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In May 1976 a record was released that would have an unforeseen and lasting impact on the music industry “Ten Percent” by Double Exposure was an early release on the New York independent label Salsoul Records. America was in the grip of a disco explosion with new clubs opening on a weekly basis; Salsoul saw what was happening and swiftly created a sound for their label, heavily influenced by the music then coming out of Philadelphia, aimed directly at New York’s dance-floors. Records like “Salsoul Hustle,” “Tangerine” and “You’re Just The Right Size” by The Salsoul Orchestra borrowed heavily from the beautifully orchestrated Philadelphia International records but added a more percussive, bass heavy depth that New York’s DJs loved. So what was so special about this particular single then? Double Exposure was, after all, just another band, “Ten Percent” just another song; one of many “disco” records released that week. First of all Salsoul became the first record label to make a twelve inch single available to Joe Public - the exotic format was previously only available to DJs as promotional items or bought under the counter at certain record stores. Not only that though, the extended version was created by Walter Gibbons, a DJ at New York’s Galaxy 21 who’d built his reputation making exclusive versions of tracks to play in his sets.

In 1976 it was unheard of for a DJ to set foot in a recording studio, being seen as little more than living jukeboxes by the serious music industry. Recording studios were strictly the domain of recording artists and producers so Walter found himself in a unique position, gaining access to a world no DJ had been granted before.

Or so we thought...
The Men In The Glass Booth tells the full story. Featuring ground breaking re-edits and remixes by some of the Disco era's most influential DJs including Walter Gibbons, Bobby DJ Guttadaro, Tom Savarese, Jellybean Benitez, Tee Scott and John Luongo, this opulent release also includes a 40 page book which features exclusive photos and insights from some of the story's key figures.


STAFF COMMENTS

says: BBE answer the prayers of all us non-millionaire disco fans, taking us on a journey through the alternative 12" history via this exhaustive collection of acetates and DJ edits. Mega!

FORMAT INFORMATION

LP Box Set Info: Part 1 contains 40-page coffee table book telling the story of the DJ as remixer and featuring previously unseen vintage photographs.

Ambiance

Into A New Journey

    Unearthed by The Mighty Zaf for BBE Music, Into A New Journey by Ambiance is an impossibly rare and sought-after private label spiritual jazz masterpiece from 1982 with Latin, Brazilian and Afro overtones. Ambiance was the ‘nom de guerre’ of an ever-shifting jazz collective headed up by Nigeria-born, LA-tutored multi- instrumentalist, arranger, producer and photographer Daoud Abubakar Balewa. Balewa studied composition and jazz improvisation at the feet of innovators such as Frank Mitchell (Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers), Jackie McLean (Blue Note) and other masters from the golden Blue Note era. Although he favoured alto, soprano and tenor, he was equally happy on flute, keyboards, and Latin and Brazilian percussion. What’s more, he had the knack of using musicians who were bold enough to welcome being part of such multi-faceted sessions: guitarist Jim Lum’s flexibility suits the theme of this album perfectly, as does prolific Japanese soul-jazz drummer Danny Yamamoto; the stunning Hawaiian pianist Kino Cornwell (Yamamoto’s colleague from funk-fusion supergroup Hiroshima); and the wonderful Jean Carn-like tones of Daoud’s wife, jazz vocalist Monife Balewa. From the band’s reading of Joe Henderson’s modal masterpiece Black Narcissus, through the deep multicultural percussive jazz-dance workout that is the title track, and on to the three-octave vocal embellishments of Monife, on her own composition Something Better as well as on the Chick Correa fusion classic 500 Miles High, nothing here is generic, nothing taken for granted, nothing comfortable or predictable. All of the half-dozen or so albums recorded and released by Daoud and Ambiance during just six years of frantic creativity between 1979 and 1986 are well worth seeking out, but in BBE Music’s opinion Into A New Journey is the pinnacle: spiritual jazz worthy of the very best practitioners of the genre, by an obscure group of ludicrously talented artists on a tiny, self-financed indie label with an equally tiny promo budget: that’s what great jazz is all about.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: All my spiritual jazz customers went crazy when High Jazz reissued 'Gida Gida' and 'Ebun' over the last few years, and with good reason - the soulful and dynamic fusion sounds of Ambiance are practically unrivalled. This time it's Zaf whose handled the digging, encouraging BBE to give the group's fourth LP a lavish reissue. Higher listening folks.

    Hideto Sasaki - Toshiyuki Sekine Quartet +1

    Stop Over

      This is the sixth release in BBE's acclaimed J Jazz Masterclass Series. Released at the height of the electric fusion era, ‘Stop Over’ is an all-acoustic hard bop killer, sounding like the Jazz Messengers on speed. When it was originally issued on the private Smile label in 1976, only 100 copies were pressed, making ‘Stop Over’ one of the most sought after and rare LPs in the J Jazz canon. Trumpeter Hideto Sasaki tears it up as if he’s Kenny Dorham on a classic late 50s Blue Note session. He also provides the breakneck title track to the album, the one stunning original that sits next to solid covers including Bobby Hutcherson’s modal classic ‘Little B’s Poem’ and Denny Zeitlin’s ‘Carole’s Garden’. Pianist Toshiyuki Sekine is also on top form with his deft touch and fluid keyboard runs, playing Horace Silver to Sasaki’s Dorham. If you dig that late 50s/early 60s breathless hard bop sound, you’ll love this. The BBE J Jazz Masterclass Series is personally curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden and is dedicated to presenting the very finest in Japanese modern jazz. The series features rare material presented in the highest quality reproductions of the original releases, fully licensed and authorised.

