STAFF COMMENTSMillie says: Soothingly smooth jazz with a twist, a clear winner has to be the version of ‘My Favourite Things’, pure joy!
In 1981 Charmaine Burnette was pretty much unknown and untested as a singer, but Forbes heard potential in her voice and gave her a chance. Summoned to London’s Chinatown where Dean Fraser and an all-Jamaican band were gathered in a basement studio, Burnette recorded her first single ‘Am I the Same Girl’, recorded in the same session as Sugar Minott’s ‘Got a Good Thing Going’. Both records were released - the former song bombed and went nowehere, the latter was picked up by RCA and went on to reach #4 in the UK charts, assuring Minott’s place in UK reggae history. The same cannot be said of Burnette, who has since faded into obscurity.
Perhaps Forbes was right in thinking that the heavy bass drum and sweet vocal combination wasn’t right, but in fact it was way ahead of its time, just right for today’s fat subwoofers and deep bass bins – crank it up and feel the sound of super heavy reggaefied soul!
But while the jazz aficionados of Japan are celebrated as sophisticated fans and consumers of the music, comparatively little is known outside Japan of the remarkable and abundant music produced by generations of Japanese jazz musicians. Numerous Japanese jazzers have found enormous success on the international stage – Toshiko Akiyoshi, Sadao Watanabe, Teramasu Hino, and many others are household names among jazz listeners all over the world, and with good reason. But if such global figures are put aside, the stunning heritage of Japanese jazz remains poorly understood outside Japan. As a result, the work of many celebrated Japanese jazumen has remained largely unknown to international audiences, and the extraordinary scope and depth of Japanese jazz has not been widely recognised.
Compiled for the Spiritual Jazz series in collaboration with the celebrated collector and DJ Yusuke Ogawa (Deep Jazz Reality, Tokyo), this 2CD/twin set of double LPs aims to correct that omission by uncovering the uniquely deep sound of esoteric, modal and progressive jazz from Japan – music of the heart, soul and Japanese spirit!
Cosmic Language sees the UK-based saxophonist, composer and arranger return to Jazzman Records with a cross-cultural approach: an exploration of the parallel musical paths of jazz and Indian ragas. Here he takes influence from spiritual jazz forebears such as Alice Coltrane and Yusef Lateef and introduces the Indian harmonium to his band, where it takes the place of the piano. Making new connections to realise his transcendental ambitions, it's a logical next step in making music as spiritual cleanser.
The idea for the album was spawned from a one-off performance at a meditation centre, the Maharishi Golden Dome in West Lancashire. Seeking to bring a band set-up that was fitting to the quiet-minded setting, Birchall brought the harmonium with him. A small pump organ, it's an instrument he'd been in possession of for many years but hadn't previously used in his music. Building on the spiritual context of that show, and the associations of that instrument, it led naturally to the musical approach undertaken on the album.
Both the album and the show which preceded it were recorded with the same tight-knit group of players which have featured on Birchall's previous albums. All members of the group are part of the same like minded circle of Manchester-oriented jazz musicians, sharing stages and acquaintances with the likes of Matthew Halsall (a longtime collaborator with Birchall) and GoGo Penguin.
Birchall has always channeled wide-ranging ideas into music that's simple to understand, and this album is no exception. Album opener 'Man From Varanasi' is an ode to Bismillah Khan, one of Birchall's heroes of Indian music who hailed from the northern Indian city named in the title. It also sees him taking cues from the Indian raga tradition which, as with most other traditional Indian music, is a foundation which underpinned Khan's music.
Crucially, the ragas tap into the idea of of music as a means of spiritual release. As Birchall explains, "The whole act of making music is a spiritual experience. It's during performance and when playing music that I look for a kind of truth. It's with music where I find myself feel closest to attaining that 'enlightened' kind of feeling." "On rare occasions I've actually felt as though I was listening to the music being played rather than being involved in making it, almost like an out-of-body experience."
