Larry Coryell - Fallen Angel (1993)

On Fallen Angel, Larry Coryell teams up with arranger Don Sebesky to produce a wide-ranging album full of sampled sounds and programmed tracks in an attempt to mix the old CTI sound of the '70s with the production techniques and rhythms of the '90s. "Inner City Blues" kicks things off with great promise, as Coryell jams over a pre-programmed rhythm track with background vocalists. On "(Angel on Sunset) Bumpin' on Sunset," he improvises along with a sampled Wes Montgomery, then turns Erroll Garner's classic "Misty" into a mid-tempo reggae jaunt through which he and pianist Mulgrew Miller travel lightly. The CTI connection is brought to the forefront with a remake of Deodato's "2001" hit called "Thus Spoke Z," on which the famous theme is implied but never stated. Other highlights include a funky, angular tribute called "Monk's Corner," Sebesky's attractive "I Remember Bill" and the solo "Westerly Wind." There are also two pleasant smooth jazz vocal pieces at the front of the album, the beautiful ballad, "Fallen," a duet between vocalists Klyde Jones and Jeanie Bryson, and the funky made-for-radio "Never Never," featuring saxophonist Richard Elliot and a vocal from Ms. Jones.

Fallen Angel was obviously an attempt to find Larry Coryell a place on the smooth jazz playlist, a task it didn't really accomplish. While it is not likely to appease those who bemoan the guitarist's failure to live up to his initial promise, it can be enjoyed if taken on its own terms. (by Jim Newsom)

Nico Assumpção (bass)
Luiz Avellar (keyboards)
Jeanie Bryson (vocals)
Dori Caymmi (guitar, vocals)
Billy Cobham (drums)
Larry Coryell (guitar)
Richard Elliot (saxophone)
Donald Harrison (saxophone)
Chris Hunter (saxophone)
Klyde Jones (vocals)
Jamie Lawrence (synthesizer)
Romero Lubambo (guitar)
Mulgrew Miller (piano)
Monica Millet (percussion)
Márcio Montarroyos (trumpet)
Wes Montgomery (guitar)
Tiao Oliveira (percussion)
Ted Rosenthal (piano)
Don Sebesky (synthesizer)

01. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) (Gaye/Nyx, Jr.) 3.31
02. Fallen (Wood) 3.45
Never Never (Jones/Sebesky) 3.34
04. Angel On Sunset (Montgomery/Sebesky) 5.40
05. Stardust (Carmichael/Parish) 0.54
06. Misty (Garner) 4.31
I Remember Bill (Sebesky) 3.07
Pieta (Rachmaninoff) 5.52
Thus Spoke Z (Coryell) 4.49
Stella By Starlight (Washington/Young) 4.32
11. Monk's Corner (Coryell/Sebesky) 6.25
12. Westerly Wind (Coryell) 2.03
The Moors (Coryell) 2.53

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ARMU 2127 (zippyshare)

Bola Sete - At the Monterey Jazz Festival

The late guitarist Djalma de Andrada gained the Portuguese nickname Bola Sete or ("seven ball" in English) for the single black ball in the game of billiards (not to be confused with the eight ball of pool) because he was the only black player in a Brazilian jazz group. Like many of his compatriots during the 1960s influx of Brazilian musicians to America, Bola Sete had roots in both Brazil’s European classical and African folk traditions. But he was also strongly influenced by jazz masters such as Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, and especially Barney Kessel, and he developed a jazz-based, steely-toned acoustic guitar style. Bola Sete at the Monterey Jazz Festival captures a remarkable live set from 1966. Bola Sete’s love of jazz played a large part in shaping his career in the States. After he joined pianist Vince Guaraldi’s trio on the West Coast, he was heard by the great trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie in 1962. Gillespie raved about his Brazilian Afro-jazz fusion, and by the time the concert documented here took place, Bola Sete had formed his own combo. On this set, which features a medley of songs from the movie Black Orpheus and two original compositions, including an exquisitely Brazilian "Flamenco", the players catch fire. There is brilliant interplay among the guitarist and drummer Paulinho Da Costa, virtuosic on a range of percussion instruments that create a true street-samba feel; the sensitive bassist Sebastião Neto; and the audience, whose roars of approval create an ideal, Carnival-like excitement around the music. - from the cdcover

Nine months before a certain other guitarist made a huge splash at a Monterey music festival, Brazilian acoustic guitarist Bola Sete left his own mark on an American jazz audience still feeding its voracious appetite for all things Brazilian. To be sure, Bola Sete didn't sneak up on the American public quite like Jimi Hendrix did--after all, Sete had made waves as part of Vince Guaraldi's ensemble in the years leading up to this historic 1966 performance. The classically trained Sete wowed fans with a unique style that seemed to fall somewhere between Andres Segovia's elegance and Django Reinhardt's exuberance, a space not as wide as you might think. By the summer of '66, Sete had graduated to his own trio with bassist Sebastiao Neto and percussion master Paulinho Da Costa.The centerpiece of this performance is the three-song "Black Orpheus" Medley," but Sete adds a pair of noteworthy originals. "Soul Samba" has subtle blues inflections that remind you that Barney Kessel was the first jazz guitarist to catch his ear. "Flamenco" is a simply stunning solo performance that blends challenging chording with incredibly speedy single-note runs, and offers the most overt example of his comfort with the folk traditions of his homeland. At some points, he amazingly plays his own bass accompaniment to his upper-register notes. This long-overdue 2000 CD reissue fleshes out the original LP release by adding 4 minutes to the medley as well as 2 unreleased cuts (with poorer sound quality) from the show, including a bossa nova arrangement of Ellington's "Satin Doll." - by Marc Greilsamer, AMG

