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ACID JAZZ

Matt Berry

Phantom Birds

    BAFTA Award-winning actor Matt Berry has been the star of a number of high profile TV series including Toast Of London, The IT Crowd and most recently What We Do In The Shadows. Concurrently he has cultivated a career as a musician that has seen him release six solo albums and collaborate with the likes of Bond composer David Arnold, Jean-Michel Jarre and most recently Josh Homme, who invited him to perform on the Desert Sessions.

    His most recent album ‘TV Themes’ was a UK Top 40 hit and was awarded four stars by Will Hodgkinson writing for The Times. His reinterpretation of British TV themes of the past was no mere wallow in nostalgia but an exploration of recording techniques and a joyous celebration of the music.

    ‘Phantom Birds’ was inspired by a fascination with Bob Dylan’s ‘John Wesley Harding’, the way it was recorded with the minimum of musicians to draw attention to the songs. For the recording Matt worked with drummer Craig Blundell - known for his work with Steven Wilson and Steve Hackett - and legendary pedal steel player BJ Cole, yet the tinges of Americana are never allowed to overwhelm Matt’s own distinctive style.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Red vinyl.

    Lightning Orchestra

    Source And Deliver

      Lightning Orchestra is the creative conduit for multi-instrumentalist Travis Murphy, bolstered by a rotating, elastically-numbered backing band of like-minded souls inspired by legends from Jimi Hendrix to Fela Kuti. The outfit’s debut album Source and Deliver is released on neon yellow vinyl, containing the monstrous ‘White Tiger’. 

      Various Artists

      Martin Freeman And Eddie Piller Present Jazz On The Corner Two

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

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

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

        The Spitfires

        Life Worth Living

          Fronted by creative lynchpin Billy Sullivan, this startling three-piece – augmented by three other musicians when playing live - have cemented a loyal fanbase since their inception some five years ago and alongside Sam Long, bassist and drummer Matt Johnson whilst initiating album sales in excess of 20k and a tour itinerary approaching nearly three hundred gigs.

          Life Worth Living is a contrasting melting pot of unadulterated joy and melancholy, laughter, tears, frustration and peacefulness. Quiet and introspective moments collide with loud and angry times and no less powerful. At its heart is a sense of hope that things can be better, the title reflects that aspiration.

          Produced by Simon Dine, who was behind the desk for Paul Weller’s 22 Dreams and Wake Up The Nation amongst a varied CV - has harnessed the undoubted vibrancy and swagger of the band’s live show helping create an ambitious album – a vehicle for the talents of Sullivan, Long and Johnson.

          From the infectious brass-infused opener, Start All Over Again, the Nutty Boys-esque title track Life Worth Living to Tear This Place Right Down bathed in soul overtones, the ballad-like wonder of How Could I Lie To You? to the ska riffage of single (Just Won’t) Keep You Down and the magnificent finale of Make It Through Each Day.

          Lamont Butler

          It's Time For A Change

            It was 50 years ago that a talented local musician named Lamont Butler started to create an album that would combine love, happiness and joy. Lamont’s only official album release, ‘It’s Time For A Change’ has been very popular for record collectors around the world but it never saw the wider success it truly deserved.

            Born 1949 in Louisville, Kentucky, Lamont Butler was drawn to music and dance from the very beginning. He was the son of well-known gospel, blues and R&B singer and pianist Clifford Butler Sr, receiving an early education in what was required to be a touring musician. It quickly became apparent that Lamont had a wonderful voice and was pushed to the front, despite no being fully confident yet of his singing ability. Lamont performed on the gospel circuit for a number of years, cutting his teeth with groups such as The Enterprise, The Dynamics and The New Beginnings, eventually going solo with Lamont Butler and The Spirit of Truth.

            It was whilst he was singing and performing during this period that he started to write his own songs and think about putting together an album bringing together his influences from R&B, jazz, soul and of course gospel. The result is the very raw, almost low-fi sound of ‘It’s Time For A Change’, released nearly 10 years after Lamont started to pen the first tracks and gaining relative success. He toured the album around churches in Louisville, with tracks such as ‘Love One Another’,’ Time For A Change’ and ‘Ungodly War’ quickly becoming firm favourites.

            Remastered with care by Nick Robbins at Sound Mastering and complete with in-depth sleevenotes.

