Τετάρτη, 30 Μαΐου 2012

King Curtis - Live At Fillmore West [1971]

     King Curtis and The King-Pins came into the famed Filmore West in 1968 to provide backup for Aretha Franklin. At this time in his career, he was branching out as a producer and music arranger for Freddie King, Aretha and others. It was a last minute cancelation that brought Curtis and his formitable band onto the concert stage for this legendary performance. As Otis Redding had done in Monterey, Curtis seduced the largely white hippie audience and won them over.
The set largely consists of soul staples the band had honed and perfected while on the chitlin circuit; Memphis Soul Stew, Soul Serenade, Freddie King's I Stand Accused and Stevie Wonder's big hit Signed Sealed & Delivered I'm Yours. Curtis rounds it out with with contemporary top 40 material such as Procol Harum's Whiter Shade Of Pale, Jeffery Jeff Walker's Mr. Bojangles and Led Zeplin's Whole Lot Of Love. Check out the audience reaction. These kids couldn't get enough of the King.
    Unfortunately, this was one of the last recorded appearences by this great alto player with the soulful wail and impecable phrasing. Several months later, he was stabed outside his New York City apartment house.Although throughout his career Curtis turned in consistantly excellent material, this is without a doubt, his most inspired live recording. 


Τρίτη, 29 Μαΐου 2012

Alvin Robinson - Shine On [1988]

    Classic New Orleans soul from Alvin Robinson. Alvin's got a voice that's completely unique – full and proud, but with this kind of raspy, shallow quality too – a blend that really sets him apart from anyone else we can think of, and which has always made his cuts instantly memorable! The material here is one of the first full collections we've seen of Alvin's great music – a mixture of singles from the Red Bird, Blue Cat, Tiger, and Imperial labels. Most grooves are nice and chunky – that gritty New Orleans funky mode of the 60s, but inflected with an even harder New York approach too.


Δευτέρα, 28 Μαΐου 2012

The Equatics - Doin' It!!! [1972]

   Rare 70s funky soul from The Equatics – just the kind of record that keeps us digging and still excited after all these years – resurrected by the like minded diggers at Now Again! You know the kind of album we're talking about, the ones you come across with enigmatic cover art, no names on the back you recognize or even anything indicating where or when it's from. Then you take a spin and it's the real thing from the get go! The production is nice and raw but not ragged, and a funky vibe that groups today emulate but just can't recapture. This set's mid 70s R&B, mostly instrumental but with a few vocal numbers, all nicely done up in a very groovy, funky fashion. There's a couple of nice covers, like their Isaac Hayes-ish take on "Walk On By" and a nice rendition of "Ain't No Sunshine", but the rest of the set's mostly originals, like "Merry-Go-Round" and some nice raggedy instrumentals like "What They Doin?", "Santana" done up in parts 1 and 2 (maybe on a 45 somewhere. . .), "Cisco Fare" and the jazzy "The Touch Of You". Amazing!


Σάββατο, 26 Μαΐου 2012

Captain Beefheart - Strictly Personal [1968]

‘Strictly Personal’ became something of a cause celebre in Captain Beefheart’s oeuvre- the man himself disowned the album due to the psychedelic period production trappings added to the mix by producer Bob Krasnow, in order to make the music a little bit more palatable to a demographic used to the psychedelic sound. In retrospect, Krasnow’s decision was understandable- in its original state, this music was not easy to categorise and, therefore, sell to the general public. However, Beefheart’s music is definitely not psychedelia and nowadays, perhaps the music sounds more of its time than it may have done. Nevertheless, ‘Strictly Personal’ remains an excellent entree into the world of Captain Beefheart, being a little less avant garde than the follow-up ‘Trout Mask Replica’, but also a little bit more abstract than 1967′s ‘Safe As Milk’.


Παρασκευή, 25 Μαΐου 2012

Alton & Hortense Ellis At Studio One '65-'67 [1990]

  This CD, to the best of my knowledge, was never a proper LP. Rather, it is a collection of singles. They are either duets or solo performances, from sometime in the mid to late-60's, the peak of the rock steady period (which was basically Jamaican interpretations of the Detroit and Memphis R&B scenes).
   To the unacquainted: Alton, at this stage in his career, was the Jamaican Marvin Gaye and on these performances espescially, the subtle nuances (use of breath sounds, vibrato, etc.) of his voice are without fault. He gives the impression that he can bend and shape a tone at will. Now, on the other hand, Hortense displays an Astrud Gilberto-esque innocence. It's as though she's singing, not as a professional but, as a result of having actually lived the tribulations behind these love songs.
   Amazing productiuon and engineering. Tactful and subtle musicianship. And other than the altered "Breakfast in Bed" (a racy little tune that, as the metaphors reveal themselves, makes one wonder how it actually recieved airplay), none of the songs have been remixed or dubbed over. These are classic rock steady performences that rival America's best and most soulful moments.If you've got friends that can't get past the (horribly misinterpreted) hippie stigma of reggae, this is the record that will win them over!


