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Various Artists

The Men In The Glass Booth: Part 1

    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

    Patrick 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!

    The Fantastics!

    Take A Shot

      BBE Music welcomes respected UK funk / soul / jazz combo The Fantastics! to the label for ‘Take A Shot featuring Sulene Fleming’, the band’s long awaited third studio album, nine years in the making.

      The Fantastics! story begins back in 2003, when keys maestro and Freestyle Records boss Greg Boraman joined London group ‘Reverend Cleatus & The Soul Saviours’. Officially changing their name to The Fantastics! in 2007, in 2009 the ranks were bolstered by the arrival of prodigious UK vocal talent Sulene Fleming in 2009. Only Greg and bassist Raydn Hunter remain from the band’s original line-up, which now features Mark Norton (saxophone / flute) and James Smith (drums). New member James Byron (guitar) brings yet another fresh perspective on the band’s genre-agnostic approach, which takes Afrobeat, Latin, Rock and Rhythm & Blues influences in easy stride. The band have been honing this album at gigs and in the studio for nine long years, during which time singer Sulene Fleming has been busy collaborating with Incognito and Leroy Hutson, as well as enjoying a stint as lead vocalist for The Brand New Heavies. The approach of constantly testing material in a live setting has endowed this record with an indefinable yet distinctive, authentic feel; put simply, it successfully transmits the energy and immediacy of a great concert.

      The range of sounds to be heard on ‘Take A Shot’ is ambitious, but it feels pretty effortless. From the library music tinged spacey jazz-fusion of ‘Oblique’ and ‘Better Than Dead’, 'Hey Misters'’s intense Hammond driven, risqué sister-funk, ‘Pyramid'’s touching & serene modal jazz-dance, ‘Say You Will’ with its shimmering, sweet & summery soul-pop, the Betty Davis-esque ‘Can't Decide’ which is a straight up funk-rock monster, the deceptively slinky West Coast smooth ‘Mind Time’ that takes a sharp left when you least expect it, the woozy and tripped out ‘St Tropez Blue’ - and of course the album’s title track ‘Take A Shot’ - not only display the ensemble’s collective and solo abilities, but also frame Sulene’s powerful and versatile voice in a wonderfully wide election of musical settings.

      Special mention goes to Mark Ashfield & his youthful sidekick James Nugent, who not only cheerfully put up with The Fantastics! slow and meandering methods, but also engineered, mixed and mastered this album with truly special levels of detail, warmth and musicality.

      TRACK LISTING

      Disc: 1
      1. Say You Will
      2. Better Than Dead
      3. Take A Shot
      4. Pyramid
      5. Oblique

      Disc: 2
      1. St Tropez Blue
      2. Can't Decide
      3. The Bounce
      4. Mind Time
      5. Hey Mister!

      Teena Marie

      John Morales Presents Teena Marie - Love Songs & Funky Beats - Remixed With Loving Devotion

        Producer extraordinaire John Morales returns to BBE Music, celebrating the life and work of R&B / soul legend Teena Marie with a double album full of brand new remixes, lovingly crafted from the original studio tapes, entitled ‘Love Songs & Funky Beats’. “Teena is somewhat underrated, and people don't really know much about her.” Says Morales. “I set out to immerse people in her music and represent what she really did. That meant for me a dive into more than her R&B hits, to dig into her ballads and dance cuts. People know she was talented. I don't really think they really knew the depth of her abilities, her complete confidence to take it upon herself to do everything – singing, producing, arranging, songwriting. Teena Marie was the total package.” John Morales had the pleasure of mixing many of Teena Marie’s original records over the years, so it felt natural to dig into the archives and select his favourite cuts to rework, extend and subtly update in his own distinctive style. While by no means a definitive collection of Lady Tee’s expansive musical catalogue, ‘Love Songs & Funky Beats’ represents a fitting tribute to a multifaceted and important voice in popular music, by one of the most storied mix engineers and remixers of our age. Jumping into the music industry deep end in 1979 with a three-year mentorship from Berry Gordy & Rick James at Motown, Teena Marie then spent seven fertile years with Epic, which yielded her greatest commercial successes (including the classic album 'Starchild'). After founding an independent label ‘Sarai’, Marie took a ten-year hiatus which ended in 2004 in a deal with hip hop label Cash Money Records; a less unlikely partnership than some might assume, given that Teena was one of the first ‘mainstream’ artists to perform a rap verse, on 1981’s ‘Square Biz’. Teena Marie Brockert forged a unique path through the industry, an artist in-charge of her own destiny, influencing (and heavily sampled by) both the hip hop and R&B sounds of the 90’s and early 2000’s. Her 1982 lawsuit against Motown records resulted in "The Brockert Initiative", which has benefitted literally thousands of other artists by making it illegal for record companies to ‘shelve’ artists by keeping them under contract without releasing their material. She continued to tour regularly and deliver commercially successful, expertly sculpted music, right up until her untimely passing in 2010.

