MAGIC MIX

funk . soul . jazz . free jazz . broken beat

WEEK STARTING 14 Dec

Genre pick of the week Cover of New Heights / Snitches Brew by Kamaal Williams.

Kamaal Williams

New Heights / Snitches Brew

Following a stellar 2018 for Black Focus, Henry Wu’s new imprint that set the levels with acclaimed debut LPs from Kamaal Williams and Mansur Brown, worldwide tours and international collaborations, Kamaal Williams returns with a 12” of fresh cuts.

Two new pathways to unknown worlds filtering the Kamaal Williams sound through hypnotic hip-hop on the Darkhouse Family (Don Leisure & Earl Jeffers) co-produced 'New Heights', and melted wah wah psychedelia on 'Snitches Brew', which features Mansur Brown on guitar.

To echo Kamaal’s friend and collaborator Yelfris Valdés, ‘This aint jazz no more...’

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: Paving the way for innovative jazz-hybrid-hip hop is Kamaal Williams along with Mansur Brown on guitar, these two tracks are in a league of their own (I think Snitches Brew is my favourite name for a song ever!)

FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd 12" includes MP3 Download Code.

Afshin And Kiss My Black Jazz

Jesuino Gala Diodo / Make It Ready

Afhin & Kiss My Black Jazz return promptly to Gamm following a one record sabbatical, bringing two more superb reworkings fresh from the studio.

First up a joyous late 70's Brazilian lost classic, perfectly realigned for 21st century floors as focuses on the highly danceable passages. It might be cold and wet outside but this ray of sunshine should be enough to light up any room.

On the flip, "Make It Reggae" sees a twist on James Brown's "Make It Funky" jam, adding a Kingston styled flip on this funk classic. Both are gonna smash the floor to bits...


STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: Two brutally outstanding edits to rock your party. Seriously good. You need this. Cannot say it any louder unless I use caps. GAMM in its true form.

High Jazz launched last year with a ace reissue of Ambiance's legendary fusion masterpiece "(Gida Gida) Tight & Tidy", now the label continue their journey through the group's discography with a timely reissue of debut LP "Ebun". Led by Nigerian born saxophonist, flutist, and clarinettist Daoud Abubakar Balewa, the Californian group fused elements of spiritual jazz, funk, soul, Afro and Latin into an intoxicating brew, packed with melody, movement and chiefly groove. Impossible to find in its original private pressing, this faultless LP is finally available again, fully licensed and remastered, with original artwork.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: High Jazz continue to treat us like royalty with their superb reissues, returning to the cultly adored West Coast fusion group Ambiance and their impossible to find debut. Dynamic, harmonious and expressionistic, this is A-grade jazz-funk on a spiritual tip.

Holy onto your underpants pop pickers, a mysterious Ukranian cometh correcteth with a new series of odd-ball Japanese pop, eastern tropicalia and Oriental paradise music.

First installment comes on heavy 180g 10" vinyl and features some beautifully constructed jazz-funk, decorated with a dreamy Japanese (?) vocal while keys and sax players find a complete unison. Playful but skilled, it epitomizes the effortless yet perfect accomplishments that Japanese renditions of Western styles achieved. Often surpassing the very templates they were inspired by. Number one in the set - don't miss out - super limited copies and our resident Japanese expert says the source material's to die for.


FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd 10" Info: Super limited 10"

Bitter End

Incapable / Princess / Feeling You Feeling Me

The Crooked Man releases another salvo on pre-release through his Bitter End moniker - possibly hinting at what material the Sheffield star is collating for his next album.

"Incapable" on side A, might just be the most uplifting hymn to emotional thick-skin you're ever likely to hear. With Parrot's thick n chunky bass and drum grooves powering it forward at a steady mid-tempo slug and a near-perfect vocally delivery from a fellow Dee-dar (colloquial term) (currently uncreditted).

On the flip we get the incendiary face melter, "Princess", paired with the meticulously constructed "Feeling You Feeling Me" which utilizes a classic electronic disco template to create an effortless piece of feel-good party music. 


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Bitter End attempts to recreate last year's crowning glory, dropping a near faultless 12" that'll appeal to fans of Crazy P and other new northern disco. We can't reveal who the vocalist is but Picc customers are gonna nail it first try. Enjoy!