            The Prisoners

            In From The Cold

              The Prisoners are one of the most influential bands of the 1980s, an astounding live act whose records were the opposite of what pop radio demanded in that era. Raw where they were smooth and full of character where those records needed to be blandly conformist. They hardly sold a record and yet they can count the likes of Noel Gallagher and political journalist John Harris as their fans. Steve Lamacq devoted a whole chapter of his book to his love of them whilst Tim Burgess of The Charlatans once said that at that time he only checked for The Prisoners and New Order. At least two UK hits used their arrangement on Joe South’s ‘Hush’ as their basis.

              ‘In From The Cold’ was the final shot at success by The Prisoners the only problem was they didn’t want it. Signed by Eddie Piller to his Stiff-backed subsidiary Countdown they were put in the studio with Troy Tate (Teardrop Explodes / The Smiths) and made this astounding album which they then disowned.

              By 1986 they were an incredible live band and had released three albums of their distinctive 60s influenced garage rock. A four-piece featuring Johnny Symons on drums, future Acid Jazz hitmaker James Taylor on organ, Allan Crockford on bass and backing vocals and the compellingly soulful Graham Day on vocals. Graham also wrote fantastic songs. Ten years later and they would have been lauded as heroes in Brit Pop land but the mid-80s had no place in the mainstream for a band with their influences.

              ‘In From The Cold’ is full of amazing songs from the hard edges of ‘All You Gotta Do Is Say’, ‘Ain’t No Telling’ and ‘The More That I Teach You’, to the mournful ‘Wish The Rain’ and ‘Be On Your Way’. It is no surprise that Mojo journalist Lois Wilson described this as her favourite album by the band.

              This reissue on coloured vinyl is the first time the album has been issued in its original form since 1986 when, due to Stiff’s imminent demise, it was deleted very quickly.

              Small Faces

              Four To The Floor EP

                The Small Faces are incredibly important to those at Acid Jazz. The epitome of mod style, with a love of great American soul music which they made their own, turning out some of the greatest records on Earth. There’s also a personal connection as well, with label founder Eddie Piller’s mum Fran being in charge of the original Small Faces fan club. So it is with pure delight and unadorned joy that Acid Jazz release ‘Four To The Floor’.

                In addition to their joyous and timeless songs the group also had a killer line in instrumental brilliance, channelling Booker T & The MGs through the explosive prism of mod and making us all dance. The four finest of these, ‘Grow Your Own’, ‘Almost Grown’, ‘Own Up Time’ and ‘Plumb Nellie’ have been gathered together by Tosh Flood (Pugwash, The Divine Comedy) to create this killer EP.

                Approved by surviving band member Kenney Jones - who also pens sleeve notes - and put together as part of Rob Caiger’s critically acclaimed Small Faces reissue series, ‘Four To The Floor’ has been mastered by Nick Robbins directly from the original Decca tapes with lacquers cut by Barry Grint at Alchemy Mastering. For this release Acid Jazz have revived the Rare Mod Series so the disc comes in a laminated flip-back sleeve, resplendent with a Tony Gale photo of the group in their prime 1966 glory

                This is the debut album from new soul sensation Laville, following on from the release of Laville’s stunning debut EP which featured singles "Easy" and "Thirty One". "The Wanderer" is driven by a certain spirit - it’s almost as if after waiting so long Laville refuses to let this chance pass him by, bringing his intense sense of focus to the fore. A bold voice that adds something distinctly new to the tapestry of soul, Laville’s talent is too strong to remain a secret forever. "The Wanderer" was steered by the expert hand of Acid Jazz’s in-house producer Sir Tristan Longworth, built during the summer months with a crack team of musicians.

                Following 2018’s acclaimed "Jazz On The Corner" compilation, 2019 sees Martin Freeman team up with Acid Jazz’s renowned head honcho Eddie Piller once more, to present a veritable and personal collection of tracks. Compiled from the pair’s personal favourites, be it hearing on the radio, word of mouth or out DJ'ing - "Soul On The Corner" represents the entire gamut of soul from the sixties and seventies right up to the present as illustrated by the likes of Tommy McGhee and the Acid Jazz recent signee Laville.

                Opening with the inimitable Bobby Womack and "How Could You Break My Heart", as Piller explains; 'I never tire of hearing this record and have used regularly to close my DJ set, it’s a real hands-in-the-air moment.' Further cuts from the renowned and less well-known seamlessly complement each other - the smooth sultry jam of Laville’s "Thirty One" or the superbly nuanced slice of progressive soul in the shape of Sergio Mendes & Brasil 77’s "Love Music". Piller’s selection transcends the rock / soul divide with "Never Gonna Give You Up" from former Impression Jerry Butler, adding: 'I plumped for this because I recalled the incredible response from The Black Keys’ version that I aired on the BBC’s Funk and Soul show.'

