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Close matches: 25
Close matches1
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Stanley CowellMusa ... LP
Strata East, 1974. Near Mint- Gatefold ... $29.99
A solo piano set from Strata East mainman Stanley Cowell – but a record that's got enough soul and spirituality to rival a full group recording! Although working alone here, Cowell's touch on the keys is astounding – often flowing and highly rhythmic, with a pulsating sense of energy that makes even the mellower tracks sparkle with soulful imagination. A number of tracks are intimate explorations of themes heard more famously on albums done with Charles Tolliver – but which come alive in a whole new way here in Stanley's solo setting! Most work here is on acoustic piano, but Cowell also picks up the electric keys for the tune "Travelin Man" – done here as an overdubbed "duet", and one of the hippest tunes on the entire record! Other titles include "Abscretions", "Equipoise", "Prayer For Peace", "Departure No 2", "Sweet Song", and "Emil Danenberg". LP, Vinyl record album
(2018 Dutch reissue on Everland. Cover is lightly bent at the bottom right.)

Close matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Stanley CowellRegeneration (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Strata East/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1976. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)... $34.99 44.99
One of the greatest records ever recorded by pianist Stanley Cowell – a leading light on the legendary Strata East label! The album's one of Cowell's most searching, spiritual sets ever – and one of his few to feature a larger ensemble, working with all the righteous currents of the best Strata East years! The group shifts a bit from track to track, giving things a nice sense of variety – and players include Marion Brown on wooden flute, Jimmy Heath on alto and flute, Nadi Quamar on percussion, and Bill Lee on bass – and the set also features some vocals from Charles Fowlkes and Glenda Barnes. Cowell plays some mbira on the classic "Travelin' Man", a beautifully mellow number done with thumb piano and vocals, almost in a Heath Brothers Strata mode – and other tracks include "Lullabye", "Thank You My People", "Trying To Find A Way", and "The Gehmbhre". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition 180 gram pressing!)

Close matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Shamek FarrahFirst Impressions (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Strata East/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1974. New Copy (reissue)... $34.99 44.99
One of the hardest to find records on Strata East, and one of the best – a darkly-crafted session of pure beauty, one that lives up to all the best promise of the label! The tracks are long, the sound is bold, and the whole thing moves at a pace that none of the bigger jazz labels were matching at the time – the most righteous, most expressive side of jazz in the mid 70s! Alto player Shamek Farrah is at the lead of a unique group that features Norman Person on trumpet, Milton Suggs on bass, and Sonelius Smith on piano – plus lots of additional drums and percussion, especially on side two of the album, which features some really righteous numbers! Titles include the massive bass sample track "First Impressions" – a symphony of dark, descending chord structures – plus "Meterologicly Tuned", "Watch What Happens Now", and "Umoja Suite". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition 180 gram pressing!)

Close matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
John HicksHells Bells (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Strata East/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1975. New Copy (reissue)... $34.99 44.99
One of the first albums as a leader from pianist John Hicks – a record that really set the tone for countless great sides to come – and which follows on years of great work with Art Blakey, Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley, Charles Tolliver, and other soulful jazz giants! This set was Hicks' only date for the Strata East label – and has an open, flowing vibe that's very much in keeping with the imprint – and which is maybe a bit different than his later, more familiar material! Part of the strength of the record is bassist Clint Houston – who's completely sublime throughout, and has a way of shaping his notes with this depth that seems to set Hicks free to fly across the keys of the piano on these very long original tunes. Drummer Cliff Barbaro is also part of the trio – and can wind things up when needed, but also lay back and allow some great interplay between Houston and Hicks – on beautiful long tunes that include "Hells Bells", "Avojca", "Yemenja", and "Angie's Tune". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition 180 gram pressing!)

Close matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
John HicksSteadfast (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Strata East/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1975. New Copy (reissue)... $34.99 44.99
Beautiful solo work from John Hicks – one of the few straight pianists that can hold our attention in a setting like this for so long – a record that's maybe a bit more conventional than some of the other releases on the Strata East label from the 70s, but equally filled with a sense of spirit and soul! The album's deeply introspective, but never overindulgent – and features Hicks on a variety of short numbers that include some beautiful lyrical originals, and a few very well chosen standards. Titles include "Pensativa", "One For John Mixon", "Soul Eyes", "The Bright Eyes", "Serenade", "Hamp's Dance", "Lush Life", and "Steadfast". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition 180 gram pressing – first time on vinyl!)

Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Shirley ScottOne For Me ... LP
Strata East/ARC (UK), 1974. New Copy (reissue)... Temporarily Out Of Stock
One of the coolest albums ever recorded by female organist Shirley Scott – a very hip set that's got a very different flavor than her earlier work for Prestige and Impulse Records! As you might guess for a date issued on the Strata East label, the approach here is very soulful, and very far-reaching – much longer, looser tracks than Shirley Scott ever served up before – done with superb accompaniment from Harold Vick on tenor – a player who's also at his hippest here, and really showing off all the many changes in his style that he'd picked up since the 60s! All tracks are originals, and the group features Billy Higgins on drums and Jimmy Hopps on some additional cowbell – leaving Shirley to handle the bass parts with her Hammond, in a way that is groovier and more rhythmic than some of her work in the past. A gem through and through – with titles that include "What Makes Harold Sing", "Do You Know A Good Thing When You See One", "Big George", "Keep On Movin On", and "Don't Look Back". LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Charles BrackeenRhythm X – The Music Of Charles Brackeen (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Strata East/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1973. New Copy (reissue)... Out Of Stock
The only album ever cut as a leader by tenor saxophonist Charles Brackeen during his early years – and a real standout in the catalog of the legendary Strata East label! The set's got an unusual history – in that it's part of the Dolphy Series, recorded before the label started by Clifford Jordan – as a way of giving a strong showcase to so many new ideas that were bursting in jazz during the late 60s! Here, Brackeen's tenor is set up with a trio of musicians most familiarly associated with Ornette Coleman – Don Cherry on trumpet, Charlie Haden on bass, and Ed Blackwell on drums – a unit that's completely on fire, and freer than before – yet each graced with such strong individuality, every aspect of the record is a complete delight. Brackeen is amazing (why the hell didn't he record more like this at the time?) – but the bass, trumpet, and drums are all very distinct too – the perfect power of free improvisation when it's done right. Titles include "Rhythm X", "Hour Glass", "CB Blues", and "Charles Concept". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition 180 gram pressing!)

Close matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Brother AhhSound Awareness ... CD
Strata East/Manufactured, 1972. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A very trippy album from the enigmatic Brother Ahh – aka Robert Northern, former member of Sun Ra's Arkestra, and also a lecturer on the east coast! This album's his first, originally issued on the Strata East label – and a spacey mixture of other-worldly sounds. The first long track on the album is entitled "Beyond Yourself (The Midnight Confession)", and features a group with Ahh on flutes and "natural" sounds, plus cello by Pat Dixon, percussion by Barbara Burton, and soprano voice by Barbara Grant. The track's a "sound journey in 7 parts" – floating across space with a mystical feel that slowly unfurls. The other long track on the set is "Love Piece", a tune in which Ah plays flute along with percussion by Max Roach and the M'Boom percussion ensemble – plus a 90-voice chorus, and a short rap by Roach. Very spiritual stuff! CD

Close matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Brother AhhSound Awareness ... LP
Strata East/Manufactured, 1972. New Copy (reissue)... Out Of Stock
A very trippy album from the enigmatic Brother Ah – aka Robert Northern, former member of Sun Ra's Arkestra, and also a lecturer on the east coast. This album's his first, originally issued on the Strata East label – and a space mixture of other-worldly sounds. The first long track on the album is entitled "Beyond Yourself (The Midnight Confession)", and features a group with Ah on flutes and "natural" sounds, plus cello by Pat Dixon, percussion by Barbara Burton, and soprano voice by Barbara Grant. The track's a "sound journey in 7 parts" – floating across space with a mystical feel that slowly unfurls. The other long track on the set is "Love Piece", a tune in which Ah plays flute along with percussion by Max Roach and the M'Boom percussion ensemble – plus a 90-voice chorus, and a short rap by Roach. Very spiritual stuff! LP, Vinyl record album
(Volume 1 in the Brother Ahh series!)

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Stanley CowellMusa (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Strata East/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1974. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)... Out Of Stock
A solo piano set from Strata East mainman Stanley Cowell – but a record that's got enough soul and spirituality to rival a full group recording! Although working alone here, Cowell's touch on the keys is astounding – often flowing and highly rhythmic, with a pulsating sense of energy that makes even the mellower tracks sparkle with soulful imagination. A number of tracks are intimate explorations of themes heard more famously on albums done with Charles Tolliver – but which come alive in a whole new way here in Stanley's solo setting! Most work here is on acoustic piano, but Cowell also picks up the electric keys for the tune "Travelin Man" – done here as an overdubbed "duet", and one of the hippest tunes on the entire record! Other titles include "Abscretions", "Equipoise", "Prayer For Peace", "Departure No 2", "Sweet Song", and "Emil Danenberg". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition 180 gram pressing!)
Also available Musa ... LP 29.99

Close matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Ensemble Al-SalaamSojourner ... LP
Strata East/P-Vine (Japan), 1974. New Copy (reissue)... Out Of Stock
Sublime spiritual jazz from Strata East – one of the label's rarest recordings, and one of its hippest too! The set has an incredibly righteous feel – a blend of keyboards, saxes, guitar, percussion, and vocals that steps off with a very deep feel – one that's heavy on the best post-Coltrane modes of expression in jazz, and which really takes advantage of the freedoms of the Strata setting to open up the sound in really beautiful ways! Beatrice Parker handles the vocals, with a very warm and spiritual style that's not unlike some of the early, righteous recordings by Dee Dee Bridgewater – and other group members include Khaliq Abdul Al Rouf on saxes, Bevin Turnbull on keyboards, Mashujaa Aliye Salamu on guitar, Leroy Seals on bass, and Fred Kwaku Crawley on a host of hip percussion instruments. There's a slight undercurrent of funk on a few tunes, but most tracks are focused more in a soaring, spiritual groove – with titles that include "Circles", "The Sojourner", "Peace (Salaam)", "Traces Of Trane", "Ecstasy", "Music Is Nothing But A Prayer", and "Malika". LP, Vinyl record album
(Beautiful Japanese pressing – with obi!)

Close matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Shamek FarrahFirst Impressions (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Strata East/Bomba (Japan), 1974. Used ... Out Of Stock
One of the hardest to find records on Strata East, and one of the best – a darkly-crafted session of pure beauty, one that lives up to all the best promise of the label! The tracks are long, the sound is bold, and the whole thing moves at a pace that none of the bigger jazz labels were matching at the time – the most righteous, most expressive side of jazz in the mid 70s! Alto player Shamek Farrah is at the lead of a unique group that features Norman Person on trumpet, Milton Suggs on bass, and Sonelius Smith on piano – plus lots of additional drums and percussion, especially on side two of the album, which features some really righteous numbers! Titles include the massive bass sample track "First Impressions" – a symphony of dark, descending chord structures – plus "Meterologicly Tuned", "Watch What Happens Now", and "Umoja Suite". CD
(Out of print, includes obi.)
Also available First Impressions (180 gram pressing) ... LP 34.99

Close matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Shamek Farrah & Sonelius SmithWorld Of The Children (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Strata East/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1977. New Copy (reissue)... Out Of Stock
An amazing session of spiritual soul jazz – and one of the rarest albums on Strata East! Shamek Farrah's soulful alto is matched with the free spiritual piano of Sonelius Smith, for a totally memorable session that virtually defines the essence of the Strata East sound! The music is free, but not too free; lyrical, but never indulgent; and always turning over with a fresh sense of imagination, and a soaring groove that's very much in the classic Strata East mode! The album also features Joseph Gardner on trumpet, Kiyoto Fuiwara on bass, Freddie Wren on drums, and Tony Waters on percussion – plus Milton Suggs, who performs a short bass solo entitled "Milt". Other longer tracks include "The World Of The Children", "Conversation Piece", and "People Puttin' People Through Changes". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition 180 gram pressing!)

Close matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ John GordonErotica Suite (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Strata East/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1978. New Copy (reissue)... Out Of Stock
A fantastic little record – and very much the kind of set that the Strata East label was created to represent! The music here would hardly have found a home on the bigger jazz labels of the period – not because it's too avant garde or non-commercial, but just because it's so deeply personal and powerful – the boldest vision on record of trombonist John Gordon, who composed a mindblowing suite of tracks for the first side of the album, as well as some equally great tunes for the second half! Gordon leads the group on trombone – with solos that are soaring and soulful, alongside work by the great James Spaulding on alto and flute, Waymond Reed on trumpet, John Miller on piano and keyboards, Lyle Atkinson on bass, and Frank Derrick on drums! If you know some of the other players here from their own work of the time, you know you're in for a treat – as the music has this fantastic sound of strong individual voices coming together, instruments lifted high on a mission of music – with results that are as fantastic all these many years as they were in the 70s. Titles include the long "Erotica Suite", plus "Ora Lee Tingle", "Blue Na", and "Neleh". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition 180 gram pressing!)

