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Close matches: 341
Close matches1
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Isao TomitaCaptain Ultra ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1967. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
Very early work by Isao Tomita – some unusual space-age soundtracks, done in the years before his greater electronic fame! The music here is everything you'd expect from the cover – a great retro-future sort of style, and one that uses conventional soundtrack instrumentation, but with lots of odd twists and turns, weird effects, and more – all to create a cool space-driven batch of tracks! At times, the music is almost like that of Peter Thomas in his 60s space age mode – but at other points, things are moodier too – quite dark, with electronics bubbling under acoustic instrumentation in a very spooky way. The 2CD set features a whopping 90 tracks in all – all with Japanese titles – a heck of a deal at this price! CD

Close matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ AcesChicago Beat (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Black & Blue/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1970/1973. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
Great work from this Chicago group – material recorded in France, but which wails with the best sound of the small blues clubs on the south side at the time! The core group features Louis Myers on guitar and harmonica, Dave Myers on bass, and Fred Below on drums – joined by Eddie Taylor, Mickey Baker, and Jimmy Rogers on guitar at points – plus a bit of piano from the great Willie Mabon! The whole thing's excellent – very true to form, and more Delmark than some of the slicker blues recordings that were starting to show up at the time – on titles that include "Ace's Shuffle", "Tell Me Mama", "Take A Little Walk With Me", "Whole Lot Of Lovin", "Blues For Marcelle", and "Money Marbles & Chalk". CD features lots of bonus tracks – 6 more tracks added to the original album! CD
(Part of the "True Blue Masters – Black & Blue" series!)

Close matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
George Adams, Martin Hannibal Peterson & FriendsMore Sightings ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1984. New Copy ... $16.99
An unusual date from tenorist George Adams – recorded right around the same time as his legendary records with Don Pullen, but instead a more unusual partnership with the great trumpeter Hannibal Marvin Peterson! The pairing is great – and both hornmen soar out and really get plenty of room to do their thing – in a mixture of hardbop energy and more spiritual currents, with help from John Scofield on guitar, Ron Burton on piano, Walter Schmocker on bass, and Allen Nelson on drums. The energy is maybe a bit more like some of Peterson's late 70s records than some of the Adams/Pullen material – and that quality makes the live date a nice standout in the catalog of both players. Titles include "Soul Brothers", "Do We Know Where We Are Going", "Melanie", "More Sightings", and "Don't Take Your Love From Me". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Pepper AdamsJulian (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $16.99
Genius work from Pepper Adams – one of those players we sometimes forget about, then drop the needle on a record like this and fall in love with his music all over again! Adams blows baritone sax like nobody else – with a sensitivity that you'd normally hear on tenor, and a mix of modes that should have made him one of the most respected saxophonists of his generation – something that maybe didn't happen because of his unusual horn! Yet although big, there's nothing heavy about the way Pepper handles his horn – as you'll hear especially on the few ballads – and as usual for Adams, his choice of a group is great too – a sharp lineup with Walter Norris on piano, George Mraz on bass, and Makaya Ntshoko on drums. Titles include "Julian", "Ad Astra", "Jirge", "Spacemaker", and "Three & One". CD features two bonus tracks – "Time On My Hands" and "Lady Luck". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Nat AdderleyGood Company ... CD
Challenge/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1994. New Copy ... $16.99
The legendary Nat Adderley is definitely in good company here – a group with excellent work on alto from Antonio Hart – a player who comes off in a very different way than the famous alto of Nat's late brother, Cannonball! Antonio seems to open up some nicely dark currents in Adderley's music – underscored by the piano work of Rob Bargard, who can do a great job of shading things in from below – while the whole group moves with great rhythm work from the team of Walter Booker on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums. Tunes include two great Bargard originals – "Rob's New Tune" and "War Zone" – plus versions of "Rwanda", "Sermonette", "Corcovado", and "Unit Seven". CD
(Part of the "Timeless Jazz Syndicate" series!)

Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Rob AgerbeekHome Run ... CD
Blue Jack Jazz/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... $16.99
A definite home run from Dutch pianist Rob Agerbeek – a hip set recorded in 1971, and one that's done with a very soulful groove! The group's a quintet, and Rob really sparkles in this setting – pushing the players with a subtle skill that recalls Horace Silver at his Blue Note best – especially in the way that Agerbeek mixes upbeat grooving with more sensitive sounds on the set! Other players include Dick Vennik on tenor and flute, Willem Reinen on flugelhorn, Rob Langereis on bass, and Eric Ineke on drums – a really great group of players who fit toghether wonderfully here – pushing the grooves of the tunes strongly forward with warm energy, but also breaking out with some sharp solos of their own. Titles include the funky classic "The Chair Dance" – plus "Little Miss Dee", "Just Robbish", "Minor Rush", and "The Blue Countess". CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Shoji AketagawaAketa's Erotical Piano Solo & Grotesque Piano Trio ... CD
Aketa's Disk/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $24.99
The title's a bit unusual – but that's somewhat fitting, given that pianist Shoji Aketagawa was the driving creative force behind the always-unusual Aketa's disc label! There's nothing too erotic about the material, which also certainly isn't grotesque – and instead, Shoji rings out beautifully with these strong notes on a number of solo tracks, before leaping into some work with the trio on the last tune – but all with a quality that's really unlike anyone else we can think of! The piano has the richness of a grand piano, but the stiffness of an upright – maybe that's Shoji's playing, or just the instrument used for the date – and there's this instantly distinct feel to the record that grabs us the same way as Jaki Byard in a similar mode – even though Aketagawa isn't anything like Byard at all. Titles are in Japanese – and the set features seven tracks in all. CD
(Part of the Nippon Jazz Spirits series!)

Close matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Harold AlexanderAre You Ready? ... CD
Flying Dutchman/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
Reedman Harold Alexander cut very few albums as a leader – and this is one of the best! You're likely to hear Alexander's work in the background on other sessions, but at the time of this record he was also a visionary leader – perfect for the open, freewheeling vibe allowed by the Flying Dutchman label – in kind of a fusion between earlier 60s soul jazz modes, and some of the spiritual currents of the time! Harold blows both flute and soprano sax here – on a set of long tracks that also feature lots of great work from Neal Creque on piano – himself another musician who only got a bit of time to shine in the spotlight around this time, after a great legacy with Pucho & The Latin Soul Brothers. Cornell Dupree also plays guitar on the album – which features just three nicely long tracks – the funky "Quick City Revisited", a sweet cover of "Watermelon Man", and a ten minute jamming take on "High Heel Sneakers". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Harold AlexanderSunshine Man ... CD
Flying Dutchman/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... $13.99
A wicked bit of funky jazz from reedman Harold Alexander – and a set that's much sharper and harder-edged than some of his later work! There's maybe a bit of freedom in the mix, here too – some post-Coltrane spiritualism that mixes with some of the more funk-based currents – which include excellent electric piano by Neal Creque, and tight funky drums by Pretty Purdie! The tracks are all nice and long, but have a completely different approach than you'd find on labels like CTI or Prestige at the same time – both more complex, but maybe also more spontaneous too – in ways that really make the album a treasure all the way through, and has us wishing that Harold gave us a lot more like this. Titles include the classic "Sunshine Man", plus "Tite Rope", "Quick City", and "Mama Soul". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Monty AlexanderLive At The Cully Select Jazz Festival 1991 ... CD
Limetree/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1991. New Copy ... $13.99
Great later work from Monty Alexander – a record from a time when he maybe didn't have some of the funk or gimmicks of his earlier albums, but which also shows this mature command of the keyboard that Alexander never had on the piano in his youth! The date is one of those well-recorded trio sessions by the Limetree label – an imprint that always seemed to bring out the best in pianists – and Monty's group here features Lynn Seaton on bass and Duffy Jackson on drums – players who step back at all the right points to allow Alexander to feel a majestic flow on the piano, then come in and swing with some help from percussionist Steve Grier as well. Titles include "Crying", "Caribbean Circle", "Look Up", "Renewal", "The River", and "Maybe September". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Lorez AlexandriaFrom Broadway To Hollywood ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
An ultra-hip record from Lorez Alexandria – one of her grooviest albums ever, and a set that was only ever issued in Japan! The set features Lorez hitting some of the hippest, most rhythmic modes of her career – working with jazzy backing arranged by Gildo Mahones and Art Hillery, filled with soul and spirit, and really inspiring Lorez to hit those snapping sort of grooves that make her best tracks so great! Titles include her classic take on "Send In The Clowns" – a real jazz dance classic that goes far beyond its roots – plus the titles "Maybe This Time", "Where Is Love", "Change Partners", "One", "Come Sunday", "Bright Lights & You", and "You Leave Me Breathless". CD
(Part of the Jazz Legends In Japan series!)