Cody Black was born and raised in Cincinnati in the shadow of King Records where he cut this landmark Northern Soul 45 “I’m Slowly Molding” in 1968. However, it didn’t impact on the UK soul scene until the mid-Eighties when, at last, it finally hit at the ground-breaking ‘Top Of The World’ club in Stafford. Still a mainstay of the All-Nighter scene to this day and commanding prices in the region of $1,000. Black recorded a string of 45s for as many labels including the highly prized “It’s Our Time To Fall In Love” on ‘GIG’ and the sublime “Mr Blue” on ‘D-Town’. Charles Spurling was a fellow Cincinnati music hustler working as an A&R man at King Records when he cut this pounding Northern Soul dancer in 1967.

Gene Chandler

I'll Make The Living (If You Make The Loving Worthwhile) / All About The Paper

Funk and soul at its finest here as two Chicago classics from the Gene Chandler vault get an official remastered, reissue exactly as they deserve to be.  On the A side, ‘I'll Make The Living If You Make The Loving Worthwhile’ combines heavenly orchestral flair with Chandler’s sweeter than sweet vocals. That early 80’s influence weaves it’s way throughout with a healthy dose of slap bass bringing a flavour of funk to the fore. Take to the B side and Chandler offers up a more disco focused track, complete with a killer boogie tinged bassline, sensuous keys and strings of stratospheric proportions. Those silky-smooth trademark Gene Chandler tones keep the iconic soul running deeply through the veins of this 1980 number. Any self-respecting music lover deserves this remastered version nestled in their collection.

Outernational Sounds treat us to a Nimbus West spirit jazz essential: the Creative Arts Ensemble’s classic debut "One Step Out". Mastered at 45rpm on double vinyl for enhanced sound, this release features all tracks at full length for the first time on wax.
One of the most sought after and highly regarded titles to have appeared on Tom Albach’s celebrated Nimbus West imprint, the Creative Art Ensemble’s "One Step Out" is a timeless work of spiritualised jazz. A true gem from the Los Angeles jazz underground, the album was pianist and composer Kaeef Ruzadun Ali’s first recording as leader of the Creative Arts Ensemble, the only large ensemble group that emerged directly from Horace Tapscott’s legendary Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra community jazz group. 
A Los Angeles native, Kaeef was introduced to the Tapscott circle in the late 1970s. His first experience of the Arkestra’s ethos was through PAPA tenorist Michael Session, who took him to the famous ‘Great House’ at 2412 South Western Ave., LA – a large mansion house which members of the Arkestra had taken over as a space for communal living. Life in the Great House was a continuous stream of music, dance and community events. ‘When I walked in there,’ recalled Kaeef, ‘it was like this whole rush came over me, just from going in the front door…It was like a very, very warm feeling of love. I went and I came out with ‘Flashback of Time’, and that was my first arrangement.’
Kaeef quickly became a significant contributor of compositions to the Arkestra’s songbook – his piece ‘New Horizon’ would be recorded by Horace Tapscott for the latter’s Tapscott Sessions series. But ‘Flashback of Time’ would eventually appear on One Step Out, played by the new group he had put together from stalwart Arkestra members. Inspired by both Tapscott’s example and by the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Kaeef had wanted to follow their lead by assembling a larger unit. ‘I would like to form a group that would be an extension of the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra,’ he told Tapscott. The group was to be known as the Creative Arts Ensemble, and One Step Out, released in 1981 by Nimbus West, was their debut.
Featuring seasoned Arkestra regulars including reedsman Dadisi Komolafe, drummer Woody ‘Sonship’ Theus and altoist Gary Bias, with veterans Henry ‘The Skipper’ Franklin on bass and George Bohannon on trombone, One Step Out is a key document of the Los Angeles radical jazz underground. Featuring the sanctified vocals of Kaeef’s sister, B. J. Crowley, the album is a tour de force of spiritually energised independent jazz music. Community uplift and sacred vision straight from the Great House, back on vinyl for the first time since 1981!
"One Step Out" is released as a limited, 2LP vinyl-only edition. 180g pressing, mastered at 45rpm for enhanced sound. Fully licensed from Tom Albach.

