Category Archives: Funk

IAN CARR-BELLADONNA.

Ian Carr-Belladonna. Label: Mr Bongo. Format: CD. In 1969, thirty-six year old Ian Carr who was born Dumfries, in the South West Scotland, formed Nucleus who would become one of the top British fusion groups. By then, the Scottish trumpeter was a familiar face on the London jazz scene. He had been member of the …

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CULT CLASSIC: ESTHER PHILLIPS-WHAT A DIFF’RENCE A DAY MAKES.

Cult Classic: Esther Phillips-What A Diff’rence A Day Makes. Despite releasing eighteen albums during a career that lasted thirty-five years most people haven’t heard of Esther Phillips. That’s a great shame because she was one of the most talented, versatile and underrated singers of her generation. She possessed a totally unique and unmistakable voice and her versatility allowed …

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DIRECTIONS IN MUSIC 1969 TO 1973.

Directions In Music 1969 To 1973. Label: BGP. Format: CD. By the time of John Coltrane’s death in 1967 rock was by far the most popular musical genre in America. A headline in Downbeat magazine warned that: “Jazz as We Know It Is Dead.” The future of jazz looked bleak. Fortunately, fusion rode to the …

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CULT CLASSIC: BOBBY HUTCHERSON-OBLIQUE.

Cult Classic: Bobby Hutcherson-Oblique. On July the ‘21st’ 1967, Bobby Hutcherson journeyed to Van Gelder Studio, in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, to record Oblique which was his sixth solo album for Blue Note Records. It was just the second album he had recorded with a quartet.  The first was Happenings, an album of modal hard bop …

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CULT CLASSIC: JIMMY SMITH WITH STANLEY TURRENTINE-PRAYER MEETIN’.

Cult Classic: Jimmy Smith With Stanley Turrentine-Prayer Meetin’. When Jimmy Smith entered Van Gelder Studio on February the ‘8th’ 1963, he was about to record his fourth album in a week. This meant that he had fulfilled the terms of his contract with Blue Note and could sign with Verve. The album he was about …

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PIERRE MOERLEN’S GONG-DOWNWIND.

Pierre Moerlen’s Gong-Downwind. Label: Esoteric Recordings. Format: CD. In January 1973, Daevid Allen invited drummer and percussionist Pierre Moerlen to join Gong following the departure of Laurie Allan. He agreed and became the group’s new drummer.  However, in June 1973 he was asked by Virgin Records’ founder Richard Branson to play percussion at the premier …

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GEORGE OHTSUKA QUINTET-LOVING YOU GEORGE.

George Ohtsuka Quintet-Loving You George. Label: Wewantsounds. Format: CD. When the George Otsuka Quintet took to the stage at the Nemu Jazz Inn on the ‘19th’ of July 1975 the Japanese bandleader, composer and drummer was thirty-seven and about to record a live album. He was following in the footsteps of Norman Connors, Eddie Henderson …

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GENE RUSSELL-NEW DIRECTION.

Gene Russell-New Direction. Label: Real Gone Music. Format: CD. In 1969, pianist Gene Russell and percussionist Dick Schory founded Black Jazz Records in Oakland, California. The nascent label’s raison d’être was “to promote the talents of young African American jazz musicians and singers.” This was only part of their vision for their new label. They …

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KEITH MANSFIELD-VIVID UNDERSCORES.

Keith Mansfield-Vivid Underscores. Label: Be With Records. Format: LP. Composer, arranger and musician Keith Mansfield nowadays is recognised and regarded as one the doyens of library music and original copies of his albums are now highly collectable. This includes Vivid Underscores which was released in 1977, a year after his other genre classic Contempo. Both …

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CULT CLASSIC: DOUG CARN FEATURING THE VOICE OF JEAN CARN-SPIRIT OF THE NEW LAND.

Cult Classic: Doug Carn Featuring The Voice Of Jean Carn-Spirit Of The New Land. Doug Carn was one of the first artists that Gene Russell and Dick Schory signed when they founded Black Jazz Records in 1971. His debut solo album Infant Eyes was the nascent company’s third release and featured vocals from his wife …

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CULT CLASSIC: AMBIANCE-INTO A NEW JOURNEY.