Close matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Louis ArmstrongLouis Armstrong & His Friends ... CD
Flying Dutchman/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1970. New Copy ... $13.99
Louis Armstrong hits the Flying Dutchman label – and unlocks a whole new spiritual side of his talents – a mode that's quite different than some of his crossover pop of the 60s! The style here has a bit of righteous elements in the lyrics, and lots of spiritual jazz in the backings – with full arrangements from Oliver Nelson – who heads up a dream lineup that includes Billy Harper on tenor, and either Chico Hamilton or Pretty Purdie on drums! Even more amazing is a guest appearance from Leon Thomas – who sings on a version of "The Creator Has A Master Plan". Other tunes are just as hip – and include "This Black Cat Has 9 Lives", "His Father Wore Long Hair", "Give Peace A Chance", and "We Shall Overcome". Must be heard to be believed! CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)
Also available Louis Armstrong & His Friends ... CD 8.99

Close matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Average White Band & Ben E KingBenny & Us (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Atlantic/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $13.99
Ben E King joins the Average White Band for this sweet 70s set – a killer record that not only stands as one of King's best efforts of the decade, but one that also gives the group a great new frontman! Ben's not the only singer on the record, but his presence here can definitely be felt – deepening up the grooves nicely, and giving the already-great AWB sound an even more badass feel! Titles include the classic "Star In The Ghetto", a funky remake of "What Is Soul", an earlier hit for King – plus "Keepin It To Myself", "Imagine", "Someday We'll All Be Free", "Get It Up For Love", and "The Message". CD features bonus tracks – original single versions of "Star In The Ghetto" and "Get It Up For Love". CD

Close matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Gato BarbieriUnder Fire ... CD
RCA/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $13.99
An excellent set from the great Gato Barbieri – one of the gems from his earlier years on record, and an album that's very much in the best spirit of his sides for Impulse in the early 70s! There' definitely some Latin currents in the rhythm – not as strongly stated as on his Latin America series for that other label, but still there in the conception – and Gato blows with that sharp, soulful, spiritual tone that we love so much from this period – so different than the later sound of his smoother records. Lonnie Liston Smith is on piano in the group – getting pretty outside at times, as on his work with Pharoah Sanders – and the combo also features lots of great percussion from Airto and Mtume, too. All tracks are nice and long, and very searching – and titles include "El Parana", "Antonico", "El Sertao", and "Maria Domingas". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Gato BarbieriYesterdays ... CD
Flying Dutchman/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... $13.99
A beautiful record from Gato Barbieri – almost a return to more traditional forms, but still graced with the searching, burning quality that made most of his early 70s sides so great! The tracks are all long and exploratory – and have Gato blowing with that tremendous tenor tone – a mix of late Coltrane and Pharoah, with some warmer, sentimental touches that really send us. The rest of the group includes George Dalto on electric and acoustic piano, Pretty Purdie on drums, and Paul Metzke on guitar – and most of the tracks feature added Latin percussion – not too much, but just the right amount to make them bounce along in a rhythmic groove. Totally great all the way through, and with tracks that include "Carinoso", "Marnie", "A John Coltrane Blues", and "Yesterdays". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Celi BeeBlow My Mind ... CD
TK/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $22.99
Celi Bee picks up a few 80s touches for this album – mixing her usual disco groove with some slight Eruo electro touches – adding in a nice dose of darkness to the set! Celi's still got an undeniably strong talent for a catchy tune – the kind of vibe that first made us fall in love with her music during the TK years – and even amidst some colder keyboards here, she still comes across with plenty of charm – a sing-song way of hitting the lyrics that makes even simple, silly words kind of groovy. This approach is heard to great effect on the track "Donkey Donkey" – and on other tunes that include "It's Love", "Blow My Mind", "Dancin Nuts", and "Love Drops". CD

Close matches17
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Karl Berger/Dave Holland/Ed BlackwellCrystal Fire ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1991. New Copy ... $16.99
A wonderful album from vibist Karl Berger – much more rhythmic than some of his other records – but maybe that's no surprise, given that the trio features Dave Holland on bass and Ed Blackwell on drums! Yet even both of those players have more of a pulse than you might expect – and the whole thing is very groovy, almost funky at points – as Berger switches between vibes and piano, and the trio work in a set-free mode that has some of the rhythmic pulses of early Ornette, but maybe more straightly swinging too! A great surprise, and a real delight – with titles that include "Cutting Through", "Drinking Fire", "Breathing Earth", and "Primordial Innocence" as part of the Crystal Fire Suite – plus "Go With It", "Buddha Eyes", and "North On 87". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches18
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Billion Dollar BandBillion Dollar Band ... CD
Good Sounds/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $13.99
One of the coolest records to come from the TK Records Miami soul empire of the 70s – and one of the few that was ever issued on their tiny Good Sounds subsidiary! We know little about the group, but the approach here is great – kind of all the strengths of the usual TK/Criteria Studios groove, but taken to a sharper, tighter edge – with maybe less of the obvious try for commercial crossover that some of the label's other material might have. The tunes are a mix of uptempo grooves and mellower soul, and mostly avoid the more standard disco approaches of the time – which leaves these guys to stand out almost like they've emerged from the funky 45 scene with a bunch of great tracks, only to disappear in the shifting sands of time! Titles include "Get In The Groove", "I Like Whatcha' Doin", "Our Love", "Money Don't Grow On Trees", and "Love's Sweet Notions". CD

Close matches19
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Jo BissoLove Somebody ... CD
Marlin/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $22.99
Disco grooves, but with a definite difference – given that Jo Bisso had previously worked on the Parisian club scene, and brings a special flourish to this American album from the late 70s! Jo sings lead vocals on the side-long "Love Somebody" – a tune that builds strongly as Bisso gets answered by a trio of lovely ladies who really brighten up the sound – and who then seem to take over even more on the flipside working with singer Claudia Ferrari. This second side is even better than the first – as things get a bit more spare and stripped-down – snaking out on the smooth stepper "Your Love", getting some funky moogy touches on the P&P-like "Let's Keep It Together", and warming up on the mellow disco number "Thank You Baby". Special bonus – CD features a fifth track – not titled or credited at all! CD

Close matches20
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
BlowflyButterfly ... CD
Weird World/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Mid 70s. New Copy ... $11.99
The raunchy one is at it again – serving up funky, filthy, and funny parodies of 70s soul and pop songs with more than enough bad language to make even the most street hip hopper turn red! The band is nice and tight on most of the tracks, grooving hard with a funky wah-wah sound underneath Blow's freaky comedy bits – and providing the funk that really makes the album work, because we'd hate to imagine it without the music! Titles include "Suck Train", "Rap Dirty", "Juice It Up", "Niggaz Ain't Sh*t", "Neither One Of Us", and "Easter Bunny". CD
(Part of the Miami Sound – Original Soul/Funk/Disco Collection series!)

Close matches21
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Joanne BrackeenPrism (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Choice/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $13.99
Joanne Brackeen's at the top of her game here – working in a unique set of duets with bassist Eddie Gomez – at a level that matches the fire and fury of any of her work with a larger group! Brackeen's got this tremendous command of the keyboard right from the start – a wide sweep that has the notes cascading wonderfully – in rich melodies with a very deep sound, but still lots of sharp edges, and this sense of freedom that makes you think she's always just about to go outside – before pulling it back a bit. Gomez is sublime, as always – and his bass work adapts perfectly to each individual moment – stating itself strongly, but never in a way that's gimmicky at all – and always balanced between a sense of melody and timekeeping too. Titles include "Lost Or Found", "International Festival", "Evanescent", "If You Dare", and "Prism". CD features three bonus tracks – alternate takes of "International Festival" and "Habitat". CD

Close matches22
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Dollar BrandAfrican Sketchbook ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1969. New Copy ... $16.99
Spare, solo, and incredibly haunting work from Dollar Brand – recorded in Germany in 1969, and featuring Brand on both flute and piano, playing a set of 14 original compositions designed to provide small sketches of his African homeland. The mood of the work is less sprightly than some of his compositions for larger groups, and carries with it the tone of exile, an extra layer of sadness that gives a real emotional depth to the music. Titles include "Salaam – Peace – Hamba Khale", "Slave Bell", "The Stride", "Tokai", "The Dream", and "The Aloe & The Wildrose". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches23
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Dollar Brand (Abdullah Ibrahim)Dollar Brand At Montreux ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1980. New Copy ... $16.99
Extremely solid live work from Dollar Brand – playing here before a very enthusiastic crowd at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1980! The group is especially nice – a tight quintet with Carlos Ward on flute and alto, Craig Harris on trombone, Andre Strobert on drums, and Alonzo Gardner on electric bass. The use of electric bass gives the set a nice romping groove – driven onward by the freedom of the live setting, and by the very strong response of the crowd – making for some great long tracks that sparkle with Brand's unique South African jazz approach. Titles include "Ishmael", "The Perfumed Forest Wet With Rain", "Whoza Mtwana", and "The Homecoming Song". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches24
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Dollar Brand/Don Cherry/Carlos WardThird World – Underground ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
A stunning little session – and every bit as wonderful as you'd expect from a lineup that includes Dollar Brand, Don Cherry, and Carlos Ward! The three players work together here in open, spiritual styles – with really long-flowing lines from Brand on piano, in a more modal style that's different from some of his other records – balanced out with bold trumpet lines from Cherry, and soaring alto sax from Ward – a player who doesn't always get the chance to step out this much! All three players vocalize a bit, but more in some sort of rootsy way that echoes the music – and the album's a really unique outing from all three players – and a set we'd rank with their best from the time. Titles include "Don's Song", "Cherry", "Bra Joe From Kilimanjaro", "Swazi", and "Jabulani Easter Joy". CD
(Part of the Jazz Legends In Japan series!)

Close matches25
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Anthony BraxtonTown Hall 1972 ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $22.99
Seminal work from Anthony Braxton – a crucial concert recorded at Town Hall in the early 70s – originally only issued in Japan, but a date that's ended up getting some real global attention over the years! The first half of the set features Braxton's alto in a trio with Dave Holland on bass and Phil Wilson on percussion – working in lots of open, angular space – on two very long readings of Braxton compositions "Composition 6N" and "Composition 6(O)" – plus an incredible take on "All The Things You Are" – done around the time Braxton had recorded some straighter material, but really pushed outside here by the trio! The second half of the set features work by a quintet – still with Dave Holland on bass, but also a Circle appearance by Barry Altschul on drums, plus John Stubblefield on tenor, flute, and bass clarinet – and even Jeanne Lee on vocals. Braxton plays a number of horns – alto and soprano sax, flute, bass clarinet, b-flat clarinet – and even some percussion – and the group play one long track, "Composition 6", in two parts. CD
(Part of the Jazz Legends In Japan series!)

