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Close matches1
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ George Adams, Martin Hannibal Peterson & FriendsMore Sightings ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1984. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
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 matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Pepper AdamsJulian (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $16.99
Genius work from Pepper Adams – one of those players we sometimes forget about, then drop the needle on a record like this and fall in love with his music all over again! Adams blows baritone sax like nobody else – with a sensitivity that you'd normally hear on tenor, and a mix of modes that should have made him one of the most respected saxophonists of his generation – something that maybe didn't happen because of his unusual horn! Yet although big, there's nothing heavy about the way Pepper handles his horn – as you'll hear especially on the few ballads – and as usual for Adams, his choice of a group is great too – a sharp lineup with Walter Norris on piano, George Mraz on bass, and Makaya Ntshoko on drums. Titles include "Julian", "Ad Astra", "Jirge", "Spacemaker", and "Three & One". CD features two bonus tracks – "Time On My Hands" and "Lady Luck". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Nat AdderleyGood Company ... CD
Challenge/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1994. New Copy ... $9.99
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 matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Rob AgerbeekHome Run ... CD
Blue Jack Jazz/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... $16.99
A definite home run from Dutch pianist Rob Agerbeek – a hip set recorded in 1971, and one that's done with a very soulful groove! The group's a quintet, and Rob really sparkles in this setting – pushing the players with a subtle skill that recalls Horace Silver at his Blue Note best – especially in the way that Agerbeek mixes upbeat grooving with more sensitive sounds on the set! Other players include Dick Vennik on tenor and flute, Willem Reinen on flugelhorn, Rob Langereis on bass, and Eric Ineke on drums – a really great group of players who fit toghether wonderfully here – pushing the grooves of the tunes strongly forward with warm energy, but also breaking out with some sharp solos of their own. Titles include the funky classic "The Chair Dance" – plus "Little Miss Dee", "Just Robbish", "Minor Rush", and "The Blue Countess". CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)

Close matches5
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 matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Franco AmbrosettiHeart Bop ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1981. New Copy ... $13.99
That's "heart bop", not "hardbop" – a title that really gets at the warm feeling and sense of soul on this overlooked date! The album's an early 80s gem from Enja – cut at a time when the label was really finding its own, and doing an especially great job of giving musicians just the right sort of outlet to move forward – in this case not just trumpeter Franco Ambrosetti, but also altoist Phil Woods and pianist Hal Galper – all of whom are great! There's an angular formation to most of the tunes at the start, but they flow with a warm, lyrical energy right from the start as well – supported by the drums of Billy Hart and bass of Mike Richmond – on titles that include "A Flat Miner", "Fairy Boat To Go", "Heart Bop", and "Triple Play". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Franco AmbrosettiTentets ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1985. New Copy ... $13.99
We're not sure why, but it always feels like Franco Ambrosetti sounds even better in a larger group than a small one – and that's definitely the case here, where his work on flugelhorn soars out wonderfully in a ten piece lineup, one that's driven by all these great arrangements that are full of color, joy, and life! All the horn players are pretty wonderful too – and the set features work from Lew Soloff and Mike Mossman on trumpets, Steve Coleman on alto, Howard Johnson on baritone, Mike Brecker on tenor – given a nice kick by the trio Tommy Flanagan on piano, Dave Holland on bass, and Daniel Humair on drums – all working together perfectly as a unit, as if they've been that way for years – while still allowing all these great breakout solos along the way. Titles include the tunes "Ten & Eleven", "Ode To A Princess", "Yes Or No", "Rio Morena Allegro Con Brio", and "Autumn Leaves". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Louis ArmstrongLouis Armstrong & His Friends ... CD
Flying Dutchman/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1970. New Copy ... $13.99
Louis Armstrong hits the Flying Dutchman label – and unlocks a whole new spiritual side of his talents – a mode that's quite different than some of his crossover pop of the 60s! The style here has a bit of righteous elements in the lyrics, and lots of spiritual jazz in the backings – with full arrangements from Oliver Nelson – who heads up a dream lineup that includes Billy Harper on tenor, and either Chico Hamilton or Pretty Purdie on drums! Even more amazing is a guest appearance from Leon Thomas – who sings on a version of "The Creator Has A Master Plan". Other tunes are just as hip – and include "This Black Cat Has 9 Lives", "His Father Wore Long Hair", "Give Peace A Chance", and "We Shall Overcome". Must be heard to be believed! CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)
Also available Louis Armstrong & His Friends ... CD 8.99

Close matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Chet BakerLast Great Concert – My Favourite Songs ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1988. New Copy ... $13.99
One of the last albums that Chet Baker recorded – and a set that changes things up a bit from the smaller combo setting of most of his final decade! The set features some small group work, but also brings in larger orchestrations on a number of tracks – balancing the fragility of Baker's sound at the time, which we love – with some deeper tonal colors in the background. One track features a smaller group that includes Walter Norris on piano and John Schroeder on guitar – both of whom solo with Chet on some of the larger format works as well – one of which also features a nice alto appearance from Herb Geller. Titles include "I Fall In Love Too Easily", "Django", "Well You Needn't", "All Blues", "Summertime", "In Your Own Sweet Way", and "My Funny Valentine". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)
Also available Last Great Concert – My Favourite Songs ... CD 5.99

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Chet BakerPeace (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1982. New Copy ... $13.99
A key album from a fantastic point in the career of trumpeter Chet Baker – his later years, a time when most of the world was ignoring Baker's talents, but Chet was still in a hugely creative mode, and turning out some of his freshest sounds in decades! There's a wonderful quality to the whole record – and vibist David Friedman is a key part of the sound, as he really matches the air inclinations of Chet, as the pair are backed by Buster Williams on bass and Joe Chambers on drums and percussion – a fantastic duo who only make things sound even better. 4 of the album's 6 tracks are Friedman originals – including "For Now", "Shadows", "Syzygies", and "Lament For Thelonious". CD features alternate takes of "Peace" and "Syzygies". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Chet BakerStraight From The Heart – The Last Great Concert Vol 2 ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1988. New Copy ... $13.99
Material from the last concert Chet Baker ever recorded – a surprisingly tight session that has the trumpeter blowing solos in front of the NDR Big Band. The setting is relatively relaxed – not a blasting big band session, but one that colors in the space between Baker's notes with gentle shades of sound – really respecting his role as a soloist, and providing just the right amount of gentle accompaniment to flesh out the sound of the set. Chet sings on 2 numbers – "My Funny Valentine" and "I Get Along Without You Very Well" – and other tracks include "Sippin At Bells", "Conception", "Look For The Silver Lining", and "Tenderly". Herb Geller also solos on 2 numbers too! CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)
Also available Straight From The Heart – The Great Last Concert Vol 2 ... CD 4.99

