funk . soul . jazz . free jazz . broken beat

WEEK STARTING 30 Sep

Genre pick of the week Cover of Angels & Queens - Part I by Gabriels.

Gabriels

Angels & Queens - Part I

    The first time I heard Gabriels’ Love And Hate In A Different Time, back in Autumn 2020, in the depths of lockdown, I fell in love with it instantly. It felt like such a spark of light in the gloom and it still fills me with joy every time I hear it. The question was whether they could follow that up or was it just a one off? Well finally, some two years later, they give us the answer in the shape of their debut LP (well the first half of their debut – part 2 follows next year). Angels & Queens is simply wonderful. It has the same markers as the single: Lush soul, gospel, string swells and of course that voice, but the mood is very different. It’s an album about love and loss and as such is suitably dramatic, with each song seeming like a mini masterpiece. They give a fresh take on classic soul and gospel song structures, and infuse them with strings, keys and horns, all topped with Jacob’s sublimely angelic falsetto vocal. They’ve created an album of atmospheric and absolutely compelling modern gospel blues.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Angels & Queens
    2. Taboo
    3. Remember Me
    4. If You Only Knew
    5. To The Moon And Back
    6. The Blind
    7. Mama

    Barry Adamson

    Back To The Cat - 2022 Reissue

      Originally released in 2008, Back To The Cat, was in keeping with the artist who developed the concept of the imaginary soundtrack, with every song building a compelling narrative around Barry’s lifelong investigation of identity, sexuality, race, spirituality and society. The record picked up the threads of his previous work and continued to showcase his musical ambidexterity covering noir jazz, sun-drenched pop ballads, fractious funk, heavenly blues and subversive soul.

      TRACK LISTING

      A1 The Beaten Side Of Town
      A2 Straight 'Til Sunrise
      A3 Spend A Little Time
      A4 Shadow Of Death Hotel
      A5 I Could Love You
      B1 Walk On Fire
      B2 Flight
      B3 Civilization
      B4 People
      B5 Psycho_Sexual

      Barry Adamson

      Stranger On The Sofa - 2022 Reissue

        Barry Adamson takes us Back to the Catalogue with a series of reissues on coloured vinyl and CD.

        Originally released in the mid-2000s, Stranger On The Sofa is an album tied together by its mysterious cinematic composure. Each track is used to demonstrate the breadth of musicianship and re-presentation of countless timeless genres, moving in between electronica and jazz with shadowy ambience scattered throughout. Nick Plytas and Adrian Owusu provided their expertise on the organ and slide guitar, with Barry playing almost every other instrument. Composing, performing, recording and producing Stranger On The Sofa undoubtedly makes it an album that represents Adamson fully embracing the DIY aesthetic from where he began.



        TRACK LISTING

        A1 Here In The Hole
        A2 The Long Way Back Again
        A3 Officer Bentley's Fairly Serious Dilemma
        B1 Who Killed Big Bird?
        B2 Theresa Green
        B3 The Sorrow And The Pity
        B4 My Friend The Fly
        C1 Inside Of Your Head
        C2 You Sold Your Dreams
        C3 Déjà Morte
        D1 Dissemble
        D2 Free Love

        Azymuth

        Fenix (Reissue)

          Continually pushing the boundaries of jazz, funk, electronic music and disco, as expressed through their signature samba swing, the Brazilian mavericks have recreated the energy of those spellbinding seventies' sessions which would launch them into international recognition and confrm their status as one of Brazil's most successful bands Since the passing of keyboard maestro Jose Roberto Bertrami in 2012, remaining members Ivan Conti and Alex Malheiros have worked tirelessly to keep the spirit of Azymuth alive, and to continue the legacy of Bertrami's genius. But Fênix also marks a new era as the Azymuth trio is complete once again, by special guest keyboardist Kiko Continentino. A hugely talented pianist, composer and arranger, Kiko has worked with the likes of Milton Nascimento, Gilberto Gil and Djavan, and the fresh energy and inspiration he has brought to the group is undeniable. The album also features Brazilian percussion legend Robertinho Silva, one of Brazil's most important and infuential players.From the disco-carnival title track to sunny jazz- funk head- nodder Orange Clouds, through to the deep- space samba Corumbá, Azymuth have drawn upon fve decades of consummate craftsmanship which coupled with their endless desire for experimentation and improvisation - has resulted in a 10-track journey encapsulating the full spectrum of Azymuth's brilliantly coloured expressionist fusion. With all the cosmic energy and masterful musicianship you'd expect from the three-man orchestra, Azymuth rise from the ashes!

          TRACK LISTING

          A1. Batucada Em Marte
          A2. Papa Samba
          A3. Neptunians (Short Version)
          A4. Rio Doce
          A5. Corumba
          B1. Fenix
          B2. Villa Mariana (De Tarde)
          B3. Orange Clouds
          B4. O Matagal

          A soul filled disco gem from the 1978 album "The Best Is Yet To Come", "I Think I'll Do Some Stepping On My Own" is one of those tracks that combines an infectious melody with a stunning vocal performance. Therefore it takes remixers with real vision to breathe even more life into a track that is already jam packed full of it and with these two tracks both John Morales and Opolopo have shown their respective visions. The Opolopo rework kicks off with a tough as they come bassline of fluid funk groove that underpins the aforementioned melody punctuated with percussive piano and builds up as a springboard for Sandy's amazing vocal performance. John Morales' mix emphasises the beautiful string arrangements to create the space for that voice to soar over percussion led breaks. If you think you recognise Sandra Barber's voice then you absolutely do, through her vocal performances on the massive hit that was Rare Pleasure's "Let Me Down Easy" from 1976 and the Deep Dish produced pair of mid-90s house hits "Make The World Go Round" and "Ain't No Need To Hide". A New York City native, Sandy Barber has worked with legendary producers such as David Jordan, Deep Dish and Leroy Butler as well as being remixed by Opolopo, John Morales, Roger Sanchez and Al Kent.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. I Think I'll Do Some Stepping (On My Own) (Opolopo Rework)
          2. I Think I'll Do Some Stepping (On My Own) (John Morales Groove Mix)

          Roger Damawuzan

          Fine Fine

          Since his introduction in the 60’s, Roger Damawuzan has lit stages on fire, whether it be with The Rickers Orchestra or with The Melo-Togo Orchestra (taking home 2nd place for the first National Festival of Tologese Music). His first 7" vinyl "Wait For Me" is a holy grail for diggers all around the world. It was such a hit that Togolese music is and will forever be stamped by Roger Damawuzan. He was principal in introducing Gazo, Akpesse and Kamou rhythms to modern day soul music. Relentless and unstoppable, Roger Damawuzan is now making a comeback with a heavy funk 7 inch!

