MAGIC MIX

funk . soul . jazz . free jazz . broken beat

WEEK STARTING 3 Jul

Genre pick of the week Cover of Martin Freeman And Eddie Piller Present Jazz On The Corner Two by Various Artists.

Various Artists

Martin Freeman And Eddie Piller Present Jazz On The Corner Two

    A follow up to 2018’s Jazz On The Corner which has now sold over 10,000 copies, and last year’s equally successful Soul On The Corner, this compilation see Martin and Eddie return to the world of jazz for another bite at the cherry after Volume one was declared to be “the best jazz compilation of the last 20 years” by Jazz FM’s Chris Phillips.

    The concept came from a radio show that Freeman and Piller put together for BBC Radio 6 Music which was so well received that the pair decided to dig deep into their record collections and build a double album of some of their favourite tracks.

    The concept is simple: an album packed full of jazz gems which they hope are slightly off the beaten track. This year we have hidden gems from Nina Simone and Nicola Conte, classics from Roberta Flack, Roy Ayers and The MJQ, whilst the new British jazz generation is represented by Emma Emma-Jean Thackray. Running the gamut from hard bop, to progressive fusion via Latin beats, it’s an exhilarating listen from start to finish.

    South African disco 12” originally released in 1983, the start of the country’s ‘bubblegum’ era. Adaye was a once-off studio project featuring members of Stimela, the SA supergroup formerly known as The Cannibals and at the time also recording under aliases like the Street Kids and Kumasi. As Adaye they roped in singer Al Etto and went into the studio with Heads Music boss Emil Zoghby, who shares songwriting credits with Ray Phiri on the only track they released: ‘Turn It Up’ - an eight-minute slice of guitar funk throbbing to a disco beat. Remastered from the original tapes and reissued on DJ Okapi’s Afrosynth Records.

    Alhousseini Anivolla & Girum Mezmur

    Afropentatonism

      A pan-African Allstar band merging two cultures. desert blues man Alhousseini Anivolla meets Ethio-jazz guitarist Girum mezmur. Their album ”Afropentatonism” features repetitive grooves, hypnotic jams and raw guitar sounds.

      Five notes per octave are all you ever need. The pentatonic scale is the foundation for almost every other one. Some call it the world's oldest scale, originating in ancient Mesopotamia circa 3000 BC, spreading east up to India, China and Japan and west to the old American nations of the Andes and the Pacific NorthEast. A scale that became essential for the creation of blues, jazz, country and rock music. The idea that pentatonic scales are indispensable for the development of African music is not new – but using it to connect cultures across the continent is still a rare feat.

      The countries of Niger and Ethiopia may be thousands of kilometres apart, yet they share many commonalities. Both have a rich musical history that is closely linked to younger genres like rock, pop and jazz.

      Niger and the Western Sahel region are the birthplace of the so called “desert blues” genre, with stars like Ali Farka Touré, “Bombino”, Mariem Hassan or Tinariwen and others, many of them connected to the culture of the Kel Tamashek people (commonly known as “Tuareg”). In Ethiopia, vibraphonist Mulatu Astatke influenced a whole generation of musicians when he infused the scene of Addis Ababa with the modern jazz styles he had picked up in New York City. Two vibrant scenes rooted in ancient musical traditions – a perfect match.

      When guitarists Alhousseini Anivolla (Niger) and Girum mezmur (Ethiopia) first met in 2005 at a festival in Europe, they were both already established professionals. Alhousseini had been part of the Tinariwen movement, and later on, gained a remarkable reputation with his band Etran Finatawa and his trio Anewal. The Sydney Morning Herald praised his ”gloriously repetitive, traditional music mixed with some of the slickest and most beautiful electric guitar imaginable.” Girum has been a mainstay in Addis Ababa’s live music scene as a guitarist and producer for decades. He is the musical director of Ethiopia’s greatest star Mahmoud Ahmed and has worked with the likes of Angelique Kidjo and Ali Keita.

      Their new collaborative project “Afropentatonism” fuses some of the most intriguing art of their respective cultures. Repetitive grooves, hypnotic jams and raw guitar sounds shape the album – all amidst the laid-back vocals of Alhousseini, who sings in his native tongue Tamashek.

