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Close matches: 348
Close matches1
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Isao TomitaCaptain Ultra ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1967. New Copy 2CD ... $36.99
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
George Adams/Don Pullen QuartetLive At Montmartre ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1985. New Copy ... $13.99
Solidly soaring work from tenorist George Adams – recording live here with pianist Don Pullen, one of his best musical partners during the 80s! The album's got a bit more of a bite than some of the pair's studio sessions – a bit straighter overall, but recorded with a nice degree of energy, and some long tracks that really let both players open up nicely – in a combo that also features John Scofield on guitar, Cameron Brown on bass, and Dannie Richmond on drums. The inclusion of Scofield's guitar changes up the group's sound in a nice way – adding in some more chromatic elements that really stand out – and titles include "IJ", "Flame Games", "Song Everlasting", and "Forever Lovers". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)
Also available Live At Montmartre ... LP 16.99

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
✨✧ 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 matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Harold AlexanderAre You Ready? ... CD
Flying Dutchman/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $13.99
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 matches8
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 matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Carl Allen & Manhattan ProjectsPiccadilly Square ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1989. New Copy ... $13.99
We love the group that drummer Carl Allen has on this set – a soulful 80s young lions lineup, with Roy Hargrove on trumpet, Vincent Herring on alto and soprano, Ira Coleman on bass, and Donald Brown on piano – all taking things back to the basics of soul jazz, but with a sense of imagination and power that really mark all the players as harbingers of a new generation in jazz! Freddie Hubbard guests on two tracks – and while he sounds great, he's almost not needed – as the other players come together beautifully on all the other selections – hard-swinging, and expanding a sense of hardbop in ways that hearken back to a Jazz Messengers tradition, but with energy that's all their own. Titles include "Annie's Mood", "The Biscuit Man", "Piccadilly Square", "Afterthoughts", and "New Joy". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Jon AppletonAppleton Syntonic Menagerie ... CD
Flying Dutchman/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1969. New Copy ... $13.99
An incredible record from the glory days of Flying Dutchman! The session's one of a rare few cut by electronic musician Jon Appleton, and it's a stunning blend of analogue electronics and sonic cut up material – a record of musique concrete compositions to rival the greatest work coming out of France in the late 50s and early 60s! Appleton's approach to the material is at some level like that of Pierre Henry, but at another level, he's also using some bits of late 60s Americana – such as a Chef Boyardee commercial, or snippets of interviews done in an airport – and it's elements like these that give the set a darkness that makes it even more compelling. Titles include "Chef D'Oeuvre", "Newark Airport Rock", "Times Square Times Ten", "Second Scene Unobserved", "Nyckelharpen", and "The Visitation". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Mickey BakerBlues & Me (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Black & Blue/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $22.99
Really great later work from Mickey Baker – a guitarist who first rose to fame during the 50s years of R&B, but who just kept on maturing over the years, and really opened up a much stronger blues style in his music! Here, Mickey sings and plays guitar – the latter with a voice that's maybe even stronger than his own on the lyrics – in small combos that feature work from either Tiny Grimes or Jimmy Rodgers on guitar, plus some harmonica and guitar from Louis Myers too. Titles include "She's Dynamite", "Don't Try To Play Me For Your Clown", "My Play House", "Drucilla", "Hey Little Girl", "Blues After Hours", "In The Evening", "Sweety Cat", and "My Dog". CD features bonus tracks – "Didn't We Baby", "Battle Of Guitars", and "Sweety Cat (take 2)". CD
(Part of the "True Blue Masters – Black & Blue" series!)

Close matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Gato BarbieriBolivia ... CD
Flying Dutchman/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $13.99
Soaring, searing sounds from the young Gato Barbieri – one of his classic albums for the Flying Dutchman label, and very much in the vein of his first few for Impulse Records! The Latin element isn't as strongly stated in the music as you might guess from the title, but the inspiration is definitely there – although more subtle than on Gato's Latin America series for the other label – and the tunes are a wonderful blend of soulful soloing, modal grooves, and unbridled emotion! Lonnie Liston Smith is playing piano on most cuts, and he's a perfect blend for Barbieri's horn – giving it the same sort of soulful base as in his classic recordings with Pharoah Sanders – and pushing the tracks with a pulsating modal undercurrent that keeps things moving throughout! Titles include "Merceditas", "Eclypse/Michellina", "Bolivia", and "Vidala Triste". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Gato BarbieriEl Gato ... CD
Flying Dutchman/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $13.99
A great summation of the Gato Barbieri recordings for the Flying Dutchman label – and a set that includes a key new composition too! Some of the record features older Barbieri tracks for Flying Dutchman, but the highlight here is the extended 13-minute suite, "El Gato" – a wonderful number composed by Oliver Nelson, and done with a soaring, spiritual vibe that's a wonderful summation of his genius at the time – that Pharoah Sanders way of blowing in really long, searching solos, but never going too outside. Other tracks are great – and all have a nice Latin current – and feature work from Lonnie Liston Smith on piano, Mtume on drums, Stanley Clarke on bass, and Airto on percussion – on titles that include "El Parana", "Merceditas", and "Ninos". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