Close matches26
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Charlie BrownWhy Is Everybody Always Pickin On Me? ... CD
Contact/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $13.99
A pretty unusual album – and one by an obscure player who's not to be confused with Charles Brown, the blues singer – or Chuck Brown, the leader of the Soul Searchers! This Charlie Brown is a tenor player – listed as obscure even in the notes to the session – which is a laidback set of soul jazz numbers which feature Chuck's tenor over backings by Horace Ott. The overall style is similar to some of Hank Crawford's work from the time, particularly his albums on Kudu – with a polished feel to the backings, offset by some gutsier work by the main soloist – and the group is pretty great, and features Neal Creque on piano, Richard Tee on organ, Pretty Purdie on drums, and Billy Butler on guitar. Titles include "Back On The Track", "I Wanna Be Where You Are", "Love The One You're With", and "(Funky) Sunny", probably the nicest track on the album. CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches27
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
James BrownSoul Syndrome ... CD
TK/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1980. New Copy ... $22.99
A rare TK Records effort from James Brown – very much in the best uptempo funk mode of the later Polydor years! The groove here is quite similar to those better-known efforts – grooves that are a bit quicker than a few years before, but still played in a core JB funky style – live and lively, with plenty of emphasis on the rhythms! Brown often referred to his style here as disco, but it's a lot more like some of the P-Funk progressions of the period – a mode that's more polished than a grittier funky generation, yet far from smooth club or disco overall. There's plenty of choppy little groovers that make the record great – and titles include the long cut "Rapp Payback", plus "Funky Men", "Smokin & Drinkin", "Stay With Me", and "Mashed Potatoes". CD
(Part of the Miami Sound – Original Soul/Funk/Disco Collection series!)

Close matches28
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Dave BurrellOnly Me ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $22.99
Some of the most beautiful work ever recorded by pianist Dave Burrell – a solo session issued only in Japan, featuring Burrell on a Steinway recorded in the wide open space of a performance hall in Tokyo! There's a photo on the back cover that has a pair of suitcases behind Burrell at the piano – and we like to think that he showed up in the space, dropped the bags, and ran over to the piano to let loose with the kind of inspired imagination he really brings to the set – as the long tracks have this boundless sense of creativity that marks the record as one of the strongest statements of Burrell's genius on record! Some moments are rhythmic, others are freer yet still have a sense of cohesion – and there's a balance here between structure and space that's really wonderful. All tracks are nice and long – and titles include "Margy Pargy", "8th Ave Rendez Vouz Blues", and "Lush Life". CD
(Part of the Jazz Legends In Japan series!)

Close matches29
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Ann Burton & Mark MurphyThat's All ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1987. New Copy ... $16.99
An easygoing live set from vocalist Ann Burton – one that has her working with the trio of pianist Rob Agerbeek, and which features a few guest appearances from Mark Murphy! The whole thing's got an approach that makes you feel like you're right in the club with Ann – as Rob's trio handle a few titles instrumentally, then Ann steps in for vocals, and Mark Murphy makes a surprise appearance at the end. Recording quality is great – clean and clear, but never too much so to lose the spontaneity of the performance – and Ann herself is especially wonderful in the way she slides easily into the tunes, and sings them with a lively punch that really gives them a bit of new life. Titles include "Dreamer", "Blue Bossa", "Time Was", "My Gentleman Friend", "My Buddy", "I Wish I Were In Love Again", and "That's All". CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)

Close matches30
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
California Three (Dwight Dickerson)Windows ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $22.99
A really great group – one that we've never seen under this name before, but which features familiar names Dwight Dickerson on piano and Donald Bailey on drums, plus bass from Harvey Newmark! The album's got all the lyrical charm and sparkle of Dickerson's best from the time – a really soulful, fluid record that certainly shows the growing changes in west coast modes – maybe hence the group's name – with that subtle spirit that really marked some of Dwight's key contributions during the 70s. Titles include "Windows", "Solar", "Yesterdays", "Body & Soul", "Blue Monk", and "Freedom Jazz Dance". CD
(Part of the Jazz Legends In Japan series!)

Close matches31
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Gene ChandlerBrunswick Complete Singles Collection ... CD
Brunswick/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Late 60s. New Copy ... $13.99
Wonderful work from our favorite stretch of music from the legendary Gene Chandler – an artist who started out on Vee Jay Records, but really hit his prime here at Brunswick! Chandler was a key singer in the early years of soul – and some of his first recordings had strong appeal to doo wop and R&B crowds – but by the time of this set, Gene was really moving into some more mature, more sophisticated styles – an approach that easily rivals that of Chicago soul contemporaries Jerry Butler and Walter Jackson! Chandler's often a bit more upbeat and swinging than either of those – especially Jackson – but here, he shares a similar open, emotive quality – much more adult than before, and delivered with a confidence that's very different than earlier weepy pop. A number of cuts here are duets with the great Barbara Acklin – and titles include "Will I Find You", "Show Me The Way To Go", "The Girl Don't Care", "Love Won't Start", "There Was A Time", "Teacher Teacher", "Anywhere But Nowhere", "This Bitter Earth", "Familiar Footsteps", "My Love", "There Goes The Lover", and the sublime "Suicide" – maybe one of our favorite Gene Chandler tracks ever! CD

Close matches32
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Thomas Clausen - Severi Pyysalo DuoPiano & Vibe ... CD
Storyville/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 2017. Used ... $14.99
Thomas Clausen on piano and Severi Pyysalo on vibes. CD

Close matches33
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Al CohnRifftide ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1987. New Copy ... $13.99
A beautifully-blown session from tenorist Al Cohn – definitely what we'd expect, to be sure – but still a nice surprise, too – as we don't often reach for Cohn dates of this vintage! The album's got a stone, stark, no-nonsense approach – with the sort of all-solid feel that Al always had back to the 50s, but that especially confident style that he really exhibited best in some of his 70s dates – a soulful stretching out that makes his later years as winning as his early ones – but in a very different way! The tenor's boldly in the lead on all numbers – in a group that also features Rein De Graaf on piano, Koos Serierse on bass, and Eric Ineke on drums – on titles that include "The Thing", "Hot House", "Speak Low", "Blue Monk", "Rifftide", and "Secret Love". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches34
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CollageShine The Light (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Constellation/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1985. New Copy ... $14.99
Fantastic funky soul from the prime years of the jheri curl scene on the west coast – served up by a group who are maybe a more electro-styled combo than their labelmates The Whispers and Lakeside! Collage are even heavier on the basslines and keyboards than on the previous record – really going for that special Cali take on street soul modes that were first bubbling up on the east coast – maybe classing things up a bit, especially with the kind of strengths the Solar/Constellation label brings to the table! Titles include their classic "Romeo Where's Juliet" – plus "Kickin It", "Winners & Losers", "Shine The Light", "In the Mix", and "Here & Now". CD features bonus tracks – "Romeo Where's Juliet (12" radio)", "Romeo Where's Juliet (12" dub)", and "Winners & Losers (single)". CD
(Part of the Solar Records Original Master Collection series!)

Close matches35
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Stanley Cowell & Dave BurrellQuestions/Answers ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $22.99
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
(Part of the Jazz Legends In Japan series!)

Close matches36
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Hank Crawford & Calvin NewbornCenterpiece ... CD
Versatile/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $22.99
A nice little collaboration between saxophonist Hank Crawford and guitarist Calvin Newborn – a record that turns out to be one of the best from both players for the time! Crawford's managed to shake off some of the hoke of his earlier records – and although his sound here isn't earth-shattering, it's a lot fresher than it might be – with a laidback use of the alto that's augmented by some especially nice Fender Rhodes, as part of Hank's growing talents on the keyboard. Crawford also arranged and produced, but Newborn still gets in plenty of space too – using some bluesier licks to bring in an earthier tone, while still also staying in the smoother feel of the record. Titles include a remake of "Breezin", plus "Centerpiece", "Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You", "I Can't Stand It", "I Had A Dream", and "Frame For The Blues". CD
(Part of the "Versatile: Find Out Fusion" series!)

Close matches37
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✨✧ Ray CrawfordSmooth Groove ... CD
Candid/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1961. New Copy ... $18.99
One of the only albums ever cut as a leader by soul jazz guitarist Ray Crawford – a contemporary of Grant Green and Wes Montgomery, but a player who's hardly ever gotten his due! This rare date was originally recorded for the short-lived Candid label back in 1961, but was only issued two decades later as part of the Candid revival – a fact that makes the album even more noteworthy! The set's got a really solid groove that reminds us a fair bit of Grant Green's best early 60s work for Blue Note – as Ray's playing in a tight, single-line format on most numbers – working with a very hip group that includes Johnny Coles on trumpet, Cecil Payne on baritone sax, Junior Mance on piano, Ben Tucker on bass, and Frankie Dunlop on drums. Tracks are all nice and long – very open, with plenty of solo space – and are all originals by Crawford as well. Titles include "Smooth Groove", "I Knew Prez", "Impossible", "Miss April", and "The Compendium Suite". Shoulda been a 60s classic – but at least we've finally gotten it released! CD

Close matches38
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Mel DancyLittle Lovin ... CD
Mainstream/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. Used ... $11.99
We've only ever seen this one record by singer Mel Dancy, and it's a groovy little set that makes us wonder why he never moved on to greater fame! The record's got this mix of soul and jazz at the core – with occasional hints at the territory that would be opened up later in the 70s by singers like George Benson or Al Jarreau – that more expressive, yet always swinging style that vocalists of their generation worked in a space past older jazz modes. Wade Marcus handles the arrangements here – working in warm jazz instrumentation with some larger orchestrations – in a lineup that includes Cornell Dupree on guitar and the great Paul Griffin on piano and keyboards. Titles include "Day Star", "This Time We'll Know Him", "Beginning To Feel The Pain", "Wasn't It You", "See Saw", "Just A Little Lovin", and "Let Me Do What I Want To Do". CD
(2017 pressing – includes obi.)