      It’s an outstanding pan-African collaboration. The two leaders are joined by percussionist misale legesse and two players of traditional East African instruments: the masinko (one-stringed Ethiopian violin) played by Habtamu Yeshambel and the krar (five-stringed bass-like lyre), played by Anteneh Teklemariam. The sextet is completed by 78-year-old mandolin legend Ayele mamo from Addis. The New York Times hailed Mamo’s playing for its ”honeyed melody”.

      The album was recorded live during a concert in Nairobi and features extended versions of the original songs. The infectious “Isouwad”, almost nine minutes in length, includes a rousing finale that had every audience member dancing. Quieter songs are amongst the most political tunes on the album. In the dreamy “Algher” (“Peace”), Alhousseini sings about the conflicts in his home region, directly addressing younger generations: “Children of this country protect our peace!”. ”Raise your voice to bring people together no matter which colour and background” is the central message of the enchanting “Asmoussoudou” (“Those Who Unify”).

      In recent years, artistic exchange between West and East African countries has become increasingly difficult due to political insecurity and terrorism in the Sahelian belt. But for Alhousseini and Girum, it’s worth the struggle. “Afropentatonism” is a project that is as much about music as it is about friendship, learning and common creation. “We want people in Africa to be proud of their diverse culture and common traditions.”

      Alhousseini Anivolla and Girum Mezmur have created a glorious example of the power of nonverbal communication. Five notes per octave and six friends are all you ever need.

      Mulatu Astatke & Black Jesus Experience

      To Know Without Knowing

        ‘To Know Without Knowing’, Mulatu Astatke and Black Jesus Experience’s 2019 album is their second together. A grooving transcontinental gem, recorded in Melbourne, Australia and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Filled with the warmth of the mentorship and friendship of their creative partnership honed over a decade of performing together in Africa, Australia and UK/Europe.

        Mulatu Astatke is the Father of Ethio-Jazz and one of Africa's most influential and enduring musical figures. Black Jesus Experience is a community of artists, centred around a twelve piece global-funk-machine born of Australia's vibrant multiculturalism. Mulatu and Black Jesus Experience met in Addis Ababa in 2009, embarking on both a musical relationship and a friendship that has led Mulatu Astake to describe Black Jesus Experience as, "My favourite backing band" and, “...they’re family.”

        Mulatu's great contribution to music has been to to combine Jazz and funk grooves with Ethiopia's distinctive pentatonic scales. His musical genius is the sensuality and sophistication with which Mulatu contrasts these minimalist scales with richly chromatic harmony. But Mulatu’s equally great contribution has been to share both his enduringly unique modernity and Ethiopia’s timelessly spiritual music with the world. Black Jesus Experience treasure the special relationship of generosity, mentorship and collaboration they have been privileged to share with this master musician. ‘To Know Without Knowing’ is the product of this gift.



        Albert Ayler

        New Grass

          Albert Ayler’s 1969 album New Grass has been misunderstood from the day of its release.

          The album finds Ayler experimenting with soul music and digging back into his R&B roots (he started his career playing saxophone with Chicago bluesman Little Walter), fusing it with the avant-garde free jazz (the one element of the record which garnered consistent praise) and adding the vocals of Rose Marie McCoy, The Soul Singers and Ayler himself. As if predicting the divisiveness of the record to follow, Ayler speaks directly to the listener and explains that New Grass is nothing like his albums before — that it is of “a different dimension of his life” — in the album opener “Message from Albert.”

          New Grass deserves reconsideration, if not for the heavy grooves and surprising arrangements, then for its bravery in challenging norms of the time; by the ‘60s, jazz was well-accepted as a uniquely American art form, while soul as a genre was very much still seen as primitive. Ayler melds them together and creates something novel, adventurous, and completely his own. At the time of its release, despite its divisive reception, New Grass helped break down the unnecessary walls dividing genres and revealed music’s potential freedoms. The album has gone on to influence generations of Jazz, R&B, Funk, Hip Hop, Post Punk, No Wave and unshrinking artists like Pharaoh Sanders, Alice Coltrane, Funkadelic, Jungle Brothers, Red Krayola, Sonic Youth and Mark E. Smith.