          This release contains an unreleased single from the album "Seda". Such a force of nature, this album could have been only captured, if not mastered, by one studio. Such mission was accomplished by the legendary studio OTODI (Office Togolese of Disks) by utilizing solely analog equipment to translate and to breath all of Damawuzan’s soul into this album. Roger Damawuzan could have been supported by only one group. Led by Peter Solo, the members of the Vaudou Game and Lomé’s most talented musicians are at Damawuzan’s disposal for this new record. 

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Matt says: Tologese fire from one of the country's well regarded music proponents. Unequivocally funky and infectious!

          TRACK LISTING

          Fine Fine
          Red Light

          Full Moon Ensemble Featuring Claude Delcloo

          Crowded With Loneliness

          Comet reissue this cult French free jazz LP from 1974, “Crowded With Loneliness” by Full Moon Ensemble. Produced by Claude Delcloo it’s an absolute masterpiece of free jazz which veers confidently into spiritual realms on more than one occasion. Check the classic “Samba `Miaou’”, like a lost Pharoah Sanders tune mixed with politically-engaged French poetry! The whole LP is varied throughout, pushing the envelope of what was expected of a jazz long player at the time. It’s very, very good and this high quality reissue is likely to become as collectable as the hard-to-find original. Don’t sleep!

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Matt says: Absolutely stunning free / spiritual jazz album here from France. If ya dig Pharaoh, Pyramids, Sun Ra, Coltrane etc - get yer lugholes around this!

          TRACK LISTING

          43 W. 77 Street Sur Mémoire De Guerre
          Samba Miaou
          43 W. 77 Street Sur Peut Etre
          W. 85th Street
          King Kong

          Camilla George

          Ibio-Ibio

            Saxophonist, composer, bandleader and innovator Camilla George makes a stunning return with her third album ‘Ibio-Ibio’ - a rich, cultural journey dedicated to her Ibibio tribe of south eastern coastal Nigeria.

            The album is a heady mix of afrobeat, hip hop and jazz coproduced by Camilla George. Across eight tracks, Camilla’s virtuosic alto saxophone performance collaborates with a stellar line-up of some of the hottest players in London’s jazz scene including Daniel Casimir (bass), Shirley Tetteh (guitar), Winston Clifford (drums), Sheila Maurice-Grey (trumpet), Rosie Turton (trombone), Renato Paris (vocals), Sarah Tandy (keys), plus Senegalese kora player Kadialy Kouyate, acclaimed US drummer Daru Jones (Jack White, Pete Rock, Talib Kweli), and Birmingham’s finest MC Lady Sanity.

            Camilla describes: “This album is a celebration of roots, creation and community. The Ibibio people, related to the Anang are the most ancient settlers in Nigeria. They stand for community and togetherness - something that in these increasingly strange times, gives me guidance, hope and comfort. I have dedicated ‘Ibio-Ibio’ to the Ibibio people and celebrate our creation and beliefs. Ibio-Ibio is a nickname for the Ibibio people, meaning brief / short, which is a reference to our quick and direct way of doing things and not our height!”

            TRACK LISTING

            A1. Creation – Abasi And Atai (Ft. Sanity And Daru Jones)
            A2. Journey Across The Sea
            A3. Ekpe
            A4. The Long Juju Slave Route Of Arochokwu (ft. Sanity And Daru Jones)
            B1. Ukpong
            B2. Abasi Enyong
            B3. Abasi Isang
            B4. Creation – Nnyin Ido Ibibio (ft. Sanity And Daru Jones)

            Highway Motion

            Clap Hands / Double O One Disco

            Freestyle dig out another rarity in the form of a DIY brit-funk 7" from Highway Motion aka David Humphrey (a session drummer who played with Sparks, and with PiL on the iconic Metal Box LP & Death Disco 12"). Tinged with raw post-punk edge and 70s library music-style synth leads, this 45 is quite simply massive amounts of fun.

            David Humphrey's professional career as a drummer began aged 19 with Public Image Ltd, providing some of the drum tracks on their iconic Metal Box album and Death Disco single. Humphrey would then go on to work with Mike Oldfield and then Sparks, playing with the latter on their Number One Song in Heaven tour, Top of The Pops and recording sessions for Beat the Clock and Tryouts for the Human Race (those sessions were included and featured in Edgar Wright's recent film The Sparks Brothers).

            In 1980, Clap Hands and Double O One Disco were recorded under the name 'Highway Motion' - intended by Humphrey as "raw experimental tracks" they were both laid down on a 4-track and subsequently released on the DIY Star Records imprint. Rough, grooving, candid and playful; these two tracks seem to somehow simultaneously meld the burgeoning brit-funk sound of the early 80s with a riotous post-punk edge, along with a good dollop of synth-led library music.

            Following it's release David formed the group Reflex, recording and releasing the Funny Situation 7" in 1981 - forming the only other title in the Star Records catalogue. A more straight-up brit-funk dancer yet still pressed and sold in small quantities, Funny Situation became a sought-after record on the second hand collector's market, and finally saw reissue last September 2020 on the start-up Paint A Picture label - garnering plays from from Gilles Peterson on BBC 6 Music and Worldwide FM, StreetSounds radio and reaching No 1 in Juno records Chart. David has now started to working on new music using the name Davey H, and released his first new material in decades recently on Six Nine Records.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Clap Hands
            2. Double O One Disco

            Akira Ishikawa & Count Buffaloes

            Uganda (Dawn Of Rock)

              The respected Japanese jazz drummer Akira Ishikawa was not messing around when he recorded the 'Uganda (Dawn of Rock)' album with his band the Count Buffaloes

              For this offering, originally released in 1972 on Toshiba Records, Akira Ishikawa takes us on a deep tripped- out journey. 'Uganda (Dawn of Rock)' is a fusion of progressive and psych rock with African percussion workouts, dergy- wah wah blues-funk, and jazzy sensibilities; with different genres morphing and uniting as they progress.A long way from his funk and afrobeat album 'Back To Rhythm', reissued on Mr Bongo in 2019, this record has a darker, deeper, abstract and experimental stoned tone with the listener being pulled into its vortex for the ride. This record doesn't pull any punches.

