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BBE MUSIC

Arthur

So Close To You / Reincarnation

    Seven years after their last 'Americana' compilation for BBE Music, The Mighty Zaf and Mark GV Taylor present two more rare “blue eyed soul” cuts from across the pond: 'So Close To You' by Arthur, and 'Reincarnation' by Future Force. Taken from his first and only solo album, 1981's 'Joy', 'So Close To You' is a sweet, folk-tinged song written by Arthur's guitarist Dean Devener and voiced by Maye Cavallaro. Hailing from New York, a diamond dealer by day and a bassist by night, Arthur joined his first band in '66. He was living in the tiny community of Inverness, just North of San Francisco when he recorded 'So Close To You', which featured mainly local musicians from the West Marin area. Future Force was formed by brothers David and Howard Bowler, who went on to write and produce dance cuts for A&M with the band's keyboardist Eric Li, including the hit song 'Sayin' Sorry Don't Make It Right' by Denise Lopez. Recorded live with only the lead vocals overdubbed, 'Reincarnation' captures the raw, soulful sound for which Future Force shows had gained notoriety, both in New York City and beyond. The song was written by guitarist Jehri Riley and performed by lead singer Jackie Stewart, who was born in Brixton to Jamaican parents, moving to NYC at the age of 13. 'Reincarnation' was originally the B-side of NYC pop / funk band Future Force's only recording, a 7" single released in 1981.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. So Close To You
    2. Reincarnation

    Carl Smith And The Natural Gas Company

    Burnin'

      Originally released in 1980 on short-lived Oregon label ‘Match Box Recordings’ and unearthed for BBE Music by The Mighty Zaf, ‘Burnin’’ is the only album recorded by Portland jazz/funk band Carl Smith And The Natural Gas Company. At the time of the release of this album, Carl Smith’s band had already been performing for almost two decades, starting out as the ‘Carl Smith Orchestra’ in 1959, fusing 40s and 50s big band styles with rock’n’roll, before gradually morphing into the more compact jazz / funk influenced outfit you can hear on Burnin’.

      "Carl had this bright red delivery van he bought from the natural gas company. He got a hold of that thing and that’s how we went on the road. When we’d roll up to the gig they’d see this big van full of musicians and on the outside it said “Natural Gas Co.” Then out comes Carl Smith and it’s all over." - Lee Bradford (trumpet, flugelhorn)

      The orchestra that Carl Smith founded was a Portland institution for about 50 years all-told, becoming an essential training ground for young musicians on the come-up; even the later Grammy-award winning trumpeter Chris Botti passed through at the age of 17 and Jefferson Airplane’s Signe Anderson was a long-time collaborator. It was “hard to find many jazz players around here who haven’t played with the band” said Smith in a 1980 interview with The Oregonian. They performed at festivals, universities, nightclubs, dance studios and even military bases from Portland to Seattle and everywhere in between, opening for Dave Brubeck, Buddy Miles and Johnny Ray among many others. The story of this album's recording has gone down in infamy among the remaining band members and Carl Smith's daughter Carlee (who performed lead vocals on ‘Love Won’t Let Me Go’), all of whom recall a fraught, rushed recording process, led by a producer who had no musical experience and was nothing more than a puppet for the somewhat shady label owners. This led to the album being cut too fast and accidentally pitched up a key, so if you want to hear it as the band intended, pull the pitch control down a little on your turntable.

      "Turns out the whole thing was backed by a bunch of farmers from central Oregon who were looking to take a loss… So here we were playing out and selling records. As soon as we were about to hit one thousand copies sold, their plan was to stop promotion so it would die...but we didn’t know that." - Peter Piazza (trombone, electric violin, euphonium).

