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Close matches: 283
Close matches1
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Toshiko Akiyoshi & Charlie MarianoToshiko Mariano Quartet (Candid) ... CD
Candid/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1960. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
One of the few recorded meetings of alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano and pianist Toshiko Akioshi in the studio – quite strange given that they were a couple at the time! The session's easily one of the last great American sessions by either player – a work that shows Mariano's alto really building on the strengths of his work in the 50s, and Akioshi's piano shedding some of its early bop influences, and going for the richly-toned sound that would serve her greatly in the 70s. The long tracks here offer plenty of space for Charlie's sharp tone to really do its thing – and that raspy warmth of the 50s is even more deeply soulful at this point – and augmented by a new sense of composition that gives the record some of its best tracks. There's almost a nascent sense of spiritualism here – quite unusual for the time – and titles include "When You Meet Her", "Toshiko's Elegy", "Deep River", and "Little T". CD

Close matches2
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 matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
American-Dutch All StarsFor All We Know ... CD
Blue Jack Jazz/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 2003. New Copy ... $9.99
A tight, old school set of jazz from the Dutch American All Stars – a group that features trumpeter John Marshall, pianist Hod O'Brien, bassist Jacques Schols, and drummer Peter Ypma – all playing here in very relaxed, familiar company! There's nothing too fancy or overdone with these tunes – and they spin out with that easygoing feel we love in any album that has O'Brien on piano – a mature mode of jazz that never tries too hard to overstate its case, but gets plenty of greatness done along the way. Marshall's horn has all the sparkling tones we love in other Blue Jack Jazz recordings, and the basswork from Schols really adds a nice undercurrent of soul to the set. Titles include "Joop's Lope", "Forecast", "Quasimodo", "Frisky", "Milestones", and "Zanzibar". CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)

Close matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Miguel AngelSamba Na Onda ... CD
Equipe/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1965. New Copy ... $9.99
An upbeat groover from 60s Brazil – a highly percussive album that features work by Wilson Das Neves and Rubens Bassini – plus some excellent chorus vocals too! The whole thing's maybe a bit more of a hard-driving example of the Brazilian harmony mode heard from bigger groups like Tamba Trio or Os Cariocas – served up with a very strong instrumental current that includes heavy piano from the leader, and some great guitar lines from Neco – who you might know from classic albums of his own! The mix is great, and very strong – and makes for an album that bristles with electricity on every groove – on titles that include "Lagrima Flor", "Telefone", "Da Bola", "Deixa Isso Pra La", "Isto E Samba", "Consolacao", "Roda De Samba", and "Bate A Palma". CD
Also available Samba Na Onda ... CD 9.99

Close matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Miguel AngelSamba Na Onda ... CD
Equipe/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1965. Used ... $9.99
An upbeat groover from 60s Brazil – a highly percussive album that features work by Wilson Das Neves and Rubens Bassini – plus some excellent chorus vocals too! The whole thing's maybe a bit more of a hard-driving example of the Brazilian harmony mode heard from bigger groups like Tamba Trio or Os Cariocas – served up with a very strong instrumental current that includes heavy piano from the leader, and some great guitar lines from Neco – who you might know from classic albums of his own! The mix is great, and very strong – and makes for an album that bristles with electricity on every groove – on titles that include "Lagrima Flor", "Telefone", "Da Bola", "Deixa Isso Pra La", "Isto E Samba", "Consolacao", "Roda De Samba", and "Bate A Palma". CD
Also available Samba Na Onda ... CD 9.99

Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Benny BaileyBig Brass ... CD
Candid/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1960. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
One of the few early albums as a leader cut by trumpeter Benny Bailey – a tremendous talent, finally getting his due! Bailey is one of the great unsung talents of jazz, and he's always made top-shelf work – from his early days with Quincy Jones, to his later years as an American expatriot, recording for European labels like Ego and MPS. This rare early session is one of the few recorded for the super-hip Candid label – and it features Bailey's trumpet at the head of a tight combo that includes Phil Woods on alto sax and bass clarinet, Julius Watkins on French Horn, Les Spann on flute and guitar, Tommy Flanagan on piano, and rhythm from Buddy Catlett on bass and Art Taylor on drums. Despite the "big brass" title, there's no horn section here – and instead, most of the numbers have that sharp-edged modern sound we associate with Candid – with Watkins horn being the only other brass instrument, alongside the lighter lines of Woods and Spann. Titles include "Hard Sock Dance", "Tipsy", "Please Say Yes", and "Maud's Mood". CD

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Chet BakerLast Great Concert – My Favourite Songs ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1988. New Copy ... $9.99
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!)

Close matches8
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 ... $9.99
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!)

Close matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Celi BeeAlternating Currents (with bonus tracks) ... CD
TK/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Late 70s. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
Sweetly soaring disco from the legendary Celi Bee – easily one of our favorite disco divas of the late 70s! This album's got a slightly lighter feel than some of Celi's other work – a bit less drama at times, but still plenty of full-on clubby rhythms – thanks to arrangements from Hector Garrido, and some relatively full orchestrations overall. There's a definite New York groove to most of the numbers, but also a bit of a Miami vibe too – and titles include "Together", "Macho", "Hold Your Horses Babe", "Comin Up Strong", "Disposable Love", and "Lost In Love". CD features the bonus tracks "Macho (7 inch mix)" and "Hold Your Horses (UK 12" mix)". CD

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Beginning Of The EndBeginning Of The End (with bonus track) ... CD
Alston/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
One of the rarest funky records of all time – the hard-to-find second album by Beginning Of The End! This West Indian combo hit it big with their first album on Alston, but this second set, for some strange reason, never really got distributed – which is a damn shame, because it's every bit as funky as their first! The uniquely choppy rhythms of the group's first album are every bit as great here as on the first set – and if anything, the band's instrumentation is even better, especially on the guitar, which is wickedly tight, and played with a super-dope flanged-out approach on the solos. Vocals are great too, maybe even more soulful than before, especially on the album's few midtempo cuts – and the album's a must-have for any fan of the group's funky sound! Titles include "That's What I Get", "Super Woman", "Bluestrain", "Jump In The Water", "Falling Apart At The Seams", and "Trip To Nowhere". CD also features their Holiday track – the very groovy "Gee Whiz It's Christmas". CD

Close matches11
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 matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Art Blakey & The Jazz MessengersSesjun Radio Shows Vol 2 – Dutch Radio Session ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), Early 80s. New Copy ... $9.99
Live work from the great Art Blakey – a set that features two different performances from two really great groups! The first two cuts are from 1980 – from a time when the Jazz Messengers features up and coming 80s giants Bobby Watson on alto, Valery Ponomarev on trumpet, Billy Pierce on tenor, James Williams on piano, and Charles Fambrough on bass – all young musicians who'd evolve into leaders on their own in a few short years after these recordings, but who really sparkle here under Blakey's leadership! The cuts feature a great take on the Williams tune "1977 AD", and a long version of the Jazz Messengers standard "Blues March". The last four tracks feature a slightly later group – still with Fambrough on bass, but including wonderful tenor and soprano sax work from Jean Toussaint, plus trumpet from Terence Blanchard, alto from Donald Harrison, and piano from Johnny O'Neal – an equally great lineup, but in a completely different way. Titles include a great take on the Fambrough tune "Little Man" – plus "Polka Dots & Moonbeams" and "Moanin". CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)

Close matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Hamiet BluiettLive At Carlos I ... CD
Just A Memory/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1996. New Copy ... $16.99 19.99
A really hard-burning live session – recorded in the 90s, but with all the bite and fire of some of the best Hamiet Bluiett sessions from the previous decade! There's a long-spun, spiritual vibe going on here – tracks that use familiar instrumentation, but really find a way to soar – never going too outside, but definitely pushing the boundaries – as Hamiet's baritone saxophone soars next to the piano of Don Pullen, bass of Fred Hopkins, and drums of Idris Muhammad – all given an extra kick by percussion from Chief Bey! Titles include "Nali Kola", "Full Deep & Mellow", "Oleo", "Night In Tunisia", and "The Mighty Denn". CD

Close matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
BlushOut Of This World ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
A rare Euro disco set from Blush – a group who manage to mix French-styled grooves with Abba-styled vocals – all in a way that's completely catchy throughout the six long tracks on the set! This is definitely pop disco – but it's also pop disco at its finest, with a vibe that's different than American radio of the time – and which is also pretty darn fresh, given that Blush never scored big on our shores – even though the record got some pretty great play in some of the farther-flung territories of the globe at the time! The mix of pulsating rhythms and catchy vocals is a bit like Celi Bee & The Buzzy Bunch – and titles include "Gypsy Guitar", "Discogryrochondria", "Love Is Here To Stay", "I Can't Refuse", "Shooting Star", and "Lift Off". CD

Close matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Brenda & HerbIn Heat Again ... CD
Drive/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. Used ... $24.99
That's Brenda & Herb, not Peaches & Herb – Herb Rooney and Brenda Reid of the excellent 60s group The Exciters – grooving together here in a really full-on vocal approach that's clearly inspired by the best aspects of Ashford & Simpson! Tracks have a lush, full feel – arranged by Lou Hemsey in a mode that works equally well on the dancefloor tracks and on the mellower numbers – and there's an ambitious approach that could fall flat on its fact, but hangs together well – thanks to the overall execution of the set! The group may not be one of the best-remembered pair from the disco years – but they do a great job here of matching the best work of their contemporaries. Titles include "I Think I'm Gonna Like This", "Lie Down", "I Wanna Make You My Sweetheart", "Two Of Us", "Look What They've Done To Our City", and "What Goes Around". CD
(Out of print, 2016 Japanese pressing – includes obi!)

