'Mindbender' by the Stringtronics (a collection of composers) is well known by anyone who has dipped into Production, aka Library, albums of the 60's and 70's. Many have sampled this beautiful gem of dopeness. In fact followers of Madlib (aka Quasimoto, etc, etc..) will recognize the chop from 'Safari Park'. The 1972 album is a classic from this vibrate other-worldly genre where under appreciated musicians and their strange and funky tunes went largely unnoticed until decades later. If you don't already possess it, I suggest you carpe diem.
A cherry sweet compilation put out by Discomagic Records (an Italian label) back in 1995, consisting of "The point where jazz, soul, Latin and Brasil collide". Bought for $1.00, I figured with little risk taken, even one decent song would provide an adequate return. Well, anyone who glances at the list of included artists on the cover will assume there's more than just a single solid song aboard. And that assumption is correct. Enjoy...
This is a serious 2 disc collection of Windy City soul circa 50's and 60's from the Chess Records catalog. Some performers are more well known than others, like Etta James and Gene Chandler, but everyone brings that classic soul sound synonymous with the label and Chicago as well. Sporting 45 songs, there's bound to be at least one you can get hip to. Hope you dig it, Jack.
Two albums to contemplate by this Paris born progressive jazz-rock group. To find out more about Magma visit your local library, write to P.O. Box Magma, or just click on this Allmusic.com link (Magma info).
Another pre-Thanksgiving treat for those who dig free jazz.
'1-OQA+19 is an album by Muhal Richard Abrams released on the Italian Black Saints label in 1977 which features performances by Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill, Steve McCall and Leonard Jones. The Allmusic.com review states "The unit made demanding, harmonically dense and rhythmically unpredictable material, with Braxton's scurrying solos ably matched by Threadgill's bluesier lines and Abrams' leadership and inventive blend of jazz, blues, and other sources holding things together'.
As an early Thanksgiving treat here is a feast of funk with this three volume 'Funk Spectrum' compilation. Brimming with dirt, grit, and grime, I have confidence that many of you visitors will enjoy it. Don't forget the cranberry sauce!
So I love many blogs but rarely do I get this excited about someone's work. This guy's compilations are A++ for both listening as well as sampling. From what I can gather, the majority of the music is "public domain", or so lost within the abyss of recorded music that no one is gonna come looking for you because you cut up a break from it. I suggest you dig into the prior posts for fantastic rare library, funk, jazz, and WTF's. If you don't follow [(Sub)]'s work, get to it!...
My pops recently told me a story about seeing Eddie Harris live circa 1979. He said between songs some people would shout out requests to Ed who mostly ignored them. However, at one particular requesting attendee he yelled "Fuck you! I'll play what I wanna play." That story literally got me hooked once again on Eddie's 1970 drop 'Free Speech'. By no means a rarity, I feel it to be a necessary post for my catalog of taste. The first track 'Wait Please' has always been a favorite. Starting out rather mild, it builds and builds into an electronically filtered sax orgasm. At times his tunes can be a little too soft but I have found these particular songs to be loaded with potential samples. Anyhow....I love just about anything done by Eddie Harris, and it isn't just because he's Chicagoan. The man played with purpose and passion. A++ in my book. Enjoy...
In September I posted saxman Rudolph Johnson's 'Second Coming' and I assume that you, the audience of such a blog as this, must have dug the album. Given that 1+1=2, here is his other drop on Black Jazz Records entitled 'Spring Rain'. I did say, in my humble opinion, that 'Second Coming' is the better of the two but this is still a kick ass addition to the man's disappointingly short catalog. Recorded two years prior in 1971, it is the only other record he put out, so no more Rudolph. *insert sad emoticon
'Pilgrim Outlets was a six-piece Gospel outfit. They had a large dose of Soul in their mix as heard on the title cut with a nice array of singing between the different members. That Soul influence gets even more apparent when the group covers the Parliaments’ hit I Want To Testify with some extra drum fills added to the original. The slow jam A Letter is also good with a heavy Blues feel to it. That’s followed by the upbeat Get On Up that has a nice groove.'
Though, by no means a grand slam of a Gosp-soul album, this still deserves attention. Enjoy...
Vincent Herring has had a very smooth and successful career and played along side some of the biggest names in jazz: Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Nat Adderley, Larry Coryell, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy, Mingus, Nancy Wilson, and others. Taking up the sax at 11, he was granted a music scholarship to college, then moved to West Point to join the U.S.M.A. band Jazz Knights. Close proximity to the NY scene soon sucked him in, and there you have it. 'Mr. Wizard' has an early 60's L. Morgan/ Coltrane/ W. Shorter classic feel, with 6 out of 9 tracks being self composed. However, 2004 is it's creation and release year...Wha? Coulda fooled me. Even the cover looks reminiscent of Francis Wolff. Vincent's quintet honestly pulls off a retro jazz sound with maturity and ease, and it's rather difficult to truly replicate jazz and soul in the 50, 60, and 70's because of the pressure cooker of a society there was at that time with open racism and sexism, domestic outcry for civil rights, and war at every turn. From intensity comes intensity. I'm not saying today lacks any real turmoil. Rather, that that exact kind of strife no longer exists within those societies (at such an extreme) which originally produced jazz. Well, I'm gonna shut up and let you get to it, Jack.