Close matches39
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Eddie Lockjaw DavisJaw's Blues (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1981. New Copy ... $16.99
Tenorist Eddie Lockjaw Davis always had a hell of a tone – and although his best-remembered dates are maybe from the 50s and 60s, the saxophonist still kept on making great records for many years to come! This album's definitely one of those – a European live recording, done in Munich, with Eddie stretching out with the sort of raspy tone that always made his early duets with Johnny Griffin such a delight – getting the sort of sensitive accompaniment here that Griff had on some of his later European dates too. The wonderful Horace Parlan is on piano, with Reggie Johnson on bass, and Alvin Queen on drums – and although it's clear that the Davis tenor solos are the main attraction, the album's a very sold group effort too. Titles include "What Is This Thing Called Love", "Jaw's Blues", "I'll Remember April", "Young Man With A Horn", and "But Beautiful". CD features two bonus tracks – "On Green Dolphin Street" and "Days Of Wine & Roses". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches40
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✨✧ Jimmy Dawkins & Big Voice OdomJimmy Dawkins/Big Voice Odom (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Black & Blue/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
A killer set – one that not only features vocals from Jimmy Dawkins on one half, and vocals from Big Voice Odom on the other – but which also includes some great guitar from the mighty Otis Rush! Rush is fantastic, twisting around Jimmy's own guitar, which is pretty darn great too – and the set also has some smoking Hammond from Jerome Van Jones – a player we don't know at all, but whose instrument really brings out some of the funkier currents in the guitars! Titles include "Mean Atlantic Ocean", "Life Is A Mean Mistreater", "No More Troubles", "Tell Me Woman", "Sweet Laura", "Come To Me", "Marcelle Jacques Et Luc", and "It Serves You Right To Suffer". CD features two bonus alternate takes! CD
(Part of the "True Blue Masters – Black & Blue" series!)

Close matches41
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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!)
Also available Jackeyboard ... LP 34.99

Close matches42
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✨✧ Diamond FiveFinally After Forty Years – Historic Recordings 1959 to 1962 ... CD
Blue Jack Jazz/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Late 50s/Early 60s. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
Fantastic work from one of the hippest Dutch jazz combos at the start of the 60s – the legendary Diamond Five, maybe best known for a famous album on the Fontana label, but equally great here in a set of unheard recordings from the same period! The vibe is modernist hardbop, and the lineup is wonderful – Cees Slinger on piano, Cees Small on trumpet, Harry Verbeke on tenor, Jacques Schols on bass, and John Engels on drums – all top-shelf players in their own right, sounding even better here together – with the creative clarity and focus of some lost Blue Note date! Titles include "LMR", "Lita's Dance", "Diamondate", "Alone Together", "Jordu", "Never Mind", "Les Halles", and "Amsterdam Blues". CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)

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Lefty Dizz with Johnny Big Moose WalkerChicago Blues Festival 1979 (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Black & Blue/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $22.99
One of the first recordings to ever feature Lefty Dizz in the lead – done at a time when the singer/guitarist was a young star on the Chicago scene, but getting some key exposure here, thanks to an overseas recordings! Lefty's as great as you might guess from his name – a strong personality, but never in a way that's as hokey or overstated as he might be in the hands of a big label production – just balanced with the right sort of Chicago roots energy, in a group that also features piano and a bit of vocals from Big Moose Walker, and some additional guitar from Willie James Lyons. Titles include "Blue Shadow", "RM Blues", "Take Out Some Insurance", "Things That I Used To Do", "All Right OK You Win", "One Eyed Woman", and "Lake Shore Drive Boogie". CD features bonus tracks – "Shake For Me", "Funny Acting Woman", and "Blue Shadow (take 1)". CD
(Part of the "True Blue Masters – Black & Blue" series!)

Close matches44
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Eric DolphyBerlin Concerts ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1961. New Copy ... $16.99
Wonderful work by Dolphy – as essential to his catalog as any of his albums on Prestige from the same time! Although Dolphy broke plenty of musical barriers in the studio, to our ears, it was always in a live setting that he sounded best – freely exploring the kind of space his playing opened up, hitting notes that were more soulful and spiritual than many that he ever recorded on his studio sides. This set is a perfect example of that trend – as Dolphy's working here with a strong straight jazz combo, one that includes the great Benny Bailey on trumpet, in a set that features familiar tunes, turned into haunting explorations of Dolphy's new jazz idiom. One of the highlights is an incredible 15 minute version of Randy Weston's "Hi Fly", with Dolphy doing great work on flute – and other tunes include "Hot House", "Geewee", "When Lights Are Low", "I'll Remember April", and "The Meeting". CD
(Part of the Enja Real Jazz Classics series!)
Also available Berlin Concerts ... CD 9.99

Close matches45
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Eric DolphyStockholm Sessions (with bonus track) ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1961. New Copy ... $13.99
Live European work by Eric Dolphy – caught in a setting that was often freer and more creative than his American recordings! The work on the set is pulled from 2 different sessions – one with a group that includes with Idrees Sulieman on trumpet, Jimmy Woode on bass, and Rune Ofwerman on piano; the other with no trumpet, just piano, bass, and drums session, with Woode on bass again. All titles are relatively long – with Dolphy playing a spiritual mix of flute, alto, and bass clarinet – and the tunes are a strong mix of originals and standards, with titles that include "Sorino", "Loss", "Ann", "Alone", and "Geewee". CD features the bonus track "Sorino (alt take)". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches46
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Cornell DupreeShadow Dancing ... CD
Versatile/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $22.99
Smooth and soulful guitar work from Cornell Dupree – a player who recorded on countless sessions as a studio sideman, but hardly ever got to work as a leader on his own! The album's got a full sound that's kind of a step beyond the Kudu/CTI sound of the time – an approach that takes larger orchestrations and uses them as the backdrop for Dupree's work on guitar, often with a fair bit of keyboard support from Mario Sprouse who arranged both albums on the set. The fullness resonates with the funky dancefloor style of David Matthews during the same stretch – a bit commercial at times, but still with plenty of nice instrumental touches. Includes "The Creeper", "Two Doors Down", "Peg", "On & On", "The Closer I Get To You" and "Hey Girl". CD
(Part of the "Versatile: Find Out Fusion" series!)

Close matches47
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✨✧ John EdwardsJohn Edwards (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Aware/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $24.99
The first album by John Edwards – a richly talented vocalist who would go onto become the lead singer of the Spinners in later years, singing on some of their last big hits. This album's a very different effort – and features John singing in a deep Southern Soul style, mixed with the smoother production of the Hotlanta scene. The real strength of the record, though, is the songs – as John sings a great set of tracks by writers like Sam Dees ("I'll Be Your Puppet", "Claim Jumpin", "Stop This Merry Go Round"), Jimmy Lewis ("Careful Man"), Floyd Smith ("You Were Made For Love", and Bobby & Linda Womack ("It's A Groove"). Nice stuff, and the production and arranging's as strong as the writing! CD features three bonus tracks – "Vanishing Love", "The Way We Are", and "Ain't That Good Enough". CD

Close matches48
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Booker ErvinLament For Booker Ervin ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1965/1975. New Copy ... $16.99
A compelling split album – both a performance by and a tribute to the legendary tenorist Booker Ervin – issued after his death, but also featuring a rare European performance from the 60s as well! The album features one long track by Booker – "Blues For You" – recorded in 1965 at the Berlin Jazz Festival, with a quartet that includes Kenny Drew on piano, NIels Henning Orsted Pedersen on bass, and Alan Dawson on drums – and the piece spans both sides of the LP, and is much more open-ended than any of Booker's studio recordings from the time – which has him hitting a free intensity of tone that's similar to some of the live sides he clocked with Charles Mingus. The album also features the tune "Lament For Booker", a haunting piano piece played by Horace Parlan, recorded in 1975 – dedicated to Ervin, who's passed at an early age by the time of the recording. CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches49
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Europe Jazz All Stars (Surman/Humair/Mangelsdorff/Louiss/Pedersen)Room 1220 ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1970. New Copy ... $22.99
An overlooked performance by a quintet of avant jazz masters from the European scene at the start of the 70s – one that was recorded and issued only over in Japan, but which bristles with the energy of some of the best French and German avant albums of the time! The tracks are long, and relatively free – and feature this incredible lineup of John Surman on baritone, Albert Mangelsdorff on trombone, Eddie Louiss on piano and organ, Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen on bass, and Daniel Humair on drums – players who come together here with the kind of boundless surprises you'd imagine from their European recordings of the time – save maybe for Pedersen, who is surprisingly at home in this improvised setting! The cover makes the record feel like some lost gem on MPS – and the vibe is very much like the cream of that label's free jazz records of the time – with titles that include "Room 1220", "Triplet Circle", and "My Kind Of Beauty". CD
(Part of the Jazz Legends In Japan series!)