      Various Artists

      Alex Attias Presents LillyGood Party Vol. 2

        Swiss DJ Alex Attias returns to BBE with a second helping of uptempo cuts, perfectly encapsulating his LillyGood Party! sound. Founder of the recently revived Visions imprint, a long-time collector and a revered selector, Alex Attias is, before everything, a refined producer whose musical craft has seen him travel the globe, most notably with an extended stint in the birthplace of the bruk sound, London. The tracks you’ll find on this compilation are all current favourites, or proven classics that have never left Alex's record box at the LillyGood Parties, a gathering Alex and his brother Stephane run in their hometown of Lausanne, Switzerland. LillyGood Party! Vol.2 is another testament to Attias’ unswerving taste for smooth yet intricate, subtly layered yet deeply rooted dance compositions; some subtly edited for maximum dance-floor effect. Featuring instantly recognisable names such as Louie Vega's Elements Of Life, Peven Everett and even Pharoah Sanders, LillyGood Party 2 also sheds light on some lesser-known artists, digging out some gems, buried deep across the jazz, disco and electronic musical strata. 

        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: More jazzy than my usual preferences; this great compilation has got me shacking my arse in ways not previously known! Someone put me on a dancefloor!

        The first release in Ernesto Chahoud’s ‘Middle Eastern Heavens’ reissue series for BBE Music, we are delighted to present Lebanese maestro Ihsan Al-Munzer’s 1979 album ‘Belly Dance Disco’. In late 70s and early 80s Beirut, Lebanese organist, composer and arranger Ihsan Al-Munzer made a series of pioneering synth-driven fusion albums that reimagined Middle Eastern music. The records came at a pivotal time in Lebanon’s musical history of avant garde experimentation that was blossoming, just as the country’s 15-year civil war took hold. Ihsan Al-Munzer’s first release as a solo artist, ‘Belly Dance Disco’ aimed to fuse ‘Western’ modern music and bellydance to make it more accessible to the local audience in the late 1970s. “I wanted to put a mixture of European beat with Arabic percussion, but I made the European rhythm and harmony very easy to listen to for the Arabic ear – soft and understandable” says Al- Munzer. Today, the composer’s music has made the return journey back to the West; with tracks on the album featured by hip hop artists such as Mos Def, who sampled Al-Munzer’s composition ‘Joy of Lina’ on his 2009 song ‘The Embassy’. The 10-track album was released in 1979 on the legendary Voix De L’Orient label, which was also home to pioneering Lebanese composers The Rahbani Brothers. One of the earliest artists to introduce the synthesizer to Middle Eastern music, Al-Munzer leads the band, playing the main melody lines on the Kawai Organ and Solina String Synthesizer. Three of his original compositions feature on the album, alongside creative re-imaginings of Turkish and Arabic folklore and modern classics, pushing the boundaries of bellydance music to chime with the international scene. Al-Munzer’s five titles from the 1970s and 1980s are part of BBE’s ‘Middle Eastern Heavens’ reissue series, a collection of groundbreaking productions from Lebanon, curated by Lebanese DJ, compiler and music researcher Ernesto Chahoud. Notes by Natalie Shooter, a music journalist and researcher based in Beirut, edited by Will Sumsuch.


        DJ Andy Smith returns to BBE Music with a second stunning installment of his compilation series "Reach Up - Disco Wonderland".

        'Volume 2 takes the baton from Volume 1 and runs with it' says Andy. 'It brings new disco heat, with unreleased tracks & remixes by myself, Full Intention & Nick Reach Up, Crissy Kybosh and Bad Bikini vs Disco Circus. These fresh takes rub nicely alongside tried and tested original tracks from the golden age of disco for all to enjoy.'

        In the two years since the first volume of "Reach Up - Disco Wonderland" was issued, Andy’s ‘Reach Up’ DJ collective have been busy with performances at festivals such as Bestival, Festival No.6 and Eastern Electrics, as well as a host of club gigs from London to Lisbon and many spots in between. Their monthly South London Soul Train residency in Peckham, London is now in its third year, while their monthly Soho Radio show has been streamed and downloaded by thousands of Disco lovers Worldwide. Just like Volume 1 before it, "Reach Up – Disco Wonderland Volume 2" takes in forgotten boogie, funk, dance-floor soul and early house gems from the 70s and 80s, as well as a few contemporary productions created with a nod to the classics. Ranging from obscure West Indian pop artists to Chicago Disco royalty, "Reach Up - Disco Wonderland Volume 2" searches high and low to find the heaviest grooves and purest deep-down good vibes.