Close matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Jimmy Briscoe & The BeaversJimmy Briscoe & The Beavers ... CD
Wanderick/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $13.99
An obscure album cut by Jimmy Briscoe & The Beavers – the group who cracked the harmony soul charts briefly when they were just little kids, and who still sound pretty great here, after hitting puberty! The record was cut for the Wanderick subsidiary of TK – and there's a bit of an attempt to go disco with the record, but the end result is more in the uptempo Philly group soul mode, as in similar work from Blue Magic at the time. Paul Kyser wrote, arranged, and produced the record – and the slower cuts, as always, are the Beavers' strongest suit. Titles include "No One Can Love You Like I Do", "So Sweet The Love", "Invitation To The World", "True Love", "Living For Today", and "More Than You Realize". CD
Also available Jimmy Briscoe & The Beavers ... LP 14.99

Close matches17
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Jaki ByardBlues For Smoke ... CD
Candid/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1960. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
A very unusual early album from piano genius Jaki Byard – recorded right around the same time as his initial albums for Prestige, and his big breakthrough with Charles Mingus! The set is all solo, recorded during that legendary short span of recordings by Candid Records in Nola Penthouse – and Byard is completely on fire, maybe showing a pianistic dexterity and command of the history of jazz that wouldn't burst forth on other records until the end of the decade! Jaki wrote all the material himself – and seems to embrace a range of expression that runs from Jelly Roll Morton up through Mal Waldron – then filtered and focused brilliantly through his godlike fingertips. Titles include "Hollis Stomp (Mr Piano Man)", "Flight OF The Fly", "Aluminum Baby", "One Two Five", Dian's Melody", and "Jaki's Blues Next". CD

Close matches18
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Jimmy CastorLet It Out ... CD
TK/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
Jimmy Castor's a cat who's tried many styles in music – and handled them all surprisingly well – from sweet soul to heavy funk, to Latin grooves, and even the funky club style of this late 70s album for TK Records! The set has Jimmy giving a nod to the disco generation – no surprise, given that TK was a disco powerhouse – but the overall approach is maybe tied more to his mid 70s records for Atlantic – with all the warm humor and funk of those albums! On some tracks, it almost feels like Castor's trying to be a one man answer to the P-Funk army – but other tracks are more personal overall. Titles include "Time", "The Mystery Of Me", "Sweetooth", "The Real McCoy", "Future Place", "Let It Out", and "Bertha Butt Encounters Vadar". CD

Close matches19
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Joe ChambersPhantom Of The City ... CD
Candid/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1991. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
Drummer Joe Chambers never records much as a leader – but every time he does, the album really turns out to be something special! That's definitely the case with this early 90s session for Candid Records – a date that recalls the brooding intensity that Joe brought to some of his late 60s dates for Blue Note as a sideman, carried out here on a set of tunes and concepts that are all Chambers' own – and given great life by a lineup that features Bob Berg on tenor, Philip Harper on trumpet, George Cables on piano, and Santi Debriano on bass! Berg is at his moodiest here – a great reminder of that side of his talents – and titles include "For Miles", "El Gaucho", "Phantom Of The City", "In & Out", and "Fun". CD

Close matches20
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Mike Clark & Paul JacksonFunk Stops Here ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1992. New Copy ... $8.99
Two members of the legendary Headhunters step out here on a great set of their own – material from a time when Herbie Hancock's ex-backing group were really enjoying a strong revival period! Mike Clark is on drums and Paul Jackson is on bass – and the pair get lots of deft solo work out of saxophonist Kenny Garrett, whose presence here is key to the more soulful side of the record – and nicely balances out the keyboard lines of Jeff Pittson – a player who's using more modern keyboard elements than Herbie used with the group in the 70s, but at a level that still lives up to the jazz funk promise of the group. Titles include "Spider Man", "Swamp Thing", "Steady Freddy", "Jurassic Park", "Pitt & The Pendulum", "Slinky", and "Hotel Domingo". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)
Also available Funk Stops Here ... CD 8.99

Close matches21
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Nels ClineSilencer ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1990. New Copy ... $16.99
An early date as a leader for guitarist Nels Cline – done with lots of rich tones and hues, of the sort that his generation really helped bring to jazz guitar! There's some echoes here of the previous ECM range of players, but Cline's also got a sharper focus at points too – still working with modes that have more decay on the sound than attack, but shaping it in darker tones that really shape the quality of the atmospherics. Trio members include Mark London Sims on bass and Michael Preussner on drums – and titles include "Las Vegas Tango", "Mags", "Rampling By The Sea", "Sacred Love", "Lucile's Trip", and "Broasted". CD
(Part of the "Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign Volume 2" series!)

Close matches22
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Contemporary Jazz QuintetBlack Hole ... CD
Strata/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $22.99 26.99
A never-issued live set from Detroit's Contemporary Jazz Quintet – a group who were a key part of the Strata Records scene, and who are expanded here to a much larger lineup for this very freewheeling performance from 1973! The group's spiritual modernism is very strongly in place, but there's also some funky elements rumbling around in the rhythms – a vibe that's maybe somewhere in the territory of the double live electric albums from Miles Davis in the early 70s, but looser and with righteous energy that more strongly shows the lineup's ties to the Detroit scene. Players include Kenny Cox and Charles Eubanks on piano and keyboards, Ron English on guitar, Charles Moore on flugelhorn, Ron Brooks on bass, Marcus Townsend on saxes, Phil Mendelsohn on electronics, Danny Spencer and Bud Spangler on drums, and Adam Rudolph on congas – a large lineup that resonates with plenty of power together. The album features four long tracks, each without a title – and each a mighty nice jam! CD

Close matches23
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Marty CookRed White Black & Blue ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1987. New Copy ... $16.99
Trombonist Marty Cook may not be the biggest name in jazz – but here, he works at the head of a quintet of top-shelf heavyweights, all of whom really serve up something special under his leadership! The great Jim Pepper is in the group on tenor and soprano sax, and Mal Waldron is on piano – often working here with very different qualities than under his own dates as a leader from the same time – a nice change, and proof of Mal's continued vitality over the years. John Betsch is in drums, and definitely makes his presence known – and Ed Schuller handles bass, on titles that include "Spirit War", "It's About Time", "Love Life", "Grab Bag", "Trapeze", and "Face The Nation". CD
(Part of the "Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign Volume 2" series!)

Close matches24
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ CountsLove Sign (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Aware/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
Quite possibly the most righteous work ever from The Counts – a move away from the heavier funk of their Westbound years, and a shift into some great jazz-based material! The vibe here draws heavily on the electric keyboard scene of the early 70s – with echoes of Lonnie Liston Smith's spaciness that trip through some of the album's best longer numbers – mixed with the harder grooves that The Counts first cut on their legendary singles in Detroit. The blend of modes is really great – and gives the album a depth and quality that goes way beyond their other album for Aware, and which shows a side of the band that never would have emerged on Westbound! Titles include the massive 9 minute long "Counts Medley" – stone cold instrumental jam with heavy drums, cool organ, and a very soulful sound – plus the spacey "Love Sign", the ensemble jamming "Riding High", and the tracks "Too Bad", "Sacrifice", and "Just You Just Me". CD features the bonus tracks "Funk" and "The Munchies". CD

Close matches25
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Ray CrawfordSmooth Groove ... CD
Candid/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1961. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
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 matches26
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Frank Cunimondo TrioEchoes (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Mondo/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
An excellent album that features some great Fender Rhodes work from the mighty Frank Cunimondo! Frank's more famous for his oft-sampled work with singer Lynn Marino – but this album's a lot more obscure, and features Frank doing amazing work on electric and acoustic piano, aided and abetted by drummer Roger Humphries and bassist Mike Taylor. The format of the album is simple, but the sound is incredible – with lots of complicated fills and grooves from the rhythm section, a perfect platform for Frank to get all warm and moody on the keys, ringing out in that subtly funky style that's made him a favorite on the groove scene for years. Includes sublime versions of "Wichita Lineman" and "We've Only Just Begun" – both done in a mellow funk mode that's just great – plus the tracks "Seven Steps To Heaven", "Echoes", "You've Made Me So Very Happy", "Remembering Our Love", and "Bonnie B". CD