Artist: Bola Sete
Album: Bola Sete at the Monterey Jazz Festival
Year: 1966
Label: Verve
Runtime: 46:23

1.  Black Orpheus Medley: Manha De Carnaval/A Felicidade (Adieu Tristesse)/Samba De Orfeu (Luiz Bonfá/Antonio Carlos Jobim) 17:28
2.  Soul Samba (Bola Sete) 6:47
3.  Flamenco (Bola Sete) 8:32
4.  Spoken Introduction 0:39
5.  Coisa Numero Um (Clovis Mello/Moacir Santos) 5:01
6.  Satin Doll (Duke Ellington/Johnny Mercer/Billy Strayhorn) 7:56

Bola Sete (Guitar)
Sebastiao Neto (Bass and Percussion)
Paulinho Da Costa (Drums)

Okko - Sitar & Electronics (1971)

Apparently Dutch-born, Okko Bekker is quoted as first appearing on the German music scene in the late-1960's when in Hamburg he first struck up a friendship with the then very young Asmus Tietchens. His early work with Asmus is documented on the newly released "Adventures In Sound".

After extensive musical and technical studies, Okko went on to become an ethnomusicologist and dabbler with electronics, with a range of musical exploration that has been very wide-ranging. He debuted under the sole moniker "Okko" in 1971 with the amusingly chic album SITAR & ELECTRONICS, which sounded like a hybrid of Ananda Shankar and those cheesy "synth goes classic" type of albums. It's a record that has some great moments, but is now so very dated. His other solo work is unknown to us, yet we do know of his involvement in the project Frank David Selection, and he also worked as a session musician in various Hamburg studios, notably with Achim Reichel, and also the "pop Schlager" outfit Okko, Lonzo, Berry, Chris & Django.

As if he were a different person, Okko reappeared in the project Liliental, an album that re-cemented his ongoing partnership as producer and assistant with Asmus Tietchens, with whom he has worked with extensively, and also done a few direct collaborations. (by Crack in the cosmic egg)

In other words: it´s an exciting cosmic trip !

Simon Alcott (synthesizer, guitar)
Okko Bekker (sitar, synthesizer, tabla, guitar)
Herb Geller (flute)
Peter Haesslein (guitar)


01. A Day In The Life (Lennon/McCartney) 4.44
02. Ganges Delta (Humphries/Binder/Bekker) 3.15  
03. Himalaya Highway
(Humphries/Binder/Bekker) 4.21  
04. East Indian Traffic
(Humphries/Binder/Bekker) 4.10  
05. If I Needed Someone (Harrison) 3.07
06. Shivas Lullaby
(Humphries/Binder/Bekker) 3.28  
07. Painted Sails On Ganges
(Humphries/Binder/Bekker) 6.30  
08. Santana
(Humphries/Binder/Bekker) 4.02    
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ARMU 2126 (zippyshare)


On moving to Canada from his original home of Haiti, pianist and singer/songwriter Henri-Pierre Noel brought with him much of the tropical island's influences. The 'Kompa Funk' sounds of his homeland, alongside contemporary North American jazz and disco, run throughout both of Henri's albums recorded in the late 1970s; Piano and One More Step. Both were released on very limited private presses and have since become holy grails of the black music scene.
Henri-Pierre Noel is an incredibly versatile musician who uses the piano in a very percussive and syncopated way, almost like a drum. This particular technique naturally brings disco and afro-funk elements into his unique brand of dance floor fusion.

The man himself is still playing in his adopted home of Montreal today, and having been introduced to Wah Wah 45s label boss Dom Servini by Canadian DJs Kobal, Moonstarr and Andy Williams, who were all keen fans of his early works, it became clear that Noel's finest moments needed to be re-released and re-discovered by a new generation.

Re-mastered from the original multi-track tapes by Kevin Moonstarr in Canada, and featuring a previously unreleased vocal version of album favourite Merci Bon Dieu, Henri-Pierre Noel's debut, Piano, is finally available to all on heavyweight vinyl, CD and digital formats - including full sleeve notes translated into both French and English.



The Alone Together project from producer, beatmaker and instrumentalist Karriem Riggins – who's a brilliant jazz drummer, when that's what he wants to do – and he's also a beat-heavy hip hop production guru when duty calls! Alone Together finds Karriem wearing his hip hop instrumentalist hat, and he wears it very well – in a way that reminds us a bit of fellow Detroit-raised maestro J Dilla. Karriem's pedigree as a live drummer informs his MPC 3000 experimentation very nicely, too – as he holds an insistent jazzy soul beat underneath boundless sampler atmosphere. Alone Together has 34 tracks in all: "Round The Outside", "Moogy Foog It", "Orbiiz", "Forward Motion", "Esperanza", "Africa", "Double Trouble", "Ding Dong Bells", "Belle Isle Reprise", "Tom Toms", "Because", "Boy Is Doin It Right", "Back In Brazil", "Live At Berts", "Voyager 5000", "Matador", "Bring That Beat Back (Next Time)", "J Dilla The Greatest" and more. ~ Dusty Groove


Soaring, soulful sounds from Kylie Auldist – maybe the best so far from this up-and-coming singer! The vocalist gets superb help from Lance Ferguson, of The Bamboos – and together, they both explore a mode that's more swinging 60s mod than some of Lance's usual funk – an upbeat, joyous groove that's some of the best female blue-eyed soul we've heard in years! Instrumentation is filled with great grooves and lots of bouncy brass – and titles include "Still Life", "Counting On You", "Changes", "Daydream", "Nothin Else To Beat Me", and "All In You". ~ Dusty Groove


