MAGIC MIX

funk . soul . jazz . free jazz . broken beat

WEEK STARTING 20 Apr

Simbad returns with his third seasonal EP on Gamm. Bringing us out of the long dark Winter, three gospel-flavoured church jams to keep us smiling and jiving until the temperature soars. All taken from his own arsenal, the esteemed Londoner tweaks and twists numbers by Dorothy Norwood, William Brothers & Mighty Clouds Of Joy. "He's A Friend" is a classy soul stomper, released on Jewel in 1977. "Never Could Have Made It" is taken from the album, "Hand In Hand" in 1986. Finally, you'd be hard pressed to find a copy of "Glow Love", so SMBD does the do and touches it up again ready for re-sale! Excellent stuff here, full of uplifting, soulful moments.

Don Cherry

Live At The Bracknell Jazz Festival

    The mid-1980s were a pivotal period for Don Cherry. Much of his energies had been devoted to co-op projects like Codona and Old and New Dreams and he also helped jumpstart the Leaders. The time being ripe to form his own ensemble, Cherry created Nu, a quintet with saxophonist/flutist Carlos Ward, bassist Mark Helias, percussionist Nana Vasconcelos and drummer Ed Blackwell. Live at the Bracknell Jazz Festival, 1986 confirms Nu to be an ensemble that vigorously and cogently articulated the various aspects of the multi-instrumentalist’s multicultural aesthetic. This exceptional concert recording fills a significant gap in Cherry’s discography.
    (from liner notes by Bill Shoemaker, taken from JAZZ TIMES).

    Terrestrial Funk comes through with their first release. A reissue of the ultra rare Miami funk LP, Lang Cook's "She's Hot With 2,000 Watt's". Featuring guitarist Teddy Studstill, Miami soul legend Willie Clarke, and Andrew 'Le Spam' Yeomanson. A deeply passionate musician, Lang poured his heart and soul out through his own vocals, the Fender Rhodes, Roland SH-2000, bass, and guitar. This is a truly scarce piece; the last time one came up at auction was in 2017 and went for over £600! - and don't even think about snapping one up discogs! Stylistically it skirts between the various DIY bedroom boogie flavours a la Jeff Phelps, Uku Kuut & the majority of the PPU back catalogue. Cook's vocals are impassioned and suave, with a snap-back reverb that gives them extra character. He's not afraid to get smoochy in the choruses either. Originally out in 1984, this was the sole release on Evolution Record (it also spawned a tiny 7" single - "Chocolate Stuff" - included here). A truly collectors piece, made available legit and correct and presented with love from Terrestrial Funk. You need.

    Few artists in Europe have generated as much excitement with the new generation. For his fourth unreleased album, recorded in 1979, Alain Mion, his piano, and his Fender Rhodes send you on a journey with I Heard a Sigh. The grooves are, as usual, unstoppable -- take "A Winning Team" or "High on the Funk," for example. Nine songs with the best instruments of the time in the best hands (Fender Rhodes, Moog, Prophet, Korg, Orange Drum). Trad Vibe, accompanied by Alain Mion, is pleased to present the vinyl with artwork that takes us back to the '70s.

    DETROIT RISING: A COSMIC JAZZ FUNK ADVENTURE—an unprecedented project created by universally respected musicians, including current and original members of the archetypal funk band Parliament-Funkadelic, along with a selection of world class talent from across the country—is going to bring a new style of funk to audiences this spring.

    The hybrid jazz-funk and R&B-flavored album—set for release Friday, March 30 via Down Jazz Records, with physical distribution via the Seattle-based Light In the Attic Records—is a collaboration between highly sought after young P-Funk artists and writers, and is supported by legendary industry veterans, including members that have performed with artists such as Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige, Herbie Hancock, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, Theo Parrish and Red Hot Chili Peppers, in addition to their regular work with Parliament-Funkadelic. Key figures in the group also played regularly with late, great artists such as Prince and Miles Davis, among others.