Close matches27
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Rein DeGraaf with Herb Geller & John MarshallBlue Lights – The Music Of Gigi Gryce ... CD
Blue Jack Jazz/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 2005. New Copy ... $9.99
The legendary Herb Geller joins pianist Rein DeGraaf in an excellent set dedicated to the music of Gigi Gryce – those sparkling modern jazz compositions that made such a big impact in the 50s! Gryce's original vision is updated slightly, but the tunes have a mostly classic feel – very well played by a quintet that features Geller on alto, in the Gryce role, and John Marshall in trumpet – blowing with a great mix of compressed tones and bolder notes that really recalls the brilliance of a young Donald Byrd! DeGraaf handles piano, and remaining group members include Marius Beets on bass and Erik Ineke on drums – coming together wonderfully on tunes that include "Social Call", "Nica's Tempo", "Sans Souci", "Evening In Casblanca", "Blue Lights", "Minority", and "Salute To Birdland". CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)

Close matches28
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Barbara DennerleinStraight Ahead ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1989. New Copy ... $8.99
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 matches29
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Lamont DozierLove & Beauty (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
Invictus/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... $13.99
A massive album by Lamont Dozier – probably his best ever! Every cut's a winner, and the LP shines with a sharpness and tightness that's missing from some of Lamont's other LPs from the 70s. The songwriting is impeccable – and as the album progresses, you get that eerie "deja vu" feeling you can have when discovering a landmark work for the first time. There's a hint of funk in the mix, but the strongest point is the production – which bowls over the top with a mix of strings, piano, and Lamont's wonderfully honest vocals. Includes the wonderful soul anthem "Don't Leave Me", which comes up again in a very tight instrumental version – plus the tracks "The Picture Will Never Change", "Why Can't We Be Lovers", and "Slipping Away". Great all the way through, and a stunning bit of seventies soul that will have you returning again and again! CD features a massive 10 bonus tracks too – including "Superwoman", "Lady By Day", "I'm Gonna Hijack Ya", "Don't Leave Me Starvin For Your Love (parts 1 & 2)", "Why Can't We Be Lovers (single)", "Let's Get Together", "I'm So Glad (parts 1 & 2)", and "You Took Me From A World Outside". CD

Close matches30
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Kenny DrewFalling Leaves ... CD
Limetree/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1990. New Copy ... $11.99
Beautifully fluid, lyrical work from Kenny Drew – the sort that he first gave the world in the early days of his career, and which was still going strong, with plenty of fire and imagination by the time of this very late recording! Drew's got this way of balancing both sides of the keyboard in an effortless way – with these left hand romps that balance out the lighter elements of the right – given and equally great sense of support here from George Mraz on bass and Lewis Nash on drums. The recording's a live one – done in Zagreb, with some nice long tracks – and titles include "The Falling Leaves (Autumn Leaves)", "Django", "All Blues", "In Your Own Sweet Way", "Blues", and "Stella By Starlight". CD
(Part of the "Timeless Jazz Syndicate" series!)

Close matches31
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Paquito D'RiveraHabanera ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1999. New Copy ... $9.99
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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Hans Dulfer/Han Bennink KwartetJazz In Paradiso ... CD
Heavy Soul Music/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Late 60s. New Copy ... $16.99
One of the most hard-hitting albums we've ever heard from saxophonist Hans Dulfer – a set that features a group with the legendary avant drummer Hank Bennink, plus Willem Van Manen on trombone and Maarten Altena on bass – a real demonstration of the power of the Dutch jazz scene as it was really beginning to burn at the end of the 60s! As with some other European scenes, the Netherlands was initially in the throes of American modes – but here, Dulfer and associates work with a blend of free improv and larger structure that would mark maybe the strongest Dutch contribution to avant jazz over the years – with Dulfer maybe equalling the young Peter Brotzmann for fire and imagination – so much so, you'd hardly know that he was the father of smooth jazz saxophonist Candy Dulfer. Titles include "Los Orrelani", "Bird Frog", and "The Triple/Seventy Eight/Bird Frog". CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)

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Hans Dulfer/Herbert Noord 4tetExpress Delayed (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Limetree/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $16.99
A fantastic setting for the tenor sax of Dutch jazz legend Hans Dulfer – a set that's every bit as soul-drenched as some of his early records, but in a very different way! Hans blows here in a quartet with guitar, organ, and drums – handled by Joop Scholten, Herbert Noord, and John Engels respectively – all with a style that's never slavish to American modes of the previous decade, and which instead moves the game forward in a mighty nice way! Part of the difference is the phrasing – more on the guitar and organ than on the tenor – as Dulfer comes across with some warm, round tones that would be right at home in the hands of Hank Crawford or David Newman – on titles that include "Carbow", "Meeting The Six", "A Home Is Not A House", and "The Troubleshooter". CD features two bonus alternate takes! CD

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Ebony Godfather (aka Joe Thomas)Moog Fluting ... CD
GRC/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... $22.99 25.99
A really great record from reedman Joe Thomas – aka "The Ebony Godfather" – a set that's got a very different vibe than most of his other work from the 70s, and in a really great way! There's not as much moog on the record as you'd guess from the title – and instead, Joe blows both tenor and flute in some larger charts that almost have the vibe of a CTI/Kudu Records session – especially the latter – and when Thomas uses flute, it's clear that he's going for the mix of soul and sophistication that Hubert Laws was bringing to his best 70s material. The charts are large at times, almost with a cool blacksploitation soundtrack sound – and titles include "Electric Godfather", "Oracabessa", "Castlin", and "Checkmate". CD

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Eli's Second ComingEli's Second Coming ... CD
Silver Blue/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
A great little set of 70s soul – and one of the more obscure groups to ever record for the TK Records family of labels! Not to be confused with the Laura Nyro hit "Eli's Coming", this group's one that's headed up by Philly Soul maestro Bobby Eli – composer of, producer for, and guitarist on countless 70s soul hits! The group's Bobby's own, and has a sound that's very much in keeping with the best Philly disco of the period – with likely suspect players that include Ron Kersey on keyboards, Vince Montana on vibes, and Larry Washington on congas. Most tunes feature a 3-woman vocal chorus singing the lyrics – very much in the classic Philly female disco group mode – and titles include "Heavenly", "Foxfire, "Lickety Split", "Love Chant", "Why Don'cha", "Hop Scotch", and oh, a version of "Eli's Coming"! CD

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Bill EvansLive At Keystone Korner 1980 Vol 3 ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1980. New Copy ... $16.99 19.99
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 on this third volume include "Tiffany", "Knit For Mary F", "My Romance", "Your Story", "I Do It For Your Love", and "Re:Person I Knew". CD

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Bill EvansSesjun Radio Shows Vol 1 – Dutch Radio Sessions ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), Early 70s. New Copy ... $18.99
Sublime live work from the great Bill Evans – two different radio performances from the 70s, both of them great! The first half might be the most notable – as the set just features the bass of Eddie Gomez alongside Bill's piano – a pairing we love so much, and which sounds so incredible, we don't even miss the drums at all – because Eddie's got such an inherent sense of rhythm that he fits perfectly with Evans' stunning approach to the piano – on titles that include "Two Lonely People", "Some Other Time", "Up With The Lark", and "TTT". Drummer Elliot Zigmund joins the duo on the second half of the set – but as with his other great work with the trio during the decade, he's a master of understatement – and still really lets Gomez and Evans control the flow – especially Bill, who often begins tunes in a way that feels as if he's not even going to wait for the others to join in! Titles include "Sareen Jurer", "Blue Serge", "Sugar Plum", and "Morning Glory". CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)

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Frank FosterLoud Minority ... CD
Mainstream/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
One of the most amazing albums ever from Frank Foster – a totally righteous set that's light years ahead of his earlier work with the Basie Band! The format here is right up there with the best on Strata East at the time – a large-group session that's filled with some of the hippest players of the early 70s – all coming together with a joyous, spiritual sense of power! Foster's in the lead on tenor and soprano sax, but other players include Cecil Bridgewater and Hannibal Marvin Peterson on trumpets, Harold Mabern on keyboards, Elvin Jones on drums, Dick Griffin on trombone, Stanley Clarke on bass, Airto on percussion, and even Dee Dee Bridgewater on vocals! Tracks are all quite long and flowing – spiritual expressions of jazz that rival the greatness of anything recorded for Impulse – and titles include "The Loud Minority", "Requiem For Dusty", "JP's Thing", and "EW – Beautiful People". CD
(Part of the Mainstream Records Master Collection!)
Also available Loud Minority (with bonus 20 page booklet) ... LP 28.99

