Category Archives: Jazz

THE ESOTERIC CIRCLE-GEORGE RUSSELL PRESENTS THE ESOTERIC CIRCLE.

Cult Classic: The Esoteric Circle-George Russell Presents The Esoteric Circle. In 1971, The Esoteric Circle released George Russell Presents The Esoteric Circle a groundbreaking album that featured four pioneering Norwegian jazz musicians. Sadly, this cult classic was The Esoteric Circle’s only album.  The Esoteric Circle was founded in 1969 by bassist Arild Andersen, drummer Jon Christensen, guitarist …

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CULT CLASSIC: BOB THIELE EMERGENCY-HEAD START.

Cult Classic: Bob Thiele Emergency-Head Start. Flying Dutchman Rcords was the second record label Bob Thiele founded during what was by then a long, illustrious and successful career. The first was Signature Records, founded by Bob in 1939, when he was just seventeen. However, a lot had happened in the intervening thirty years. He had worked with many …

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EVERYTHING IS GONNA BE ALRIGHT: CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF WESTBOUND SOUL AND FUNK.

Everything Is Gonna Be Alright: Celebrating 50 Years Of Westbound Soul and Funk. Label: Westbound. By 1969, Armen Boladian was a familiar face within the Detroit music scene, and the musical impresario was about to launch a new label Westbound Records. This came as no surprise to those that knew Armen Boladian who previously, had …

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CULT CLASSIC: EDDIE “CLEANHEAD” VINSON-THE ORIGINAL CLEANHEAD.

Cult Classic: Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson-The Original Cleanhead. By 1970, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson was fifty-three. He was a musical veteran. His career was about to enter its fifth decade. Eddie had caught a break.  Bob Thiele asked him to sign to his Blues Time imprint, which was a subsidiary of Flying Dutchman Productions. In 1970, he released his …

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CULT CLASSIC: JOHN MARTYN-LIVE AT LEEDS.

Cult Classic: John Martyn-Live At Leeds. In January 1975, John Martyn released his eighth studio album, Sunday’s Child. John had been away from the studio for fifteen months. His previous album, Inside Out, was released in October 1973. Since then, John had been concentrating on touring. However, in August 1974, John headed to Island Studios, …

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LUMAN DRONES-UMBRA.

Lumen Drones-Umbra. Label: Hubro Music. Four years after Lumen Drones released their critically acclaimed eponymous debut album on ECM Records in late-2015, Nils Økland, Per Steinar Lie and Ørjan Haaland recently return with their much-anticipated followup Umbra, which was released on Hubro Music. Umbra is an epic album that doesn’t disappoint and marks the welcome …

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CULT CLASSIC: JAMES LUTHER DICKINSON-DIXIE FRIED.

Cult Classic: Luther Dickinson-Dixie Fried. All too often, artists spend days, weeks and sometimes even months recording their debut album. Eventually, the album is complete, and it’s delivered to the record company. Nervously and expectantly the artist awaits as the record company plan a marketing campaign.  If the artist is signed to a major label, it …

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CULT CLASSIC: SARAH VAUGHAN-A TIME IN MY LIFE.

Cult Classic: Sarah Vaughan-A Time In My Life. By 1971, when Sarah Vaughan released A Time In My Life on Mainstream Records, she had established a reputation as one of jazz’s premier vocalists. She had come a long way since winning the Amateur Night at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre, in 1942. Back then, Sarah was just …

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CULT CLASSIC: HAROLD LAND-CHOMA (BURN).

Cult Classic: Harold Land-Choma (Burn). Musically, Harold Land was a late developer. Growing up in Houston he never showed any interest in learning to play an instrument. Then in 1944, when he was sixteen, Harold heard Coleman Hawkins recording of Body and Soul. This was a life-changing experience. After this, Harold decided to learn how to …

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CULT CLASSIC: COUNT BASIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA-AFRIQUE.

Cult Classic: Count Basie and His Orchestra-Afrique. By 1970, sixty-six year old Count Basie was one of the most successful jazz musicians. He had achieved just about everything and had won seventeen Grammy Awards with his Orchestra.  Count Basie had come a long way since he dropped out of school to play the piano at a silent movie theatre. Soon, he …

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CULT CLASSIC: JOHN CARTER/BOBBY BRADFORD-SELF DETERMINATION MUSIC.