Close matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Chet BakerStrollin ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1985. New Copy ... $13.99
Really great later work from trumpeter Chet Baker – material from his final decade on the planet, a time when he was really changing up his sound to suit both his physical and creative needs! As on some of the best from this period, the record's a trio date – and instead of piano, guitarist Philip Catherine is there to provide these loose lines that are a perfect pairing with the open, airy, and well-crafted work from Baker on trumpet. The group also features Jean Louis Rassinfosse on bass – and titles include "Sad Walk", "But Not For Me", "Leaving", "Strollin", and "Love For Sale". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches13
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 Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Kenny BarronQuickstep ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1991. New Copy ... $13.99
One of those great Kenny Barron records from a time when it seemed like the pianist could do no wrong – effortlessly turning out great sessions like this, with such prolific energy that it's sometimes hard to remember them all! Yet even so, Quickstep is a real standout – a record that shows the maturity Barron was hitting as both a leader and a player at the time – a fierce, focused power that really brings together a great quintet here – with John Stubblefield on tenor, Eddie Henderson on trumpet, David Williams on bass, and Victor Lewis on drums! The record's the sort that we treasure more and more over the years, and feel like we never appreciated fully at the time – and titles include "Hindsight", "Quickstep", "Big Girls", "Here & There", "Once Upon A Time", and "I Wanted To Say". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Sathima Bea BenjaminSouthern Touch ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1989. New Copy ... $16.99
A set that's maybe a bit more of a straight jazz vocal record than some of Sathima Bea Benjamin's earlier material – but that might also be because the great Kenny Barron is part of the group on piano – supporting Sathima's great voice with the help of Buster Williams on bass and Billy Higgins ond rums! Tunes are mostly standards, but it's great to hear them opened up with Benjamin's unique phrasing – that voice that was raised up on more righteous material in earlier years, and which still seems to bring some of that power to tunes that include "Street Of Dreams", "Lush Life", "One Alone", "I'm Glad There Is You", and "I've Heard That Song Before". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Karl BergerWe Are You ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... $16.99
Seminal work from vibist Karl Berger – recorded in the early 70s, when his modern approach to the vibes was still one of the freshest on the instrument, and when it sounded a lot more inventive than it did on later albums. The tracks are relatively avant, but not without a fair bit of structure – and the other players include Peter Kowald on bass, Allen Blairman on drums and percussion, and Ingrid Sertso on percussion and a bit of vocals. Titles include "The Positive", "Vibes First", "We Are You (I)", and "Easy Suite". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches17
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Karl Berger with Masahiko SatoWith Silence ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $13.99
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 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches18
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Karl Berger/Dave Holland/Ed BlackwellCrystal Fire ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1991. New Copy ... $16.99
A wonderful album from vibist Karl Berger – much more rhythmic than some of his other records – but maybe that's no surprise, given that the trio features Dave Holland on bass and Ed Blackwell on drums! Yet even both of those players have more of a pulse than you might expect – and the whole thing is very groovy, almost funky at points – as Berger switches between vibes and piano, and the trio work in a set-free mode that has some of the rhythmic pulses of early Ornette, but maybe more straightly swinging too! A great surprise, and a real delight – with titles that include "Cutting Through", "Drinking Fire", "Breathing Earth", and "Primordial Innocence" as part of the Crystal Fire Suite – plus "Go With It", "Buddha Eyes", and "North On 87". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches19
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Jo BissoLove Somebody ... CD
Marlin/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $14.99
Disco grooves, but with a definite difference – given that Jo Bisso had previously worked on the Parisian club scene, and brings a special flourish to this American album from the late 70s! Jo sings lead vocals on the side-long "Love Somebody" – a tune that builds strongly as Bisso gets answered by a trio of lovely ladies who really brighten up the sound – and who then seem to take over even more on the flipside working with singer Claudia Ferrari. This second side is even better than the first – as things get a bit more spare and stripped-down – snaking out on the smooth stepper "Your Love", getting some funky moogy touches on the P&P-like "Let's Keep It Together", and warming up on the mellow disco number "Thank You Baby". Special bonus – CD features a fifth track – not titled or credited at all! CD

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

Close matches21
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
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 matches22
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Dollar BrandZimbabwe ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1983. New Copy ... $16.99
South African pianist Dollar Brand was still going strong into the 80s – as this excellent quartet session will attest! The record features a group with Carolos Ward on alto sax and flute, playing next to Brand's own piano and occasional soprano sax, backed by the bass of Essiet Okun Essiet and the drums of Don Mumford. Tracks are medium length – but filled with the slow-building grace that always makes Brand's work differ majestically from most of his contemporaries. Titles include "Karmat", "Guilty", "Zimbabwe", "For Coltrane, No 11", and "Bombella". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches23
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Dollar Brand (Abdullah Ibrahim)Africa – Tears & Laughter ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $16.99
Dollar Brand is always a hell of a pianist, but he also has a way to really make equal magic when working with a horn – which happens here not just with the soprano and alto work of group member Talib Quadr, but also from some soprano work by Dollar Brand himself! The record's got this nicely varied sense of sounds – a short bold tune at the start, a poetic piano solo next, and then some longer tracks that really flesh things out with that beautiful vision that can make Brand's music so wonderful and so unique. Other group members include John Betsch on drums and Greg Brown on bass – working together as if they've been associates for years – on titles that include "Liberation Dance", "Do You Hear That Sound", "The Perfumed Forest Wet With Rain", "Ishmael", "Tsakve", and "Imam". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches24
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Dollar Brand (Abdullah Ibrahim)Banyana ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $13.99
Tremendous work from Abdullah Ibrahim – a set that not only has him working with a wonderful trio, but one that also features some soprano sax work as well! The record's got a sense of darkness that you don't always find in other albums by Ibrahim – possibly from the brooding rhythms from Cecil McBee on bass and Roy Brooks on drums – both players who really bring a lot to the date, and hint at some bolder musical ideas outside of the usual Abdullah Ibrahim universe. Abdullah seems to take their inspiration strongly on his piano – playing with bold force, and sharper edges than on some of his sweeter records – and on the wonderful track "Ismael", he plays soprano sax with this really raspy edge that's totally great. Other tracks are piano-based, and include "Yukio Khalifa", "The Honey Bird", "The Dream", "ASR", and "Banyana". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches25
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Dollar Brand/Johnny DyaniGood News From Africa ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $13.99
Beautiful duets between pianist Dollar Brand and legendary bassist/Blue Notes member Johnny Dyani – two great South African jazz musicians who should have recorded more together in a format like this! Brand's open-ended rolling piano lines bring out the best in Dyani's bass – which at this point in his career, was not often heard in such an intimate setting, and was instead often hidden amidst larger more bombastic groupings of avant players – a shift in setting that really brings out some of the more spiritual currents in his music. The record features a version of Brand's excellent "The Pilgrim", plus the tracks "Msunduza", "Ntsikana's Bell", "Good News", and "Moniebah". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches26
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Dave BurrellOnly Me ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $22.99
Some of the most beautiful work ever recorded by pianist Dave Burrell – a solo session issued only in Japan, featuring Burrell on a Steinway recorded in the wide open space of a performance hall in Tokyo! There's a photo on the back cover that has a pair of suitcases behind Burrell at the piano – and we like to think that he showed up in the space, dropped the bags, and ran over to the piano to let loose with the kind of inspired imagination he really brings to the set – as the long tracks have this boundless sense of creativity that marks the record as one of the strongest statements of Burrell's genius on record! Some moments are rhythmic, others are freer yet still have a sense of cohesion – and there's a balance here between structure and space that's really wonderful. All tracks are nice and long – and titles include "Margy Pargy", "8th Ave Rendez Vouz Blues", and "Lush Life". CD
(Part of the Jazz Legends In Japan series!)