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
Kenny BarronLive At Fat Tuesdays ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1988. New Copy ... $13.99
Soulful genius from Kenny Barron – an excellent quintet outing from the late 80s, and one that really benefits from the presence of horns added to the trio! Kenny's work on piano is always great – and his sense of scope, soul, and timing are presented perfectly here – but what we really appreciate is the way that Eddie Henderson's trumpet and John Stubblefield's tenor flesh out the longer tunes on the set, and bring in even more colors that Barron's own writing and performance. The rest of the quintet features Cecil McBee on bass and Victor Lewis on drums – and tracks include the great originals "Lunacy", "518", and "Sand Dune" – plus "There Is No Greater Love" and "Misterioso". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Celi BeeAlternating Currents (with bonus tracks) ... CD
TK/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Late 70s. New Copy ... $22.99
Sweetly soaring disco from the legendary Celi Bee – easily one of our favorite disco divas of the late 70s! This album's got a slightly lighter feel than some of Celi's other work – a bit less drama at times, but still plenty of full-on clubby rhythms – thanks to arrangements from Hector Garrido, and some relatively full orchestrations overall. There's a definite New York groove to most of the numbers, but also a bit of a Miami vibe too – and titles include "Together", "Macho", "Hold Your Horses Babe", "Comin Up Strong", "Disposable Love", and "Lost In Love". CD features the bonus tracks "Macho (7 inch mix)" and "Hold Your Horses (UK 12" mix)". CD
(Part of the TK Records – The Miami Sound Original Soul/Funk/Disco Collecion!)
Also available Alternating Currents ... LP 4.99

Close matches17
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 matches18
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Karl Berger with Masahiko SatoWith Silence ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $16.99
There's nothing silent here – as the album's one of the most biting 70s albums we've heard from vibist Karl Berger – an album that's relatively free overall, and which features some fantastic work by Masahiko Sato on piano! Sato really seems to bring out the darker tones in Berger's vibes, and his sometimes use of marimbas – really wonderful hues that are especially compelling when the whole group takes off for a long free run of improvisation! Other players include Allen Blairman on drums and Adelhard Roidinger on bass – and titles include "From Now On", "With Silence", "Get Up", and "The Only One Of Its Kind In My Garden". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches19
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 matches20
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 matches21
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 matches22
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 matches23
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Joanne BrackeenSnooze (with bonus track) ... CD
Choice/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $13.99
Dreamy open-ended tracks from pianist Joanne Brackeen – with a spiritual sound that almost reminds us of Alice Coltrane's best work on Impulse – and which represents a very different side of Brackeen's music than her better-known work with Stan Getz during the same time! Of course, the hipness of the music is maybe no surprise – given that the trio features Cecil McBee on bass and Billy Hart on drums – both of whom work behind Brackeen to drive her solos into a searching post-Coltrane kind of mode that's totally wonderful! Titles include "Zulu", "Nefertiti", "Circles Within Circles", "C-Sri" and the bonus track "I Didn't Know What Time It Was". CD

Close matches24
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 matches25
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Dollar BrandAfrican Space Program ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $16.99
One of the most righteous 70s sessions to come from the hands of Dollar Brand – a New York recording that's filled with work by a host of players from the spiritual jazz underground – all of whom soar strongly on the album's long tracks, and give the set a fire and righteous energy you're not likely to hear on other Brand albums of the time! The leader is especially bold and free on piano – and provides these long lines that set fire to work from Cecil Bridgewater and Charles Sullivan on trumpets, Kiani Zawadi on trombone, Cecil McBee on bass, Roy Brooks on drums, and the massive talents Sonny Fortune, Carlos Ward, Hamiet Bluiette, Roland Alexander, and John Stubblefield on reeds! The record has a much fuller feel than most of Brand's other work from the time, and it's great to hear his angular, rhythmic piano juxtaposed with the warm spiritualism of the players in the group – wonderful energy that takes flight on the two-part "Titiana", and the longer "Jabulani Easter Joy". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches26
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 matches27
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 matches28
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 matches29
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 matches30
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Celi Bee & The Buzzy BunchCeli Bee & The Buzzy Bunch (with bonus tracks) ... CD
APA/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $22.99
A sweet campy disco classic – and a record that's been close to our hearts for years! Celi Bee may have had white hair and a hokey kind of look, but she won us forever with her incredible "Superman" – a five minute homage to the man in red and blue, and the leadoff track on this debut set! "Superman" is a sweet disco number with lots of strings, heavy rhythms at the bottom, and an erotic vocal that seems to offer the big guy more action than Lois Lane ever did. The rest of the tracks follow in a similar sleaze disco mode, and titles include "Smile", "It's Sad", "Hurt Me Hurt Me", "One Love", and "Closer Closer". CD features lots of bonus tracks – "Smile (alt mix)", "Hurt Me Hurt Me (alt mix)", "It's Sad (alt mix)", and 7" mixes of "Superman" and "One Love". CD
(Part of the TK Records – The Miami Sound Original Soul/Funk/Disco Collecion!)

