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Various Artists

John Sinclair Presents Detroit Artists Workshop

    Strut and Art Yard present the culmination of a 5-year project researching the archives of author, DJ and activist John Sinclair with the first ever retrospective of the influential Detroit Artists Workshop spanning 1965 to 1981.

    “In the mid-‘60s, Detroit was nowhere,” explains Sinclair. “A decaying jazz scene, no community of poets, painters or writers so a group of young Detroit artists, most of us students at Wayne State University, got together in the late Summer of 1964.” Led by Sinclair and trumpeter Charles Moore, the Artists Workshop Society was formed as a co-operative community, drawing upon the resources of every participating individual in order to perpetuate itself. They began to provide spaces in Detroit for musicians to rehearse and to promote live concerts showcasing a range progressive jazz artists across the city.

    Between the mid-‘60s and the early ‘80s, Sinclair amassed a huge archive of recordings from the Workshop concerts featuring Detroit residents like Moore’s Contemporary 5, Ron English and Lyman Woodard alongside many other US jazz luminaries including Donald Byrd, Sun Ra Arkestra and Herbie Hancock. Dormant in the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Brooklyn for many years, Strut and Art Yard began their research into the archives in 2017.

    This first compilation of Detroit Artists Workshop is a revelation for any fan of jazz, featuring previously unreleased recordings by Byrd, Moore, English, Woodard, Bennie Maupin and Teddy Harris accompanied by extensive sleeve notes from John Sinclair, Robin Eichele and Herb Boyd. All tracks are remastered from the original tapes by Technology Works.

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. John Sinclair Introduction / Yusef Lateef - Happy Ology
    A2. Donald Byrd - Christo Redentor
    A3. Donald Byrd - Blackjack
    B1. Detroit Contemporary 4 - Effi
    B2. Detroit Contemporary 4 - The Promise
    B3. Detroit Contemporary 4 - Three Flowers (Cd Only)
    C1. Bennie Maupin Quartet - Water Torture
    C2. Ron English - Bees
    D1. Teddy Harris - Passion Dance
    D2. Lyman Woodard - Deja Vu
    D3. Lyman Woodard Organisation - Help Me Get Away

    Strut reissue one of Patrice Rushen’s all-time classic albums for Elektra Records with an expanded 2LP edition of ‘Pizzazz’ from1979.

    The album marked another progression in Rushen’s solo career as she broke through with the huge club hit ‘Haven’t You Heard’ and also featured on her LP cover with her trademark braids for the first time courtesy of stylist Sibongile Bradley and topphotographer Norman Seeff.

    The album showcased Rushen’s famed talent for bringing the right musicians together, mixing more experienced players like drummer James Gadson and Bill Summers with younger talent including bassist Freddie Washington and drummer “Ndugu”Chancler. The tracks themselves were more spacious than on ‘Patrice’, released 18 months earlier. “It was the confidence of feeling that we didn't need quite as much in the arrangements, ”Patrice explains, “and the times were also changing in terms of what we liked, what we danced to and the kind of grooves that people responded to. With ‘Pizzazz’, we had the advantage of a rapport with radio and black press, which were both very powerful at the time.”

    Alongside ‘Haven’t You Heard’, the album features many tracks that have become fan favourites over the years - the upbeat, carefree single ‘Let The Music Take Me’, the sweet ballad ‘SettleFor Me Love’ and a memorable duet with Roy Galloway, ‘Givin’ ItUp Is Givin’ In’.

    Strut’s expanded reissue of ‘Pizzazz’ features loud cut bonus extended 12” versions of the album’s singles ‘Haven’t You Heard’ and ‘Let The Music Take Me’, alongside a previously unreleased instrumental version of ‘Givin’ It Up Is Givin’ Up’.

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. Let The Music Take Me
    A2. Keepin’ Faith In Love
    A3. Settle For My Love
    A4. Message In The Music
    B1. Haven’t You Heard
    B2. Givin’ It Up Is Givin’ Up
    B3. Call On Me
    B4. Reprise (Message In The Music)
    C1. Haven’t You Heard (12” Version)
    D1. Let The Music Take Me (12” Version)
    D2. Givin’ It Up Is Givin’ Up (Instrumental Version)

    Strut revisit the early years of Patrice Rushen’s time with Elektra Records with the definitive 2LP edition of the ‘Patrice’album from 1978.