              For this album, Akira is joined by Hideaki Chihara on bass, guitarist Kimio Mizutani, sounding at times like an early 70s Peter Green, percussionist Larry Sunaga and composer Takeru Muraoka.

              The album has become highly sought- after amongst psych, prog and acid rock collectors and due to the rare nature of original copies they come at a hefty price tag.


              TRACK LISTING

              Wanyamana Mapambazuko
              Na Tu Penda Sana
              Vita
              Pygmy

              KC And The Sunshine Band

              I Get Lifted - Inc. Todd Terje Edit

                Oooh Weee, something special from the TK Disco vaults here as the Miami label unleashes the underground, formerly unofficial Todd Terje edit of KC & The Sunshine Band's "I Get Lifted", backed with the original version of course. The original sees the unparalleled disco troupe reimagining George McCrae's funk soul classic with a little more groove and some borderline Balearic guitar riffing. Terje applies some classic edit pressure on his rework, pushing the vocal adlibs front and foremost into the killer loop which forms the introduction to the track. Additional percussion hits hard as we drop into the main body of the track and then Terje just lets that shit roll on and on until the dancefloor are caught up in a mindless boogie.





                TRACK LISTING

                I Get Lifted
                I Get Lifted (Tood Terje Edit)

                KC And The Sunshine Band

                I'm Your Boogie Man - Inc. Todd Terje Edit

                  The second of two TK treats this week, this 10" sees the long awaited official release of Todd Terje's classic edit of KC & The Sunshine Band's "I'm Your Boogie Man", backed with the stone cold original of course. This KC & The Sunshine Band classic has been written into dancefloor DNA over the past forty years, with everyone from Greg Wilson to Armand Van Helden pitching a little bit of the irrestible groove to make their productions pop. Superb percussion, a killer piano and bass duet, divine rhythm guitar and hot brass all support the super cool funk vocal, making for an all time disco funk classic. The flipside sees Terje doing his thing with aplomb reworking the track with the kind of floor filling, set killing arrangement you'd expect from the Norse god of the dancefloor. If you're after white noise filters, disco donks and gimmicky fx then take a walk buddy; our man Terje keeps it classy with a good old fashion extension that'll get the crowd working overtime. 


                  TRACK LISTING

                  I'm Your Boogie Man
                  I'm Your Boogie Man (Todd Terje Edits)

                  Maston

                  Panorama (KPM)

                    Newly commissioned music, mastered for vinyl under the supervision of Frank Maston.

                    With Panorama, Frank Maston pays homage to the classic era of library records and Italian soundtracks of the 70s. A blissed-out, grooving collection of filmic cues, it continues the unique brilliance of Tulips and Darkland. Elegant and easy, subtle and stylish, breezy and beautiful; this is his Maston-piece. Commissioned by legendary label KPM, Panorama cements Maston as a master of modern classics and the most mesmeric of contemporary composers.

                    In early 2020, Be With suggested to Frank that he should make a KPM record. He wasn't aware that they were still putting out new library records - but he was super keen: "It was completely surreal and it still hasn't fully sank in that I have a record in that catalog, sitting alongside those incredible albums that were so influential to me."

                    Frank was visiting family in his hometown of LA in March 2020 when the world ground to a halt so the KPM project arrived at a fortuitous moment. Having fantasised about committing to a record with no distractions, with a proper budget, access to his gear and space to work in - to really dig in and try to write and arrange the best work he could possibly make - it was a real "be careful what you wish for" moment. But, as Frank explained, "it completely saved my year and sanity to have something to focus on and get excited about. It was my lifeline." He spent seven months on it, working almost every day.

                    Maston had already been making library-influenced music so when KPM outlined the criteria for the tracks it was exactly what he had been doing all along. He thought the best approach would be to make a follow-up to Tulips that had a parallel life as a KPM record. Enjoying complete creative freedom, “gave me the drive to power through and dig in deep. I'm not sure if I could have kept myself on such a rigorous recording schedule under my own steam, and I think the momentum I had writing and recording it is part of the strength of this record."

                    Maston’s sleek retro-groove instrumentals emulate the classic KPM “Greensleeve” reel-to-reel recordings that provided mood-setting music for mid-century cinema, television, and radio programs. Apparently in close conversation with the John Cameron-Keith Mansfield KPM pastoral masterclass Voices In Harmony, Maston's Panorama could be heard as that record's funky follow-up. Yes, it's *that good*. Another reference point from the hallowed library would be Francis Coppieter's wonderful Piano Viberations.

                    Opener "First Class" is a blissed-out groove, featuring the soothing vocals of Molly Lewis and a glistening harp over drums, a two-note bass motif (from Eli Ghersinu of L'Eclair) and an assemblage of guitars, synths, French horn and glowing vibraphone. Acid Lounge, anyone? The irresistibly funky "Easy Money" is a gorgeous cut led by more of Molly's vocals, pastoral flute and Rhodes, underpinned by drums and percussion, grooving bass, chilled guitars and synth strings. Kicking the tempo up, the percussive "Storm" is a vibin' filmic-fusion jam where psychedelic guitars (courtesy of Pedrum of Allah Las/Paint) organ, jazzy flute, Rhodes and vibes all compete for a place in the sun, over drums and walking bassline.

                    The heavenly "You Shouldn't Have" is a delicate, melancholic wonder; a dreamy instrumental where the melody is shared by a whistle, harpsichord and celeste, over a cyclical piano chord sequence and bass, synths, guitars, organ and distant French horn. The tempo rises again with the passionate, sticky "Fling", a summery, nostalgic groove with skipping drums and percussion, warm bass and electric guitar, yearning flute and synth strings. The brilliantly titled "Fool Moon" has that Voices In Harmony sound down pat. A romantic slow-mo dreamscape of Rhodes and harpsichord, piano, light drums and softly strummed acoustic guitar.