Close matches31
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Eugen CiceroSpring Song ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1983. New Copy ... $13.99
Later work from European pianist Eugen Cicero – an artist who first made international waves by mixing classical tunes with jazz for a series of MPS/Saba recordings in the 60s – then went on to create many overlooked albums of lyrical beauty in later decades! This set is definitely one of those gems – still very much in the "jazz meets classical" vein of his 60s hits, as it features improvisations on melodies from Bach, Smetana, Mendelssoh, and other composers – but somehow coming across with a deeper sense of soul, and a sound that's awash in color and tone. Part of the strength of the set no doubt comes from the rhythm section – which features Americans John Clayton on bass and Billy Higgins on drums – and titles include "Caprice No 24", "Spinning Song In C Op 67 No 4", "Spring Song In A Op 62 No 6", "Cicero's Paraphrase In G Flat", and "The Moldeu". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches32
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Al CohnRifftide ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1987. Used ... $11.99
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
(Includes obi.)
Also available Rifftide ... CD 13.99

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!)
Also available Rifftide ... CD 11.99

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!)
Also available Shine The Light ... LP 6.99

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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 matches36
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Mel DancyLittle Lovin ... CD
Mainstream/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. Used ... $13.99
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.)

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Eddie DanielsStreet Wind ... CD
Marlin/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. Used ... $24.99
A funkier fusion set than usual for Eddie Daniels – a great late 70s project for TK Records, and one that's done without some of the too-smooth styles of later years! Eddie's definitely going for a Kudu Records vibe here – one that mixes in doses of soul with the instrumentation, using just a bit of vocals from Patti Austin at points – alongside work from players who include Dave Grusin and Don Sebesky on keyboards, Joe Beck and John Scofield on guitars, and Steve Jordan and Bernard Purdie on drums. Many cuts have a bit of added percussion at the bottom, which further underscores an acoustic element next to the keyboards – and the tunes are sharper than you might expect, and provide a good foil for Eddie's work on sax, flute, and clarinet. Titles include "One Night With You", "Preparation F", "How Deep Is Your Love", "I Go To Rio", "What's At The End Of A Rainbow", "Fantasy Of A Street Corner Flute Player", and "Song For My Son". CD
(Out of print, includes obi.)

Close matches38
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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!)

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Rein De GraaffNow Is The Time ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 2002. New Copy ... $16.99
A great selection of material from the sometimes overlooked Dutch pianist Rein DeGraaf – a player who's been making great music since the 60s – and who's heard here on a series of recordings from 1972 up through 2002! We're not sure, but we think all the cuts on this set are exclusive to the album – and showcase the way that Rein can easily slide in with all-star hornmen – a quality that made him very much in-demand for accompanying overseas visitors on the Dutch scene – as you'll hear here, amidst reed work from players who include Charlie Rouse, Bud Shank, Ferdinand Povel, James Clay, Bob Cooper, Herb Geller, and Dexter Gordon! Rhythm players vary – although drummer Eric Ineke is on most numbers – and there's also a few beautiful duets as well. Titles include "Now Is The Time", "I Want To Be Happy", "Out Of Nowhere", "Eternal Triangle", "We'll Be Together Again", and "Days Of Wine & Roses". CD

Close matches40
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Buddy Defranco featuring Gordie FlemingWaterbed ... CD
Choice/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $13.99
A really cool 70s album from reedman Buddy DeFranco – and one that resonates strongly with some of his groovy 60s work with Gumina! As with those records, this one features both clarinet and accordion – the former by Buddy, the latter by Gordie Fleming – used here in a match that's surprisingly strong all the way through, with this great blend of sharper tones and warmer colors – augmented by electric bass work from Michel Donato, and work on drums by Peter Magadini! The accordion has all these cool chromatic elements – similar to the way the instrument could be recorded at its best by the MPS label – and titles include "The Dreaded Lergy", "Uncle Horsley Writhes Again", "Waterbed", "Sunnyside Beach", and "Lush Life". CD

Close matches41
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Bob DegenChildren Of The Night ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $16.99
Pianist Bob Degen is great here – but the record shines equally from the contributions of the great Terumasa Hino – who plays cornet throughout, and really puts a bold sort of sparkle on the record! In truth, the whole group is great – a quartet that also features Cameron Brown on bass and Motohiko Hino on drums – and there's a soaring, positive energy to the record that really stands as one of Degen's strongest statements on wax – a tremendous session that also features two originals by the leader, and two more by Hino – played with nonstop creative energy throughout! Titles include "Blues For Hall", "Sun Dive", "Children Of The Night", and "Neged". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches42
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Rein De Graaff – Dick Vennick QuartetModal Soul ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. Used ... $13.99
The Dutch jazz scene had plenty to offer back in the 70s – not just the better-remembered avant jazz from big free jazz musicians, but also some great straight ahead material too! This album's a key set from that wonderful time – and features a combo led by pianist Rein DeGraaf and reedman Dick Vennik – a great player who blows tenor, soprano sax, and flute on the record – with a depth of feeling that has us wondering why he never scored bigger fame on this side of the Atlantic. Even the mellower moments have a nice sort of bite – and rhythms are from Koos Serierse on bass and Eric Ineke on drums – on titles that include the stunning 13 minute title track "Modal Soul", plus "Short Rainbow", "Sweet Basil", "Detour Ahead", and "Lonely Hunter". CD
(Out of print, includes obi.)