"June 2017, France. It’s 40° both inside and outside. At Studio Black Box, in the Haut Anjou, it is as if you were there, in Madagascar. And when the tape recorders start rotating, the musicians’ imagination feeds off the guts of their music : Malagasy bush, tropical heat, red dirt, sand, drought, corn, cassava, cockcrow, mooing zebus, lambahoany (fabric), leaf hut, fotaky house (mud), dust, portable generator, music, rhum, bodies frantically dancing whether in the dark or under the blazing sun…Tsapiky.

The album shall be named "Valimbilo". Bilo is a disease which strikes one’s mental health, depression is what western societies call it. When one is diagnosed with « voany bilo », a precise medical treatment is engaged and performed without doctors, nor medicine. To vanquish bilo, one has to use music. The sorcerer solely decides upon the “good” day (the day which gathers the most positive aspects of the astrological conjuncture) to operate: the extended family hosts a ceremony ruled by many taboos, which can last up to a few days, and in which only one remedy is applied in high dosage : some Tsapiky.
They are “doctor” musicians whom talent is source of the cure.
They play for the patient, who has to be facing the orchestra : all of their attention is focused on the bilo, dancing in the sick person’s body : It has to be awaken, seduced, surprised and attacked from every angle before it is pressured, pressured until KO, until it can’t take the it anymore, stuffed with music. Then the patient is relieved, discharged, and the ceremony is over.

During the entirety of the ceremony, the patient picks a person who helps him/her get the bilo out of his/her system, this is what we call “valimbilo”, literally “husband/wife of the bilo.” "

Herbert Hunter

I Was Born To Love You / I Know That Feelin'

Herbert Hunter will be forever worshiped by the UK Northern Soul scene for his anthemic 45 “I Was Born to Love You”, recorded in the home of country music, Nashville, in 1967. Sometimes things are just meant to be and they collide in perfect harmony. “I Was Born To Love You” is a case in point. The perfect lyric – “I Was Born To Love You, You Were Born To Tear My Heart Apart” – the perfect beat, and perfect timing as it crashed onto these shores in the summer of ’76 when Northern Soul was at its zenith and Wigan Casino owned the All-Nighter scene! But, Hunter is no one-trick pony, as his list of collectable 45s bears testament, not least “Happy Go Lucky”, also on Spar. Hunter was part of Ted Jarrett’s roster of artists and, under Jarrett’s stewardship recorded a string of cover versions under the pseudonym Leroy Jones for the neighbouring budget label ‘Hit’. He learnt much of his trade from established artists and label mates such as Gene Allison who he toured with as minder and nursemaid, due to Allison’s drink problem. Often, when they arrived a venue, Allison was too drunk to perform and Hunter would step in for him. For our B-side we’ve chosen a lesser known, but no less wonderful and gritty Northern Soul dancer “I Know The Feelin’” by The Jades. Currently very much indemand with a mint copy selling earlier this year for over $900. We know little about The Jades who recorded this incredible slab of uptempo soul for Ted Jarrett’s Poncello label in 1964 featuring, of course, Herbert Hunter’s booming lead vocal.

Patti Jo

Make Me Believe In You / Stay Away From Me

Patti Jo was a Nashville teen when she cut this, original, version of Curtis Mayfield’s song “Make Me Believe In You”. She still resides in Nashville today but has remained somewhat of an enigma. One thing is for certain, if the quarter of a million YouTube views are anything to go by, this is one mighty mighty slab of pure funk/northern/rare groove soul! The master was produced by Curtis Mayfield for Scepter Records in 1973 and released on their Wand imprint. Reissued here for the first time under the Scepter logo and coupled with another Mayfield song “Stay Away From Me” on which Patti delivers a stunning performance on the song that Mayfield originally cut with Major Lance.

The Just Brothers were Jimmy and Frank Bryant and are best known for their throw-away instrumental “Sliced Tomatoes” that first graced the scene at Blackpool Mecca. “Carlena” is a different beast altogether, a powerful slice of gritty up-tempo soul propelled by various members of Motown’s Funk Brothers. A collector’s item that was first picked up by Wigan Casino DJ Richard Searling on a visit to Soul Bowl circa 1976-7, a trip that also produced the first copy of The Honey Bees’ “Let’s Get Back Together”, both on the Garrison label, reputedly part-owned by Mike Terry, and both incredibly rare, approaching a combined $5,000 in today’s market! The Honey Bees were an in demand, for-hire, backing vocal group working the New York circuit in the mid-Sixties and can be heard, in fine voice, supporting Jack Montgomery (real name Marvin Jones) on his superb Barracuda 45 “Don’t Turn Your Back on Me”. Here they deliver their own, much deserved, recording, co-written by Don Mancha and Wigan’s adopted son, the late, great Edwin Starr.