This natural feeling comes from Birchall's attitude toward jazz music. He sees it as an essential part of day-to-day life: instead of brightly-lit, occasional entertainment in lugubrious concert halls, he considers it an everyday, vital source of inspiration. At a moment where jazz-influenced music is undergoing creative renewal and wider appreciation, it's an important perspective that's found resonance elsewhere. His experiences and the world around him are filtered through his music, and he looks to have his music – be it live or on record – absorbed in the same quotidian way. "To me, it's an integral part of society, an everyday thing," he says. "You should hear the music every day."
STAFF COMMENTSMillie says: Cosmic Language is a beautiful Jazz concept album, Birchall emphasises the important of filling our lives with music, and of course – lovely jazz music! If you are a fan of the Gondwana label, you should give this a try!
Originally intended to be sold alongside performances of LaVice Hendrick's ambitious but ill-fated musical theatre production, the album's scarcity was swiftly ensured as 'Two Sisters From Bagdad' ran for just 2 weeks at Detroit's Bethel A.M.E. church amid poor attendances due to scant promotion. With only a handful of copies sold in that brief window, many of the remaining copies were subsequently destroyed in a basement flood, meaning that until now few people have ever heard the album in its entirety.
A varied set of jazz and gospel infused funky soul, 'Two Sisters From Bagdad' was composed and orchestrated by two precocious young talents, E.J. Garrison and Rhodia McAdoo. It's an album full of surprises, and is notorious for the heavy funk workout 'Though's Were The Days' [sic]. Not only have Jazzman unearthed and faithfully reissued this true obscurity as the 26th part of their ongoing 'Holy Grail' series, but through interviews with Garrison and McAdoo themselves they have also uncovered the beguiling back story to the music, the play and the life and times of its original creator, the late LaVice Hendricks.
Mankunku's masterwork is one of those rare recordings whose audience saw at once that it embodied the spirit of the age. The title, 'Yakhal'inkomo', refers to the bellow made by a bull just before it is sacrificed, and the mourning cries of its fellow cattle as they see it struck down. For South African listeners, the reference was understood as a cry against the violence and brutality of the times, and an act of mourning for all those who were suffering under the barbarity of apartheid. Mankunku's horn spoke eloquently and profoundly for and to an oppressed people, and like Coltrane's A Love Supreme, the album became the musical touchstone for a generation. From today's historical vantage point, Yakhal'inkomo appears as not just an indispensable lost element of the international jazz canon, but as one of the towering cultural documents of its time.
Fully licensed, and packaged with a new sleeve note by Francis Gooding and prevoiusly unpublished photographs from the Basil Breakey archive, this trail-blazing release on Jazzman allows Mankunku's classic work to gain its deserved place on the international stage.
Jukebox Mambo, Vol. 3
The twenty-four track compilation comes complete with in-depth track notes and photographs, as well as a deluxe double vinyl edition with gatefold sleeve, and a super limited edition vintage style 6 x 10" book set - with unique artwork and four exclusive bonus tracks
Since the release of their first Jukebox Mambo compilation album in 2012, Jazzman Records, with the curatorial expertise of DJ Liam Large, have been opening ears and minds to the delights of Latin-tinged Rhythm & Blues. This, the third release in the series, sticks squarely to the tried and tested formula of its predecessors; combining a crate-digger's passion for the obscure with an ear for instant dancefloor crowd pleasers.
In a congested field of R&B comps, Jukebox Mambo stands out uniquely in shedding light on the era of Latin American and Caribbean influence, a sensual rhythmic shift which continues to be felt in modern music today.
Lovingly compiled, artfully arranged and expertly annotated, Jukebox Mambo Volume 3 is another immersive gaze into an era of musical history that still carries a unique influence today. This one is for the crate diggers and music lovers alike!
FORMAT INFORMATION6x10" Info: The compilation comes with in-depth track notes and photographs, is available as a deluxe double vinyl tip on gatefold as well as a super limited edition vintage style 6 x 10" book set - with unique artwork and four exclusive bonus tracks.
