Category Archives: Funk

CULT CLASSIC: IAN CARR-BELLADONNA.

Cult Classic: Ian Carr-Belladonna. 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 Emcee Five, co-led …

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CULT CLASSIC: KEITH MANSFIELD-VIVID UNDERSCORES.

Cult Classic: Keith Mansfield-Vivid Underscores. 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 albums are now rarities …

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CULT CLASSIC: GEORGE OHTSUKA QUINTET-LOVING YOU GEORGE.

Cult Classic: George Ohtsuka Quintet-Loving You George. 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 and Gary …

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CULT CLASSIC: GENE RUSSELL-NEW DIRECTION.

Cult Classic: Gene Russell-New Direction. 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 were determined that Black …

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CULT CLASSIC: PIERRE MOERLEN’S GONG-DOWNWIND.

Cult Classic: Pierre Moerlen’s Gong-Downwind. 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 of Mike Oldfield’s …

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LOST CULT CLASSIC FOUND: MIKE WESTBROOK-LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING: CITADEL/ROOM 315 SWEDEN 74.

Lost Cult Classic: Mike Westbrook-Love and Understanding: Citadel/Room 315 Sweden 74. By 1974, composer and pianist Mike Westbrook was thirty-eight and one of the leading lights of the British jazz scene. He had come a long way since he formed his first band in 1958 when he was an art student studying painting. That was how …

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CULT CLASSIC: KEITH MANSFIELD-CONTEMPO.

Cult Classic: Keith Mansfield-Contempo. 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 music. They remember hearing …

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CULT CLASSIC: THE OHIO PLAYERS-ECSTASY.

Cult Classic: The Ohio Players-Ecstasy. It wasn’t until The Ohio Players signed with Westbound, and released their sophomore album Pain in 1972, that commercial success their way. The group  was founded in 1959 and originally was known as The Ohio Untouchables and had a chequered history. Initially, The Ohio Untouchables lineup featured drummer Cornelius Johnson, …

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CULT CLASSIC: LEE MORGAN-THE RAJAH.

Cult Classic: Lee Morgan-The Rajah. 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 of the single, Blue …

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CULT CLASSIC: GENE  RUSSELL-TALK TO MY LADY.

Cult Classic: Gene Russell-Talk To My Lady. As 1973 dawned, LA-based Black Jazz Records had already released nine albums since 1971. Its first release was Gene Russell’s critically acclaimed sophomore album New Direction. However, another two years passed before the LA-born pianist returned with the followup.  Gene Russell spent the spent the rest of 1971 …

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CULT CLASSIC: PATCHWORK-MEAN AND DIRTY.

Cult Classic: Patchwork-Mean and Dirty. Nowadays, library music is highly collectable, especially the albums released by KPM, Amphonic, Conroy,  Sonoton and De Wolfe between the late-sixties and early eighties. That is regarded by many collectors as a golden age for library music. This is ironic as the albums of library music were never meant to fall into the …

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CULT CLASSIC: RUDOLPH JOHNSON-SPRING RAIN.

Cult Classic: Rudolph Johnson-Spring Rain. When pianist Gene Russell and percussionist Dick Schory founded Black Jazz Records in Oakland, California, in 1969, 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 were determined that …

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CULT CLASSIC: DR. LONNIE SMITH-ALL IN MY MIND.

Cult Classic: Dr. Lonnie Smith-All In My Mind. Forty-six years after he left Blue Note Records, Dr. Lonnie Smith returned in 2016 and released a new studio album Evolution. It was released to critical acclaim and marked the homecoming of the last of the great soul-jazz organists. His career began in 1960, and in the …

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LORD SHANGO ORIGINAL 1975 MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK BY HOWARD ROBERTS.

Lord Shango Original 1975 Motion Picture Soundtrack By Howard Roberts. Label: Tidal Waves Music. Format: LP. During first half of the seventies, Blaxploitation films started to grow in popularity and by soon, Hollywood producer saw the potential in what was a relatively new genre. However, there’s much debate about what was the first Blaxploitation film? Some critics …

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CULT CLASSIC: NKEM NJOKU AND OZZOBIA BROTHERS-OZABIA SPECIAL. 

Cult Classic: Nkem Njoku and Ozzobia Brothers–Ozobia Special. Tabansi Records was founded in Nigeria in 1952, and filled a void when major labels like Decca and later, Philips closed the doors on their Nigerian operations. Chief Tabansi, who lent his name to what would become Nigeria’s most important label, recorded artists and then pressed the records at …

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CULT CLASSIC: ALAIN BELLAICHE-SEA FLUORESCENT.

Cult Classic: Alain Bellaïche-Sea Fluorescent. Alain Bellaïche was born in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, but spent his childhood in Cannes, on the French Riviera which was where he discovered music and played his first concerts.  Initially, he played in friends’ houses where he was guaranteed a captive and appreciative audience. Soon, he had graduated …

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CULT CLASSIC: STEVE POTTS-MUSIQUE POUR LE FILM D’UN AMI. 

Cult Classic: Steve Potts-Musique Pour Le Film D’Un Ami. Sadly, musical history is littered with artists whose music never received the recognition that it deserved. Often, it’s only much later that their albums start to find the audience that they so richly deserve. That was the case with Alice Clark, Gram Parsons, Laraaji, John Martyn, …

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STOP THE WAR.

Stop The War. Label: Kent Soul. Format: CD. When the Vietnam War began on the ‘1st’ November 1955, Americans never realised that this bloody and brutal war would last nineteen years, five months, four  weeks and one day. By the time the War ended on the ’30th’ April 1975 America was a nation divided. Those in favour of …

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THE CLARK SISTERS-THE SOUND OF GOSPEL RECORDS’ YEARS 1976-1981.

The Clark Sisters-The Sound Of Gospel Records’ Years 1976-1981. By the late-sixties, both jazz and blues were no longer as popular as they once had been.  That was when it dawned on some mucicians that unless the music they loved evolved,  is risked becoming irrelevant. Both jazz and blues evolved and over fifty years later, …

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CULT CLASIC: CALVIN KEYS-SHAWN-NEEQ.

Cult Classic: Calvin Keys-Shawn-Neeq. Having founded Black Jazz Records in 1969, Gene Russell and Dick Schory’s new label released six albums during 1971. This included Calvin Keys’ debut album Shawn-Neeq which was the fifth album that the new label released during 1971. This was the most productive year of the label’s five year existence. In 1971, …

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