The Moments

On Top

    The Moments’ On Top is a perfect example of symphonic soul. Amongst true heads, this is considered the most valuable of all their albums; an original copy of this LP, if you can find one, starts at around $75. Alongside contemporaneous acts from the early 70s - The Chi-lites, The Stylistics, The Delfonics, The Futures, Blue Magic and The Main Ingredient - The Moments exuded all that was compelling about deep, harmony-drenched, string-laden soul.

    The standout here is undoubtedly "To You with Love", a floating, tender ballad sung by Harry Ray that features the group’s patented handclap-tambourine combo, sweetly repetitive strings, serene guitar and gentle piano. It was famously sampled by J Dilla for “Last Donut Of The Night” - the gut-wrenching finale to his seminal Donuts. Concentrating solely on its sampled history would do The Moments a huge disservice, but its crucial appearance at the climax of Donuts directed fresh generations of pre-disposed soul fans to the absolute canon. Judged entirely on its merit, it’s one of the most heart-breaking songs of any decade and worth the price of admission alone. It’s the sweetest, most goose-bump inducing 3 minutes of aural bliss you’re ever likely to be exposed to.

    If that wasn’t enough, On Top spawned two minor R&B hits: "All I Have" and "Lucky Me", each featuring Billy Brown's ice-melting falsetto. Opener “All I Have” is a sumptuous introduction to the album. With melancholic, understated guitar licks, twinkling keys and heartbeat drums, it’s a gem. The triumphant “Lucky Me” is simply gorgeous; all gentle chimes, swirling strings and, again, scarcely believable falsetto soaring atop proud horns.

    Also included are two singles that are different from anything the group had ever done; "I Can't Help It" and "That's How It Feels." The former features thundering kicks and crashing cymbals underneath floating flutes, progressively stabbing strings and horns. The yearning vocals embody an almost Temptations-like delivery at times. "That's How It Feels” is a two-parter wherein Brown's voice bestrides a bed of rhythms on a tune more aptly defined as a love suite than a song. Dripping in breakbeats, piano and strings, Brown describes the devastation of losing the one you love before the track brilliantly switches up with a sweeping string-led chorus and heavenly harmonies.

    The only genuine uptempo number, where anomalous happiness reigns, is "Sweeter As The Days Go By," led by Brown in his natural, gospel-inspired tenor. A charming but sorrow-filled "I Lost One Bird In The Hand" is an impressive, slow lamenter crooned by Ray, with horns and strings dominating the lushly arranged backdrop. Appropriately, we end on that down-lifting note that we've all come for: "Candy Shack."

    The audio for On Top comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the memorable cover art, handling the reproduction duties with the utmost attention to detail.


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd LP Info: 180 gram 2018 reissue – remastered from original tape transfers, carefully reproduced original art, strictly limited to 500 copies worldwide – no repress.

    The Mr K Edits series continues to be a hotbed of crucial dancefloor wares, taking stone cold classics and giving them a gentle refinement to make the grooves stretch out that little bit longer. The latest in the 7" series focuses on The Police and two of their finest jams - the first is no stranger to revisions, covers and remixes. "Voices In My Head" has been tackled by many, not least 90s hip house upstart KC Flightt, but here the original version goes on a version excursion that brings out the best in the tune. On the flip, "When The World Is Runnin' Down" shimmers with uptempo new wave refinement that should set any open minded dancefloor alight.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Sil says: Two pretty well-known The Police hits treated respectfully by maestro Mr K (Danny Krivit). Expect top quality and anyone out there who does not have these two bombs, needs them. On a not so different note I need to thank Senor Patrick for offering me to review this 7", otherwise I would have never remembered the anthemic tune that was the version that Different Gear did almost two decades ago! Very loco how time flies.