Close matches50
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European Jazz TrioNorwegian Wood ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1988. New Copy ... $16.99
A lightly lyrical trio, of the sort that the European scene has been serving up here and there since the 70s – clearly inspired by the spaciousness of Bill Evans, but also working with its own rhythmic conception too! Karel Boehlee handles the piano with a nice sprightly sort of touch – alongside Frans Jan Van De Hoeven on bass and Roy Dackus on drums – players who space things out with a nicely loping swing – always a bit gentle, but in a really good way – on titles that include "Norwegian Wood", "Summertime", "Song For Sad", "Mister T", "Liberian Dance", "Twilight", and "Elsa". CD

Close matches51
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Bill EvansConsecration 1 – The Last ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1980. New Copy ... $16.99
Fantastic work from piano legend Bill Evans – recorded at the Keystone club in San Francisco just a week before his too-early death – and a batch of material that shows us that Bill still had plenty to offer the world! This isn't the work of a musician on his last legs – and instead, Evans is a master of imagination, phrasing, and timing – working with his superb late trio that features Marc Johnson on bass and Joe Labarbera on drums – and further opening up tunes we've already heard him open up before – leaving us breathless all over again, at that level that makes Bill Evans live material maybe even more important to understanding his genius than his studio material! Tracks include "Emily", "Two Lonely People", "Knit For Mary F", "Polka Dots & Monbeams", "You & The Night & The Music", and "Re Person I Knew". CD

Close matches52
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Bill EvansConsecration II – The Last ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1980. New Copy ... $13.99
Fantastic work from piano legend Bill Evans – recorded at the Keystone club in San Francisco just a week before his too-early death – and a batch of material that shows us that Bill still had plenty to offer the world! This isn't the work of a musician on his last legs – and instead, Evans is a master of imagination, phrasing, and timing – working with his superb late trio that features Marc Johnson on bass and Joe Labarbera on drums – and further opening up tunes we've already heard him open up before – leaving us breathless all over again, at that level that makes Bill Evans live material maybe even more important to understanding his genius than his studio material! Tracks on this second volume include "Tiffany", "Your Story", "Like Someone In Love", "My Romance", "Turn Out The Stars", and "Days Of Wine & Roses". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

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Bill Evans, Karin Krog, Archie Shepp, Bobby HutcheLive At The Festival ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Early 70s. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
A very interesting batch of tracks – one tune apiece by each of the artists named in the title, recorded between the years 1970 and 1973 at the Festival Ljublijana, in Yugoslavia. Bill Evans performs a long, and straight reading of Miles Davis' "Nardis" with a trio that includes Eddie Gomez on bass and Tony Oxley on drums; Karin Krog sings a spare version of "Round Midnight", with only the bass of Arild Andersen for accompaniment; and Archie Shepp blows freely on a version of Grachan Moncur III's "Sonny's Back", in a group with Dave Burrell, Don Garrett, and Muhammad Ali. Perhaps the most striking track, though, is "The Creators" by Bobby Hutcherson – played with his group that included Harold Land and Hal Galper, and performed in an 18 minute reading that builds beautifully, into the dancing soul jazz sound that was Hutcherson's best contribution to jazz at the time! CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches54
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FantasiaSweet Sweet City Rhythm ... CD
Amazon/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $14.99
A 70s album on Miami's powerhouse TK Records – but a set that's got a real northeast pedigree, given that arrangements were handled by John Davis, and the whole thing was recorded at the New York branch of Sigma Sound! Peggy Santiglia handles the lead vocals, but many of the tracks are long-spun numbers in the best disco-suite mode – almost a record of 12" single cuts, but maybe a bit more concise! Davis is in prime form throughout – with modes that sometimes get a big funky in the best late 70s club tradition – and titles include "Fantasia/Carnival", "Sweet Sweet City Rhythm", "Go On And Dance To The Music", and "Alice Street". CD
(Part of the Miami Sound – Original Soul/Funk/Disco Collection series!)

Close matches55
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Art FarmerArt Farmer In Europe ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1970. New Copy ... $16.99
Brilliant live work from Farmer – far-reaching, firey, and with a strong approach that differs it from most of his other recordings of the 70s! The set was recorded in Munich at a time when Farmer was working with pianist Fritz Pauer – a free-thinking modernist who cut some great recordings for MPS at the time, including one under Farmer's name – and the album has Farmer and Pauer's trio working through 5 long original tunes all written by Farmer, with a soulful majesty that reminds us a bit of Woody Shaw's work from the time. All titles are nearly 10 minutes long, or longer – and titles include "Concord", "Overnight", "Re-Entry", "Concourse", and "Rainmaker". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches56
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Victor Feldman Featuring Tom ScottYour Smile ... CD
Choice/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $13.99
Quite possibly the funkiest album that Victor Feldman ever recorded – a sweet little cooker from early 70s Cali – recorded with some great help from Tom Scott on sax and flute! Victor plays both piano and vibes, and there's a warm funky glow to the whole set – kind of a CTI vibe, but taken a bit more stripped-down and indie too – especially on the cuts with a bit harder edge. Other players include Chuck Domanico on bass and John Guerin on drums – and titles include the killer "Your Smile", plus "Rockavibabe", "Quietly", "I Love Lucy", "Crazy Chicken", "Minor Catastrophe", and "Brazilian Fire". CD

Close matches57
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Tommy FlanaganBallads & Blues ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $16.99
A key 70s session from Tommy Flanagan – a record that showed that he was still one of the most fluid and soulful players of his generation! The album has Flanagan working only with the bass of George Mraz – in a drum-less format with even less structure than usual, a perfect setting for Tommy to stretch out, open up, and do his thing on the keys of the piano. There's still always a gentle swing and good focus to most tracks here – and Flanagan never gets too indulgent with the setting, even on the longer numbers. Titles include "Blue Twenty", "With Malice Towards None", "Blues For Sarka", "Star Eyes", and "They Say It's Spring". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

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Tommy FlanaganGiant Steps – In Memory Of John Coltrane ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1982. New Copy ... $16.99
A wonderful little tribute to the late, great John Coltrane – served up as a piano trio session led by Tommy Flanagan, but done with a sense of power and imagination that rivals the strength of Trane's classics! All tracks here are originals by Coltrane, performed by Flanagan with a forceful approach to the piano that shows a bit more McCoy Tyner than usual – and which is propelled strongly on most numbers by bold rhythm work from the team of George Mraz on bass and Al Foster on drums. Foster's work on the kit is especially nice – quite bold, and really soaring forward with a sense of righteous energy – inspiring Flanagan to heights we've never heard before on a session like this. Titles include "Naima", "Giant Steps", "Syeeda's Song Flute", "Central Park West", "Mr PC", and "Cousin Mary". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

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✨✧ Frank FosterLoud Minority ... CD
Mainstream/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $13.99
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". CD
(Part of the Mainstream Records Master Collection!)

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George FreemanNew Improved Funk ... CD
Groove Merchant/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $18.99
The title certainly gets it right – as the album's one of the funkiest ever from guitarist George Freeman, and one of the few to really hit that messed-up groove he was working in the clubs before his mid 70s retreat to Chicago! The style here is often all over the map – a mix of soul jazz and funkier numbers, but often served up with less of the direction than you'd get on Prestige, and even less of that on Groove Merchant – more in a raw small combo mode, with Freeman's guitar hitting plenty of raspy notes and weird solo excursions that keep even the mellower tunes exciting! The record features 2 different groups – one with John Young on piano, the other with Bobby Blevins on organ – and brother Von Freeman plays tenor sax on the whole set, although not nearly in the spotlight as George! (Definitely in keeping with something that Von told George many years back – quoted to us by George – "When you've got your own album, make sure that people know that you're the star!") Titles include "New Improved Funk", "Daffy", "Happy Fingers", "Confirmed Truth", "Guitar Lover Man", and "Big Finish". CD
(Part of the Groove Merchant Mo' Groovy Collection!)

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GastonMy Queen ... CD
Hotlanta/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $24.99
An incredible record from the southern scene of the 70s – a really unique set that's filled with righteous soul touches, and which really stands out from most other southern soul of the time! The feel here is often in a cosmic mode with plenty of jazz at the bottom – a sound that's influenced by Earth Wind & Fire, but which is also carried off here in a more laidback mode that seems to get equal inspiration from soulful fusion of the mid 70s. The group has both male and female singers trading things back and forth nicely and sometimes coming together on the choruses – creating an overall feel that's almost like Roy Ayers at times. And as with Ayers' best work, there's a tightness and focus to the whole record that's really wonderful – a cohesive groove that's way more than just a few ensemble funk tracks cut in the studio, and which really displays a wide musical vision! Titles include "My Queen", "Clock In", "Fantasy Garden", "Clap Song", "Love & Affection", "My Dreams", and "Magnificent Choo Choo". CD

Close matches62
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✨✧ Dexter GordonAll Soul's Dexter Gordon Vol 1 ... CD
Dexterity/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $13.99
A gem of a live set from Dexter Gordon – one that features a nice change from some of his more familiar records of the time! The set features Gordon recording away from Cafe Montmartre, with an excellent Dutch rhythm trio – the fantastic Rob Agerbeek on piano, plus Henk Haverhoek on bass, and Erik Ineke on drums – a group who groove very differently, and really take a lot of cues from Agerbeek's action on the keys – as he romps along with a very soulful vibe, which seems to inspire new energy in Gordon's phrasing as well. The tracks are long, but full of imagination – and titles include "Didn't We", "Stablemates", "Some Other Blues", and "You Stepped Out Of A Dream". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)
Also available All Soul's Dexter Gordon Vol 2 ... CD 16.99

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Dexter GordonAll Soul's Dexter Gordon Vol 2 ... CD
Dexterity/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $16.99
A gem of a live set from Dexter Gordon – one that features a nice change from some of his more familiar records of the time! The set features Gordon recording away from Cafe Montmartre, with an excellent Dutch rhythm trio – the fantastic Rob Agerbeek on piano, plus Henk Haverhoek on bass, and Erik Ineke on drums – a group who groove very differently, and really take a lot of cues from Agerbeek's action on the keys – as he romps along with a very soulful vibe, which seems to inspire new energy in Gordon's phrasing as well. Titles on this second volume are nice and long – and include "All The Things You Are", "Shadow Of Your Smile", "Watermelon Man", and "Jelly Jelly" – a tune that Dex liked to cut often for European dates! CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)
Also available All Soul's Dexter Gordon Vol 1 ... CD 13.99