          Third Man Records can’t recommend this record highly enough. We are confi dent that it won’t take but one listen for you to understand New Grass is an undeniable healing force

          Gary Bartz & Maisha

          Night Dreamer Direct-to-Disc Sessions

            The third release from Night Dreamer’s essential “Direct-to-Disc” sessions sees an incredible meeting between legendary US saxophonist Gary Bartz and leading UK spiritual jazz ensemble, Maisha, featuring two Bartz classics and three brand new joint songs written by both Bartz & Maisha in close collaboration.

            Having cut his teeth playing with the likes of Charles Mingus, Max Roach, Art Blakey and finally in 1970, Miles Davis at the peak of his electric period, Gary Bartz became a leading figure of the early-to-mid 70s spiritual jazz movement, releasing a string of ground-breaking albums on legendary NYC jazz label Prestige Records with his NTU Troop, featuring classics such as “Celestial Blues”, “Uhuru Dance” and “I’ve Known Rivers”, before collaborating on Blue Note Records with the Mizell Brothers on the anthemic jazz funk of “Music Is My Sanctuary”. An oeuvre much loved by soul jazzers and hip hop fans alike.

            Led by drummer Jake Long, Maisha have been central to the UK’s jazz explosion, and have fast become the UK’s most exciting and in-demand young spiritual jazz ensemble, from steller shows at Jazz re:freshed, Total Refreshment Centre & Church of Sound and supporting the Sun Ra Arkestra, to releasing their critically acclaimed debut LP, “There Is A Place” on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings in 2018. Theirs is an organic & explosive sound that blends influences from afrobeat and broken beat to Persian music, with a deep love and understanding of jazz, particularly the heritage of spiritual jazz led by titans such as Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane and of course, Gary Bartz.

            Which makes this collaboration even more special. Bartz was first invited to share a stage with Maisha by Gilles Peterson to headline the inaugural We Out Here festival. Their chemistry was rich and instantaneous, certainly a two-way street, with the young musicians reinvigorating the legend’s performance and wowing the intergenerational festival audience. A European tour followed, including a London Jazz Festival highlight at the Royal Festival Hall, celebrating the 50th anniversary of his album “Another Earth”, originally featuring fellow legends, Pharoah Sanders, Charles Tolliver, Stanley Cowell, and John Coltrane’s own bassist, Reggie Workman. Now the relationship has evolved into a special straight-to-disc recording for Night Dreamer Records, that captures the vitality of their collaboration. Whilst Bartz and Maisha reinvent classic Bartz compositions “Uhuru Sasa” and “Dr Follows Dance”, extending the pieces into long piece improvised grooves, their recording session gave birth to three brand new joint compositions, written the very same day. These include the propulsive “Leta’s Dance” that magically combines the Bartz’ soulful musical lyricism with Maisha’s African-jazz influences, and the organic jazz funk of “Harlem to Haarlem”, featuring a hot solo from guest trumpeter Axel Kaner-Lidstrom of Cykada & Levitation Orchestra fame.

            Like previous Night Dreamer efforts from afrobeat star Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, and the beautiful collaboration between Brazilian stars Seu Jorge & Rogê, the album was recorded in Haarlem’s Artone Studio, a stones throw from Amsterdam, in just one-take, straight-to-disc, avoiding postproduction embellishments and retaining the purity of the performance lost in modern recording techniques.

            This record really is an event, in and of itself, a meeting of talents, minds, generations and zeitgeist moments, captured in a unique and pure manner. The music does not disappoint, as Maisha have been inspired to reach new heights whilst we find Bartz truly reinvigorated, and both artists in tune to the spirit of the other.

            Angel Bat Dawid

            Transistion East

              Transition East features two new pieces of music created by Angel Bat Dawid in response to Emma Warren's 2019 book Make Some Space – i.e. the book that chronicles the history of London DIY music institution Total Refreshment Centre.