    In 1978, Nova performed for Obama. Well, kind of: Nova was the band for the Punahou School prom in Honolulu, Hawaii, and a young student named Barack (known then as “Barry”) was in attendance.
    Backtrack to 1976, and Nova was the opening band for Donald Byrd at the nearby Blaisdell Arena. The day was Sunday, June 27. The following day, Isaac Hayes would perform on island for the admission price of $1.
    Nova, led by singer Checo Tohomaso, was one of several go-to party bands during the golden era of Hawaii funk and soul music in the mid-1970s through early 1980s.
    The band’s infectious gospel-funk-disco can be heard on their sole release, a self-titled 1980 LP that feels like one big party recorded live in the studio. (Check out the Marvin Gaye-inspired “I Feel Like Getting Down” on the 2016 ‘Aloha Got Soul’ compilation on Strut Records).
    The story is all too familiar, however: funk band releases LP, the music goes dormant in years to follow, and today original copies sell for hundreds online.
    Not long after the album’s 1980 release, Checo met Marvin Gaye, who was living on Maui (where George Benson also resided). Shortly after, Marvin invited Checo and his counterparts to join his multi-city tour across Europe. Videos of Checo rocking keyboards, percussion and singing background vocals for Marvin Gaye’s last European tour can be found online.
    Checo, born in Florida yet raised in lush Manoa Valley as well as Okinawa, Japan, now resides in Vancouver, Canada, where he leads the VOC Sweet Soul Gospel Choir and continues to deliver his signature sound: high energy, positive, “sweet soul” music.
    AGS-7010 features two non-stop groovers with a 7” edit by Roger Bong on the A-side. LP reissue in the works!"

    Aided and abetted by the incredible production and arranging skills of the infamous Gamble and Huff hit machine, Ohio's O'Jays were a major force throughout the 70s and 80s. An integral part of Philadelphia's mighty PIR stable, the group delivered influential, uplifting, inspiring and soulful music that still raises the roof on every airing. This special 4 track EP includes some of the evergreen classics they are most known for. It's all here. From the string laden and lush extended proto disco joy of 1975's 'I Love Music', (watch the dancefloor erupt) to the deep and soulful Philly stylings of 'Back Stabbers', 'Message In Our Music' & 'My Favourite Person', all of the music contained within this amazing collection is utterly essential if you dig soul, funk, disco, gospel and even house music. This is the real deal.

    Galvanised by a passion for soul, jazz, funk, folk, and Brazilian samba, Judith Ravitz’s Bolerio (in Hebrew, Yehudit Ravitz – בוא לריו) brilliantly reimagines the music of the Brazilian legend Jorge Ben. Increasingly sought-after, housing as it does her seminal take on “Dia De Indio” – often re-edited and sampled, bootlegged but never bettered – it’s a uniquely thrilling LP in its own right.

    The year is 1983, and Ravitz discovered that Jorge Ben was touring Israel with his crack backing band A Banda Do Zé Pretinho. After joining her in the studio, the ensemble reinvented a selection of Ben’s killer tracks that the band regularly performed. On Bolerio – “come to Rio” - Ravitz handed them equal billing as they aided a recontextualization of Ben’s music for an audience that was barely aware of him.

    These versions are by no means straight re-treads. Far from it. The highlights are many and memorable. The aforementioned “Dia De Indio”, a strutting, electronic samba-funk with stabbing bass and fluid arrangements, sounds so current and fresh that it’s hard to believe it’s now 35 years old. Its vibrant ambience has been likened to the wiry dubbiness of King Sunny Ade’s Synchro System and it’s easy to see why. Indeed, the electro elements add a futuristic feel that the original could never comfortably possess.

    Undeniably rocking more furiously than Ben’s versions, the album begins with a throbbing take on “Boiadeiro”, the opener from Ben’s Salve Simpatia. Ravitz flows wonderfully whilst the band get busy, introducing a heaviness and complexity absent from the original, as wild bass blends with an intensity to the guitar playing that’s quite stunning.

    Ravitz’s cover of the infamous “Taj Mahal” incorporates the lush Brazilian boogie of the time
    whilst “Santa Clara”, already a standout from Bem Vinda Amizade, is morphed into a deep electronic groove. Lent an airiness by this arrangement, the track benefits from Ravitz’s exquisite range and floats by on a bed of warm keys to conjure a gorgeous melodic melancholy throughout.