                    Side B opens with "Medusa", a hopeful, mellowed-out track with shuffling drums, feel-good flute, muted horns, glowing Rhodes and synth strings. The soft and gentle "Morning Paper" is an elegant way to start the day; a beatless blend of flute, guitar, percussion, ambient synths and vibes. The upbeat head-nod jam "Scenic" has that widescreen car-chase feel, uptempo drums and percussion, grooving bass, piano, synths and ambient electric guitar. "Adieu" is a smooth summer vibe, relaxing with brushed drums, Rhodes, flutes and horns. Molly Lewis's gorgeous vocals steal the show, alongside vibes, jamming organ and synth strings.

                    "Hydra" is another laid-back 70s-sounding retro cinema cue with light drums and percussion, walking bass, spacey synths, clavinet, glowing vibraphone, vintage organ and electric guitar. Closer "Jet Lag" is a laconic bow out; bass-driven drum machine soul, featuring hand percussion, Rhodes, vibes, synths and organ.

                    Multi-instrumentalist Frank played a bit of everything across Panorama. Yet, humble as ever, he believes the time, energy, and enthusiasm of all of the musicians invited to the sessions helped him realise his vision: "There were two Italian flautists who really understood what I was going for. Two french horn players, cor anglais, a vibraphonist and a flügel horn player. I've never involved this many people in my projects before, and yet the result is the most "me" record I've ever made."

                    Musically, a strong Italian theme runs through the record. Frank is fascinated by ancient Rome and both his parents are Italian (Maston was originally Mastrantonio before anglicisation). So, it felt natural to fully embrace these strands and tie everything together with the striking artwork. The Romans were influenced by Greek culture, emulating their art and architecture, which, in turn, influenced Renaissance era artists. Frank acknowledged this tradition when reflecting on his place in the lineage of library and soundtrack composers. He then asked his friend Mattea Perrotta, a painter and sculptor, for some sketches. What he received was exactly what he had in mind: "Especially the theater mask, which really captures the range of moods on the album". Frank arranged them as per the cover and it soon felt right: "I wanted to make a cover that was reminiscent of the classic KPM albums without making it too pastiche - so it has its own identity and looks at home alongside other library records, while still fitting in nicely in the KPM catalogue." The last step was for us to introduce Frank to Be With-KPM’s Rich Robinson, who helped put together the back and centre labels and align it all within the KPM standard.

                    Panorama is a perfect title for the album. With no opportunity to travel for tours or recording projects, Frank arranged postcards from his collection on his desk with beautiful views of the mediterranean coast, the Roman Colosseum and Cinque Terre. These also served as visual prompts: "That was part of the sonic concept - imagining myself driving down the mediterranean coast with this music on, with the top down." Additionally, the range of moods and vibes - "I tried to make each song very different from the previous one in terms of tempo and arrangement and feeling" - speaks to the idea of a Panorama of music and sounds and emotions. The last track was originally called Panorama, but KPM already had that title in their catalogue so it was changed to "Jet Lag", which, as Frank notes, "is perhaps even more fitting, since the trip is over".

                    We’ve never worked so closely with someone on a project before who has been so invested in the process. It's truly a joy for us to work with Frank. We'll let him conclude: "I would honestly say it's my favorite record I've ever done and truly my proudest musical achievement so far. There's not one thing I would change about the songs, performances, mixes, artwork etc. It really turned out exactly how I envisioned when I started working on it. And I think it really brings things full circle for me in regards to Tulips, which was when I was discovering a lot of these KPM records and the Italian soundtrack composers and trying to explore that world. With Panorama, I feel like I completely immersed myself in it and came out the other side feeling like I had mastered this sort of thing that had really touched and inspired me."

                    The vinyl has been mastered by Simon Francis, cut by Pete Norman and pressed at Record Industry. For those finally able to own this stunning album on wax, the trip need never be over.


                    TRACK LISTING

                    A1 : First Class (1:58)
                    A2 : Easy Money (2:24)
                    A3 : Storm (2:19)
                    A4 : You Shouldn’t Have (2:28)
                    A5 : Fling (2:09)
                    A6 : Fool Moon (2:32)
                    B1 : Medusa (2:33)
                    B2 : Morning Paper (1:57)
                    B3 : Scenic (2:18)
                    B4 : Adieu (2:43)
                    B5 : Hydra (2:02)
                    B6 : Jet Lag (2:21)

                    Mato’s back with on Stix with “Jazz-Funk Dub Tribute”, a new project by the French producer with exclusive dub versions of some of the most famous jazz-funk, soul-jazz, funk & fusion tracks.

                    After the amazing success of his “Summer Madness / Maiden Voyage” single, respectively covering Kool & The Gang and Herbie Hancock, Mato got deeper within the American black music repertoire. He worked on tracks that can be considered as serious classics of the jazz-funk scene.

                    We all remember the melodies from Eddie Henderson ("Inside You"), WAR ("The World Is A Ghetto"), Weather Report ("Black Market"), Deodato ("Caravan"), Grover Washington Jr. ("Loran's Dance"), Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra ("Midnight Groove"), Herbie Hancock ("Maiden Voyage"), The Meters ("Cissy Strut") or Lonnie Liston Smith ("Visions Of A New World"). Imagine them reworked and tailored by the modern dub master. Needless to say, Mato, who’s playing most instruments and synthesizers, did a fantastic job and you’ll be blown when hearing these versions.

                    Starting his reggae production career in 2006, Thomas Blanchot (aka Mato) has released music through various projects on EDR Records, Big Singles or Makasound... In the meantime, he developed a real trademark: taking over classic French, hip-hop, OST, classical or pop songs, into roots reggae-dub new versions. Besides, since 2010, Mato has built a solid reputation thanks to his hot remixes of hip-hop classics on Stix Records. Last year he also released “Scary Dub”, which focused on scary movies' soundtracks.