        TRACK LISTING

        1 – I Need Your Lovin’ (John Morales M+M Mix)
        2 – It Must Be Magic (John Morales M+M Mix)
        3 – Aladdin’s Lamp (John Morales M+M Mix)
        4 – First Class Love (John Morales M+M Mix)
        5 – Now That I Have You (John Morales M+M Mix)
        6 – I’m A Sucker For Your Love (Live In Long Beach, Ca 1981: Alternate Mix / John Morales M+M Mix)
        7 – Behind The Groove (John Morales M+M Mix)
        8 – Love Just Wouldn’t Be Right (John Morales M+M Mix)
        9 – Portuguese Love (John Morales M+M Mix)
        10 – Chains (John Morales M+M Mix)
        11 – 365 (John Morales M+M Mix)
        12 – Wasn’t I Good To You (John Morales M+M Mix)
        13 – Square Biz (John Morales M+M Mix)
        14 – More Love (John Morales M+M Mix)
        15 – You Got Away (John Morales M+M Mix)
        16 – You’re All The Boogie I Need (John Morales M+ M Mix)
        17 – Lonely Desire (John Morales M+ M Mix)
        18 – Fire And Desire (John Morales M+M Mix)

        Jay Dee Aka J Dilla

        Welcome 2 Detroit - 20th Anniversary Edition

          BBE Music announces a special 20th Anniversary edition of one of the most important records in the label’s history: J Dilla’s Welcome 2 Detroit, presented in a deluxe 7” vinyl box set boasting instrumentals, two brand new interpretations by Azymuth and Muro, a stash of previously unreleased alternative mixes and studio outtakes pressed over 12 discs, plus a book revealing the album’s hidden story, told by those who were there. First issued by BBE Music on Monday 26th of February 2001, Welcome 2 Detroit was James Dewitt Yancey aka Jay Dee’s first solo outing and the debut appearance of his new ‘J Dilla’ moniker (bestowed on him by none other than Busta Rhymes). The album also inaugurated the producer-led Beat Generation album series, which would later spawn classic LPs by DJ Jazzy Jeff, Pete Rock, DJ Spinna, Marley Marl and even will.i.am, all of whom had been inspired to reach for new creative heights by hearing Dilla’s magnum opus. Choosing to showcase his own voice and the voices of local rap-heroes from across the city instead of big stars, Welcome 2 Detroit marked a coming of age for the then 27 year-old producer, who fully embraced the creative-freedom offered by BBE for his first solo project. As Dilla tells it: “Peter (Adarkwah, founder of BBE) let me do whatever I wanted to do. So, I wanted to put people on there who are gonna spit y’know, lyrically and represent Detroit. Because I wouldn’t have been able to pull this album off if it came out under a major. Cos they’re not gonna let you just do a song or you can’t just do an instrumental. You gotta have this feature and you’re Jay Dee, why ain’t you got Erykah Badu? Why ain’t you got so and so on your album? I’d have had to go through all of that, instead of just putting out…y’know, Beej on this joint!” The album would prove to be the perfect distillation of Dilla’s Detroit. From Kraftwerk-inspired Tech Noir that would make Metroplex proud, through subtle echoes from Africa, live jazz-funk and bossa-nova grooves, to tough Midwest boom-bap, this record somehow showed reverence to the city’s past without ever leaving its present. Grimy street flows that somehow swayed like James Brown. Unquantized marvels, so free and alive in their bounce, that they could seduce the hardest of hard-rocks into the sweetest screwface! Diverse, multifaceted, super collaborative and yet somehow singular, Welcome 2 Detroit was the shy and humble James Yancey revealing his true self in the only way he knew how: through his music. “The numerous guest appearances from some of the city’s best MCs at the time — Beej, Big Tone, Elzhi, Frank N Dank, Phat Kat — added to the album’s immersive experience, offering listeners a taste of Detroit in a way that only Jay Dee could do." – Okayplayer To mark the 20th Anniversary of this momentous record, BBE Music is issuing a specially remastered edition of Welcome 2 Detroit, featuring a stunning new remix of ‘Think Twice’ by Japanese DJ/producer Muro and a stellar cover version of ‘Rico Suave Bossa Nova’ by legendary Brazilian jazz-funk juggernauts Azymuth, plus a stash of newly discovered alternate versions and work-in-progress recordings from the album sessions, lovingly reproduced from priceless cassette tapes recorded by J Dilla himself. An accompanying book by British writer and filmmaker John Vanderpuije offers an oral history of the album’s making, as told by Amp Fiddler, Ma Dukes and all of the album’s key musical contributors. The deluxe 7” vinyl box set and digital album will be released on February 5th 2021 during the annual #DillaMonth celebration, as close to the great man’s birthday as possible and will be available to pre-order from the BBE website and Bandcamp from November 3rd 2020. “I’m real happy that Welcome 2 Detroit was done by BBE. Because I don’t think another label would have helped him embrace his full creativity and given him the control to make it a piece of who he was! Because of BBE he was able to pour more of himself into it, into every bit of music on this album. His spirit lives in Welcome 2 Detroit. It’s him! Alive and thriving in every song!” – Ma Dukes