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Ryo FukuiLive At Vidro 1977 ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $24.99
A never-issued live set from Japanese pianist Ryo Fukui – a tremendous player who was part of a special new generation of piano players in the 70s – very warm and fluid, but always with a sense of adventure too – in ways that make music like this very different than American work of the time! All tracks are nice and long, and Fukui begins the set with his classic "Mellow Dream" – spun out in an extended take with superb accompaniment from Satoshi Denpo on bass and Yoshinori Fukui on drums. As with so many of Ryo's recordings, the vibe here is far past a simple standard trio setting – as you'll hear on the group's inventive readings of titles that include "Mr PC", "Speak Low", "Body & Soul", and "Love For Sale". CD

Close matches40
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Dizzy GillespieSesjun Radio Shows Vol 1 – Dutch Radio Session ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), Late 70s. New Copy ... $16.99
If you like Dizzy Gillespie as much as us, you'll know that he kept on getting better and better as the years went on – continuing to evolve as a musician, into territory that's always very different than what he was giving the world a few years before! That's definitely the case here, on two live performances done for Dutch Radio in the late 70s – both of which feature a guitar as the key partner – with Rodney Jones on the first half, Ed Cherry on the second, and bass from Benjamin Brown and drums from the great Mickey Roker. Tracks are long, and open up in this really wonderful way – and the group is joined by percussionist Sheyvonne Wright on the second half, who also sings a bit too. There's a quality here that's much more in the best 70s work on the Muse label than you might expect – and titles include "Barcelona", "Diddy Wah Diddy", "Toccata", "The Truth", "Night In Tunisia", "Manha De Carnaval", and Round Midnight". CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)

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Dizzy GillespieSesjun Radio Shows Vol 2 – Dutch Radio Sessions ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), Early 80s. New Copy ... $9.99
Further proof that the genius of Dizzy Gillespie knows no bounds, even in later years – as these two different radio performances feature Diz with very unique saxophonists – both of whom really transform the sound of the group! The first half of the set has Gillespie on trumpet with a young Paquito D'Rivera on soprano and alto sax – a young player really coming into his own here, in an unusual group that also features Canadian guitarist Ed Cherry, bassist Michael Howell, and drummer Ignacio Berroa – on titles that include the funky "Unicorn", plus "All The Things You Are" and "Cripple Crapple Crutch". The second half will be even more surprising to fans of avant jazz – as the legendary Sam Rivers joins the group on tenor and soprano sax – blowing straighter than on his free improv records, but definitely adding an edge! The rest of the group features Cherry and Berroa, with John Lee in on bass for Howell – and titles include "Tanga", "Manteca", and "Birk's Works". CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)

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Dizzy Gillespie & The United Nations OrchestraDizzy Gillespie & The United Nations Orchestra – Live At The Royal Festival Hall, London ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1989. New Copy ... $16.99
Later live work from Dizzy Gillespie – working in London here with a very hip ensemble! We're not entirely sure of the date, but given the skinny ties on a few of the players, we're guessing it's from that 80s stretch when Dizzy was still going strong – working in a great mix of Latin and bop modes that's always kept fresh through his creative energies! Slide Hampton's on trombone – and also wrote most of the arrangements – and other players include Arturo Sandoval on trumpet, Paquito D'Rivera on reeds, James Moody on sax and flute, Airto on percussion, and Danilo Perez on vocals – and Flora Purim also joins the group on vocals for a few numbers. Titles include "Kush", "Tanga", "Dizzy Shells", "Night In Tunisia", "Tin Tin Deo", "Seresta", and "Samba For Carmen". CD
(Part of the "Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign Volume 2" series!)

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Dexter GordonLive At The Amsterdam Paradiso Vol 1 ... CD
Catfish/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1969. New Copy ... $9.99
Dexter Gordon on the European scene at the end of the 60s – blowing with that bold, well-formed tone that makes extended performances like this so great – almost a casebook lesson on tenor-based invention – set to some well-crafted rhythms by a trio that features Cees Slinger on piano, Jacques Schols on bass, and Han Bennink on drums! The players offer a nice change from some other Gordon dates of this nature – but still really let Dexter take the lead strongly on tenor – blowing openly on long takes of tunes that include "Fried Bananas", "What's New", and "Good Bait". CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)

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Dusko GoykovichBrandenberg Concert – Dusko Goykovich With Strings ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 2013. New Copy ... $16.99
One of the greatest trumpeters on the European scene of the past few decades – heard here in a completely sublime setting! Dusko Goykovich has played in many styles and many ways, but hasn't ever done a date with full strings before – a long-overdue placement for his wonderful tone on trumpet – shimmering out front of a larger ensemble, in the manner of classic "with strings" dates by Dizzy Gillespie or Art Farmer! Altoist Peter King arranged the album – and titles are all originals by Dusko, some of which you might know from earlier records – reworked here beautifully for the new setting. King also solos on a handful of tracks too – a rich voice that provides a nice balance with Dusko's trumpet. Strings are never overdone, and the album's always got a nice swing from a core rhythm trio that features Renato Chicco on piano. Titles include "Good Old Days", "Handful O Soul", "Danca Comigo", "St Germain Des Pres", "Adriatica", "In My Dreams", and "I Miss You So". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

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Dusko GoykovichIt's About Blues Time ... CD
Ensayo/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... $16.99
One of the legendary albums cut by hip European trumpeter Dusko Goykovich! The album was recorded in 1971 in Barcelona, and it's a very soulful quintet session that features fantastic performances from two of our favorite European players – trumpet player Dusko Goykovich and tenor player Ferdinand Povel, along with Spanish pianist Tete Montouliu, and his regular rhythm backing of Joe Nay and Robert Langereis. Goykovich and Povel groove hard in the frontline, bringing a hard edge to the session that you don't always hear on some of Montouliu's sessions from the time. The set grooves like a classic Blue Note, or some of the best straight ahead jazz on MPS – with lines that have their roots in soul jazz, but also show a real preference for modal grooving and lyrical soloing. Goykovich's tone is wonderful, and is a real mix of jazz and non-jazz European influences. Tracks include "Bosnia Calling", "Nameless Tune", and "The End Of Love". CD

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Dusko Goykovich with Nathan Davis & Mal WaldronSwinging Macedonia ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1966. New Copy ... $16.99 19.99
A legendary German session from the 60s – and a record that really showcases the unusual criss-crossing of modes that was going on in the European scene at the time! There's a very strong MPS vibe here – as trumpeter Dusko Goykovich leads a swinging sextet that includes Nathan Davis on flute, soprano, and tenor – blowing some tremendously soulful reed lines – plus incredible rhythms from Mal Waldron on piano, Peter Trunk on bass, and Cees See on drums. The record's an attempt to bring traditional Macedonian rhythms into a jazz perspective – but with players like these, it swings in a way any Macedonian album never could – damn soulful, and with a great exotic vibe. Davis is especially great, and plays in a soaring modal vein that's similar to his work on his classic MPS sides, and on the records he cut in America in the early 70s. The album's a beautiful session that often get's overlooked because it blends it with the Enja catalog – but it's really more of a record that belongs in an MPS reissue series, and is a great lost groover that's waiting to be rediscovered by the Dusty Groove crowd. Titles include "Macedonia", "Old Fisherman's Daughter", "Jumbo Uganda", "Bem Basha", "Saga Se Karame", and "The Nights Of Skopje". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

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Roland HannaGlove ... CD
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $13.99
Exactly the kind of session that lets pianist Roland Hanna shine the most – a trio set recorded in Japan with an open, flowing sort of vibe – one that comes not just from Hanna's impeccable work on the keys, but also from the trio accompaniment by George Mraz on bass and Motohiko Hino on drums! The album's got an incredible amount of warmth, but never in a way that's too easygoing or familiar – as Hanna really opens up the most lyrical side of his spectrum, and is very careful with the personal colors and tones he choses on the keys. The title of the set is Glove, but most of the tracks have "love" in their name – "Lover", "My One & Only Love", "I Love You", "Love Walked In", and "There Is No Greater Love". CD

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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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Billy Hart TrioLive At The Cafe Damberd ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 2009. New Copy ... $9.99
A beautiful trio date from Billy Hart – one that has the famous drummer joined in a trio by two younger players – bassist Martin Zenker and tenorist Johannes Enders! The mix of drums, bass, and tenor is really compelling right from the get-go – and the bass and drums are especially nice, coming together in these masterful rhythms that are filled with a lot more soul than we remember from Billy Hart – providing plenty great grounding to let Enders really take off with his solos. There's a solidity here that has us respecting Billy Hart in a whole new way – and titles include "Re-Traning", "Soul Multi", "Rent A Ent", "Please Stop Me Now", and "Voyage". CD
(Part of the "Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign Volume 2" series!)

