MAGIC MIX

funk . soul . jazz . free jazz . broken beat

WEEK STARTING 17 Aug

Genre pick of the week Cover of Tauhid by Pharoah Sanders.
Pharoah Sanders possesses one of the most distinctive tenor saxophone sounds in jazz. Harmonically rich and heavy with overtones, Sanders' sound can be as raw and abrasive as it is possible for a saxophonist to produce. Yet, Sanders is highly regarded to the point of reverence by a great many jazz fans. He made his name with expressionistic, nearly anarchic free jazz in John Coltrane's late ensembles of the mid-'60s. The hallmarks of Sanders' playing at that time were naked aggression and unrestrained passion. In the years after Coltrane's death, however, Sanders explored other, somewhat gentler and perhaps more cerebral avenues - without, it should be added, sacrificing any of the intensity that defined his work as an apprentice to Coltrane.

Sanders made his first record as a leader in 1964. "Tauhid" was his first album after the death of John Coltrane in 1967.

"'Upper Egypt And Lower Egypt' is so perfect that the rest of Tauhid tends to get forgotten, but the four shorter tracks which complete the album, totalling another 18:08, are also magnificent. 'Japan,' inspired by Sanders' tour of the country with Coltrane's band in the summer of 1966, is as pretty as pink lotus blossom. 'Aum' and 'Venus,' the first with Sanders on alto, are tougher and further out, before the concluding 'Capricorn Rising' re-establishes the album's peaceful opening vibe... In retrospect, the first cut was indeed the deepest, and for many devotees Tauhid remains Sanders' astral jazz muthalode, and 'Upper Egypt And Lower Egypt' his finest (quarter) hour.


Fresh from touring with Hugh Masekela (“The Boy’s Doin’ It”), Gboyega Adelaja goes into the lab to drop heavy keyboard science on his Moog and Fender Rhodes. Its Joe Sample meets the Afro Funk of BLO. With names like Jake Sollo on guitars, Mike Odumusu (BLO, Osibisa) on bass guitar and Gasper Lawal on percussion. This is a top quality, Afro-Funk, all-stars affair that shines from the inspired interventions, masterly arrangements to the sublime production.

“I was already following Hugh Masekela when I met him, he was an outstanding musician and I knew of his collaboration with
Hedzoleh, that band brought him nearer to many of us, because he was playing authentic African melodies with the Hedzoleh
sound which was mostly percussion oriented. Yes I knew about Hugh’s music before I met him. Infact when we started playing
together, he insisted that I stay with him in our three bedroom apartment, other members of the band had their own apartments,
but Hugh and myself shared the same 3 bedroom apartment”.

“We were touring, under Casablanca owned by Neil Boggart, we toured as professional musicians, flying to our gigs. There was
a time when we were touring with George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic we had two luxury buses deployed for our use.
We made many friends where ever we went to play, we met many big and popular musicians who came to watch our shows, the
Spinners came to see us in Detroit, we met Wayne Shorter of Weather Report, Freddie Hubbard, we played a gig with Herbie
Hancock at the Carnegie Hall New York City, we toured almost all the 50 States of the US.”

Born and raised in Philadelphia, gospel singer, songwriter, arranger, pianist, band leader and producer Calvin Carr (now a Minister of the Gospel) possessed excellent ears for music at a very young age. The sounds of music that shaped his life were the sounds of his early church singing experience. He began playing the piano at the age of 9, continued his work in music throughout high school, composing, singing in different churches, learned how to executive produce and ended up working for the TCS Music Company under the direction of its founder Mr. Tony Carter, displaying the talents of Philadelphia’s local artists such as Gabriel Hardeman Delegation, The Young Delegation, Little Sammy & The Flying Cloud Jrs., Gwen Carter, The Collins Sisters, Brockington Singers…
In 1978 Calvin released the now scarce and relatively unknown “Without Christ” 45 on the TCS “Philadelphia United Records“ subsidiary. Taking the rhythms of disco, tonality of soul and energy of gospel, Calvin cooked up a seriously spiritual blast of raw dance floor energy. 