Close matches27
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Ann Burton & Mark MurphyThat's All ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1987. New Copy ... $16.99
An easygoing live set from vocalist Ann Burton – one that has her working with the trio of pianist Rob Agerbeek, and which features a few guest appearances from Mark Murphy! The whole thing's got an approach that makes you feel like you're right in the club with Ann – as Rob's trio handle a few titles instrumentally, then Ann steps in for vocals, and Mark Murphy makes a surprise appearance at the end. Recording quality is great – clean and clear, but never too much so to lose the spontaneity of the performance – and Ann herself is especially wonderful in the way she slides easily into the tunes, and sings them with a lively punch that really gives them a bit of new life. Titles include "Dreamer", "Blue Bossa", "Time Was", "My Gentleman Friend", "My Buddy", "I Wish I Were In Love Again", and "That's All". CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)

Close matches28
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
California Three (Dwight Dickerson)Windows ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $11.99
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 matches29
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Gene ChandlerBrunswick Complete Singles Collection ... CD
Brunswick/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Late 60s. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
Wonderful work from our favorite stretch of music from the legendary Gene Chandler – an artist who started out on Vee Jay Records, but really hit his prime here at Brunswick! Chandler was a key singer in the early years of soul – and some of his first recordings had strong appeal to doo wop and R&B crowds – but by the time of this set, Gene was really moving into some more mature, more sophisticated styles – an approach that easily rivals that of Chicago soul contemporaries Jerry Butler and Walter Jackson! Chandler's often a bit more upbeat and swinging than either of those – especially Jackson – but here, he shares a similar open, emotive quality – much more adult than before, and delivered with a confidence that's very different than earlier weepy pop. A number of cuts here are duets with the great Barbara Acklin – and titles include "Will I Find You", "Show Me The Way To Go", "The Girl Don't Care", "Love Won't Start", "There Was A Time", "Teacher Teacher", "Anywhere But Nowhere", "This Bitter Earth", "Familiar Footsteps", "My Love", "There Goes The Lover", and the sublime "Suicide" – maybe one of our favorite Gene Chandler tracks ever! CD

Close matches30
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Soesja CitroenSoesja Citroen Sings Thelonious Monk ... CD
Turning Point/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1983. New Copy ... $16.99
A really great vocal jazz take on the music of Thelonious Monk – not always an easy choice for a singer, given all the sharp angles and quick changes in the music! Yet Dutch singer Soesja Citroen does a really wonderful job here – adding her own lyrics to most of the tunes, which makes for an ever fresher interpretation of the songs than you might expect – like this missing chapter of the Monk songbook, with so many great lyrical renditions of his themes and ideas! Backing is by the group of pianist Cees Slinger – which also features great horn work from Dusko Goykovich on trumpet, Ferdinand Povel on alto, and Ruud Brink on tenor – plus a bit of valve trombone from Cees Small. A real overlooked gem – with titles that include versions of "Crepuscule With Nellie", "Let's Cool One", "In Walked Bud", "Well You Needn't", "Monk's Dream", and "Monk's Mood". CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)

Close matches31
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Thomas Clausen - Severi Pyysalo DuoPiano & Vibe ... CD
Storyville/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 2017. Used ... $11.99
Thomas Clausen on piano and Severi Pyysalo on vibes. CD

Close matches32
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Al CohnRifftide ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1987. New Copy ... $9.99
A beautifully-blown session from tenorist Al Cohn – definitely what we'd expect, to be sure – but still a nice surprise, too – as we don't often reach for Cohn dates of this vintage! The album's got a stone, stark, no-nonsense approach – with the sort of all-solid feel that Al always had back to the 50s, but that especially confident style that he really exhibited best in some of his 70s dates – a soulful stretching out that makes his later years as winning as his early ones – but in a very different way! The tenor's boldly in the lead on all numbers – in a group that also features Rein De Graaf on piano, Koos Serierse on bass, and Eric Ineke on drums – on titles that include "The Thing", "Hot House", "Speak Low", "Blue Monk", "Rifftide", and "Secret Love". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches33
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Hank Crawford & Calvin NewbornCenterpiece ... CD
Versatile/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $14.99
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 matches34
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Ray CrawfordSmooth Groove ... CD
Candid/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1961. New Copy ... $18.99
One of the only albums ever cut as a leader by soul jazz guitarist Ray Crawford – a contemporary of Grant Green and Wes Montgomery, but a player who's hardly ever gotten his due! This rare date was originally recorded for the short-lived Candid label back in 1961, but was only issued two decades later as part of the Candid revival – a fact that makes the album even more noteworthy! The set's got a really solid groove that reminds us a fair bit of Grant Green's best early 60s work for Blue Note – as Ray's playing in a tight, single-line format on most numbers – working with a very hip group that includes Johnny Coles on trumpet, Cecil Payne on baritone sax, Junior Mance on piano, Ben Tucker on bass, and Frankie Dunlop on drums. Tracks are all nice and long – very open, with plenty of solo space – and are all originals by Crawford as well. Titles include "Smooth Groove", "I Knew Prez", "Impossible", "Miss April", and "The Compendium Suite". Shoulda been a 60s classic – but at least we've finally gotten it released! CD

Close matches35
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Jack DeJohnetteJackeyboard ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $22.99
Jack DeJohnette is a hell of a drummer, and he's also a hell of a pianist too – a side of Jack's talents that isn't always shown on record, and which has maybe never been as well-recorded as on this fantastic Japanese session from the 70s! DeJohnette has a spiritual, long-building approach to the piano here – almost like Stanley Cowell on Strata East, but with his own flavors too – and the final track of the album features Jack on melodica, an instrument he handles in a different way, but with an equally compelling approach. The trio here features George Ohtsuka on the drum kit and Mitsukaki Furuno on bass – on four long tracks, "McCoy's Tune", "Fun Calypso", "Jack's Blues", and "Minority Blues". CD
(Part of the Jazz Legends In Japan series!)
Also available Jackeyboard ... LP 24.99

Close matches36
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Barbara DennerleinStraight Ahead ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1989. New Copy ... $13.99
Straight ahead sounds from Barbara Dennerlein, but great sounds too – as the organist is really at the top of her game, and able to bring all these new modes and styles to the world of jazz organ! At the time of the record, the instrument was being a bit ignored by most in jazz – but Dennerlein came along and found a way to open up the Hammond to all sorts of new audiences with a sound here that's not only heavy on her own solo work, but also features all these great twists and turns from a quartet that features Ray Anderson on trombone, Mitch Watkins on guitar, and Ronnie Burrage on drums! This isn't just some retro rehash of a Prestige Records mode – and Anderson's horn alone ensures that things are compelling throughout, on titles that include "Open & Free", "Straight Ahead", "It Just So Happens", "What's Up", "All That Blues", "Rumpelstilzchens Bossa", and "Night In Tunisia". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches37
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Barbara DennerleinThat's Me ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1992. New Copy ... $13.99
Barbara Dennerlein looks like she's in some fashion ad on the cover, but the organist is very much a top-shelf musician throughout – working here in all these new modes for the Hammond, at a level that made her a key force in helping to raise the instrument back to prominence in the 90s! All tracks are originals, and the sound has echoes of older soul jazz modes, but also all these new ideas from jazz of the 80s – served up with some especially nice touches from Ray Anderson on trombone, in a quintet that also includes Bob Berg on tenor, Mitch Watkins on guitar, and Dennis Chambers on drums. Titles include "Three Hearts", "That's Me", "Grandfather's Funk", "Dancing Shoes", "One For Miss D", and "Downtown NY". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches38
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Diamond FiveFinally After Forty Years – Historic Recordings 1959 to 1962 ... CD
Blue Jack Jazz/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Late 50s/Early 60s. New Copy ... $16.99
Fantastic work from one of the hippest Dutch jazz combos at the start of the 60s – the legendary Diamond Five, maybe best known for a famous album on the Fontana label, but equally great here in a set of unheard recordings from the same period! The vibe is modernist hardbop, and the lineup is wonderful – Cees Slinger on piano, Cees Small on trumpet, Harry Verbeke on tenor, Jacques Schols on bass, and John Engels on drums – all top-shelf players in their own right, sounding even better here together – with the creative clarity and focus of some lost Blue Note date! Titles include "LMR", "Lita's Dance", "Diamondate", "Alone Together", "Jordu", "Never Mind", "Les Halles", and "Amsterdam Blues". CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)

