'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.