Close matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ John GordonStep By Step ... CD
Strata East (Germany), 1975. Used ... Out Of Stock
One of the most obscure sessions on Strata East – and an excellent groover that really keeps up the label's soul jazz spirit! Jon Gordon's a lesser-known trombonist from the 70s, but he's working here with an all-star group that includes Charles Tolliver on trumpet, Stanley Cowell on piano, Roland Alexander on reeds, and Andrew Cyrille on drums – all coming together with a spirit that's quite similar to that of Tolliver's classic Music Inc recordings of the time! The titles are mostly all originals by Gordon, played in a loping, lyrical mode that often bursts out with a free-thinking approach to the solos. Titles include "P&G Incorporated", "No Tricks No Gimmicks", "Activity", "Step By Step", and "Dance Of the Ymas". CD
(Out of print.)

Close matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Clifford JordanGlass Bead Games (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Strata East/Bomba (Japan), 1974. Used Gatefold ... Out Of Stock
An essential bit of 70s soul jazz – a real standout in both the catalogs of tenorist Clifford Jordan, and the Stata East label! This is one of those few records where every element is perfect, and all players rise together to a new level of expression – and we'd easily rank this one right up there with John Coltrane's Love Supreme or Pharoah Sanders' Kharma for sheer magnitude of sound and message! Clifford Jordan is at the height of his tenor powers – cutting sharp lines, stretching out his notes, and hitting all these dark edges that had never appeared in his work – and the rest of the group is great too – with Stanley Cowell on piano, Bill Lee on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums. Higgins is amazing, and gives the set a sort of lyrical freeplay that makes Jordan's hard solos come alive in a magical way – and Cedar Walton also plays piano on a few numbers, pushing things forward with the sense of warmth and imagination that always made him a treat in the 70s! Every cut's a winner, and the set list includes "John Coltrane", "Alias Buster Henry", "Glass Bead Games", "Biskit", and "Bridgework". Great stuff, and a huge amount of music! CD
(Out of print. Includes obi.)

Close matches17
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Milton MarshMonism ... CD
Strata East/Manufactured, 1975. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Rare spiritual jazz by reed player Milton Marsh – one of the harder-to-find albums on Strata East – and one of just a couple incredible records to Marsh's name! Obscurity aside, this is prime Strata East – with some sprawling moments in a larger band formation that go just far out enough, but an overall approach that's pretty inside, very much in the label's strong 70s soul jazz tradition. There's a pretty large cast of players in action, including some legendary ones like saxophonist David Ware, percussionist Greg Bandy, Cedric Lawson on piano and others. Titles include "Vonda's Tune", the incredible "Monism" with its spoken word excerpt from Hazrat Inayat Khan's Sufi Message, nicely read by Marsh himself over an amazing mix of soulful strings and tense interplay, plus "Metamorphosis", "Community Music", "Sabotage 3 Preparations" and "Ode to Nzinga". A lost masterpiece! CD

Close matches18
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Charles TolliverCharles Tolliver & His All Stars (aka Paper Man) (180 gram pressing – with bonus track) ... LP
Strata East/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1968. New Copy (reissue)... Out Of Stock
The first moment of genius from trumpeter Charles Tolliver – a set that wasn't originally issued on the Strata East label, but which really set the tone for all the genius to follow on Tolliver's label! At the time of the record, Charles was part of a whole new generation of hardboppers who were coming up in a world of new ideas – a time when Coltrane, Shepp, and Ayler were transforming the left side of jazz – while other musicians were pushing the boundaries of more familiar modes too. Tolliver worked with Horace Silver, Max Roach, and others at the time – and here, he's a brilliant leader right out of the box – set up with an all-star combo that features Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and Joe Chambers on drums – perfect partners for exploring the new music that Charles brings to the record. Gary Bartz joins the group on the second half – another young player about to transform a generation – and the whole album's a dream all the way through, with the mix of soul and spirit of some of Woody Shaw's first records, or maybe Bartz's first few albums for Milestone. Titles are all Tolliver originals – and include "Household Of Saud", "Earl's World", "Paper Man", "Lil's Paradise", and "Right Now". Also features a bonus track – "Repetition (take 2)". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition 180 gram pressing!)

Close matches19
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Charles TolliverCompassion (aka New Tolliver) (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Strata East/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1977. New Copy (reissue)... Out Of Stock
An overlooked gem from trumpeter Charles Tolliver – not as well known as his Strata East sessions with Music Inc, but equally great! The sound here is a bit different than some of Tolliver's other albums of the 70s – as the group features the guitar of Nathan Page in place of the usual piano – working with an incredible rhythm duo of Steve Novosel on bass and Alvin Queen on drums, both players who gel together beautifully here, making the album a rhythmic delight throughout! Page's guitar often has these weird little edgey moments, which seems to bring out the same in Tolliver – adding in a new complexity to his well-known style of far-reaching lines on trumpet. The album's got 4 long tracks, nicely hung together with a sound that's searching, but never too loose to swing – and titles include "Earl's World", "Impact", "Truth", and "Compassion". LP, Vinyl record album
(Strata East 50th Anniversary pressing – limited edition 180 gram pressing!)

Close matches20
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Charles Tolliver & Music Inc.Live At The Loosdrecht Jazz Festival (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Strata East/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1972. New Copy 2LP Gatefold (reissue)... Out Of Stock
A searing live set from trumpeter Charles Tolliver – one of the few talents who could take his instrument into the kind of long-blown, beautifully open territory explored on a double length album like this! Tolliver maybe inherits a late Lee Morgan quality, but also opens up with the Woody Shaw generation – but at a level that's even more exploratory than Woody, and which follows up the fantastic sounds of his two part Live At Slugs albums, issued slightly earlier on the Strata East label! Strata is a name that's come to be synonymous with the best in spiritual jazz of the 70s – and Tolliver is the key figure at the top of that legacy – really making magic here in a quartet that includes John Hicks on piano, Reggie Workman on bass, and Alvin Queen on drums. Titles are all nice and long – and include "Grand Max", "Truth", "Prayer For Peace", "Our Second Father" and "Repetition". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition 180 gram pressing!)

Close matches21
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Harold VickDon't Look Back (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Strata East/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1974. New Copy (reissue)... Out Of Stock
Maybe the most righteous album ever from reedman Harold Vick – a crowning achievement of all his soulful years in jazz, cut as one of the key 70s releases on Strata East! Vick is fantastic here – light years ahead of his work as the funky tenorist on 60s albums by John Patton and Jack McDuff in the 60s, even as great as that material was – and emerging here as an incredibly sensitive soul jazz player, capable of turning out some incredibly sophisticated and emotional compositions – which are then graced by these really spiritual solos! Harold wrote and produced the whole album – really controlling his musical vision – and other players include "Virgil Jones on trumpet, George Davis on flute, Joe Bonner on Fender Rhodes and piano, Sam Jones on bass, and Billy Hart on drums – a lineup that sounds even greater on the record than it does on paper. Titles include "Don't Look Back", "Melody For Bu", "Stop & Cop", and "Senor Zamora". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition 180 gram pressing!)

Close matches22
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Stanley Cowell, Billy Harper, & OthersSuch Great Friends (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Strata East/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1983. New Copy (reissue)... Out Of Stock
A lost bit of late Strata East – and an all-star session that never lets up! The album's a quartet effort – led by Stanley Cowell, but equally featuring participation from Billy Harper on tenor, Reggie Workman on bass, and Billy Hart on drums – all soaring together on long tracks that really preserve the best spirit of Strata East in the 70s – even though the label never issued the record at the time. The overall feel is a lot like Harper's own work from the time – particularly his late 70s Japanese sessions – driven strongly by Cowell's modal approach to the groove, a sound that's perfectly executed by the team of Workman and Hart. The tracks are all quite long, spinning out with a freely expressive approach – and titles include "Sweet Song", "Destiny Is Yours", "Layla Joy", and "East Harlem Nostalgia". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition 180 gram pressing – first time on vinyl!)

Close matches23
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Cecil McBeeMutima (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Strata East/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1974. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A great bit of spiritual soul jazz – and one of the few albums as a leader recorded by the legendary bassist Cecil McBee! Cecil's joined here by a large group of players that includes Billy Hart on drums, George Adams on tenor, Onaje Allen Gumbs on piano, Jimmy Hopps on percussion, Art Webb on flute, and Dee Dee Bridgewater on vocals – adding in just a touch of soulful color to the record, as she did on a few other 70s sides like this! The music's got that essential Strata East sound, with a rich and spiritual vibe on all tracks, and slight bits of funk hiding somewhere in the mix! Tracks are long and freely expressive – but never too outside, either – and titles include "Tulsa Black", "Feeling", "Life Waves", and "From Within". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition 180 gram pressing!)

Close matches24
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Charles RouseTwo Is One (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Strata East/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1974. New Copy (reissue)... Out Of Stock
A really unique little album from tenorist Charlie Rouse – a player who's best known to most for his famous 60s recordings in the Thelonious Monk Quartet – but who stretches out here in a very different style for the Strata East scene of the 70s! The album's almost funky at times, and nicely offbeat and spiritual at others – with players who include Paul Metzke and George Davis on guitars, Calo Scott on cello, David Lee on drums, Stanley Clarke on bass, and Azzedin Weston and Airto on percussion – a very unusual mix of instrumentation that presents that wonderful Rouse tenor sound in a very different way! Charlie also plays a bit of bass clarinet at one point – and titles include "Bitchin", "In His Presence Searching", "Hopscotch", "Two Is One", and "In A Funky Way". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition 180 gram pressing!)

Close matches25
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Shirley ScottOne For Me ... CD
Strata East/ARC (UK), 1974. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
One of the coolest albums ever recorded by female organist Shirley Scott – a very hip set that's got a very different flavor than her earlier work for Prestige and Impulse Records! As you might guess for a date issued on the Strata East label, the approach here is very soulful, and very far-reaching – much longer, looser tracks than Shirley Scott ever served up before – done with superb accompaniment from Harold Vick on tenor – a player who's also at his hippest here, and really showing off all the many changes in his style that he'd picked up since the 60s! All tracks are originals, and the group features Billy Higgins on drums and Jimmy Hopps on some additional cowbell – leaving Shirley to handle the bass parts with her Hammond, in a way that is groovier and more rhythmic than some of her work in the past. A gem through and through – with titles that include "What Makes Harold Sing", "Do You Know A Good Thing When You See One", "Big George", "Keep On Movin On", and "Don't Look Back". CD
 
Possible matches: 83
Possible matches26
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Gary BiasEast 101 (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Nimbus/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1981. New Copy (reissue)... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A dream of a record from the LA spiritual underground of the 70s – and one of the only records we've ever seen from reedman Gary Bias! The date's got a soulful depth that makes it one of the most compelling albums on the legendary Nimbus label – a rhythmic pulse that's often modal, and a sense of spiritualism in the solos that often has Gary stretching out strongly on alto, soprano sax, or flute – yet always with an inherent focus, and strong sense of direction! Other players are equally great too – David Tillman on piano, Rickey Kelly on vibes, Roberto Miranda and John Heard on bass, and Fritz Wise on drums – and the tunes are wonderful original numbers that mark Bias as an extremely strong voice in jazz – one that should have gotten better exposure over the years. The album's got a great Strata East sort of vibe – and titles include "As Children Play", "East 101", "Asiki", "Arthur's Vamp", and "Dear Violet". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition 180 gram pressing!)