        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: Andy Smith might look like Barry's boiler repair man! (sorry Andy!) but he does have an excellent collection of disco, boogie and house music; all of which is presented here for our enjoyment. Yes Andy lad!

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        2xCD Info: An exclusive DJ mix is included on the CD version for maximum 'Reach Up' pleasure.

        Various Artists

        The Jazz Room Compiled By Paul Murphy

        UK jazz dance hero Paul Murphy teams up with BBE Music to deliver his first compilation on the label: a blazing selection of up-tempo jazz titled ‘The Jazz Room’. Lauded by none other than Gilles Peterson as “the original messenger of jazz who found almost every dancefloor classic”, Paul began DJing in 1970s London. His passion and unique playing style placed him at the epicentre of an emerging jazz-dance scene in the city, popping off in spots like The Horseshoe (aka Jaffas), The Wag, The 100 Club, The Blue Note and The Electric Ballroom, where he founded the now famous ‘Jazz Room’, after which this album is named. Paul’s influence on UK Jazz culture simply can’t be overstated, from his short-lived but much beloved imprint Paladin Records to his unswerving support of home-grown talents such as Working Week, Morrissey Mullen & Paz. As a DJ, his musical selections still live large in the memories of those who experienced them. As Coldcut's Jonathon More put it “Paul Murphy used to play the most frenzied and far out funky jazz at my Meltdown warehouse parties”. ‘The Jazz Room’ nicely encapsulates the reason so many greats feel moved to wax lyrical about Paul Murphy’s ear for dance-floor jazz, which is very clearly undimmed after decades behind the decks. Deftly mixing contemporary sounds with trusted bullets that his 1980s audiences will remember well, these tracks are vibrant and potent, with a couple of fiery live recordings thrown in for extra energy and sweat.

        Makoto Terashita Meets Harold Land

        Topology

        BBE Music presents the fourth release in their acclaimed J Jazz Masterclass Series: "Topology" by Makoto Terashita and Harold Land. Originally released in 1983 on the cult Aketa’s Disk label, Topology captures a surprising yet fascinating and engaging collaboration between a young Japanese jazz pianist and an elder American statesman of jazz. Reissued by BBE Music for the first time since original release 36 years ago, "Topology" showcases the extraordinary compositional and playing skill of Makoto Terashita, the young pianist responsible for five of the album’s six tracks, alongside the confident and seasoned tones of Harold Land, respected US veteran sax player and former colleague of some of the leading jazz artists of the 50s, 60s and 70s including Max Roach, Clifford Brown, Gerald Wilson and Bobby Hutcherson. By the time he came to record with Terashita in 1983, Land was in his mid-50s and had numerous album credits under his belt, including some twelve albums as leader. In contrast, Terashita was in his early 30s with just one album to his name, his stunning 1978 debut "Great Harvest". Notwithstanding the apparent disparity in experience, the creative relationship they fostered is audibly evident in the wonderful music that was captured during the recording session. "Topology2 kicks off with ‘Dragon Dance’, an epic spiritual jazz tour de force elegantly ushered in by an extended solo piano introduction from Terashita. This track was chosen to open volume 2 of BBE’s universally praised ‘J Jazz’ compilation. The energy and impact of tracks like ‘Dragon Dance’ and the powerful bop of ‘Crossing’- both Terashitsa-penned numbers - is balanced by more nuanced and reflective tracks like Land’s own composition ‘World Peace’. In total, "Topology" presents the listener with a complete experience of two musicians from different generations and countries united in musical spirit. A long out of print rarity known only to a handful of Japanese jazz collectors, "Topology" is now available once more, reissued for the first time as a 45rpm double 180g LP, featuring exact reproductions of the original artwork, obi strip and insert. It also comes with the original notes fully translated plus a new extended 3700 word essay by Tony Higgins.

        BBE Music unearth ‘Palaver’, a long-lost, previously unreleased 1980 album from Ghanaian guitarist and songwriter Ebo Taylor. If Fela Kuti was the king of Nigerian Afrobeat, then Ebo Taylor, 83 and still playing hard, is the king of Ghana Funky-Highlife. No doubt whatsoever. Much of Ebo’s beautiful 70s and 80s output has been reissued, as more and more Afro music lovers are being converted to his unique pan-West African sound. In 1980 while on a club tour of Nigeria with his regular touring band, Ebo bumped into Chief Tabansi of Tabansi Records. They agreed that Taylor would record a one-album session to be released exclusively on Tabansi. Within a few days the deal was signed, the session completed, the tapes signed off, and Ebo and his band went on their way to complete their Nigerian tour. But for reasons that no-one (including Ebo) can now fully recall, the master tapes got shelved in a dusty backroom in Tabansi’s Onitsha HQ. Where they remained, undisturbed, unreleased, unplayed, for almost forty years. Last year, Peter Adarkwah of BBE Music signed off on a major multi-album reissue deal with Tabansi and its affiliated labels. ‘What about unissued material, if we find any?’ Joe Tabansi, Chief’s son and current administrator of the label, casually asked. Yes, replied Peter- but WHAT unissued material? Upon which, Joe produces these masters. The tapes are rushed to the redoubtable Carvery vinyl remastering and pressing plant in East London, and all at BBE soon realised that they had a masterpiece on their hands. All-new material, all Ebo’s own compositions, all recorded with Ebo’s crème-de-la-crème touring and recording players, including George Amissah. Mat Hammond, George Kennedy and George Abunuah among others. Here it is, for the first time, anywhere. Ebo Taylor’s Lost Nigeria Sessions.