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Livin' A Dream
      2. Gotta Be Willin' To Lose
      3. Azz A Rite
      4. Get It Right
      5. Dig A Little Deeper
      6. Love Won't Let Me Go
      7. Left Overs
      8. You Take The Time
      9. Rosas
      10. Stuff Like That

      Kohsuke Mine

      First

        BBE Music present the latest in the acclaimed J Jazz Masterclass Series: Kohsuke Mine ‘First’, the debut album by one of the leading artists in the new wave of modern jazz that swept Japan in the late 60s and early 70s. ‘First’ epitomises the shifting sound of the Japanese modern jazz scene of the time, characterised by rich textures and tones, kinetic rhythms, punctuated by urgent, angular melody lines. Reissued for the first time since original 1970 release, Mine is joined by master keyboard player Masabumi Kikuchi on electric piano, and two American players - bassist Larry Ridley and drummer Lenny McBrowne - to deliver one of the strongest debuts in the J Jazz canon. ‘First’ announced the arrival of a serious talent, one who was to be a hugely influential figure in the Japanese jazz scene across the decade that followed and beyond. ‘First’ established an artist who built a reputation for standout albums spanning spiritual jazz, post-bop, modal and funk-fusion. All of that started here, on this exemplary album. ‘First’ is issued on CD, digital and vinyl. The vinyl edition is presented as a double album, cut at 45rpm by the Grammy-nominated Carvery, with full original reproduction artwork, including obi strip. Both CD and vinyl comes with a 4500 word sleeve note and interview with Kohsuke Mine by Tony Higgins, plus artist portraits by Shigeru Uchiyama. J Jazz Masterclass Series is curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden for BBE Music.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Morning Tide
        2. Love Talken
        3. Straight No Chaser
        4. Mcphee
        5. Little Abbi
        6. Bar' L' Len

        Various Artists

        J-Jazz Volume 3: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan

          J Jazz volume 3 is the latest in its definitive compilation series exploring the finest modern jazz from Japan. Since the first volume in February 2018, the J Jazz compilation series has showcased some of the most creative, inspired and sought-after jazz recorded in Japan during a golden period spanning the 1960s to the 1980s. Illustrating the richness and versatility of the composers and musicians on this collection, the music spans a wide yet coherent range of styles: samba, funk fusion, modal, spiritual, post-bop and bossa all combine to present an aural portrait of a jazz scene that was constantly moving and shifting its multiple musical centres of gravity. Mastered at the Grammy-nominated Carvery studio in London, many of the tracks featured are reissued for the first time, including mega-rare private press cuts from the Yasuhiro Kohno Trio, Masaru Imada Trio, and Hideyasu Terakawa Quartet. There’s heavy post modal bop by J Jazz legends Kohsuke Mine and Koichi Matsukaze; samba heat from Tatsuya Nakamura, Hideo Shiraki and Seiichi Nakamura; and funky dance floor energy by Hiroshi Murakami, Ryojiro Furusawa Quartet and Shigeharu Mukai. 

          TRACK LISTING

          Song Of Island
          Morning Tide
          Kemo Sabe
          Groovy Samba
          Song For Hope
          Cumorah
          Phoebus
          ¼ Samba II
          Cumulonimbus
          Burning Cloud
          Planets
          Wolf’s Theme
          Honey Sanba
          Kirisame
          Black Nile
          Acoustic Chicken

          The fifth release in the BBE Music J Jazz Masterclass Series has the perfect combination of rarity and exceptional musicality that inspires seasoned collectors to break out in a sweat. 'Animals Garden' by Miyasaka + 5 was originally issued in 1979 on the cult private Japanese label ALM and is reissued for the first time on LP, CD and digital formats. 'Animals Garden' was a one-off project led by master drummer Takashi 'Bear' Miyasaka and features a powerful and progressive jazz group including saxophonist Kōichi Matsukaze, whose 'Earth Mother' album has also been reissued by BBE Music. The four extended tracks on 'Animals Garden' exemplify the high standard of playing and arranging that was a characteristic of jazz composed and recorded in Japan during the late 1970s. All four numbers were composed by Miyasaka and the album spans a range of styles, from febrile post-bop and head nodding modal, to deep funky blues and elegiac balladry. The title track was included on J Jazz Volume 2, but the three remaining cuts are equally enchanting. As ever, 'Animals Garden' will be issued with an exact reproduction of the original artwork, translated original notes plus brand new sleeve notes. The vinyl album will be presented in a deluxe thick card gatefold sleeve with reproduction obi strip, spread across two LPs cut at 45rpm for superb sound quality. BBE Music's J Jazz Masterclass Series is curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden and is dedicated to presenting the very finest in modern jazz recorded in Japan from a 'golden period', the late 1960s to the mid-1980s.

