path", "I Like The Music Make It Hot", "Life Moves On", "Creation", and "In The Center". Endless Flight is a brilliant mix of jazz, soul, and fusion – smoothed together nicely, but never in a way that's slick or commercial! Franklin's got a keen ear that lets him sit on both sides of the fence wonderfully – in a way that so many other players tried in later years, but never managed to do without losing their groove or selling out too much. Part of the strength of the album is the way that it mixes together acoustic and electric keys from track to track – deepening the spirit of the album through a good sense of pacing and mood, and also offsetting vocal tracks with some key instrumental numbers. Tom Washington produced and heavily helped in the arrangements – and titles include "Vibrations", "Benetta", "Cancion Para Mi Mama", "Dance Tonight", "Endless Flight", "Return To The Source", "Mensaje De Dios", and a surprisingly great funky take on "Hill Street Blues". Includes one bonus track – "The Groove (single version)". CD

Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Mass ProductionWelcome To Our World Of Merry Music – The Definitive Collection (3CD set) ... CD
Cotillion/Robinsongs (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy 3 CDs ... $22.99
A fantastic collection of grooves from Mass Production – one of the best of the large funk ensembles to hit the mainstream at the end of the 70s – even though they didn't always get the success they deserved! That doesn't stop these guys from giving their all, though – super-sharp, super-tight instrumentation that comes down on the groove right from the get-go – and which moves with a fast funk energy that's a nice contrast to some of the stiffer, clunkier modes that were floating around at the time! These guys inherit the best impulses of Earth Wind & Fire and Kool & The Gang – and find a way to make their large lineup sound nice and lean, never too overcooked – with shifting vocals that really help keep things interesting throughout. The 3CD package features 45 tracks from their seven year stretch recording for Atlantic/Cotillion Records – and titles include "Sky High", "Groove Me", "Our Thought", "Bopp", "Turn Up The Music", "Diamond Chips", "Inner City", "Sun Dancer", "Victory 83", "Magic", "I Like To Dance", "Welcome To Our World", "Slow Bump", "Time Bomb", "Keep My Heart Together", "Cosmic Lust", "I Believe In Music", "Fun In The Sun", "Just Wanna Make A Dream Come True", "Firecracker", and "Eknuf (inst)". CD

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
WhispersWhisper In Your Ear/Whispers/Imagination (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Solar/Robinsongs (UK), 1979/1980. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99 20.99
A trio of classic albums from The Whispers – with bonus tracks too! On the first set, the mighty group does way more here than just Whisper in your ear – as they're completely on top of their game, ending the 70s with a wickedly sharp sound that would help them stand strong for years to come! The group started in fragile harmony soul modes, grew with confidence in the 70s, hit a bit of a dancefloor mode – and here step off with this mature style that's totally wonderful – the best of all worlds together as one – shaped by arrangements from Tom Tom 84, Gene Page, and Keni Burke! Titles include "Whisper In Your Ear", "Homemade Lovin'", "If I Don't Get Your Love", "Love At Its Best", "Can't Do Without Love", and "Pretty Lady". The 1979 Whispers album was one of a few to bear the group's name as its title – and it's also one of our favorite albums by The Whispers – a later gem with some really great songs, and a sound that shows the group strongly moving into hit territory! In some way, the album's almost a return to the mellow harmony soul of the group's roots – slowing down the pace from the disco years to craft some extremely great ballads and midtempo numbers. There's still a bunch of great club tracks too – like the classic "And The Beat Goes On" – but in a way, our favorite tracks are the mellower ones, like "Lady", "I Love You", and the sublime, "A Song For Donny", a tribute to the late Donny Hathaway, written around the music of his classic "This Christmas". On Imagination, the group takes off from the Philly groove style of their late 70s work, moving into a style that picks up all the best touches of the early 80s LA sound – electro keyboards, but not too much; quiet storm production, but not so much so that the album's smothered in it; and a professional approach to harmonies and songwriting that showed that the group was still an unstoppable force in soul music! Includes "Imagination", "It's A Love Thing", "Say You", "I Can Make It Better" and "Up On Soul Train". Bonus tracks include an instrumental of "Song For Donny" – plus 7" mixes of "Can't Do Without Love", "Can You Do The Boogie", "And The Beat Goes On", "It's A Love Thing", and "I Can Make It Better". CD

Close matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Wilton FelderWe All Have A Star/Inherit The Wind ... CD
ABC/Robinsongs (UK), 1978/1980. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A pair of albums from saxophonist Wilton Felder – back to back on a single CD! We All Have A Star offers up solo sounds from Crusaders reedman Wilton Felder – a really great set that's very much in the best vibe of his larger group at the time – yet one that also offers up a stronger focus on Wilton's sublime solo work on tenor! The album's got plenty of Crusaders help on board – given that Stix Hooper and Joe Sample produced the set along with Wilton – and the vibe's a wonderful blend of electric backings, with especially great keyboard lines, and Felder's well-phrased saxophone lines over the top! A few cuts feature vocals – sung by Angela Bryant or Debbie Demoia Ross – and titles include "We All Have A Star", "I Know Who I Am", "The Cycles Of Time", "Why Believe", "Ride On", and "You & Me & Ecstasy". Inherit The Wind is one of the best Crusaders-related solo projects – a soulful bit of fusion from saxophonist Wilton Felder, co-produced with his fellow Crusaders! The album's got the best sunny finish of the group's late 70s albums – traces of Latin, funk, and soul bubbling through a warm jazzy mix – staying soulful all the way through, and coming up with a sound that's smooth, but never sleepy. The blueprint for a million other records – none of which ever sounded this good! Titles include "Insight", "LA Light", "Until The Morning Comes", "Someday We'll All Be Free", and "Inherit The Wind". CD