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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!)

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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!)

Close matches45
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8th Day8th Day (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Invictus/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... $9.99
The first album by 8th Day – a record with a bit of a complicated pedigree, but a massive amount of 70s Detroit soul as well! The set was supposedly compiled to cash in on the group's hit single "She's Not Just Another Woman" – reportedly recorded by 100 Proof Aged In Soul, but issued under the name 8th Day, so that it wouldn't compete with the group's other hits on the charts! But after that cut took off, Holland-Dozier-Holland needed a group to back it up, so they assembled some lesser-known, but strong, Detroit soul talents to record this album. Unlike the group's second album, which is a much funkier affair overall, this one sounds a lot like 100 Proof – with a raspy southern-tinged soul approach, filtered through some tighter, more full-on HDH arrangements that really give the whole thing a great sort of punch! A great album if you dig the Invictus/Hot Wax soul sound – and titles include "I'm Worried", "Enny Meeny Miny Mo", "You've Got To Crawl Before You Walk", "Just As Long", and "She's Not Just Another Woman". Features the bonus tracks "She's Not Just Another Woman (single)", "Eeny Meeny Miny Mo (inst)", "If I Could See The Light In The Window", and "If I Could See The Light In The Window (inst)". CD
Also available 8th Day (180 gram pressing) ... LP 16.99

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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 matches47
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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 matches48
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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 matches49
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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 matches50
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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 matches51
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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!)

Close matches52
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Food BrainShinjuku Mad ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1970. New Copy ... $29.99
A heavy rock soundtrack from Japan – one served up with lots of freaky, fuzzy touches! The instrumentation here includes piano, guitar, bass, and drums – and all tracks are instrumental, with a cool groove that takes off nicely from the American psyche hinterland of the period – almost a soundtrack use of the kind of grooves you might find on rare Mainstream rock albums. Like those sides, some of these have a bit of funk at the bottom, while others are a bit bluesy – and overall, the instrumental approach really helps the music avoid any common cliches of the genre. CD comes with some images from the film – which looks like a really crazy movie! CD

Close matches53
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✨✧ FoxyHot Numbers (with bonus track) ... CD
Dash/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
Way more than disco, a bit different than funk, and a lot cooler than you might guess from the image on the cover – a stone classic from Miami groovers Foxy, and easily one of their best records ever! The set's nice and tight right from the start – not really disco, but more of a compressed approach to funk, with some surprising Latin touches too – especially in some of the percussion moments that really open up, creating a nice sense of energy to the record! The group have more than enough tightness to cross over to the AOR crowd, but they still keep things sharp on most tracks – and make the album real TK standard from the glory days. Titles include "Devil Boogie", "Hot Number", "Chicapbon Chicapbon", "Headhunter", "Lady", "Give Me That Groove", "Lady Of The Streets", and "Give Me A Break". CD features the bonus track "Call It Love". CD

Close matches54
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Von FreemanYoung & Foolish (with bonus track) ... CD
Daybreak/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $13.99
Arguably one of Von Freeman's most obscure recordings – and many of them are pretty darn obscure! The set was recorded for the Daybreak label, live in the Netherlands in 1977 – with a strong Chicago rhythm section that features John Young on piano, David Shipp on bass, and Charles Walton on drums. Like many of Von's sides from the time, the tracks are long and laidback – with the kind of crisp creative soloing that have made his live sessions a must-see around Chicago for the past 40 years. Three long tracks – "I'll Close My Eyes", "Young & Foolish", and "Bye Bye Blackbird". CD also features the track "After Dark". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches55
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Red GarlandMisty Red ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1982. New Copy ... $16.99
A great later session from pianist Red Garland – recorded in the early 80s with support from Ahmad Jamal's old trio-mates – Jamil Nassar on bass and Frank Gant on drums! The Garland heard here is a gentler one than on his earlier recordings – playing with a nice Jamal-like sense of spacious exploration and mellow grooving. Tunes are mostly standards, but they're handled here in a manner that makes them feel much more like personal statements of expression than familiar chestnuts – and titles include "This Can't Be Love", "Misty", "But Not For Me", "Over The Rainbow", and "If I Were A Bell". CD
(Part of the "Timeless Jazz Syndicate" series!)