    The timeless “Que Pena” from Ben’s classic self-titled LP, released in 1969, gets an injection of warm Israeli funk that eschews the downbeat vibe of the original. Led by an electric piano, A Banda Do Zé Pretinho elevate the track and turn it into a weighty samba boogie. So substantial is this take, it effectively renders Ben’s version to that of a bare bones sketch. Equally, the beautifully mournful piano and plaintive horns that grace “Que Maravilha”, coupled with Ravitz’s vocal phrasing of spine-tingling clarity, contribute a depth of feeling and longing that hit hard.

    We’ve pressed just 500 copies of this gem with strictly no option for repress. The iconic artwork has been beautifully restored throughout, and includes a printed inner sleeve. Remastered from the original tape transfers by Simon Francis, it’s been pressed at 180g for the first time.


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd LP Info: 180 gram 2018 reissue – remastered from original tape transfers, carefully reproduced original art, strictly limited to 500 copies worldwide – no repress.

    You could be forgiven for not knowing how important saxophonist, bandleader and composer Jesse Sharps is. After all, the only album to come out under his name, Sharps And Flats, was recorded in 1985, and wasn’t issued on CD until 2004.

    But despite this seemingly small recorded footprint, Jesse Sharps is a major figure in the history of jazz music in Los Angeles. As the bandleader for Horace Tapscott’s Pan-Afrikan People’s Arkestra (P.A.P.A.) – the Marshall Allen to Tapscott’s Sun Ra – he led Tapscott’s seminal music community through its most cohesive phase. And, after a hiatus living in Europe, his return to Los Angeles in the 2000s saw him build a new group, The Gathering, which linked original heads including acclaimed singer Dwight Trible and legendary trombonist Phil Ranelin with a new generation of LA jazz voices, including none other than Kamasi Washington. Sharps has been around, and he’s made an indelible mark.

    Born in Los Angeles in 1953, Jesse Sharps spent his childhood in Watts. He first encountered the visionary pianist Horace Tapscott when he was still at high school – the Arkestra were performing on 103rd Street, and when Sharps heard them he knew what his future would be. Tapscott soon invited the young Sharps to rehearsals, where he played baritone. At college, Sharps studied under Cecil Taylor. When he came back to LA he rejoined the Arkestra on flute and reeds, and eventually took over band-leading duties from the great altoist Arthur Blythe. Trusted completely by Tapscott, as bandleader Sharps turned the Arkestra into a well-drilled unit. This was the time of the classic P.A.P.A. recordings Flight 17, Live at I.U.C.C, and The Call, and Sharps also wrote for the band. The funky, deep spirituality of compositions like ‘Desert Fairy Princess’, ‘Macramé’ and ‘Peyote Song III’ has made his tunes among most celebrated in the whole P.A.P.A. catalogue.

    Sharps And Flats was recorded in 1985 for Tom Albach’s legendary Nimbus West imprint, a label Albach had founded specifically to document the work of Horace Tapscott and his circle. Featuring a quintet of P.A.P.A. regulars at the height of their game, Sharps And Flats is one of the great lost Nimbus sessions – it lay unissued until 2004, and never saw a vinyl press.

    In line with the original Nimbus CD release, this edition of Sharps And Flats includes ‘McKowsky’s First Fifth’, a stunning 16 minute bonus cut by the Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra featuring Horace Tapscott, recorded in 1979. A lost classic of the LA underground, on wax at last!

    Shirley Wahls

    Why Am I Crying / That's How Long (I'm Gonna Love You)

    Shirley Wahls had a remarkably short lived solo recording career for someone with such a strong, emotive, deep soul voice. However, her debut single for King Records has to be regarded as one of the greatest double-header Northern Soul 45s of all time. When Shirley’s voice kicks in at around 15 seconds you know, in that spine-tingling instant, that you’re listening to something very special. At the hands of producer Bill “Bunky” Sheppard Shirley delivers an incredibly emotional performance straight out of the church where she was somewhat of a star working with the likes of the Argo and Ward Singers. And the B-side is equally stunning.

    “Larry Jon Wilson? He can break your heart with a voice like a cannonball.” - Kris Kristofferson.

    Larry Jon Wilson came to the party late. When he arrived in Nashville, country soul pioneer Tony Joe White had already made six albums. Townes Van Zandt had made seven, Mickey Newbury eight. Kristofferson, the accepted High Priest of the New Nashville, had made five. Larry Jon, by the time he arrived, had spent ten years in corporate America.