                    TRACK LISTING

                    Summer Madness Dub (Album Version)
                    Inside You Dub
                    The World Is A Ghetto Dub
                    Black Market Dub
                    Caravan Dub
                    Loran's Dance Dub
                    Midnight Groove Dub
                    Maiden Voyage Dub
                    Cissy Strut Dub
                    Visions Of A New World Dub

                    Makaya McCraven

                    In These Times

                      In These Times is a collection of polytemporal compositions inspired as much by broader cultural struggles as McCraven’s personal experience as a product of a multinational, working class musician community. With contributions from over a dozen musicians and creative partners from his tight-knit circle of collaborators – including Jeff Parker, Junius Paul, Brandee Younger, Joel Ross, and Marquis Hill – the music was recorded in five different studios and four live performance spaces while McCraven engaged in extensive post-production work at home. Featuring orchestral, large ensemble arrangements interwoven with the signature “organic beat music” sound that’s become his signature, the album is an evolution and a milestone for McCraven, the producer. But moreover, it’s the strongest and clearest statement we’ve yet to hear from McCraven, the composer.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      In These Times
                      The Fours
                      High Fives
                      Dream Another
                      Lullaby
                      This Place That Place
                      The Calling
                      Seventh String
                      So Ubuji
                      The Knew Untitled
                      The Title

                      Jake Mehew's debut album Sage is a modern and contemporary take on spiritual jazz, a truly exceptional record from the eclectic and highly talented Leeds' artist.Whilst staying within the ethos of spontaneous, unedited performance, Mehew constantly pushes and manipulates the genre's boundaries.The recognisable and lush sound of the Fender Rhodes, layered on a bed of punchy, percussive, grooves, provides the bedrock for powerful improvisations, running alongside Meyhew's subtle analogue synth manipulation and production.

                      Sage was workshopped over one frantic lockdown week in August 2020. It's a truly honest experience of seven days of hard work, a multi tracked record, made without using overdub to capture the true energy of the performance.True to the spirit of albums made in a pre digital era Mehew set out to capture ideas, interaction and performance at their inception rather than post production.

                      Jake Mehew is an up and coming composer, performer and producer based in Leeds, UK. His work combines principles of free improvisation with the technological considerations of the avant-garde. Using a combination of acoustic instruments, modular synthesisers and samplers Mehew creates rich, meditative soundscapes that envelop the listener in an immersive sound field.



                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Rainfall
                      2. The Black Nation
                      3. Sage
                      4. The Key
                      5. Freefall
                      6. Say What Again!
                      7. The Harvest
                      8. Calm Storm
                      9. Astral Coastline
                      10. Alternate Manifestations
                      11. Freeflow

                      Strut continue their Patrice Rushen original album reissue series with the definitive edition of her influential classic ‘Now’ from 1984.

                      Released after the global success of ‘Straight From The Heart’ and the huge hit ‘Forget Me Nots’, ‘Now’ stripped back the arrangements and explored a new sonic palette, combining top level musicianship with the evolving studio technology of the mid-‘80s. “By this time, I had built a little home studio,” explains Patrice, “and the new synthesizers and drum machines opened a lot of possibilities. A lot of the pieces on ‘Now’ started off as demos based on these instruments and we just went with it quite naturally, adding guitar, bass and drums.”

                      The album continued Patrice’s unerring skill in fusing intricate jazz musicianship with infectious grooves. The solid boogie classic ‘Get Off (You Fascinate Me)’ lit up dancefloors and ‘Feels So Real’ became one of Patrice’s best loved songs, an effortless mid-tempo soul stepper. The album is also celebrated for the tender ‘Gotta Find It’ and one of Patrice’s most poignant ballads, the intricate and politically charged ‘To Each His Own’.

                      The album marked the end of Rushen’s tenure with Elektra before a move to Arista and remains a much-referenced part of her career. “I think it was a great representation of where we were at the time and it may have been a little bit ahead of its time”, she reflects. Famously, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis had become fans, attending her live shows, and, allegedly, the feel of Janet Jackson’s debut album ‘Control’ two years later was heavily influenced by Rushen’s approach on ‘Now’.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      A1. Feels So Real (Won’t Let Go)
                      A2. Gone With The Night
                      A3. Gotta Find It
                      A4. Superstar
                      A5. Heartache Heartbreak

                      B1. Get Off (You Fascinate Me)
                      B2. My Love’s Not Going Anywhere
                      B3. Perfect Love
                      B4. High In Me
                      B5. To Each His Own

                      C1. Get Off (You Fascinate Me) (Dance Version)
                      C2. Get Off (You Fascinate Me) (Instrumental)

                      D1. Feels So Real (Won’t Let Go) (Radio Edit)
                      D2. Feels So Real (Won’t Let Go) (Dub Version)

                      Strut revisit the early years of Patrice Rushen’s time with Elektra Records with the definitive 2LP edition of the ‘Patrice’album from 1978.

                      After a series of jazz funk albums on Prestige, Patrice moved to Elektra as the label tapped into the burgeoning sophisticated R&B  market at the tail end of the disco era. 'By this time, I had already made some great in-roads, made some great friends and picked up valuable knowledge which definitely paid off in terms of the music and the way the records sounded,' Patrice remembers. As a brilliant pianist, songwriter and arranger from a young age, Rushen was perfectly placed to bring the class and musicianship that the label needed and now also began to assume the role of lead vocalist for the first time. She enlisted the production prowess of high school friend Charles Mims, Jr. and long-time mentor Reggie Andrews.

                      Recorded at the newly opened Conway Studios in L.A., Patrice Rushen brought in heartfelt lyrics, vulnerability and messages of hope into her music for the first time on yearning tracks like "Didn’t You Know" and "When I Found You" alongside simply forgetting your troubles on the singles "Hang It Up" and "Play!". Clubs played an important part in the interest in her music. While her record label didn’t fully get behind her as an artist until the early ‘80s, influential club and black radio DJs consistently supported her and recognised Patrice as a unique talent. "Music Of The Earth" became an underground New York club favourite and Danny Krivit’s extended edit has endured in its own right, included here.

                      'So much of what happened with these records happened after they had come out, like years afterwards, as people discovered them,' reflects Patrice. 'but with this album, all of the things that I wanted to do were possible without limitation - the recording, the writing, the execution with the musicians, the production. Everything was, 'Okay, let’s do it.' And we did it.'