Close matches39
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Lefty Dizz with Johnny Big Moose WalkerChicago Blues Festival 1979 (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Black & Blue/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $22.99
One of the first recordings to ever feature Lefty Dizz in the lead – done at a time when the singer/guitarist was a young star on the Chicago scene, but getting some key exposure here, thanks to an overseas recordings! Lefty's as great as you might guess from his name – a strong personality, but never in a way that's as hokey or overstated as he might be in the hands of a big label production – just balanced with the right sort of Chicago roots energy, in a group that also features piano and a bit of vocals from Big Moose Walker, and some additional guitar from Willie James Lyons. Titles include "Blue Shadow", "RM Blues", "Take Out Some Insurance", "Things That I Used To Do", "All Right OK You Win", "One Eyed Woman", and "Lake Shore Drive Boogie". CD features bonus tracks – "Shake For Me", "Funny Acting Woman", and "Blue Shadow (take 1)". CD
(Part of the "True Blue Masters – Black & Blue" series!)

Close matches40
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Eric DolphyStockholm Sessions (with bonus track) ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1961. New Copy ... $13.99
Live European work by Eric Dolphy – caught in a setting that was often freer and more creative than his American recordings! The work on the set is pulled from 2 different sessions – one with a group that includes with Idrees Sulieman on trumpet, Jimmy Woode on bass, and Rune Ofwerman on piano; the other with no trumpet, just piano, bass, and drums session, with Woode on bass again. All titles are relatively long – with Dolphy playing a spiritual mix of flute, alto, and bass clarinet – and the tunes are a strong mix of originals and standards, with titles that include "Sorino", "Loss", "Ann", "Alone", and "Geewee". CD features the bonus track "Sorino (alt take)". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches41
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Paquito D'RiveraHabanera ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1999. New Copy ... $16.99
A really evocative record from reedman Paquito D'Rivera – a session that sets up his work on alto and clarinet with some very powerful backings from the Absolute Ensemble – a group who adds in plenty of woodwind and string elements of their own, which makes for a very explosive sense of color throughout! There's still plenty of jazz elements at the core of the performance – piano from Kenny Drew Jr, bass from Michael Formanek, and drums from Clarence Penn – plus some especially nice percussion from Mino Cinelu, which keeps this earthy quality next to the higher moments of flight, making for a really great balance. Titles include "Habanera", "Afro", "Variations On I Got Rhythm & Cuban Overture", "Moon Dance 1", "Vals Venezolano", "Wapongo", "Caravan", and "Lecuonerias". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

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

Close matches43
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John EdwardsJohn Edwards (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Aware/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $24.99
The first album by John Edwards – a richly talented vocalist who would go onto become the lead singer of the Spinners in later years, singing on some of their last big hits. This album's a very different effort – and features John singing in a deep Southern Soul style, mixed with the smoother production of the Hotlanta scene. The real strength of the record, though, is the songs – as John sings a great set of tracks by writers like Sam Dees ("I'll Be Your Puppet", "Claim Jumpin", "Stop This Merry Go Round"), Jimmy Lewis ("Careful Man"), Floyd Smith ("You Were Made For Love", and Bobby & Linda Womack ("It's A Groove"). Nice stuff, and the production and arranging's as strong as the writing! CD features three bonus tracks – "Vanishing Love", "The Way We Are", and "Ain't That Good Enough". CD

Close matches44
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European Jazz TrioNorwegian Wood ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1988. New Copy ... $9.99
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 matches45
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Bill EvansLive At Keystone Korner 1980 Vol 1 ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1980. New Copy ... $18.99
Fantastic work from piano legend Bill Evans – recorded at the Keystone club in San Francisco just a month 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! Titles include "Tiffany", "Days Of Wine & Roses", "Theme From MASH", "Knit For Mary F", "Two Lonely People", "Your Story", "My Romance", and "Re Person I Knew". CD
(Part of the "Timeless Jazz Syndicate" series!)

Close matches46
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✨✧ Bill Evans, Karin Krog, Archie Shepp, Bobby HutcheLive At The Festival ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Early 70s. New Copy ... $16.99
A very interesting batch of tracks – one tune apiece by each of the artists named in the title, recorded between the years 1970 and 1973 at the Festival Ljublijana, in Yugoslavia. Bill Evans performs a long, and straight reading of Miles Davis' "Nardis" with a trio that includes Eddie Gomez on bass and Tony Oxley on drums; Karin Krog sings a spare version of "Round Midnight", with only the bass of Arild Andersen for accompaniment; and Archie Shepp blows freely on a version of Grachan Moncur III's "Sonny's Back", in a group with Dave Burrell, Don Garrett, and Muhammad Ali. Perhaps the most striking track, though, is "The Creators" by Bobby Hutcherson – played with his group that included Harold Land and Hal Galper, and performed in an 18 minute reading that builds beautifully, into the dancing soul jazz sound that was Hutcherson's best contribution to jazz at the time! CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

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Art FarmerArt Farmer In Europe ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1970. New Copy ... $9.99
Brilliant live work from Farmer – far-reaching, firey, and with a strong approach that differs it from most of his other recordings of the 70s! The set was recorded in Munich at a time when Farmer was working with pianist Fritz Pauer – a free-thinking modernist who cut some great recordings for MPS at the time, including one under Farmer's name – and the album has Farmer and Pauer's trio working through 5 long original tunes all written by Farmer, with a soulful majesty that reminds us a bit of Woody Shaw's work from the time. All titles are nearly 10 minutes long, or longer – and titles include "Concord", "Overnight", "Re-Entry", "Concourse", and "Rainmaker". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

Close matches48
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✨✧ Tommy FlanaganConfirmation ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
Lovely lyrical sounds from Tommy Flanagan – a pianist who can be as deft as a bopper, but also bring in some richer currents of soul as well! Case in point is this great album from the late 70s – a time when Flanagan wasn't as much in the recording spotlight as the decade before, but a period when he'd actually matured a lot more as a player – able to step effortlessly between both his inclinations, especially when working with a group this great – a trio that features George Mraz on bass and Elvin Jones on drums! Tommy's got a touch on the keys that's subtle at times, but extremely powerful – a knowledge of notes and colors that's never overstated, but always right on the money. Titles include a great reading of the Tom McIntosh tune "Cup Bearers", plus "Maybe September", "Confirmation", "50 21", and "It Never Entered My Mind". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

