funk . soul . jazz . nu-jazz


Genre pick of the week Cover of Kev Beadle Presents Private Collection Volume 2 by Various Artists.
Real jazz in the ‘70s and ‘80s had a hard time commercially, with the majors downgrading their investment in the music and concentrating on safe reissues, more easily accessible fusion, and areas more lucrative than jazz altogether. But at the same time, there was an efflorescence and democratization of the music.

The black nationalist politics of the late ‘60s had registered a profound influence on the consciousness of the United States, and the music was reclaimed for black audiences, with a plethora of community-oriented artists putting out intense, committed, recordings on small independent labels … the ‘private press’, hence the ‘private jazz’ you hold in your hands. Whilst jazz education course began to take off at colleges, and independently-minded community radio DJs would support the music, it rarely had distribution. For many of the tracks here, the main sales would’ve been directly from the performer to the public, at gigs.

Meanwhile, in the UK, where jazz had been part of an underground, cutting-edge youth culture at least as far back as the ‘modernist’ 1950s, a selective group of DJs on the jazz-funk and soul scene that exploded, with countless club-nights and all-dayers, at the end of the ‘70s, started to dig a little deeper for their tunes.

One such was our compiler Kev Beadle, who went from being a punter on the scene to a prime mover-and-shaker. Kev attended all the important jazz-dance nights that sprang up in pub backrooms like The Horseshoe and Soho dives like The Wag (where he would soon begin a residency himself). Kev was very much involved with propagating the music and expanding the scene with his promotion at The Belvedere in Richmond, and then, most famously, the afternoon sessions at Dingwalls alongside Bob Jones and Gilles Peterson. He was also involved in the early days of the Southport Weekender, where he now has a major role as programmer of its Beat Bar room. Kev’s expertise was in demand with record companies: he compiled a series culled from the Argo/Cadet archives for Charly (mostly funky soul-jazz) as well as an important retrospective of Terry Callier, and jazz-funk and soul from the Capitol vaults for Blue Note. Many of the tunes we present here first got an airing outside of their home states at those legendary club sessions, where the music changed from its earlier emphasis on hard-bop and bossa to modal, spiritual and ‘cosmic’ jazz. It’s fair to say few of their creators probably ever imagined they were making dancefloor hits, but Kev and his DJ contemporaries blazed a trail there that the music is still registering.

These tunes were rarely found outside of the hands of a few enterprising record-dealers, specialist record shops, and latterly, internet auctions. Kev Beadle’s desire to push the boat out musically led him to most of these tunes two decades ago, but for most listeners, the music will be experienced as upfront and progressive. It’s an uncompromising collection, making accessible music that has never really received the truly wide audience it deserves highlighting a range of artists representing yet another chapter in black America’s fascinating musical history.

Compiled by Kev Beadle - one of the UK's original jazz dance DJs

Erykah Badu

Mama's Gun - 180g Red / Gold Vinyl Edition

• 180 gram audiophile vinyl
• Gatefold sleeve
• Insert
• First pressing of 1000 numbered copies on red / gold vinyl

'Mama's Gun' is the second studio album by neo soul singer Erykah Badu, released in 2000. Recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City, the album incorporates funk, soul and jazz styles. Covering themes of insecurity, social issues and personal relationships, Badu delivered a highly intimate and personal album that reached Platinum two months after its release. 'Mama's Gun' features substantial contributions from several members of the Soulquarians outfit, of which Badu was a member. It also features guests such as soul singer Betty Wright and trumpeter Roy Hargrove.

The album contains the single "Bag Lady" which, with its colorful, artsy music video, shot to #1 on the R&B charts, and also into the Top 10 on the billboard charts. "Bag Lady" was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and for Best R&B Song. Also the song "Didn't Cha Know?" was nominated for Best R&B Song.

Rolling Stone magazine applauded her for taking "chances the way Stevie Wonder or Nina Simone did in their prime" and went on to say "she has taken her art to the next level." Entertainment Weekly called the album a "'70s soul homage featuring live musicians and a smooth-funk sound that wouldn't be out of place on a CTI record."

Donald Byrd

Black Byrd - Remastered Vinyl Edition

This 1973 Blue Note LP sees the legendary jazz trumpeter in full jazz-funk / jazz-fusion swing, easily moving between the Blaxploitation style atmospherics of the title track to the uplifting dancefloor styles of "Love's Far Away". Mostly written and produced by Larry Mizell too! Timeless and beautiful tunes to make you feel good whatever the weather.

Blue Note President Don Was says, “Two years ago, we began remastering the jewels of the Blue Note catalogue in hi-def resolutions of 96k and 192k. In order to develop a guiding artistic philosophy for this delicate endeavor, we donned our lab coats, ran dozens of sonic experiments and carefully referenced every generation of our reissues. Ultimately, we decided that our goal would be to protect the original intentions of the artists, producers and engineers who made these records and that, in the case of pre-digital-era albums, these intentions were best represented by the sound and feel of their first-edition vinyl releases. Working with a team of dedicated and groovy engineers, we found a sound that both captured the feel of the original records while maintaining the depth and transparency of the master tapes... the new remasters are really cool!