                      This definitive reissue of "Patrice" is released featuring bonus 12” versions of the album’s singles "Hang It Up!" and "Play", the popular Danny Krivit re-edit of "Music Of The Earth" and a previously unreleased version of "Didn’t You Know" from the original session tapes.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      A1.Music Of The Earth
                      A2. When I Found You
                      A3. Changes (In Your Life)
                      A4. Wishful Thinking
                      A5. Let’s Sing A Song Of Love


                      B1. Hang It Up
                      B2. Cha-Cha
                      B3. It’s Just
                      B4. A Natural Thing
                      B5. Didn’t You Know?
                      B6. Play!

                      C1. Music Of The Earth (Danny Krivit Edit)
                      C2. Hang It Up (12” Version)

                      D1. Play! (12” Version)
                      D2. Didn’t You Know? (Extended Version)

                      Strut reissue one of Patrice Rushen’s all-time classic albums for Elektra Records with an expanded 2LP edition of ‘Pizzazz’ from1979.

                      The album marked another progression in Rushen’s solo career as she broke through with the huge club hit ‘Haven’t You Heard’ and also featured on her LP cover with her trademark braids for the first time courtesy of stylist Sibongile Bradley and topphotographer Norman Seeff.

                      The album showcased Rushen’s famed talent for bringing the right musicians together, mixing more experienced players like drummer James Gadson and Bill Summers with younger talent including bassist Freddie Washington and drummer “Ndugu”Chancler. The tracks themselves were more spacious than on ‘Patrice’, released 18 months earlier. “It was the confidence of feeling that we didn't need quite as much in the arrangements, ”Patrice explains, “and the times were also changing in terms of what we liked, what we danced to and the kind of grooves that people responded to. With ‘Pizzazz’, we had the advantage of a rapport with radio and black press, which were both very powerful at the time.”

                      Alongside ‘Haven’t You Heard’, the album features many tracks that have become fan favourites over the years - the upbeat, carefree single ‘Let The Music Take Me’, the sweet ballad ‘SettleFor Me Love’ and a memorable duet with Roy Galloway, ‘Givin’ ItUp Is Givin’ In’.

                      Strut’s expanded reissue of ‘Pizzazz’ features loud cut bonus extended 12” versions of the album’s singles ‘Haven’t You Heard’ and ‘Let The Music Take Me’, alongside a previously unreleased instrumental version of ‘Givin’ It Up Is Givin’ Up’.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      A1. Let The Music Take Me
                      A2. Keepin’ Faith In Love
                      A3. Settle For My Love
                      A4. Message In The Music
                      B1. Haven’t You Heard
                      B2. Givin’ It Up Is Givin’ Up
                      B3. Call On Me
                      B4. Reprise (Message In The Music)
                      C1. Haven’t You Heard (12” Version)
                      D1. Let The Music Take Me (12” Version)
                      D2. Givin’ It Up Is Givin’ Up (Instrumental Version)

                      Patrice Rushen

                      So Real: The Complete Elektra Recordings 1978-1984

                        The Patrice Rushen revival is in full swing with definitive reissues of her classic albums and a global Tik Tok dance craze around her best-loved hit, ‘Forget Me Nots’. Now, Strut present her complete Elektra recordings in one essential 5CD set on ‘So Real’.

                        After a series of acclaimed soul-jazz albums for prestige Records, Patrice came to Elektra as the label branched out from its trademark soft rock sound to hone a roster catering to the burgeoning “sophisticated R&B” audience during the late ‘70s, at the tail end of the disco boom. Pulling together a tight team of musicians and studio craftsmen that she had worked with and respected through writing and performing sessions in L.A., including her mentor Reggie Andrews and producer Charles Mims, Patrice combined intricate, punchy big band arrangements with her new role as lead vocalist on Patrice in 1978. The album set the template for a series of classic recordings, bringing soulful style and musicality to dancefloors. Pizzazz (1979) ushered in the huge club hit ‘Haven’t You Heard’ and classic tender ballad ‘Settle For My Love’, before Posh and the infectious single ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ a year later. Then in 1982, the landmark album Straight From The Heart and the worldwide crossover success of ‘Forget ME Nots’ following a self-funded PR campaign. Now ended her time with Elektra in 1984, a more stripped back, synth-led affair led by ‘Feels So Real (Won’t Let Go)’ and the reflective ‘To Each His Own’.

                        As well as through covers, samples and regular use in films, TV and ads (most famously in the film ‘Men In Black’ and on George Michael’s ‘Fastlove’), Patrice’s music has endured over the years as each new generation discovers her recordings. “So much of what happened with these records happened years after they had come out as people discovered them,” Patrice explains. “And that’s the biggest compliment of all, that the music is still being played. It’s kinda cool.”

                        ‘So Real’ features all five of Patrice’s Elektra albums in their expanded editions including 12” versions, instrumentals and unreleased takes from the original sessions. A 32-page booklet features complete lyrics and new interviews with Patrice and the set has been fully remastered by The Carvey from the original reel to reel tapes.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        CD 1: ‘Patrice’ (1978)
                        1.Music Of The Earth
                        2. When I Found You
                        3. Changes (In Your Life)
                        4. Wishful Thinking
                        5. Let’s Sing A Song Of Love
                        6. Hang It Up
                        7. Cha-Cha
                        8. It’s Just A Natural Thing
                        9. Didn’t You Know?
                        10. Play!
                        11. Music Of The Earth (Danny Krivit Edit)
                        12. Hang It Up (12” Version)
                        13. Play! (12” Version)

                        14. Didn’t You Know? (Extended Version)

                        CD 2: ‘Pizzazz’ (1979)
                        1.Let The Music Take Me
                        2. Keepin’ Faith In Love
                        3. Settle For My Love
                        4. Message In The Music
                        5. Haven’t You Heard
                        6. Givin’ It Up Is Givin’ Up
                        7. Call On Me
                        8. Reprise (Message In The Music)
                        9. Haven’t You Heard (12” Version)
                        10. Let The Music Take Me (12” Version)
                        11. Givin’ It Up Is Givin’ Up (Instrumental Version)

                        CD 3: ‘Posh’ (1980)
                        1.Never Gonna Give You Up (Won’t Let You Be)
                        2. Don’t Blame Me
                        3. Look Up!
                        4. I Need Your Love
                        5. Time Will Tell
                        6. The Dream
                        7. The Funk Won’t Let You Down
                        8. This Is All I Really Know
                        9. Look Up! (12” Version)