Mor Dogo Thiam (pronounced 'Chahm') is a cultural historian, dedicated philanthropist and genius on the djembe. He began his career as a drummer while a young boy in his native Senegal, before moving to St. Louis, Missouri in the early 1970s, where his unique musical skills earned him the respect of the local jazz community. A fusion of the traditions of his Senegalese upbringing and the funk & jazz sounds of his new environs, 'Dini Safarrar' was entirely self-funded and was also conceived as a benefit album, with all the proceeds donated to famine relief in Africa.
The subtitle and translation of Dini Safarrar is 'Drums of Fire', though it may be more aptly described as 'Drums of Krakatoa', such is the explosive intensity captured within the grooves. The multitude of pulsating percussive elements throughout each track creates an intense rhythmic dissonance, the musical equivalent of an erupting volcano. It can be no co-incidence that the energy & passion of Akon's music was duly ignited by his father's very same Drums of Fire. May the legacy continue.
Greg Foat's music evokes a spirit of time and place. The 1960s (and early 70s) was a time when British modern jazz was breaking free from its trad jazz and mainstream fetters and discovering a whole new world of home-grown original music. London was positively buzzing with the leading protagonists of the day; Mike Westbrook, Ian Carr, Michael Garrick, Gordon Beck to name but a few. Foat rightly reveres
this music and it's echoed in his own compositions. Not a copyist by any means, his works are vibrant and alive with the zeitgeist of the 21st Century. But there's undoubtedly recognition of a musical heritage that cannot and should not be forgotten. It changed the face of jazz forever and has since heralded the way for even more radical departures.
Greg Foat's music is redolent of a special era when jazz was approachable and possessed a rhythmic imperative. There was also another kind of irresistible jazz, that bordered on the pop and rock music of the time propagated by the
likes of Roy (Get Carter) Budd, Harry (The Sweeney) South, Brian Auger's Trinity and Soft Machine. But the origins of this soulful, funky and electrifying jazz also hark back to those 1960s innovators in soul jazz; Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver, Lou Donaldson and others.
The Greg Foat Group has been releasing albums for several years now, all spectacular affairs, from 'Dark Is the Sun' (2011) to 'The Dancers At The Edge Of Time' (2015) and all on the enlightened Jazzman label. So this latest twin release of two ten inchers, Cityscapes and Landscapes offers a rare treat because for the first time, the listener is given a fascinating insight into the development of the Greg Foat Group. The recordings presented on these two
EPs represent a journey from urban to rural environments in musical form. Foat actually wrote these around 2002 at the age of 23 when he was living in Stockholm, Sweden. But crucially, they sound like they were written today.
Greg Foat wrote the four pieces for 'Cityscapes' whilst he was a session pianist and nightclub DJ in Sweden's capital city for almost a year. Following a move back to his native Isle of Wight, he then wrote 'Landscapes' in recognition of his contrasting life and times. A lone arco bass lugubriously opens 'Dawn' with wave-like piano and a hovering seagull cry from flute and occasional splashing cymbals. Thus the scene is set for this record's predominantly bucolic theme.
The flute on 'Paper Kites' is reminiscent of the doyen of that instrument, the late, great Harold McNair, replete with some 'wild flute'. Indeed the underlying swing of this fast-paced number possesses all the panache that was the trademark of that often overlooked hero of British modern jazz. 'Landscapes' begins as a slow, pastoral track with the melody gently evinced by the group's stalwart trumpeter, Trevor Walker. Half-way through the number the tempo and volume pick up, transforming the piece into a real toe-tapper and there's more deft soloing from trumpet and flute, all underpinned by solid piano, bass and drums. The final number, 'Dusk' is something of a brief reprise of the opener, certainly in feel, with once more an underlying arco bass and mellifluous piano closing this perfectly balanced set.
James Tatum's stunning, spiritual 'Contemporary Jazz Mass' is one of the only true jazz masses ever released. Inspired by Duke Ellington's 'Sacred Concerts', Tatum's masterwork was recorded on its first ever performance at St Cecilia Church in Detroit, and released on his own private label in 1974. Professional music educator and jazz composer Tatum had been working as a teacher in Detroit, and in the long aftermath of the 1967 riots he had started to instruct local children music in St Cecilia's. The church commissioned the mass in 1972, and Tatum put together an ensemble of singers from within the church, backed by his own trio and local jazz musicians.