Τρίτη, 22 Μαΐου 2012

Okay Temiz & Johnny Dyani - Witchdoctor's Son [1976]

 This album is a great combination between jazz and traditional  music with a lot of experimentation.Okay Temiz and Johnny Dyani as a driving force create an amazing rhythm section that Saffet Gundeger with his clarinet and Gunnar Bergsten with barytone sax combine a beautiful mix of east and western melodies.This album created during the period that Temiz and Dyani were running a jazz club in Istanbul.Not to be confused with the same named album that Dyani made in 1978 with different musicians.


Σάββατο, 19 Μαΐου 2012

Vaya Con Dios - Vaya Con Dios [1988] & Night Owls [1990]

  World-class group centered around the personality of singer Dani Klein, a fantastic woman who had previously developed a career as a backing vocalist for many Belgian groups.
    The story of Vaya Con Dios (a Spanish phrase which means "go with god") started in 1986. The group was formed by Dani Klein, Dirk Schoufs and Willy Lambregt . Their first release, the single "Just a friend of mine" characterizes the group with its love for Spanish-influenced music and acoustic instruments. It becomes an overnight hit (300.000 sold copies in France) and their career is on the way.
    Willy decides to spend all his time with the Scabs (Vaya Con Dios wasn't "rock'n'roll" enough) and the first full album is recorded with session musicians. The singles "Puerto Rico" and "Don't cry for Louie" open even more doors for the group.
    The second album continues the success story (with hits like the melancholic "What's a woman" and the joyous European hit "Nah neh nah"). The influence of Spanish flamenco shifts to "old American jukebox hits although with unmistakable influences from gypsy music and French chanson" .

                                                Enjoy!      Vaya Con Dios


                                               Enjoy!      Night Owls

Τετάρτη, 16 Μαΐου 2012

V/A - Good God! A Gospel Funk Hymnal

  A killer killer compilation – the sort we've been dying to own for years! It's a well known fact that there's plenty of funky nuggets hidden amidst 70s gospel recordings – massive grooves and break-heavy tracks that rank right up there with the best indie funk from the same time. Yet tracking down these tunes has always been plenty tough – given that most gospel records sold in different circles, had different distribution, and often are less easy to decipher for the crate digger than more conventional funk and soul. Enter the folks at Numero – who have really gone all out this time around, and dug through piles and piles of rare gospel records to come up with a whopping batch of great tracks! This set is definitely ground zero for getting into funky gospel – and it's filled with far more obscure work than the Soul Gospel set on Soul Jazz – all indie numbers from small labels that only got minor distribution at the time. As usual with Numero, the notes and package match the soulful depth and righteousness of the music – and the set is one of the most perfectly wrapped-up genre compilations we've ever seen! 


Δευτέρα, 14 Μαΐου 2012

Har-You Percussion Group - Har-You Percussion Group [1969]

   A legendary bit of Latin from the New York scene of the 60s – recorded by a host of youthful players working under the direction of percussionist Montego Joe! The group's name is a contraction of "Harlem Youth" – a program in which all players participated, as part of an effort to get kids involved in music uptown – spearheaded by Montego Joe, whose guidance in the set is greatly appreciated! There's a strong Latin Soul vibe running through the set – but one that's different than Joe's other work, a bit more rootsy at times, given all the percussion in the lineup – but warmed up nicely with bits of guitar, trumpet, and alto sax. The album's filled with great groovers – including the classic "Welcome To The Party", and the amazing "Oua-Train" jazz cut, which has a slightly spiritual feel. Other tracks include "Feed Me Good", "Barrets Bag", "Tico", "Ngoma", and "Santa Cruz".


TRT Ara Müzikleri 1

 Amazing compilation from famous turkish jazz and folk musicians , 12 great traditional folk songs blended with jazzy groovy sounds. These songs were recorded for turkish national television and radio in the early 70's.

                               Yonca Stüdyo Ork. - Yunus

it includes the super groovy track:
                               Çeçen kýzý by Nathan Davis & Emin Fýndýkoðlu


Κυριακή, 13 Μαΐου 2012

The Folkswingers - Raga Rock [1966]

  This heady blend of instrumental pop covers, fuzzed-up guitars and sitar is a kitsch blast from start to finish. Featuring the cream of LA’s session players alongside sitar virtuoso Harihar Rao (Ravi Shankar’s senior disciple), it was originally released in 1966, showing itself to be the first  ‘sitarsploitation’ album ever recorded.