        "Earthly Delights" is a forgotten 1978 free-jazz masterpiece by bass player, composer and improviser David Wertman, alongside his Sun Ensemble. Born in 1952 and raised in Queens NY, Wertman’s distinctive upright playing style was entirely self-taught. He cut his teeth in the notorious New York Jazz lofts, jamming for hours and hours with the likes of Billy Bang, Arthur Blythe, Marion Brown, Steve Reid, Dave Pike, William Parker, Brandon Ross and Charles Tyler to name but a few.

        "Earthly Delights" is the first recording by the Sun Ensemble band and features the original line-up of Greg Wall (Baritone Saxophone), Jay Conway (Drums), John Sprague Jr. (Flute and Percussion), David Swerdlove (Soprano/Alto Saxophone), and John Zieman (Synthesizer). John Sprague Jr. financed and produced the album, releasing it on his own label Sweet Earth Records, a short-lived but bountiful imprint, perhaps best known for issuing Sun Ra And His Arkestra’s 1979 album “The Other Side Of The Sun”. "Earthly Delights" is perhaps best described as loosely composed, or highly improvised, depending on where you stand on such subjective matters. Containing just 4 compositions, "Earthly Delights" explores man’s relationship with nature; at times subtle and delicate, at times wide and sweeping in its gestures. The record’s spiritual message is conveyed by heartfelt, virtuoso performances from all six players, drifting together seamlessly from one sonic wave to the next.

        A highly sought-after spiritual jazz album from 1976. Passing away in 2013, David Wertman was a hugely respected upright bass player who worked closely with Dr. Lonnie Smith, Billy Bang & Arthur Blythe throughout his long career. Original artwork, plus brand new liner notes written by Will Sumsuch (5 Mag) with original photographs and poetry supplied by his widow Lynne Meryl.


        This is the first ever reissue of Roy Ayers' 1983 album 'Silver Vibrations'. Originally released in the UK only on Uno Melodic Records, 'Silver Vibrations' shares some of its musical DNA with 'Lots Of Love', Ayers' US album from the same year. However, 'Silver Vibrations' contains four unique cuts all of its own, plus extended takes of three songs, including the definitive version of iconic song 'Chicago'. The rarity of the original pressing has led to eye-watering second-hand prices for this truly brilliant LP. 'Silver Vibrations' was perhaps the last album to retain the sound of Ayers' organic 'classic' period of the latter '70s and manages to stand up well under its current re-evaluation. "Chicago", the unedited version of which is exclusive to this L.P., received considerable airplay in its time and has barely faded from earshot ever since; its woozy, mysterious vibe and cosmic ruminations from Roy in the second half have certainly endured. The strutting, funky "Good, Good Music" echoes Ayers at his pre-'80s, up-tempo disco peak, sporting a grittier edge and an old-school party atmosphere. Title track "Silver Vibrations" was only ever released in the U.K., both on this album and as a single, backed with "Fast Money". Both "Lots Of Love" and "Keep On Movin'" hark back to previous times and are a pleasant listen without being at all taxing. "Smiling With Our Eyes" is mid-tempo, lilting and jazzy, with a vocal vaguely reminiscent of Stevie Wonder in places. The wistful "D.C. City", a close companion of Ubiquity's original recording of "The Third Eye" is, in many ways, quintessentially Roy Ayers. 

        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: Overdue reissue of this Roy classic. Worth buying purely for 'Chicago'. One of his finest moments it's been sampled and re-edited more times than his lawyers can count.

        Various Artists

        IF Music Presents: You Need This - World Jazz Grooves (Compiled By Jean-Claude & Victor Kiswell)

        Fresh from bringing us two incredible volumes of ‘A Journey into Deep Jazz’ and providing an introduction to Black Saint & Soul Note Records on BBE, IF Music’s Jean-Claude joins forces with Victor Kiswell for new compilation, ‘World Jazz Grooves’.

        Currently celebrating 15 years of trading from his London record shop IF Music, Jean-Claude has built an enviable reputation over the past 25 years, as the go-to rare vinyl vendor for some of the biggest DJs and producers on the planet. Fellow record dealer and specialist music expert Victor Kiswell has travelled the globe several times over, hunting for rare records and DJing, appearing on a Cairo edition of Boiler Room in 2017.