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

Close matches50
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Tommy FlanaganLet's – Play The Music Of Thad Jones ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1993. New Copy ... $13.99
A great pairing of lyrical jazz talents – the piano of Tommy Flanagan and the compositions of Thad Jones – working together here perfectly, at a level that reminds us how great Thad's music can be in a more intimate mode! Tommy's got that amazing command of the keyboard here that's always made his best records so great – an effortless ability to blend full-on lines with more subtle understanding of the true tonal possibilities of the instrument – balanced with the work of Jesper Lundgaard on bass and Lewis Nash on drums – both players who really share Flangan's sensitive approach. Titles include "To You", "Bird Song", "Let's", "Mean What You Say", "Elusive", "Zec", "Quietude", and "Three In One". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches51
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George FreemanNew Improved Funk ... CD
Groove Merchant/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $12.99
The title certainly gets it right – as the album's one of the funkiest ever from guitarist George Freeman, and one of the few to really hit that messed-up groove he was working in the clubs before his mid 70s retreat to Chicago! The style here is often all over the map – a mix of soul jazz and funkier numbers, but often served up with less of the direction than you'd get on Prestige, and even less of that on Groove Merchant – more in a raw small combo mode, with Freeman's guitar hitting plenty of raspy notes and weird solo excursions that keep even the mellower tunes exciting! The record features 2 different groups – one with John Young on piano, the other with Bobby Blevins on organ – and brother Von Freeman plays tenor sax on the whole set, although not nearly in the spotlight as George! (Definitely in keeping with something that Von told George many years back – quoted to us by George – "When you've got your own album, make sure that people know that you're the star!") Titles include "New Improved Funk", "Daffy", "Happy Fingers", "Confirmed Truth", "Guitar Lover Man", and "Big Finish". CD
(Part of the Groove Merchant Mo' Groovy Collection!)

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Satoko Fujii OrchestraFuture Of The Past ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 2001. New Copy ... $16.99
Pianist Satoko Fujii is at the helm of a larger group here, but one that still follows some of the freer, looser sense of her smaller group recordings! There's a nicely resonant sense of sound going on – almost a clash between instruments at times, mixed with more harmonious moments at others – line a lineup that features Curtiss Hasselbring and Joey Sellers on trombones, Oscar Noriega and Briggan Krauss on alto saxes, Ellery Eskelin and Tony Malaby on tenors, and Herb Robertson, Laurie Frink, Natsuki Tamura, and Steven Bernstein on trumpets. Fujii's piano rings out boldly in the more explosive moments, but also has a way of quietly guiding the procedures too – on long titles that include "Pakonya", "Tatsu Take", "Incompleted", and "The Future Of The Past/Straw Dance". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches53
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✨✧ Hal GalperNow Hear This ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
Fantastic stuff – one of pianist Hal Galper's best non-electric sets of the 70s! Galper's working here with a quartet – playing piano in a group that includes Terumasa Hino on trumpet, Cecil McBee on bass, and Tony Williams on drums – all astounding players who really make the album sparkle with even more energy than some of Hal's great early 70s material on the Mainstream label. And with a rhythm section that hip, Terumasa Hino lays out some of his best work in years – searing trumpet solos over the top, stretched out but never too sloppy, as the tracks always maintain a strong rhythmic pulse and a lot of soul. Titles include "Shadow Waltz", "Mr Fixit", "First Song In The Day", and "Red Eye Special". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches54
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Hal Galper with Jerry BergonziJust Us ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1993. New Copy ... $16.99
The trio of pianist Hal Galper gets some great guest work here from tenorist Jerry Bergonzi – a rich-toned player who really seems to bring out a different vibe in Hal's music! Galper's touch on the keys seems to be extra-dexterous here – really spinning out these long, lively lines that are balance with the well-placed tones of Bergonzi – given gently swinging support from Pat O'Leary on bass and Steve Ellington on drums! Many of the tunes are standards, but opened up with all these great colors – and titles include "Just Us", "Bye Bye Blackbird", "Stablemates", "Lover Man", "I'll Never Be The Same", and "Unforgettable". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches55
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GastonMy Queen ... CD
Hotlanta/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $24.99
An incredible record from the southern scene of the 70s – a really unique set that's filled with righteous soul touches, and which really stands out from most other southern soul of the time! The feel here is often in a cosmic mode with plenty of jazz at the bottom – a sound that's influenced by Earth Wind & Fire, but which is also carried off here in a more laidback mode that seems to get equal inspiration from soulful fusion of the mid 70s. The group has both male and female singers trading things back and forth nicely and sometimes coming together on the choruses – creating an overall feel that's almost like Roy Ayers at times. And as with Ayers' best work, there's a tightness and focus to the whole record that's really wonderful – a cohesive groove that's way more than just a few ensemble funk tracks cut in the studio, and which really displays a wide musical vision! Titles include "My Queen", "Clock In", "Fantasy Garden", "Clap Song", "Love & Affection", "My Dreams", and "Magnificent Choo Choo". CD

Close matches56
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✨✧ Benny GolsonOne More Mem'ry (Timeless) ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1981. New Copy ... $18.99
A really beautiful session from Benny Golson – and proof that, throughout the years, Golson could always continue to turn out wonderful material! Benny's working here with old bandmate Curtis Fuller on trombone – and the pair are supported by a trio who include Bill Mays on piano, Bob Magnusson on bass, and Roy McCurdy on drums – all held wonderfully in command by Golson, who's working here with a tightness that recalls Jazztet years, yet which also has him and Fuller opening up in nice long solos. There's a sense of warmth here that crackles wonderfully – that raspy Golson tone that we first grew to love in the late 50s, and which has only deepened with age by this point. The set includes the wonderful original tune "One More Mem'ry", plus great versions of Golson's "Sad To Say", "Touch Me Lightly", "Five Spot After Dark", "Once Again", and "Out Of The Past". CD
(Part of the "Timeless Jazz Syndicate" series!)

Close matches57
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Dexter GordonAll Soul's Dexter Gordon Vol 2 ... CD
Dexterity/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $16.99
A gem of a live set from Dexter Gordon – one that features a nice change from some of his more familiar records of the time! The set features Gordon recording away from Cafe Montmartre, with an excellent Dutch rhythm trio – the fantastic Rob Agerbeek on piano, plus Henk Haverhoek on bass, and Erik Ineke on drums – a group who groove very differently, and really take a lot of cues from Agerbeek's action on the keys – as he romps along with a very soulful vibe, which seems to inspire new energy in Gordon's phrasing as well. Titles on this second volume are nice and long – and include "All The Things You Are", "Shadow Of Your Smile", "Watermelon Man", and "Jelly Jelly" – a tune that Dex liked to cut often for European dates! CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)

Close matches58
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Dusko GoykovichAfter Hours (aka Ten To Two Blues) ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... $16.99
A rare Spanish session from trumpeter Dusko Goykovich – and easily one of the most soulful albums he ever recorded! The set's got a warm, laidback vibe – very much in keeping with the title and cover image – as Dusko blows some great open-ended solos with rhythm from the trio of pianist Tete Montoliu – working here as a great accompanist to the leader, with flowing lines that perfectly match Dusko's energy! Tracks are longish, with a very relaxed vibe – and the rest of the group features Robert Langereis on bass and Joe Nay on drums – helping Gokovich hit a very different sound than on some of his more exotic albums of the time. Titles include "Blues To Line", "I Remember OP", "Old Fisherman's Daughter", and "The Child Is Born". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches59
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Lionel HamptonOutrageous ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1981. New Copy ... $18.99
Later work from legendary jazz vibist Lionel Hampton – and a set that has him returning to the energy of the large group ensemble that first brought him fame in the 40s! Yet the style isn't 40s at all – and instead shows an evolved take on big band modes – similar to the great shift in the European scene of the 70s, as Hamp brings in a bit of electricity on the piano, organ, and guitar – mixing with a larger section of horns that have a surprisingly strong, screaming style – often over rhythms that are heavy in touches from funk and soul! Hamp gets to solo on the record, but the approach is often more focused on the overall sound too – in a lineup that includes Herman Riley and Paul Moen on saxes, Wild Bill Davis on organ, Walt Johnson and Oscar Brashear on trumpets, and George Bohannon, Tom McIntosh, Curtis Fuller, and Jimmy Cleveland on trombones! Tracks are nice and long, and full of colorful changes – on titles that include "Hamp & Dex", "Dr Lambchop", "Ko Ko", "Wail For The Cat", and "Tap Step". CD
(Part of the "Timeless Jazz Syndicate" series!)