    He did not start playing guitar until the age of 30, but five years later he released his debut, New Beginnings (1975) and followed it just a year later with Let Me Sing My Song To You, both on Monument Records. A revelation among the hipsters and critics of Nashville, the LPs ensured Larry Jon was immediately embraced as part of the mid-70s “outlaw country movement” that eschewed slick production in favour of a raw, gritty approach. When a film crew came to document this burgeoning sound, they made straight for Larry Jon's door. The legendary Heartworn Highways (1981) featured his mesmerising performance of “Ohoopee River Bottomland”.

    He was a singer and writer of intensely private, painfully moving tales of southern life. With his deep, papa-bear voice, funky southern groove, and richly evocative narratives of rural Georgia, Larry Jon was a unique stylist but his gutsy, greasy sound did not translate into sales. Too funky for the country crowd, too heartfelt for pop radio, he fell between the cracks. We hope the long-overdue reissue of his first two albums will go some way to rectifying this. Indeed, both New Beginnings and Let Me Sing My Song to You - so similar they play like two halves of a double album – showcase his unique mix of country, folk, soul and swampy blues.

    New Beginnings failed to propel Larry Jon to even the relatively modest cult acclaim enjoyed by his likeminded contemporaries. And some of the frustration this conjured can be heard on 1976′s Let Me Sing My Song To You. Both the title track and the self-deprecating “Drowning in the Mainstream” speak of Wilson’s hope to inch at least a few steps towards the big time without making too many compromises. Any album containing the likes of the heartfelt, deeply beautiful tribute of “Ballad of Handy Mackey” and the superlative country-gothic funk opus ‘Sheldon Churchyard’ – the lead track from the lauded Country Got Soul compilation - must rank as essential listening.

    The audio for Let Me Sing My Song To You comes from the original analogue tape transfers and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the striking cover art and we were honoured when Larry’s close friend Jeb Loy Nichols kindly agreed to contribute wonderfully unique liner notes, presented beautifully on the printed inner sleeve opposite a gorgeous black and white shot of Larry, mid-performance.


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd LP Info: 180gram 2018 reissue – remastered from original tape transfers, carefully reproduced original art, strictly limited to 500 copies worldwide – no repress.

    2018 REISSUE – REMASTERED FROM ORIGINAL TAPE TRANSFERS, CAREFULLY REPRODUCED ORIGINAL ART.

    Larry Jon Wilson came to the party late. When he arrived in Nashville, country soul pioneer Tony Joe White had already made six albums. Townes Van Zandt had made seven, Mickey Newbury eight. Kristofferson, the accepted High Priest of the New Nashville, had made five. Larry Jon, by the time he arrived, had spent ten years in corporate America.

    He did not start playing guitar until the age of 30, but five years later he released his debut, New Beginnings (1975) and followed it just a year later with Let Me Sing My Song To You, both on Monument Records. A revelation among the hipsters and critics of Nashville, the LPs ensured Larry Jon was immediately embraced as part of the mid-70s “outlaw country movement” that eschewed slick production in favour of a raw, gritty approach. When a film crew came to document this burgeoning sound, they made straight for Larry Jon's door. The legendary Heartworn Highways (1981) featured his mesmerising performance of “Ohoopee River Bottomland”, a boogaloo funk monster.

    He was a singer and writer of intensely private, painfully moving tales of southern life. With his deep, papa-bear voice, funky southern groove, and richly evocative narratives of rural Georgia, Larry Jon was a unique stylist but his gutsy, greasy sound did not translate into sales. Too funky for the country crowd, too heartfelt for pop radio, he fell between the cracks. We hope the long-overdue reissue of his first two albums will go some way to rectifying this. Indeed, both New Beginnings and Let Me Sing My Song to You - so similar they play like two halves of a double album – showcase his unique mix of country, folk, soul and swampy blues.

    Driven by a crack rhythm section that included Elvis guitarist Reggie Young, New Beginnings is a rich, literate record. Anyone with even a passing interest in the union between soul and country music will be able to tell they’ve located solid gold as soon as Larry Jon’s deep baritone utters the first appreciative “mm-hmm” a few bars into the opening ‘Ohoopee River Bottomland’, a fat-bottomed swamp-funk account of hard times in the city and country alike. Funny, nostalgic, sad, wistful, righteously pissed-off: New Beginnings is country-influenced American songwriting at its finest, from the feverish country-got-soul groove pulsating behind the weary sigh of “Through The Eyes of Children” to the elemental lament “Things Ain’t What It Used to Be (and Probably Never Was)”, a country standard that somehow got away, Wilson’s compelling presence and rich voice keeping saccharine and self-pity at bay at all times.