        As you might expect, this treasure trove of music contains a generous handful of obscure and brilliant musical gems, carefully mined from all corners of the globe. “Europe, The Americas, Africa and Asia are all represented herein and hopefully a few surprises foryou, the listener, too” say Victor & Jean-Claude, summing up the project. From its inspired opener: Vietnam veteran Billy Bang’s visceral New York social commentary ‘Illustration’ whose Watts Prophets inspired spoken word vocal is (sadly) as relevant today as it was in 1978; through to the album’s closer, a touching African township ballad titled ‘ITwenty-Five’, ‘World Jazz Grooves’ takes the road less travelled to provide a jaw-dropping journey through world jazz culture.

        As Jean-Claude and Victor put it: “Jazz will always have its appeal: though influenced, jazz does not need to be dictated by trends. It has been experimented with by (almost) every population on the planet. It is its diversity, the fusing of various elements of different folklores, that allows jazz to constantly evolve and maintain its relevance.”


        The radical discovery by Amir Abdullah of 5 two-track master tapes in the care of Hermine Brooks – widow of innovative Detroit drummer Roy Brooks – of the Charles Mingus Quintet recorded live in Detroit at Strata Concert Gallery is cause for some serious celebration. These electrifying recordings took place during Mingus’ week-long residency in February 1973. They were broadcast live by drummer/producer and broadcaster Robert “Bud” Spangler for WDET FM – a public radio station dedicated to jazz – from Kenny and Barbara Cox’s multi-purpose home for Strata Records at 46 Selden. Entrance to the gig was $5 dollars in advance and $6 on the door.

        By the early Seventies Mingus’ militant musings, volatile character and hugely innovative musical offerings had already earned him global notoriety. He’d played with the Bird, Dizzy, Max Roach, Duke Ellington and had released universally acclaimed albums as a leader like ‘Blues & Roots’, Oh Yeah’ and ‘Black Saint & The Sinner Lady’. This gig – one of a Jazz In Detroit series that also included Keith Jarrett, Tribe and Herbie Hancock – took place a few months after the release of Mingus’ “third stream” masterpiece ‘Let My Children Hear Music’.

        The music on these tapes is blazing. According to the late Roy Brooks, the band – which included himself and fellow Detroit trumpeter Joe Gardner - had not long returned from playing two tours in Europe. Fresh to the quintet was stellar pianist Don Pullen and listening to these recordings Pullen’s church-driven power, blues sensibility and harmonic sophistication perfectly complements the bassist’s own vision. On tenor saxophone we have the soulful and innovative John Stubblefield. Like Pullen he was a recent recruit. Unfortunately, the saxophonist’s time with Mingus lasted a mere 5 months: “I got in a fight with Mingus and I shouldn't have done that. After that, I couldn't get arrested in New York." Ironically, when Sue Mingus formed the Mingus Big Band in 1992, to perpetuate her husband's legacy, Stubblefield emerged as a talismanic presence in the ensemble until he passed in 2005.

        Thanks to BBE, 180 Proof Records and Strata Records we can now tune in to WDET-FM and transport ourselves back to Detroit ’73, and get a taste of the furious energy and compositional sophistication of a unique and modern master at work in the most intimate of settings.


        Takeo Moriyama

        East Plants

        BBE bring us the next instalment in their J Jazz Masterclass Series: ‘East Plants’ by Takeo Moriyama, one of Japan’s finest jazz drummers. A genuine ‘under the radar’ album known only to a handful of Japanese jazz collectors, ‘East Plants’ is now available once more, reissued for the first time as a double 180g LP, with exact reproductions of the original artwork, obi strip and insert. It also comes with the original notes fully translated. ‘

        Originally released in 1983 on the Japanese VAP label, ‘East Plants’ is an essential album in the J Jazz canon. It’s an album that distils several key characteristics of Moriyama’s music: clearly articulated and inventive rhythms, open yet orderly arrangements, and an accessible groove balanced with a graceful control.

        ‘East Plants’ features no piano, just percussion, bass and reeds. From the luxurious raga-like build of the album’s hypnotic title track and the fierce post-bop workout of ‘Fields’, to the stately modal track ‘Kaze’ ( as featured on the sell-out BBE compilation, ‘J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1968-1984’), the album was, until now, a rarely acknowledged masterpiece. ‘East Plants’ shows Moriyama’s quintet at their most transcendent: delicate layers of percussion by Yoji Sadanari, a warm and pliant bass from Hideki Mochizuki, with colour and texture provided by the eloquent reed work of Shuichi Enomoto and Toshiko Inoue. And, overseeing it all, Moriyama’s discreet yet commanding drumming.

        The BBE J Jazz Masterclass Series is curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden and is dedicated to presenting the very finest in Japanese jazz. The series will feature rare, long-lost and unreleased material presented in the highest quality reproductions of the original releases, fully licensed and authorised.