Close matches60
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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!)

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✨✧ Beaver HarrisBeaver Is My Name ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1983. New Copy ... $18.99
The cover's got Beaver Harris drumming on the brick railing of a balcony in New York – but don't worry, because the record features Beaver on his more familiar drum kit – and working with a really great quartet that includes some tremendous tenor from Andrew White – plus bass from Junie Booth, and Francis Haynes on steel drums! The use of steel drums might seem a bit unusual, but it brings in all these special colors to the record – as Haynes plays in unconventional ways, which you might well expect with Beaver in the lead – and also makes for one of the freshest settings we've ever heard for Andrew, who often recorded solo or in standard groups on his own label records as a leader. Tracks are all nice and long, and continue the imaginative spirit that Harris brought to more famous records – on titles that include "African Drums Medley", "It's Hard To But We Do", "JC Moses", "Necaumong Us", and "Ismay My Mother". CD
(Part of the "Timeless Jazz Syndicate" series!)

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Eddie HarrisDancing By A Rainbow ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1995. New Copy ... $16.99
A lovely later set from Eddie Harris – proof that his groove was still going strong years after his bigger fame on the scene! The set here features all original work by Eddie – some titles we know from classic albums, but a few others we don't easily recognize – all of which work together to make for a really fresh batch of material, and hardly the sort of overplayed standards that some jazz players resort to in their older years. The group's a relatively youthful one – with Nolan Smith on trumpet, Ronald Muldrow on guitar, Jeff Chambers on bass, and Gaylord Birch on drums – and Eddie himself plays piano in addition to his usual tenor sax. Titles include "An April To Be Remembered", "Dancing By A Rainbow", "Set Us Free", "The Grand Strut", "Mean Greens", "You Are Not The Right One For Me", and "It's Just Fun & Games". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)

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✨✧ Eddie HarrisLive In Berlin At The Jazzclub Quasimodo ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1989. New Copy ... $18.99
A surprisingly great concert – recorded by Eddie Harris at the end of the 80s, with a fire and open approach that we wouldn't have expected! The album features Eddie on piano and tenor, with backing only by Ray Peterson on bass and Norman Fearrington on drums – and the spare setting really has Eddie taking charge of the set dynamically, hitting funky notes one moment, soulful notes another, and messing around in a tripped-out style that we haven't heard since his best Atlantic recordings of the early 70s. The set kicks off with the funky jamming number "Ambidextrous", rolls into the weird vocal tune "La Carnival", and contains other great numbers like "Scatting Unlyrically Simultaneously", "Airigen", "Walkin", "Lover", and "Eddie Who". CD
(Part of the "Timeless Jazz Syndicate" series!)

Close matches64
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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 ... $13.99
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 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches65
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Hampton Hawes, Cecil McBee, Roy HaynesLive At The Jazz Showcase In Chicago Vol 2 ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $13.99
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 on this second volume include "Carson Blues", "Spanish Mood", "Walking Around The Town", "Blue Bird/Blue Hamp", and "My Funny Valentine". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches66
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Joe HendersonBarcelona ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977/1978. New Copy ... $13.99
Pretty darn beautiful work from Joe Henderson – much freer than just about any other record of his we can think of! The album is a trio session – with Joe blowing freely on tenor in the front, backing from bass and drums – and the centerpiece of the set is the track "Barcelona", a spirited exploration that runs for over 27 minutes long – with a free, searching quality that almost reminds us of early 70s work on Impulse Records – much more out than some of Henderson's other material! Wayne Darling plays bass and Ed Soph is on drums – and the set also includes the more somber tunes "Y Yo La Quiero" and "Mediterranean Sun". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)
Also available Barcelona ... CD 16.99

Close matches67
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Joe HendersonBarcelona ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977/1978. New Copy ... $16.99
Pretty darn beautiful work from Joe Henderson – much freer than just about any other record of his we can think of! The album is a trio session – with Joe blowing freely on tenor in the front, backing from bass and drums – and the centerpiece of the set is the track "Barcelona", a spirited exploration that runs for over 27 minutes long – with a free, searching quality that almost reminds us of early 70s work on Impulse Records – much more out than some of Henderson's other material! Wayne Darling plays bass and Ed Soph is on drums – and the set also includes the more somber tunes "Y Yo La Quiero" and "Mediterranean Sun". CD
(Part of the "Enja – Real Jazz Classics" series!)
Also available Barcelona ... CD 13.99

Close matches68
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Antoine HerveInvention Is You ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1997. New Copy ... $16.99
Pianist Antoine Herve unlocks all sorts of great colors here – working with a quintet, but almost as if he's summoning up the sonic possibilities of a much larger ensemble – a testament to the fluid strengths of all the players in the group as much as it is Antoine's lead! Other players include Markus Stockhausen on trumpet and flugelhorn, Francois Moutin on bass, Louis Moutin on drums, and Arnaud Franck on percussion – rising and changing with a great sense of focus in the live performance that makes up the set. Titles include "Silence Comes In Waves", "Sharing", "Soul As A Dance", "Long Hair Woman", and "Salsita". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches69
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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)... $18.99 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.)

Close matches70
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✨✧ Terumasa HinoVibrations ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
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 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches71
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Makiko HirabayashiMakiko ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 2005. New Copy ... $16.99
A beautifully bright album from pianist Makiko Hirabayashi – served up with all the sense of color you might expect from the cover – and swung nicely with help from Klavs Hovman on bass and Marilyn Mazur on drums! At times, the vibe is a bit like some of Mazur's albums with pianists – but other moments get a bit more introspective, and really showcase a more sensitive side of Hirabayashi's talents – yet even at those moments, there's a nice sense of swing that steps into the mix. All titles are original – and tunes include "Asymmetric Rainbow", "Clouds Over Mt Blanc", "Orchids", "My Cherry Tree", "Camel Ride", and "City Murmur". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches72
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Major HolleyMajor Step ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1992. New Copy ... $9.99
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 matches73
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Loleatta HollowayCry To Me (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Aware/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $24.99
A wonderful album of southern soul from Loleatta Holloway! The record was her last in the deep soul mode – and it's a gem that should have made her as big as her later disco records – a really well-crafted extension of styles that Stax and Atlantic had done in the 60s, but given a smoother, more sophisticated vibe for the 70s! The record was produced by Floyd Smith, and it's got some of the most sophisticated production we've heard on a southern diva album from the 70s – with instrumentation that still boggles us with its brilliance. Case in point is the amazing cut "Cry To Me", which has these insane banks of "weeping" guitar that send chills down our spine! The cut was written by Sam Dees, who also penned some other fine material for the album – and titles include "I Know Where You're Coming From", "Just Be True To Me", "Something About The Way I Feel", and a cover of Ruby Andrews' "Casanova". Features two bonus tracks – "Bring It On Up" and the unreleased "This Man's Arms". CD

Close matches74
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Richard Groove HolmesLive In France 1980 ... CD
Black & Blue/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1980. New Copy ... $18.99
A really cooking live set from Hammond hero Richard Groove Holmes – a record that follows strongly from his best 70s material on the Muse and Groove Merchant labels, but much more obscure overall! The tunes have that long, freewheeling vibe that always made Groove in a live setting so wonderful – a tone that's clean, but handled with a flurry of notes that's really breathtaking – with help from Steve Giordano on guitar and Roger Humphries on drums. The mighty Willis Jackson joins the group on tenor on two tracks, but the set's already got plenty going on with just Groove in the lead – and titles include "Bluesette", "Killer Joe", "Wave", "Blues In Bb", "Moose The Mooche", and "Blues In F". CD
(Part of the Black & Blue Real Jazz Classics series!)