Cult Classic: John Carter/Bobby Bradford released Self Determination Music By 1970, when John Carter and Bobby Bradford released Self Determination Music, Bob Thiele’s Flying Dutchman Productions had established a reputation for releasing groundbreaking music. This had been  the case since Bob left Impulse Records in 1969. Impulse Records had been home for Bob Thiele since …

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CULT CLASSIC ROY HAYNES-HIP ENSEMBLE.

Cult Classic: Roy Haynes-Hip Ensemble. In the history of jazz music, Roy Haynes’ name looms large. He is one of the most recorded drummers in jazz history, and during a career that spanned sixty years, Roy Haynes worked with the great and good of jazz music. This included Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Wardell Grey, Stan …

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CULT CLASSIC: HADLEY CALIMAN-HADLEY CALIMAN.

Cult Classic: Hadley Caliman- Hadley Caliman. Although Hadley Caliman had worked as a sideman for Dexter Gordon and Art Farmer, he didn’t release his eponymous debut album until he was thirty-nine. This wasn’t down to a lack of talent. Far from it. Hadley Caliman was one of the most talented tenor saxophonists and flautists of his …

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CULT CLASSIC: BLUE MITCHELL-BLUE MITCHELL.

Cult Classic: Blue Mitchell-Blue Mitchell. Despite  a recording career that spanned twenty-nine years, and over twenty albums,  Florida born trumpeter, Blue Mitchell, never enjoyed the same critical acclaim that many of his contemporaries enjoyed. Blue wasn’t perceived as a groundbreaking musician. However, he enjoyed a successful career, touring widely and releasing a string of successful …

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CULT CLASSIC: PRETTY PURDIE-SOUL IS…PRETTY PURDIE.

Cult Classic: Pretty Purdie-Soul Is…Pretty Purdie. During a career that’s lasted over sixty years, Bernard “Pretty” Purdie has played alongside the great and good of music. This includes Steely Dan, the Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, Cat Stevens, Aretha Franklin, King Curtis, Hall and Oates, James Brown, Isaac Hayes and Gil Scott Heron. These artists brought …

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CULT CLASSIC: RADKA TONEFF AND STEVE DOBROGOSZ-FAIRYTALES.

Cult Classic: Radka Toneff and Steve Dobrogosz-Fairytales. One of the most overused word in the English language is classic, with critics often hailing the latest book, play or album a “classic.” More often than not, this is hyperbole, and it’s only much later, that the same critics realise that they were rather fulsome in their praise …

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CULT CLASSIC: GIL SCOTT-HERON-PIECES OF A MAN.

Cult Classic: Gil Scott-Heron- Pieces Of A Man. Just a year after the release of his 1970 debut album Small Talk At 125 and Lenox, Gil Scott-Heron returned with his landmark album Pieces Of A Man which was his second collaboration with musician Brian Jackson. Together they created a fusion of jazz, blues and soul music, …

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CULT CLASSIC: LEON THOMAS-FULL CIRCLE.

Cult Classic-Leon Thomas-Full Circle. For Leon Thomas, Full Circle represented the end of an era. It was the last album Leon Thomas released on Flying Dutchman Productions, and marked the end of his “classic period.” It had started four years earlier in 1969, when Leon Thomas released his debut album Spirits Known and Unknown. Since …

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CULT CLASSIC: LONNIE LISTON SMITH AND THE COSMIC ECHOES-REFLECTIONS OF A GOLDEN DREAM.

Cult Classic: Lonnie Liston Smith and The Cosmic Echoes-Reflections Of A Golden Dream. Of all the artists Bob Thiele signed to Flying Dutchman Productions, Lonnie Liston Smith and The Cosmic Echoes proved to be one the most successful. However, success didn’t come overnight for Lonnie Liston Smith and The Cosmic Echoes. Neither Lonnie Liston Smith …

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CULT CLASSIC: JOHNNY HAMMOND-GEARS.

Cult Classic: Johnny Hammond-Gears. Johnny “Hammond” Smith’s recording career began in 1958 and a year later he released his debut album Have You Heard. This was the first of two albums Johnny “Hammond” Smith released during 1959. Over the next sixteen years, Johnny “Hammond” Smith released another thirty album. His thirty-second album was Gears, which …

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