                No less varied is the choice of soul fan Martin Freeman, opening with the vintage ’68 soul with a twist of something rockier, Barbara Acklin’s "A Raggedy Ride" that he professes; 'is an unexpected gem that’s been a favourite of mine for forever.' Other picks arrive in the form of Georgie Fam’s cover of Bobby Womack’s "Daylight" that has Freeman enthusing; 'the original is a beaut. This is better.' Further inclusions come from The Supremes and The Wisdom Of Time, representing the mid-nineties contemporary soul scene is Lewis Taylor with "Lucky" that as Freeman asserts is; 'an epic tune.' Meanwhile, taken from their first self-titled album Earth, Wind & Fire’s "Fan The Fire" epitomizes the innovative nature of one of the most successful acts of all time and adds Freeman; 'this is a funky-as-hell cry for peace and love. Good lord, they were SO good.'


                STAFF COMMENTS

                says: After hitting us with a choice selection of jazz cuts last year, deep digger, class actor and snappy dresser Martin Freeman and Acid Jazz head honcho Eddie Piller return with a collection of sweet modern soul sounds.

                When Acid Jazz founder Eddie Piller asked Martin Freeman (‘The Hobbit’, ‘Sherlock’, ‘The Office’) to do a jazz radio show they could hardly imagine the response. From around the world emails and tweets inundated the show and they swore to themselves that they couldn’t leave it there.

                Now, two years on, this compilation of their favourite jazz has arrived. From the rolling hard bop of Lee Morgan and Art Blakey, via screaming soul organ, jazz funk original acid jazz onwards to the post modern spiritual jazz of Kasami Washington, this is an incredible journey.

                Hutson, long revered on the soul scene for his production, songwriting and performace skills, was Curtis Mayfield’s heir apparent. First chosen by the great man to replace him in the Impressions, and then groomed for an extensive solo career on Curtis' own label, Curtom, Hutson was the real deal. The Hutson catalogue has not been available on any format for nearly two decades, so it's excellent news that Acid Jazz have begun a full scale reissue series in partnership with Leroy himself.
                Here we have a deluxe reissue of ‘Hutson II’. Often seen as a partner to the early ‘Hutson’, this is a highly sort after album and a high point of 1970s Chicago soul. Recorded at Curtom Studios, it features the all time classics ‘I Think I’m Falling In Love’, ‘Love The Feeling’ and ‘Don’t It Make You Feel Good’.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                CD Info: The CD comes with three bonus tracks including the 2017 discovery ‘Positive Forces’ whilst the album comes with a full colour inner sleeve complete with in-depth notes by award winning soul expert Tony Rounce.

                Hutson, long revered on the soul scene for his production, songwriting and perfromace skills, was Curtis Mayfield’s heir apparent. First chosen by the great man to replace him in the Impressions, and then groomed for an extensive solo career on Curtis' own label, Curtom, Hutson was the real deal. The Hutson catalogue has not been available on any format for nearly two decades, so it's excellent news that Acid Jazz have begun a full scale reissue series in partnership with Leroy himself.

                Here we have a deluxe reissue of his classic third LP "Hutson", a high point of mid 70s soul, produced at Mayfield's Curtom Studios. Boasting Leroy’s signature tunes, ‘All Because of You’, ‘Lucky Fellow’ and ‘Cool Out’ as well as four other magnificent tracks in its original form, this deluxe reissue also treats us to a trio of alternate versions, making it an essential for any soul completist.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                CD Info: The CD comes with three bonus tracks, the LP comes with a full colour inner sleeve complete with in depth sleeve notes by award winning soul expert Tony Rounce.