              Angel Bat Dawid, who first met Emma Warren at Total Refreshment Centre in 2017, composed & recorded "Transition East" alone in her space on the Southside of Chicago, originally to be an accompaniment for the audiobook version of Make Some Space.

              Angel conceptualized & named “Transition East” in commemoration of the storied Chicago community center that was a hub for the AACM and icons from the Black Arts Movement in the 1960s, and was recently revived by one of her mentors, Eliel Sherman Storey.

              "No Space Fo Us" was composed & recorded at a space in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, where Angel travelled with a crew of Chicago artists (including IARC label mates Ben LaMar Gay & Damon Locks) on a collaborative mission called Close to There (Perto de Lá). The track features Angel with Ben LaMar Gay and new Brazilian friends Edbrass Brasil, Romulo Alexis, Tadeu Mascarenhas, Nancy Viégas & Germano Estacio.

              International Anthem is proud to present these two beautiful pieces of music on a deluxe 45rpm 7" vinyl inside a picture sleeve designed by Jeremiah Chiu.

              Dee Dee Bridgewater

              Afro Blue

                If you collect vintage 70’s soul-jazz vinyl, there is a good chance that you already own a record that features the amazing vocal talents of Dee Dee Bridgewater. Whether it be Roy Ayers, Norman Connors, Billy Parker or Carlos Garnett - Dee Dee is the glue that fuses these artists together.

                Although best known for her jazz work, Dee Dee has had a wonderfully rich and varied career encompassing soul, musicals, gospel, and underground disco from the 70’s to the present day. She is still active as a vocalist, composer, and producer and remains one of our favourite vocalists at Mr Bongo HQ. We take things back to the early years of Dee Dee’s career with her debut album ‘Afro Blue’. Recorded in Tokyo in 1974, the album was released exclusively in Japan via two different Japanese labels (Trio Records in 1974 and All Art in 1985 respectively). Each release had unique cover art and we have opted to present the album in its original 1974 form.

                ‘Afro Blue’ features an exquisite collaboration of American and Japanese musicians, such as Cecil & Ron Bridgewater, Motohiko Hino and producer Takao Ishizuka. The result is a sublime deep soul-jazz masterpiece with timeless versions of ‘People Make The World Go Round’, ‘Love From The Sun’, and ‘Afro Blue’. It is arguably one of the finest albums in its genre. This record has long been a sought-after item for DJs and collectors alike, so we are delighted to finally make this wonderful music from an understated great available to all.

                Joyce Cooling

                It's You / Dori

                  Joyce Cooling is known for being one of the dynamic jazz guitarists in the world. She has recorded for over two decades and had No.1 radio hits in the USA where she has performed with such musical giants as Joe Henderson, Stan Getz, Charlie Byrd, Al Jarreau, and Lee Ritenour. The vocal track "It's You" comes from her debut album "Cameo" in 1988 and was adopted by the jazz dance and soul scene in the mid 90s. It has been on CD compilations since that time but never before on vinyl. "Dori" is also one of her finest works from that time, only previously a bonus track on one edition of the "Cameo" CD

                  Fairuz

                  Maarifti Feek

                    Fairuz's ultra rare 1987 classic composed and arranged by ziad rahbani and featuring the cult arabic groove "ouverture 83" is reissued for the first time on vinyl remastered from the original tapes.

                    Following the reissue last year of Fairuz's classic 1979 album "Wahdon", Wewantsounds pursue their exploration of great Lebanese music with the reissue of Fairuz's highly sought-after LP "Maarifti Feek," released in 1987. Recorded in Beirut around 1983-84, the album features the Diva's superb voice combined with Ziad Rahbani's jazz and funk orchestration, making it one of the most in-demand albums on the Arabic funk scene.

                    Greg Foat

                    Symphonie Pacifique

                      Foat has become a versatile mainstay in UK jazz through an acclaimed series of albums on Jazzman and Athens Of The North, moving from soul-jazz workouts to library music to cinematic, haunting compositions and pastoral acid folk. ‘Symphonie Pacifique’ goes expansive and widescreen, building a lush soundscape using choral textures, harp and tubular bells on the atmospheric ‘After The Storm’ alongside sensual groove-based tracks like the undulating ‘Anticipation’, the album title track and Groove Merchant-channelling ‘Nikinakinu’, all driven by Phil Achille on bass, Eric Young on congas and Moses Boyd’s crisp, flowing breakbeats. Other tracks include a moving tribute to KPM library legend Duncan Lamont on the reflective ‘Lament For Lamont’ and the languid, simmering ‘Island Life’.