A great little project that's very much in the same spirit as the Havana Cultura project on Brownswood – a set that features British producer Mala working with a host of contemporary Cuban musicians – all in a groove that takes their roots, and pushes them very firmly towards the future! Mala's not shy about his input here – and really works a lot of electronics and production techniques throughout the set – taking the core acoustic sounds, and moves them into some of the more 21st Century modes that you'd hear from other artists on Brownswood! Things get somewhat abstract at times, yet still have plenty of soul – and titles include "Ghost", "Curfew", "The Tourist", "Change", "Noches Suenos", "The Tunnel", "Mulata", and "Tribal". ~ Dusty Groove



I have to admit to having a certain seasonal weakness for the timeless ‘Baby, It's Cold Outside’ that despite being written in 1944 carries with it a festive charm which never gets old. Up until now my favorite version has always been that recorded by James Taylor in collaboration with Natalie Cole and hidden away on Taylor’s little known CD ‘A Christmas Album’ which was only ever available from Hallmark stores. However, right up there with it is a brand new and very different interpretation by soul icons Jeffrey Osborne and Chaka Khan. In fact it is the first single from Osborne’s upcoming project ‘A Time For Love’ and is sure to be a sumptuous stocking filler for the holiday season. Produced by George Duke, and due for release in February 2013, ‘A Time For Love’ is a collection of American standards spanning the four decades from the 40's to the 70's. With featured guest performances from Paul Jackson Jr., Christian McBride and John Roberts ‘A Time For Love’ will certainly be one to watch. ~


The musical journey of Silvana Kane has led the Vancouver-based singer on an intriguing global voyage through classical training and an industry-created girl band to improvisational club jams and freedom-songs-turned-lullabies. Vocalist for Six Degrees Records artist Pacifika, Kane’s debut solo album, La Jardinera, is her most personal and stunning effort to date. Comprised predominantly of Latin American cover songs by her favorite singers and composers—including Chabuca Granda, Mercedes Sosa and Violeta Parra—Kane has transformed songs of revolt and love into an exquisite collection of stunning ballads. Release date is November 13. ~ Six Degrees


The third in the surprisingly strong Brownswood Electric series – in which Gilles Peterson carefully peruses the leftfield electronic underground and puts together some of best, brightest and most worthy of discovery! We love both the eclecticism and the overall uniqueness of each track here. Gilles not only has excellent taste in modern sounds, but he has a great ear for odder, genre-defying material that avoid temporary trendiness. It's got some dancefloor ready neo-house, tripped out hip hop indebted instros, spacey keyboard textured tunes and more. Includes "Makin' Magic" by Krampfhaft, "Tiny Concrete Block" by Kidsuke, "Nothing" by Lost Twin, "Tride & Tride" by Anushka, "Girl" by Aftawerks, "Bootney Farnsworth" by Metabeats, "Hot Rain" by Pomrad, "Kick It VIP" by Frank Rodasm, "Never Been (Electr*c VIP" by Dub Phixion feat Fox and more. ~ Dusty Groove

Halloween Update

Sorry folks for the radio silence lately. Things have just been too busy in the past week for much blogging what with putting together another successful Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble big band concert last Friday with our very special guest Sean Jones on trpt and then spending the weekend in the studio recording bassist Rubim de Toledo's new album (featuring Jones as well). There were a couple tricky arrangements for us to navigate and I'll blog more about my approach to playing Rubim's clever tunes in 11/8 and 15/8 in a later post. To top it all off I've been sick with some kind of stomach flu the entire time...

I'm going to be in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan this week presenting some sessions on big band drumming at the the annual Saskatchewan Music Educators convention so there won't be any updates here until I get back next week.

In the meantime, check out this track from a KILLING Jim Hall live album featuring Terry Clarke on drums and Don Thompson on bass (recorded in Toronto cira. 1975 at the famed Bourbon Street):

Thanks to Mark Griffiths from soggy New Jersey who hipped me to this gem. According to Mark this album, for guitarists, is the equivalent of the Bill Evans trio meets Miles' Plugged Nickel sessions! Apparently the unreleased tracks from the gigs will soon see the light of day and I'll be sure to grab them when they do.

Thanks again for your support and see you all next week!

The Band - Woodstock (1969)

One of the most appreciated bands, The Band, started on Sunday, the 17th at ca. 10.00 pm. They were known for excellent Folk-Rock, almost better than most US-based Folk bands, succeeding their mentor and former employer Bob Dylan.

What can be said about this set? This is the renaissance of Folk-Rock performed at this historic musical event. "I Shall Be Released" is played so sweet that even Mr. Dylan would have smiled.

The Band had only one album by hand so far: The cult album Music From Big Pink, released in 1968. But their music didn't fall short. In fact they had been around for many years. They played seven of the eleven songs from that album, taking a careful try at Bob Dylan, too but not as excessive as for instance The Byrds. "The Weight" is their last song (before the encore), a song that was already made famous by the biker movie Easy Rider.(by woodstock.wikia)

Rick Danko (bass, vocals)
Levon Helm (drums, vocals, mandolin)
Garth Hudson (keyboards, clavinet, synthesizer, saxophone)
Richard Manuel (keyboards, vocals, drums)

Robbie Robertson (guitar, vocals)

01. Chest Fever (Robertson) 5.44
02. Don't Do It (Dozier/Holland) 4.22
03. Tears Of Rage (Dylan/Manuel) 5.37
04. We Can Talk (Manuel) 3.13
05. Long Black Veil (Dill/Wilkin) 3.08
06. Don't Ya Tell Henry (Dylan) 3.46
07. Ain't No More Cane On The Brazos (Traditional) 4.40
08. This Wheel 's On Fire (Danko/Dylan) 3.52
09. I Shall Be Release (Dylan) 3.49
10. The Weight (Robertson) 5.06
11. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever (Hunter/Wonder) 5.14

Alternate frontcovers

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ARMU 2125 (zippyshare)

