Category Archives: Soul Jazz

ROB LUFT-LIFE IS THE DANCER.

Rob Luft-Life Is The Dancer. Label: Edition Records. When Rob Luft released his debut album Riser in July 2017, it was to widespread critical acclaim, with some critics drawing comparisons to such jazz luminaries as Wes Montgomery and Pat Metheny. This was high praise indeed for the twenty-three year old bandleader, composer, producer and guitarist from …

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INSTRUMENTAL GEMS VOL. 1: SPANISH FUNK AND GROOVE 1974/1977.

Instrumental Gems Vol. 1: Spanish Funk and Groove 1974/1977. Label: Adarce Records. During the seventies, many Spanish musicians found themselves struggling to make ends meet. Times were tough, especially for up-and-coming musicians. Some of them had dreamt of becoming a professional musician since the first started to play the guitar, bass or drums. Eventually, after years of practise, …

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DR. LONNIE SMITH-ALL IN MY MIND.

Dr. Lonnie Smith-All In My Mind. Label: Blue Note Records. Forty-six years after he left Blue Note Records, Dr. Lonnie Smith returned in 2016 and released a new studio album Evolution. It was released to critical acclaim and marked the homecoming of the last of the great soul-jazz organists. His career began in 1960, and …

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ROY BUDD-THE INTERNECINE PROJECT.

Roy Budd-The Internecine Project. Label: Trunk Records. 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 …

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CULT CLASSIC: CLAUDE LOMBARD-CHANTE.

Cult Classic: Claude Lombard-Chante. By 1969, twenty-four year old Belgian chanteuse Claude Lombard had been involved in the music industry for seven years, and had already written several scores and appeared as a session singer on numerous singles.  Claude Lombard had also represented Belgium at Eurovision Song Contest and released a number of singles during …

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MASAHIKO SATO-KAYOBI NO ONNA. 

Masahiko Sato-Kayobi No Onna. Label: Mitsuko and Svetlana Records. By 1969, Tokyo-born composer and pianist Masahiko Sato about to turn twenty-nine, and had been a professional musician since he was seventeen. He had started out accompanying magicians, singers and strippers in a cabaret in Ginza, a district of Tokyo. Now eleven years later he had …

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GRANT GREEN-NIGERIA.

Grant Green-Nigeria. Label: Blue Note Records. On January the ’13th’ 1962 Grant Green journeyed to New Jersey, and what were by now the familiar environs of the Van Gelder Studio. He was twenty-five and had already recorded eight albums for Blue Note Records since he signed for the label in 1960. Grant Green had his …

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SUN RA-CELESTIAL LOVE.

Sun Ra-Celestial Love. Label: Modern Harmonic. Nowadays, maybe music journalists are guilty of using the words innovator and musical pioneer all too freely, but that is the perfect description of the inimitable Sun Ra. He’s quite rightly regarded as one of the true pioneers of free jazz and a truly innovative and influential musician who pushed musical …

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ART BLAKEY AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS-BUHAINA’S DELIGHT. 

Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers-Buhaina’s Delight. Label: Blue Note Records. By the time Art Blakey arrived at Van Gelder Studio, in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, on the ‘28th’ of November 1961, he had just turned forty-two a month earlier, and had already established a reputation as one of the greatest jazz drummers of his …

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STANLEY TURRENTINE-COMIN’ YOUR WAY.

Stanley Turrentine-Comin’ Your Way. Label: Blue Note Records. When bandleader and saxophonist Stanley Turrentine entered Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, in New Jersey on January the ’20th’ 1961, he was twenty-six and about to record what would eventually become Comin’ Your Way.  It was the third time he had made this journey since he had signed …

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ALEX ATTIAS PRESENTS LILLYGOOD PARTY! VOLUME 2.

Alex Attias Presents LillyGood Party! Volume 2. Label: BBE Music. Release Date ‘20th’ March 2020. Thirty-two years ago in 1988,  Alex Attias decided to embark upon a career as a DJ in his home city of Lausanne, Switzerland, and began playing an eclectic selection of dancefloor friendly music.  This didn’t come as a surprise to …

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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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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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YESTERDAY HAS GONE-THE SONGS OF TEDDY RANDAZZO.

Yesterday Has Gone-The Songs Of Teddy Randazzo. Label: Ace Records. The name Teddy Randazzo means different things to different people.  To some, he’s the singer who had Billboard 100 hits with 1958s Little Serenade, 1960s The Way Of A Clown and Big Wide World in 1963. He featured in  rock revues alongside Chuck Berry and …

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CULT CLASSIC: SUE BARKER-SUE BARKER.

Cult Classic: Sue Barker-Sue Barker. Forty years ago, in 1977, Adelaide-based singer Sue Barker released what’s without doubt, one of the greatest soul-jazz albums in the history of Australian music. That album was Sue Barker, which was released on Marcus Herman’s label Crest International. The release of Sue Barker should’ve been the start of a …

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SUE BARKER-AUSTRALIA’S BEST KEPT MUSIAL SECRET-WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN.

Sue Barker-Australia’s Best Kept Musical Secret-What Might Have Been. Forty-two years ago, in 1977, Adelaide-based singer Sue Barker released what’s without doubt, one of the greatest soul-jazz albums in the history of Australian music. That album was Sue Barker, which was released on Marcus Herman’s label Crest International. The release of Sue Barker should’ve been …

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MELVIN SPARKS-FIVE FRUITFUL YEARS 1970-1975.

Melvin Sparks-Five Fruitful Years 1970-1975. 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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EMANATIVE-EARTH-VINYL.

Emanative-Earth-Vinyl. Label: Jazzman Records. Three years after the release of their third album The Light Years Of The Darkness in 2015, British jazz collective Emanative return with Earth, a new album of ambitious genre-melting music. It finds Emanative channelling the spirit of Sun Ra, but also drawing inspiration from Floating Point’s unique brand if cinematic …

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MOD JAZZ RIDES AGAIN.

Mod Jazz Rides Again. Label: Kent Dance. Twenty-two years ago in 1996, Kent Dance an imprint of Ace Records released a new compilation Mod Jazz which celebrated the music that the Modernists listened to during the sixties. Mod Jazz was released to plaudits and praise and was  a trip down memory lane for the original …

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RAMSEY LEWIS-FUNKY SERENITY, RAMSEY LEWIS’ GOLDEN HITS, SOLAR WIND AND SUN GODDESS.

Ramey Lewis-Funky Serenity, Ramsey Lewis’ Golden Hits, Solar Wind and Sun Goddess. Label: BGO Records. Not many recording artists spend sixteen years signed to the same label, but bandleader, composer and pianist Ramsey Lewis had signed to Chess Records in 1956, and his band Ramsey Lewis and The Gentlemen Of Swing their debut album later …

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