Close matches56
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Benny GolsonThis Is For You John ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1983. New Copy ... $16.99
A lost treasure by Benny Golson – and one of his most noteworthy records since the early days! The "John" in the title is Coltrane – and the set's got a sweeping spiritual groove that's quite different from much of Golson's other work, and which shows that he's never stopped growing as a player. Benny's in the frontline with Pharoah Sanders, and the pair of them solo beautifully on tenors – with very sympathetic rhythm backing from Cedar Walton, Ron Carter, and Jack DeJohnette. Golson's tone is an advanced version of that raspy edge he was using during the late 50s – put to great use here in a spiritual jazz kind of vein. Titles include "Times Past", "Page 12", "Vilia", "Change of Heart", and "Origin". CD

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Benny GolsonTime Speaks ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1982. New Copy ... $13.99
A great little session – ostensibly a tribute to Clifford Brown, but way more than that! The set's actually an excellent soul jazz session – hardly the boppish affair you might guess from the title, and instead a deep-feeling set of jazz with some surprisingly spiritual touches. Golson's at his later hip best here – and is recording with a sextet that features Woody Shaw and Freddie Hubbard on trumpets – supported by a massive rhythm section that includes Kenny Barron on piano, Cecil McBee on bass, and Ben Riley on drums! The album's a great one if you dig Woody Shaw – and Hubbard's playing is a real treat too, with that stretched out later sound he did so well after the 70s electric years. Tracks include "No Dancin", "Time Speaks", "Blues For Duane", "Theme For Maxine", and "Jordu". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

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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 matches59
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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 matches60
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Johnny HartmanLive At Sometime ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $22.99
A rare 70s album from the legendary Johnny Hartman – a singer who recorded famously on our shores during the 60s, then had a much more obscure run of records in the following decade! The performance is live, a really intimate set that features Rolland Hanna on piano and George Mraz on bass – both wonderfully sensitive accompanists to the maturing style of Hartman's vocals – maybe even more expressive than on his famous records, but at a level that's more sophisticated too! The tunes are handled with great care, and the lack of any drums really allows a strong focus on Johnny's voice – on titles that include "Summertime", "On A Clear Day", "The Way We Were", "Little Girl Blue", "Sometimes I'm Happy", and "Send In The Clowns". CD
(Part of the Jazz Legends In Japan series!)

Close matches61
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Hampton Hawes, Cecil McBee, Roy HaynesLive At The Jazz Showcase In Chicago Vol 1 ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $16.99
A hell of a great live set from pianist Hampton Hawes – thanks especially to the other members of the trio! Hawes is at his free, open, 70s best on the piano – but bassist Cecil McBee really takes the record to the next level – spinning out these amazing lines that are as rhythmic as they are melodic – often crafted with that rounded tone that was his important calling card during this stretch! Drummer Roy Haynes is a bundle of energy – bursting out in surprising ways, occasionally in counterpoint to the piano and bass – and the whole thing cooks nicely on a set of extended tracks. Titles include "Stella By Starlight", "Blue Bird", "St Thomas", and "Spanish Mood". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)
Also available Live At The Jazz Showcase In Chicago Vol 1 ... CD 12.99

Close matches62
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Tubby HayesNew Edition – Rare Radio Recordings 1958 to 1962 ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), Late 50s/Early 60s. Used 2CD ... $24.99
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.)

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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.)

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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.)

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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 matches66
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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.)

Close matches67
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Terumasa HinoVibrations ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... $16.99
Pretty strong stuff from Japanese trumpeter Terumasa Hino – a session recorded during that early 70s period when he was really finding a new sense of openness in his music, which includes records like this – a meeting with a strong set of European avant players! The tracks are long, and often relatively free – a mixture of tighter arrangements and improvised solos that really take off – very strong work from Hino on trumpet, alongside Heinz Sauer on tenor, Peter Warren on bass, and Pierre Favre on drums. The tracks are long, with an energy that even surpasses some of Hino's free work in Japan – and titles include "Into The Heaven", "Dig It", "Crackling", and "Ph Ph T". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches68
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Johnny Hodges3 Shades Of Blue ... CD
Flying Dutchman/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1970. New Copy ... $13.99
An excellent late Johnny Hodges album that mixes his supreme talents with two of the other big stars of the Flying Dutchman label – Oliver Nelson and Leon Thomas – both of whom contribute wonderfully to the set! Nelson arranged the whole album, and gives it the groovy feel of some of his best orchestrations from the late 60s – nicely swinging throughout, but also awash in sophisticated colors and tones at the bottom! Leon Thomas sings vocals on a few cuts, and although he's a little straighter than on his own recordings, or the records he did with Pharoah Sanders, he still gives the set a hip sound that's a great change from the usual Johnny Hodges record – especially some of his 60s sessions with Wild Bill Davis. Hodges is great throughout, and the best tracks include "Yearning", "Welcome To New York", "Disillusion Blues", and Nelson's great "Black, Brown, & Beautiful" – plus a hip vocal take on "Dukes Place". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches69
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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 matches70
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Loleatta HollowayLove Sensation (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Salsoul/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1980. New Copy ... $24.99
Landmark club grooves from the great Loleatta Holloway – and a record that definitely has her at the top of the disco game for the 70s! Holloway's working here with a nice variety of arrangers and producers – including Bobby Womack, Norman Harris, Dan Hartman, and Tom Washington – each of whom add some sweet little touches that let Holloway's vocals really take off, and find a space that's even more proud and powerful than ever before! Rhythms have an incessant Salsoul groove – that great approach that was often tightly funky at the core, and which really helped transform a key few singers like Holloway – taking them to the clubs, but without losing any of the depth of their roots. Key proof of this is the sublime leadoff track – "Love Sensation" – one of the greatest Salsoul tracks ever, and maybe one of the best female disco numbers too. The cut's a monster, one of the most anthemic dance tracks of all time – and it's followed by other good numbers that include "Two Became a Crowd", "My Way", and "Short End of the Stick". CD features bonus tracks – 6 more mixes of "Love Sensation", including "Tom Moulton 12", "unreleased Tom Moulton", "Shep Pettibone 12"", "Shep Pettibone 12" rough", and "acapella". CD
(Part of the Salsoul Records Original Master Collecion!)