Marshall Tucker Band - Searchin´ For A Rainbow (1975)

Old West dreams meet Southern memories in the tracks of Searchin’ for a Rainbow, The Marshall Tucker Band’s fourth album. Released in 1975, this song collection found the group refining its multi-faceted sound into an appealing country-rock essence. Still present were the jazz and blues-based elements that had always made Marshall Tucker a distinctive unit. By dressing up their music in Western garb, the band found a way to reach a huge new audience—all it took was a little "Fire On The Mountain" to light the way. "We’d found a bit more direction on how to design songs for a record," says lead singer Doug Gray. "Our record company Capricorn had always said, ‘Try to give us something that would work on the radio.’ We tried to do that, and at the same time please each other. We were known as a jamming band. This was the first time we really tried to give them Marshall Tucker’s interpretation of what a hit song was." Helping to spur things on was "Fire On The Mountain," the lead track off Searchin’ for a Rainbow. Released as a single in the fall of ’75, the tune reached #38 on the pop charts. A vivid, Old West, lyric-storyline combined with bluegrass-tinged instrumental licks and an ear-grabbing chorus brought Marshall Tucker its first Top 40 hit.

Toy Caldwell (guitar, vocals)
Tom Caldwell (bass)
Doug Gray (vocals, percussion)
Jerry Eubanks: saxophone, flute, keyboards, vocals)
George McCorkle (guitar, banjo)
Paul Riddle (drums)


01. Fire On The Mountain (McCorkle) 3.57
02. Searchin´ For A Rainbow (Caldwell) 3.52
03. Walkin´And Talkin´(Caldwell) 2.30
04. Virginia (Caldwell) 4.56
05. Bob Away The Blues (Caldwell) 2.47
06. Keeps Me From All Wrong (Caldwell) 4.17
07. Bound And Deternined (Caldwell) 4.24
08. Can´t You See (live) (Caldwell) 6.28
09. It Takes Time (live) (Caldwell) 3.43

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ARMU 2124 (zippyshare)

Albert Mangelsdorff Septet - Lindau (1961)

If hurried, the trombone tends to take on a flustered, indignant sound. If attempts are made to break away from its long, purring sounds and deep sonorities, it can become slurred, spluttery, like a far-gone drunk. Albert Mangelsdorff, who has died aged 76, allowed nothing to block his determination to expand this awkward instrument's eloquence.

He was one of the most original jazz musicians to have developed outside the US. His multiphonic approach - playing more than one note simultaneously, and humming or singing and playing at the same time - defied the limitations of the trombone's plumbing, and he also led some of the most distinctive bands in European jazz, applying a palette of startling sound effects and phrasing both to Europeanised mutations of American jazz practices and new developments.

While honing his style in the late 1940s and early 50s, Mangelsdorff had the option of joining the New Orleans revivalist movement or pursuing the more taxing modern paths offered by innovators such as JJ Johnson, mimicking the faster phrasing of saxophones and trumpets. He took the latter course eventually, but preferred the long legato lines of west coast cool-school players to the more frenetic melodies of bop's first wave. His playing retained a fascination with melody and an impatience with knee-jerk reactions, stagey climaxes or "hot licks".

Mangelsdorff was born in Frankfurt am Main, but the family moved to Pforzheim, near Stuttgart. His brother introduced him to jazz during the Nazi prohibition of the music, and it had to be explored via the secret "Frankfurt Hot Club" and the "enemy radio station".

He studied violin and classical music theory but in 1946 taught himself the guitar, and began playing professionally, initially in the big band of Otto Laufner, which played US Army bases and clubs. In 1948 he took up the trombone under the guidance of Frankfurter Oper musician Fritz Stahr.

Stahr's tuition, and a fascination with the complex logic of cool jazz guru Lennie Tristano's music, saw Mangelsdorff emerge as a sophisticated trombonist. In the early 1950s he began working with pianist Joe Klimm, and then with Austrian saxophonist Hans Koller's New Jazz Stars. Mangelsdorff joined the radio orchestra of Hessischer Rundfunk in Frankfurt in 1955 and in 1957 became leader of the station's resident jazz ensemble. The following year he played the Newport Jazz Festival in the US in an international youth band - a turning point, with its opportunities for him to meet jazz innovators and find a personal path.

In 1961 he formed an experimental quintet with tenor saxophonist Heinz Sauer which, with various changes, dominated the West German modern jazz scene until 1971. (by John Fordham)

This is a rare and great FM broadcast concert; please notice that all announcements and interviews are in German ... But the music is international ! Albert Mangelsdorff was without any doubt one of the pioneers of German Jazz !

Recorded live by Bayerischer Rundfunk @ Stadttheater, Lindau (Germany)
November 20, 1961

Rune Carlsson (drums)
Joki Freund (saxophone)
Albert Mangelsdorff (trombone)
Emil Mangelsdorff (saxophone)
Günter Kronberg (saxophone)
Günter Lenz (bass)
Heinz Sauer (saxophone)

01: Radio announcer 0.26
02: A Baptist Beat (Mobley) 4.51
03: Goldie (Morgan) 4.44
04: Anything Else (Freund) 4.52
05: Band intros 2.13
06: Albert Mangelsdorff announcement 0.08
07: Sister Sadie (Silver) 6.05
08: Interview with Albert Mangelsdorff 1.16
09: Grand Street (Rollins) 5.27
10: Madame B (Freund) 5.09
11: Tension (A.Mangelsdorff) 5.12

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ARMU 2123 (zippyshare)



