Category Archives: Spiritual Jazz

CULT CLASSIC: DOUG CARN-INFANT EYES.

Cult Classic: Doug Carn-Infant Eyes. Although Gene Russell and Dick Schory founded Black Jazz Records in 1969, two years passed before the nascent label released its first album. This was Gene Russell’s sophomore album New Direction which was released in 1971. It was the first of twenty albums by a label that was very different …

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CULT CLASSIC: RUDOLPH JOHNSON-SPRING RAIN.

Cult Classic: Rudolph Johnson-Spring Rain. 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 vision for their new label. They were determined that …

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CULT CLASSIC: THE AWAKENING-HEAR, SENSE AND FEEL.

Cult Classic: The Awakening-Hear, Sense and Feel. 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 music The Awakening recorded. It …

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IMPULSE RECORDS: MUSIC, MESSAGE AND THE MOMENT.

Impulse Records: Music, Message and The Moment. Label: Impulse. Format: 2CD Set. The roots of Impulse! can be traced to 1955 when the American Broadcasting Company decided the time was right to diversify into the record business. History was made on June ‘14th’ 1955 when  Am-Par Record Corporation was incorporated and Samuel H. Clark became …

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DOUG CARN-INFANT EYES

Doug Carn-Infant Eyes. Label: Real Gone Music. Format: CD. Although Gene Russell and Dick Schory founded Black Jazz Records in 1969, two years passed before the nascent label released its first album. This was Gene Russell’s sophomore album New Direction which was released in 1971. It was the first of twenty albums by a label …

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RUDOLPH JOHNSON-SPRING RAIN.

Rudolph Johnson-Spring Rain. Label: Real Gone Music. Format: CD. 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 vision for their new label. …

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CULT CLASSIC: RALPH THOMAS-EASTERN STANDARD TIME.

Cult Classic: Ralph Thomas-Eastern Standard Time. Back in 1980, saxophonist and flautist Ralph Thomas released his debut album Eastern Standard Time  on the obscure Zebra Jazz imprint. Sadly, when this future spiritual jazz cult classic failed to find  the audience it deserved until much later.  By then, copies of Eastern Standard Time  were almost impossible to find, and …

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ODED TZUR-HERE BE DRAGONS.

Oded Tzur-Here Be Dragons. Label: ECM. Format: CD. In 2015, thirty-one year old Israeli tenor saxophonist Oded Tzur released his much-anticipated debut solo album Like A Great River on Enja Records. It was released to plaudits and praise with critics heaping praise on a pioneering musician who had developed his own saxophone technique which he …

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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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IDRIS ACKAMOOR AND THE PYRAMIDS- SHAMAN!

Idris Ackamoor and The Pyramids-Shaman! Label: Strut. Nowadays, not many groups are still together after forty-seven years. Many groups call time on their career after three or four albums citing “artistic differences” but are keen to reassure their fans that they’re “still friends” and that the band had “run its course.” This has happened to some of …

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CULT CLASSIC: MICHAEL COSMIC-PEACE IN THE WORLD AND PHILL MUSRA GROUP-CREATOR SPACES.

Cult Classic: Michael Cosmic-Peace In The World and Phill Musra Group-Creator Spaces. In the fifties, there was a growing dissatisfaction at the limitations and constraints of bebop, hard bop and modal jazz, which was why a group of pioneering musicians decided that the time had come to alter, extend, or break down jazz conventions. This …

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CULT CLASSIC: THE LIGHTMEN-FREE AS YOU WANNA BE.

Cult Classic: The Lightmen-Free As You Wanna Be. Before founding The Lightmen, drummer, bandleader and political activist Bubbha Thomas had toured the length and breadth of America playing in R&B revues. The rest of his career had been spent working alongside the legends of jazz and playing on sessions for Peacock and Back Beat Records. However, …

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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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IF MUSIC PRESENTS YOU NEED THIS-A JOURNEY INTO DEEP JAZZ VOL. 3

IF Music Presents You Need This–A Journey Into Deep Jazz Vol. 3. BBE Music. Album Of The Week. For the best part of four decades, Jean-Claude Thompson has been one of the leading lights of London’s vibrant and eclectic music scene. Since 1990, he’s been one half of production duo The Amalgamation Of Soundz who have …

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A NEW LIFE VOLUME II-VINYL.

A New Life Volume II-Vinyl. Label: Jazzman Records Three years ago in 2015, Jazzman Records released A New Life, their critically acclaimed compilation of British jazz. This is no ordinary jazz compilation though. Instead, A New Life featured tracks from private pressings and hidden gems released by independent labels. So successful was A New Life …

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JOHN COLTRANE-1963: NEW DIRECTIONS-VINYL.

John Coltrane-1963: New Directions-Vinyl. Label: Impulse! As 1963 dawned, John Coltrane was at the peak of his powers and was already regarded as one of the greatest tenor saxophonists of his generation. However, the previous year 1962, had been somewhat disappointing by his high standards. Neither of the two albums he released in 1962, Ballads …

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THE LIGHTMEN-FREE AS YOU WANNA BE-VINYL.

The Lightmen-Free As You Wanna Be-Vinyl. Label: Now Again Records. Before founding The Lightmen, drummer, bandleader and political activist Bubbha Thomas had toured the length and breadth of America playing in R&B revues. The rest of his career had been spent working alongside the legends of jazz and playing on sessions for Peacock and Back …

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IDRIS ACKAMOOR AND THE PYRAMIDS- AN ANGEL FELL-VINYL.

Idris Ackamoor and The Pyramids-An Angel Fell-Vinyl. Label: Strut. Bruce Baker in was born in 1951, and grew up in Chicago, before moving to Ohio, where he studied at Antioch College, which was where he first encountered jazz pianist Cecil Taylor and became part of his Black Music Ensemble. Cecil Taylor also mentored Idris Ackamoor, …

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A NEW LIFE VOLUME II.

A New Life Volume II. Label: Jazzman Records Three years ago in 2015, Jazzman Records released A New Life, their critically acclaimed compilation of British jazz. This is no ordinary jazz compilation though. Instead, A New Life featured tracks from private pressings and hidden gems released by independent labels. So successful was A New Life …

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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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