Close matches71
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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 matches72
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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 matches73
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Richard Groove HolmesOnsaya Joy ... CD
Flying Dutchman/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $13.99
Maybe one of the greatest albums ever cut by organist Richard Groove Holmes – and a set that's worth it alone for the massive title track! Groove soars right out of the gate on that one – taking up most of side one with help from a vamping trio of guitar and drums – while he delivers this stretched-out, hard-burning solo that almost seems to take a page out of the book of the younger Charles Earland – but also stands as a great reminder of the fresh, soulful genius that Holmes brought to the Hammond in the 60s! In addition to "Onsaya Joy", other tracks are a bit more straightforward, but no less soulful – and titles include "On Green Dolphin Street", "Song For My Father", and a remake of "Misty". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches74
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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 matches75
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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 matches76
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Takehiro HondaI Love You ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. Used ... $14.99
Straight trio grooving from Takehiro Honda – but pretty darn great work nonetheless! The album's a nice bridge between the harder, more rhythmic pulse of his early soul jazz sessions, and the later, freer sound of his more lyrical trio sides – and the whole album shows Honda opening up with a new sense of freedom, really taking off on the keys of the piano, while still keeping a nicely understated groove going at the bottom. The rest of the trio includes Yoshio Suzuki on bass and Kan Murakami on drums – and titles include "Sunny", "I Love You", "Autumn Leaves", "Willow Weep For Me", and "Here's That Rainy Day". CD
(Out of print, 2012 pressing – includes obi.)

Close matches77
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Takehiro HondaWhat's Going On ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. Used ... $22.99
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 matches78
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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 22.99

Close matches79
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Jimmy Bo HorneDance Across The Floor ... CD
Sunshine Sound/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $22.99
A killer classic from Jimmy Bo Horne – one of the sharpest male singers to work for the TK family of labels in the late 70s – and one who could really summarize all the greatness of Miami soul with a record like this! The album's got all the funky fullness of some of the larger TK groups of the time, but also has a key focus in Jimmy's vocals – not the deepest of deep soul, but strong enough to really provide just the right edge to the tunes – often with production that spaces out the sides of his vocals in kind of a KC sort of style! No surprise, KC produced the record himself – almost using Horne as a way to deepen his groove, with great vocals on titles that include "Get Happy", "Gimme Some", "Let Me (Let Me Be Your Lover)", "Don't Worry About It", "Dance Across The Floor", and "I Wanna Go Home With You." CD

Close matches80
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Freddie HubbardOutpost ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1981. New Copy ... $16.99
One of the best recordings from Freddie Hubbard's "back to basics" stretch in the early 80s – a time when Freddie returned to a strongly acoustic jazz mode after a mostly electric 70s! The record still has Freddie stretching out on the longer tracks he got used to during the CTI years – but he's working here in tight quartet formation with Kenny Barron on piano, Buster Williams on bass, and the always-great Al Foster on drums – carving out long lines on extended, but well-conceived numbers that echo with a tremendous amount of force. Freddie's lost none of his edge by this point, and the record shows a new sense of energy and focus that are extremely impressive – and also pretty darn soulful! Titles include "Santa Anna Winds", "You Don't Know What Love Is", "The Outpost Blues", "Dual Force", and "Loss". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches81
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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 matches82
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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 matches83
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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 matches84
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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 matches85
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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!)

Close matches86
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JacksHarakashi Onna ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1968. New Copy ... $29.99
Weird rock work from an equally weird Japanese film – one that seems to be filled with nudie images, if we can trust the photos included in the booklet! The group's a quartet – with guitar, bass, drums, and vocals – the latter of which don't always feature strongly, but when they do, they've got a moaning, earthy sort of quality – not bluesy, but almost more anguished – feeling a bit like a Japanese take on early Nick Cave – even though the work was recorded much earlier. The instrumentation's often nicely rough – hardly the polished rock of an American film score – with guitar parts that slip a bit at times, and tunes that seem to change their mood and mind halfway through, almost as if they're improvised. The set features 20 tracks in all – all with Japanese titles! CD

Close matches87
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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

Close matches88
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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!)