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Dusko GoykovichSamba Do Mar ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 2004. New Copy ... $13.99
A whole new chapter in the career of trumpeter Dusko Goykovich – and a beautiful one at that! The set has Dusko playing a set of bossa-inspired tunes – working with a quartet that includes guitar, bass, and drums – in a warmly chromatic style that reminds us a lot of the classic Art Farmer/Jim Hall sessions of the early 60s! Dusko's playing is as imaginative as ever – and takes on whole new levels of expression in this setting. The light rhythms of the tunes are a real contrast from the modal and soul jazz approaches of earlier years – and in some ways, they seem to set Dusko free to explore whole new territory. Great stuff all around – with titles that include "The Fish", "Quo Vadis", "Sunset", "Samba Do Mar", "Jim's Ballad", and "Love & Deception". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches65
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Chico HamiltonEl Exigente ... CD
Flying Dutchman/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1970. New Copy ... $13.99
Great work from a fantastic period of drummer Chico Hamilton – a time when he'd moved way past the chamber jazz of his 50s years, and even some of his more freewheeling 60s modes on Impulse Records! Here, Chico seems really obsessed with rhythm – to a level where he's not afraid to complicate things, even in search of a groove – working with odd timings and changes that are still pretty groundbreaking, even all these many years later! As with previous records, Hamilton shows a great ear for picking unusual and inventive players – as the set includes Arnie Lawrence doing some incredible work on electric alto sax, and Bob Mann adding in trippy guitar fills that give the tracks a wild stoner feel. Chico's drums are freer than ever – and the album's a real lost gem in the Flying Dutchman mode – with titles that include "Volvos", "Up Front What Counts", "Swingin On A Sitar", "How 'Bout Bobby", "As I Open My Eyes", and "Gonna Get Some Right Now". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches66
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Nobuo Hara with Sharps & FlatsSoul Modern Jazz 3 – Members ... CD
Columbia/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1960. New Copy ... $14.99
Hard driving jazz from the Japanese scene of the 50s! The album's one of the best recorded by Nobu Hara and the legendary Sharpes & Flats group – a really swinging set of big band jazz that drives with the power of some of the 60s recordings by the Clarke-Boland Big Band, and which offers plenty of space for the soloists to swing out during the set with really dynamic energy – especially as the saxes and trumpets break from the group to start their own sort of presence in the music! Unfortunately, all the notes are in Japanese – so we can't tell you the exact lineup or the song titles – but the album's a strong one, and a perfect example of the strength of the Japanese scene in the postwar years! CD
(Part of the "Nippon Jazz Spirits 48" series!)

Close matches67
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Eddie HarrisDancing By A Rainbow ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1995. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
A lovely later set from Eddie Harris – proof that his groove was still going strong years after his bigger fame on the scene! The set here features all original work by Eddie – some titles we know from classic albums, but a few others we don't easily recognize – all of which work together to make for a really fresh batch of material, and hardly the sort of overplayed standards that some jazz players resort to in their older years. The group's a relatively youthful one – with Nolan Smith on trumpet, Ronald Muldrow on guitar, Jeff Chambers on bass, and Gaylord Birch on drums – and Eddie himself plays piano in addition to his usual tenor sax. Titles include "An April To Be Remembered", "Dancing By A Rainbow", "Set Us Free", "The Grand Strut", "Mean Greens", "You Are Not The Right One For Me", and "It's Just Fun & Games". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches68
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Tadao Hayashi Harp TrioMihatenu Yume/The Impossible Dream (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $24.99
A really groovy harp jazz trio – one that moves through territory that's a bit like American player Dorothy Ashby on some of her small combo records – but with Japanese musician Tadao Hayashi in the lead! The approach is relatively lean – just the bass of Takao Kusagaya and drums of Koichi Suzaki for support – which leaves Hayashi plenty of space to craft these amazing combinations of notes on the instrument, in a style that still has a gentle groove, even when mellow – thanks to especially nice work on the bass! The tunes are mostly familiar, but sound really different in this setting – and the album has a recording quality that really makes the strings resonate strongly – maybe even more so than on a classic album by Ashby. Titles include "My Favorite Things", "Watch What Happens", "Wave", "The Impossible Dream", "Misty", and nice take on Barry White's hit "Love's Theme". CD
(Part of the Nippon Jazz Spirits series!)

Close matches69
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Sachi Hayasaka & Stir Up2.26 ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1992. New Copy ... $16.99
The group here is named Stir Up, and that's definitely what they do alongside the soprano and alto of Sachi Hayasaka – often hitting these full, intense passages of sound – sometimes free, sometimes more rhythmic – served up with a lineup that includes Tatsuya Sato on tenor, Toshiki Nagata on bass, Ken Tsunoda on drums, Tomohiro Yahiro on percussion, and the great Yosuke Yamashita on piano! Sachi's maybe a bit more inside than Yosuke's famous reed partner from the 70s, Akira Sakata – but she's also got this ability to move between freedom and structure in a really great way – which keeps things interesting throughout, as the group move through titles that include "Yellow Monk", "Children Children", "Heso", "Bubble Net Feeding", and "Take Care Of All My Children". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches70
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Tubby HayesNew Edition – Rare Radio Recordings 1958 to 1962 ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), Late 50s/Early 60s. Used 2CD ... $11.99
Rare BBC recordings from Tubby Hayes – working here with the Jazz Couriers, the Johnny Dankworth Orchestra, Victor Feldman, Walter Bishop Jr, and his own quartet and quintet. 30 tracks in all! CD
(2018 pressing, includes obi.)

Close matches71
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Joe HendersonBarcelona ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977/1978. New Copy ... $16.99
Pretty darn beautiful work from Joe Henderson – much freer than just about any other record of his we can think of! The album is a trio session – with Joe blowing freely on tenor in the front, backing from bass and drums – and the centerpiece of the set is the track "Barcelona", a spirited exploration that runs for over 27 minutes long – with a free, searching quality that almost reminds us of early 70s work on Impulse Records – much more out than some of Henderson's other material! Wayne Darling plays bass and Ed Soph is on drums – and the set also includes the more somber tunes "Y Yo La Quiero" and "Mediterranean Sun". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches72
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✨✧ Buck HillBuck Hill Plays Europe ... CD
Turning Point/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1982. New Copy ... $16.99
Maybe the strongest album ever recorded by Buck Hill – a tenorist who was mostly relegated to work on the DC scene during his key years, but who also cut this fantastic set overseas! Buck is one of the great local under-discovered players of his generation – like Von Freeman in Chicago, a saxophonist who would have been huge had he moved to New York – but who instead was a very powerful part of the scene in his home city of Washington. Buck blows tenor with a wonderful range of tones and expressions here – in the company of a quartet with Mark Cohen on piano, Tommy Cecil on bass, and the great Hugh Walker on drums – another one of our favorite players who doesn't always get his due. Titles include "Half Pass", "Lullaby Of Loosdrecht", "Total Beauty", "Bill Knot", and "Jasing". CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)

Close matches73
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Terumasa HinoHino's Journey To Air (2020 Record Store Day Release) ... LP
Love/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1970. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)... $35.99
Trumpeter Terumasa Hino at a level that's quite different than most of his early work in Japan – recording in New York, and using a very spiritual approach – one that's clearly influenced by some of the other players in the session! The album features one long track – a bit improvised, and almost free at times – but also given a strong sense of direction, too – that balance between completely unbridled expression and structure that can make some of the best spiritual jazz sessions so great! Hino's on trumpet, and also plays some flugelhorn – and other players include Steve Grossman on tenor and flute, Pete Yellin on alto and flute, Dave Liebman on alto and tenor, Olu Dara on trumpet, Bob Moses on drums, Dave Holland on bass, and Mike Garson on piano and Fender Rhodes. LP, Vinyl record album
(Record Store Day Japan 2020 release.)
Also available Hino's Journey To Air (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD 24.99

Close matches74
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Terumasa HinoHino's Journey To Air (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Love/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1970. New Copy Gatefold ... $24.99
Trumpeter Terumasa Hino at a level that's quite different than most of his early work in Japan – recording in New York, and using a very spiritual approach – one that's clearly influenced by some of the other players in the session! The album features one long track – a bit improvised, and almost free at times – but also given a strong sense of direction, too – that balance between completely unbridled expression and structure that can make some of the best spiritual jazz sessions so great! Hino's on trumpet, and also plays some flugelhorn – and other players include Steve Grossman on tenor and flute, Pete Yellin on alto and flute, Dave Liebman on alto and tenor, Olu Dara on trumpet, Bob Moses on drums, Dave Holland on bass, and Mike Garson on piano and Fender Rhodes. CD
(Part of the Nippon Jazz Spirits series!)
Also available Hino's Journey To Air (2020 Record Store Day Release) ... LP 35.99

Close matches75
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Terumasa HinoLove Nature (2020 Record Store Day Release) ... LP
Love/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1970. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)... $35.99
An amazing moment from Japanese trumpeter Terumasa Hino – an early 70s session recorded in America – with fantastic work from Gary Bartz on alto and Reggie Workman on bass! The album's not like Hino's later American dates – which were often more fusion based – as the style here is sublimely spiritual, with long tracks stretching out in just the same energy as some of the first few albums by Bartz! Also like Bartz, the tunes really stretch out, but never go too far outside – less avant than searingly expressive, with fantastic work from both horn players throughout. The group also features a guitarist, who colors the sound nicely – and the album features two long tracks – "Sister Mayumi" and "Each Other Love Nature". LP, Vinyl record album
(Record Store Day Japan 2020 release.)
Also available Love Nature (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD 24.99

Close matches76
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Terumasa HinoLove Nature (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Love/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1970. New Copy Gatefold ... $24.99
An amazing moment from Japanese trumpeter Terumasa Hino – an early 70s session recorded in America – with fantastic work from Gary Bartz on alto and Reggie Workman on bass! The album's not like Hino's later American dates – which were often more fusion based – as the style here is sublimely spiritual, with long tracks stretching out in just the same energy as some of the first few albums by Bartz! Also like Bartz, the tunes really stretch out, but never go too far outside – less avant than searingly expressive, with fantastic work from both horn players throughout. The group also features a guitarist, who colors the sound nicely – and the album features two long tracks – "Sister Mayumi" and "Each Other Love Nature". CD
(Part of the Nippon Jazz Spirits series!)
Also available Love Nature (2020 Record Store Day Release) ... LP 35.99

Close matches77
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Terumasa HinoPart – Terumasa Hino Meets Reggie Workman (2020 Record Store Day Release) ... LP
Love/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1970. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)... $35.99
A fantastic collaboration between Japanese trumpeter Terumasa Hino and avant bassist Reggie Workman – one that might seem unusual if you only know Hino's later work, but which was part of a few key collaborations that Hino and Workman did together at the start of the 70s – part of a real spiritual awakening in the trumpeter's music! The tracks are long and very expressive – and the group is mostly Japanese – with Hino on trumpet, Workman on bass, Motohiko Hino on drums, Kiyoshi Sugimoto on guitar, Mideo Ichikawa on electric piano, Yuji Imamura on conga, and Takao Uematsu on bass clarinet and tenor – all working together in a spirit that's clearly caught the imagination of the post-Coltrane years, and which is completely different than the straighter hardbop that Hino was recording just a few years previously. Titles include "A Part", "Ode To Workman", and "Be & Know". LP, Vinyl record album
(Record Store Day Japan 2020 release.)