Sublime work from one of the coolest funky combos around – a group who aren't content to just hit the same funky styles as other outfits – and one who really stretch strongly in their pursuit of new sounds! The set's definitely funky – especially on the drums – but there's also this amazing interplay between the horns, weird sounds from the organ, and cool extra touches on auto harp and ukulele – which gives the music these exotic elements that are simply mindblowing! The set's a stone smoker from the start – instrumental, but in ways that let the Menahan Street Band open up way more than when working with a singer – showing us that they've got some of the freshest ideas in the contemporary funky underground. Titles include "The Crossing", "Sleight Of Hand", "Three Faces", "Keep Coming Back", "Seven Is The Wind", "Driftwood", and "Ivory & Blue". ~ Dusty Groove


A stellar set of surviving 70s Black Ark productions by Lee Perry – with rare and unreleased sides and pivotal if long-buried sides by Junior Byles, U Roy, Delroy Butler, Tinga Stewart, The Upsetters, The Flames, The Ethiopians, Jah T and more – Perry-produced gems for Kingston's cultural rebels and sufferers! The Sound Doctor compilation is really an essential, perfectly-collected batch on Pressure Sounds – the UK label that once again proves to be among the finest and most respectful of Sound Doctor devotees. Among the exceptional rarities are the unreleased "Army Of Love" by Junior Byles, an exclusive dub plate mix of the Upsetters "Horny Train", the raw original mix of U Roy's "006" and many more – stirringly soulful Black Ark singles and dub versions including "Sound Doctor" by Bobby Floyd, "Do Good" by Al Maytone", "Different Experience" by Brother Ray", "Smiling Faces" by Tinga Stewart, "It’s Impossible" by The Ethiopians, "Grandfather Land" by Jah T, "King Of Kings" by Pat Francis, "Be Prepared" by Keith Poppin, "Key Card" by Lee & Jimmy, "Start Over" by The Gatherers and more. ~ Dusty Groove


Postwar blues from Chicago – a great double-length collection of rare material from JOB Records – a Windy City imprint that was much smaller than Vee Jay, Chess, and Mercury – and who only ever issued most of this material as 78 rpm singles! The JOB sound is definitely rough and raw – still showing the strong influence of electric guitar's introduction to northern blues, yet putting the music forward with a stripped-down sound that's really timeless – and which often emphasizes piano as much as guitar. No surprise, there's some great keyboardists on the set – working in a really dark-edged style – as you'll hear on the 36 track set of tunes that includes "Evening Sun" by Johnny Shines, "Drinking Woman" by John Brim & His Trio, "My Head Can't Rest Anymore" by Baby Face Leroy Foster, "Down Home Child" by Sunnyland Slim, "Boogy Fool" by Snooky Pryor, "Dark Road" by Floyd Jones, "Five Long Years" by Eddie Boyd, "How Much More" by JB Lenoir, and "Rough Treatment" by Little Hudson & His Red Devil Trio. ~ Dusty Groove


A smoking set of work from Tito Puente – four classic albums, wrapped together in a single package – with a bonus album of rare material too! First up is Cuban Carnival – one of Tito Puente's finest albums for RCA, with a tight hard bunch of cuts that have a Cuban big band sound, and a lot more drive to them than some of Tito's other work for the label. Ray Bryant wrote the great track "Cuban Fantasy", and Tito contributed most of the other tunes on the set – a really unique batch of material that includes "Yambeque", "Elegua Chango", "Que Sera", and "Cha Cha De Pollos". The percussion is nice and hard, and the band grooves in tight ensemble playing throughout!

Night Beat is a really jazzy effort that was cut with a top-shelf list of players! The groove's a bit different than some of Tito's other work – but in a good way, and one that has him stretching past straight Latin to mix in a heavy dose of jazz – really getting the most of players who include Eddie Bert on trombone, Gene Quill on saxes, Bernie Glow on trumpet, and Barry Galbraith on guitar. The rhythms are key – and in addition to drums from Jimmy Cobb, the album also features Mongo Santamaria on congas and Willy Correa on bongos – not to mention more percussion from Tito himself!

Dance Mania is a burner of a set from Tito Puente – very well titled to suit the energy of the session! The tracks are all highly rhythmic numbers – short, but filled with jazzy horn flourishes and the kind of snapping rhythms that made the Puente group one of the biggest crossover favorites of the 50s. Tunes nicely mix up vocals with some more pronounced jazz soloing – getting a heck of a lot into a relatively small space, and really keeping up the energy of the record overall.

Revolving Bandstand is a joint project from Tito Puente and Buddy Morrow – both leaders who recorded some great work for the label in the 50s, sounding great here in a unique variation on their classic sounds! The album has both Morrow and Puente playing back to back – creating a "revolving bandstand" that has both groups playing the same tunes at the same time – a very odd approach, but one that comes off well here – mixing Tito's Latin and Buddy's swing nicely, without too much confusion in the instrumentation. There's some great vibes on a few tracks!

Last up is Tito Puente Quatro Bonus Edition – a set that features 13 rare tracks, with singles, outtakes, and more – including "La Virgen De La Macarena", "Moonlight In Vermont", "The Continental (alt take)", "Blue Moon (alt)", "Ran Kan Kan", "Timbal Y Bongo", and many outtakes of "Pa Los Rumberos"! All LPs on 180 gram vinyl – with liner notes too! ~ Dusty Groove



A pretty brave batch of covers from Macy Gray – one that covers an entire album from beginning-to-end – and not just any album, either: Steve Wonder's immortal Talking Book! It actually works really well. No one up to and including Macy Gray herself would try to tell you that Talking Book needed to be updated – and to the well-earned credit of Macy, producer Hal Wilner and producer/keyboard wiz Zoux,, they manage to freshly adapt each cut in a respectful way – while tailoring each one nicely to Macy's distinct voice and style. It rolls from spacey, keyboards and bass flavored backdrops, to some with acoustic strings and percussion – and track-by-track, it works really well! Talking Book from start-to-finish: "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life", "Mayben Your Baby", "You And I (We Can Conquer The World)", "Tuesday Heartbreak", "You've Got It Bad Girl", "Superstition", "Big Brother", "Blame It On The Sun", "Lookin' For Another Pure Love" and "I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)". ~ Dusty Groove