          TRACK LISTING

          Disc: 1
          1. Y’all Ain’t Ready (Instrumental)
          2. Y’all Ain’t Ready
          3. Think Twice (faded)
          4. Think Twice (Instrumental - Faded

          Disc: 2
          1. The Clapper Feat. Blu
          2. The Clapper (Instrumental)
          3. Shake It Down (Instrumental)
          4. Shake It Down

          Disc: 3
          1. Come Get It (Instrumental - Edit)
          2. Come Get It Feat. Elzhi (edit)

          Disc: 4
          1. Pause Feat Frank 'n' Dank
          2. Pause (Instrumental)
          3. B.B.E. - Big Booty Express (Instrumental)
          4. B.B.E. - Big Booty Express

          Disc: 5
          1. Beej-N-Dem Pt.2 (Instrumental)
          2. Beej-N-Dem Pt.2 Feat. Beej

          Disc: 6
          1. Brazilian Groove EWF (Instrumental)
          2. Brazilian Groove
          3. It’s Like That (Edit) Feat. Hodge Podge, Lacks
          4. It's Like That (Instrumental)

          Disc: 7
          1. Give It Up (Instrumental)
          2. Give It Up

          Disc: 8
          1. Rico Suave Bossa Nova
          2. Azymuth – Rico Suave Bossa Nova (Vinyl Edit)

          Disc: 9
          1. Feat. Phat Kat (Instrumental)
          2. Feat. Phat Kat

          Disc: 10
          1. African Rhythms (Instrumental)
          2. African Rhythms
          3. One (Instrumental)
          4. One

          Disc: 11
          1. It’s Like That (Alternate Version)
          2. African Rhythms (No Drums)
          3. Brazilian Groove EWF (No Drums, No Vocal)
          4. Beej-N-Dem (og) Feat. Beej
          5. Give It Up (Acapella)

          Disc: 12
          1. Think Twice (DJ Muro's KG Mix)
          2. Think Twice (DJ Muro's KG Mix Instrumental)