Cult Classic: Ambiance-Into A New Journey. During the seven year period between 1979 and 1986, Ambiance led by Nigerian born multi-instrumentalist Daoud Abubakar Balewa released six albums on the LA-based private press label Da Mon Records. It was a self-financed business that released short runs of Ambiance’s albums during a time when many smaller independent …

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THE SONGS OF LEON RUSSELL.

The Songs Of Leon Russell. Label: Ace Records. Format: CD. Leon Russell embarked upon a career as a professional musician in the late-fifties, and over the next six decades, the versatile singer-songwriter worked with some of the biggest names in music when he worked as a touring musician and session player. He worked with everyone …

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NORTHERN SOUL’S CLASSIEST RARITIES VOLUME 7.

Northern Soul’s Classiest Rarities Volume 7. Label: Kent Dance. Format: CD. Nowadays, Northern Soul compilations are two a penny and hardly a week goes by without yet another Northern Soul compilation being released. That has been the case for the last few years, and nothing has changed recently. The compilations can be described as the …

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CULT CLASSIC: DAWAN MUHAMMAD-DEEP STREAM.

Cult Classic: Dawan Muhammad-Deep Stream. By 1979, jazz wasn’t as popular as it was during the fifties and early sixties. That was the golden age for jazz, and saw countless classic albums released on labels like Blue Note, Verve and Impulse! These albums sold in large quantities and were profitable for the record companies that …

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CULT CLASSIC: LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY-CRY TO ME.

Cult Classic: Loleatta Holloway-Cry To Me. Before being transformed into a disco diva by arranger, guitarist and producer Norman Harris at Salsoul imprint Gold Mind Records, Loleatta Holloway released two albums of Southern Soul for Michael Thevis’ Aware Records. This includes her sophomore album Cry To Me, which was released in 1975. Loleatta Holloway was …

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CULT CALSSIC: TIM MAIA-RACIONAL VOLUME 2.

Cult Classic: Tim Maia-Racional Volume 2. By 1975, Tim Maia was a changed man and had turned his back on the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle that he had embraced and enjoyed since releasing his eponymous debut album in 1970. Back then, the charismatic Brazilian singer realised that he was only here for a visit and decided to live life to the fullest. He drank, …

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KEITH MANSFIELD-CONTEMPO.

Keith Mansfield-Contempo. Label: Be With Records. Format: LP. Nowadays, Keith Mansfield is regarded as one the doyens of library music, and original copies of his 1976 album Contempo are now highly collectable. That’s the case with many other KPM Records’ releases. Everyone from sample-hungry hip hop producers and crate-digging DJs to film producers collect library …

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JOANNA LAW-RHYTHM OF YEARS

Joanna Law-Rhythm Of Years. Label: Tangential Music. Format: Digital Album. London-based singer-songwriter Joanna Law’s career began when she and her brother Simon formed City Heat. The nascent group released its debut single The Raid in 1987, and this was followed by City Heat in 1988.  The same year, Joanna Law’s vocal featured on The Funky …

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LEE MORGAN-THE RAJAH.

Lee Morgan-The Rajah. Label: Blue Note Records. Format LP. In 1964, twenty-six year old hard bop trumpeter Lee Morgan’s career was transformed when he enjoyed a crossover hit with The Sidewinder. Instantly recognisable and incredibly catchy, it became a jazz standard and nowadays, is regarded as Lee Morgan’s best known composition. Buoyed by the success …

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CULT CLASSIC: LUIZ CARLOS VINHAS-O SOM PSICODELICO DE L.C.V

Cult Classic: Luiz Carlos Vinhas-O Som Psicodélico De L.C.V. Within his native Brazil, Luiz Carlos Vinhas is remembered and regarded as one of the greatest pianists of the Bossa Nova movement. He was one of the genre’s founding fathers  and was a founder member of Bossa Três in 1961. They became one of the most important groups …

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