    After a series of jazz funk albums on Prestige, Patrice moved to Elektra as the label tapped into the burgeoning sophisticated R&B  market at the tail end of the disco era. 'By this time, I had already made some great in-roads, made some great friends and picked up valuable knowledge which definitely paid off in terms of the music and the way the records sounded,' Patrice remembers. As a brilliant pianist, songwriter and arranger from a young age, Rushen was perfectly placed to bring the class and musicianship that the label needed and now also began to assume the role of lead vocalist for the first time. She enlisted the production prowess of high school friend Charles Mims, Jr. and long-time mentor Reggie Andrews.

    Recorded at the newly opened Conway Studios in L.A., Patrice Rushen brought in heartfelt lyrics, vulnerability and messages of hope into her music for the first time on yearning tracks like "Didn’t You Know" and "When I Found You" alongside simply forgetting your troubles on the singles "Hang It Up" and "Play!". Clubs played an important part in the interest in her music. While her record label didn’t fully get behind her as an artist until the early ‘80s, influential club and black radio DJs consistently supported her and recognised Patrice as a unique talent. "Music Of The Earth" became an underground New York club favourite and Danny Krivit’s extended edit has endured in its own right, included here.

    'So much of what happened with these records happened after they had come out, like years afterwards, as people discovered them,' reflects Patrice. 'but with this album, all of the things that I wanted to do were possible without limitation - the recording, the writing, the execution with the musicians, the production. Everything was, 'Okay, let’s do it.' And we did it.'

    This definitive reissue of "Patrice" is released featuring bonus 12” versions of the album’s singles "Hang It Up!" and "Play", the popular Danny Krivit re-edit of "Music Of The Earth" and a previously unreleased version of "Didn’t You Know" from the original session tapes.

    TRACK LISTING

    A1.Music Of The Earth
    A2. When I Found You
    A3. Changes (In Your Life)
    A4. Wishful Thinking
    A5. Let’s Sing A Song Of Love


    B1. Hang It Up
    B2. Cha-Cha
    B3. It’s Just
    B4. A Natural Thing
    B5. Didn’t You Know?
    B6. Play!

    C1. Music Of The Earth (Danny Krivit Edit)
    C2. Hang It Up (12” Version)

    D1. Play! (12” Version)
    D2. Didn’t You Know? (Extended Version)

    Strut continue their Patrice Rushen original album reissue series with the definitive edition of her influential classic ‘Now’ from 1984.

    Released after the global success of ‘Straight From The Heart’ and the huge hit ‘Forget Me Nots’, ‘Now’ stripped back the arrangements and explored a new sonic palette, combining top level musicianship with the evolving studio technology of the mid-‘80s. “By this time, I had built a little home studio,” explains Patrice, “and the new synthesizers and drum machines opened a lot of possibilities. A lot of the pieces on ‘Now’ started off as demos based on these instruments and we just went with it quite naturally, adding guitar, bass and drums.”

    The album continued Patrice’s unerring skill in fusing intricate jazz musicianship with infectious grooves. The solid boogie classic ‘Get Off (You Fascinate Me)’ lit up dancefloors and ‘Feels So Real’ became one of Patrice’s best loved songs, an effortless mid-tempo soul stepper. The album is also celebrated for the tender ‘Gotta Find It’ and one of Patrice’s most poignant ballads, the intricate and politically charged ‘To Each His Own’.

    The album marked the end of Rushen’s tenure with Elektra before a move to Arista and remains a much-referenced part of her career. “I think it was a great representation of where we were at the time and it may have been a little bit ahead of its time”, she reflects. Famously, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis had become fans, attending her live shows, and, allegedly, the feel of Janet Jackson’s debut album ‘Control’ two years later was heavily influenced by Rushen’s approach on ‘Now’.

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. Feels So Real (Won’t Let Go)
    A2. Gone With The Night
    A3. Gotta Find It
    A4. Superstar
    A5. Heartache Heartbreak

    B1. Get Off (You Fascinate Me)
    B2. My Love’s Not Going Anywhere
    B3. Perfect Love
    B4. High In Me
    B5. To Each His Own

    C1. Get Off (You Fascinate Me) (Dance Version)
    C2. Get Off (You Fascinate Me) (Instrumental)

    D1. Feels So Real (Won’t Let Go) (Radio Edit)
    D2. Feels So Real (Won’t Let Go) (Dub Version)

    Patrice Rushen

    So Real: The Complete Elektra Recordings 1978-1984

      The Patrice Rushen revival is in full swing with definitive reissues of her classic albums and a global Tik Tok dance craze around her best-loved hit, ‘Forget Me Nots’. Now, Strut present her complete Elektra recordings in one essential 5CD set on ‘So Real’.