Amazing work from trumpeter Avishai Cohen – working here with his Triveni trio, and sounding even more powerful than on the first release from that group! The combo features incredible bass from Omer Avital – a player we've really come to love in recent years – and rocketing drums from Nasheet Waits – working with Cohen's trumpet in this power-trio mode that's usually reserved for tenorists in this type of setting – but which really helps open up Avishai's music in a wonderful way! The quick-time improvisation of the trio is brilliant – proof that these guys really feel each other strongly – and things are free, yet never too outside – a beautiful balance from all players. Titles include "BR Story", "Safety Land", "Get Blue", "Portrait", "Art Deco", "Music News", and "Nov 30th". ~ Dusty Groove


No anarchy here – as the groove is bold and tight, and right on the money – making for maybe the greatest album so far from the legendary Bukky Leo! The reedman's been working in London for decades, yet has only gotten his due in recent years – turning out a pan-global blend of spiritual jazz, Afro Funk, and possibly a bit of Caribbean groove too – all wrapped together in a style that really shows off Bukky's long legacy in music! The overall production and execution of this album is even greater than previous recent releases – helping give Bukky that tight focus we first heard many years back – and which really helps keep a strong spark to the groove throughout this entire album. Bukky wrote and arranged the entire set – and titles include "Afrobeat Jam", "Hard Times", "Fella Fella", "Rhythemic", "Mansa Dialema", "Jahfrobeat", "Skeleton", "Time Scale", and "Anarchy". CD also features bonus saxophone versions of "Hard Times" and "Time Scale" – plus "Skeleton (Gilles Peterson beach mix)" and "Skeleton (Gilles Peterson winter dub)". ~ Dusty Groove



The long-awaited return of The Jazz Convention – a group we first grew to love for a late 90s release on Schema Records – finally back here with a set that's an equally great cooker! As before, there's a strong 60s vibe to the music – heavy soul jazz and modal elements – in a blend that's somewhere between vintage Blue Note, and some of the more grooving music of the European scene. The front hornline is wonderful – Fabrizio Bosso on trumpet and Gaetano Partipilo on alto – working with spectacular rhythms from the trio of Claudio Filippini on piano, Giuseppe Bassi on bass, and Fabio Accardi on drums. Bosso's trumpet is especially great – as soulful and sparkling as ever – and titles include "Yes I Can No You Can't", "Hozic", "Silly Toy", "In Volo", "Endless Dream", and "Silversonic". ~ Dusty Groove


Maybe the greatest album so far from this ultra-hip group – a sweet Italian combo with a strong ear for the best side of jazz in the 60s! The album's a cracker right from the start – full of life and soul, and delivered with the sort of depth we'd usually just expect from a vintage album – yet all in ways that are hardly a copycat of older Blue Note or Prestige – and really still a very fresh statement from this crack ensemble of Italian players! Pianist Luca Mannutza heads up the group – but it's definitely an equally-weighted outfit – with incredible horn work from Max Ionata on tenor, Paolo Recchia on alto, and Francesco Lento on trumpet and flugelhorn. Titles are almost all originals by Mannutza – who's a hell of a writer – and tunes include "Evan's Even", "Libero", "Nel Mare", "Shades Of Gira", "Cosi Com Sei", and "Two Friends". ~ Dusty Groove


One of the hardest-hitting albums we've ever heard from Italian drummer Lorenzo Tucci – a set that's got some especially smoking tenor from Daniele Scannapieco of the High Five Quintet! Daniele's sound is proud and bold right from the start – working with a soulful, 60s sort of energy as he carves out these massive lines on tenor that really take hold of a tune, and give it an even greater sense of feeling and form! Tucci's drums are great too – recorded with a sharper sound than before, to provide a great illustration of his key power for moving a group – in this case a quartet that also features piano from Pietro Lussu and bass from Dario Rosciglione. The set features great versions of the Wayne Shorter tunes "Adam's Apple" and "Fee Fi Fo Fum" – plus the cuts "Sweet Revelation", "Dede's Song", "Ghost", "In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning", and "Tita's Song". ~ Dusty Groove

Leslie West - Aligator (1989)

This album shows off Leslie's playing with a Ton of Instrumental work. The original "Sea of Fire"(Best version?) starts off the album followed up after some instrumental work with a killer version of "I put a spell on you".

Concrete Blonde's Johnette Napolitano joins Leslie on Free's "The Stealer" for a work out that is well worth a listen.(Leslie has covered a number of Free songs lately,check out "Woman" on Blue Me) The album finishes up with a excellent instrumental melody of "Hall of the Mountain King/Theme from Exodus" and then a stellar version of "Dream Lover".

There is really on one problem with this excellent offering-the shortness of the entire album. (by bluematter)

Steve Loungo (drums, percussion)
Leslie West (guitar, bass, vocals)
Stanley Clarke (bass on 03. + 06.)
Jack Hotop (keyboards on 04.)
Tony Miceli (keyboards on 02. + 05.)
Johnette Napolitano (vocals on 07.)