Close matches75
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Richard Groove HolmesStar Wars/Close Encounters (with bonus track) ... CD
Versatile/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $11.99
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 matches76
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Chiko HondaChiko ... CD
Aketa's Disk/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $14.99
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 matches77
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Honey ConeSoulful Tapestry (with bonus track) ... CD
Hot Wax/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... $14.99
Definitely a soulful tapestry here – as the trio of Edna Wright, Shellie Clark, and Carolyn Willis are at the height of their 70s powers – soaring forth in a massive trio mode, and one that really rewrites the sound of girl group soul for the 70s! There's a bouncy, upbeat groove to the record – kind of a pre-disco approach, but one that's still strongly rooted in the best Detroit soul mode of the Holland-Dozier-Holland team too – balanced with just the right sort of force that makes the trio sound great, and all without any of the cliches that this sort of group might hit a few years later! Titles include the Honey Cone classics "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show (parts 1 & 2)" and "Want Ads", plus the tracks "VIP", "The Day I Found Myself", "Stick Up", "Don't Count Your Chickens", "All the Kings Horses", and "How Does It Feel". CD features the bonus track "We Belong Together (single version)". CD

Close matches78
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Jimmy Bo HorneGoin Home For Love ... CD
Sunshine Sound/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $22.99
A wicked set of groovers from Jimmy Bo Horne – produced with a snapping KC & The Sunshine Band groove, and proof that the Miami sound could still burn strong at the end of the 70s! The tunes are a mix of mellow numbers and funkier tracks that have a snapping "spank" sort of rhythm – that percolated approach to rhythm that TK first started laying down in the mid 70s, but which was given a bit more of an open-ended sound here. Jimmy's vocals are much better than the usual singer for this sort of set – sweetly crackling on the mellow tunes, but hitting with a deeper soul on the groovers. Titles include a long remake of "I Get Lifted", "You Get Me Hot", "Goin Home For Love", "Spank", and "Without You". CD

Close matches79
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Freddie HubbardOutpost ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1981. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
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!)
Also available Outpost ... LP 18.99

Close matches80
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Abdullah IbrahimMindif ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1988. New Copy ... $13.99
A great set that features Abdullah Ibrahim's soundtrack music for the 1988 Clair Denis film Chocolat – some of his best group recordings of the 80s! The feel here is a bit more African-styled than usual – even for Ibrahim – with strong use of reeds to inflect the tunes with the right degree of color and tone for their use in the film. The ensemble on the record features Ricky Ford on tenor and soprano, Craig Handy on flute and tenor, Benny Powell on trombone, David Williams on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums – and the tracks have a languid groove that recalls some of Dollar Brand's best South African recordings with Kippie Moketsie. Titles include "Earth Bird", "African Market", "Pule", "Star Dance", and "Serenity". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches81
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Abdullah Ibrahim TrioYarona ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1995. New Copy ... $16.99
A beautifully sensitive set from Abdullah Ibrahim – recorded live at the Village Vanguard, and with an open, lyrical sound that almost seems to recall some of Bill Evans' magical moments in the venue! Ibrahim's quite a different player, of course – but there's an open, exploratory quality to his music that's a bit unusual here – maybe not as rhythmically based as it is balanced between sound and silence – given very respectful company in the bass of Marcus McLaurine and drums of George Johnson. Titles include "Cherry/Mannenberg", "Duke 88", "African River", "Stardance", "Tuang Guru", "Tintinyana", and "African Marketplace". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches82
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Klaus IgnatzekDon't Stop It ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1987. New Copy ... $13.99
An overlooked 80s cooker from pianist Klaus Ignatzek – a set that's full of imagination, right from the very first note – thanks to a string of all original material that matches the strong performances on the set! Trumpeter Claudio Roditi is a key part of the quartet – and maybe gets a showcase here that's as strong as some of his better-known albums from the decade – really finding his groove with the material that Ignatzek brings to the record, in ways that are also nicely distinct, and show just how much Claudio can add to a session. Other players include Paulo Cardoso on bass and Mario Gonzi on drums – and the record's a gem through and through, with titles that include "Summer & Spring", "Move It", "Ballad For Ulli", "Whisper Yes", "That's It", and "Blue Energy". CD
(Part of the "Solid Records – Jazz Giants" series!)

Close matches83
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✨✧ Cosmo Intini Jazz SetMy Favourite Roots ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1989. New Copy ... $18.99
Fantastic work from pianist Cosmo Intini – a great player in his own right, but one who also really seems to create some special magic with key players in his group – a lineup here that features some especially great sounds from saxophonist Gary Bartz, on a record that may well be one of his best from the time! Bartz is on fire throughout – really delivering some great solos on both alto and soprano sax – and the group also features excellent contributions from trumpeter Paolo Fresu, who seems to match Gary's spirit, depending on the tune. Other players include the always-great Victor Lewis on bass and Carroll Dashiell on bass – on titles that include "Powerful Warrior", "Fatherly Love", "Steps", "Round Midnight", and "When Sunny Gets Blue". CD
(Part of the "Timeless Jazz Syndicate" series!)

Close matches84
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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 matches85
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Fumio ItabashiImpact ... CD
Paddle Wheel/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1984. New Copy ... $13.99
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 matches86
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Fumio ItabashiRed Apple ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1986. New Copy ... $13.99
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 matches87
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Jimmy JohnsonHeap See (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Black & Blue/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1983. New Copy ... $22.99
A lean little set from Jimmy Johnson – recorded in France in the early 80s, but with the feel of an indie set on a small Chicago label from the decade before! Jimmy sings and plays guitar, and has a mighty sly way of working the two together – with a quality that kind of beats some of the bigger, braggier rising blues stars of the time – and which maybe makes Johnson all that much greater for his understated brilliance! The group's a quartet – with Hammond and piano from Jene Pickett – and titles include "Heap See", "Chicken Head", "When My First Wife Quit Me", "Happy Home", "Missing Link", and "Cold Cold Feeling". CD features bonus tracks – "Tobacco Road" and "I Don't Want No Woman". CD
(Part of the "True Blue Masters – Black & Blue" series!)