Possible matches27
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Gary BiasEast 101 ... CD
Nimbus, 1981. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A dream of a record from the LA spiritual underground of the 70s – and one of the only records we've ever seen from reedman Gary Bias! The date's got a soulful depth that makes it one of the most compelling albums on the legendary Nimbus label – a rhythmic pulse that's often modal, and a sense of spiritualism in the solos that often has Gary stretching out strongly on alto, soprano sax, or flute – yet always with an inherent focus, and strong sense of direction! Other players are equally great too – David Tillman on piano, Rickey Kelly on vibes, Roberto Miranda and John Heard on bass, and Fritz Wise on drums – and the tunes are wonderful original numbers that mark Bias as an extremely strong voice in jazz – one that should have gotten better exposure over the years. The album's got a great Strata East sort of vibe – and titles include "As Children Play", "East 101", "Asiki", "Arthur's Vamp", and "Dear Violet". CD

Possible matches28
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Horacee ArnoldTales Of the Exonerated Flea ... CD
Columbia/Wounded Bird, 1974. New Copy ... $6.99 11.98
A lost fusion classic from the early 70s – one of the only records cut under the leadership of drummer Horacee Arnold, but a heck of a great little set with a soaringly righteous sound! The style here is plenty full-on, but a bit less rock-leaning than some of the other Columbia fusion of the period – thanks to a spacious vision on Arnold's part, and the inclusion of a fair bit of sounds from world music. Players on the set include Art Webb on flute, Sonny Fortune on soprano sax, John Abercrombie on guitar, David Friedman on vibes and marimba, Dom Um Romao on percussion, and Jan Hammer on moog and electric piano – and although there's a fair bit of guitar in the mix, the other acoustic elements are kept nice and high too – for a blend that's almost like some of the best Brazilian fusion from later years, touched by a slightly funkier sound! Tracks really stretch out nicely, allowing for plenty of solo space as they roll on, in a way that's almost a cross between Strata East and some of the more familiar mainstream fusion modes of the time. Very hip stuff, with titles that include "Benzele Windows", "Tales Of The Exonerated Flea", "Euroaquilo Silence", "Puppet Of The Seasons", "Sing Night Jar", and "Delicate Evasions". CD

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Babatunde & PhenomenaLevels Of Consciousness (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Theresa/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1979. New Copy (reissue)... $34.99 44.99
A wonderfully soulful session from percussionist Babatunde Lea – and a shining example of the warm spirits and cross-cultural experimentation going on in the Bay Area scene of the 70s! The record mixes 70s soul jazz with bits of funk, Latin jazz, and breezy west coast touches – making for an album that's got some of the earthy charm of work on labels like Strata East or Black Jazz, mixed with the tighter soulful production of some of George Duke's early 70s sides for MPS. The vibe is incredible – a beautiful mix of warm vocals, tight soloing, and message-oriented grooves – and the whole thing's great all the way through! Titles include "Thailand Stick", "Use Your Hands", "Merely A Suggestion", "Levels Of Consciousness", "Thang", and "Plea From The Soul". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition 180 gram pressing!)

Possible matches30
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Gary BartzLibra/Another Earth ... CD
Milestone, 1967/1968. New Copy ... $11.99 12.98
Early soul jazz brilliance from a young Gary Bartz – music that pre-dates his Ntu Troup, and his work with Larry Mizell! Libra is fantastic early work from Gary – and probably his rarest record ever! The album was cut at a time when the young Bartz was first coming to prominence in the hip late 60s soul jazz group of Max Roach – and Bartz's playing at the time is a perfect model of mid-Coltrane searching with some of the tighter sides of soul jazz that were being forged at labels like Blue Note by players like Hank Mobley or Lee Morgan. The record's a masterpiece of youthful soulful energy – and the group includes Jimmy Owens on trumpet, Richard Davis on bass, Albert Dailey on piano, and Billy Higgins on drums, all players who are perfectly matched to fit Bartz's stridently creative vision. His solos on alto are impeccable – some of the most meaningful we've ever heard on the instrument from the time – and the album's a great one all the way through! Titles include "Air & Fire", "Eastern Blues", "Libra", "Freedom Of The Day", and "Cabin In The Sky". Another Earth is amazing too – one of the first that Gary Bartz ever cut – done during a time when he'd been working with Max Roach and a super-hip group of younger soul jazz players who would go onto shape the sound of the 70s. Bartz leads a group that includes Stanley Cowell, Freddy Waits, Charles Tolliver, Pharoah Sanders, and Reggie Workman – and the music sounds like it was lifted from one of the best albums on Strata East from the 70s. There's no funk, no vocals, no weird rhythms – just pure spiritual jazz, played to perfection, and filled with a creative vitality that most of the players had lost a few years later. Tracks include the album-side "Another Earth", plus "Dark Nebula", "UFO", and "Perihelion & Aphelion". Note: CD omits the track "Disjunction" from Libra – due to space restrictions. CD

Possible matches31
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✨✧ Art Blakey & The Jazz MessengersBuhaina ... LP
Prestige (UK), 1973. New Copy (reissue)... $19.99 22.99
An amazing album that has Art Blakey completely reinventing himself for the 70s! Blakey shifts from straight hardbop to kind of a modal soul jazz groove, touched with some of the electric playing of the younger jazz generation, but not enough to qualify as fusion or funk. Instead, he's working with some great younger players – like Carter Jefferson, Woody Shaw, and Michael Howell – hitting a groove that reminds us of some of the best underground soul jazz on labels like Muse or Strata East. Includes the amazing long groovers "Mission Eternal" and "Chant For Bu", a famous Tribe Called Quest sample – plus new electric piano versions of "Moanin" and "Along Came Betty", both of which feature vocals by Jon Hendricks. LP, Vinyl record album

Possible matches32
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Joseph Bonner (Joe Bonner)Impressions Of Copenhagen (180 gram pressing – with bonus track) ... LP
Theresa/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1981. New Copy (reissue)... $34.99 44.98
One of the most interesting records we've ever heard from pianist Joe Bonner – a set that still has all the long, spiritual lines of his excellent albums from the 70s – but which also showcases Bonner's ear for larger arrangements – as he brings in trumpet, trombone, flute, and a bit of strings to his own work on piano, with bass from Paul Warburton and drums from J Thomas Tilton! There's a sense of majesty here that's a nice expansion past the vibe of previous Bonner records – while all the soul and spirit is intact – very Strata East overall. Titles include "The Northstar", "I'll Say No This Time", "Quiet Dawn", "Why Am I Here", and "Impressions Of Copenhagen/RV". Features the bonus track "Lush Life". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition 180 gram pressing!)

Possible matches33
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Brother AhhDivine Music (Sea/Meditation/Searching) (5LP set) ... LP
Manufactured, 1978/1981/1985. New Copy 5LP ... $89.99 99.99
Three never-issued albums from Brother Ah – the enigmatic musician who may be known best for his work with Sun Ra, and his rare album on Strata East! Both of those moments date from earlier years, though – and past that time, Brother Ah was still working strongly on some amazing musical ideas of his own – work that includes the three albums presented in this package, which together really mark a shift for both Ah and some of his spiritual jazz contemporaries as the 70s moved on! The set begins with the beautiful set The Sea – recorded in 1978, with a long-flowing sound that's quite hypnotic, and very much in the spiritual territory of post-Coltrane material – including work by Trane's wife Alice. Brother Ah plays flute, in these fantastic lines that spin out slowly and echo strongly – amidst a mix of percussion, violin, mbira, bass, and drums – often used in ways that build beautifully, and which provide a great introduction to both the sung and spoken passages – presented by Abena Walker, Jeanean Gibbs, and Nataska Hassan Youssef. Titles include "Nuba", "Far Away", "The Village Drum", "Visoins", and "Africa We Are Your Children". Meditation is from a few years later, and has a different makeup – a sound that's much more spare overall, and which just features Brother Ah on flute, zither, and "nature sounds" – with help from Cleo Jomo Faulks on mbira and gong! The tunes have an earthier feel than you might guess from the album's title – still somewhat meditative, but also more open to the vibes of nature than the space of the studio – with moments that feel more more like the organic sounds of the young Moondog, or maybe some of Alice Coltrane's more home-made moments. Titles include "Stillness", "Spirit World", "Close Your Eyes & See", and "Song Of The Unseen". Last up is Searching – a record from 1985 that maybe moves the spiritual agenda from the political to the personal – that shift towards more interior solutions that some musicians took in the 80s, especially as funding for some kinds of spiritual jazz albums fell by the wayside, and some artists had to adapt to the new age underground. Yet although that shift might be in place here, Brother Ah is still as righteous as ever – just equipped with a slightly different voice – as he works alongside some electronics and percussion from Richard Ashman, and blows trumpet and a variety of flutes, while also handling percussion and harmonica in very spacious ways. The record is more about extended sound textures than individual instrumentation – and titles include "I Am", "Going Within", "Inner Voice", and "Know Thyself". First time release for all three records – presented in a really great package! LP, Vinyl record album

Possible matches34
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Francisco Mora CatlettMora/Mora 2 ... CD
AACE/Far Out (UK), Late 80s. New Copy ... $14.99 16.99
A pair of great albums back to back – both rare albums from a percussionist who worked with Sun Ra! First up is Mora volume 1 – a legendary early set from percussionist Francisco Mora Catlett – and a really sublime blend of spiritual jazz and Latin rhythms! Mora's percussion is definitely at the core – but the set also features wonderful contributions from Vincent Bowens on tenor and soprano sax, Jerome LeDuff on berimbau, Alberto Nacif on quinto, and Detroit jazz legend Kenny Cox on piano! There's a balance here that really matches the best Strata East energy of the 70s – an open, flowing approach that's completely sublime, and very righteous too – even more so than anything Mora's done since the 70s – making this record one of his greatest achievements ever. Tersa Mora sings a bit of vocals at times – and titles include "Afra Jum", "Five AM", "Rumba Morena", "Samba De Amor", and "Cultural Warrior". Mora 2 is a set recorded in Detroit, but one that's got a globe's worth of elements in the mix – originally recorded in the mid 80s, but not released until a brief CD issue in the early part of the 21st Century! Despite that history, the album's a really timeless record that encompasses a world's worth of elements in jazz! Francisco Mora Catlett's at the height of his powers here – leading the group with a sense of righteous majesty that takes us back to some of the most ambitious heirs of the post-Coltrane generation, but with perhaps an oddly rhythmic twist as well – such as you might find in some of the 70s classics of Bobby Vince Paunetto. Echoes of Latin, Afro, and spiritual jazz come together as one – soaring to the skies on soulful waves of sound – brought together with a sense of focus and spirit that really moves us a lot. Players include Marcus Belgrave and John Douglass on trumpets, Sherman Mitchell on trombone, Vincent Bowens on tenor and flute, Alex Harding on baritone and bass clarinet, Kenny Cox on piano, and Rodney Whitaker on bass – and titles include "Samba/Conga De Amor", "Amazona Prelude/Dawn", "Old Man Joe", "Por Que Paro", and "Afra-Jum (parts 2 & 3)". CD

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Creative Arts EnsembleOne Step Out ... CD
Nimbus, 1981. New Copy ... $9.99
A great bit of work from the hip LA scene that centered around the Nimbus label at the end of the 70s – a collective who work together here with the same spiritual jazz modes you'd find on labels like Tribe or Strata East! The group features some bigger names from the scene, including some solo Nimbus acts – plus some other overlooked players – a lineup that includes Henry Franklin on bass, George Bohannon on trombone, Wilbert Hemsley on tenor, Dadesi Komolafe on flute, Jeff Clayton on baritone, and Gary Bias on alto and soprano sax. The album's also got some beautiful vocals from BJ Crowley – who co-leads the group, and sings out with a proud righteousness that recalls some of Dee Dee Bridgewater or Jean Carn's early early soul jazz recordings. The tracks are all long and spiraling numbers – never really "out", but in a free searching mode that's a perfect platform for the piano work of the other co-leader, Kaeef Ruzadun. Titles include "One Step Out", "Flashback Of Time", "All Praises Due", and "Stars In Lightyear Time". CD

Possible matches36
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Creative Arts EnsembleOne Step Out (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Nimbus/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1981. New Copy (reissue)... $34.99 44.99
A great bit of work from the hip LA scene that centered around the Nimbus label at the end of the 70s – a collective who work together here with the same spiritual jazz modes you'd find on labels like Tribe or Strata East! The group features some bigger names from the scene, including some solo Nimbus acts – plus some other overlooked players – a lineup that includes Henry Franklin on bass, George Bohannon on trombone, Wilbert Hemsley on tenor, Dadesi Komolafe on flute, Jeff Clayton on baritone, and Gary Bias on alto and soprano sax. The album's also got some beautiful vocals from BJ Crowley – who co-leads the group, and sings out with a proud righteousness that recalls some of Dee Dee Bridgewater or Jean Carn's early early soul jazz recordings. The tracks are all long and spiraling numbers – never really "out", but in a free searching mode that's a perfect platform for the piano work of the other co-leader, Kaeef Ruzadun. Titles include "One Step Out", "Flashback Of Time", "All Praises Due", and "Stars In Lightyear Time". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition 180 gram pressing!)

Possible matches37
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Jack DeJohnetteJackeyboard ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $22.99
Jack DeJohnette is a hell of a drummer, and he's also a hell of a pianist too – a side of Jack's talents that isn't always shown on record, and which has maybe never been as well-recorded as on this fantastic Japanese session from the 70s! DeJohnette has a spiritual, long-building approach to the piano here – almost like Stanley Cowell on Strata East, but with his own flavors too – and the final track of the album features Jack on melodica, an instrument he handles in a different way, but with an equally compelling approach. The trio here features George Ohtsuka on the drum kit and Mitsukaki Furuno on bass – on four long tracks, "McCoy's Tune", "Fun Calypso", "Jack's Blues", and "Minority Blues". CD
(Part of the Jazz Legends In Japan series!)