      After a series of acclaimed soul-jazz albums for prestige Records, Patrice came to Elektra as the label branched out from its trademark soft rock sound to hone a roster catering to the burgeoning “sophisticated R&B” audience during the late ‘70s, at the tail end of the disco boom. Pulling together a tight team of musicians and studio craftsmen that she had worked with and respected through writing and performing sessions in L.A., including her mentor Reggie Andrews and producer Charles Mims, Patrice combined intricate, punchy big band arrangements with her new role as lead vocalist on Patrice in 1978. The album set the template for a series of classic recordings, bringing soulful style and musicality to dancefloors. Pizzazz (1979) ushered in the huge club hit ‘Haven’t You Heard’ and classic tender ballad ‘Settle For My Love’, before Posh and the infectious single ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ a year later. Then in 1982, the landmark album Straight From The Heart and the worldwide crossover success of ‘Forget ME Nots’ following a self-funded PR campaign. Now ended her time with Elektra in 1984, a more stripped back, synth-led affair led by ‘Feels So Real (Won’t Let Go)’ and the reflective ‘To Each His Own’.

      As well as through covers, samples and regular use in films, TV and ads (most famously in the film ‘Men In Black’ and on George Michael’s ‘Fastlove’), Patrice’s music has endured over the years as each new generation discovers her recordings. “So much of what happened with these records happened years after they had come out as people discovered them,” Patrice explains. “And that’s the biggest compliment of all, that the music is still being played. It’s kinda cool.”

      ‘So Real’ features all five of Patrice’s Elektra albums in their expanded editions including 12” versions, instrumentals and unreleased takes from the original sessions. A 32-page booklet features complete lyrics and new interviews with Patrice and the set has been fully remastered by The Carvey from the original reel to reel tapes.

      TRACK LISTING

      CD 1: ‘Patrice’ (1978)
      1.Music Of The Earth
      2. When I Found You
      3. Changes (In Your Life)
      4. Wishful Thinking
      5. Let’s Sing A Song Of Love
      6. Hang It Up
      7. Cha-Cha
      8. It’s Just A Natural Thing
      9. Didn’t You Know?
      10. Play!
      11. Music Of The Earth (Danny Krivit Edit)
      12. Hang It Up (12” Version)
      13. Play! (12” Version)

      14. Didn’t You Know? (Extended Version)

      CD 2: ‘Pizzazz’ (1979)
      1.Let The Music Take Me
      2. Keepin’ Faith In Love
      3. Settle For My Love
      4. Message In The Music
      5. Haven’t You Heard
      6. Givin’ It Up Is Givin’ Up
      7. Call On Me
      8. Reprise (Message In The Music)
      9. Haven’t You Heard (12” Version)
      10. Let The Music Take Me (12” Version)
      11. Givin’ It Up Is Givin’ Up (Instrumental Version)

      CD 3: ‘Posh’ (1980)
      1.Never Gonna Give You Up (Won’t Let You Be)
      2. Don’t Blame Me
      3. Look Up!
      4. I Need Your Love
      5. Time Will Tell
      6. The Dream
      7. The Funk Won’t Let You Down
      8. This Is All I Really Know
      9. Look Up! (12” Version)

      CD 4: ‘Straight From The Heart’ (1982)
      1.Forget Me Nots
      2. I Was Tired Of Being Alone
      3. All We Need
      4. Number One (Instrumental)
      5. Where There Is Love
      6. Breakout
      7. If Only
      8. Remind Me
      9. (She Will) Take You Down To Love
      10. Forget Me Nots (12” Version)
      11. Breakout (12” Version)
      12. I Was Tired Of Being Alone (12” Version)
      13. Number One (12” Version)