        Ralph Thomas

        Eastern Standard Time

        Following hard on the heels of BBE delving into the archives of Detroit’s Strata Records and delivering their widely acclaimed and hugely in-demand exploration of J-Jazz, comes another crate digger’s delight- Ralph Thomas’ ‘Eastern Standard Time’, which dropped the USA back in 1980, on the obscure Zebra Jazz imprint. The self-produced ‘Eastern Standard Time’ features Thomas on baritone, alto and tenor saxophones as well as flute and percussion. He describes himself as a practicing ethnomusicologist whose musical vision evolved during the Sixties and it’s Thomas’ multifaceted, global approach that gives the music on Eastern Standard Time’ an engaging and distinct flavour.
        In 1974, he moved to Los Angeles and was employed as a session player with both 20th Century Fox and Motown – where he recorded with Marvin Gaye, Jermaine Jackson, Smokey Robinson and Rick James. In the early Eighties he was working for Quincy Jones Productions appearing on the soundtrack of Roots and The Color Purple but a passion for reggae music led him to Jamaica where he recorded with producer Jack Ruby and artists like Augustus Pablo and Gregory Isaacs. In ’86 he moved to NYC where he collaborated with Boogaloo legend Johnny Colon and played with like-minded musical explorers Sun Ra, Don Cherry and Olatunji. However, by 1993 his restless spirit carried him to Paris where studied Ethnomusicology and performed with trumpeter Mra Oma and film-maker Ranaivo-Rajaona Hery. There were also gigs with percussionist Trilok Gurtu as well as drummer Sunny Murray and saxophone legend Archie Shepp. Upon moving to the South of France Thomas ran an art gallery and initiated his MusArt project – which has since toured in the US, Canada and Japan.


        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: Immerse your soul with some beautiful Jazz provided by Ralph Thomas, loud and impacting, I’m very glad this album has been reissued for all to hear.

        Neroli record founder Volcov returns with the second volume of compilation series ‘From The Archive’ on BBE Music.

        It’s been a busy two years for Enrico Crivellaro (Volcov) since the release of ‘From The Archive Vol. 1’. His Neroli label has seen stellar releases from Dego (2000 Black), Lars Bartkuhn, Trinidadian Deep and Alton Miller among others, leading to a hectic schedule of DJ sets across the globe.

        In ‘From The Archive Vol. 2’, Volcov’s musical roots are once again evident in a jazzy collection of hidden gems spanning genres and continents. As Volcov puts it: “the spirit and the sound of this album follows the frst volume: choosing more songs that i thought were overlooked and deserved more attention. This time, with such a crowded marketplace for reissues and compilation of 70s-80s music, I decided only to focus on songs from the last 10-15 years.”

        ‘From The Archive Vol. 2’ features several tracks never before released on vinyl, including ‘Afterlife Vol.2’ by 'Black Renaissance' composer and Roy Ayers collaborator Harry Whitaker and Ron Trent’s homage to French violin genius Jean-Luc Ponty, ‘Ori Space’. Taking in intimate downtempo soul, extraterrestrial jazz sounds and straight up club music, ‘From The Archive Vol. 2’ paints a vibrant and eclectic musical picture, autographed with a couple of signature edits by Volcov himself.

        The desire to discover and delve into new and unexplored areas of music has turned attention on the Japanese jazz scene of the 1970s, often regarded as its gilded age. The recent groundbreaking sell-out BBE compilation J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz from Japan 1969-1984 threw much needed light on this fascinating era and presented a range of artists and music that surprised and delighted all who heard it. A key track on the compilation was one of the rarest and least known: Dead Letter by the Tohru Aizawa Quartet, taken from an album that was so elusive, some pondered whether it even existed.

        The album, Tachibana, was recored in 1975 and, until included on the J Jazz compilation, was unknown except to a small group of obsessive Japanese jazz collectors. The privately pressed record was the only album made by the Quartet, four amateur musicians who were university students at the time. The session was financed by a local businessman, Ikujiroh Tachibana, who pressed up a few hundred copies to use as a business card. In the intervening 40 odd years since its recording, few copies have surfaced, making it an in-demand yet elusive artefact from the golden age of Japanese jazz. BBE Records are honoured to present a fully authorised reissue of this holy grail, licensed directly from the band themselves.

        Tachibana has all the necessary components of a cult album: pressed in small numbers, a few mysterious and vague details about its origins, languishing in obscurity for decades and, above all, superb musical craftsmanship and skill. It can now be enjoyed by a new audience around the world.

        The album opens with the dynamic percussion workout Philosopher’s Stone written by the then law-student and drummer Tetsuya Morimura. It propels along with the band at full pelt, showcasing Morimura’s well-developed drumming style. For a teenage amateur player to compose and perform such an accomplished and impressive piece is a testament to the talent that the band contained. Philosopher’s Stone is followed by Sacrament, an epic modal composition by saxophonist Kiyochiro Morimura that fans of Wayne Shorter, Pharaoh Sanders and late-era John Coltrane will appreciate. After an extended intro the band drop into a heavy, churning groove, Morimura’s saxophone scorching above the volcanic rhythm section. Dead Letter, written by Aizawa himself, is an epic piano led symphony of spiritual jazz. Think McCoy Tyner at his imperial finest and you’ll get a favour: impact, emotion and power all suffuse to create a overwhelming experience. Amazingly, this is still the only Aizawa composition yet to be recorded.