          BBE Music presents the seventh release in its highly acclaimed J Jazz Master Class Series: ‘Evolution’ by Shintaro Quintet. Recorded in 1984 and originally released on the private label Streetnoise Records, ‘Evolution’ is a perfect example of stately modal jazz with every one of its five tracks composed by band leader and bassist, Shintaro Nakamura. A cut from the album, ‘A Blind Man’, was included on the BBE Music compilation ‘J Jazz – Deep Modern Jazz from Japan 1969-1984’, and it’s a track that’s indicative of the album’s graceful blend of spiritual jazz and gently swinging minor blues waltzes, a style favoured by Nakamura that allows the band to stretch out and explore the strong melodic themes, lush arrangements and seductive rhythms. Recorded in New York, ‘Evolution’ features the great Japanese trumpet player Shunzo Ohno alongside a mixed Japanese-American band: pianist Jeff Jenkins, who brings a touch of McCoy Tyner’s percussive blues to the album, has worked with many jazz greats including Freddie Hubbard, Eddie Harris and Clark Terry; US-born Saxophonist Bob Kenmotsu, one-time member of Jack McDuff’s band has also recorded and performed with jazz guitarist Pat Martino; and drummer Fukushi Tainaka, who studied under Philly Joe Jones, completes the solid rhythm section with Nakamura and Jenkins. ‘Evolution’ is reissued as a double 45rpm 180g LP, cut by the Grammy-nominated Carvery Studio. The BBE Music edition features exact reproductions of the original artwork and super-rare diagonal obi strip. It also comes with the original notes fully translated plus a new extended essay and interview with band members by Tony Higgins. ‘Evolution’ is also available as a CD and across digital formats. 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 by the artists and labels.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Future On You
          2. Don't Forget Me
          3. Sweet And Sour Sound
          4. Evolution
          5. A Blind Man

          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

            Patrick 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.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. The Arrival
            2. The Black Narcissus
            3. Something Better
            4. Into A New Journey
            5. Eastwind
            6. 500 Miles High
            7. Windows

            Roy Ayers

            Virgin Ubiquity II: Unreleased Recordings 1976 - 1981

              BBE Music announces the first repress of the classic Roy Ayers albums ‘Virgin Ubiquity’ 1 and 2 since 2006, on luxurious 180g vinyl with brand new sleeve notes written by Sean P. The music on 'Virgin Ubiquity' was selected and mixed down from previously unreleased multi-tracks recorded between 1976 & 1981, which Roy had in storage. It's all unmistakably Ayers, but is diverse and fresh enough to be more than a mere adjunct to one of his most productive and popular periods - testament to his and his musicians' creative abilities, as much of most revered Ayers output stems from this time. These discoveries take their place beside some illustrious company in a timeline bookended by 'Everybody Loves The Sunshine' and 'Africa, Center Of The World', several solo and Ubiquity albums, collaborations with Wayne Henderson & Fela Kuti, as well as guesting on LPs by Buster Williams and Herbie Mann. Out of print on vinyl and CD for over a decade now, BBE is delighted to re- present these groundbreaking Roy Ayers titles, neatly coinciding with the 45th anniversary of his classic album ‘Mystic Voyage’.

              TRACK LISTING

              Disc: 1
              1. Holiday
              2. Funk In The Hole
              3. Liquid Love
              4. I Am Your Mind (Part 2)

              Disc: 2
              1. Third Time
              2. I Like The Way You Do It To Me
              3. Tarzan
              4. Come To Me

              Disc: 3
              1. Touch Of Class
              2. Kwajilori
              3. Wide Open
              4. Release Yourself
              5. Sunshine (Demo)

              Various Artists

              Jamie 3:26 Presents A Taste Of Chicago

                Following the 2018 release of a 12" preview sampler, BBE Music is excited to present the album 'A Taste of Chicago', a compilation of classic house edits by Jamie 3:26. Hailing from Beverly on the South Side of Chicago, Jamie 3:26 is an artist driven by a deep desire to get people moving in the dance. A Chi-Town vibe is always the focus for the master selector and producer who's capable of lighting up dance-floors around the world and that ethos shines through on this compilation, featuring a collection of tracks giving listeners a true insight into the sound, culture and style of the Windy City. The compilation sees classic tracks by the likes of Chip E, Quest and more get a serious Jamie 3:26 twist, with edits that not only capture the best of celebrated eras gone by, but point to the future too. Get ready for a unique and timeless journey into Chicago's famous house music scene, courtesy of one of the city's key players.