Genesis and Re-Entry from Charles Sullivan. Released two years or so apart from 1974-76, these are full of soul jazz, and sports some great names of that sub genre such as Rene McLean and Sonny Fortune. Charles has played sideman to Yusef Lateef, McCoy Tyner, Sam Rivers, and early free jazz dude Roswell Rudd. That is only a few mentioned. However, as a leader, he never made another album that I know of until 1995. This isn't rare in jazz as many artists drop a couple wicked records then vanished, maybe to reappear 20 years later. Doug Carn is another great example. Regardless, here they are...
Lee Fields' soulful music was first pressed in '69 as only a single. Continuing as 45's, he chronologically skipped through the seventies until 1979 when he finally landed a full album entitled 'Let's Talk It Over', and Lee smashes it to pieces. He proved to be as talented and painfully soulful as any giant of the 60's and 70's. But '79 is a late start to say the least in the style of classic Motown-esque soul, so Lee has drifted steadily under the radar, leaving a trail of knock outs. Now he is considered to be a large figure in the New Soul Revival which has recently produced some new and just-as-dope-as-the-past styles. The Budos Band, Sharon Jones, El Michels Affair, DeRoberts and the Half Truths, and on. All of which can really fool you as far as it's true antiquity. I am guilty of often not following much 'new' music, but this is something of it's own: A well executed retro-neo-deep funk-r&b movement in music by artists who are genuinely soulful and terribly honest in their craft. Back to Mr. Fields, here is, believe it or not, a 2009 release called 'My World'. Backed by an equally solid funk ensemble, The Expressions, Lee bares a performance of dynamic soul that sounds so native to the late 60's style, it even has a gritty dirty production giving a faux patina.
Let me ask a rhetorical question.... Do you like Gil Scott-Heron, or The Last Poets? Yeah, that's what I thought. Well, then you're gonna love Bama The Village Poet. Groovy funk jams with socio-poli-urban-underdog poems and spoken word do the trick, here. Your boy Bernard Purdie throws in the drums, along Gordon Edwards, Cornell DuPree, and Richard Tee. 1972 Chess Records, 1974 and 2011 Aware Records. Full of samples found far and wide. Enjoy
Not only is this super bad OST by Quincy Jones, it is vary diverse in theme such as free jazz, soul, funk, and even a couple rock moments. I find it a very useful album when looking for both full breaks and 'filler' samples. 1972 on Atlantic Records, and sports class act musicians like Clark Terry. For your health!
To continue on this various artists trip I am on, here is 'Wheedle's Groove: Seattle's Finest In Funk and Soul 1965-75'. Apparently Seattle was a happening place for such music with no less than 25 music clubs specializing in it. All of the songs are raw recordings with off beat moments and musical disorganization, and it's still a slammin' collection of northwestern American funk. Do enjoy this gem, youz guyz.
Well, it seems that yesterday's post is well favored so today is the other two chapters from The Mighty Mellow series. Chapter 1 is full of songs which are quite popular and around in other compilations. Then, chapter 2 is just like 3 delving into more rare grooves. With that said, I am partial to the latter two, however, the whole lot is dope-ish so don't leave 1 out. As youz guyz already get the gist from yesterday's post of what these albums are all about, I need not further explain. And now, 1 and 2...
So, I want to start with the last chapter of The Mighty Mellow series because it is what first came to me. My company recently bought quite a bit of releases over seas. This Italian double LP being one of them, I purchased it for a measly $5 based upon the cover alone. Well, once I had a chance to hear it....Damn! And that's how it came to be. Anyhow, Partners In Crime is apparently who gathered up this super dope collection of funk, library, down-tempo, hipness, but it's out on Future Records as well as chapter 2. Installment number one is out on Discomagic Records. The entire album is just so happenin', with songs such as 'Rain Rain Go Away' by Bob Azzam (the one with an infamous drum break), and 'Latin Lips' by The Invaders, which I recently posted. Believe me, you are gonna love this series for all that it offers. And you samplers will wanna chop, chop!