Close matches50
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Tubby Hayes/Tony Coe/Frank EvansJazz Tete A Tete ... CD
77 Records/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1966. New Copy ... $11.99
An obscure release that features some rare material by British jazz saxophone giants Tubby Hayes and Tony Coe! The tracks were all recorded live in 1966 at the Students Union Hall at Bristol University – and although the recording quality isn't up to some of Hayes' other live sets from the time, the energy of the playing certainly is! Hayes plays with the quartet of trumpeter Les Condon – on tracks that include "Freedom Monday" and "When My Baby Gets Mad – Everybody Split". Tony Coe is on tenor, and leading his quintet with John Picard on trombone, Colin Purbook on piano, Peter Ind on bass, and Jackie Dougan on drums – on versions of "The Jeep Is Jumpin", "Tenderly", and "Blues We Played Last Night", both of which feature Coe on tenor. Last up is guitarist Frank Evans, playing with Ind and Dougan, on "Blues For Sunday" and "Polka Dots & Moonbeams". CD

Close matches51
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Gijs HendriksDom Rocket ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $11.99
Overlooked work from Gijs Hendriks – one of the more expressive saxophonists of the Dutch scene of the 70s – and a player who can work equally well in both avant and straighter jazz settings! Hendriks definitely echoes both here – sometimes really stretching out on a line that will completely transform the sound of a standard, then coming back with a warmer style on a more personal tune – then stepping sideways to throw in a bit of bop as well! The rest of the group do a great job of matching the leader's energy throughout – with Michael Herr on piano, Bert Van Erk on bass, and Michael Baird on percussion – alongside Gijs' work on soprano, alto, tenor, and clarinet. Titles include "A Minor Foolin", "Tenor Piece", "Sophisticated Lady", "I'll Remember April", and "Valse Melancholique". CD

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Antoine HerveInvention Is You ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1997. New Copy ... $9.99
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!)

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

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Jimmy Bo HorneGoin Home For Love ... CD
Sunshine Sound/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $14.99
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 matches55
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Bobbi HumphreyCity Beat ... CD
Malaco/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1988. Used ... $11.99
An under-discovered batch of jazzy soul from Bobbi Humphrey – an artist we love for her 70s work on Blue Note and Epic, still sounding pretty great here in the late 80s! The overall style of the album's a bit different than Bobbi's 70s work – more in a Patrice Rushen blend of 80s groove R&B styles and jazzy flourishes – and the whole set was done in collaboration with arranger Tommy James, who also plays a lot of keyboards on the set. Bobbi's flute work is as sweet as ever – especially on the mellower, more laidback tracks – and even her occasional vocals still sound pretty nice too! Titles include "Tropical Voyage", "Loop 12", "Come Get To This", "Days Of You & Me", "What The Heart Needs", and "City Beat". CD
(Still sealed, includes obi.)

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

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Klaus IgnatzekDon't Stop It ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1987. New Copy ... $9.99
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!)

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Eric InekeCruising ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 2014. New Copy ... $9.99
A later date from Dutch drummer Eric Ineke, but one that maybe burns with even more fire than some of his earlier albums – thanks to the work of some great musicians in the quintet! At some points, the group takes off in strongly soulful hardbop formation – but at others, they can equally slide into a slightly modern mode, but all without losing their swing at all – a performance that's given plenty of focus from Ineke's drumming, and topped with these warmly lyrical piano lines from Rob Van Bavel, plus trumpet from Rik Mol, tenor and bass clarinet from Sjoerd Dijkhuizen, and bass from Marius Beets. Titles include "Oak City", "When We Were One", "Just A Tune For You", "What Is This", "Cruising", and "Seven On The Richter Scale". CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)

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Inner LifeInner Life (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Salsoul/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1981. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
The second album by Inner Life, and the group's first for Salsoul – an instant club classic, thanks to some supremely soulful vocals by Jocelyn Brown, and excellent arrangements by Greg Carmichael and Patrick Adams! The album starts out with the slow-building track "It's You", but then moves quickly into uptempo club territory – letting Brown really open up on tracks that include the amazing remake of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", plus "Pay Girl", "Live it Up", "Make It Last Forever", and the classic "(Knock Out) Let's Go Another Round"! CD features long bonus tracks too – including "Make It Last Forever (unreleased Larry Levan rmx)", "Let's Go Another Round (orig Tee Scott 12" mix)", "Ain't No Mountain High Enough (orig Larry Levan The Garage 12")", and the unreleased track "Let's Get This Thing Together". CD

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JBsGroove Machine ... CD
TK/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
A rock-solid groove machine from The JBs – an album that's a bit different than their earlier sides for People Records, yet still pretty wonderful overall! The approach is more club than funk – yet the grooves are still mostly live ensemble playing – kind of a ratcheted-up version of the JBs' style, and very similar to the groove that James Brown himself was hitting at the end of the 70s! Given the already-sharp sound of the group, you can bet that the music here is light years better than most other studio disco groups of the period – and although James Brown produced, most of the tracks are instrumental – save for one with vocals by Maxxi. Titles include "Rock", "Georgia Peach Disco", "Just Wanna Make You Dance", "Rock Disco #1", and "Rock Groove Machine". CD

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Oliver JonesNorthern Summit ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1990. New Copy ... $9.99
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!)

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Robin Jones SevenEl Maja ... CD
Apollo Sound/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $14.99
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 matches63
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Beverley KnightB-Funk – Flavour Of The Old School ... CD
Dome/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1995. Used ... $14.99
A real British soul classic – the first album by Beverley Knight, a singer who's gone onto tremendous fame in the past decade or so! The set was a real standout at the time – a tightly-crafted bit of contemporary urban that almost came out of nowhere, and showed that the UK soul scene was still burning strongly in the years past the time when bigger names had first made important forays onto the US charts at the start of the 90s. Beverly's got a sound here that's bold, proud, and unabashedly catchy – nothing too heady or cosmic, but a great talent for penning straightforward soul with a heck of a lot of punch! Titles include "B Funk", "Moving On Up", "Mutual Feeling", "Promise You Forever", "U've Got It", "In Time", "Goodbye Innocence", and "Promise You Forever". CD features 2 bonus tracks – "Flavour Of The Old School (club rmx)" and "Moving On Up (Ethnic Boyz rmx)". CD
(Includes obi.)

Close matches64
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Karin KrogWhere You At? ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 2002. New Copy ... $9.99
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!)

Close matches65
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Steve LacyStraight Horn Of Steve Lacy ... CD
Candid/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1960. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
The only thing "straight" about Steve Lacy's horn is its shape – as the soprano sax here is used in some extremely inventive and modern ways, especially for the date of the session! We don't think we're going out on a limb to say Lacy is one of the foremost melodic improvisors of his time, and easily one of the most talented soprano players too – and his early date as a leader shows both his forward looking involvement with the avant garde (he'd played with Cecil Taylor just before this date and does a couple of his compositions here) and a career-long fascination with Thelonious Monk. Although the group here is piano-less – with Charles Davis on baritone sax, John Ore on bass, and Roy Haynes on drums – there's a definite Monk-like edge to many of the numbers, carried off especially by the sharp turns in Lacy's horn! Titles include "Criss Cross", "Air", "Donna Lee", "Louise", "Played Twice", and "Introspection". CD

Close matches66
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LakesideShot Of Love (with bonus track) ... CD
Solar/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
Lakeside's first album for Solar – and the beginning of a very fruitful relationship for the band and the label! The record's a great one – cut long before the Solar funk sound had gotten cliched – and it includes a key early hit in the Solar sound, the band's "It's All The Way Live", a seven minute funky workout in the tight LA ensemble funk mode – a standard-setting cut that really helps the growing sophistication of the LA scene set itself apart from the sounds of New York and Philly! The whole album's a gem – and other tracks include "Given In To Love", "Time", "Visions Of My Mind", "One Minute After Midnight", and "Shot Of Love". CD features the bonus track "One Minute After Midnight (original single version)". CD

Close matches67
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LAXLAX (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Prelude/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
As you might guess from their name, LAX hail from the west coast – one of the few groups from that part of the country to record for Prelude, and every bit as great as the club acts from the east! Ralph Benatar handles arrangements and songwriting here – and lead vocals are by Laura Lucero and Roy Galloway – trading off a bit between the tunes, but also singing together in sweet duet formation at times too! The quality of the set is higher than you'd expect from the cheesy cover – almost equal parts soul and disco – with tracks that include "Woman Ad Lib", "I Don't Wanna Be Under Cover", "Don't Stop", "Saturday Night Something Special", "Slow Disco Dancing", and "Dancin At The Disco". CD features bonus tracks – "Dancin At The Disco (7" mix)", "Dancin At The Disco (7" inst)", and "Dancin At The Disco (12" inst)". CD

Close matches68
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O'Donel LevyBlack Velvet ... CD
Groove Merchant/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... $9.99
A stone laidback set from O'Donel Levy – one of the greatest soul jazz guitarists of the 70s, and a player who sounds fresher and fresher to us over the years! This album's a bit more laidback than some of Levy's other sets for Groove Merchant – with larger arrangements that feature Charles Covington on electric piano and organ, Fats Theus on tenor and flute, and Billy Skinner on trumpet – but the approach actually works well, as the slow-moving tracks trip out over a lot of space, giving O'Donel plenty of room to craft his uniquely spacious and chromatic solos. Titles include versions of "Watch What Happens", "Love Story", "Call Me", "You've Made Me So Very Happy", and "Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time", plus the originals "Granny" and "Nature's Child", both of which have a nice little groove! CD