Close matches78
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Terumasa HinoPeace & Love (2020 Record Store Day Release) ... LP
TDK/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1970. New Copy Gatefold ... $35.99
Groundbreaking work from Japanese trumpeter Terumasa Hino – recorded on an early trip to New York, back in 1970, working with a sextet that includes some of his own Japanese players, like drummer Motohiko Hino and pianist Hideo Ichikawa, plus the great American bassist Reggie Workman! The album features 2 very long tracks – "Gongen" and "Peace & Love" – both a bit free, and infused with a post-Coltrane sense of spiritual exploration. Hino's really changing his style a lot in this setting – taking a lot more chances than on earlier Japanese sessions, reaching out towards a future jazz approach for the 70s. LP, Vinyl record album
(Record Store Day Japan 2020 release.)
Also available Peace & Love (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD 24.99

Close matches79
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Terumasa HinoPeace & Love (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
TDK/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1970. New Copy Gatefold ... $24.99
Groundbreaking work from Japanese trumpeter Terumasa Hino – recorded on an early trip to New York, back in 1970, working with a sextet that includes some of his own Japanese players, like drummer Motohiko Hino and pianist Hideo Ichikawa, plus the great American bassist Reggie Workman! The album features 2 very long tracks – "Gongen" and "Peace & Love" – both a bit free, and infused with a post-Coltrane sense of spiritual exploration. Hino's really changing his style a lot in this setting – taking a lot more chances than on earlier Japanese sessions, reaching out towards a future jazz approach for the 70s. CD
(Part of the Nippon Jazz Spirits series!)
Also available Peace & Love (2020 Record Store Day Release) ... LP 35.99

Close matches80
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Major HolleyMajor Step ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1992. New Copy ... $16.99
The legendary bassist Major Holley is on the cover here – but the group's an all-around really great affair – co-led by tenorist Joe Van Enkhuisen, and featuring work from Rein De Graaf on piano and Han Bennink on drums! We're not sure we've heard Joe before, and he's fantastic – the kind of sharp-toned, swinging tenorist that the Dutch scene has given us a few key times in the past – steeped in classic modes, but well tuned to modern elements too – bridged nicely by Bennink and De Graaf. A few numbers really previous sessions with Holly on the cover, but others are much more open and adventurous – and we mean that in a good way – on titles that include "The Fuzz", "Red Dressed Baby", "Blues For Alice", "Major Step", and "What Am I Here For". CD

Close matches81
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Loleatta HollowayCry To Me (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Aware/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $24.99
A wonderful album of southern soul from Loleatta Holloway! The record was her last in the deep soul mode – and it's a gem that should have made her as big as her later disco records – a really well-crafted extension of styles that Stax and Atlantic had done in the 60s, but given a smoother, more sophisticated vibe for the 70s! The record was produced by Floyd Smith, and it's got some of the most sophisticated production we've heard on a southern diva album from the 70s – with instrumentation that still boggles us with its brilliance. Case in point is the amazing cut "Cry To Me", which has these insane banks of "weeping" guitar that send chills down our spine! The cut was written by Sam Dees, who also penned some other fine material for the album – and titles include "I Know Where You're Coming From", "Just Be True To Me", "Something About The Way I Feel", and a cover of Ruby Andrews' "Casanova". Features two bonus tracks – "Bring It On Up" and the unreleased "This Man's Arms". CD

Close matches82
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✨✧ Loleatta HollowayLoleatta (1973) (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Aware/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $24.99
If you only know Loleatta Holloway as a disco singer, you'll be really amazed at this debut album from 1973 – because Loleatta emerges first as deep soul singer with a strong southern vibe – very much in the mode the Atlanta scene did best, before picking up the pace a bit more as the 70s moved on! There's a mellow, blue sort of vibe to the record – but still plenty of that pride and power that made Holloway an equally great singer on an upbeat tune – served up here on tunes by Sam Dees, Ashford & Simpson, and other hip songwriters of the period – set to strong arrangements by Mike Terry, who does a great job of bringing out the lady at her best. Titles include "We Did It", "Mother Of Shame", "Only A Fool", "So Can I", "Our Love", and "Love Woke Me Up". Features two bonus tracks – "Rainbow 71" and "For Sentimental Reasons". CD

Close matches83
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Richard Groove HolmesDancing In the Sun ... CD
Versatile/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $22.99
Groove Holmes is definitely dancing in the sun here – working with full arrangements from Mario Sprouse, in a sweetly soulful style that's not unlike Johnny Hammond at the time! Groove still plays Hammond on most numbers – but also a bit of mini Korg too – and although the backdrops are in a fully-arranged jazz funk mode, there's still a strong focus on Holmes' keyboard lines up front, which still get plenty of space to stretch out and do their thing. Sprouse plays a bit of keyboards on the record too – and titles include a remake of "Misty", plus "Let's Groove", "Dancing In the Sun", "Highway Of Life", and "Calypso Holiday". CD
(Part of the "Versatile: Find Out Fusion" series!)

Close matches84
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Richard Groove HolmesI'm In The Mood For Love ... CD
Flying Dutchman/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $13.99
Quite a different album than you might expect from the title and cover – which seem to imply a set of late nite ballads! Instead, the album's got fuller arrangements and a more upbeat groove – that larger ensemble mode that some organists were using in the mid 70s – as on the later Prestige jazz/funk years, or even some of the work on the Groove Merchant label! Groove Holmes here still gets plenty of space to solo, even though the arrangements feature some additional keyboards from time to time – and Horace Ott handles the backings with a nicely soulful vibe. There's also some vocal chorus presence on the record – handled by The Breathless group, who work in a way that just echoes the instrumentation – and titles include "Morning Children", "I'm In The Mood For Love", "I've Got A Love For You", and "This Is The Me Me" – plus the laidback "Non Kulu Leku", which has a very mellow CTI/Kudu feel. CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches85
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Richard Groove HolmesLive In France 1980 ... CD
Black & Blue/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1980. New Copy ... $18.99
A really cooking live set from Hammond hero Richard Groove Holmes – a record that follows strongly from his best 70s material on the Muse and Groove Merchant labels, but much more obscure overall! The tunes have that long, freewheeling vibe that always made Groove in a live setting so wonderful – a tone that's clean, but handled with a flurry of notes that's really breathtaking – with help from Steve Giordano on guitar and Roger Humphries on drums. The mighty Willis Jackson joins the group on tenor on two tracks, but the set's already got plenty going on with just Groove in the lead – and titles include "Bluesette", "Killer Joe", "Wave", "Blues In Bb", "Moose The Mooche", and "Blues In F". CD
(Part of the Black & Blue Real Jazz Classics series!)

Close matches86
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Richard Groove HolmesSix Million Dollar Man ... CD
Flying Dutchman/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $13.99
One of Groove Holmes' best albums of the 70s – thanks to some electric blacksploitation arrangements from the great Oliver Nelson! The format's a bit tighter here than on some of Holmes' Groove Merchant albums from the earlier part of the decade – an approach that's almost like soundtrack scoring at times, but which allows Groove to stretch out a bit more on the solos, and take things way past the already-funky head arrangements penned by Nelson. Mike Wofford's also on the record, throwing in some great electric piano and Arp in underneath Holmes' own funky Hammond – and other players include Tom Scott, David T Walker, and Oscar Brashear – who all contribute nicely to the record. Titles include "Disc-o-Mite", "Salsa de Alma", "Dumpy Mama", "Mama's Groove", "125th & 7th Ave", and "Six Million Dollar Man", the theme from the TV show! CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches87
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Richard Groove HolmesStar Wars/Close Encounters (with bonus track) ... CD
Versatile/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $22.99
Groove Holmes runs through a set of famous 70s film themes – or tunes associated with films – working here with larger backing arrangements from Mario Sprouse! The style is smooth, but still mighty nice – as the tunes are long, and there's lots of solo space for Groove (who plays a bit of mini Korg on the set next to his organ!) and flautist Karen Josephs, who also gets a lot of solos space too. Sprouse plays all the rest of the keys – Fender Rhodes, Korg, and piano – and the full feel of the tunes has a very soundtracky sound, more in a cop show mode! Titles include "Gonna Fly Now", "Carry On My Wayward Son", "Star Wars", and "Close Encounters". CD also features a bonus unreleased version of "You Light Up My Life". CD
(Part of the "Versatile: Find Out Fusion" series!)

Close matches88
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Chiko HondaChiko ... CD
Aketa's Disk/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $24.99
An unusual vocal jazz session from the Japanese scene of the 70s – a record that's a bit different than some of the more staid readings of standards at the time, as singer Chiko Honda has a really nice bite to her style – and works with a small, rough-edged combo too! We might say there's a blues inspiration going on here, even though the music isn't blues at all – just maybe a more earthy take on jazz styles, with backing on electric and acoustic piano from Kazuhide Motooka, bass from Yasushi Yonegi, and drums from Masaaki Sakai – plus some guest guitar from Shinji Hashimoto. Chiko's style is nicely personal, and really fits the music – on readings of "Let It Be Me", "Buck", "Time After Time", "Fly Me To The Moon", "But Not For Me", "Travelin Light", and "Waitin For Charlie To Come Home". CD
(Part of the Nippon Jazz Spirits series!)

