Category Archives: Jazz Funk

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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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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HENRY FRANKLIN-THE SKIPPER.

Henry Franklin-The Skipper. Label: Real Gone Music. Format: CD. Release Date: ‘5th’ March 2021. 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 …

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CULT CLASSIC: BOILLAT THERACE QUINTET-BOILLAT THERACE QUINTET.

Cult Classic: Boillat Thérace Quintet-Boillat Thérace Quintet. By 1974, the Swiss jazz scene was thriving, and the Montreux Jazz Festival which had been launched in 1967, was in its eight year. The organisers had surpassed themselves with what was an all-star lineup Between the ‘2nd’ and ‘7th’ July 1974, the great and good of jazz arrived at …

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CALVIN KEYS-SHAWN-NEEQ.

Calvin Keys-Shawn-Neeq. Label: Real Gone Music. Format: CD. 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 recently reissued on CD by Real Gone Music. It was the fifth album that the new label released during …

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PATCHWORK-MEAN AND DIRTY.

Patchwork-Mean and Dirty. Label: De Wolfe Music Library. Format: LP. 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 …

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THE OHIO PLAYERS-ECSTASY.

The Ohio Players-Ecstasy. Label: Westbound. Format LP. 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 …

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CULT CLASSIC: LARRY ROSE BAND-THE JUPITER EFFECT.

Cult Classic: Larry Rose Band–The Jupiter Effect. Usually, at this time of the year, dedicated crate-digging DJs and discerning record collectors spend  much of their spare time searching for oft-overlooked albums and long lost hidden gems in back-street record shops, thrift stores and dusty warehouses. This is the natural habitat of the real life vinyl …

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CULT CLASSIC: ROY BUDD-THE INTERNECINE PROJECT.

Cult Classic: Roy Budd-The Internecine Project. By 1974, London born jazz pianist, arranger, bandleader and composer Roy Budd was twenty-seven, and had been performing professionally since the age of fifteen. A year later, he formed his own quartet, and in 1967,  released his debut album Roy Budd At Newport. The young pianist was a prodigious …

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CULT CLASSIC:NIGHTMARES ON WAX-SMOKER’S DELIGHT.

Cult Classic: Nightmares On Wax-Smoker’s Delight. Four years after releasing their debut album A Word Of Science: The First and Final Chapter in 1991, Nightmares On Wax returned with their much-anticipated and critically acclaimed sophomore album Smoker’s Delight. It was released on the ‘24th’ of October 1995 by Warp and awas part of the soundtrack …

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TERJE RYPDAL-CONSPIRACY.

Terje Rypdal-Conspiracy. Label: ECM. Format: CD. Norwegian guitarist Terje Rypdal was twenty-one when he released his debut album Bleak House on Polydor in 1968. This was the start of a recording career that has spanned six decades and saw the him become one of Norway’s most successful musical exports. Three years later, in 1971, Terje …

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THE AWAKENING-HEAR, SENSE AND FEEL.

The Awakening-Hear, Sense and Feel. Label: Real Gone Music. Format: CD. 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 …

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COLIN CURTIS PRESENTS JAZZ DANCE FUSION VOLUME 2.

Colin Curtis Presents Jazz Dance Fusion Volume 2. Label: Z Records. Format: CD. During the late-seventies and early eighties, one of most popular DJs on the UK jazz-dance scene was Colin Curtis, who was born Colin Dimond, in Madeley, Staffordshire 1952. That was where the his lifelong love of music began when he started to …

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EABS-DISCIPLINE OF SUN RA.

EABS-Discipline Of Sun Ra. Label: Astigmatic Records. Format: CD. Having orbited planet earth and ascertained that it was safe to land, the spaceship carrying the Sun Ra Arkestra landed in Kalisz, one of the oldest cities in the Polish People’s Republic on the ‘7th’ of December 1986. Martial law had been imposed by the Pro-Moscow …

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NIMBUS SEXTET-DREAMS FULFILLED .

Nimbus Sextet-Dreams Fulfilled. Label: Acid Jazz Records. Format: CD. The roots of the Glaswegian-based contemporary jazz combo can be traced to Scotland’s capital Edinburgh, where pianist, keyboardist and bandleader Joe Nichols was studying at Edinburgh University. That was where he met his long-time collaborators drummer Alex Palmer and bassist Mischa Stevens. They’ve been performing together …

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