Possible matches38
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Larry Douglas AlltetDedications ... CD
Swajola, 1984. New Copy ... $13.99
A rare bit of indie jazz from the Bay Area scene of the 80s – but put together with a groove that's much more 70s overall! The group's headed by trumpeter Larry Douglas, and has a soaring, soulful groove that definitely owes a lot to the spiritual sound on labels like Strata East or Black Jazz – but which is also served up here with a confident style of its own – a mode that's brimming over with smart ideas and great intentions – especially on some of the numbers that feature a larger lineup! In addition to Douglas on trumpet, flugelhorn, and piano – the set also features Ronald Wilson on tenor and baritone sax, David Masucci on flute, Ray Williams on Fender Rhodes, Eric Vaughn on piano, Marcos Torres on timbales and percussion, and Kamau Seitu on drums and congas. The album's a real lost charmer – with a vibe that we'd liken to some of the best projects from Earl & Carl Grubbs at times – and titles include "Dedications (The Theme)", "Untitled", "Jammin' At The Boro'", "Illusions", "Traces", and "Dedications (The Variation)". CD

Possible matches39
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Larry Douglas AlltetDedications (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Swajola/Tidal Waves, 1984. New Copy (reissue)... $23.99 26.99 On January 28, 2022
A rare bit of indie jazz from the Bay Area scene of the 80s – but put together with a groove that's much more 70s overall! The group's headed by trumpeter Larry Douglas, and has a soaring, soulful groove that definitely owes a lot to the spiritual sound on labels like Strata East or Black Jazz – but which is also served up here with a confident style of its own – a mode that's brimming over with smart ideas and great intentions – especially on some of the numbers that feature a larger lineup! In addition to Douglas on trumpet, flugelhorn, and piano – the set also features Ronald Wilson on tenor and baritone sax, David Masucci on flute, Ray Williams on Fender Rhodes, Eric Vaughn on piano, Marcos Torres on timbales and percussion, and Kamau Seitu on drums and congas. The album's a real lost charmer – with a vibe that we'd liken to some of the best projects from Earl & Carl Grubbs at times – and titles include "Dedications (The Theme)", "Untitled", "Jammin' At The Boro'", "Illusions", "Traces", and "Dedications (The Variation)". LP, Vinyl record album
(180 gram pressing – with obi. Limited to 500 copies!) This item will not be delivered to you before Friday, January 28.
Also available Dedications ... CD 13.99

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✨✧ Shamek FarrahLa Dee La La ... LP
Ra/Jazz Room (UK), 1978. New Copy (reissue)... Just Sold Out!
A lost soul jazz treasure – the legendary 3rd album from saxophonist Shamek Farrah, recorded after his first 2 sides for Strata East! The approach here is slightly different than that of the Strata sides – a bit more joyous and lyrical, with tunes that open up in waves of sound, color, and life – brightly pointing the way towards a new jazz vision that's really tremendous! Farrah's working here with an assortment of players from the east coast underground of the time – as well as Chicago stalwart Malachi Thompson on trumpet, the great Sonelius Smith on piano, and vocalist Ghanniya green, who does some great Africanist scatting on the title track. The whole thing's incredible – an exuberant set of longer tracks that easily matches the best classics on Strata East from the 70s, and the kind of album that we've treasured for years! Titles include "And Along Came Ron Rahsaan", "The White Lady", "Waiting For Marvin", and "La Dee La La Song". LP, Vinyl record album

Possible matches41
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Frank FosterLoud Minority (with bonus 20 page booklet) (2021 Record Store Day Release) ... LP
Mainstream/We Want Sounds (UK), 1972. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)... $34.99 39.99
One of the most amazing albums ever from Frank Foster – a totally righteous set that's light years ahead of his earlier work with the Basie Band! The format here is right up there with the best on Strata East at the time – a large-group session that's filled with some of the hippest players of the early 70s – all coming together with a joyous, spiritual sense of power! Foster's in the lead on tenor and soprano sax, but other players include Cecil Bridgewater and Hannibal Marvin Peterson on trumpets, Harold Mabern on keyboards, Elvin Jones on drums, Dick Griffin on trombone, Stanley Clarke on bass, Airto on percussion, and even Dee Dee Bridgewater on vocals! Tracks are all quite long and flowing – spiritual expressions of jazz that rival the greatness of anything recorded for Impulse – and titles include "The Loud Minority", "Requiem For Dusty", "JP's Thing", and "EW – Beautiful People". LP, Vinyl record album
(Deluxe limited edition pressing – with 20 page booklet! Booklet features rare session photos, interviews with Cecil and Dee Dee Bridgewater, new liner notes, and more – plus new remastering from the original tapes!)

Possible matches42
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Herbie HancockJazz To Funk (Blow Up Sessions/Kawaida) ... CD
Aim (Australia), 1966/1969. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99 16.99
A pair of early sessions from Herbie Hancock – both very different than his Blue Note work of the 60s! The set features 11 tracks from material that Herbie recorded for the Warwick label earlier in the decade – material issued with a title makes it seem like the cuts are from Herbie's score to the film Blow Up – although we're guessing that they're not, although they've always been issued without much in the way of session details! That hardly matters, though – as Herbie is great on piano – younger and rawer, more soul jazz than modern – on titles that include "Smoochie", "Far Out", "Afro Boogie", "Rock Your Soul", "Jammin With Herbie", "Herbie's Blues", and "Night Walker". Next is a record that wasn't actually first issued under Herbie's name – a super-hip batch of spiritual jazz tracks by Albert Toodie Heath of the Heath Brothers – working here on a rare session as a leader, with a sound that's right up there with the Heath Brothers' early work for Strata East!! The lineup is incredible – as Heath is joined by players that include Don Cherry, Buster Williams, Mtume, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Heath, and Ed Blackwell – all coming together for a session that's nearly lost to the history books, but which is one of the strongest spiritual jazz sessions of the late 60s! Herbie plays all acoustic piano throughout, and the tracks are long, leaping, and loping – with stretched-out spiritual solos from Jimmy Heath and Don Cherry – and a proud and righteous sound that's extremely free-spirited without going too far out! Titles include "Baraka", "Maulana", "Dunia", and "Kamili". CD

Possible matches43
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✨✧ Billy Harper/Stanley Cowell/Sonny FortuneGreat Friends (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Black & Blue/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1986. New Copy 2LP ... $49.99 About January 15, 2022
A spiritual soul jazz supergroup – featuring some of our favorite players of the Strata East 70s scene! This obscure recording was made in the mid 80s, but it's got the feel of the best 70s work by Harper, Fortune, and Cowell – a richly expressive session built around original compositions, and long modal playing in a Love Supreme tradition! The group's a quintet featuring Sonny Fortune on alto, Billy Harper on tenor, Stanley Cowell on piano, Billy Hart on drums, and Reggie Workman on bass – most of whom, minus Fortune, played together on a similar session (called Such Great Friends – not to be confused with this one!) a few years earlier. The feel of the album's like some of Harper's best from the 70s – very open, but never too free, with lots of stretching, yearning passages from the rhythm section – making for a perfect platform for the solos of Harper and Fortune. Titles include "Equipoise", "East Harlem Nostalgia", "Insight", "Awakening", and "Is It Not True Simply Because You Cannot Believe It". LP, Vinyl record album

Possible matches44
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✨✧ Wendell HarrisonDreams Of A Love Supreme (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Wenha/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1980. New Copy (reissue)... $34.99 About February 10, 2022
Pretty great stuff – even though Wendall Harrison has strayed far from the Tribe Records sound of his earlier years! The record takes the spiritual post-Coltrane jazz of Harrison's earlier days, and infuses it with a smooth fusion approach that's clearly an attempt to reach a wider audience with a soulful message – giving the whole thing a blend of soul and spiritual jazz that comes off surprisingly well overall! There's some nice dark edges to the record that really keep things interesting – maybe imagine Larry Mizell producing some of the more off-beat albums on Strata East – and there's a bit of vocals on the set, which also features work from Phil Ranelin on trombone. Tracks include "Where Am I", "Sea Minor Blues", "Take Time Out", and "Dreams Of A Love Supreme". LP, Vinyl record album

Possible matches45
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✨✧ Albert HeathKwanza (The First) ... LP
Muse, 1973. Near Mint- ... Just Sold Out!
One of the coolest, hippest albums you'll ever hear from drummer Albert Tootie Heath – a set that's so different than his earlier work of the 60s, and which has the same sort of righteous, spiritual energy as the Heath Brothers album on Strata East! Albert's got a wonderfully loose vibe on the drums – and the added percussoin he brings into the mix – and the group here features slight electric currents from Kenny Barron on Fender Rhodes and Ted Dunbar on guitar – plus sublime reed lines from brother Jimmy Heath – who really blows it away on tenor, soprano sax, and flute – again like his best Strata East performance! Brother Percy Heath is on bass – which seems to be electric at points – and Curtis Fuller rounds out the group with some of that hipper, more searching trombone style he was using at the time – and the whole thing's wonderful, much more progressive than some of the other Xanadu Records sessions of the period. Titles include "Dunia", "Sub-Set", "Tafadhali", "Oops", and "A Notion". LP, Vinyl record album
(White label promo. Cover has some ring and edge wear, aging, and a cutout notch.)

Possible matches46
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✨✧ Freddie HubbardHigh Blues Pressure ... CD
Atlantic/Koch, 1968. Used ... $14.99
A real gem from Freddie Hubbard's 60s years – an all soul jazz outing, cut with a hip array of players that show that young Fred was definitely on the forefront of jazz at the time! Despite the "blues" in the title, the main groove is spiritual soul jazz – in a style that puts Freddie a few years ahead of the Strata East crew, and working here in a mode that he oddly didn't continue into the 70s. The album's got a really righteous sound overall – with long tracks that really stretch out wonderfully with rich feeling and spirit – thanks to work from players who include Weldon Irvine and Kenny Barron on piano, Bennie Maupin and James Spaulding on reeds, and Freddie Waits on drums. The set's filled with great original tunes that include Freddie's "Latina", "True Colors", and "For BP" – as well as a version of Weldon Irvine's "Can't Let Her Go". CD
(Out of print, HDCD pressing.)

Possible matches47
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✨✧ Bobby HutchersonCirrus ... CD
Blue Note (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... $13.99
Righteous Bobby Hutcherson from the 70s – one of his last albums recorded in the company of reedman Harold Land – and one of his greatest too! There's a wonderful mix of modes going on here – modal jazz meets California sun, blending a sense of spiritualism with some of the warmth that Hutcherson was increasingly discovering in his music – especially on the album's use of marimbas, which are surprisingly great next to Bobby's vibes! In addition to work from Land on tenor and flute, the set also has the great Woody Shaw on trumpet – plus Bill Henderson on Fender Rhodes, Emanuel Boyd on tenor, Ray Drummond on bass, Larry Hancock on drums, and Kenneth Nash on percussion – a rhythm player who really helps give the record some hip Strata East-like touches. Titles include a sublime reading of Shaw's "Rosewood" – plus "Zuri Dance", "Wrong Or Right", "Even Later", and "Cirrus". CD

Possible matches48
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Hypnotic Brass EnsembleBook Of Sound ... LP
Honest Jons (UK), 2017. New Copy 2LP ... $26.99
Beautiful sounds from Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – a group who've matured tremendously in the time that they've been giving us music – and who almost seem ready here to take on the legacy of their musical father – the late Kelan Phil Cohran! There's a complexity to the horn work here that's even deeper than before – amazing tones and textures from trumpets, trombones, euphonium, and sousaphone – all balanced with these sonic currents on guitar, bass, and electronics – instruments used in subtle ways, but to strongly shape the brass elements with maybe more spiritual overtones than in previous years – almost as if the group is growing, and getting even more serious about their message – with echoes that stretch back to the work of Cohran, and maybe Sun Ra's Arkestra, the world of Strata East, and even the tonal colors of Oliver Nelson at his best. Titles include "Heaven & Earth", "Midnight", "Now", "Morning Prayer", "Purple Afternoon", "Lead The Way", "Synapsis", "Royalty", "Solstice", and "Sri Neroti". LP, Vinyl record album

Possible matches49
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✨✧ Abdullah IbrahimWater From An Ancient Well ... CD
Ekapa/Enja (Germany), 1985. Used ... $14.99
A real standout for Dollar Brand – and one of those few records that features him letting loose with a slightly larger jazz group – in this case a septet of American players that features some great horn work by Ricky Ford on tenor, Carlos Ward on alto, Charles Davis on baritone, and Dick Griffin on trombone! As you might expect from the presence of these giants, the set's got a depth that recalls some of the more spiritual sounds of the 70s – such as you'd find on Muse Records, and maybe even on Strata East! The sound is nice and angular – steeped in the Africanist tradition of Ibrahim's earlier work, but coming off even better thanks to the twists and turns of the horns. Titles include "The Mountain", "The Wedding", "Sameeda", and "Mandela". CD
(Out of print, 90s Enja pressing.)
Also available Water From An Ancient Well ... CD 16.99

Possible matches50
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✨✧ Abdullah IbrahimWater From An Ancient Well ... CD
Ekapa/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1985. New Copy ... $16.99
A real standout for Dollar Brand – and one of those few records that features him letting loose with a slightly larger jazz group – in this case a septet of American players that features some great horn work by Ricky Ford on tenor, Carlos Ward on alto, Charles Davis on baritone, and Dick Griffin on trombone! As you might expect from the presence of these giants, the set's got a depth that recalls some of the more spiritual sounds of the 70s – such as you'd find on Muse Records, and maybe even on Strata East! The sound is nice and angular – steeped in the Africanist tradition of Ibrahim's earlier work, but coming off even better thanks to the twists and turns of the horns. Titles include "The Mountain", "The Wedding", "Sameeda", and "Mandela". CD
(Part of the "Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign Volume 2" series!)
Also available Water From An Ancient Well ... CD 14.99

Possible matches51
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✨✧ Clifford Jordan QuartetNight Of The Mark VII ... CD
32 Jazz, 1975. Used ... Just Sold Out!
Nice reissue of this rare Clifford Jordan session from the mid 70s, recorded for "Dolphy Productions" in Paris, and with a feel and a spirit very similar to his Jordan's Strata East albums from the same time – like Glass Bead Games and In The World! The group is similar to those recordings too, and features Cedar Walton, Sam Jones, and Billy Higgins – all working with Jordan in a wonderfully exploratory groove that still has a deep and rhythmic swing. Tracks are nice and long, and there's a great take on the Strata fave "John Coltrane", plus other nice ones that include "Midnight Waltz","One For Amos", and "Highest Mountain". CD
(Out of print. Digipack cover has a sticker with the name of the previous owner.)