                      The album is a truly international collaboration, recorded analogue and produced by Greg Foat at London’s Fish Factory studios with strings recorded in Edinburgh and choir in Gothenburg. The album was mixed by Mattias Glava at Kungsten Studios in Gothenburg. Cover artwork is based on a painting by early 20th Century Algerian / Parisian artist Henry Valensi.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                      Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra

                      Badder Weather / As I Walk (feat. Josephine Oniyama)

                        Gondwana Records are delighted to announce '7" Series', our first ever 7" vinyl collection series. Featuring bespoke artwork from Gondwana Records designer Daniel Halsall, cut at Calyx in Berlin, and manufactured at Optimal, each 7" is limited to strictly 300 copies and housed in a reverse board printed sleeve with classic 'dinked' centre holes.

                        To launch this collectable series, we are excited to share new and previously unreleased music from Mammal Hands and two catalogue favourites from Matthew Halsall. Over the next coming months, we will share series part 3 and 4 and beyond.

                        Manchester based composer, arranger, producer, DJ and band-leader Matthew Halsall has carved out a niche for himself as one of the UK's brightest talents. His languid, soulful, beautiful music has won international acclaim and for his first ever 7" he revisits his 2015 masterpiece, Into Forever, selecting two classic cuts, featuring the great vocalist Josephine Oniyama to create an instant, timeless, classic.

                        Side A Badder Weather is deep and soulful built around a groove that never quits.

                        Side B As I Walk is a lush, soulful affair, featuring swelling strings and deep vocals.

                        Manchester based composer, producer, trumpeter, DJ and founder of Gondwana Records, Matthew Halsall is one of UK's most creative talents. A gifted trumpeter with a beautiful, expressive tone, his music has explored his love of the transcendental spiritual and modal jazz of Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders, as well as more contemporary dance music and electronica.


                        Hampshire & Foat

                        Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand - Reissue

                        Multi talented UK Jazz Pianist Greg Foat has teamed up with Mercury Award nominated "The Bees" member and multi instrumentalist Warren Hampshire to collaborate on a new LP drawing on their diverse musical influences. Classic British library music, 60s Italian soundtracks & lost Americana combined with touches of modern classical, minimalism, Jazz and Folk. Featuring many members of Greg and Warren's previous bands and one of the U.Ks finest Jazz drummers, Clark Tracy, the LP also features an Edinburgh orchestra and soloists hand picked and scored by the boys. Recorded all analogue onto 2" multitrack in Edinburgh, mixed down by Mattias Glavå at his studio in Gothenburg, Sweden then mastered and cut in Helsinki, Finland, it's truly a European affair. 


                        Brenda Jones

                        Super Stroke / Big Mistake

                          Big Mistake is a record with a lot of fans and as many questions! Q: Why is it the B-side? A. This is where it appeared originally. Q: Who is Brenda? A: We believe she is the late Brenda Melson aka Brenda Lee Jones from Dayton, Ohio. Q: What is the song about? A: She wrote it for her adopted son and is about the mistake his real mother made. Q: Why the fuzzy guitar? A: It was the flavour of the day and make it a Marmite record, BUT, many soul fans have waited years for a re-release as original copies are few and far between. Q: Is it a perfect recording? A: Maybe not entirely, but we have been supplied with the original tape masters used for the 1974 pressings. Q: So how many people want it? A: At least 500 on Discogs, there are no originals available and the highest paid for one was £800

                          Keleketla!

                          Keleketla!