                Leroy Hutson

                Anthology 1972-1984

                  Acid Jazz pull a blinder here, delivering the definitive Leroy Hutson compilation – ‘Anthology 1972-1984’. A legend to soul fans, his catalogue has been increasingly sought after by collectors and producers since the last time it was widely available nearly 20 years ago. College friends and early collaborator with Donny Hathaway then hand-picked as Curtis Mayfield’s replacement in The Impressions, his solo career resulted in 7 albums for Mayfield’s Curtom label. They are considered some of the greatest of the era and the very best music from them is collected here. Licensed from Mr Hutson himself, this represents his first approved Anthology, and comes in a beautiful package with an essay by soul expert and Mojo award-winning writer Tony Rounce and memorabilia and photos from Mr. Hutson’s own personal archive. The first single lifted to preview the album – the previously unreleased ‘Positive Forces’ has been championed at 6Music by Gilles Peterson who described it as one of the most important discoveries of the past ten years.

                  Judy Dyble & Andy Lewis

                  Summer Dancing

                  Acid Jazz present Judy Dyble and Andy Lewis’s psychedelic folk collaboration ‘Summer Dancing’.

                  Dyble was the original vocalist in Fairport Convention, appearing on their self-titled debut, before joining Giles, Giles and Fripp and then recording the awesome UK psych masterpiece ‘Morning Way’ under the name Trader Horne with her then boyfriend Ian McDonald.

                  Andy Lewis was the original DJ at legendary Brit-pop club Blow Up, before recording his own albums for Acid Jazz and scoring a Top Forty hit with his collaboration with Paul Weller, ‘Are You Trying To Be Lonely?’ in 2007. After that he joined Weller’s band of which he was a member until the end of last year.

                  The album is made of the very stuff of British psychedelia, an obsession with childhood, the country and the city. It emerges from a place somewhere between Broadcast, the soundtrack to ‘The Wickerman’ and Stereolab.

                  The album is released at the time when Judy is very much involved in the celebrations for Fairport's 50th Anniversary and she will be appearing at their annual Cropredy Festival as both a solo artist and as part of Fairport Convention.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  says: Folk me, this is nice. Airy hippie vibes, hazy barbecues in the park, village fetes, bees all over the place. Not malicious ones, just normal nice bees. Warm pastoral acoustic guitars and swooning vox. Lovely.

                  It’s been 3 years since Tel Aviv’s indie-soul septet MONC released their debut LP “The North” on Acid Jazz Records. But make no mistake, they haven’t been resting. In the meantime they have released sold-out singles, an EP, and have toured Europe no less than five times! They visited Germany, France, Italy and the Czech Republic, and were met with excitement all over Europe’s Mod and Soul scene.

                  April of 2016 sees the release of their second studio album, titled “This City”, which is dedicated to their home town – Tel Aviv. In the album MONC infuse Northern Soul, Post-Punk and Rock'N'Roll influences into heady visions of the city’s buildings, streets, bedrooms, clubs and bars, while remaining dedicated to their brass section extravaganza and the three-minute pop-nugget charm.

                  The band have a fan in Craig Charles, who liked the album so much he’s hand-selecting 3 of his favourite tracks from the album on his BBC Funk & Soul Show and will invite listeners to phone in and vote for the “single”, which will then be released digitally by the band. He has also invited the band over from Tel Aviv for a live session in the station’s Manchester studios.

                  Whether you’re familiar with Matt’s Live shows or want to understand what they are like, this album takes you there! From the excited audience chatter to the clarity of his pulsing KORG, each element resonates with perfect clarity. Berry and The Maypoles' musical prowess shines through their prog-folk excursions and trombone flairs which are reminiscent of an early Acid Jazz release, all with the a nod to Berry's surreal and panoramic world-view.

                  The four piece who consist of Tom Rowlett (vocals), Ben Deboo (guitar), Jamie Harris (bass) and Chris Mardon (drums) – home grown in Hoxton before the beards and pop-up cocktail bars arrived - have spent the last few years touring consistently, honing their classic yet contemporary sound. The result is a shockingly tight live band who are heading out on a month long UK tour in November. „We Paid For Blood‟ is the follow up to 2013's "Shimmer Gold" and sees them musically evolved, whilst still maintaining their raw power and melodies. The album has a much fuller sound – a mixture of The Clash, The La‟s, The Replacements, The Kinks and Captain Beefheart – although they are much more than the sum of their influences. Fired up by the political situation of 2015 (both personal and public) Rowlett uses these issues lyrically and enhances the urgency of the new record.

                  Various Artists

                  Rare Mod: Volume 6

                    Acid Jazz Records proudly bring you the long-awaited newest edition to their Rare Mod compilation series. Rare Mod 6 brings a treasure of golden rarities from the swinging sixties that were previously lost to generations in the dusty storerooms of antiquity.