Possible matches52
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Jeanne LeeConspiracy ... LP
Earthforms/Moved By Sound, 1975. New Copy (reissue)... About December 1, 2021 (delayed)
A rather obscure side from Jeanne Lee, and a wonderful one. Lee leads the group through a set of originals and improvisations, with a great searching quality that manifests itself in so little vocal jazz recordings, with an excellent vibe that has a lot in common with some of the material that might have ended up on Strata East or Black Jazz around the same time. The group features Steve McCall, Sam Rivers and Gunter Hampel, as well as Jack Gregg, Perry Robinson and others. 8 tracks in all: "Sundance", "Yeh Come t' Be", "Jamaica", "Subway Couple", "The Miracle Is. . .", "Your Ballad", "Angel Chile" and "Conspiracy". LP, Vinyl record album

Possible matches53
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✨✧ Haki R Madhubuti/Afrikan Liberation Arts EnsembleMedasi ... LP
Rise/P-Vine (Japan), 1984. New Copy (reissue)... About May 13, 2022
The second of 2 spiritual classics from Haki R. Madhubuti – issued nearly a decade after the first, but still very much in a positive and righteous 70s vein! Haki's again working with arranger Agyei Akoto, a saxophonist we only know from these albums, but an extremely visionary musician with a real flair for crafting a Strata East-styled groove! Unlike the first album, this one has spoken passages much more deeply integrated into the songs – so that the longer tracks soar along with a wonderfully spiritual vibe, effortlessly mixing together Madhubuti's teachings with some nicely grooving backings that include piano from a young Geri Allen, plus some occasional vocals from singer Kehembe! The whole thing's excellent, and tracks include "First World", "Children", "Understand", and "Rain Forest". LP, Vinyl record album

Possible matches54
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Teruo NakamuraUnicorn ... CD
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $19.99 24.00
A landmark album from the Japanese fusion scene of the 70s – a killer set of tracks recorded by bassist Teruo Nakamura, with help from a host of American soul jazz luminaries! The album's easily one of Nakamura's most sought-after sets – and for good reason too, as the cuts are long and jamming, but also have a soulful component too – a bit of the post-Coltrane spiritualism of some of Gary Bartz's early albums, and some of the open-ended styles you might hear on a label like Strata East! Nakamura's a bassist from the Japanese scene – but the record was cut in New York with a great lineup of American heavyweights – including Hubert Eaves and George Cables on keyboards, Charles Sullivan on trumpet, and Steve Grossman on tenor – plus Alphonse Mouzon and Lenny White on drums. Singer Sandy Hewitt sings on 2 tracks – including the funky "Umma Be Me", which almost feels like an Andy Bey groover from the same time – and the cut "Understanding". Other instrumental tracks include "Some Other Blues", "Derrick's Dance", "Unicorn Lady", and "New Moon". CD
(Part of the Three Blind Mice Supreme Collection!)

Possible matches55
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Oliver NelsonSwiss Suite ... CD
Flying Dutchman/BGP (UK), 1971. New Copy ... $8.99 14.99
A killer set of searing soulful spiritual material from Oliver Nelson – and one of his best albums of the 70s! There's hardly anything "Swiss" in the music – save for the fact that it was recorded at the Montreux Jazz Fest – as the large ensemble recording has Nelson at the helm of a very hip group of musicians – really stretching out into territory that's more Strata East than any of his other work, especially on the title track! In addition to the tenor from Gato Barberi and alto from Eddie Vinson – both featured on the title – the set also features Charles Tolliver and Harry Beckett on trumpets, Bosko Petrovic on vibes, Na Na on barimbau, Bernard Purdie on drums, and Stanley Cowell on piano. Side one features the soaring "Swiss Suite" – an extended number done for the set – and side two has a bit more Nelson touches coming into play with the progressive lineup – on titles that include "Stolen Moments", "Black Brown & Beautiful", and "Blues & The Abstract Truth". CD

Possible matches56
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Nathen PagePage-ing Nathen ... LP
Hugo's Music, 1982. Very Good ... $19.99
Page was one of the more obscure players of the east coast soul jazz underground that surfaced often on labels like Strata East and Muse during the 70s – and although he made few albums as a leader, he's a pretty strong single-note guitar player with a good range of styles. This 1982 album has him playing with Buster Williams, Billy Hart, and Kenny Barron – and the sound's a mix of straight soul jazz tunes, plus others that have a slicker, more-produced sound. Includes a version of Joe Henderson's "Inner Urge", plus the originals "Sunday Morning Samba", "Reba", and "Gypsy". LP, Vinyl record album
(Radio station copy, with large notes and a sticker attached to the front with strips of masking tape, and some notes in pen and marker on back.)

Possible matches57
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Patrice RushenPrelusion ... LP
Prestige, 1974. New Copy (reissue)... $12.99
A great set from Patrice Rushen – very different than her later R&B work from the 80s! The record's her first, and at the time, Patrice was much more of a jazz artist – working here with a cool west coast set of players (Joe Henderson on tenor, Hadley Caliman on alto and soprano, and Oscar Brashear on trumpet), playing a range of keyboards, from acoustic and electric piano, to ARP, and clavinet. The tracks are long, and have a wonderfully composed soul jazz vibe – feeling a heck of a lot like work on labels like Strata East, deeply dipping into a soulful bag that's solid and real, with no fakery or tricks to make the mood happen. Includes the nice moogy groover "Puttered Bopcorn", plus "Shortie's Portion", "7/73", and "Haw Right Now". LP, Vinyl record album

Possible matches58
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Jesse Sharps Quintet/Pan Afrikan Peoples ArkestraSharps & Flats ... LP
Nimbus, 1986. New Copy ... $34.99 About December 10, 2021
Soaring spiritual soul jazz from the LA scene – a double-length set that features a beautiful performance by the Jesse Sharps Quintet, plus a longer extended track from Horace Tapscott's Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra! We'll be honest in saying that we'd never heard of Sharps before this album – but he's a heck of a great saxophonist, with a sound that recalls the glory days of the Strata East scene, and the beautiful post-Coltrane Muse sessions by Earl & Carl Grubbs. His group for the session features some excellent work by the great Nate Morgan on piano – driving away in long, rhythmic passages that are very much in the mode of Morgan's own Nimbus recordings – and carried through with an equal amount of soul. Horace Tapscott joins the group on two numbers as well – before stepping over to lead his expanded Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra on the record's extra cut – a composition by Sharps that's entitled "McKowsky's First Fifth" – played by a great Nimbus-esque group that includes Adele Sebastian on flute, Sabia Mateen on tenor, Billie Harris on soprano, and Horace Tapscott on piano. Other titles on the album include "The Goat & The Ramjam", "As A Child", "Mike's Tune", "Macrame", and "Carnival" – and the whole set of tracks is easily one of the greatest recordings on the legendary Nimbus label! LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited to 1000 copies.)

Possible matches59
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✨✧ Horace SilverSilver N Percussion ... CD
Blue Note (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $13.99
An excellent 70s album from Horace Silver – one that's often overlooked, but which yields of listening joy, once you open it up! The set's got some wonderful modal/spiritual numbers – in a mode that would make the record highly prized if it were issued on Strata East, and which is pretty darn great for Blue Note at the time – easily one of Silver's most righteous moments of the late 70s! The percussion promised in the title really stands out – and helps shape the rhythms with an even more exotic feel than usual – but the set also cooks with some great horn solos too – trumpet by Tom Harrell and tenor by Larry Schneider – both players whose arcing lines really help add a lot of color to the grooves. The whole thing's great – proof that Silver never stopped growing as an artist – and titles include "The Aztec Sun God", "The Mohican & The Great Spirit", "The Gods Of The Yoruba", and "The Spirit Of The Zulu". CD

Possible matches60
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Horace Tapscott & The Pan Afrikan Peoples ArkestraCall ... CD
Nimbus, 1978. New Copy ... $9.99
Large-group genius from the legendary Horace Tapscott – one of the few recordings of his groundbreaking Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra! The music here is totally righteous right from the start – even more searching and soaring than Tapscott's trio or solo work – thanks to help from some of the hippest, most spiritual players on the LA scene of the late 70s – a lineup you'll recognize from other Nimbus Records sessions, all working together beautifully to realize the unique vision of Horace! Tracks are long, and feature Tapscott on piano, Jesse Sharps on saxes, Adele Sebastian on flute and vocals, Herbert Callies on alto, James Andrews on tenor, Lester Robertson on trombone, Kafi Larry Roberts on soprano, and Linda Hill on additional piano – all working together perfectly as a unified ensemble. There's a strong Strata East vibe to the whole record – and titles include "The Call", "Nakatini Suite", "Quagmire Manor At Five AM", and "Peyote Song III". CD
Also available Call (180 gram pressing) ... LP 34.99

Possible matches61
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Horace Tapscott & The Pan Afrikan Peoples ArkestraCall (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Nimbus/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1978. New Copy (reissue)... $34.99 44.99
Large-group genius from the legendary Horace Tapscott – one of the few recordings of his groundbreaking Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra! The music here is totally righteous right from the start – even more searching and soaring than Tapscott's trio or solo work – thanks to help from some of the hippest, most spiritual players on the LA scene of the late 70s – a lineup you'll recognize from other Nimbus Records sessions, all working together beautifully to realize the unique vision of Horace! Tracks are long, and feature Tapscott on piano, Jesse Sharps on saxes, Adele Sebastian on flute and vocals, Herbert Callies on alto, James Andrews on tenor, Lester Robertson on trombone, Kafi Larry Roberts on soprano, and Linda Hill on additional piano – all working together perfectly as a unified ensemble. There's a strong Strata East vibe to the whole record – and titles include "The Call", "Nakatini Suite", "Quagmire Manor At Five AM", and "Peyote Song III". LP, Vinyl record album
Also available Call ... CD 9.99

Possible matches62
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Theatre WestBow To The People ... CD
Black Fire/Strut, Late 70s. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
A sweet set of spiritual jazz funk – a gem of a set from an Ohio group of the 70s, but one that was initially only issued on CD by the Black Fire label many years later! The ensemble's led by singer/pianist Clarence Young – and has a very message-oriented approach – sort of a blend of Roy Ayers-styled jazzy soul with touches of Philly harmony groups, and a bit more of the soul jazz of the Strata East years. Clarence talks his way into few of the cuts – laying down a message, sometimes to some kids – and the way the music builds out of the spoken bits is very nice, and gives the record an intimate sense of purpose that offsets the style of the music beautifully. The group's also got a wonderful vibist – one who really makes some great Roy Ayers inflections on the best cuts – especially those with ensemble vocals. Tracks include "No More Junk", "Black Love", "Children Of Tomorrow's Dreams", and "Puppet". CD
Also available Bow To The People (with bonus track) ... LP 27.99

Possible matches63
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Theatre WestBow To The People (with bonus track) ... LP
Black Fire/Strut, Late 70s. New Copy 2LP (reissue)... $27.99 29.99
A sweet set of spiritual jazz funk – a gem of a set from an Ohio group of the 70s, but one that was initially only issued on CD by the Black Fire label many years later! The ensemble's led by singer/pianist Clarence Young – and has a very message-oriented approach – sort of a blend of Roy Ayers-styled jazzy soul with touches of Philly harmony groups, and a bit more of the soul jazz of the Strata East years. Clarence talks his way into few of the cuts – laying down a message, sometimes to some kids – and the way the music builds out of the spoken bits is very nice, and gives the record an intimate sense of purpose that offsets the style of the music beautifully. The group's also got a wonderful vibist – one who really makes some great Roy Ayers inflections on the best cuts – especially those with ensemble vocals. Tracks include "No More Junk", "Black Love", "Children Of Tomorrow's Dreams", and "Puppet". Includes the unreleased track "Man Of Many Means"! LP, Vinyl record album
(First time on vinyl – with an unreleased track, and new notes and rare photos!)
Also available Bow To The People ... CD 13.99