                            Keleketla! is an expansive collaborative project, reaching outward from Johannesburg to London, Lagos, L.A. and West Papua, “Keleketla!” started as a musical meeting ground between Ninja Tune cofounders Coldcut and a cadre of South African musicians (introduced by the charity In Place Of War), including the raw, South African-accented jazz styles of Sibusile Xaba, and rapper Yugen Blakrok (Black Panther OST). From those initial sessions, the record grew to encompass a wider web of musical luminaries, including Afrobeat architects Tony Allen and Dele Sosimi, legendary L.A. spoken word pioneers The Watts Prophets, and West Papuan activist Benny Wenda.

                            Album collaborators include South Africa sessions with Yugen Blakrok, Nono Nkoane, Thabang Tabane, Tubatsi Moloi, Gally Ngoveni, Sibusile Xaba, Soundz of the South Collective, DJ Mabheko and London sessions with Tony Allen, Shabaka Hutchings, Dele Sosimi, Ed ‘Tenderlonious’ Cawthorne, Tamar Osborn, Miles James, Joe Armon-Jones, Afla Sackey, Wenda Family, Eska Mtungwazi, Jungle Drummer, DeeJay Random.

                            Additionally, The Watts Prophets (Los Angeles) and Antibalas (New York) have contributed to the album.

                            Mammal Hands

                            Chaser / Prism

                              Gondwana Records are delighted to announce '7" Series', our first ever 7" vinyl collection series. Featuring bespoke artwork from Gondwana Records designer Daniel Halsall, cut at Calyx in Berlin, and manufactured at Optimal, each 7" is limited to strictly 300 copies and housed in a reverse board printed sleeve with classic 'dinked' centre holes.

                              To launch this collectable series, we are excited to share new and previously unreleased music from Mammal Hands and two catalogue favourites from Matthew Halsall. Over the next coming months, we will share series part 3 and 4 and beyond.

                              Captivating, ethereal and majestic, Mammal Hands are driven by their unique line-up of drums, piano and saxophone. Their hypnotic music draws on a rich well of influences from Sufi trance and West African music to folk music, contemporary classical, spiritual jazz and electronica to produce something uniquely their own. Their 7" features two brand new, previously unreleased tunes.

                              Side A Chaser is a punchy, hypnotic tune with an enchanted melody that'll take you on a magical journey. All in less than 4 minutes

                              Side B Prism is a mysterious ear-worm, ethereal but catchy, it sounds like nothing else the band have ever recorded.

                              Melt Yourself Down

                              100% YES!

                                After a few years out to perfect their jaw-dropping new album 100% YES,  Melt Yourself Down are back. Thanks to collaborations with production legends Youth and Ben Hillier, the band have reimagined themselves and  created a bruising re-up of their signature sound with added synths, lyrics, anthems and epic joyrides. They took their sweet time crafting this new sound and it was worth it - 100% YES is the band at their finest.

                                Denai Moore

                                Modern Dread

                                  Denai Moore is a British- Jamaican artist who rose to prominence as a guest vocalist on SBTRKT's 2014 album ‘Wonder Where We Land’. Moore was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, where she started to learn to play keyboard from her father. Her family moved to Stratford, London when she was 10. 

                                  Etuk Ubong

                                  Africa Today - Night Dreamer Direct-To-Disc Sessions

                                    Hailed by none other than Seun Kuti as “one of the best things to come out of Lagos”, Nigerian trumpeter, composer and bandleader Etuk Ubong has developed an original style he calls “Earth Music”.

                                    Weaving together a unique combination of not only afrobeat, highlife and jazz, but also the ritualistic drumming of Ekombi, the result is urgent and highly energetic, yet spiritual; his compositions reflecting his heritage and life philosophy of goodwill, peace and love for humanity. Ubong’s music is so vibrant and propulsive that one can easily make comparisons with leading lights of the UK scene, such as the Shabaka Hutchings-led Sons of Kemet, but at the same time it is distinctly Nigerian.

                                    Ubong was invited by Night Dreamer to record at Haarlem’s Artone Studio, home to an enviable collection of vintage mastering and recording equipment and situated right above a pressing plant. He assembled an international ensemble of the highest calibre to record his compositions direct-to-disc, avoiding the interference created by widely adopted recording techniques and capturing his enigmatic live performance in its most natural and explosive form. Ubong is joined by another Lagos-based musician, Michael Awosogo, also on trumpet, and a hand-picked group of UK and Netherlands-based musicians who finally after an impromptu show the night before, recorded the whole album in just one sitting on the last day of the five-day session.