Close matches69
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O'Donel LevyWindows ... CD
Groove Merchant/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $9.99
A great later album from O'Donel Levy – recorded after his initial flurry of work for the Groove Merchant label, but still plenty darn nice! The sound here is slightly smoother and a bit more electric than before – with Levy's sweet guitar work snaking out over some larger backings that almost have a funky soundtrack feel. The groove is still great, and O'Donel brings plenty of his trademark chromatic lines to the set – guitar parts that almost sound even better in this setting! Titles include "Moisturizer", "Green Machine", "Panama Red", and a track called "I Believe In Miracles", which is not the Jackson Sisters' hit, but a nice mellow groove with vocals that sounds like some of the George Duke soul cuts! CD

Close matches70
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Abbey LincolnAbbey Sings Billie – Live At The UJC Vol 2 ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1987. Used ... $11.99
Abbey Lincoln takes on the legacy of Billie Holiday – in a strong live set recorded with a small group at the end of the 80s! The setting's a bit more relaxed here than on some of Abbey's other albums of the period – a bit looser and sometimes more languid, but only in the best sort of ways to get at the moodiness of Billie Holiday's approach to the tunes. A few numbers seem to bristle with a bit more of that Abbey Lincoln sense of pride – that righteous legacy that runs straight from Billie's classic "Strange Fruit" – but overall, the spirit of Holiday's more traditional approach definitely guides the performance. The group's a quartet – with Harold Vick on tenor – and titles on this second volume include "For All We Know", "No More", "Gimme A Pigfoot", "God Bless The Child", "For Heaven's Sake", and "Don't Explain". CD
(2020 Japanese pressing – still sealed with obi!)

Close matches71
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Abbey LincolnStraight Ahead ... CD
Candid/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1961. Used ... $9.99
There's nothing Straight Ahead about this record – as the album's one of the first bold statements of modernism from Abbey Lincoln – and the kind of set that builds nicely from the vocal experiments she was doing with Max Roach at the time! The group here is almost one of those largeish Roach ensembles from the Impulse years – an assortment of players that includes Max on drums, Mal Waldron on piano, Eric Dolphy on reeds, Julian Priester on trombone, and Booker Little on trumpet – plus the surprising additions of Walter Benton and Coleman Hawkins on tenor sax! Gone are the sleepy standards of earlier sessions, and in their place is Lincoln's emerging sense of anger, power, and righteous indignation – served up on the original compositions "Retribution", "Straight Ahead", and "In The Red" – plus versions of "Blue Monk", "African Lady", and "Left Alone". CD
(Includes obi.)
Also available Straight Ahead ... CD 13.99

Close matches72
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✨✧ Abbey LincolnStraight Ahead ... CD
Candid/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1961. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
There's nothing Straight Ahead about this record – as the album's one of the first bold statements of modernism from Abbey Lincoln – and the kind of set that builds nicely from the vocal experiments she was doing with Max Roach at the time! The group here is almost one of those largeish Roach ensembles from the Impulse years – an assortment of players that includes Max on drums, Mal Waldron on piano, Eric Dolphy on reeds, Julian Priester on trombone, and Booker Little on trumpet – plus the surprising additions of Walter Benton and Coleman Hawkins on tenor sax! Gone are the sleepy standards of earlier sessions, and in their place is Lincoln's emerging sense of anger, power, and righteous indignation – served up on the original compositions "Retribution", "Straight Ahead", and "In The Red" – plus versions of "Blue Monk", "African Lady", and "Left Alone". CD
Also available Straight Ahead ... CD 9.99

Close matches73
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✨✧ Booker LittleOut Front ... CD
Candid/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1961. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
Supremely soulful modern jazz from the great Booker Little – one of his best albums ever as a leader, and a real standout moment amidst so many of the re-titled sessions that came out after his early death! The album's got a tremendous feel from the very first note – a furthering of the modernism that Little forged with Max Roach and Eric Dolphy – but stated more strongly in his own voice as a leader and composer – a bold jazz vision that makes us miss his talents even more strongly than before! The group here is the stuff of legends – with Dolphy on alto, bass clarinet, and flute – plus Don Friedman on piano, Julian Priester on trombone, Ron Carter or Art Davis on bass, and Max Roach on drums, tympani, and vibes! Titles are all original compositions by Little – and include "We Speak", "Strength & Sanity", "Quiet, Please", "Hazy Hues", and "Moods In Free Time". CD
Also available Out Front! ... CD 8.99

Close matches74
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Norio Maeda & PlayboysEnraku No Playboy Kouza – The Playboy Manual (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Takt/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1969. Used Gatefold ... $36.99
The album's got a sexy little cover – but that's no surprise, considering that the record's a late 60s "Playboy Manual" from Japan! The format is quite weird – as each track begins with some Japanese spoken bits from Norio Maeda, possibly on the art of seduction – and things then give way to some very groovy instrumental music, all in a hiply swinging blend of jazz and easy modes! The style's quite like some of Maeda's other work of the time – but even groovier – and the instrumental tunes alone are great – with romping piano, blasting horns, and some very tight, mod rhythms. Includes versions of "Sunny", "Mustang Sally", "More", "The In Crowd", "Yesterday", "Sound Of Silence", and "Girl From Ipanema". CD
(Out of print, and includes obi!)

Close matches75
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Manhattan ProjectsDreamboat ... CD
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1989. New Copy ... $11.99
A well-crafted set from the Manhattan Project – a quintet of 80s young lions who come together beautifully here – a lineup that features Roy Hargrove on trumpet, Kenny Garrett on alto and tenor, Donald Brown on piano, Ira Coleman on bass, and Carl Allen on drums! These artists are all strong individualists in their own way, but come together here with a very unified spirit that really helps things soar – on the kind of record that might have been missed at the moment, thanks to an understated cover – but which really shows the great new fires that were burning in American jazz a the time. Titles include "The Sacrifice", "Alluding To", "Dream Boat", "Depth", "Capetown Ambush", and "I Remember Clifford". CD
(Part of the "Timeless Jazz Syndicate" series!)

Close matches76
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Charlie MarianoTango Para Charlie ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 2000. New Copy ... $9.99
Quite an interesting project from reedman Charlie Mariano – a record that shows that his search for new creative settings never ends! As you'd guess from the title, there's a bit of a tango inspiration to the record, but in a format that's very different than most tango jazz – as the album features Charlie on alto and flute, in duets with Quique Sinesi, who plays a variety of acoustic guitars, including 7 string Spanish, charango, and piccolo guitar. This spare sound is quite different than regular tango modes – and the spareness allows Mariano to solo freely – in that wonderful range of tones that's always made his work surprisingly soulful, no matter what the setting. Titles include "Tango Para Charlie", "If Only", "Zephyr", "The Lady", and "Faluseando". CD
(Part of the Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign!)

Close matches77
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Shigeo MaruyamaYu Yu ... CD
Aketa's Disk/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1987. Used ... $16.99
A really great jazz singer from Japan – and one who works here in a style that seems to owe very little to anyone else – a mode that pushes the jazz vocal tradition as far forward as some of the hipper European singers of the 70s, even though the approach used here is Shigeo Maruyama's own! A number of the songs are originals, with lyrics in English – but with rhythms and inflections that are quite different than American jazz – and backing is by a small combo, but with lively touches on percussion, flute, and guitar – elements used to shade in all the unusual corners of Shigeo's vocal inflections! Titles include "Rio Samba", "Tackle", "Ya Ya", "Potato Vendor", and a version of "Straight No Chaser". CD
(Includes obi.)