Possible matches64
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Charles TolliverConnect ... CD
Gearbox (UK), 2020. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
A stunner of a set from legendary trumpeter Charles Tolliver – and a record that shows that he's lost none of his brilliance since the years of his 70s recordings for the Strata East label! The format here is a bit like those – long tracks by a small group, with an outward appearance of familiarity – but a clearly resonant sense of individuality right from the very first note! All tracks are originals by Charles, and have that soaring quality that's always made him one of the most righteous talents in jazz – working with a group here that features Jesse Davis on alto, Keith Brown on piano, Buster Williams on bass, and Lenny White on drums. The group's also joined by the great Binker Moses on tenor on two tracks – and titles include "Suspicion", "Copasetic", "Emperor March", and "Blue Soul". CD

Possible matches65
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Charles TolliverImpact (Enja) (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $13.99
Don't confuse this one with Charles Tolliver's album on Strata East of the same name – because this session's a completely different one for Enja, but equally great! The group here is a quartet – not Tolliver's usual Music Inc lineup, but a combo that features Alvin Queen on drums, Ron Mathewson on bass, and regular partner Stanley Cowell on piano – all hitting a groove that's a bit different than the Tolliver sound of Strata East, and sometimes a bit more filled with energy! The date is a live one, and there's a nice roughness here – not to the recording quality, but more to the rhythms, which feel a bit chunkier than Tolliver's usual groove, and seem to push the flowing sound of his trumpet and Cowell's piano perhaps a bit more. Titles include "Brilliant Circles", "Impact", "Truth", and "Prayer For Peace". CD features the bonus tracks "Abscretions" and "Our Second Father". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Possible matches66
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McCoy TynerExpansions (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Blue Note, Late 60s. New Copy (reissue)... $28.99 34.99
A really mindblowing session from McCoy Tyner – perfectly titled "Expansions" to showcase the change in his style at the time! The record is one of Tyner's first larger group efforts – and is a brilliant example of the expansion of his talents in the post-Coltrane years – a searing, soaring batch of longer tunes that dance with joy, life, and a new sense of energy in jazz – carried off perfectly by a lineup that includes excellent contributions from Gary Bartz on alto, Wayne Shorter on tenor, and Woody Shaw on trumpet. The album is as spiritual and swinging as you'd expect from those players – with a sound that's more Strata East than Blue Note – and titles include "Vision", "Song of Happiness", "Smitty's Place", and "Peresina". LP, Vinyl record album
(Part of the Blue Note Tone Poet series – heavy cover and vinyl!)

Possible matches67
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Larry WillisInner Crisis ... CD
Groove Merchant/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... $18.99
One of the few funky albums ever cut as a leader by Larry Willis – a super-hip keyboard player who's best known for his work with Jackie McLean and Hugh Masekela, but who sounds even better as a leader! This album's a gem all the way through – with a free-thinking soulful sound that's head and shoulders above the rest of the work on Groove Merchant at the time. Players include Harold Vick, Roland Prince, and Eddie Gomez – and the overall groove is an incredible array of soulful rhythms, played by Larry on electric piano, in a mode that makes the record feel like a lost gem from Strata East or Black Jazz. Includes the cuts "Out On The Coast", "153rd Street Theme", "Inner Crisis", and "Bahamian Street Dance". CD
(Part of the Groove Merchant Mo' Groovy Collection!)

Possible matches68
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Prince Billy Mahdi WrightYou Got Dat Wright (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Raenii/P-Vine (Japan), 1980. New Copy ... $24.99
A wonderful bit of lost spiritual soul jazz from Chicago – recorded in the early 80s, but with a progressive and righteous feel that's very much in the 70s Strata East vein! The group's led by Billy Mahdi on tenor, soprano, and flute – and features Corky McClerkin on piano, Eldee Young on bass, and Dave Baldwin on sax. But the real treat on the set is a trio of female singers that augment some of the best tracks – singing in a slightly off-beat style that is somewhere between Oneness Of Juju and Ramp. And in fact, Oneness of Juju are a good comparison here – as the album's got a lot of tracks that are kind of like that group's tighter jazz dance, less Afro-inspired numbers. Includes the spiritual classics "Tune Weaver" and "Summer Love" – plus "Love Dream", "79th Street Blues", and "Excuse Me". CD
(Prat of the excellent Groove Diggers series!)

Possible matches69
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VariousPeace Chant Vol 4 – Raw, Deep, & Spiritual Jazz (with download) ... LP
Tramp (Germany), 1970s/Early 80s. New Copy ... $19.99 22.99
A fantastic collection, and one that goes deep deep into the farther reaches of the spiritual scene in the 70s – tracks that are way more obscure than music on labels like Strata East or Impulse, and which really show an evolution of music ideas at the time! The core style is jazz, but there are also other elements at play too – and the tracks are a mix of instrumentals and vocals, the latter of which have an especially wonderful quality! Some of the tunes are nicely gentle, almost quiet in spirit – while others have a bolder, more political approach – and the mix of tunes throughout is very fresh, and maybe even better than the first collection in this series. Titles on vinyl volume 4 include "Untitled No 1" by Bohannon Trio, "Bo Ghana" by Lonnell Dantzler, "Ghana Cha" by Donn Preston Group, "Quernemoen" by Wayne Powell Octet, "Egg Nog" by Tommy Jones, "Attitude" by Organic Pulse Ensemble, "Brass Winds" by The Niambi Big Band, "Freedom" by Brother Yu Sextet, and "Ser Vi Tude" by James Scales & All Stars. LP, Vinyl record album
(Includes full album download code.)

Possible matches70
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VariousYou Need This – An Introduction To Black Saint & Soul Note Records 1975 to 1985 (3LP set) ... LP
Black Saint/BBE (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy 3LP Gatefold ... $32.99 36.99
A tremendous look at one of the coolest jazz labels of all time – and one that has an especially strong focus on the more spiritual side of its music! The paired Black Saint and Soul Note labels came along from the Italian scene right at a time when so many other American companies were shutting their doors – former spiritual jazz powerhouses like Strata East, Impulse, and Black Jazz were moving beyond the music, or disappearing entirely – which made the role of Black Saint/Soul Note such a crucial one! The company came into the game at a time of boundless creativity in American jazz – and really captured a post-Coltrane generation that was brimming over with fire and new ideas, but just needed a place to find expression – which it did at the label, who recorded dozens of albums in the space of less than a decade, nearly all of which have gone onto become classics over the years. And while there's a side of the label that's much more free jazz and avant garde, the cuts here reflect a Black Saint/Soul Note that's just slightly inside – tunes that are still freewheeling, but also have a rhythmic core – and the kinds of open, soaring solos that were first inspired in the 60s generation of Coltrane and Shepp. The choice of cuts is great – similar to the others in the If Music series – and titles include "Mr Seven" by M'Booom, "Joycie Girl" by Don Pullen with Sam Rivers, "Il Giro Del Giorno In 80 Mondi" by Enrico Rava, "Oasis" by Hamiet Bluiett, "Confessin" by John Stubblefield, "Joobubie" by George Adams & Dannie Richmond, "Verde Que Eu Te Quero Ver" by Rava String Band, "Down Home In New York" by Archie Shepp, "BK" by Air, and "The Nagual Julian" by Billy Bang Sextet. LP, Vinyl record album

Possible matches71
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✨✧ Gary BartzLibra/Another Earth ... CD
Milestone, 1967/1968. Used ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Early soul jazz brilliance from a young Gary Bartz – music that pre-dates his Ntu Troup, and his work with Larry Mizell! Libra is fantastic early work from Gary – and probably his rarest record ever! The album was cut at a time when the young Bartz was first coming to prominence in the hip late 60s soul jazz group of Max Roach – and Bartz's playing at the time is a perfect model of mid-Coltrane searching with some of the tighter sides of soul jazz that were being forged at labels like Blue Note by players like Hank Mobley or Lee Morgan. The record's a masterpiece of youthful soulful energy – and the group includes Jimmy Owens on trumpet, Richard Davis on bass, Albert Dailey on piano, and Billy Higgins on drums, all players who are perfectly matched to fit Bartz's stridently creative vision. His solos on alto are impeccable – some of the most meaningful we've ever heard on the instrument from the time – and the album's a great one all the way through! Titles include "Air & Fire", "Eastern Blues", "Libra", "Freedom Of The Day", and "Cabin In The Sky". Another Earth is amazing too – one of the first that Gary Bartz ever cut – done during a time when he'd been working with Max Roach and a super-hip group of younger soul jazz players who would go onto shape the sound of the 70s. Bartz leads a group that includes Stanley Cowell, Freddy Waits, Charles Tolliver, Pharoah Sanders, and Reggie Workman – and the music sounds like it was lifted from one of the best albums on Strata East from the 70s. There's no funk, no vocals, no weird rhythms – just pure spiritual jazz, played to perfection, and filled with a creative vitality that most of the players had lost a few years later. Tracks include the album-side "Another Earth", plus "Dark Nebula", "UFO", and "Perihelion & Aphelion". Note: CD omits the track "Disjunction" from Libra – due to space restrictions. CD
(On Demand CDr pressing.)
Also available Libra/Another Earth ... CD 11.99

Possible matches72
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✨✧ Stanley ClarkeChildren Of Forever ... LP
Polydor, 1973. Very Good+ ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Quite possibly the hippest album that Stanley Clarke ever cut – a stretched-out soulful batch of jazz-tinged tracks – very much in the same spirit as the more righteous soul jazz underground of the time! In a way, the record would be much more at home on a label like Strata East than it would at Polydor – thanks to vocals from Andy Bey and Dee Dee Bridgewater – and a group lineup that includes Pat Martino on guitars, Art Webb on flute, Lenny White on drums, and Chick Corea on keyboards! Corea produced, and there's a bit of the free-floating style of Return To Forever here – but the overall vibe is a lot more soulful too, and reminds us a fair bit of some of the earliest work by Norman Connors or Carlos Garnett – both of whom used Bridgewater as a vocalist in similar settings. Titles include "Children Of Forever", "Butterfly Dreams", "Sea Journey", and "Unexpected Days". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has light ring and edge wear and a bumped bottom corner.)

Possible matches73
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✨✧ Stanley Cowell & Dave BurrellQuestions/Answers ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Amazing duo improvisations from two of the hippest pianists of the early 70s – Stanley Cowell and Dave Burrell, coming together here on a rare Japanese-only album – one that features two long tracks that each take up a side of the disc! The vibe is maybe a bit more avant at times than some of Stanley's work on Strata East, but there's also a great balance between the voices of the two players too – and the sense of spontaneous creation is wonderful throughout, and always balances individual expressions with deeper ideas – ringing out in the loud, lively space of Ino Hall in Tokyo. The record contains two long tracks – "Questions" and "Answers" – both long improvisations by the pair. CD

Possible matches74
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✨✧ Detroit Jazz Composers LtdHastings St. Jazz Experience ... LP
Midnite, 1976. New Copy (reissue)... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Sublime spiritual jazz from the 70s scene in Detroit – and a record that really represents an evolution of the previous sounds that you might have heard on the Motorcity's Tribe Records! The sound here is straightforward and soulful – a bit of electricity at the bottom and some fluidly gliding horn work on the top – plus some key vocals from a group that includes Kim Weston in the lead, supported by other female singers – in a righteous mode that really makes the best tunes sparkle! Other players include Phil Ranelin on trombone, Nasi Hafiz on vibes, Miller Brisker on tenor and piano, and Sylvia Truner on harp – all working together in a largeish group with the best spiritual energy of groups on Strata East! The whole thing's great – a beautiful lost treasure, and the kind of record that's rarely carried off so perfectly – and titles include "Song For M", "A Little Love For You", "Mark I", "Ja-Mil", "Nobody Had To Tell Me", "Arjuna", and "Now You're Gone". LP, Vinyl record album

Possible matches75
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✨✧ Henry FranklinSkipper ... CD
Black Jazz/Real Gone, 1972. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
One of the greatest moments ever from west coast bassman Henry Franklin – a set of soaring, spiritual power – and a key demonstration of his rich energy as a leader! Franklin heads a wicked lineup here – playing both Fender and acoustic bass amidst other players who include Bill Henderson on electric piano, Charles Owens on tenor and soprano sax, Oscar Brashear on trumpet, Kenny Climax on guitar, and Michael Carvin on drums – all coming together with a mix of spiritual vibes and soulful undercurrents, in ways that almost give the record a Strata East sort of vibe! The whole thing is certainly one of the most memorable sessions on the Black Jazz label – and titles include "Outbreak", "Little Miss Laurie", "Theme For Jojo", and "Plastic Creek Stomp". CD

