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Mainstream Funk - Funk, Soul, Spritual Jazz 1971-75 Produced By Bob Shad's Mainstream Records

    Wewantsounds continues its collaboration with Bob Shad's venerable jazz label Mainstream Records, and present a selection of 12 turntable friendly tracks recorded between 1971 and 1975 and showcasing the label's superb blend of Spiritual Jazz, Funk and Soul by the likes of Buddy Terry, Sarah Vaughan, LaMont Johnson and Johnny Coles

    Most of the tracks are released on vinyl for the first time since their original release in the early 70s. The 2-LP set comes with gatefold sleeve featuring neverseen photos from the Mainstream vaults and new liner notes by UK journalist Paul Bowler.Mainstream Records is one of the key independent jazz labels of the early 70s, together with Flying Dutchman, Strata East, CTI and Black Jazz. Founded by legendary label man Bob Shad (who had been head of A&R at Mercury Records and set EmArcy in the 50s), the label concentrated on Psychedelia in the 60s before switching back to Shad's jazz roots in the early 70s, signing a new crop of jazzmen fed on John Coltrane and Miles' electric experiments. Thus was born the cult Mainstream "300 series" with its distinctive artwork and outstanding music from which this selection is largely drawn.

    Giving a chance to many young jazz players and a few old friends, Shad recorded some of the most exciting jazz of the early 70s, mixing spiritual influences with funk and soul. Mainstream Records has a lot more exciting music in the vaults and 'Mainstream Funk' is just the tip of the iceberg serving as a timely reminder that Bob Shad's taste as a producer and A&R man was one of the finest on the scene.


    Sarah Vaughan - Inner City Blues
    Buddy Terry - Quiet Afternoon
    Blue Mitchell - Last Tango In Paris
    LaMont Johnson - M'Bassa
    Prophecy - Betcha Can't Guess My Sign
    Dave Hubbard - Family Affair
    Sugar Billy - Super Duper Love Pt. 1
    John White - Right Off
    Mike Longo - Matrix
    Barry Miles - Little Heart Of Pieces
    Johnny Coles - Betty's Bossa
    Pete Yellin - It's The Right Thing



      Over the course of five records to date, JUNO Award-winning Toronto rapper Shad has used an array of old-school tools to tackle modern problems, addressing the indignities and absurdities of our world through a shapeshfiting melange of boom-bap breaks, dusty soul samples, jazzy improvisation, and 10 dollar words rolled into thousand-dollar rhymes. But after weaving his myriad musical and philosophical interests into a narrative socio-political song cycle—2018’s A Short Story About a War—Shad began building his sixth record, TAO, from a much simpler concept: an image of a circle. Though, in true Shad fashion, he saw something much more profound within its basic round boundaries.

      “The thing that inspired this record was this image in my mind of a circle, but it’s getting fragmented, and then the pieces start floating away from each other,” he explains. “And that felt to me like a picture of ourselves as individuals. If you think of our humanity as one whole, there’s all these different aspects of that, whether that’s work, or our relationship to the land, or our relationship to the transcendent, or our relationship to our bodies, or to our inner child?”

      On a track-by-track basis, TAO examines the many different fragments that make up who we are, forsaking the explicit narrative connectivity of A Short Story About a War for a more implicit thematic framework. And where its predecessor’s intense subject matter naturally chanelled a more intense, even aggressive spirit, the looser structure of TAO allows Shad to return to his “natural strike zone” of more playful, block-rocking bops—the sort of tracks that might make you smile and snicker even as they unpack such thorny topics as race, capitalism, and technological dependency.

      TAO was actually written and recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic forced us into hiding, however, the events of the past year have only amplified the album’s sense of currency and relevancy. As Shad notes, “COVID is almost not like a new situation—it just sort of accelerated what was already happening in terms of isolation and precarity of work.” But now that vaccines are allowing us to take our first steps back to the lives we once knew, TAO’s arrival is perfectly timed for a world that’s ready to laugh, hug, and dance together again.


      1. Out Of Touch
      2. GOD
      3. Work
      4. TAO Pt 1
      5. Slot Machines
      6. Slow
      7. Body (No Reason)
      8. Storm
      9. TAO Pt 2
      10. Black Averageness
      11. Garçon
      12. TAO Pt 3

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