While these new versions will become available in digital hi-def, CD and Mastered for iTunes formats, the allure of vinyl records is WAY too potent to ignore. This year, Blue Note - along with our friends at Universal Music Enterprises - is launching a major 75th Anniversary vinyl Initiative that is dedicated to the proposition that our catalogue should be readily available, featuring high quality pressings and authentic reproductions of Blue Note's iconic packaging. Although this program begins in celebration of Blue Note's 75th Anniversary, our catalog runs so deep that we will faithfully be reissuing five albums a month for many years to come!”

In the six years since the release of their last full-length record, Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens have toured extensively, playing main stages at some of the most prestigious festivals in the world, including Bonnaroo, The Monterey Jazz Festival, Montreal Pop, and The Ottawa Blues Festival.

Though seasoned veterans, these years of touring played a major role in the creation of the twelve songs that we are so delighted to offer to you, our beloved Daptone Family. Presenting: 'Cold World'. With Gabriel (Bosco Mann) Roth at the helm, Naomi and company went into the studio, and cut onto tape what can only be described as bonafide Soul Excitement of the highest order.

Though the music is most unapologetically gospel, most of the lyrics on the record would fall under what could be called “message songs”. That is, music containing uplifting spiritual messages, reminiscent of the more inspirational moments of The Staple Singers or Curtis Mayfield. However, the relationship between gospel and soul music does not need to be discussed again here. It is as plainly and naturally inherent in these grooves as it is in the singer’s every word and motion. There is no one alive today that has a voice or spirit more capable of lifting an audience than Naomi Shelton.

On this record, the grooves are pure Soul. ‘Sinner’ sits atop side one as a dark welcome into the soulful stomping world of the Queens. They flow effortlessly from the Sunday stomp of ‘Get Up, Child’ to the country-twinged swagger of ‘One Day’ and ‘I Earned Mine’; from the river’s edge lilt of ‘Everybody Knows’ and ‘I Don’t Know’ to the energetic boogie of ‘Thank You Lord’, ‘It’s A Cold, Cold World’, and ‘Bound for the Promised Land’. This album is a menagerie of Soul music at its finest, untied by the strong message-laden lyrics. Trust us, the wait was worth it.

Various Artists

Ghostbusters - OST (30th Anniversary Edition)

    2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the iconic 1980's move "Ghostbusters" & its classic soundtrack.

    This 10 track, 120gm, LP vinyl format is being reissued after a long time out of print and is limited to 1000 copies.

    Various Artists

    Soul City Philadelphia - Philly Gems From The Dawn Of Soul Music

    'Soul City Philadelphia' presents records which served to establish the musical direction of the city in the late 1950s and early 1960s, at the dawn of the soul era. Compiled and annotated by soul music authority Clive Richardson, Soul City Philadelphia is the latest in a series that has previously explored the nascent soul scenes in Detroit, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

    America’s fourth-largest city proved to be a focal point for money, growing to be a major banking centre on the East Coast, and money also brought music - as cited by Tony Cummings, author of The Sound of Philadelphia, the “Philly sound was made possible due to a web of coincidences which brought the right people to the right place at the right time.”

    The Philly Sound means different things to different people, depending on their age or musical era of choice. In the early 1960s the sound was likely to be the blasting sax solos and crisp snare-beat which typified the chart hits on Bernie Lowe’s Cameo and Parkway labels, generated by the key A&R duo of Kal Mann and Dave Appell. It is this style that forms the focus of this anthology, with Lowe’s labels being matched for independent success by the likes of V-Tone (run by Venton ‘Buddy’ Caldwell from 2034 Ridge Ave), Chancellor (run by Peter DeAngelis and Bob Marcucci from the Chancellor Room of the Hyatt Hotel), and Heritage (run by Jerry Ross). Also featuring are artists who originated in Philadelphia but who achieved success on labels outside the city, such as the Sensations, Solomon Burke and the Majors.

    Other famous artists included on this 60-track 2CD selection include Don Covay, Bobby Parker, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, the Orlons, Donnie Elbert, Lee Andrews and Chubby Checker, but as always in this series, there are fascinating recordings by lesser-known acts.

    Here we have music from the formative period of the soul era in Philadelphia.

    Also available as 2LP vinyl collector’s edition, featuring 28 of the most sought-after tracks and colour insert.


    2xCD Info: 60-track 2CD set, with colour illustrated booklet.

    NEW TO PRE-ORDER: William Basinski - The Disintegration Loops I (Remastered Reissue) /...
    Fri 1st - 1:50
    NEW TO PRE-ORDER: Half Japanese - Overjoyed / Joyful Noise Recordings
    Fri 1st - 1:35
    NEW TO PRE-ORDER: Teenage Guitar - More Lies From The Gooseberry Bush / Fire Records
    Fri 1st - 1:30
    NEW TO PRE-ORDER: Further - Where Were You Then? / Bad Paintings
    Fri 1st - 1:25
    NEW TO PRE-ORDER: Cuts - EP1 / Invada
    Fri 1st - 1:15
    E-newsletter —
    Sign up
    Back to top