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Eyes closed and hands in the air, this gospel killer has spirit fingers written all over it...Church MFs!

Nat Birchall

Tunji / Mode For Trane

Nat Birchall returns with two sides of blissful cosmic and spiritual jazz. Released on the label JAZZ45, which is a platform for discovering new independent and creative jazz artistes! Both Tunji and Mode For Trane focus on the simplicity of jazz, creating beautiful mindful tracks, Nat Birchall is a Piccadilly favourite, slow paced floaty jazz is perfection. Original artwork & original music on each and every release. The release is very limited, just 600 copies worldwide! 

You'd think that following "Melodies Of Love" would be an impossible task. Not so, if you happen to be genius Brit-Funk pioneers John Rocca and Andy Stennett. On their more understated - yet, pound for pound, stronger - second record, Pink Rhythm stretched out to create a 4 track EP of richly melodic, exquisite beauty. In the process, they trumped their most well-known release.

Cruising on a funk-fuelled journey from the swaggering title track, via the blue-eyed soul of "Trust Me", to the stabbing staccato synth heat of "More And More" and back again ("India" dub) this EP has ESSENTIAL seared onto its substantial grooves.

STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: Dreamy, galactic, synth-ridden and surprisingly soulful killer funk 4-tracker for those who dig deeper. Perfect soundtrack for my Saturday night ride back from clubbing hard on my Delorean.

The Shacks

My Name Is... / Sand Song

Big Crown Records drop another top single from The Shacks' fine debut album Haze. The A side “My Name Is…” is one of the first songs The Shacks wrote shortly after they met. Producer Leon Michels had the track and the title for it and sent it on to The Shacks to pen the lyrics. Max Shrager says of writing the lyrics “this song is about setting a time and place to meet up, wandering around like ghosts until we spotted each other in a crowd of strangers. It is inspired by "I Only Have Eyes For You" by The Flamingos”.

Musically, it has the infectious attraction that all of El Michels productions do. A poppy melody balanced out by the rough and tough rhythm section made this the perfect match for Shannon’s subtle and sweet vocals. The B side, “Sand Song” is a beautiful tune about an ugly subject; global warming. The hauntingly beautiful guitar melody that the Shrager produced track begins with is met with the equally somber vocals from Shannon. Reverb drenched background vocals and organ flourishes follow suit with the arrangement showcasing The Shacks razor sharp musicianship. A stand out tune from the album and the embodiment of what made iD magazine call The Shacks “classic American sounds…simultaneously recalling Sesame Street and David Lynch’s nocturnal crooners”.

Stone Foundation

Standing At The Top

    Stone Foundation release the first 12" from their forthcoming album Everybody, Anyone. A glorious 7 minutes of summer soul, underpinned by a dub-inspired bassline, soaring strings and sunny backing vocals. Limited to 500 copies worldwide. Backed with the instrumental version of the track, in the dub tradition!

    Renowned DJ and broadcaster Richard Searling revisits the records that helped define his career at the world-famous Wigan Casino Soul Club between the years 1973 to 1981. This fantastic 16 track - vinyl only - album is compiled from over 150 records profiled in Richard Searling’s 2018 book Setting The Record Straight and is an absolute must for any serious Northern Soul fan. It is the soundtrack, not only to the book, but to almost a decade of discoveries that shaped the sound of the might Casino Club. “The records I have included here are all ones I had the privilege of playing first at Wigan Casino, or in my short time behind the turntables at Va Va’s in Bolton. There are many others I helped create a demand for, all of which are detailed in my book. I’ve annotated any “cover-up” name changes that I might have used, and I’ve also tried to describe each 45 in the context of the time when it was garnering favour. I’ve also added as much background information as possible about the artists and how the records came to exist in the first place. As the book title - Setting The Record Straight – suggests, I have taken this opportunity to clear up once and for all some of the myths and unnecessary distortions of the truth surrounding Wigan Casino that have been circulating since the All-Nighters came to an end in late 1981.” Richard Searling


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