Close matches88
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Elvin JonesLive At The Village Vanguard ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1968. New Copy ... $13.99
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 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches89
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Elvin JonesYoungblood ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1992. New Copy ... $13.99
Plenty of young blood here – a trio of powerful horn players who really make the set stand out nicely! Elvin Jones proves once again that his ear for a horn is almost as great as his work on the drums – and having chosen the trumpet of Nicholas Payton, and tenors of Javon Jackson and Joshua Redman, he really sets about making this session cook! The quintet's completed by bassist George Mraz – who's also a great component to the sound – and although some of the tunes come on with that hard-pounding approach that Jones developed in the post-Coltrane years, there's also a straighter hardbop groove going on that we like even more. Titles include "The Biscuit Man", "Lady Luck", "Ding A Ling A Ding", "Not Yet", "Have You Seen Eleveen", "My Romance", and "Youngblood". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches90
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Elvin Jones/Takehisa TanakaWhen I Was At Aso Mountain ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1990. Used ... $18.99
Elvin Jones introduces Japanese pianist Takehisa Tanaka to a larger audience – giving him a perfect setting with a quartet format that also includes Cecil McBee on bass Sonny Fortune on flute and tenor sax! Tanaka's style is a bit laidback – spacious, but sometimes a bit wispy, even more so on the tracks that have Jones playing in an unusually subtle manner. But thanks to the strength of Fortune's reed work, and the power of McBee's bass, the longish tracks all fill up with plenty of bright moments – and if anything, we really dig the set as a strong showcase for Fortune's always-great talents! Titles include "Dream Gypsy", "I Was Too Young", "My Dream Come True", "Soultrane", and "When I Was At Aso Mountain". CD
(Out of print, includes obi.)

Close matches91
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Oliver JonesNorthern Summit ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1990. New Copy ... $16.99
Pianist Oliver Jones takes a page here from the book of Canadian countryman Oscar Peterson – and works here in a drum-less trio, with beautifully well-rounded support from Red Mitchell on bass and Herb Ellis on guitar! Jones is definitely his own sort of stylist on the keys, but the setting evokes some of the great modes that Ellis used when working with Peterson back in the day – although shaped by that growing sense of color that Herb picked up on his later Concord Records years, which really does a lot to illuminate the record next to the more pointed notes of Jones on the piano. Titles include "Abunchafunk", "Katatura", "Lester Leaps In", "What A Beautiful Sight", and "Jordio". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches92
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Robin Jones SevenEl Maja ... CD
Apollo Sound/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $26.99
A classic album of Latin grooves from the UK scene – a musical world that wasn't always a hotbed of styles in the Afro-Cuban mode, but which did have the benefit of the mighty percussionist Robin Jones! Jones was born in India, but moved to London during the same post-colonial jazz migration that brought the city key talents from the West Indies – and like Joe Harriott, Shake Keane, and others, Robin's contributions to the scene were crucial during the years he worked in a variety of different groups! This set is Jones' second as a leader – a very hip set that's all jazz all the way through – with plenty of percussion from Robin, and a combo that includes trumpet, saxes, keyboards, and vibes – all used in ways that take off from the best jazz descarga styles into a range of other modes. Titles include "El Maja", "The Wailer", "Batucada Da Vida", "Carica Papaya", "El Lobo", "Chant Afrique", and "Atlas". CD

Close matches93
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Fumio KarashimaHot Islands (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
King/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $24.99
A more electric album than usual from pianist Fumio Karashima – but in a great way too! The album has Karashima playing Fender Rhodes, mini-moog, and other keys – in addition to his usual acoustic piano – in a driving quartet lineup with bass from Miroslav Vitous and saxes from Mabumi Yamaguchi! The sound is different than Karashima's acoustic work – a bit bolder and sometimes more spacey – but the record still strongly displays his warmth and imagination, especially on original compositions – and although in a common fusion mode of the time, there's a sense of subtlety here that we can really appreciate. A few tracks get a bit funky at the bottom, and titles include "Breeze", "American Tango", "By Road", "Hot Islands", "Chardin Square", and "Merry Go Round". CD
(Part of the Nippon Jazz Spirits series!)

Close matches94
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Teruhiko KataokaLove Walking (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Why Not/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $24.99
Maybe the only album we've ever seen from Japanese trombonist Teruhiko Kataoka – a really sharp-edged player, working here with an excellent sound! The tracks are long, and have strong soulful currents – similar to other 70s work on the Why Not label by the American players who made up most of its catalog – as Teruhiko shapes these long lines in the lead, in a great combo that also features strong piano work from Fumio Karashima, plus bass from Kiyoto Fujiwara, drums from George Otsuka, and some added trombone on a few tracks from Osamu Shiomura! Titles include "Love Walking", "Isolation", "Emily", and "Whirl Wind". CD
(Part of the Nippon Jazz Spirits series!)

Close matches95
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Barney KesselBarney Kessel Live At Sometime ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $12.99
A beautiful Japanese-only album from guitarist Barney Kessel – one that captures the giant in a trio setting that's awash in wonderful colors and tones! Kessel's playing live – with Kunimitsu Inaba on bass and Tetsujiroh Obara on drums – and the trio has this very open, gently swinging style that allows for plenty of room for Barney to move up and down the strings of the guitar, casting out chromatic waves with effortless ease – in a way that almost links the vibe of the record to some of the great Italian-only sets he'd done a few years before! Most tunes are familiar, but have a very personal vibe – and titles include "Girl From Ipanema", "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise", "Barniana", and "Stella By Starlight". CD
(Part of the Jazz Legends In Japan series!)

Close matches96
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Yasuhiro KounoPeace ... CD
Aketa's Disk/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1983. New Copy ... $14.99
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 matches97
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Wayne KrantzSignals ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1990. New Copy ... $16.99
Guitarist Wayne Krantz opens up here in many modes – always with that richly chromatic style of his playing, but sometimes in full-on fusion numbers, sometimes solo, and sometimes somewhere in between! The record is full of those raspy tones that Krantz always does so well, and is balanced on one track by more guitar from Leni Stern, on three others by the keyboards of Jim Beard, and supported on other cuts by percussion from Don Alias, drums from Dennis Chambers, bass from Hiram Bullock, and bass guitar from Anthony Jackson. Titles include "Alliance", "Faith In The Process", "For Susan", "Two Of Two", "As Is", "Signals", "One Or Two", and "Don't Tell Me". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

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Karin KrogWhere You At ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 2002. New Copy ... $16.99
A beautiful return to form for singer Karin Krog – one of our favorite jazz vocalists ever! The album's got Karin singing to arrangements and backing from pianist Steve Kuhn, a wonderful talent for a set like this, and a songwriter who's contributed some really wonderful tunes to the European jazz vocal canon. Kuhn plays acoustic piano in the trio that accompanies Krog, and the album's got the spare, open, and ethereal feel of some of her best 70s work. The whole thing's really laidback, mellow, and done with that slightly icy touch that we love in Krog's voice – and tunes include "The Meaning Of Love", "It Could Be Hip", "Speak Of Love", "Missing Calada", "Kaleidoscopic Vision", "You Say You Care", "Canto Mai", and "Saharan". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

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LAXAll My Love (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Prelude/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1980. New Copy ... $24.99
The obscure second album from LAX – even better than the first Prelude set by this west coast disco project, and with a slightly different spin as well! There's no female vocals this time around – and the lyrics are sung by Geoff Leib, who's also the keyboardist – which makes for a nice blue-eyed soul approach that dovetails nicely with the jazzier currents in the music – almost AOR, but more soaringly soulful overall! The tracks are long, and there's plenty of focus on the instrumentation – especially the way the rhythms build up – on tracks that include "Thanks But No Thanks", "Like A Simple Song Of Love", "Love Me Tonight", "Fight Back", "Possessed", and "All My Love". CD features bonus tracks – "All My Love (7" version)" and "Thanks But No Thanks (7" version)". CD

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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!)
 
 
 



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