Close matches78
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✨✧ MaulawiOrotunds ... CD
Strata/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
A real treasure from reedman Maulawi Nurudin – originally recorded as part of the Strata Records scene in Detroit, but done in Chicago in 1973 – and issued here for the first time ever! The vibe here is almost more Tribe Records than some of the other Strata sides – as Maulawi blows tenor and other reeds over these modal grooves with drums from Tani Tabbal, plus bass and keyboards from other unknown musicians – all in a laidback style that's rich and soulful – almost a spiritual jazz take on territory that would later be explored by Grover Washington Jr, especially given Maulawi's use of soprano sax! Titles include great takes on "Maiden Voyage", "People Make The World Go Round", and "I Say A Little Prayer" – plus the originals "Orotunds", "Where Is The Place", and an "Unknown Track". CD

Close matches79
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Charles MingusMingus (Candid) ... CD
Candid/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1960. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
One of Charles Mingus' classic recordings for the Candid label – far and away some of the best recordings he ever made, and some of the few studio sessions that really let him stretch out and do his thing! The Candid label didn't last long – but during their short stretch of recording, they gave musicians like Mingus a chance to do things they weren't able to do at bigger labels – and this 1960 session is a great change from some of the tighter style that Charles was using just the year before at Columbia. The group is a searing combo – Eric Dolphy on alto, Booker Ervin on tenor, Ted Curson on tenor, and Jimmy Knepper on trombone – really taking off on long tracks that are filled with brilliant solo work – titles that include "Lock Em Up", "MDM", and "Stormy Weather". CD

Close matches80
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Charles MingusReincarnation Of A Love Bird (Candid) ... CD
Candid/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1960. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
A great counterpart to the two famous Charles Mingus albums for the Candid label – really a third "lost" Candid album, recorded at the time of those sets, but never issued until many years later! As with those great dates, the work here is filled with righteous anger, unbridled emotion, and some of the most passionate jazz work of the 20th Century – directed by Mingus with unfailing energy on the bass, and featuring solo work from players who include Charles McPherson, Lonnie Hillyer, Booker Ervin, Paul Bley, Eric Dolphy, and Jimmy Knepper. None of the tracks here appeared on the albums that were released by Candid – Presents Charles Mingus or Mingus – and they were all recorded on the November 11, 1960 date that yielded part of that second album. Titles include "Bugs", "Reincarnation of a Lovebird", "R&R", "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams", and a soulful take on "Body and Soul". CD

Close matches81
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Rocky MizellRocky Mizell & The Sugar Rock Band ... CD
Drive/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $9.99
Massive Miami grooves from Robert "Rocky" Mizell – not one of the Mizell brothers from the west coast, but a Florida artist with a sound that's equally nice! The album's the only one we've ever seen from Rocky, and it's got a sweet TK Records groove all the way through – rhythms that are definitely on the funkier side of Miami soul, arranged by Rocky himself, and produced to perfection by Willie Clarke! The tunes are all originals – mostly collaborations between Mizell and Clarke – and the album's got a great way of sounding smooth while still keeping things funky – that perfect Miami balance that would soon disappear when things got a bit more commercial. Titles include "Shake Your Body Down", "This Must Be Love", "Never Never Girl", "Hey Sexy Dancer", "Take It Easy Babe", and "Come To Me". CD

Close matches82
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Tete MontoliuBlues For Myself ... CD
Ensayo/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $16.99
Really lovely work from pianist Tete Montoliu – the kind of subtly soulful session that makes his work of the 70s such a treat for those in the know! The trio here is Tete's group with Eric Peter on bass and Peer Wyboris on drums – both musicians who've been with Montoliu for a number of years by this date, and who really have this great way of matching the leader's blend of lyrical inflections and deeper currents – one of those rare trio pairings where every member of the group is crucial to the sound! There's an up-close approach to the recording that definitely lives up to the "myself" promise in the title – but things are also never sleepy, or too introspective – as Tete moves way past any cliched "blues"-titled sessions, with material that includes "Jimmy's Tempo", "Blues For Coltrane", "It Could Happen To You", and "Blues For Corien". CD

Close matches83
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✨✧ David Murray OctetOctet Plays Trane ... CD
Justin Time/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1999. New Copy ... $16.99 19.99
A sublime take on the music of John Coltrane – one that would be great enough if it just featured the tenor of David Murray – but which also expands the presentation in a larger group that really brings a lot to the music! There's a soaring sort of spirit here that's beautiful – interplay between the solos and the charts that's a bit in Africa/Brass territory, but much more lean overall – and more skewed towards some of the best experiments of this nature that Murray was creating as a leader back in the 80s. The octet is filled with great players – including James Spaulding on alto and flute, Craig Harris on trombone, and Ravi Best on trumpet – and titles include "Naima", "The Crossing", "India", and "A Love Supreme: Part I - Acknowledgement". CD

Close matches84
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Makaya NtshokoMakaya & The Tstotis (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... $13.99
A record that's noteworthy not just as one of the rare few moments as a leader for drummer Makaya Ntshoko – but also for the great contributions of the members of the group – especially saxophonist Heinz Sauer, who really hits his stride here! Sauer's one of those oft-overlooked talents, but he's a hell of a player in the right setting – which this album definitely provides – a full-voiced, quickly-creative, yet very sensitive performer on tenor and alto sax – both instruments he uses with a righteous sense of majesty at the album's best moments. The group also features well-balanced piano from Bob Degen, and sublime bass from Isla Eckinger – another player we love to death, and who never gets his due – and titles include "Ode To Tilman", "Bridges", "Neged", "Tetralogue", and "Supension". CD also features three bonus tracks – "Santec", "Heboisma", and "Makaya's Song". CD
(Part of the "Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign Volume 2" series!)

Close matches85
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Hiroshi OkazakiLiving Jazz – Neo Standards ... CD
Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... $9.99
A sweet Japanese take on American easy grooves – an album originally issued in 1971 under the title Easy Listening Special, and featuring the vocals of Hiroshi Okazaki! Hiroshi sings in English, with a warm, mellow, and round sort of tone – not exactly soulful, but cool and almost breezy – perfect for the album's light instrumentation and catchy bossa-styled rhythms. There's some great piano on the set – tinkling away over slightly funky bass and drum bits – almost in the mode of some of the sweeter work by the Young-Holt combo – with the addition of vocals, of course! Titles include "Spinning Wheel", "Girl Talk", "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head", "Here There & Everywhere", "Maybe September", and "Didn't We". CD
(Part of the "Nippon Jazz Spirits 48" series!)

Close matches86
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101 StringsScreen Hits Vol 5 – Action & Suspense ... CD
Alshire/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Mid 70s. New Copy ... $13.99
The 101 Strings take on a host of film themes from the 70s, plus a few other bits too – all brought together in this special selection of tracks pulled from a few different albums during the decade! The set features a few selections arranged by Les Baxter and Nelson Riddle – and all the numbers have that warm mix of larger orchestrations and some leaner contemporary ideas that made the 101 Strings albums on Alshire such a standout in 70s easy listening – a nice update of mood music modes from generations before. Despite the title, not all of these cuts are action-based – but they're all pretty great, as titles include "Airport 75", "Towering Inferno", "Theme From Shaft", "Windmills Of Your Mind", "Speak Softly Love", "Chinatown", and "The Morning After". CD

Close matches87
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101 StringsScreen Hits Vol 6 – European ... CD
Alshire/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Early 70s. New Copy ... $13.99
101 Strings take on a host of European film themes – of the sort that always ended up making the easy listening powerhouse such a huge international success! The cuts here are by some of our favorite composers, and are mostly from films of the late 60s and early 70s – given the lush orchestral treatment of the Strings approach, but also touched with some nice instrumental elements that make these versions stand out nicely too! Titles include "Goldfinger", "Surtaki", "Last Tango In Paris", "Vivre Pour Vivre", "Man & A Woman", "Les Parapluies De Cherbourg", "Murder On The Orient Express", "Georgy Girl", "To Sir With Love", and "Rosy's Theme". CD

Close matches88
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101 StringsScreen Hits Vol 7 – SF & Fantasy ... CD
Alshire/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Mid 70s. New Copy ... $13.99
101 Strings take on the sound of science fiction and fantasy – in a set of tracks pulled from one of their mid 70s Star Wars-era records, and another that included a fair bit of Disney tunes! The group are at their most orchestral here – often echoing the original intention of a John Williams score, or creating a lush take on a theme from an animated feature – all with that great ear for updated easy listening arrangements that made the group one of the last great ensembles from the glory days of mood music! Titles include "Chim Chim Cheree", "Bella Notte", "When You Wish Upon A Star", "Star Wars", "Superman", "2001", "King Kong", and "A Dream Is A Wish In Your Heart". CD

Close matches89
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101 StringsSoul Hits ... CD
Alshire/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Early 70s. New Copy ... $13.99
101 Strings took on many different styles on their many albums for Alshire Records – and the group did a surprisingly great job with soul music – as you'll hear on this special collection of work from a few different albums! The sounds aren't straight soul – as you'd hear on Motown or Atlantic – but the songs all have strong soul pedigree, which is then filtered through the lush orchestral style of the easy listening powerhouse of 101 Strings – often with a bit of a groove at the bottom, in a way that's made the soul albums by the group some of their more popular over the years. Titles include "My Cherie Amour", "My World Is Empty Without You", "Where Did Our Love Go", "You can't Hurry Love", "I Hear A Symphony", "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life", and "Stop In The Name Of Love". CD

Close matches90
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✨✧ 101 StringsSoul Of The Blues (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Alshire/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Early 70s. New Copy ... $13.99
An unusual set from 101 Strings – not necessarily a group you'd associate with the blues, and one who certainly don't dabble in the sounds of Beale Street or Chicago with this collection! Instead, the ensemble perform these larger orchestral readings of blue-tinged tunes from the past – mostly numbers from midcentury, set to the lush orchestrations of the group, but often given a trumpet solo somewhere in the mix – handled by an unnamed jazz musician! The group's directed here by DL Miller – and titles include "Symphony For The Blues", "Birth Of The Blues", "Mood Indigo", "St Louis Blues", "Slow & With Soul", "Goodbye", and "Harlem Nocturne". CD features three bonus tracks – "Wonderland By Night", "Limehouse Blues", and "Blues In The Night". CD