Possible matches76
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✨✧ Matthew HalsallOn The Go (special edition – with bonus tracks) ... LP
Gondwana (UK), 2011. New Copy 2LP ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A gem of an album from trumpeter Matthew Halsall – his third on the Gondawa label, and like all the others, a set that we'd easily rank right up there with the best 70s spiritual jazz on labels like Strata East or Black Jazz! The set's got a fluid sound that's extremely compelling – kind of a post-Coltrane vibe that has all the players stretching out nicely, but always in a soulful way – never too overdone, or too avant – always staying in the right sort of expressive modes to keep their energy focused. And in the group with Halsall's trumpet is the tenor of Nat Birchall – labelmate on Gondawa, and a player we totally love too – with rhythm support from Adam Fairhall on piano, Gavin Barras on bass, and Gaz Hughes on drums – plus a bit of harp from Rachael Gladwin on one track. Titles include "Samatha", "The End Of Dukkha", "Song For Charlie", and "Music For A Dancing Mind". Remastered edition – features bonus tracks "Only You", "Singing Everyday", and "Breathless". LP, Vinyl record album

Possible matches77
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✨✧ Matthew HalsallSending My Love (with bonus track) ... LP
Gondwana (UK), 2008. New Copy 2LP ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A really incredible album – a set that's filled with far more soul and feeling than you might guess from the youthful image on the cover! Matthew Halsall's a pretty young player, but his sound here is really amazing – not just on his own trumpet solos, but on the overall feel of the album – which is beautifully composed, and put together with a sense of spirit that takes us back to Strata East at its most sophisticated in the 70s! There's a really beautiful balance here – ambition in the writing that recalls other UK efforts from The Heritage Orchestra or Nostalgia 77 Octet – but an execution that's much leaner overall, deeply personal lines played by a relatively small combo – quintet formation on all numbers, featuring Halsall's trumpet alongside great reedwork on soprano sax, flute, alto, and tenor – supported by soaring rhythms on piano, bass, and drums – all handled with the majesty of an early 70s McCoy Tyner album, or some of the other great modally-inspired work of the American post-Coltrane generation. Tremendous stuff throughout – a record that held us rapt from start to finish – with 5 original compositions that include "On The Other Side Of The World", "Reflections", "Freedom Song", "Sending My Love", and "Sachi". LP, Vinyl record album

Possible matches78
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✨✧ Weldon IrvineLiberated Brother (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Nodlew/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1972. New Copy (reissue)... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Landmark early work from the legendary Weldon Irvine – recorded way back when he was first coming to fame with Nina Simone, but done as an obscure indie effort for his tiny Nodlew label! The set's a wicked batch of keyboard-heavy funk – at a level that's similar to some of the best titles on Black Jazz or Strata East at the time, but also filled with an even richer array of colors and musical ideas. Weldon's work on electric piano is worth the price of admission alone – often spare, spacious, and perfectly placed – especially on the funky classics "Homey", "Mr Clean", and "Sister Sanctified" – a tune later cut by Stanley Turrentine, but heard here in Weldon's original version! Other cuts include "Gloria", "Juggah Buggah", "Blues Wel-Don", and "Liberated Brother". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition 180 gram pressing!)

Possible matches79
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✨✧ Dadisi KomolafeHassan's Walk ... CD
Nimbus, 1983. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A soul jazz treasure from the LA scene of the early 80s – a fantastic record that we'd rank with the best Strata East sides of the time! The group's led by alto saxophonist Dadisi Komolafe, and features vibes by Ricky Kelly, piano by Eric Tillman, bass by Roberto Miranda, and drums by Sunship Theus – all working together in a style that's infused with soulful, post-Coltrane exploratory energy, never going too far outside, and always staying true to the rhythmic pulse at its core. Kelly's vibes are really great – sparkling underneath solos by Komolafe that remind us a lot of Gary Bartz's earliest work – and titles include "Calvary", "Speak No Evil", and "Hassan's Walk". CD
(Comes in a slim sleeve.)

Possible matches80
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✨✧ Yusef LateefLast Savoy Sessions ... CD
Savoy, 1957/1959. Used 2 CDs ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Incredible early work from Yusef Lateef – some of his best! On these early Savoy side, Lateef is drawing from the wealth of influences that were running through the Detroit jazz underground of the 50s that spawned him – and apart from a strongly-conceived bop-influenced sound, you'll also hear Lateef experimenting a lot with jazz exoticism, using different reed instruments and odd small-group arrangements in a manner that's sort of a more "inside" version of similar work done at the time by Sun Ra and group. Lateef's work at this point is a key link in a tradition of exploratory Afro-centric jazz that runs through Roland Kirk's "Black Classical Music" of the 60s, and the underground output of labels like Tribe or Strata East during the 70s. About half the cuts on here are fairly straight, and still pretty nice, but those that aren't will open your eyes to Lateef's genius! Includes titles from The Fabric Of Jazz, The Dreamer, Jazz & The Sounds Of Nature, and Prayer To The East – with 19 numbers that include "Arjuna", "Valse Bouk", "Check Blues", "Gypsy Arab", "Sram", "Lover Man", and "8540 Twelfth Street". CD
(Out of print.)

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✨✧ Harold MabernLookin On The Bright Side ... CD
DIW (Japan), 1993. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A bright, positive set from pianist Harold Mabern – one that's overflowing with soul and spirit – and a perfect example of his strengths during the 90s stretch when his career really took off again! The trio's got a well-balanced approach to rhythm – bold basslines from Christian McBride, whose youthful tones seem to warm up Mabern's music more than ever – and tight drums from Jack DeJohnette, who knows nicely that less is more – and never tries to overwhelm the interplay between Harold and Christian! Titles include "Big Time Cooper", "Moment's Notice", "Look On The Bright Side", "Our Waltz", and "Too Late Fall Back Baby" – a number you might remember from Mabern's Strata East years, sounding mighty nice here, too! CD

Possible matches82
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✨✧ Moffett Family Jazz BandAfricano ... CD
Venus (Japan), 1995. Used ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Great work from Charles Moffett and his talented family – all of whom have matured nicely by the time of this recording! Gone is the sloppiness of some of the earlier Moffett Family albums, and in its place is a tight soulful groove – with a progressive soul jazz sound that reminds us of the best moments on the Strata East label during the 70s! Charnett Moffett's on bass, Charles plays alto and tenor, Mondre plays trumpet, and Codaryl and Charles Sr play drums alongside Julian Coryell on guitar, and Lafayette Thomas on piano. Tracks include "Birdsong", "Jambalaya Suite", "Mr. PC", and "Africano". CD
(Out of print, includes obi.)

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✨✧ Gil Scott-HeronFirst Minute Of A New Day ... LP
Arista, 1975. Very Good+ Gatefold ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Gil Scott Heron's first album for Arista – very much in the mellow soul jazz work of his legendary album on Strata East! The record features some wonderfully moody jazz backing that really marks a shift in Gil's style – never going too far over the top, but hitting a sweet groove that really lets him open up as a singer even more than before! There's plenty of warm electric piano on the album, couched in those wonderfully soulful phrases that Gil and Brian Jackson could cook up so effortlessly at the time – and tracks include the fantastic cut "Winter In America", plus "The Liberation Song", "Ain't No Such Thing As Superman" and "Western Sunrise". LP, Vinyl record album
(Nice original pressing, in the textured cover! Cover has a cutout mark, and a bit of splitting on the top seam.)

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✨✧ Gil Scott-HeronFirst Minute Of A New Day (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
TVT, 1975. Used ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Gil Scott Heron's first album for Arista – very much in the mellow soul jazz work of his legendary album on Strata East! The record features some wonderfully moody jazz backing that really marks a shift in Gil's style – never going too far over the top, but hitting a sweet groove that really lets him open up as a singer even more than before! There's plenty of warm electric piano on the album, couched in those wonderfully soulful phrases that Gil and Brian Jackson could cook up so effortlessly at the time – and tracks include the fantastic cut "Winter In America", plus "The Liberation Song", "Ain't No Such Thing As Superman" and "Western Sunrise". This reissue also includes 2 bonus cuts – a solo version of "Winter In America", and a live set of poems that leads into a version of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". CD
(Out of print.)

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✨✧ Jesse Sharps Quintet/Pan Afrikan Peoples ArkestraSharps & Flats ... CD
Nimbus, 1979/1985. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Soaring spiritual soul jazz from the LA scene – a CD that features a beautiful performance by the Jesse Sharps Quintet, plus a longer extended track from Horace Tapscott's Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra! We'll be honest in saying that we'd never heard of Sharps before this CD – but he's a heck of a great saxophonist, with a sound that recalls the glory days of the Strata East scene, and the beautiful post-Coltrane Muse sessions by Earl & Carl Grubbs. His group for the session features some excellent work by the great Nate Morgan on piano – driving away in long, rhythmic passages that are very much in the mode of Morgan's own Nimbus recordings – and carried through with an equal amount of soul. Horace Tapscott joins the group on two numbers as well – before stepping over to lead his expanded Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra on the CD's extra cut – a composition by Sharps that's entitled "McKowsky's First Fifth" – played by a great Nimbus-esque group that includes Adele Sebastian on flute, Sabia Mateen on tenor, Billie Harris on soprano, and Horace Tapscott on piano. Other titles on the CD include "The Goat & The Ramjam", "As A Child", "Mike's Tune", "Macrame", and "Carnival" – and the whole set of tracks is easily one of the greatest recordings on the legendary Nimbus label! CD

Possible matches86
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✨✧ Linda TilleryLinda Tillery ... LP
Olivia, 1977. Very Good+ ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A righteous classic from singer Linda Tillery – a set that was issued by the all-woman Olivia Records label, with a special market focus in the 70s, but a record that's gone onto find a much wider audience over the years! Linda's got a cool approach here that's a little bit soul and a little bit jazz – almost a deeper vibe that's like a female equivalent of Terry Callier at points, especially given the great production and use of acoustic guitar in the mix. The best cuts here almost might fit on the Strata East label – including the killer "Freedom Time", which is a sublime righteous cut we never tire of hearing! Othe cuts include "Heaven Is In Your Mind", "Markin Time", "Wonderful", and "Don't Pray For Me". LP, Vinyl record album
(Includes the printed lyric inner sleeve. Cover has some wear at the top left, but is nice otherwise.)

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✨✧ VariousPeace Chant Vol 3 – Raw, Deep, & Spiritual Jazz (with download) ... LP
Tramp (Germany), 1970s/Early 80s. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A fantastic collection, and one that goes deep deep into the farther reaches of the spiritual scene in the 70s – tracks that are way more obscure than music on labels like Strata East or Impulse, and which really show an evolution of music ideas at the time! The core style is jazz, but there are also other elements at play too – and the tracks are a mix of instrumentals and vocals, the latter of which have an especially wonderful quality! Some of the tunes are nicely gentle, almost quiet in spirit – while others have a bolder, more political approach – and the mix of tunes throughout is very fresh, and maybe even better than the first collection in this series. Titles on vinyl vol 3 include "Mother's Day" by Lenny Marcus Trio, "Africa The Beautiful" by Roland Hayes, "Muhammad Ali" by Jule Farmer, "Fulive" by Supa Lowery Brothers, "Themes & Variations" by Black Is, "Natural Life" by Natural Life, "Heal It" by Rama Dyushambee, and "Catechism For D" by The Hippest Set. LP, Vinyl record album
(Includes full album download code.)

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✨✧ VariousPraise Poems 5 – A Journey Into Deep Soulful Jazz & Funk From The 1970s (with bonus download) ... LP
Tramp (Germany), 1970s. New Copy 2LP ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A record with a sound that's much richer than you'd expect from the cover – not the spare, stark image on the front – but a wonderfully deep array of sounds from the more spiritual side of the jazz spectrum! As with previous volumes, the collection of tunes here is amazing – tracks that are so underground, they've even been missed by collectors over the past few decades – gems that plumb the vinyl depths even beyond labels like Strata East, Black Jazz, or Muse – to show that there were some even more amazing musical moments taking place far out in the hinterland! Those three other labels would be a great comparison to the style here – especially the last two – as many of the cuts have an early 70s blend of electric jazz, funk, and maybe a bit of soul – sometimes vocal, sometimes instrumental – very deep all the way through. Titles include "Anita" by Scott Cunningham Band, "Move On" by Robert Cote with Orange Lake Drive, "Red Clay" by Gunn High School Jazz Reunion, "Chocolate Puddin" by Gate, "Down Here On The Ground" by Keither Florence, "Funky Resurgence" by Ulysses Crockett, "Al's Thing" by Al Walton Trio, "Walk With Me" by David Lee Jones Trio, "When She's Gone" by Anything Goes, "Empty Days" by Randy Larkin, and "Strange Things" by Tim James. LP, Vinyl record album
(Includes download!)