Close matches89
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Takehiro HondaWhat's Going On ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. Used ... $14.99
Early soul jazz piano work from Takehiro Honda – recorded in a style that's quite different than most of his later albums! The sound here is full and rich – with Honda's work on the keys augmented by fuller backings arranged by Teddy Adams – all recorded in the US (we think), with a quality that's a fair bit like some of the best soul jazz coming out of LA at the end of the 60s! Honda plays both acoustic and electric piano – and the groove has a hiply vamping style that's always verging on funky, but which is a bit more laidback overall. The record echoes with plenty of the best influences from Les McCann, The Crusaders, Gerald Wilson, and other west coast soul jazz figures – and titles include "Greasy Spoon", "Sham Time", "Ain't Tell You A Good Way But", "Ain't It Funky Now", "What's Going On", and "Check Out Your Mind" CD
(Includes obi.)
Also available What's Going On ... CD 24.99

Close matches90
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Takehiro HondaWhat's Going On ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $24.99
Early soul jazz piano work from Takehiro Honda – recorded in a style that's quite different than most of his later albums! The sound here is full and rich – with Honda's work on the keys augmented by fuller backings arranged by Teddy Adams – all recorded in the US (we think), with a quality that's a fair bit like some of the best soul jazz coming out of LA at the end of the 60s! Honda plays both acoustic and electric piano – and the groove has a hiply vamping style that's always verging on funky, but which is a bit more laidback overall. The record echoes with plenty of the best influences from Les McCann, The Crusaders, Gerald Wilson, and other west coast soul jazz figures – and titles include "Greasy Spoon", "Sham Time", "Ain't Tell You A Good Way But", "Ain't It Funky Now", "What's Going On", and "Check Out Your Mind" CD
(Part of the "Nippon Jazz Spirits 48" series!)
Also available What's Going On ... CD 14.99

Close matches91
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Bobbi HumphreyCity Beat ... CD
Malaco/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1988. New Copy ... $14.99
An under-discovered batch of jazzy soul from Bobbi Humphrey – an artist we love for her 70s work on Blue Note and Epic, still sounding pretty great here in the late 80s! The overall style of the album's a bit different than Bobbi's 70s work – more in a Patrice Rushen blend of 80s groove R&B styles and jazzy flourishes – and the whole set was done in collaboration with arranger Tommy James, who also plays a lot of keyboards on the set. Bobbi's flute work is as sweet as ever – especially on the mellower, more laidback tracks – and even her occasional vocals still sound pretty nice too! Titles include "Tropical Voyage", "Loop 12", "Come Get To This", "Days Of You & Me", "What The Heart Needs", and "City Beat". CD
(Part of the "Malaco – The Truth Of Southern Soul Definitive Collection" series!)

Close matches92
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✨✧ Klaus IgnatzekDon't Stop It ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1987. New Copy ... $13.99
An overlooked 80s cooker from pianist Klaus Ignatzek – a set that's full of imagination, right from the very first note – thanks to a string of all original material that matches the strong performances on the set! Trumpeter Claudio Roditi is a key part of the quartet – and maybe gets a showcase here that's as strong as some of his better-known albums from the decade – really finding his groove with the material that Ignatzek brings to the record, in ways that are also nicely distinct, and show just how much Claudio can add to a session. Other players include Paulo Cardoso on bass and Mario Gonzi on drums – and the record's a gem through and through, with titles that include "Summer & Spring", "Move It", "Ballad For Ulli", "Whisper Yes", "That's It", and "Blue Energy". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches93
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Kayo IshuLiving Scat – Neo Standards ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1960s/1970s. New Copy ... $13.99
Breezy and easy vocals from Japan – a collection of recordings made by singer Kayo Ishu from the late 60s and 1970s – not really "scat" in a conventional style, but cool wordless vocals with a sweet jazzy feel! The 19 track set brings together tunes from a variety of different Japanese albums – some of them faceless easy listening sessions – and the tunes feature Kayo singing in a mode that's dreamy, floating, and free – a bit like Barbara Moore's recordings from the time, but somewhat gentler and with a lighter touch! Titles include "Cold Road", "Dedicated To Byrd", "You Belong To Me", "Summer Samba", "Again", "Five Minutes More", "Route 66", "Awakening", "Strangers In The Night", "My Pure Lady", "One Rainy Night In Tokyo", and "Ken & Merry". CD
(Part of the "Nippon Jazz Spirits 48" series!)

Close matches94
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Fumio ItabashiImpact ... CD
Paddle Wheel/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1984. New Copy ... $22.99
Pianist Fumio Itabashi's definitely making an impact with this record – pushing his music even farther than before with some inventive, creative arrangements that make strong use of trumpet, trombone, and tenor sax! Itabashi's piano is at the core of the record, but he's moving in ways that are quite different than previous albums – almost avant at points, yet never too far out – just angular and exploratory, in ways that really seem to bring out some bold voicings in the horns! Players are all in Japanese, so we can't tell you their names – and although the cut "Little Mayu" is a bit straight, it's more than made up for by the cuts "Tokyo Blues", "F1", "Last Summer", and "All The Things You Are". CD
(Part of the "Nippon Jazz Spirits 48" series!)

Close matches95
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Fumio ItabashiLife & Live – Watarase ... DVD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), 2011. New Copy ... $4.99
A really unusual performance from Japanese pianist Fumio Itabashi – who returns here to Watarase, a site that inspired his most famous album in the 70s! Itabashi plays here outdoors – a really amazing setting for a grand piano – yet his work on the instrument is ever bit as bold and powerful as when it's captured in the closeness of the studio – although maybe taking off with even more inspiration from nature, which is always something that Fumio brings to his unique combination of lyrical lines and magical flow! The performance runs for approximately 63 minutes, and all other notes are in Japanese, or else we'd tell you more. DVD
(Part of the "Nippon Jazz Spirits 48" series! DVD is NTSC – All Region.)

Close matches96
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Fumio ItabashiRed Apple ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1986. New Copy ... $22.99
A nicely biting session from Japanese pianist Fumio Itabashi – a set that rounds out his trio with guest alto sax and guitar on a few of the cuts, which makes for a fuller, more driven sound overall! There's definitely a soulful groove to the set – kind of an 80s soulbop mode overall – and Itabashi's piano is recorded with a bright tone that sets the record apart from American efforts of the time, a slightly different feel than his 70s material at points, although some of the best numbers still have those comping lines we love so much in his music. Titles include "Don't Say Goodbye", "I'm Gone", "Mina", "Alicante", "Red Apple", and "Beatrice". CD
(Part of the "Nippon Jazz Spirits 48" series!)

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Regina JamesDancin' In The Flames Of Love ... CD
TK/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $22.99
A really unusual album from the TK Records Miami Soul empire – a set that feels like that label's attempt to go head to head with the sound of Sylvia Robinson! Like Sylvia, Regina James is a singer with a very sexy approach to 70s soul – not afraid to let her desire ooze out into the grooves, which are a really well-crafted batch of Miami rhythms handled by Clarence Reid – who also produced and wrote most of the songs in the set. And also like Sylvia, Regina may not be the best soul singer in the world, but she more than makes up for that with her personality – which comes through loud and clear in the album's very unique "Kitty Kat Pussy Cat Medley" – and on other tunes that include "Alfie", "Tribute To Music", "Primitive", and "Dancin In The Flames Of Love". CD

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Maria Joao & Aki TakaseLooking For Love ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Germany), 1987. New Copy ... $7.99
Maria Joao is one of the most unique vocal talents in jazz – a singer who's partly inspired by the new freedoms of the more experimental female jazz vocalists of the 70s, but one who also draws a lot from the hippest Brazilian singers too! There's an approach here that mixes together Sheila Jordan with Joyce, Nana Caymmi with Karin Krog – but all at a level that also explodes with new imagination too, especially when paired with the very dynamic piano of Aki Takase! The set's got plenty of sharp edges and vocal/piano experiments, but also never fails to find a way to swing – on titles that include "Mae Dou Iho Nao", "My Favorite Things", "Estranha Forma De Vida", "Watashi No Obakasan", "Don't Shout At Me/Amanojaku", and "Confirmation/Donna Lee/Au Privave". CD
(Part of the Enja Real Jazz Classics series!)

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Jimmy JohnsonHeap See (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Black & Blue/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1983. New Copy ... $22.99
A lean little set from Jimmy Johnson – recorded in France in the early 80s, but with the feel of an indie set on a small Chicago label from the decade before! Jimmy sings and plays guitar, and has a mighty sly way of working the two together – with a quality that kind of beats some of the bigger, braggier rising blues stars of the time – and which maybe makes Johnson all that much greater for his understated brilliance! The group's a quartet – with Hammond and piano from Jene Pickett – and titles include "Heap See", "Chicken Head", "When My First Wife Quit Me", "Happy Home", "Missing Link", and "Cold Cold Feeling". CD features bonus tracks – "Tobacco Road" and "I Don't Want No Woman". CD
(Part of the "True Blue Masters – Black & Blue" series!)

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Elvin JonesElvin Jones Live At The Town Hall ... CD
PM/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $18.99
A fantastic live performance from drummer Elvin Jones – done in 1971 as part of a John Coltrane Memorial Concert – and a record that maybe shows just how much Jones had grown as a leader in the few short years after Coltrane's death! The album features two long, very freewheeling tracks – "Shinjitu" and "Simone" – certainly inspired by the freedoms allowed by the Coltrane Quartet of the 60s, but taken in really dynamic directions that not only come from the drums of Elvin, but also the bold, rich work of Gene Perla on bass – as the pair really drive things from the bottom, really encouraging some great sounds from Chick Corea on piano, Frank Foster on tenor and soprano, and Joe Farrell on tenor and flute. CD
(Part of the Modern Jazz Connection series!)
 
 
 



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