Looking toward the great sacred works of Ellington, but with lyrics drawn straight from liturgy, the 'Contemporary Jazz Mass' is a unique work of sanctified vocal jazz - nourishment for the spirit and soul, brought back to you by Jazzman Records!
The CD version of this release also includes Tatum's independent second release Live at the Orchestra Hall & Paradise Theater. Another breathtaking long-form vocal jazz composition, Tatum intended Live...; to take the listener on a trip through the deep history of African-American music, expressing the spirit and sound of the past through the medium of jazz music and song.
· All tracks fully licensed and digitally restored
· Another super rare gem that's part of our esteemed HOLY GRAIL series
· Only 1000 vinyl LPs available, all numbered!
· Comprehensive and detailed liner notes with pictures and information taken from our interviews with Mr James Tatum himself
· CD set with 8 page colour booklet
'Spiritual Jazz 6: Vocals' examines some of the rarest and most extraordinary vocal jazz recordings. The selection includes some well-known songs as well as some of the most obscure. There are tracks recorded for major labels and some that were issued privately. But all of them speak or sing of a better place or a better world, and the world can only be a better place when they are played. This is esoteric jazz, modal jazz, spiritual jazz - as performed with the human voice. Includes tracks by Max Roach, Charles Mingus, Sadaka, Norman Riley, E W Wainright, Clifford Jordan, Pharoah Sanders, Linda Theus, Dr Haki R. Madhubuti, Eddie Gale, Gary Bartz, Byron Morris, and Vibration Society.
All tracks fully licensed and digitally restored from the original master tapes. Features comprehensive liner notes with notes for each track and original stories direct from the musicians involved. CD edition includes 24-page color booklet with in-depth liner notes, album cover scans, and previously unpublished photographs. Double LP edition presented in glossy gatefold sleeve.
Surprisingly, Tumi's suite wasn't influenced by these great elders' masterpieces, but anyone who listens to this album will agree that the suite encaptures the soaring spirituality that made these experiments of the '60s the beloved classics that they are today. Tumi does not belong to any religious group. This album is neither a jazz mass like Mary Lou William's 'Black Christ of the Andes', nor a compilation of devotional pieces like Donald Byrd's 'Christo Redentor'. 'Project Elo' stands for Project Elohim, the angelic entities of the spiritual scriptures which are in the drummer's philosophy, a symbol for accomplished human beings. The spirituality the album conveys is attuned to a 21st century syncretic, non dogmatic vision infused with esotericism. Recorded live with no overdubs in two days by a group of friends, this album captures a moment of Eternity and will defy any idea you may have of what South African jazz is. Tumi's music transcends labels and styles. When composing or playing he is only concerned with being true to the primodial source of life, which cannot be confined to any genre.
For this reissue Jazzman have invested all their fine tuned resources into making this LP even better than the original. All 8 tracks have been digitally remastered while all of the original LP cover art has been reproduced as an exact replica of the original LP issued in the early 1980s. You may try your hand at obtaining an off condition copy in the £1000 price range or file this limited edition reissue with bonus extensive liner notes insert in your collection for only a fraction of the price.
One of our key initiatives at Jazzman Records is setting the facts straight, righting the wrongs of mistaken identities and often giving previously unknown artists credit where credit is well overdue. As group harmony and soul groups go, in many cases, there are some very popular group names, popular to the point of redundancy. Often the same name was used by different, multiple groups all around the country, round about the same time, coincidentally unbeknownst to one another. While the artists didn’t intend to be any less unique than others sharing the same name, this duplicity has caused quite a bit of debate and confusion for record collectors over the years. The mystery of this rather ambiguously designed modern soul LP has haunted collectors for decades. Now for the first time ever, we can finally confirm that this specific West Coast group is (from Fresno, CA and) only recorded on the Token and NCS labels and is not to be confused with any other groups of the same name who recorded on the Heavy-Duty, Dream, TSG, Noodle, Carnival, Chadwick, Mercury, Castle and Brother III labels.