    The audio for New Beginnings comes from the original analogue tape transfers and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the striking cover art and we were honoured when Larry’s close friend Jeb Loy Nichols kindly agreed to contribute wonderfully unique liner notes, presented beautifully on the printed inner sleeve opposite a gorgeous black and white shot of Larry, mid-performance.


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd LP Info: 180 gram strictly limited to 500 copies worldwide.

    Melvo Baptiste steps up to mix his second Glitterbox compilation, ‘Pump The Boogie!’, featuring the upfront disco heat that has been setting off the dancefloor all summer at Glitterbox parties in New York, Amsterdam, London and Ibiza. A contender for the hottest party on earth, this Glitterbox season saw record numbers through the doors at Hï Ibiza, with Melvo himself playing his first headline sets in the club’s main room, the Theatre. ‘Pump The Boogie!’ reflects the sounds of the Theatre, moving from the joyful 80s and 90s sounds of The Emotions ‘Turn It Out’ and Kathy Brown ‘I Appreciate’ through modernised classics like Sister Sledge ‘Got To Love Somebody’ remixed for 2018 by disco maestro Dimitri From Paris. More so than ever this edition has a heavy focus on the latest upbeat dancefloor killers from the last 12 months, like Selace ‘So Hooked On Your Lovin’’ (Mousse T.’s Extended Disco Shizzle) and Gershon Jackson presents Reset Preset ‘Hands Together’ (House of Omni Hands Together Extended Club Mix), the exceptional new release from the Glitterbox imprint.

    Demonstrating what Glitterbox does best, ‘Pump The Boogie!’ explores authentic dance music enhanced by live instrumentation. Mighty Mouse ‘The Spirit’, another Glitterbox release, uses percussion and brass blasts to build energy, DJ Mes ‘Da Change’ (Miguel Migs Salty Rub) carries a captivating guitar hook and Paradise Express ‘Dance’ (Special 12” Disco Mix) features the unmistakeable backing of a full disco band. The album’s namesake ‘Pump The Boogie’ (Basstoy Boogie Mix) by Mark Picchiotti goes full throttle with chest-pounding groove, strings and earworm vocal. Melvo’s ‘Pump The Boogie!’ beckons you to the dancefloor once again with a truly stomping, timeless compilation. 


    Welcome to Wanted And Needed, a Northern Soul playlist befitting of any discerning DJ and one that would happily slot into any Soul Night, All-Nighter or Weekender today. Some of the discs were first spun as far back as the Twisted Wheel, such as The Precisions’ floorpacker “If This Is Love”. Others were unreleased at the time of recording and have found favour in more recent times, such as The Persianettes “Run Run” (originally covered up as “You Better Get Away” by The Sequins). Also unreleased at the time was Pearl Jones’ infectious “Give Me Another Chance”, a Sidra recording that finally surfaced in 2001 on a company acetate. Jones also appears here on her own composition “Let My Baby Go” as a member of the Embraceables. Another of our featured tracks that eluded the Northern Soul scene at the time is Joey Delorenzo’s feel-good “Wake Up To The Sunshine Girl” issued in 1973 on the tiny Mi-Val label but sounds much earlier and probably is. The unknown Delorenzo was reputedly a local car salesman with a passion to become a recording artist. He finally got his 3 minutes 15 seconds of fame in return for a generous deal down at the lot!

    The playlist kicks off with a real heavyweight of the UK Rare Soul scene, the title track, the legendary “Just Say You’re Wanted (And Needed)” by Gwen Owens. A flop in America, it wasn’t until 1976 that this – already rare – 45 finally made it to these shores and shook the Casino walls. The action is relentless with 100% floorpackers courtesy of The Precisions, Tony Galla, The Capreez, Ronnie And Robyn with their vocal to “Sidras Theme”, The Falcons, and Mickey Lee Lane (aka Sounds Of Lane) with his raucous instrumental “Tracks To Your Mind”. Wanted And Needed Indeed!


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