                “This compilation represents the true unspoken sound of my city. While the House scene was blossoming into what would be a globally recognized phenomenon, we had this whole hidden movement going on. These personal edits that I played back then represent magical moments in time that are still being created in many of my sets today. A huge thank you to my music brothers Marshall Jefferson, Braxton Holmes, Tone B. Nimble, Chip E, Pap Spencer, Doc Brucio, Carl Bias for trusting my ears with your creations.” - Jamie 3:26

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Venus & Mars (Jamie 3:26 Edit)
                2. The Lesson (Doc Brucio's Original Mix – Jamie 3:26 Edit)
                3. The Jungle (Jamie's Jungle Sounds Edit)
                4. Mind Games (Underground Mix – Jamie 3:26 Edit)
                5. Stomps & Shouts (Jamie 3:26 Basement Edit)
                6. It's House (Jamie's Basement Edit)
                7. Comin' On Strong (Jamie 3:26 Edit)

                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.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. Carole's Garden
                  2. Soultrane
                  3. Turquoise Twice
                  4. Little B's Poem
                  5. Stop Over

                  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

                    Sil 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!

                    TRACK LISTING

                    SIDE A
                    1. How Bad I Want Ya (GU Peak True Time Mix) – Stacy Kidd Feat. Peven Everett
                    SIDE B
                    1. Children Of The World (Ben Brophy Edit) – The Elements Of Life Feat. Josh Milan
                    SIDE C
                    1. Gwotet (Alex Attias Edit) – David Murray & The Gwo-Ka Masters Feat. Pharoah Sanders
                    2. Freedom Flight – Mausiki Scales (Alex Attias LillyGood Party Edit)
                    SIDE D
                    1. Open Up Your Mind (Honeycomb Vocal Mix) – Universal Tongues Feat. Elle
                    2. Star Child Going Home – MJ Lallo

                    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.


                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. Girls Of Iskandariah
                    2. Night Entertainer
                    3. The Joy Of Lina
                    4. Dance Of Tenderness
                    5. Jamileh
                    6. A New Candle
                    7. Once A Year
                    8. A Flower Of My Imagination
                    9. A Night At The Station
                    10. Love Of Laura

                    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

                    Matt 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!

                    TRACK LISTING

                    Vinyl Track Listing:
                    Side 1
                    1. Will Sessions & Amp Fiddler - Lost Without You (feat Dames Brown - DJ Andy Smith Re-edit) (5:47)
                    2. The New Jersey Connection - Love Don’t Come Easy  (6:36)
                    3. Ted Taylor - Ghetto Disco (6:57)
                    Side 2
                    1. Full Intention & Nick Reach Up - Night Of My Life (feat Jazz Morley) (5:13)
                    2. Cela - I'm In Love (7:15)
                    3. Chain Reaction - Dance Freak (6:43)
                    Side 3
                    1. Disco Circus - Get Up & Dance (Bad Bikini Re-edit) (7:02)
                    2. Gregg Diamond - Star Cruiser (6:05)
                    Side 4
                    1. The Gibson Brothers - Heaven (7:25)
                    2. The Emotions - You're The Best (6:14)
                    Side 5
                    1. Greg Henderson - Dreamin (7:17)
                    2. Claudja Barry - Sweet Dynamite (4:08)
                    Side 6
                    1. Serious Intention - You Dont Know (Crissy Kybosh Remix) (6:58)
                    2. The Armada Orchestra - For The Love Of Money (6:18)
                    3. Ronnie Jones - You & I (5:54)

