Category Archives: Jazz Funk

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: 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: 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: 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: THE AWAKENING-HEAR, SENSE AND FEEL.

Cult Classic: The Awakening-Hear, Sense and Feel. Of the twenty albums that Black Jazz Records released between 1971 and 1975, The Awakening’s Hear, Sense and Feel is a much prized rarity amongst collectors. Copies of the album change hands for hundreds of dollars. That is no surprise given the quality of music The Awakening recorded. It …

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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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CHESTER THOMPSON-POWERHOUSE.

Chester Thompson-Powerhouse. Label: Real Gone Music. Format: CD. During the late-sixties and early seventies, many small independent jazz labels were founded in towns and cities across America. Sadly,  many were short-lived affairs with some releasing just one album and others closing their doors having released just a couple of albums. However, Black Jazz Records released …

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CULT CLASSIC: ROLAND HAYNES-2ND WAVE.

Cult Classic: Roland Haynes-2nd Wave. Forty-five years ago in 1975, Roland Haynes released his debut album 2nd Wave on the Detroit-based Black Jazz Records. The label was founded by Gene Russell and Dick Schory and released twenty albums between 1971 and 1975. 2nd Wave was the label’s penultimate release and it folded later in 1975. …

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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 …

Continue reading

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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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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GENE  RUSSELL-TALK TO MY LADY.

Gene Russell-Talk To My Lady. Label: Real Gone Music. Format: CD. Release Date: ‘5th’ March 2021. 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.  …

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