                    Recently discovered on acetate and quarter inch tape; Rare Mod 6 contains re-mastered gems from days gone by which are sure to satisfy every nostalgia-seekers “blast from the past” urges; a perfect edition to your Rare Mod collection.

                    Containing up-beat, mod tracks with a mix of classic sixties sounds, some of these tracks are so rare the artists remain a mystery. Listeners are invited to shed light on any of these ‘unknown mod bands’ if they can!

                    Other artists featured will be well known to Mod fans. Sharon Tandy, The Montanas and The Ossie Layne Show are all part of the Acid Jazz family!

                    Finally, the album contains a previously unreleased track from The Koobas recorded in 1967 which was used in “The Money Go Round” - a short film set in London’s banking district which featured the future Star Wars legend Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett) as the male lead.

                    The latest compilation, RM5 boasts twenty swinging rarities, including soul legend Sharon Tandy singing under an alias, a demo version of a freak-beat favourite, a track rumoured to be ‘the king of soul’, plus two tracks from two bands, containing two members who would eventually form one of the greatest seventies Glam bands ever – The Sweet:

                    The Montanas – Hey Diddle Diddle (Demo)
                    The Montanas formed in 1962 in Dudley and quickly established themselves as a top local beat group. In 1965 they secured a deal with Pye records and over the next four years issued a run of brilliant 45s including Roundabout, Top Hat and their magnum opus That’s When Happiness Begins, which will no doubt be familiar to all. Their contract with Pye had expired so they began recording new material in the hope of securing a new deal, which lead to MCA issuing the brilliant Hey Diddle Diddle as a 45, but featured here for the first time is the glorious demo version.

                    Debrah Aire – Don’t Be Proud
                    The mysterious Miss Debrah Aire was in fact the legendary Sharon Tandy recording under a pseudonym. Polydor records issued a version of Exodus - This Land is Mine by her under this name in 1966 but the follow up, that we feature here, was shelved and only recently rediscovered on white label test pressing.

                    The Troop - You’ll Call My Name
                    The Troop were from Harefield, Middlesex, and notable for the fact that their lead singer was future frontman with The Sweet, Brian Connolly. This was taken from what is thought to be the only surviving acetate.

                    The Dynamite Orchestra – Sh’Mon Part 2
                    Legend has it that Mr Dynamite is none other than the fabulous Mr. James Brown. It was in fact an American group called The British Walkers from Washington D.C. It was issued in the UK, on Guy Steven’s Sue Record label, and it has gone on to achieve legendary status on the mod scene.

                    The Army – Sugar
                    The Army are best known as the group that spawned future Sweet bass player/singer Steve Priest. In 1967 they cut two tracks that were never released including this cover of the Joe Tex hit Sugar.

                    Tony Christie

                    Now's The Time!

                      Tony Christie is fast approaching his 50th anniversary in music and to celebrate Acid Jazz put him back in the studio to make an album that takes him back to his musical roots.

                      "Now's The Time!" will be Tony Christie's nineteenth studio album over an illustrious career, which has taken him from Sheffield to Amarillo, and very much back again. It picks up from where the critically acclaimed album, "Made In Sheffield", left off.

                      Two years on and Tony Christie is again visiting his roots, although not geographical this time. He has spent time rediscovering the soul side of his early career, and has encompassed this into the recording of an incredible album, which was produced by friend, fan and one time collaborator, Richard Barrett from The All Seeing Eye. The album brings together the sound of northern soul, British beat and filmic soundtracks. Tracks like "Get Christie" (a re-work of the iconic theme from Get Carter) which features a collaboration with fellow 'Dee-Dar', Jarvis Cocker, other collaborations on the album come from Roisin Murphy amongst others.

                      The title track "Now's The Time!" shows Christie in a light that we haven't seen him in for 30 years, yet it seems more fashioned to him now more than ever. "This album has given me the opportunity to be the real me. What could be more exciting?" The rich production and original collection of songs, which testify Christie's high level of dexterity, are beautifully conceived and movingly delivered in a way that only Christie could furnish. Tony Christie has arguably made the album of his impeccable career showcasing his iconic status as one of Britain's greatest singers.

                      Trashmonkeys

                      Nobody

                      Anglo-Germanic four-piece The Trashmonkeys, return with a a new three track single "Nobody" which features two brand new tracks, "Wrong Education" and "Gone". Brash, rock'n'roll,combining 60s garage snarl and '77 punk derangement.


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