Close matches89
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Elvin JonesLive At The Village Vanguard ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1968. New Copy ... $16.99
Prime post-Coltrane material from Elvin Jones – featuring his "power trio" style of operation, with one great sax player out front, and Jones kicking it in the back with the bass player! In this case, the sax player is George Coleman – who's really finding a voice of his own in these late 60s years, and really makes the most of the extended space of the album to stretch out, soar, and show off his ever-growing talent for a powerful solo! Wilbur Little is on bass, playing nice round warm notes to offset Jones' edgey playing – and the group's joined by trumpeter Hannibal Marvin Peterson on one track – who brings in a soulful edge that's mighty nice. All tracks are nice and long – and titles include "Laura", "Mister Jones", and "By George". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches90
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Hank Jones TrioLive In Japan ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $22.99
Pianist Hank Jones always got some of his best 70s treatment working overseas – and that's definitely the case here, as Hank stretches out beautifully in a live trio date that was originally intended just for the Japanese market! The sound is sublime – really respectful of all that careful balance of swing and lyricism that Jones brings to the piano at his best – given understated accompaniment from George Duvivier on bass and Shelly Manne on drums – both musicians who always seem to let Hank show the way, but definitely know where to follow. Tracks include "Blue Lou", "Cotton Tail", "The Man I Love", "Crazy Rhythm", "I Only Have Eyes For You", "Basically The Blues", "Polka Dots & Moonbeams", "Yardbird Suite", and "On Green Dolphin Street". CD
(Part of the Jazz Legends In Japan series!)

Close matches91
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So KaburagiBaku-So Doberu Man (Doberman Cop) ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1980. New Copy ... $32.99
Rare work from an unusually-titled TV show – the Japanese program that was also known as Doberman Cop! The music's from 1980, but it's got a sweet 70s feel throughout – lots of the wah-wah guitar, heavy keyboards, and jazzy touches you'd find in American cop show work from the early 70s – put together here in a simple, basic style that's totally great – very unassuming in its approach, with a real concentration on the best musical elements in each short tune! The notes are all in Japanese, but the instrumental music has a universal appeal to any fan of US or Euro cop/crime work – and the package features a whopping 52 tracks in all – most of which are short, sweet, and very much to the point. CD

Close matches92
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Yasuhiro KounoPeace ... CD
Aketa's Disk/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1983. New Copy ... $23.99
An early 80s piano trio classic from Japan – one that features a group led by keyboardist Yasuhiro Kohno, and which also features a "plus one" vocalist on the final track! The style here is very much in the best Japanese mode of the 70s and early 80s – free-flowing lines on the keys that really take off with a great sense of freedom, yet never go outside, nor get too modern in their conception. There's a strong influence here from McCoy Tyner on most numbers – hinted at strongly by Kohno's original composition "Like McCoy" – which sits nicely alongside other originals "JC Blues", "Dancing Dolls", "Good Friday Blues", and "Fuji". Mami Mishina joins in on vocals for a version of Horace Silver's "Peace". CD

Close matches93
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Yasuhiro KounoRoma In The Rain ... CD
Aketa's Disk/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1984. New Copy ... $24.99
Pianist Yasuhiro Kouno has a really special guest on this record – vibist Masahiro Kanno, who's presence on the record makes the whole thing ring out with a really fantastic sense of joy and life! The vibes often lead the tunes, ringing out strongly next to the piano – and with a lyrical, soulful vibe that's a lot more like the combination of Jack Wilson and Roy Ayers than some of the sleeper vibes/piano modes inspired by Milt Jackson and John Lewis – a quality that's also echoed by the rhythms of the record, which flow nicely from the bass of Terumichi Yamada and drums of Hironobu Fujisawa. All tracks are original, and filled with beautiful tones – titles that include "For B's Smile", "Waltz For Baby", "Roma In The Rain", and "Dancing Dolls". CD