          TRACK LISTING

          Animals Garden
          Ballad For Mammoth
          Dog's Dance
          Pecker's Blues

          London production hero and DJ Simbad (aka SMBD) joins forces with BBE Music for retrospective album ‘Collections Vol.1’. Despite having produced a stellar series of remixes for the label over the years, ‘Collections Vol.1’ is Simbad’s debut on BBE as an artist, so he’s brought a few friends along for the ride. The album features guest vocals from Lulu James, LaAerial, Steelo, Entek, Byron The Aquarius, Rae Rae, Claudia Smith and Miryam Solomon, all deftly framed by Simbad’s distinctive, warm, jazz-infused production. Although a constant traveller, Simbad’s affinity with the UK, and in particular London, has placed him at the centre of the city’s music scene for many years now; with influences and inspirations flowing in both directions between him and his adopted hometown.

          Says Simbad: “I came to London end of the 90's with my saxophone for a summer & ended up staying. This is the place where my music journey as a DJ & a producer truly began. The culture of this island hit me hard & deep. And because most of the stuff I've done is still unreleased (and I never stop making music where ever I go) I am absolutely delighted to share this collection of tunes featuring some of the most talented singers (and friends for life) that I had the pleasure to work in these last 10-15 years, recorded in my London studio sanctuary throughout the years. And hopefully even the old songs still stand the ground...”

          STAFF COMMENTS

          says: For fans of Mark Dego, long defunct Goya Music and all that jazz concerning 'broken beats'. Yes, it is still alive and seemingly kickin with Simbad proving it on this killer 12".

          TRACK LISTING

          A1. Elevate (feat LaAerial)
          A2. Let Go (feat Steve Spacek)
          A3. Rainin' Luv (dub) 
          B1. Get Your Sh Together (feat Byron The Aquarius) 
          B2. Thankful (feat Miryam Solomon) 

          Following the sell-out success of our landmark compilation, J-Jazz: deep modern jazz from Japan 1969-1984, BBE Music is thrilled to present another exploration into the very finest Japanese modern jazz. J-Jazz 2 builds on the solid foundation of the first compilation and sees co-compilers Tony Higgins and Mike Peden once again pick choice sections from their own record collections.

          They present a deep dive into an intoxicating and beguiling range of styles: from cinematic roaring big-band (Little G by Nobuo Hara) and sparse minimal acoustic funk (Teru-Teru Bozo by Teru Sakamoto), to deep spiritual modal epics (Dragon Dance by Makoto Terashita and Harold Land) and funk fusion (Mother of the Future by Electro Keyboard Orchestra).

          J-Jazz 2 delivers more astonishing high quality jazz that will appeal the old school hard-core jazz head as much as those digging the current sounds of the current vibrant jazz explosion in the UK and USA. The specially chosen tracks on J-Jazz volume two span across 25 years of Japanese musical progression and invention. From the elegiac stark beauty of Serenade to a Dimly Lit Street and the modal vortex of Daguri, to the fierce post-bop freedom of Bull Trout and the mid-tempo bossa lilt of Vietnam, there is enough here to satisfy the most curious and demanding jazz fan seeking something extra special.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          says: After scoring a sell out success with the first volume, BBE revisit the treasure trove of Japanese jazz for another killer compilation of wild cuts and diverse rarities. This is a set so deep that the listener is a cat, whiskey and coffee away from turning into a Murakami protagonist...

          TRACK LISTING

          A1. Makoto Terashita Meets Harold Land - Dragon Dance
          A2. Kohsuke Mine Quinte - Daguri
          B1. Mabumi Yamaguchi Quartet - Distant Thunder
          B2. Hideto Sasaki & Toshiyuki Sekine QuarteT + 1 - Stop Over
          C1. Miyasaka + 5 - Animals Garden
          C2. George Kawaguchi Big Four - Vietnam
          C3. Hiroshi Matsumoto & Hideo Ishikawa Quartet - Serenade To A Dimly Lit Street
          D1. Electro Keyboard Orchestra - Mother Of The Future
          D2. Teru Sakamoto Trio - Teru-Teru Bozu (Black Keys)
          D3. Toshiyuki Miyama & The New Herd - Fallout (with Masahiko Sato)
          E1. Makoto Terashita - Dai Hosaku (Great Harvest)
          E2. Takashi Miyasaka Quintet - Straight Road
          F1. Nobuo Hara & His Sharps & Flats Orchestra - Little Giant
          F2. Akira Miyazawa - Brown Trout


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