    The 10-track album—conceived and overseen by creative producer David Schwartz over the past three years—opens with the saxophone and keys-heavy “Lashing Out” followed by “Little Bit,” one of multiple tracks that musically stretches out over nine minutes in length. Elsewhere is the soulful “Rocket Love,” the sexy ode of “Gorgeous” and the groovy unity-themed anthem“With Peace & Harmony.” *See below for the full track listing.

    DETROIT RISING was recorded live at the world famous Motown affiliated United Sound Studios in Detroit, as well as at renowned studios in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and the Swamp Funk studios in Florida, and mixed and mastered by some of the best engineers in the business, including Richie Beretta (Beyonce), Tatsuya Sato (A Tribe Called Quest) and Mark Santangelo (Childish Gambino). The result is a highly skilled, vibrant and progressive album that combines elements of funk, jazz, soul, hip-hop and rock ‘n’ roll to capture a live sound that genuinely represents the next best thing to having the full band performing live in front of an audience.

    Featured on DETROIT RISING are United Sound musicians guitarist DuminieDeporres (Theo Parrish) and bassist Kern Brantley (Lady Gaga, Beyonce) and P-Funk musicians Gabe Gonzalez (drums), Danny Bedrosian (piano, keys, moog, vocals and current young Parliament-Funkadelic synth leader), DeWayne “Blackbyrd” McKnight (guitar/has also played with Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bootsy Collins), Lige Curry (bass), Greg Thomas (saxophone, vocals/also played with Bootsy Collins), Benjamin “Benzel” Cowan (drums and son of P-Funk trumpet player Benny Cowan), Tonysha Nelson (vocals and granddaughter of George Clinton) and Steve Boyd (vocals), along with special guest vocalist Sue Ann Carwell (Prince, Parliament-Funkadelic).

    After years of honing their performance skills on worldwide stages, the current touring musicians of DETROIT RISING now take center stage, performing original compositions that shine a light on the true extent of their talent and creativity.


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: LP pressed sea green colored vinyl.
    Extra heavy print board, metallic ink jacket.
    Comes with digital download and extra tracks, instrumentals, dance remixes, ability for DJ’s to remix.

    Mindblowing Afro-Soul music from the Ivory Coast here, served up by Deke Tom Dollard, an obscure artist who only recorded two albums in 1979 and 1981 but who created an original funky fusion with Bété langage. This 12" offers a selection of four amazing tracks recorded in Abidjan on two different records label called War Records and As Records.
    The music here is a mixture of funk with heavy basslines, traditional percussions, funky guitar riffs, nice horns section and lyrics in Beté. The song “Demonde” is inspired by harmonies of the famous “Dance to the Drummer Beat” by Herman Kelly. Those two rare records were found by Afrobrazilero (aka Djamel Hammadi) and never appeared on the vinyl market.

    The story goes that Marcel Vogel and Oye boss Delfonic met in Berlin around 12 years ago and started a weekly bar DJ night together with Tinko & Noema at a gay bar in Mitte. After bonding over disco and orange juice, the two have become total BFFs. It makes perfect sense then that the Lumberjacks In Hell boss joins the ranks of the OYE edit crew with this fierce four tracker touching on funk, disco, Afro and dub. The set opens with the funked up bass rumble of "Movin'", a percussive thud of scat style vocals, tribal percussion and warm organ keys which keeps the tension sky high throughout. Next up we funk it up with a sweet number that the Balearic crowd might just recognise. Jump onto the B-side and cop some feels via the shuffling congas, limber bass and female vox of "Lovin'", a hefty helping of mirrorball magic in vintage COMBi style. Finally, the slow and skanking "Talkin'" takes us into the sunkissed realm of deepest dub, with some African-American empowerment vocal samples thrown in for good measure. Right on.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Sil says: Groovy, funky and cheeky edits by no other than Em Vee. These four cuts will keep you moving and jumping from funk to disco and a touch of balearic.A bit for everyone but all of them of an outstanding quality. And that folks, is not something to oversee when it comes to the murky world of edits. Buy on sight I say.