Close matches94
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Steve LacyStraight Horn Of Steve Lacy ... CD
Candid/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1960. New Copy ... $13.99
The only thing "straight" about Steve Lacy's horn is its shape – as the soprano sax here is used in some extremely inventive and modern ways, especially for the date of the session! We don't think we're going out on a limb to say Lacy is one of the foremost melodic improvisors of his time, and easily one of the most talented soprano players too – and his early date as a leader shows both his forward looking involvement with the avant garde (he'd played with Cecil Taylor just before this date and does a couple of his compositions here) and a career-long fascination with Thelonious Monk. Although the group here is piano-less – with Charles Davis on baritone sax, John Ore on bass, and Roy Haynes on drums – there's a definite Monk-like edge to many of the numbers, carried off especially by the sharp turns in Lacy's horn! Titles include "Criss Cross", "Air", "Donna Lee", "Louise", "Played Twice", and "Inrospection". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches95
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Marc LevinSocial Sketches ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $16.99
Marc Levin is maybe best known for one famous album of avant jazz recorded for the Savoy label in the 60s – but he's equally stunning here in a mid 70s set that got little circulation at the time, but which is a key part of Levin's under-recorded legacy as a leader! The approach is very open and creative, but balanced with that mixture of structure and freedom that Levin's other album shares – almost 60s "new thing" modes, expressed during the 70s loft generation – on long tracks that feature some really stunning shifts in sounds, styles, and instrumental elements! Levin blows cornet, flugelhorn, flute, mellophone, and melodica – and the group also features Seppo Paakkunanine on baritone, flute, and viola – plus Reino Laine on drums, Teppo Auta Aho on bass, and Carita Holmstrom on voice – a singer who makes some especially strong contributions to the record, in a way that maybe echoes some of the Sheila Jordan/Roswell Rudd collaborations. The tunes are fantastic, every bit as striking as their titles – which include "Nylon Coverin Body Smotherin", "Brothers In War", "Letter To President Nixon Re The Chile Affair", and "Student Days New York 1965". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches96
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O'Donel LevyBreeding Of Mind ... CD
Groove Merchant/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $13.99
Wonderfully baroque funk from the great O'Donel Levy! The album's got some very cool arrangements by Manny Albam that mix together strings and funk – in a super-dope way that sounds a lot like the work coming out of Cadet during the late 60s – and the rest of the set features Levy playing with a smaller group, one that includes Chester Thompson on drums and Charles Covington on organ. The approach is great on both types of sets – complicatedly funky, in a way that's held up incredibly well over the years – and which warrants greater discovery of Levy's work from the time. The album's got covers of "We've Only Just Begun", "Let's Stay Together" and "It's Too Late" – plus some groovy originals like "Cherries", "The Chocolate Horse", "Ideal", and "Breeding of Mind". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches97
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Abbey LincolnAbbey Sings Billie – Live At The UJC Vol 2 ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1987. New Copy ... $16.99
Abbey Lincoln takes on the legacy of Billie Holiday – in a strong live set recorded with a small group at the end of the 80s! The setting's a bit more relaxed here than on some of Abbey's other albums of the period – a bit looser and sometimes more languid, but only in the best sort of ways to get at the moodiness of Billie Holiday's approach to the tunes. A few numbers seem to bristle with a bit more of that Abbey Lincoln sense of pride – that righteous legacy that runs straight from Billie's classic "Strange Fruit" – but overall, the spirit of Holiday's more traditional approach definitely guides the performance. The group's a quartet – with Harold Vick on tenor – and titles on this second volume include "For All We Know", "No More", "Gimme A Pigfoot", "God Bless The Child", "For Heaven's Sake", and "Don't Explain". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches98
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Little BeaverJoey ... CD
Cat/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $13.99
An excellent early album from the amazing Little Beaver – a set that's also probably one of his best ever – served up with some extra-dope guitar, and nice deep Miami soul production by Steve Alaimo! Beaver handled all the arrangements – which means that there's plenty of room for his great guitar to come to the forefront – and this album also features some of his great vocal work, set in a style that's a lot rawer than later releases – rooted a bit more in deep soul and blues, which fits nicely with the guitar. Titles include the single "Joey", plus the long "Katie Pearl", and a nice cover of "Two Steps from the Blues", which features his funky soul guitar on a nice solo – plus the tracks "What The Blues Is", "That's How It Is", "I'm Losin the Feelin", and "Give A Helping Hand". CD

Close matches99
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MachitoLive At North Sea '82 ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1982. New Copy ... $16.99
Late work from Machito, but great work too – a live set that shows that he's not only still a hell of a Latin bandleader, but also open to some of the more advance modes the music took on in the 60s and 70s! Tracks are long and very jamming – performed live by a band that includes work from Chocolate Armenteros and Shunzo Ohno on trumpets, Markovic Gut on tenor, Glenn Stulpin and Mark Friedman on altos, and Gilberto Colon on piano – on tracks that have some great room for solo space! Machito handles percussion, and vocalizes a bit too – also joined by singer Paula Grillo – on Latin jazz slammers that include "Tibiri Tabara", "Oye La Rumba", "Buenas Noches Che Che", and "Mambo Inn". CD
(Part of the "Timeless – Jazz Syndicate" series!)

Close matches100
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Albert Mangelsdorff & Lee KonitzArt Of The Duo ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1983. New Copy ... $16.99
A fantastic showcase for these two modern jazz giants – sublime trombone sounds from Albert Mangelsdorff, perfectly paired with the alto sax of Lee Konitz – all at a level that makes the album one of the best from both players at the time! The session was actually a late MPS effort, but issued on Enja – and it vaguely recalls some of the Mangelsdorff MPS duos from a decade before – but maybe more rhythmic and swinging overall – never totally free jazz, and clearly improvised – but with an inherent rhythmic core that's also very much appreciated, especially as both players throw out some very creative sounds. Titles include "Hot Hut", "Inclination", "A Minor Blues In F", "En Passant", "Bloas", and "Matti's Matter". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)
 
 
 



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