Close matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Wilton FelderWe All Have A Star/Inherit The Wind ... CD
ABC/Robinsongs (UK), 1978/1980. Used ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A pair of albums from saxophonist Wilton Felder – back to back on a single CD! We All Have A Star offers up solo sounds from Crusaders reedman Wilton Felder – a really great set that's very much in the best vibe of his larger group at the time – yet one that also offers up a stronger focus on Wilton's sublime solo work on tenor! The album's got plenty of Crusaders help on board – given that Stix Hooper and Joe Sample produced the set along with Wilton – and the vibe's a wonderful blend of electric backings, with especially great keyboard lines, and Felder's well-phrased saxophone lines over the top! A few cuts feature vocals – sung by Angela Bryant or Debbie Demoia Ross – and titles include "We All Have A Star", "I Know Who I Am", "The Cycles Of Time", "Why Believe", "Ride On", and "You & Me & Ecstasy". Inherit The Wind is one of the best Crusaders-related solo projects – a soulful bit of fusion from saxophonist Wilton Felder, co-produced with his fellow Crusaders! The album's got the best sunny finish of the group's late 70s albums – traces of Latin, funk, and soul bubbling through a warm jazzy mix – staying soulful all the way through, and coming up with a sound that's smooth, but never sleepy. The blueprint for a million other records – none of which ever sounded this good! Titles include "Insight", "LA Light", "Until The Morning Comes", "Someday We'll All Be Free", and "Inherit The Wind". CD
(Out of print.)

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ JBsFood For Thought/Doing It To Death/Damn Right I Am Somebody ... CD
People/Robinsongs (UK), Early 70s. New Copy 2CD ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Essential funk in a single set – three killer albums from James Brown's legendary backing group! First up is Food For Thought – the classic first album by The JBs – James Brown's Fred Wesley-led backing band, and the force behind most of his greatest records of the early 70s! The band are incredible at this point – sharper, harder, and funkier than just about any other combo around – and that includes all the thousands of groups in the funky 45 underground who were always trying to copy their sound, but never got things this right! Not only are the rhythms the stuff of legend – but the use of the instruments is far far above the norm – as can be heard on the mindblowing "The Grunt", which was sampled heavily by Public Enemy to great fame – and which features a saxophone solo that sounds more like a whistling tea kettle! The set collects some of the group's best early singles, and includes all of the short little funky cuts that made them a legend right out of the box – "Pass the Peas", "The Grunt", "These Are The JBs", "Hot Pants Road", "Wine Spot", "To My Brother", "Blessed Blackness", "Theme From King Heroin", "Escapism (parts 1 & 2), and "Gimme Some More" – all together here in one tight little album of massive funky hard beats and breaks! Doing It To Death is an incredible album – a landmark piece of funk that nobody should be without, funk fan or not! The album is the second to feature James Brown's famous backing combo of the early 70s – and unlike their first one, which was really more of a collection of singles, this album has the group playing hard, long, and loud, in the free funk improvisational mode that was James' real contribution to the music at the time. The tracks are all incredibly long, with James at the forefront, egging the band on with shouts and comments – but also letting them open up large instrumentally, playing in a mode that's as much jazz as it is funky soul. The whole thing's peppered with some nice shorter segues between tracks – but the long cuts are the winners, and are some of the best funk ever recorded! Titles include "Mo Peas", "Doing It To Death", "La Di Da La Di Day", "You Can Have Watergate, Just Gimme Some Bucks & I'll Be Straight", and "Sucker". Last up is Damn Right I Am Somebody – quite possibly our favorite record by the JBs, ever! The set starts with a wonderful conversational bit – rapping and musing on the idea of "Damn Right, I Am Somebody" – showing the group in a political and righteous mode for the first time ever. The grooves then kick in – with the same heavy funk as on earlier records, but also a nice nod towards experimental production – from strange fade ups and fade downs, to stark time and rhythm changes, and even bits of electronics used to create some very cool moments in the grooves! The whole thing's as dead funky as can be, and is stuffed with insane classics like "Blow Your Head", "Same Beat", "Damn Right I am Somebody", "I'm Payin' Taxes, What am I Buyin'", and a great cover of Marvin Gaye's "You Sure Love to Ball"! CD

Close matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Level 42Complete Polydor Years Vol 1 – 1980 to 1984 (Level 42/Pursuit Of Accidents/Standing In The Light/True Colors/bonus tracks) (10CD set) ... CD
Polydor/Robinsongs (UK), Early 80s. New Copy 10CD ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
An insanely big collection of work from Level 42 – a British group from the 80s who were equal parts soul and pop, but also had a strongly jazzy current as well! These guys leapt onto the international scene from the British one in the mid 80s – thanks to a soulful core that not only made them a nice change from some of the lighter English pop of the period, but which also made the group play surprisingly well with American soul audiences too – thanks in part to the currents of jazz and richer elements that they brought to their music. Level 42 clearly have a love of fusion, but find a way to fit it into a tighter groove that's topped with bright blue-eyed soul vocals – all of which really comes through strongly here on this huge first chapter of the group's career. They were clearly working like mad during the early 80s – as the set features the full albums Level 42, The Pursuit Of Accidents, Standing In The Light, and True Colors, plus lots more 12" singles, remixes, 7" singles, b sides, live recordings, and even some early tapes from 1980 too. The package features 94 tracks in all, plus great notes too! CD
 
 
 



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