    Hailing from Indianapolis, Caesar Frazier (spelled ‘Ceasar’ from time to time) was a funky soul-jazz organist who recorded several albums for the Eastbound/Westbound label family during the '70s. In addition to recording on his own, Frazier also played keyboards in Marvin Gaye's backing band.

    Collaborations with contemporaries were numerous and to this day Frazier’s legacy is still alive through samples & remixes from outfits such as ‘Gang Starr’ and ‘Arrested Development’.

    In 1972 Frazier cut his first album ‘Hail Ceasar’, which featured musicians commonly associated with the Prestige label's jazz-funk outings -- Melvin Sparks (guitar), Houston Person (tenor), and Idris Muhammad (drums). Those names alone should give you a clear idea what's going down on this
    album: slick wa wa guitar lines, the crisp ultra bumpin' conga rhythms, Idris's slick funk beats, screaming sax solos and last but not least Caesar’s trademark Hammond organ sound.

    Next to his own material you can also find a few cover tunes on here (by Quincy Jones, Isaac Hayes, Bob Porter (responsible for many superb jazz productions for Prestige and Atlantic) and to top it all off, recording duties were handled by Rudy Van Gelder (known for recording Miles Davis in the early 1950’s and the countless work he did for Blue Note, Prestige, Verve .. and many others). This record is a delight for anyone who likes that 1970s organ groove sound and is right up there with some of the best of the Soul Jazz coming out of the early seventies. 

    Originally released in 1972 on Eastbound Records, super rare and fetching large sums on the collectors market, now finally back available as a limited deluxe vinyl edition featuring the original artwork by Tom Curry. 


    Patrick Gibin Aka TwICE

    Patrick Gibin Aka TwICE Edits

    TwICE aka Patrick Gibin established himself as a selector to be reckoned with through his Black Aroma re-edit series, and now he brings his penchant for deep cuts and dusty reworks to the RNT catalog. Stretching over the A-side is "Sunrise", a bouncy sunny synthy affair, seemingly made for summer rooftops and pool parties. On the flip, "Searching" updates a woke soulful 70s anthem, and "Take Flights" loops a boogie instrumental with hypnotic simplicity. Re-edits done proper.

    Luciano E La Sua Orchestra Michelini

    La Conquista Di Luna

    There is only a tiny Wikipedia page about Luciano Michelini, and is written in German. A fact that should make us think on how he is still virtually unknown and unappreciated in Italy. After graduating from the conservatory, the pianist and composer started working as a teacher, while pursuing a more creative ca-reer as a composer. From 1964 to 1982 he also worked as a manager for RCA and left his mark primarily as the author of Italian film soundtracks. Among his best-known scores are worth mentioning Il Decamerone nero, La polizia accusa: il servizio segreto uccide, La città gioca d'azzardo and, above all, the beautiful L'isola degli uomini pesce, written for the eponymous sci-fi horror film by Sergio Martino.

    His true masterpiece, however, was composed in 1969 and is titled La Conquista di Luna (The Moon's Conquest), one of the rarest and most sought Italian soundtracks, virtually impossible to get without spending a fortune. Michelini and his orchestra produced this imaginary sci-fi soundtrack enriched by the presence of the legendary singer Edda Dell'Orso on some tracks.

    Drawing its structure from classical and orchestral soundtracks, the album is tinged with prog elements ahead of their time, soft psychedelia and moments of sheer genius: more than 40 years after its first release, it still guarantees a jaw-dropping listening experience. It is almost impossible, for example, to listen to Tycho without thinking of the following decades of orchestral pop production and how a song like that could and should have exerted its influence.Better late than never...

    Theo Parrish

    Gentrified Love Part 4

    New Theo featuring Amp Fiddler, Randolph, Ideeyah, John Douglas & Katy Kosins. Much like the three installments proceedings it; "Leave The Funk To Us" features a live and jazzy set of sound sources but it also harks back to classic Theo - niggly, trickski grooves decorated with hand claps and finger snaps but given extra life through stylized MPC programming. "Be Like Me" applies the breaks for a proper languid summer jam. Like sprawling across freshly cut grass as the Sun beams warmth onto your face, the track's midday haze and swelter is reinforced by powerful vocals and phat synth lines. In undeniably Theo and resplendent with soul. A sure fire jam for the holiday season.

