Category Archives: Jazz

CULT CLASSIC: JOE HOUSTON-KICKIN’ BACK.

Cult Classic: Joe Houston-Kickin’ Back. Joe Houston’s career began in 1941 when he was just fifteen, and a saxophonist in a touring band never turned up. This presented the bandleader with a problem. However, he needn’t have worried as Joe Houston was in the audience and this was the breakthrough the young saxophonist had dreamy about. From an …

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CULT CLASSIC: BILLY COBHAM-MAGIC.

Cult Classic: Billy Cobham-Magic. By 1977, Panamanian-American jazz and fusion drummer Billy Cobham had only been a solo artist since 1973, but he already accumulated a wealth of experience since his discharge from the US Army in 1968. Soon, he had joined Horace Silver’s Quintet, then became the house drummer at Atlantic Records and a …

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CULT CLASSIC: THE BLACK HIPPIES-THE BLACK HIPPIES.

Cult Classic: The Black Hippies-The Black Hippies. One of Nigerian music’s best kept secrets, are The Black Hippies who only ever released two albums. Their finest moment was their 1977 eponymous which was released in 1977, on EMI. Sadly, by then, disco and funk were flavour of the month and The Black Hippies were a year too late releasing their …

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PYRAMID PIECES 1:MODAL AND ECO JAZZ FROM AUSTRALIA 1969-1979.

Pyramid Pieces 1: Modal and Eco Jazz From Australia 1969-1979. Label: Roundtable. Over the last few years, independent and major record labels have released compilations of American, British, European and Japanese jazz. They’ve focused on everything from bebop and hard bop to modal and modern right through to avant-garde, free and spiritual jazz. It’s been …

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CULT CLASSIC: BARIS MANCO-NICK THE CHOPPER

Cult Classic: Barış Manço-Nick The Chopper. Some twenty-one years after his sudden and tragic death, Barış Manço is still remembered as one of the pioneers of modern Turkish music. His career began in 1958, and continued right up until his death in 1999.  During his career, Barış Manço was one of the founding fathers of Anatolian …

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THE LADIES OF TOO SLOW TO DISCO VOLUME 2.

The Ladies Of Too Slow To Disco Volume 2. Label: How Do You Are? Ever since the birth of rock ’n’ roll, musical genres have fallen in-and-out of fashion, and what’s popular today can be consigned to the dustbin of musical history tomorrow as tastes change. That happened to everything from psychedelia and progressive rock …

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BOB STANLEY AND PETE WIGGS PRESENT OCCASIONAL RAIN.

Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs Present Occasional Rain. Label: Ace Records.  As the sixties gave way to the seventies, psychedelia prepared to kiss the sky and say goodbye as it exited stage left. However, all wasn’t well despite all the groundbreaking music released during the last few years. After Woodstock and the Altamont Free Concert …

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DON’T BLOW YOUR COOL! MORE 60S GIRLS FROM UK DECCA.

Don’t Blow Your Cool! More 60s Girls From UK Decca. Label: Ace Records. For the British music industry, the success of The Beatles was a gamechanger. The only problem was that the pop boom caught some record labels unaware and they weren’t prepared.  They came to the party late, and it didn’t hep that some record …

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CULT CLASSIC: ALAN HAWKSHAW AND BRIAN BENNETT-SYNTHESIS.

Cult Classic: Alan Hawkshaw and Brian Bennett-Synthesis. Nowadays, the seventies are regarded as a golden age for library music, and  two of its leading lights during this era were Alan Hawkshaw and Brian Bennett. They were responsible for some of the best library music that KPM Records released during its golden era. This included the library music classic Synthesis, …

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CULT CLASSIC: BERT MYRICK-LIVE ’N WELL.

Cult Classic: Bert Myrick-Live ’N Well. Many record collectors have an album that has continued to elude them for many years. So much so,  that it is the equivalent to finding the holy grail. They’ve searched for years, and never come close to finding that elusive and rare album. It gets that they can’t pass …

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JIMI HENDRIX-BAND OF GYPSYS 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION.

Jimi Hendrix-Band Of Gypsys 50th Anniversary Edition. Label: Sony. When the Jimi Hendrix Experience took to the stage at the Denver Pop Festival in June 1969, bassist Noel Redding knew it was his swansong with the group. He had been told by a journalist before the show that he was going to be replaced by Billy …

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HANK MOBLEY-POPPIN’.

Hank Mobley-Poppin’. Label: Blue Note Records. Musically, Hank Mobley was a late starter, and first  picked up a saxophone was when he was sixteen, and suffering from an illness that meant he had to stay at home for several months. By then, he was living in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and was finding that the days …

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LEE MORGAN-THE RUMPROLLER.

Lee Morgan-The Rumproller. Label: Blue Note Records. 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 …

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AKSAK MABOUL-FIGURES.

Aksak Maboul-Figures. Label: Crammed Discs.  Nowadays, there aren’t many bands that are still together and releasing new albums after five decades. The same can be said of record labels founded in the seventies. Sadly, bands and record labels aren’t enjoying the same longevity in the modern music business.  All too often, bands release a couple …

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CULT CLASSIC: LEON THOMAS-BLUES AND THE SOULFUL TRUTH.

Cult Classic: Leon Thomas-Blues and The Soulful Truth. Some labels prove to be the perfect fit for an artist. This was the case when Leon Thomas signed to Bob Thiele’s Flying Dutchman Productions.  By the late sixties, Leon Thomas had embraced free jazz fully. He turned his back on the blues and his vocal style was totally …

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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. …

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EDDIE HARRIS-THE IN SOUND.

Eddie Harris-The In Sound. Label: Pure Pleasure Records. When Eddie Harris released The In Sound on Atlantic Records in late 1965, the Chicago born jazz saxophonist was thirty-four, and had already established a reputation as a versatile, inventive and innovative musician. That was despite only releasing his debut album Exodus To Jazz on Vee-Jay  Records …

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CULT CLASSIC: OLIVER NELSON-SWISS SUITE.

Cult Classic: Oliver Nelson-Swiss Suite. In 1971, Oliver Nelson and his all-star band were flown by Bob Thiele, the founder and owner of Flying Dutchman Productions, to the  Montreux Jazz Festival to showcase his latest composition, the four-part, Swiss Suite. It had been written by Oliver Nelson especially for the Montreux Jazz Festival, which was only in its fourth year. Founded …

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DR JOHN-DR JOHN’S GUMBO.

Dr John-Dr John’s Gumbo. Label: Music On Vinyl. Release Date: ‘29th’ May 2020. Success didn’t come overnight for the late, great Dr John. His first three albums failed to chart and his fourth album The Sun, Moon and Herbs stalled at 184 in the US Billboard 200 in August 1971. This was progress for one of music’s great survivors. He was on his way and returned in …

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PETE LA ROCA-BASRA. 

Pete La Roca-Basra. Label: Blue Note Records. Sadly, Pete La Roca’s career is another case of what might have been. The New York born jazz drummer only released a triumvirate of solo albums during an eventful career that promised much.  During the early years of his career he worked with Jackie McLean, John Coltrane, Tony …

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