Category Archives: Jazz

CULT CLASSIC: STOMU YAMASHTA-RED BUDDHA.

Cult Classic: Stomu Yamashta-Red Buddha. Too often, Stomu Yamashta’s role in the popularisation of world music is overlooked by critics and cultural commentators. They forget that Stomu Yamashta helped popularise world music back in the sixties. Right through to the seventies, Stomu Yamashta was one of the leading lights in the burgeoning world music scene. …

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CULT CLASSIC: TIM MAIA-TIM MAIA (1977).

Cult Classic: Tim Maia-Tim Maia (1977. As 1977 dawned, Tim Maia had already released seven albums since his 1970 eponymous debut, and although some of these album had been released to critical acclaim and were a commercial success, the charismatic Brazilian singer found himself financially embarrassed. Things had been going from bad to worse over the …

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CULT CLASSIC: GARY MCFARLAND-SOFT SAMBA.

Cult Classic: Gary McParland-Soft Samba. Composer, arranger, vibraphonist and vocalist Gary McParland was born on October the ’23rd’ 1933, in Los Angeles, but moved to Grants Pass, in Oregon as a fifteen year old. After graduating from high school,Gary McParland headed to college where he became interested in jazz.  Despite his burgeoning interest in jazz,Gary …

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CULT CLASSIC: DAVID AXELROD-SONGS OF EXPERIENCE.

Cult Classic: David Axelrod-Songs Of Experience. By 1968, composer, musicians and producer David Axelrod was just about to embark upon a solo career after nine years working in the music industry. Buoyed by the experimental climate of popular music, David Axelrod wrote and recorded what was akin to a suite-like tone poem that was based …

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CULT CLASSIC: LIGHTNIN’ SLIM-HIGH AND LOW DOWN.

Cult Classic: Lightnin’ Slim-High and Low Down. When Lightnin’ Slim recorded his 1971 album High and Low Down, it only took three days to record the album. There’s a good reason for this. Lightnin’ Slim could only get three days holiday from the lock factory he was working in, in Pontiac, Michigan. However, for three days …

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CULT CLASSIC: AKSAK MABOUL-UN PEU L’AME DES BANDITS.

Cult Classic: Aksak Maboul-Un Peu de L’âme Des Bandits. Nearly three years after releasing their seminal avant pop album, Onze Danses Pour Combattre la Migraine in the summer of 1977,  Aksak Maboul returned with their much-anticipated 1980 sophomore album Un Peu de L’âme Des Bandits. It was the first album Aksak Maboul released on Marc …

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CULT CLASSIC: MARY AFI USUA-AFRICAN WOMAN.

Cult Classic: Mary Afi Usuah-African Woman. When Mary Afi Usuah released her sophomore album African Woman on Clover Music in 1978, very few people outside of Nigeria heard the album. That was despite Mary Afi Usuah having performed in front of hundreds of thousands of music fans.  Mary Afi Usuah had spent thirteen years touring …

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CULT CLASSIC: KOLLECTIV-KOLLECTIV.

Cult Classic: Kollectiv-Kollectiv. Musical history is littered with bands who only ever released one album during their career. All too  often, that album fails to find the audience it deserves. This can come as a bitter blow, and sometimes, can lead to the band breaking up. By then, the rock star dream is over and the only …

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CULT CLASSIC: SANDY DENNY-LIKE AN OLD FASHIONED WALTZ.

Cult Classic: Sandy Denny-Like An Old Fashioned Waltz. Sandy Denny left Fairport Convention in December 1969, and in early 1970, decided to form a new band. The new band became Fotheringay, who released their eponymous debut album in June 1970. Critics hailed Fotheringay a masterful debut, and the album sold well upon its release. This …

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CULT CLASSIC: NEU!-NEU!

Cult Classic: Neu!-Neu! There aren’t many artists who after leaving one of the most pioneering groups in musical history, end up founding another groundbreaking group. That’s what happened to Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother who had both been members of Kraftwerk, but left in 1971. After leaving Kraftwerk, the pair  founded Neu! another Kratrock band.  …

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CULT CLASSIC: GORDON JACKSON-THINKING BACK.

Cult Classic: Gordon Jackson-Thinking Back. Nowadays, Gordon Jackson’s 1969 lost classic  Thinking Back, which has just been reissued by Sunbeam Records, is often referred to as a: “lost Traffic album.” However, that isn’t strictly true, despite Dave Mason, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood, and Steve Winwood all play on Thinking Back. As is often the case, there’s more …

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CULT CLASSIC: MELVIN SPARKS-TEXAS TWISTER.

Cult Classic: Melvin Sparks-Texas Twister. Although American jazz and blues guitarist Melvin Sparks enjoyed a career that spanned five decades, the most fruitful period of his career was the seventies, when he released five albums between 1970 and 1975. Melvin Sparks’ career began at Prestige Records, where he released a triumvirate of albums between 1970 …

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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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