        The Tachibana album also includes two cover versions, both Latin favoured numbers delivered with élan and brio: La Fiesta by Chick Corea and the classic Samba de Orfeu by Luiz Bonfá. So, just five tracks in total, the sole existing evidence of an astonishing band, the Tohru Aizawa Quartet.

        The long-awaited reissue of this mythic album includes new liner notes and photos, plus fully translated notes from the original Japanese text. The album will be presented in an authentic thick card gatefold sleeve in a faithful reproduction of the original sleeve design.


        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: THE holy grail of Japanese jazz gets a much needed reissue here thanks to BBE. Originally pressed in such small numbers, it was thought to be a myth, "Tachibana" swerves, slides and pirouettes through modal, spiritual and latin styles, capturing an energy and expression few have matched.

        Various Artists

        Ernesto Chahoud Presents TAITU - Soul Fuellled Stompers From 1960s-1970s Ethiopia

        Ernesto Chahoud’s "Taitu" is a collection of soul-fuelled stompers straight from the dancefloors of 1970s Addis Ababa. A breathless journey through the unique Ethio sound that bands were forging at the time, the 24 track compilation is the result of the Lebanese DJ and crate digger’s decade long love affair with the ‘golden age’ of Ethiopian music. Among the musical gems featured are 7”s by some of the heavyweights of the scene including the godfather of Ethio jazz Mulatu Astatke and Alemayehu Eshete, the vocalist dubbed the ‘Ethiopian Elvis’, alongside tracks by more obscure artists such as Merawi Yohannis and Birkineh Wurga.

        For ‘Taitu’, Chahoud has selected 24 of his essential Ethio-Soul 7”s, that never leave his DJ box, and together they capture this opportune moment in Ethiopian music history that saw bands experiment with an armful of influences: gliding through R&B, rock & roll, jazz, funk, soul and boogaloo. What came out was a distinctly Ethiopian interpretation: pentatonic scales, horn-driven melodies and soul-shattering vocals sung in Amharic. The songs are difficult to box in to one genre but they share a simplicity and rawness, added to by their lo-fi quality - with many recordings made in rudimentary studios with only a couple of mics for the entire band.

        From the R&B stomper ‘Honey Baby’ by Alemayehu Eshete to Astatke’s swaggering ethnic-jazz instrumental ‘Emnete’ and the bluesy melancholic vocals of Hirut Bekele on ‘Ewnetegna Feker’, ‘Taitu’ is a window in on the exciting records being made in Ethiopia in the 1970s and comes fully endorsed by us here at Picc HQ. 

        SunPalace

        Rude Movements (Part I & II)

          THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2017 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

          Our first Record Store Day offering is a strictly limited, highly collectible 7" pressing of BBE's most talked-about release in quite some time, 'Rude Movements' by SunPalace. An iconic 80's UK jazz-funk cut, hugely influential during the early days of dance music, the long-standing status of Rude Movements as a go-to record at David Mancuso's Loft Parties make this year's re-issue especially poignant. For the 7" cut, original producer Mike Collins has created an exclusive edit of the track to occupy both sides of the vinyl.

          Announced in late 2016 with the single ‘All Because Of You’, described as “a future classic” (CJ Mackintosh) and “absolutely necessary” (Soul Clap), BBE are proud to present Kiko Navarro’s brand new solo album ‘Everything Happens For A Reason’. A highly respected artist for many years now, Kiko Navarro is a name synonymous with the Balearic House sound, thanks to his residencies at Space & Pacha as well as his countless productions and remixes.

          ‘Everything Happens For A Reason’ displays a dizzying array of musical flavours, with guest appearances from DJ Spen, Boris Dlugosch and multi-instrumentalist Gabriele Poso, whose compilation ‘The Language Of Tambores’ is coming soon on BBE. Within a framework of warm, soulful House music, Kiko explores afro-latin rhythms, broken beats, nu-jazz and straight up Chicago-inspired acid. A deep re-imagining of Maze & Frankie Beverly’s 80s classic ‘Twilight’, irrepressible floor-filler ‘I Can Show You The Way’ and a new orchestral version of 2007 classic ‘Soñando Contigo’ are among the immediate highlights, but this album is so much more than the sum of its parts. ‘Everything Happens For A Reason’ sees iko Navarro concentrating his wealth of experience curating and creating music into a highly potent and deeply personal soundtrack to his life and career so far.