01. Sea Of Fire (Cintron) 4.59
02. Waiting For The F Change (West) 4.24
03. Whiskey (West) 2.16
04. Alligator (West) 3.21
05. I Put A Spell On You (Hawkins) 4.11
06. All Of Me (West) 3.05
07. The Stealer (Fraser/Kossoff/Rodgers) 2.16
08. Hall Of The Mountain King/Theme From Exodus (Grieg/Gold) 3.08
09. Dream Lover (Darin) 2.01

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ARMU 2122 (zippyshare)

Brian Auger & The Trinity - Befour (1969)

Brian Auger and his band outdo themselves on this extraordinary album, which boasts playing that is both passionate and of virtuoso caliber, and encompasses just the right repertory. From the opening of the soaring rendition of "I Wanna Take You Higher" through the jazzy interpretation of Gabriel Fauré´s Pavane, the Albinoni-based Adagio per Archi e Organo, the impassioned rendition of Traffic´s "No Time to Live" (sung by lead guitarist Gary Boyle), and the smooth interpretation of Herbie Hancock´s "Maiden Voyage" (featuring some elegant lead playing by Boyle before Auger's organ moves into the foreground), Befour delivers superb musicianship, crossing the lines between jazz and rock with touches of soul and even some lingering traces of psychedelia. The one fully experimental track, "Listen Here," which was cut in a single take of nine minutes and 22 seconds, is a hard, pounding piece driven by Boyle´s jagged lead guitar and showing off the band augmented by three additional drummers (Mickey Waller, Barry Reeves, and Collin Allen) and an extra bassist (Roger Sutton) -- it reminds one somewhat of the kinds of experiments that The Nice sometimes attempted a lot less successfully. "Just You and Me" is a worthy finale to the original album, a hard-rocking showcase for each of the players. [The 2000 reissue by Disconforme includes a live cut, "Rain Forest Talking," and a rough rehearsal take of Pavane.] (by Bruce Eder)
Alternate frontcover

David Ambrose (bass, background vocals)
Brian Auger (keyboards, vocals)
Gary Winston Boyle (guitar, vocals on 03., background vocals)
Clive Thacker (drums, percussion, background vocals)
Colin Allen (drums on 05.)
Barry Reeves (drums on 05.)
Roger Sutton (bass on 05.)
Mickey Wallter (drums on 05.)

Another alternate frontcover

01. I Wanna Take You Higher (Stewart) 5.08
02. Pavane (Fauré/Auger) 3.49
03. No Time To Live (Winwood/Capaldi) 5.27
04. Maiden Voyage(Hancock) 5.02
05. Listen Here (Harris) 9.26
06. Adagio per Archi e Organo (Albinoni) 3.30
076. Just You, Just Me (Auger) 6.26
08. Rain Forest Talking (Auger) 4.06
09. Pavane (demo version) (Fauré/Auger) 3.43
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ARMU 2122 (zippyshare)

Sonny Clark - Leapin' and Lopin' (1961)

Sonny Clark's fifth Blue Note recording as a leader is generally regarded as his best, especially considering he composed four of the seven tracks, and they all bear his stamp of originality. What is also evident is that he is shaping the sounds of his quintet rather than dominating the proceedings as he did on other previous dates. Tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse and trumpeter Tommy Turrentine play very little harmony on the date, but their in-tune unison lines are singularly distinctive, while bassist Butch Warren and a young drummer Billy Higgins keep the rhythmic coals burning with a steady glowing red heat. Among the classic tunes is the definitive hard bop opener "Somethin' Special" which lives up to its title in a most bright and happy manner, with Clark merrily comping chords. "Melody for C" is similarly cheerful, measured, and vivid in melodic coloration, the CD containing a slightly longer alternate take. "Zellmar's Delight," not included on the original LP, finally has the tenor and trumpet playing harmony during a tricky, progressive melody, not at all conventional, which is perhaps why it was initially omitted. The showstopper is "Voodoo," the ultimate yin/yang, dark, late night, sly and slinky jazz tune contrasted by Clark's tinkling piano riffs. Warren wrote the exciting hard bopper "Eric Walks" reminiscent of a Dizzy Gillespie tune, while Turrentine's "Midnight Mambo" mixes metaphors of Afro-Cuban music with unusual off-minor phrases and the stoic playing of Rouse. Tenor saxophonist Ike Quebec plays a cameo sans the other horns on the soulful ballad "Deep in a Dream," exhibiting a vocal quality on his instrument, making one wonder if any other sessions with this group were done on the side. Top to bottom Leapin' and Lopin' is a definitive recording for Clark, and really for all time in the mainstream jazz idiom. (by Michael G. Nastos)

Sonny Clark (piano)
Billy Higgins (drums)
Ike Quebec (saxophone)
Charlie Rouse (saxophone)
Tommy Turrentine (trumpet)
Butch Warren (bass)

01. Somethin' Special (Clark) 6.18
02. Deep In A Dream (DeLange/Van Heusen) 6.42
03. Melody for C (Clark) 7.45
04. Eric Walks (Warren) 5.37
05. Voodoo (Clark) 7.37
06. Midnight Mambo (Turrentine) 7.10
07. Zellmar's Delight (Clark) 5.38
08. Melody For C (alternate take) (Clark) 8.14

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ARMU 2121 (zippyshare)



A tight groover from The Gap Band – already past the "V" in their classic run of 80s albums, and still very might at the top of their game! The core trio work here with sweet production from Lonnie Simmons – a pairing that continues to set the group up above most of their competition, and give them a groove that goes way past the obvious. Mellow cuts stand out as strongly as upbeat ones – and if anything, the mellow groovers are the best! Titles include "The Sun Don't Shine Everyday", "Weak Spot", "Video Junkie", "Beep A Freak", "Don't You Leave Me", "Disrespect", "I Believe", and "I Found My Baby". CD features bonus tracks – "Beep A Freak (12" long version)", "I Found My Baby (12" club/dance mix)", "Disrespect (12" club mix)", "Beep A Freak (12" special dance mix)", and "I Found My Baby (12" rmx with breakdown)". ~ Dusty Groove