Πέμπτη, 10 Μαΐου 2012

The Joe Meek Collection - Intergalactic Instros [1960-1966]

    This is a highly unusual compilation of murky instrumentals produced by home studio wizard Joe Meek in the early 60s. Some of the tracks are super-cool twangy, spooky masterpieces, but more often the tracks have more of a 50s edge, perhaps reflecting Meek's obsession with Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochrane. Probably the best tracks on here are 'Night of the Vampire' by the Moontrekkers and 'the spook walks' by the Spooks. Both are dirty, swampy spacey sounding early 60s instrumentals which capture a very cool sound.One incredibly interesting bonus on the disc is the original demo of Joe Meek humming the tune to 'telstar' over a backing track, with loads of echo. He loses his way a few times. It is pretty cool.


Τετάρτη, 9 Μαΐου 2012

The Bulgarian Voices 'Angelite' & Moscow Art Trio with Huun-Huur-Tu - Mountain Tale [1998]

"Music is the universal language," so the cliché goes. In Mountain Tale, East and West, folk and classical, come together to speak in tongues quite unlike any heard before.
You probably have heard the celebrated Bulgarian Voices (also known as Angelite): a glittering ladies choir that interprets their country's diverse Eastern and Western folk legacy with astonishingly bright and complex harmonies and rhythms. And you've probably heard the equally unforgettable Tuvan throat-singers (also known as Huun-Huur-Tu) of Mongolia, as masculine and guttural as the Voices are luminously feminine.
Who would have thought this yin-yang of celestial songbirds and enchanted frogs could blend so well? Mikhail Alperin, visionary leader of the classical/folk/jazz Moscow Art Trio, that's who.
The innovative Moscow Art Trio is the glue that holds together the record's fabulous 28-piece multicultural ensemble of singers and musicians (funky ethnic instruments, grand piano, flugelhorn. . .). Alperin has written or arranged all but one of the ten mostly traditional songs with "new music" sophistication, yet penetrating directness and purity. It's impossible to underestimate the contribution of the Trio's Sergey Starostin. On almost every track his bluesy, tenor wail—lyrics in Russian—bridges Bulgarian Heaven and Tuvan Earth with Slavic soul. You just have to hear this enchanted goulash to believe it.


Σάββατο, 5 Μαΐου 2012

Ike Turner presents Family Vibes - Strange Fruit [1972]

In 1972 a new creative and artistic season began for Ike Turner, while his power-duo (with presumed wife Tina Turner) was suddenly treading water mainly for him losing interest in the project. In this period his solo career was flourishing and brilliant: in 1972 and 1973 he released four records, two credited to him and two credited to The Family Vibes (such as this case).

In fact, The Family Vibes were not an actual band or a static one: they were just the various musicians backing the duo live and in the studio (more or less the same people credited as Ike Turner & The Kings of Rhythm), with an ever changing line up of skilled musicians at the service of Mr. Turner; so no one will be surprised if Strange Fruit is the ideal follow up to A Black Man's Soul (both featuring Ike on piano and being totally instrumental), taking to the extreme consequencies the instrumental funk-rock-blues of that record.

In Strange Fruit the band sounds close-knit as never before, with Ike's compositions greatly arranged in a very complex (but not overtly bombastic) way; the melodic structures are more meditated (Happy but Lonely, I-8-1-2: the standout tracks). A certain tendency to fruitful improvisation is also enjoyable in the record; overall a very interesting album, sure one of the masterpieces of Ike Turner's discography.


Πέμπτη, 3 Μαΐου 2012

Dave Baby Cortez - Organ Shindig & Tweetie Pie & In Orbit [1965-1966]

 From the U.K.-based Sequel Records imprint comes this unique collection containing all three long-players cut by Dave "Baby" Cortez (organ) for Roulette circa 1965 and 1966. The respective platters in question are Organ Shindig (1965), Tweety Pie (1965) and In Orbit With Dave "Baby" Cortez (1966).
 The vast majority of the material comprising the first two LPs cross a fairly broad spectrum of concurrently popular tunes. Sadly, none of the support musicians are credited. Although no particular instrumentalist stands out from the rest, they provide Cortez a platform similar to that of the infamous Wrecking Crew. 
 In Orbit With Dave "Baby" Cortez produced a completely different feel. Among the changes are the heavy jazz vibe, recalling the likes of Jimmy Smith. There are also omnipresent background singers and a horn section that, at times, supplies more of the melody than Cortez does.


Τρίτη, 1 Μαΐου 2012

Charles Wright - Rhythm and Poetry [1972]

  The first solo album by Charles Wright – and a really mindblowing set that shows that he was the key psychedelic force in the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band! The set's got a much more stoner funk approach than ever before – one that's clearly fascinated with the bassy "rhythm" of the title, but which also has Wright really leaning into some soulful lyrics that represent the "poetry" of the set. A few of the cuts on the album go for quite a long stretch – especially the messed-up jam "Soul Train", which is almost a Funkadelic number, and the really crazy "Run Jody Run", a 13 minute jam filled with heavy guitars, soulful horns, and some mad shouted lyrics by Charles! Other tracks are mixture of soul and funk, and titles include "Girl Don't Let Me Down", "Just Free Your Mind", "Good Things", and a trippy cover of "Here Comes The Sun".