                    CD Track Listing
                    Disc 1 - Mixed

                    1. Ted Taylor - Ghetto Disco (mixed)
                    2. The Emotions - You're The Best (mixed)
                    3. The Armada Orchestra - For The Love Of Money (mixed)
                    4. The New Jersey Connection - Love Don't Come Easy (mixed)
                    5. Ronnie Jones - You And I (mixed)
                    6. Cela - I'm In Love (mixed)
                    7. Greg Henderson - Dreamin (mixed)
                    8. Disco Circus - Get Up And Dance (Bad Bikini Re-Edit) (mixed)
                    9. Serious Intention - You Don't Know (Crissy Kybosh Remix) (mixed)
                    10. Claudja Barry - Sweet Dynamite (mixed)
                    11. Chain Reaction - Dance Freak (mixed)
                    12. Will Sessions & Amp Fiddler Feat. Dames Brown - Lost Without You (DJ Andy Smith Reach Up Disco Wonderland Re-Edit) (mixed)
                    13. Full Intention & Nick Reach Up Feat. Jazz Morley - Night Of My Life (mixed)
                    14. Gregg Diamond - Star Cruiser (mixed)
                    15. The Gibson Brothers - Heaven (mixed)

                    Disc 2 - Unmixed
                    1. Will Sessions & Amp Fiddler Feat. Dames Brown - Lost Without You (DJ Andy Smith Reach Up Disco Wonderland Re-Edit)
                    2. Full Intention & Nick Reach Up Feat. Jazz Morley - Night Of My Life
                    3. Ronnie Jones - You And I
                    4. Gregg Diamond - Star Cruiser
                    5. Cela - I'm In Love
                    6. The New Jersey Connection - Love Don't Come Easy
                    7. The Gibson Brothers - Heaven
                    8. Serious Intention - You Don't Know (Crissy Kybosh Remix) (CD Edit)
                    9. Claudja Barry - Sweet Dynamite
                    10. Disco Circus -   Get Up And Dance (Bad Bikini Re-Edit) (CD Edit)
                    11. Greg Henderson - Dreamin
                    12. Ted Taylor - Ghetto Disco
                    13. The Armada Orchestra - For The Love Of Money

                    Louie Vega

                    Barely Breaking Even

                      For BBE Music’s landmark 500th release, the label joins forces with Louie Vega, Leroy Burgess and Patrick Adams to revisit "Barely Breaking Even", the iconic track after which the label is named. Coaxed into the studio together by BBE founder Peter Adarkwah, Grammy winning House music hero Louie Vega, arranger extraordinaire and New York disco royalty Patrick Adams, plus the song’s original writer (and king of boogie) Leroy Burgess soon got to work. Even given the caliber of those involved in this special session, the results are simply exceptional. Featuring live strings by The Apple Hill String Quartet arranged by Adams and Burgess, Vega’s ‘Boogie Mix’ stays faithful to the Universal Robot Band original, with potent vocal performances and a tough new groove for 2019. It was at the string recording session for the boogie version that Louie Vega unveiled his 'NYC House Mix' to the assembled musicians, at which point he and Leroy Burgess quickly arranged a brand new horn section and re-wrote the song’s melody to compliment the track’s accelerated pace. What the team emerged with is so much more than a remix- it’s a unified call-back to two golden eras; that of disco-boogie and that of New York House. And it’s beautiful.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      Disc: 1
                      1. Barely Breaking Even (Louie Vega NYC House Remix (Instrumental))
                      2. Barely Breaking Even (Louie Vega Boogie Mix)

                      Disc: 2
                      1. Barely Breaking Even (Louie Vega NYC House Remix)
                      2. Barely Breaking Even (Louie Vega Boogie Mix (Instrumental))

                      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.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Dragon Dance
                      2. World Peace
                      3. Dear Friends
                      4. Takeuma
                      5. I-Ha-To-Bo
                      6. Crossing

                      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.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Palaver
                      2. Make You No Mind
                      3. Abebrese
                      4. Help Africa
                      5. Nyame Dadaw

                      "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.


                      TRACK LISTING

                      Disc: 1
                      1. Relations
                      2. Earthly Delights

                      Disc: 2
                      1. Oh John Love Trane
                      2. Clear Air Dancer

                      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

                      David 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.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Chicago
                      2. Lots Of Love
                      3. Keep On Movin'
                      4. Silver Vibrations
                      5. Smiling With Our Eyes
                      6. D.C. City
                      7. Good Good Music

                      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.