    Bobby Van Putten's Planty Herbs project has been active since 2010 albeit with an annoyingly scattered and scarce output. Now he offers fans a fully fruited tree of musical pleasure; 12 tracks across two discs that show exactly what Putten is made of. From the mellow soul food of "Nothing Lasts" to the laidback hip hop funk of "Downgrade", the dusty house experiments of "Akustika" to the poppy overtones of "Follow Me Now,"this is the sound of an artist with a rich musical gift and a soulful instinct. 

    The Shacks

    Haze

      Fronted by 19-year-old singer/bassist Shannon Wise and 21-year-old guitarist/producer Max Shrager, The Shacks are already well on their way to becoming one of the year’s big breakouts, and their remarkable debut album, ‘Haze,’ solidifies their status as a band with ability to deliver on the well-deserved buzz. When Max and Shannon met in high school, a bond was created that has permeated their music since the Shacks first incarnation four years ago. That chemistry lies at the heart of ‘Haze,’ a record so hypnotic and seductive that it feels more like a whispered late-night secret than a young band’s debut.

      Produced together by Shrager and Big Crown co-founder Leon Michels (who’s played with Bradley, Sharon Jones, and Fields in addition to working with The Arcs, Lana Del Rey, and countless others), the album was recorded in bits and pieces between Shrager’s basement and Michels’ Diamond Mine studio, which the Observer dubbed “the Shangri La of Soul.” ‘Haze’ opens with the title track, which is, appropriately enough, the first song Shrager and Wise ever wrote together. It’s a spare, smoky tune that shimmers and sparkles as it shifts in and out of focus, and it’s an ideal gateway into the immersive world of The Shacks.

      On the breezy “Follow Me,” they channel the infectious charm of a 60’s girl group, while the soulful “My Name Is” grooves its way through a mesmerizing take on 70’s funk. Much like a dream, the songs often merge the familiar and the unfamiliar, constructing their own psychedelic reality full of beauty and yearning, all fueled by Wise’s breathy vocals and the unmistakable electricity of a wildly creative band truly inhabiting their music. “Birds” makes brilliant use of Daptone drum hero Homer Steinwess’s impeccable feel behind the kit, while the 50’s ballad-meets-baroque pop of “Cryin’” tips its cap to Roy Orbison and John Lennon as Shrager takes over lead vocals, and the soulful shuffle of “Texas” belies a dark and violent undercurrent ripped from the headlines.

      Through it all permeates an unshakable sense that this is a group performing just for you. “Nobody” finds the Shacks re-interpreting Phil Spector’s Wagnerian approach to rock & roll, complete with sweeping strings and darkly innocent lyrics. The 13 songs featured on Haze plays out like the soundtrack to some long lost 16mm film, beckoning you into their grainy, saturated world of analog beauty. In the short time that they’ve been together, The Shacks have already made an impressive mark. 

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xCD Info: CD Features A Second Bonus disc with The Shacks Self-Titled EP, Selections Previously Issued Only On 7” Vinyl And Complete Instrumentals From “Haze”.

      John Zorn

      The Urmuz Epigrams

        Desperate from Having Been Left without a Bladder With The Urmuz Epigrams Zorn returns to his roots, using the recording studio as instrument to create an intensely personal suite of compositions in the style of his legendary File Card compositions and Zoetropes. Dedicated to the visionary Romanian writer Urmuz whose small, scattered body of work predated Dadaism by decades, The Urmuz Epigrams is a suite of surrealistic miniatures more akin to philosophical aphorisms than actual music. The pieces are presented here in two iterations, as a set of “rare 78rpm records” complete with surface scratches and limited dynamic range, and as a modern reconstruction of same with the full blown studio sound presented in all its perplexing glory. Some of the craziest music in the Zorn catalog!


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