A stone treasure from one of the greatest soul singers of the 70s – and a set you'll regularly find in the coolest of record collections from back in the day! Billy Paul was always one of the hippest talents on Philly International – mixing together soul and jazz influences with a deeper sense of spirituality, and long experience as a sophisticated vocalist. This album's one of his most sublime efforts – kind of a quasi-spiritual record with a similar high-concept approach to some of Marvin Gaye's work from the same time – really righteous, in ways that the Philly label didn't always hit – and which really goes past even most of Billy's already hip previous efforts. Gamble and Huff produced and wrote most of the record – including the two long tracks that make up side one, "I See The Light" and "War Of The Gods", the latter of which starts out slow and moody, then breaks out into a club groove. Other titles include the more standard soul tune "The Whole Town's Talking", plus "Thanks For Saving My Life" and "Peace Holy Peace". CD features bonus tracks – "War Of The Gods (part 1)", "The Whole Town's Talking (single)", and "I Was Married (single)." ~ Dusty Groove


Great work by Bunny Sigler – and a perfect bridge between his earlier Philly soul from the late 60s, and his later disco from the end of the 70s! Bunny's in perfect form vocally – and the record is a super-strong batch of tracks that deserves to be well up there in the Gamble/Huff cannon – oft-overlooked for some odd reason, but prime 70s Philly all the way through – and quite different than some of Sigler's later material! The songwriting's great – loads of compelling original cuts – and arrangements are by Bunny, Ronnie Baker, and Norman Harris – ensuring a top-shelf Sigma sound all the way through! Titles include "I Lied", "Picture Us", "Things Are Gonna Get Better", "Your Love Is Good", and a different take on "Love Train". CD features 2 bonus tracks – "Love Train (part 1)", and "I Lied (single version)". ~ Dusty Groove


Rare work from Weldon Irvine – a selection of tracks recorded as private studio outings, reissued briefly by Luv N Haight in the early 90s, and then only on vinyl! The style here is much more jazz-based than some of Irvine's soul recordings – a mode that's often all instrumental, and which features Weldon playing more acoustic piano than on his 70s fusion classics – but usually mixed in with sweet electric elements, too – which creates this wonderfully righteous balance in the music! The whole thing's very soulful, with plenty of undercurrents of the RCA years – and guest players include Steve Grossman on tenor, Marcus Miller on bass, Tom Browne on trumpet, and Bobby Broom on guitar – the latter 3 of which all worked with Weldon at GRP, making us guess that some of these 80s sides were intended for release on that label. Titles include "Kundabuffer", "Music Is The Key", "Mr PC", "We Can Try Again", and "Blues For Spike". CD features a huge amount of bonus tracks – including "Blue In Green", "Heard It All Before", "It's Funky", "Shopping", "The Sisters", "Think I'll Stay A While", and "Misty Dawn" – all only ever on the Sisters album, making their first appearance here on vinyl.  ~ Dusty Groove
One of the greatest albums we've heard from Ernest Dawkins in years – and one of the straightest, too! The set's got a hardbop fury we've not always heard from Dawkins – a tight, soulful energy that's spun out beautifully by the local group in the set – a lineup that includes Ernest on alto and tenor, Corey Wilkes on trumpet, Willerm Delisfort on piano, Junius Paul on bass, and Isaiah Spender on drums. Other tracks add in bits of percussion, and Hammond on one tune – and while the music still has all the sharp edges you'd know from Dawkins' time in the AACM, the overall execution feels more like a killer Blue Note or Prestige date from the 60s – particularly in the interplay between trumpet and sax. Titles include "Afro Straight", "United", "Central Park West", "Footprints", "Old Man Blues", and "Juju". ~ Dusty Groove
The Bar-Kays are back in business – with a sweet EP's worth of cuts that show that the group definitely haven't lost their touch! The sound's a lot more contemporary than before, yet still deeply rooted in older traditions too – especially the 80s elements of the group's later years, which seem to be a perfect fit for the modern southern production used on the set – lots of keyboards and vocal processing at points, with almost a g-funk touch that's mighty nice! George Clinton guests on one track – and titles include "Grown Folks", "Return Of The Mack", "What Goes N-Da Club", "Return Of The Mack (remixx)", and "Anticipation (live)". ~ Dusty Groove

Donna Lynn Kay - Electric Blue (2006)

Donna Lynn Kay is a Canadian singer and slide guitar player now located in Austin. Her 2002 debut CD, Electric Blue, was recorded in Austin. (Read Virginia's review of Electric Blue.) Austin musicians helping out on Electric Blue.
She plays her own interpretation of the slide guitar delta blues made famous by artists such as Son House, Robert Nighthawk, and Blind Willie Johnson.

She plays with her current band at Antone's and other blues venues and has been able to play with some of the greats as they've come through Austin, including Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Kim Wilson, Buckwheat Zydeco and the Muddy Waters Band with Calvin Jones and Willie Smith.

RC Bank (harmonica)
Mike Buck (drums)
Everett Green (bass)
Mark Hallman (keyboards, bass)
Spencer Jarmon (guitar)
Donna Lynn Kay (slide-guitar, vocals)
Cody Richardson (guitar)

01. Rollin´ & Tumblin´ (Morganfield) 3.11
02. Come On In My Kitchen (Johnson) 3.03
03. Turn Back Time (Kay) 3.28
04. Catfish Blues (Petway) 3.32
05. Take Me Dancing (Kay) 2.52
06. Nobody´s Fault But Mine (Joseph) 4.03
07. Sundown (Kay) 4.05
08. Crossroad Blues (Johnson) 4.45
09. Goin´ Down To The River/Two Trains Running (McDowell/Morganfield) 7.32

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ARMU 2120 (zippyshare)