Close matches91
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OsirisO-Zone ... CD
Marlin/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
Lost soulful sounds from Osiris – one of the many high-concept funk ensembles to spring up in the wake of Earth Wind & Fire – and one of the better ones too! The combo's got some mighty tight grounding in the bass work of Tyrone Brunson – stepping out here in an early role to really help forge the group's groove from the bottom up – basslines with percussion, then jazzier elements on the top – including some wicked work by Fred Wesley & The Horny Horns! Those added horns really pack a lot of punch on the record – working perfectly with the group vocals that step out on most of the numbers – maybe not in ways that are as righteous as you'd guess from the title or the cover, but plenty darn groovy overall. Titles include "You & I", "Love In Your Heart", "I'll Never Let You Go", "Fantality", "Say You Will", and the jazzy stepper "Travelin Salesman". CD

Close matches92
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Kellee PattersonKellee ... LP
Shadybrook/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1976. New Copy (reissue)... $23.99
Kellee Patterson's amazing first album for the Shadybrook label – a total killer all the way through, and much harder and heavier than any of her later sides for the label! The record's got a nice jazzy vibe that's a good bridge between her earlier work on Black Jazz, and her later, straighter soul material – a dose of funk in all the right places, and a touch of spiritual leanings too – really put together with a wonderful feel that sets the album apart from much other work of the time! Includes a sublime breakbeat version of "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby" – with killer drums, and an excellent monologue at the beginning – plus a great cover of Grover Washington's "Mister Magic", with some interesting vocals. Other titles include "Time To Space", "What You Don't Know", and "I Love Music". Gene Russell handled production and arrangements, too – giving the whole thing a nice tie to her album for Black Jazz. LP, Vinyl record album

Close matches93
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Seldon PowellEnd Play ... CD
Candid/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1993. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
Any album by tenorist Seldon Powell is a welcome one to our ears – because we've always loved his playing, and he never gets enough chance to record as a leader! Powell's got tremendous talents on a variety of horns – as heard on countless sessions as a sideman – but here, he gets deep and soulful on the tenor – blowing with a rich, full tone that puts him in a soulful legacy that includes Sonny Stitt and Gene Ammons! The setting is nice and relaxed – long live tracks, recorded very well at Birdland in the early 90s – with a tight combo that includes Clark Terry on trumpet, Barry Harris on piano, Bob Cranshaw on bass, and Mickey Roker on drums. And although the set's an obscure one, with a relatively unassuming cover and title, it's easily a key addition to the all-too-small catalog of Seldon Powell recordings! Titles include "Hackensack", "Push & Pull", "Park & Ride", "Flintstones", "Sel's Idea", and "Just In Time". CD

Close matches94
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Prince LashaSearch For Tomorrow ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... $13.99
A rare set from reed genius Prince Lasha – one that dovetails nicely with the albums on the Birdseye label, and which features Lasha in a very similar setting! (In truth, the records may have some overlap – but we're not entirely sure.) The tracks are very long, and the record really shows the developing spiritual side of Prince's talents – that slightly warmer, more deeply soulful style than his 60s work with Sonny Simmons – as Lasha blows flute, alto, and baritone – in a group that features Hubert Eaves on piano, Ron Carter on bass, Roy McCurdy on drums, and Kenny Nash on percussion! The record has a very spiritual approach – never "out", but exploratory and searching – and tracks include "For The Child", "Search For Tomorrow", and "Mayflower". CD
(Part of the "Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign Volume 2" series!)

Close matches95
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Alvin QueenMighty Long Way ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 2008. New Copy ... $16.99
We always love the work of drummer Alvin Queen as a leader – but we love it even more when he's got horns in the group, which is definitely the case here – as the cool combo on the record features both Jesse Davis on alto and Terrell Stafford – both of whom really add a lot to the set! Not only, that, there's some great Hammond too – handled by Mike LeDonne alongside guitarist Peter Bernstein – two players who make the session cook like some of the best New Jersey soul jazz sessions produced by Cecil Brooks III, but with maybe a bit more of the modern touches that Queen can bring to his work. There's also some great percussion on the date from Neil Clark – who helps complicate the rhythms – and titles include "Alba", "Let Us Go Into The House", "Drum Thing", "Mighty Long Way", "Blues On Q", and "Sushi". CD
(Part of the "Enja 50th Anniversary Campaign Volume 2" series!)

Close matches96
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Margaret ReynoldsThink About It Baby ... CD
Malaco/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1987. Used ... $11.99
Maybe the only full length set we've ever seen from Margaret Reynolds – a singer we know for deep soul work in the 70s, but who's coming across here with a bit more of a contemporary R&B vibe! The approach is filled with some strong 80s touches in the rhythms, which work especially well on the mellow tracks as they set a stepping pace that lets Reynolds then soar over the top in her own sort of way. The album's also got some upbeat numbers with lots of bass pedal riffs next to the keyboards – almost 80s clubby, but a bit more restrained – and titles include "Think About It Baby", "Keep In Touch", "Still In Love", "Natural Love", "Get Ready", "I Want You", and "I'll Do Anything". CD
(Out of print, 2018 pressing – includes obi.)

Close matches97
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Irv RochlinLine For FP ... CD
Munich/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1982. New Copy ... $9.99
Irv Rochlin is a pianist that few folks know, and that's a damn shame – because Irv left his American home in the 60s, took up residency in Amsterdam, and became a hell of a great player, and one with a very lyrical tone! You'll hear that quality here in full proportion – as the album's one of Rochlin's overlooked sessions from his days overseas – a record that has a stunning amount of depth, but with a sense of effortless ease – as you might hear from an American player like Kenny Barron or Tommy Flanagan during the same stretch in their careers. The rest of the group is nice, too – with Victor Kahihatu on bass and the great Eric Ineke on drums – great partners for Irv, as he makes his way through tunes that include "West Of Eden", "Beautiful Love", "Blue In Green", "Tenderly", "With A Song In My Heart", and "Line For FP". CD
(Part of the "Jazz Premium Seats – Rare Jazz – Live & Sessions" series!)

Close matches98
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Salsoul OrchestraSalsoul Orchestra (1st LP) (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Salsoul/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
The soaring debut of one of the greatest groups of the disco era – and one that would go onto be the sound of Salsoul Records too! The large mostly-instrumental ensemble is headed up by Vince Montana – who brings plenty of Philly disco touches into play with the group's wonderful blend of tight rhythms, jazzy instrumentation, and full strings – a blend that comes off perfectly, and with a surprisingly lean groove – thanks to Montana's vision, and help from arranger Ron Baker too. There's some surprisingly funky moments at times – that sharp edge of the Sigma Sound rhythm section – and titles include "Chicago Bus Stop", "Salsoul Rainbow", "Salsoul Hustle", "Tangerine", and "You're Just The Right Size". Great bonus tracks too – including single versions of "Chicago Bus Stop", "Tangerine", "You're Just The Right Size", and "Salsoul Hustle" – and the bonus 12" "Salsoul Hustle (disco version)". CD
Also available Salsoul Orchestra (1st LP) ... LP 14.99

Close matches99
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
ShalamarBig Fun ... CD
Solar/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
A definite bit of Big Fun from Shalamar – totally tight and very much at the top of their game – making the transition from disco modes to leaner 80s groove, thanks to lots of great production and songwriting help from Leon Sylvers! Sylvers was really emerging as one of the key forces on Solar Records at the time – and he does a great job here of shaping the trio's strong vocals – which includes work by Howard Hewett and Jody Watley – both of whom are right at home on the album's groovers. Titles include their classic "The Second Time Around", plus "Girl", "The Right Time For Us", "Right In The Socket", and "Take Me to The River". CD

Close matches100
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
ShalamarHeartbreak (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Solar/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1984. Used ... $18.99
Very catchy work from Shalamar – a trio who were one of the most hit-oriented acts in the Solar Records stable – but who really hit their crossover heights on this mid 80s set! The group draw heavily on rock and pop modes for the beats and basslines of the set – making that sort of shift that Deniece Williams and some other contemporaries were hitting at the time – maybe inspired a bit by the success of Thriller, or just following their own muse in search of a way to update their sound! Titles include "Amnesia", "Dancing In The Sheets", "Don't Get Stopped In Beverly Hills", "Melody (An Erotic Affair)", "My Girl Loves Me", "Deceiver", and "Whenever You Need Me". CD features bonus tracks – "Dancing In The Streets (12" Jellybean rmx)", "Don't Get Stopped In Beverly Hills (12" special mix)", "My Girl Loves Me (12" ext rmx)", "Amnesia (12" edit)", and "Dancing In The Sheets (inst)". CD
(Includes obi.)
 
 
 



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