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✨✧ Brother AhhDivine Music (Sea/Meditation/Searching) (3CD set) ... CD
Manufactured, 1978/1981/1985. New Copy 3CD ... Out Of Stock
Three never-issued albums from Brother Ah – the enigmatic musician who may be known best for his work with Sun Ra, and his rare album on Strata East! Both of those moments date from earlier years, though – and past that time, Brother Ah was still working strongly on some amazing musical ideas of his own – work that includes the three albums presented in this package, which together really mark a shift for both Ah and some of his spiritual jazz contemporaries as the 70s moved on! The set begins with the beautiful set The Sea – recorded in 1978, with a long-flowing sound that's quite hypnotic, and very much in the spiritual territory of post-Coltrane material – including work by Trane's wife Alice. Brother Ah plays flute, in these fantastic lines that spin out slowly and echo strongly – amidst a mix of percussion, violin, mbira, bass, and drums – often used in ways that build beautifully, and which provide a great introduction to both the sung and spoken passages – presented by Abena Walker, Jeanean Gibbs, and Nataska Hassan Youssef. Titles include "Nuba", "Far Away", "The Village Drum", "Visoins", and "Africa We Are Your Children". Meditation is from a few years later, and has a different makeup – a sound that's much more spare overall, and which just features Brother Ah on flute, zither, and "nature sounds" – with help from Cleo Jomo Faulks on mbira and gong! The tunes have an earthier feel than you might guess from the album's title – still somewhat meditative, but also more open to the vibes of nature than the space of the studio – with moments that feel more more like the organic sounds of the young Moondog, or maybe some of Alice Coltrane's more home-made moments. Titles include "Stillness", "Spirit World", "Close Your Eyes & See", and "Song Of The Unseen". Last up is Searching – a record from 1985 that maybe moves the spiritual agenda from the political to the personal – that shift towards more interior solutions that some musicians took in the 80s, especially as funding for some kinds of spiritual jazz albums fell by the wayside, and some artists had to adapt to the new age underground. Yet although that shift might be in place here, Brother Ah is still as righteous as ever – just equipped with a slightly different voice – as he works alongside some electronics and percussion from Richard Ashman, and blows trumpet and a variety of flutes, while also handling percussion and harmonica in very spacious ways. The record is more about extended sound textures than individual instrumentation – and titles include "I Am", "Going Within", "Inner Voice", and "Know Thyself". First time release for all three records – presented in a really great package! CD
Also available Divine Music (Sea/Meditation/Searching) (5LP set) ... LP 89.99

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✨✧ Francisco Mora CatlettMora ... LP
AACE/Far Out (UK), 1987. New Copy (reissue)... Out Of Stock
A legendary early set from percussionist Francisco Mora Catlett – and a really sublime blend of spiritual jazz and Latin rhythms! Mora's percussion is definitely at the core – but the set also features wonderful contributions from Vincent Bowens on tenor and soprano sax, Jerome LeDuff on berimbau, Alberto Nacif on quinto, and Detroit jazz legend Kenny Cox on piano! There's a balance here that really matches the best Strata East energy of the 70s – an open, flowing approach that's completely sublime, and very righteous too – even more so than anything Mora's done since the 70s – making this record one of his greatest achievements ever. Tersa Mora sings a bit of vocals at times – and titles include "Afra Jum", "Five AM", "Rumba Morena", "Samba De Amor", and "Cultural Warrior". LP, Vinyl record album
Also available Mora/Mora 2 ... CD 14.99

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✨✧ CompostLife Is Round ... CD
Columbia/Wounded Bird, 1973. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A classic set of spiritual fusion from this short-lived allstar group Compost – featuring Harold Vick, Bob Moses, Jumma Santos, and Jack DeJohnette! Vick's at his moody soulful best here, in a mode that's similar to his Strata East work – and the record also features occasional vocals by Lou Courtney and Jeanne Lee. They hit a fairy feverish, funky jazz mode throughout, and every player is in incredible form here. Titles include "The Ripper", "Moonsong", "Changing Streams", "Mon Cherry Popsicool", "Compost Festival", "Life Is Round", and "Buzzard Feathers". CD

Possible matches92
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✨✧ Stanley CowellBlues For The Viet Cong ... CD
Freedom/Muzak (Japan), 1969. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Incredible work from the young Stanley Cowell – one of his first albums ever, but already a step ahead of most of his contemporaries! The set's a trio date, unlike some of Cowell's later albums for Strata East – and it's got a wonderful blend of soaring piano lines and more complicated rhythms – already showing some of the spiritual elements that Cowell would later craft into longer lines with Charles Tolliver – but possibly even more striking here in the looser space of a trio! Rhythms are sometimes quite fluid and free – almost in the vein of some of Steve Kuhn's most inventive late 60s work – but sometimes things echo previous generations as well, almost with a Jaki Byard vibe. In addition to Cowell's great work on acoustic and electric piano, the trio features wonderful drums from Jimmy Hopps and bass from Steve Novosel – both players who are at the top of their game here, and really help set fire to Cowell's music. Titles include an early take on "Travelin Man" – quite different from the later version on Strata East, but equally wonderful – plus "Blues For The Viet Cong", "Wedding March", "Photon In A Paper World", "Departure", "Sweet Song", and "The Shuttle". CD

Possible matches93
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✨✧ Frank FosterLoud Minority ... CD
Mainstream/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
One of the most amazing albums ever from Frank Foster – a totally righteous set that's light years ahead of his earlier work with the Basie Band! The format here is right up there with the best on Strata East at the time – a large-group session that's filled with some of the hippest players of the early 70s – all coming together with a joyous, spiritual sense of power! Foster's in the lead on tenor and soprano sax, but other players include Cecil Bridgewater and Hannibal Marvin Peterson on trumpets, Harold Mabern on keyboards, Elvin Jones on drums, Dick Griffin on trombone, Stanley Clarke on bass, Airto on percussion, and even Dee Dee Bridgewater on vocals! Tracks are all quite long and flowing – spiritual expressions of jazz that rival the greatness of anything recorded for Impulse – and titles include "The Loud Minority", "Requiem For Dusty", "JP's Thing", and "EW – Beautiful People". CD
(Part of the Mainstream Records Master Collection!)
Also available Loud Minority (with bonus 20 page booklet) (2021 Record Store Day Release) ... LP 34.99

Possible matches94
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✨✧ Charles Greenlee with Archie SheppI Know About The Life – The Musical Genius Of Charles Greenlee (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Baystate (Japan), 1975. Used ... Out Of Stock
Sublimely spiritual work from trombonist Charles Greenlee – a player who's best remembered for work as a sideman with Archie Shepp, but who really sparkles as a leader on this rare Japanese set! The vibe here is totally great – a righteous approach to soul jazz that rivals the best work of the Strata East scene in the US, but which is carried off with the poise and power of some of the best mid 70s Japanese-only dates of this type – clearly a great deal of respect and freedom given to Greenlee in the studio, but also some good help in putting together the record in as solid a way as possible. Jean Carn makes a great appearance singing on 3 tracks here – with a quality that's even more righteous than her work with Doug Carn on Black Jazz – and one more number features the great Joe Lee Wilson on vocals too. Players include Hubert Eaves and Art Matthews on piano, Charles Sullivan on trumpet, Archie Shepp on tenor and soprano, Buster Williams on bass, and either Charlie Persip or Beaver Harris on drums – and titles include "I Know About The Life", "He's Gone", "Steam", "Someday", "Crusificado", and "Miss Barbara". CD
(Out of print.)

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✨✧ Sun RaSleeping Beauty ... LP
Saturn/Art Yard (UK), 1979. Near Mint- ... Out Of Stock
One of the most soulful Sun Ra albums ever – very much on the Lanquidity tip, and done with a great mix of electric and acoustic instrumentation! The vibe here is really mellow, spiritual, and warm – and the album actually feels a lot more like a session recorded for the Strata East label than it does for Saturn! Keyboards pervade the session – electric piano and organ drifting around in moody, laidback lines – augmented by occasional vibes, bits of guitar, and some wonderfully well-blown sax solo work by Marshall Allen and John Gilmore! The title track "Sleeping Beauty" runs for all of side two of the album – and it's an amazing little number that mixes instrumental passages with some great mellow Roy Ayers-styled vocals. "Door Of The Cosmos" is a bit of a groover, and even gets a bit funky at times – and the album also features the laidback spacey number "Springtime". LP, Vinyl record album
(2017 edition, with the printed inner sleeve.)

Possible matches96
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✨✧ Charles TolliverRinger (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Freedom/Muzak (Japan), 1969. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
The start of a legend – a record that may well be called the birthplace of the Strata East record label – as the let features both trumpeter Charles Tolliver and pianist Stanley Cowell, working together in an early version of the Music Inc group that would be one of the key acts on Strata East during the 70s! The set came at a time when both Tolliver and Cowell had been working in Max Roach's groundbreaking group of the late 60s – getting plenty of training from Max, but also, along with Gary Bartz, opening up with all these new spiritual ideas and fresh compositions – to a point where there's already a very mature, focused vibe on this early set! The rest of the group features Steve Novosel on bass and Jimmy Hopps on drums – and together, the musicians soar beautifully on a set of all original tunes by Tolliver – some of which you'll recognize from later readings, but which are already in a perfect modal, spiritual groove here. Tracks include "Spur", "The Ringer", "Mother Wit", "Plight", and "On The Nile". CD

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✨✧ Prince Billy Mahdi WrightYou Got Dat Wright ... LP
Raenii/P-Vine (Japan), 1980. New Copy (reissue)... Out Of Stock
A wonderful bit of lost spiritual soul jazz from Chicago – recorded in the early 80s, but with a progressive and righteous feel that's very much in the 70s Strata East vein! The group's led by Billy Mahdi on tenor, soprano, and flute – and features Corky McClerkin on piano, Eldee Young on bass, and Dave Baldwin on sax. But the real treat on the set is a trio of female singers that augment some of the best tracks – singing in a slightly off-beat style that is somewhere between Oneness Of Juju and Ramp. And in fact, Oneness of Juju are a good comparison here – as the album's got a lot of tracks that are kind of like that group's tighter jazz dance, less Afro-inspired numbers. Includes the spiritual classics "Tune Weaver" and "Summer Love" – plus "Love Dream", "79th Street Blues", and "Excuse Me". LP, Vinyl record album
(Great Japanese pressing – with obi!)
Also available You Got Dat Wright (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD 24.99

Possible matches98
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✨✧ Stanley CowellBrilliant Circles (Japanese paper sleeve edition – with bonus tracks) ... CD
Freedom/Muzak (Japan), 1969. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A record that's definitely as brilliant as promised in the title – a set that has the young pianist Stanley Cowell bridging the late 60s Blue Note modal sound and his greatness to come on the Strata East label – all with a style that would set the tone for so many other players and groups in the 70s! The mix of musicians here is a dream – not just Cowell on piano, but also Bobby Hutcherson on vibes, Woody Shaw on trumpet, Tyrone Washington on tenor and flute, Reggie Workman on bass, and Joe Chambers on drums – all players with maybe a bit more under their belt, but who also instantly lock into Cowell's visionary new sound – spun out in a mix of modal moments and freer solos, on tunes penned by members of the group. Every track is nice and long, and has a spiritual jazz vibe that owes a lot more to the worlds of Cowell, Hutcherson, and Shaw than it does John Coltrane – as you'll hear on titles that include "Brilliant Circles", "Earthly Heavens", "Boo Ann's Grand", and "Bobby's Tune". CD features two bonus tracks – "Musical Players" and an alternate take of "Brilliant Circles". CD

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✨✧ Henry FranklinSkipper ... LP
Black Jazz/Real Gone, 1972. New Copy (reissue)... Out Of Stock
One of the greatest moments ever from west coast bassman Henry Franklin – a set of soaring, spiritual power – and a key demonstration of his rich energy as a leader! Franklin heads a wicked lineup here – playing both Fender and acoustic bass amidst other players who include Bill Henderson on electric piano, Charles Owens on tenor and soprano sax, Oscar Brashear on trumpet, Kenny Climax on guitar, and Michael Carvin on drums – all coming together with a mix of spiritual vibes and soulful undercurrents, in ways that almost give the record a Strata East sort of vibe! The whole thing is certainly one of the most memorable sessions on the Black Jazz label – and titles include "Outbreak", "Little Miss Laurie", "Theme For Jojo", and "Plastic Creek Stomp". LP, Vinyl record album

Possible matches100
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✨✧ Matthew HalsallFletcher Moss Park ... CD
Gondwana (UK), 2012. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Maybe the best work so far from trumpeter Matthew Halsall – and a wonderful continuation of the spiritual vibe he's been giving us for the past few years! Halsall's a real up-and-comer – a trumpeter with a spiritual sensibility that rivals the best players on 70s Impulse or Strata East sessions – working with a fluid, open quality that's unlike any other contemporary musicians we can think of! There's depth of sound to the record that rivals the best spiritual sessions from Build An Ark – or from Halsall's frequent partner and labelmate, Nat Birchall – whose tenor makes parts of the album sparkle as much as Matthew's trumpet. Other musicians include Rachael Gladwin on harp – an instrument used heavily on the record, in a cool Alice Coltrane-like way – plus Lisa Mallett on flute, Adam Fairhall on piano, and Holly Simpson on violin. Titles include "The Sun In September", "Finding My Way", "Sailing Out To Sea", "Mary Emma Louise", and "Fletcher Moss Park". CD
 
 
 



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