                      TRACK LISTING

                      LP VERSION:

                      A1. Pithecanthropus Erectus
                      B1. Pithecanthropus Erectus (continued)

                      C1. The Man Who Never Sleeps
                      D1. Peggy's Blue Skylight

                      E1. Introduction By Bud Spangler / Celia
                      F1. Celia (continued)

                      G1. C Jam Blues
                      H1. C Jam Blues (continued)

                      I1. Orange Was The Color Of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk
                      J1. Dizzy Profile

                      CD VERSION:

                      CD1
                      1. Pithecanthropus Erectus (Long Version)
                      2. The Man Who Never Sleeps
                      3. Peggy's Blue Skylight

                      CD2
                      1. Introduction By Bud Spangler / Celia
                      2. Bud Spangler Interview With Roy Brooks And Commentary

                      CD 3
                      1. C Jam Blues
                      2. Orange Was The Color Of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk
                      3. Dizzy Profile

                      CD4
                      1. Noddin' Ya Head Blues
                      2. Celia (Alternate Take)

                      CD5
                      1. Dizzy Profile (Alternate Take)
                      2. Strata Gallery Announcement By Bud Spangler / Radio Broadcast WDET F

                      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.


                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. East Plants
                      2. 竹 (Take)
                      3. かげろう(Kagelou)
                      4. 風 (Kaze)
                      5. Fields
                      6. 遠く(Tooku)

                      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

                      Millie 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.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Cafe Phillipp
                      2. Doloreso
                      3. Muscavado
                      4. Big Spliff
                      5. Venice
                      6. E.S.T.
                      7. Spellbound

                      Tohru Aizawa Quartet

                      Tachibana

                      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

                      Patrick 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.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      A1. Philosopher's Stone
                      B1. Sacrament
                      C1. La Fiesta
                      D1. Dead Letter
                      D2. Samba De Orfeu

                      Various Artists

                      J-Jazz Vol.1: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969-1984

                      In the years following the World War Two, Japan developed one of the most insatiable, dynamic and diverse markets for jazz. For a crucial period of little over a decade - from the late 1960s to the early 1980s - Japanese jazz culture progressed at an astonishing rate, producing an extraordinary array of artists, recordings and record labels that created some of the most forward thinking and impressive jazz to be committed to tape. This amazing journey is explored on ‘J Jazz’. This compilation from BBE uncovers some of the most sought after and rare material from this period and pulls together key artists who shaped the postwar modern jazz scene in Japan.

                      ‘J Jazz' includes obscure and sought after rarities like the bass-driven power jazz of Koichi Matsukaze’s ‘Earth Mother’, the holy grail rarity of Aizawa Tohru Quartet’s ‘Dead Letter’ and the loping majesty of Takeo Moriyama’s ‘North Wind’. This collection takes the listener into deep spiritual jazz, post-modal impressionism and fierce dance-floor fusion with material from artists and composers whose names are generally only known to committed collectors of Japanese jazz. Fumio Karashima, Mitsuaki Katayama, Takeo Moriyama and Kiyoshi Sugimoto are among the names featured on an album aiming to shed a little light on the shadowy world of Japanese jazz clubs, tucked away in the neon backstreets. This music demands a wider audience and BBE are excited to deliver a landmark compilation, lifting the veil on this wonderful and mysterious area of the global jazz catalogue.

                      None of the tracks featured on ‘J Jazz’ have ever received an official release outside Japan before. The albums the tracks are taken from are extremely hard to find and often fetch huge sums on the collector’s circuit. Originally pressed in small numbers on independent and private labels such as Union, Johnny’s Disk, Whynot, ALM and VAP, these tracks are now available for everyone to enjoy.