                        CD 4: ‘Straight From The Heart’ (1982)
                        1.Forget Me Nots
                        2. I Was Tired Of Being Alone
                        3. All We Need
                        4. Number One (Instrumental)
                        5. Where There Is Love
                        6. Breakout
                        7. If Only
                        8. Remind Me
                        9. (She Will) Take You Down To Love
                        10. Forget Me Nots (12” Version)
                        11. Breakout (12” Version)
                        12. I Was Tired Of Being Alone (12” Version)
                        13. Number One (12” Version)

                        CD 5: ‘Now’ (1984)
                        1.Feels So Real (Won’t Let Go)
                        2. Gone With The Night
                        3. Gotta Find It
                        4. Superstar
                        5. Heartache Heartbreak
                        6. Get Off (You Fascinate Me)
                        7. My Love’s Not Going Anywhere
                        8 Perfect Love
                        9. High In Me
                        10. To Each His Own
                        11. Get Off (You Fascinate Me) (12” Version)
                        12. Get Off (You Fascinate Me) (Instrumental)
                        13. Feels So Real (Edit)
                        14. Feels So Real (Won’t Let Go) (Dub Version)

                        Diving once more into the forgotten corners of the electric Spanish music scene from the 80's and early 90's, Soundway reissue Scan Man's full single "Arabian"

                        Bringing together a Furious Five retro styled bounce & rhyme and a bite of UK street soul, the track is taken from 2021's hugely popular compilation Ritmo Fantasía. Expect soulful American expat rap layered over sitar-like sounds, and a tumbling, rattling, 808 pattern. Along with the original track and instrumental, DJs Trujillo and Ray Mang serve a souped up instrumental primed for modern dancefloors.

                        Recorded at the CEV Studios in Madrid, Arabian was the first composition and production of Marcos Manzanares to get an official release. Using an Ensoniq Mirage Sampler (one of the early, affordable synth samplers), and with Stephen Sutton providing the vocals for the track, he first made his entry into the Spanish music scene. A short while later he would go onto make a career for himself under the name of Tension808, releasing with major labels like Sony Music and EMI Chrysalis.

                        For fans of: Soundway's Ritmo Fantasia compilation, Adonis, 808 State, Inner City, Nu Genea, Afrika Bambaataa

                        TRACK LISTING

                        Arabian
                        Arabian (Instrumental)
                        Arabian (Mang & Trujillo Long Version)

                        Gloria Scott

                        So Wonderful

                          Gloria Scott was discovered by Sly Stone, before working with Ike and Tina Turner in the ‘Ikettes’, and going on to make classic, collectable soul records in the ‘70s.

                          Her collaboration with Barry White yielded her acclaimed 1974 album ‘What Am I Gonna Do’, which included ‘(A Case Of) Too Much Love Makin’, and also sees three tracks on this brand new record.

                          Alongside the White-written/associated tracks, are 5 original numbers (including a co-write with PP Arnold), and a cover of Gospel-House classic ‘Promised Land’.

                          An absolute must-have contemporary record from a classic soul artist.

                          Sun Ra

                          The Futuristic Sounds Of Sun Ra - 2022 Reissue

                            60th Anniversary Edition of groundbreaking jazz artist Sun Ra’s iconic 1962 album The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra. Originally produced by Tom Wilson, this is the first Sun Ra LP to be recorded by Arkestra in NYC. This new edition is pressed on 180-gram vinyl at RTI with ALL-ANALOG Mastering by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. Includes new essays by Irwin Chusid & Ben Young.


                            Recorded when Johnny Walker was touring Worldwide with Veteran Jazz Star Lionel Hampton in 1982 and originally released on his own Private Press label: Walk On Productions.

                            This neglected underground classic LP has been off the radar since then except for the appearance of "Dipping" on the Kev Beadle ‎– Private Collection (Independent Jazz Sounds From The Seventies And Eighties) compilation on BBE Records.

                            Almost unknown and unjustly negected, it's a funk drenched jazz journey with some crunchy fat beats laid down by the excellent rhythm section complementing Johnny Walkers cool horn stylings.

                            Reminiscent of the albums of that early Jazz Dance era by Tom Browne and Rahmlee but with less of a commercial edge and wholly instrumental this is Funky Jazz that has not dated and sounds like it was fresh out of the studio in 2022.

                            Funk all the way on "Dipping" and "Dirkie" while "Arrival" is one for the Jazz Dancers.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. Dippin'
                            2. Advent
                            3. Music And Art
                            4. Find A Way
                            5. Dirkie
                            6. Black Label
                            7. Arrival

                            Amy Winehouse

                            At The BBC

                              ‘At The BBC’ is the anticipated reissue from Amy Winehouse, originally released as a box set in 2012 this is the first time that the two discs ‘A Tribute To Amy Winehouse by Jools Holland’ and ‘BBC One Sessions Live at Porchester Hall’ are combined together to create this incredible masterpiece. The first time the tracks are available on vinyl, the set features tracks from Later with Jools across the year from 2003-2007 feature the most renowned tracks such as ‘Tears Dry On Their Own’, ‘Rehab’ and ‘Love Is A Losing Game’. And notably Amy’s first performance on the show in 2003 with ‘Stronger Than Me’. This is an essential listening and a celebration of the icon which is Amy Winehouse.

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: There's very little that needs saying for this. Amy Winehouse has left more of an impression on the landscape of singer-songwritery than pretty much any artist I can think of, and this soulful collection of her various BBC and Jools Holland appearances sees her in absolute peak form. As mindblowing as it is heartbreaking, the stripped-back perfection displayed here couldn't be any more of a testament to the enduring appeal of Winehouse, and to have it all in one place is perfect.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              A Tribute To Amy Winehouse By Jools Holland

                              Stronger Than Me (Later With Jools Holland/Nov 2003)
                              Take The Box (Mercury Prize/Sept 2004)
                              Teach Me Tonight Feat. Jools Holland (Hootenanny/Dec 2004)
                              Rehab (Later With Jools Holland/Oct 2006)
                              Tenderly Feat. Jools Holland (Later With Jools Holland/Oct 2006)
                              Tears Dry On Their Own (Later With Jools Holland/Oct 2006)
                              Monkey Man Feat. Jools Holland (Hootenanny/Dec 2006)
                              I Heard It Through The Grapevine Feat. Paul Weller And Jools Holland (Hootenanny/Dec 2006)
                              Don't Go To Strangers Feat. Paul Weller And Jools Holland (Hootenanny/Dec 2006)
                              Love Is A Losing Game (Mercury Prize/Sept 2007)