          Ted Coleman Band

          Taking Care Of Business

          BBE are back with another essential reissue, putting this ultra-rare LP from Ted Coleman back in press for the first time since 1980. Heavily influenced by the likes of Bobby Hutcherson and Roy Ayers, "Taking Care Of Business" is full of positive, uptempo soul/jazz gems, featuring Ted Coleman's wonderful vibraphone playing throughout. Not only did Coleman both sing and play piano, synth and vibes on the record, but he also designed the artwork himself; a true DIY LP if ever there was one! This DIY ethos even extended to the New Jersey label JSR who originally pressed the LP, describing themselves as: "a new company that helps working club bands that can sell their own records. JSR artists spend no money for recording or production costs, and there are no recording contracts." This could well explain the album's rarity, with original copies selling on Discogs for eye-wateringly high prices. Ted Coleman cut his teeth playing local clubs and venues in his hometown of Pittsburgh, where his skills on vibes and mallet percussion quickly earned him popularity in the local area. "Taking Care Of Business" was his very first studio album, blending latin rhythms with smooth jazz and soul stylings. The musicianship on the record is striking, the vocals mellow and soulful, the lyrics warm and tender: put simply this album is designed to warm the heart. Still writing and recording at ‘Joyful Noise’, his Metuchen New Jersey studio, Ted Coleman also performs across the US with his “Good Vibes” band. More sublime stuff from the flawless BBE.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          says: Oh my Lord! BBE reissue another lost classic here, putting the spotlight on unsung vibraphone hero Ted Coleman. Stick this on the player and soar away on the soulful strings, deep grooves and stunning vibes of this jazz-funk masterpiece.

          Kenny Mann Jr. & Liquid Pleasure Band

          Tin Top - Inc. Kon Edit

          THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2016 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

          Taken from 'Off Track Vol. 3', 'Tin Top' provides yet another reminder of why Kon is revered almost as much for his music knowledge and record collection as he is for his production skills. A party disco belter, Kon's subtle edit of 'Tin Top' simply can't miss on the dance-floor thanks its infectious groove and fun lyrics. In Pt.2, the story takes a darker turn, while the track just keeps on grooving.

          Very special artists packages, released on 12” vinyl for the first time, exclusively for RSD 2016, strictly very limited.


          Various Artists

          Rock It... Don't Stop It! - Rapping To The Boogie Beat In Brooklyn, Boston And Beyond 1979-1983 - Compiled By Sean P

          Without doubt, funk is the mother of hip-hop - and although disco is sometimes viewed as somewhat anathematic to that movement, it’s worth remembering that for a while at least, it provided the vehicle that brought rap out of New York and presented it to the world - and the results of these divergent musical styles crossing paths still resonate around the globe. It’s easy to forget or play down the importance of the Sugarhill Gang’s ‘Rapper’s Delight’ - an unusual, clever novelty record that was cocksure and playful, which burned up the commercial airwaves in 1979. It was followed swiftly by Kurtis Blow’s ‘Christmas Rapping’, which also charted and gave Top Of The Pops its first on-stage rapper in early 1980. Although it wasn’t yet referred to as hip-hop in the UK, rap had already made itself known to the record-buying public at large - and as the rap 12" single was barely a year old, this was an incredible feat for such a nascent scene. The largely independent rap releases which had been slowly but steadily trickling out of the US would occasionally, like Sugarhill’s appropriation of Chic’s ‘Good Times’, take their musical cues from popular club tracks of the day - and disco-derived rap records were plenty.

          ‘Rock It… Don’t Stop It!’ features a selection of forgotten or relatively obscure rap singles from the ’79-‘83 period, universally known as ‘old school’, which fall into the hip hop-disco category. Inspiration for these vignettes from hip-hop’s evolution range from classic party rockers by Cheryl Lynn, through to Yazoo (and, no doubt, ‘Rapper’s Delight’) and the featured MCs give it their best shot with humour, earnestness and everything in-between. Although most of these hail from New York state, the under-represented Massachusetts shines alongside a prominent player which at the time had yet to find its own distinctive voice - Los Angeles. Hip hop and rap are now a dominant force in contemporary music and have constantly adapted to stay relevant, drawing on and absorbing all around them. ‘Rock It… Don’t Stop It!’ goes back over 30 years to their collective big bang moment.

          Marc Mac's Visioneers project LP "Dirty Old Hip Hop", was one of the stand out albums of 2006 and a favourite at Piccadilly HQ. It now comes back reconstructed by some like-minded producers on the hip hop scene. Just three tracks from the original LP get the remix treatment on this CD, with "Funkbox" reworked by Jazzy Jeff, Terry Tester (one fifth of Danish hip hop troupe Vincent Van Go Go), Twelve Beats and Denz, "Replay" is remade by Terry Tester and Marc Mac. The LP is rounded off by the Visioneers remix of "Runnin'", featuring the original Pharcyde vocals reinstated over Marc's live band instrumentation. There's 14 different mixes in total.

          After spending much of the 90s backing established artists like James Poyser and Christopher Williams, Philly soul singer V released his own single "It's Raining". This caught the ear of DJ Jazzy Jeff, who then brought V in to record at his Touch Of Jazz studio, with songs co-written by Jeff, Pete Kuzma and V. A testament to the soul that modern R&B has lost (check the Gil Scott-Heron copied sleeve), "The Revelation Is Now Televised" has been compared to the likes of Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross and D'Angelo, and features a guest appearance from the multi platinum, Grammy award winning Jill Scott.


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