                      Compiled by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden, both long-time collectors of Japanese jazz, ’J Jazz’ brings together the very best in modern jazz from Japan, recorded during a critical period of musical and cultural transition that saw composers and musicians not only assert a new artistic identity but also create a lasting musical legacy.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      CD
                      1. Koichi Matsukaze Trio - Earth Mother
                      2. Tohru Aizawa Quartet - Dead Letter
                      3. Eiji Nakayama - Aya’s Samba
                      4. Takao Uematsu - White Fire
                      5. Shintaro Quintet - A Blind Man
                      6. Mitsuaki Katayama - Unknown Point
                      7. Takeo Moriyama - Kaze
                      8. Fumio Karashima - Little Island
                      9. Kiyoshi Sugimoto - Long Neal

                      LP
                      A1. Koichi Matsukaze Trio - Earth Mother
                      A2. Takeo Moriyama Quartet With Shigeharu Mukai - North Wind*
                      B1. Tohru Aizawa Quartet - Dead Letter
                      B2. Eiji Nakayama - Aya’s Samba
                      C1. Takao Uematsu - White Fire
                      C2. George Otsuka Quintet - Sea Breeze*
                      D1. Shintaro Quintet - A Blind Man
                      D2. Mitsuaki Katayama - Unknown Point
                      E1. Fumio Karashima - Little Island
                      E2. Kiyoshi Sugimoto - Long Neal
                      F1. Takeo Moriyama - Kaze
                      F2. Terumasa Hino Meets Reggie Workman - Ode To Workman*

                      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. 

                      TRACK LISTING

                      Ethiopian Stompers
                      1. Menelik Wossenatchew – Fikratchin*
                      2. Mulatu Astatke – Emnete
                      3. Teshome Meteku - Hasabe
                      4. Birkineh Wurga – Alkedashim
                      5. Selomon Shibeshi – Endiet Zenegashiw
                      6. Alemayehu Eshete – Chiro Adarie Negne
                      7. Hirut Bekele – Ewnetegna Feker
                      8. Bezunesh Bekele – Felagote
                      9. Alemayehu Eshete – Mekeyershene Salawke
                      10. Tilahun Gessesse – Aykedashim Libe
                      11. Merawi Yohannis – Teleyeshign
                      12. Hirut Bekele & Alemayehu Eshete – Temelese
                      13. Alemayehu Eshete – Honey Baby*

                      Ethiopian Clappers And More
                      1. Seifu Yohannes – Ebo Lala
                      2. Bezunesh Bekele – Aha Gedawo
                      3. Alemayehu Borobor – Yeshebelewa
                      4. Seifu Yohannes – Mela Mela
                      5. Tilahun Gessesse – Sigibgib Joroye
                      6. Alemayehu Eshete – Gizew Honeshyna
                      7. Bahta G. Hiwot – Tessassategn Eko*
                      8. Getatchew Kassa – Fikrishin Eshaleyu
                      9. Hirut Bekele – Almokerkum Nebere
                      10. Muluken Melesse – Alagegnhwatem
                      11. Menelik Wossenachew – Tezeta
                      12. Tamrat Molla - Ene Yewodedquat *vinyl Only

                      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.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        A1 Rude Movements (Part 1)
                        B1 Rude Movements (Part 2) 

                        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.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        1. All Because Of You Feat. Julie McKnight
                        2. Twilight
                        3. Right On Feat. HanLei
                        4. I Can Show You The Way
                        5. What We Need Feat. Dj Spen & Dana Weaver
                        6. Black Is Back Feat. Boris Dlugosch
                        7. Everything Happens For A Reason Feat. Isis "Apache" Montero
                        8. Lo Siento Feat. Concha Buika
                        9. La Cosa
                        10. Ohashiah
                        11. Twi-Reprise
                        12. Cranc
                        13. Humanity Feat. D7
                        14. Soñando Contigo Feat. Concha Buika (Orchestral Version)
                        15. Painful Goodbye Feat. Paco Colombas & Gabriele Poso
                        16. Adolescence (Outro)

                        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

                        Patrick 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.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        A1 Can You Feel It
                        A2 Due Consideration
                        A3 If We Took The Time
                        A4 Due Consideration Interlude
                        B1 Sweet Bird
                        B2 What A Lovely Way
                        B3 Samba De

                        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.


                        TRACK LISTING

                        1. Tin Top (Kon's Re-Edit)
                        2. Tin Top (Pt. 1)
                        3. Tin Top (Pt. 2)

                        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.

                        V

                        The Revelation Is Now Televised

                          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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