Early experiments in Oriental and ethnic jazz with Lloyd Miller. Unissued alternate takes of Gilson’s classic repertoire. Long-lost live performances from 1960s European jazz festivals. Rehearsals and jam sessions that developed into a lifelong creative obsession.
· All tracks previously unissued, fully licensed and digitally restored from their original source
· Comprehensive and detailed liner notes with information on each track and original stories direct from our interviews with the musicians involved
· Liner notes in English et en français
· CD with 24 page colour booklet with in-depth liner notes and previously unpublished photographs
· Deluxe double vinyl LP pressing with thick, glossy gatefold sleeve
With these two albums Jazzman tells the story of the Burtons and their contribution to 1970s Midwest funk and soul. Their dreams and desires, struggles and setbacks are all set out in our extensive liner notes, complete with previously unseen photos of the bands. But above all here are two albums chock full of good music - Messengers Inc from 1972 with heavy funk and deep soul, Burton Inc from 1976 with soulful disco and boogie, including the rare title track dancefloor favourite 'LA will Make You Pay'.
· All tracks fully licensed and digitally restored from the original master tapes
· Comprehensive liner notes from our interviews direct from the band
· CD with 16 page booklet with liner notes and previously unpublished photographs
· Most tracks never before available outside of their super rare expensive originals!
· 1000 only vinyl LP pressing, individually numbered
Four sides of previously-unreleased ethnic mythic mystic jazz from the legendary Egyptian drummer!
Before the re-release of his album with the Cairo Jazz Band recently, the name Salah Ragab was best known to jazz fans and record collectors by way of another LP that was recorded with Sun Ra in the early '70s.
His album 'Prism Music Unit' with the Cairo Jazz Band was released in Egypt with another by the Cairo Free Jazz Ensemble, but perhaps only Salah himself knew of the other songs he had recorded at the time, but didn't make it onto these LPs.
The tapes lurking for decades in an old trunk, it's taken until now for them to see the light of day, and we present them here as four amazing pieces of Egyptian jazz on 2 seven inch singles. Entombed within a hand-printed, hand-made pyramid shaped box, this is the first time in 40 years that these recordings will have come to light.
Ladies and Gentlemen, behold the splendor that is Salah Ragab and the Cairo Jazz Band
STAFF COMMENTSPhilippa says: Previously-unreleased Egyptian jazz sounds on a double 45 with an over-sized sleeve that folds out to make a pyramid.
FORMAT INFORMATION2xLtd 7" Info: Limited double 7" with a sleeve that folds out to make a pyramid shape. 999 copies only.
And from those very tapes comes this long-awaited album! Unheard by human ears since 1974, this is the super sound of psychedelic soul, dancefloor funk and soulful ballads astonishing for their power and beauty. It’s incredible to find out that for one reason or another this album was never released at the time, and in our interviews and liner notes we reveal the fascinating story behind the band and why such good music has been kept in the dark for so long.
With his career spanning the best part of a century, Gilson has made music with a who's who of European and American jazz greats, has written, performed on and recorded innumerable film scores, albums and 45s, ran the Palm Jazz record label.. yet despite all this the 84 year old Frenchman remains criminally under appreciated by so many jazz fans. Look him up on the internet - there isn't even a Wikipedia entry! We address this unfortunate situation by releasing 19 songs spanning decades of his recording career in our forthcoming album JMANCD/LP042 'Jef Gilson'. But for now, here is a sumptuous taster in the form of a LTD EDN 4 track 7" EP featuring two of his finest creations, the awesome 'Chakan' and 'Modalite Pour Mimi'. As a bonus the flipside has two more tracks NOT to be found on the album.
FORMAT INFORMATION7" Info: Limited pressing in screen printed sleeve. One per person!
12 NEW ITEMS
193 NEW ITEMS
Various ArtistsA Disco Fantasy - Inc. Sylvester, Louie Vega, Amp Fiddler, Sweet Tooth T & Greg Wilson
Various ArtistsSpider-Jazz - KPM Cues Used In The Amazing Animated Series - That We Are Not Allowed To Mention For Legal Reasons
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