                              The BBC Sessions

                              Know You Now (Leicester Summer Sundae 2004)
                              Fuck Me Pumps (T In The Park 2004)
                              In My Bed (T In The Park 2004)
                              October Song (T In The Park 2004)
                              Rehab (Pete Mitchell 2006)
                              You Know I'm No Good (Jo Whiley Live Lounge 2007)
                              Just Friends (Big Band Special 2009)
                              Love Is A Losing Game (Jools Holland 2009)
                              Tears Dry On Their Own (Jo Whiley Live Lounge 2007)
                              Best Friends, Right? (Leicester Summer Sundae 2004)
                              I Should Care (The Stables 2004)
                              Lullaby Of Birdland (The Stables 2004)
                              Valerie (Jo Whiley Live Lounge 2007)
                              To Know Him Is To Love Him (Pete Mitchell 2006)

                              BBC One Sessions Live At Porchester Hall

                              Know You Now (Live At Porchester Hall/2007)
                              Tears Dry On Their Own (Live At Porchester Hall/2007)
                              You Know I'm No Good (Live At Porchester Hall/2007)
                              Just Friends (Live At Porchester Hall/2007)
                              He Can Only Hold Her (Live At Porchester Hall/2007)
                              I Heard Love Is Blind (Live At Porchester Hall/2007)
                              Rehab (Live At Porchester Hall/2007)
                              Take The Box (Live At Porchester Hall/2007)
                              Some Unholy War (Live At Porchester Hall/2007)
                              Back To Black (Live At Porchester Hall/2007)
                              Valerie (Live At Porchester Hall/2007)
                              Addicted (Live At Porchester Hall/2007)
                              Me & Mr Jones (Live At Porchester Hall/2007)
                              Monkey Man (Live At Porchester Hall/2007)

                              Various Artists

                              Blue Note Re:imagined II

                                Legendary labels Decca Records and Blue Note have joined forces for Blue Note Re:imagined; a brand-new collection of classic Blue Note tracks, reworked and newly recorded by a selection of the UK scene’s most exciting young talents.

                                Blue Note Re:imagined returns this year with a new 16-track compilation featuring fresh takes on music from the illustrious Blue Note vaults recorded by a heavyweight line-up of the UK jazz, soul and R&B scene’s most hotly-tipped rising stars. Arriving off the back of the widespread international success of the first volume, which topped jazz charts around the globe, Blue Note Re:imagined II once again infuses the spirit of the new UK jazz generation into the legendary label’s iconic catalogue, balancing the genre’s tradition with its future and reflecting the melting pot of talent and diversity within the current scene.

                                “For more than eight decades the artists of Blue Note Records have continually pushed the envelope of contemporary music, and Blue Note Re:imagined II once again honours that legacy by letting the UK’s most creative young artists reinvent the treasures of the Blue Note catalogue through their own lens.” – Blue Note President, Don Was.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                1. Yazz Ahmed - It (Chick Correa)
                                2. Conor Albert - You Make Me Feel So Good (Bobbi Humphrey)
                                3. Parthenope - Don’t Know Why (Norah Jones)
                                4. Swindle - Miss Kane (Donald Byrd)
                                5. Nubiyan Twist - Through The Noise (Chant No.2) (Donald Byrd)
                                6. Ego Ella May - Morning Side Of Love (Chico Hamilton)
                                7. Oscar Jerome - Green With Envy (Grant Green)
                                8. Daniel Casimir Ft. Rita Moran - Lost (Wayne Shorter)
                                9. Theon Cross - Epistrophy (Thelonious Monk)
                                10. Maya Delilah - Harvest Moon (Cassandra Wilson)
                                11. Kay Young - Feel Like Making Love (Marlena Shaw)
                                12. Venna & Marco - Where Are We Going (Donald Byrd)
                                13. Reuben James - Infant Eyes (Wayne Shorter)
                                14. Binker Golding - Fort Worth (Joe Lovano)
                                15. Cherise - Sunrise (Norah Jones)
                                16. Franc Moody - Cristo Redentor (Donald Byrd)

                                Z Records continues its commitment to unearthing the obscure and long forgotten tracks from the last 40 years through the ever-popular "Under The Influence" series. Following on from Red Greg, Nick The Record, Sean P, Faze Action, and last years Alena Arpels. It’s now the turn of one of the scene’s most impressive collectors & DJs; Rahaan

                                Hailing from Chicago his love affair with music started in the late 70’s early 80’s, listening to music on the radio combined with his mum and dad playing their records every weekend. In the early 80’s on the South side of Chicago, he started hearing something a bit different, what they called ‘house music’. 

                                Here Rahaan digs deep into his impressive record collection that he has collected, built up and crafted over his many years of travelling, networking and DJin to showcase 22 of his finest and rarest cuts. Many of the tracks on the album would cost hundreds and that’s if you were even able to find the originals!

                                As always with ZR compilations a lot of time and effort has been spent on creating these masters from the original vinyl, cleaning them up, removing all the clicks and pops resulting in the cleanest sounding copy possible.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                Side 1
                                1. Santrax - Come & Get It (5:18)
                                2. Marini - Let’s Get It On (6:43)
                                3. Time Unlimited - Back Fire (8:34)
                                Side 2
                                1. Venus Dodson - Shoot Me (With Your Love) (6:16)
                                2. Wings Of Light - He Loves You (5:00)
                                3. Ship Of The Desert - Count Of Monte Thisgo (6:00)
                                4. Frank Hatchett Dance Explosion - Super Hero (1:51)
                                Side 3
                                1. Cherish - For You (3:26)
                                2. Jaze - Wanna Get Down With You (7:21)
                                3. The 21st Century - One Of These Days (5:23)
                                4. Porno Disco - Go Down Moses (4:19)
                                Side 4
                                1. Cousin Ice - Catch Your Glow (feat Zack Sanders) (6:18)
                                2. Boobie Knight - Juicy Fruit My Love (6:27)
                                3. John Lamkin - Ticket (6:21)


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