                                    Much of the music is incredibly fast-paced, and politically charged, particularly on titles such as “African Struggle” and “Mass Corruption'', with Ubong featuring on both trumpet and lead vocal, leading a five-piece brass section over the percussion-heavy rhythm section and soulful keys supplied by Vels Trio’s Jack Stephenson-Oliver. Etuk uses music to address not only injustice but also humanity and spirituality, most notably on “Spiritual Change”, a deep cut on which Etuk reflects on Africans need for internal change before they can address the problems around them, stands-out among the rest of the album.

                                    Born in the Akwa Ibom State in southern Nigeria, but raised in Lagos, Ubong picked up the trumpet at the age of 14 and never looked back. He went on to study at the Peter King College of Music, Muson School of Music and the University of Cape Town, and aged just 16 was recruited to join the band of the late-great and recently passed highlife musician Victor Olaiya, through whose ranks also passed a young Fela Kuti & Tony Allen before inventing afrobeat. This led to him joining and touring with reggae sensation Buchi, before a fruitful stint with Femi Kuti’s Positive Force, performing frequently at the New Afrika Shrine in Ikeja, and dates with the visionary South African pianist and composer Nduduzo Makhathini, recently signed to Blue Note Records.

                                    Already greatly in-demand at home in Lagos, and across Nigeria and Africa, he has launched his own venue, “The Truth”, the most prolific in the Nigerian capital since Fela Kuti’s Shrine, performing himself three nights a week. At the same time, Etuk’s following in London & the UK has exploded after numerous performances including a mesmerising and widely-discussed session with acclaimed London-based artist collective, event and music community Steam Down, residencies at Jazz re:freshed & the Royal Festival Hall and a storming set at the inaugural edition of Gilles Peterson’s We Out Here Festival. Ubong’s connection to the UK scene, particularly Steam Down and musicians such as Theon Cross from Sons of Kemet, draws attention to exciting parallels. The intensity, the political edge, the crossing of barriers and pursuit of spirituality.

                                    Night Dreamer has captured Etuk Ubong, live-and-uncut, at a pivotal point: a highly accomplished musician who has absorbed his home’s musical heritage, created his own sound and already made an impact not only in Lagos but also within the exciting UK and South African jazz scenes. An essential record that transcends the labels of jazz or afrobeat. Let’s call it earth music.

                                    Wendell Watts

                                    You Girl / Kiss A Good Thing Goodbye

                                      Outta Sight’s collectable ‘Real Side’ series continues with two stunning sides from Ted Jarrett’s Nashville based ‘ref-o-ree’ label. Jarrett was a hugely successful songwriter and producer for a number of Tennessee labels before he formed Poncello and Spar ahead of the harder Soul sounding ‘ref-o-ree’ that was home to our star turn Wendell Watts. Little is known about Wendell Watts other than he recorded and released two 45s for the ‘ref-o-ree’ label in 1969. According to some sources he hailed from Detroit but these recordings are certainly Nashville based and were produced by label owner Ted Jarrett and arranged by his long-time collaborator Bob (Robert) Holmes. The 45s are highly collectable with “Kiss A Good Thing Goodbye” rarely seen for sale and available as a reissue for the very first time. Incredibly, both of our featured spins were originally released as B-sides. “You Girl” on the back of Watts’ soul-cover of the Peppermint Rainbow hit “Will You Be Staying After Sunday”, whilst “Kiss A Good Thing Goodbye” played second fiddle to the novelty Bob Holmes song “The Love Bug”. The latter was reissued in 1972 coupled with “Grooviest Thing Side Of Heaven” on the tiny Jiminie logo. Watts also released a chidren’s Christmas album in 1972, for which he wrote most of the songs, before bowing out of the music industry.


                                      In stock and available to order now: https://t.co/P8jSlpMZbf https://t.co/4acticvkUO
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                                      A selection of sevens out today including super limited @gondwanarecords releases as part of their ‘7” Series’,… https://t.co/vqyqGBah9M
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