One of the cool lesser known aspects of Eddie Henderson is that he is a medical doctor. From '75 to '85 he practiced in San Francisco 4 hours a day and the rest was left to music. In fact he took that job on a stipulation that whenever touring came up, he must be free to come and go as the music demanded. How badass would it be to have had Dr. Henderson treat your flu? Eddie is synonymous with fusion funk jazz and basically all of his albums are solid examples of that sub-genre. He has played with many big boys, and certainly earned such validity. 'Inside Out' is from 1974 on Capricorn Records. It has a 'Bitches Brew' kinda feel to it while still having a sound of it's own, sporting musicians who aren't very well known but had unique styles to offer. And, here is the result...
'Dreams' off of the album...
A CHERRY ON TOP!!
Larry (pianist) was scooped up by Jackie McLean when he was barely twenty, and also had two of his compositions on 'Right Now!'. On that alone, he gets a pass. He's also known for Blood, Sweat & Tears, and teaming up with his best contemporaries. 1973 release of deep rooted soul jazz in it's most saturated form; In entirety, 'Inner Crisis' delivers that moldy well aged soul. Like a good Bleu d'Auvergne cheese, we crave it's funk. A must have for any lover of the stank.
'The Invaders was started by Ralph Richardson in Bermuda in 1968. In 1969, the band produced its first hit 45, "Spacing Out", written by Richardson, which made it to the top of the Bermuda charts and remained there for several weeks. Within a few months, the band produced its first album with the same title. Both 45 and album were underwritten by Eddie De Mello.
By late 1969, Phillips Recording Studios in the UK offered the band a six-month tour of Europe and a recording contract. By 1970, the band, whose members where then part time musicians, decided to call it quits.
Several years later, De Mello digitized the original sound tracks and produced a CD of the album which is still available.'
Like the group Brute Force, this is another musical tragedy in the sense that such a super bad sound was put to death too young via a premature breakup. Damn! Well, at least we have this and it's one of the best funk instrumentals out there. Just so fuh-fuh-funky!
More Black Jazz Records! Cleveland Eaton is a double bassist who played with Rotary Connection, John Klemmer, George Benson, Sarah Vaughn, Henry Mancini, Lou Rawls, and on and on.... So many superb musicians right under our noses who failed to obtain significant notice. Maybe to do with the giants they stood next to? Anyhow, 'Plenty Good Eaton' was released in 1975, and not only is it a great jazz album, it's full of samples as well.
.....(Sigh)....Quite a bit of personnel, but it's worth it. Although there are crowded moments within most of the songs, it still is a smashing live performance by a very intense group of jazz musicians named The Artistic Truth. Certainly another garage recorded show, so there is that divine grungy smudgy sound . The record is yet another dirty gem by Jazzman. I'm keeping an eye out on it's releases because they are on a roll, man. Well, I believe this to be very nourishing soul, so give it a go, eh?
Remember me mentioning The Jazz Crusaders in the recent Wayne Henderson post? Here is a live performance at The Lighthouse '62. I love The JC's. As a musical unit, they were unstoppable. Just listen to the video clip! They were another act out of Houston, TX (named The Swingsters) but soon relocated to L.A. with a new name, and shortly a contract with Pacific Jazz. The Jazz Crusaders were: Joe Sample, Wayne Henderson, Nesbert "Stix" Hooper, and Wilton Felder. Now, since it is '62 the style is appropriate for that era. I usually post drops from the late '60's to mid 70's. Though, good jazz is good jazz is good jazz, right?
Madlib, aka Otis Jackson Jr., aka Quasimoto, aka a million other pseudonyms, is a well documented jazz lover and digger. He proudly boasts in his rhymes how his record collection contains "the good shit". As with 'The Funky Side Of Life', this is another of his side projects. Yesterday's New Quintet is mainly his child, where he both composes as well as plays multiple instruments. Quite impressive. There is a full on attempt to replicate that indefinable late 60's early 70's sound jazz-funk-soul had. In this release there are several fictitious bands listed as the performers, but it's really just him and a few musicians doing covers and original compositions. I normally do not take a liking to anything new in jazz. There are exceptions and YNQ is one.
Having this man's name on a record is like a stamp of '100% Pure Soul Jazz'. He has been on many underground classics (if you liked Richard Davis' Now's The Time that I posted, that's one) as well as led them. This is one: Soul Fountain by Clifford Jordan. Originally recorded in 1966, released in '68, then reissued in '70. The cover art, artist and title tell all you need to know of the sounds and style. Enjoy!
While I'm on this 45 kick, might as well drop this. A Now-Again reissue of the 1970 South Dallas Pop Festival. The first presented is a 7" from the live recording. The second is the entire album that was reissued. I must admit that the full album is a bootleg rip of the real reissue. I bought it at a recent Dallas music festival for a buck. Worth it, but as a result, the track names are untitled, but who plays them is referenced. Listening to this makes me curious all over again to discover from the vast abyss of unknown great music that is out there.