      CD 5: ‘Now’ (1984)
      1.Feels So Real (Won’t Let Go)
      2. Gone With The Night
      3. Gotta Find It
      4. Superstar
      5. Heartache Heartbreak
      6. Get Off (You Fascinate Me)
      7. My Love’s Not Going Anywhere
      8 Perfect Love
      9. High In Me
      10. To Each His Own
      11. Get Off (You Fascinate Me) (12” Version)
      12. Get Off (You Fascinate Me) (Instrumental)
      13. Feels So Real (Edit)
      14. Feels So Real (Won’t Let Go) (Dub Version)

      The Pyramids

      Aomawa - The 1970s Recordings

        Strut present the first box set release to bring together the 1970s recordings of The Pyramids, led by Idris Ackamoor. As students at Antioch College, Ohio, alto saxophonist Idris Ackamoor, flautist Margaux Simmons and bass player Kimathi Asante created three lasting monuments in sound – Lalibela, King of Kings, and Birth / Speed / Merging, a trio of albums produced without any label backing or distribution between 1972 and 1976. Their music is unique among the varied canon of avant-garde and experimental music of 1970s America: high intensity African-styled percussion topped with songs, chants, and horns, laced with African instruments and arranged into long, flowing suites that surge and roll.

        Jazz musicians in the US had long been consciously engaging with African sources, concepts, and instruments, and by the early 1970s, Africa was a central reference point for the music, both sonically and philosophically but, by 1973, relatively few prominent jazz musicians had spent any significant time in Africa. The Pyramids were almost alone among their musical generation in journeying to Africa to expressly absorb the sounds, cultures, places and spaces of the continent. During 1972-3, they embarked on an African trip of several months, to Morocco, Senegal, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Egypt. The experience was both musically and personally transformative and remained a crucial touchstone for their own work.

        Their trip to Africa was made possible through the work-study program at Antioch College, where they had been taught by Cecil Taylor; all had been part of his Black Music Ensemble, Lalibela, King of Kings, and Birth / Speed / Merging were the remarkable fruits of their progressive education – spiritual unity in sound which remains as vibrant today as ever.

        ‘Aomawa: The 1970s Recordings’ features fully remastered editions of Lalibela, King of Kings, and Birth / Speed / Merging in their original artwork along with the first ever vinyl issue of their live session for KQED TV in 1975. The accompanying 12-page 12”-sized booklet features extended interviews with The Pyramids by Francis Gooding alongside previously unseen photos from the archive of Idris Ackamoor.

        Box set includes all three 1970s albums by The Pyramids + previously unreleased LP ‘Live at KQED, 1975’

        12pp 12”-sized booklet includes extensive interviews with the three original members of The Pyramids by Francis Gooding alongside unseen photos

        Audio fully restored and remastered by The Carvery

        TRACK LISTING

        CD 1 / LP 1: LALIBELA (1973)
        1. Lalibela
        2. Sheba’s Dance
        3. High Priestess
        4. Rock Churches
        5. Dialogue Of The Spirits
        6. Mesenko Nights
        7. Indigo
        8. Ya A Ya A Ya A Ya A
        9. Sunset At Giza

        CD 2 / LP 2: KING OF KINGS (1974)
        1. Mogho Naba (King Of Kings)
        2. Queen Of The Spirits Part 1
        3. Queen Of The Spirits Part 2
        4. Queen Of The Spirits Part 3
        5. Nsorama (The Stars)
        6. My Africa

        CD 3 / LP 3: BIRTH / SPEED / MERGING
        1. Aomawa
        2. Birth / Speed / Merging - Part 1
        3. Birth / Speed / Merging - Part 2
        4. Birth / Speed / Merging - Part 3
        5. Birth / Speed / Merging - Part 4
        6. Reaffirmation - Part 1
        7. Reaffirmation - Part 2
        8. Reaffirmation - Part 3
        9. Reaffirmation - Part 4
        10. Jamaican Carnival - Part 1
        11. Jamaican Carnival - Part 2
        12. Black Man And Woman Of The Nile – Part 1
        13. Black Man And Woman Of The Nile – Part 2
        14. Black Man And Woman Of The Nile – Part 3
        15. Black Man And Woman Of The Nile – Part 4

        CD 4 / LP 4: THE PYRAMIDS: LIVE AT KQED, 1975
        1. Jamaican Carnival
        2. The King He Comes
        3. Black Man And Woman Of The Nile
        4. Theme For Margaux And Kay

        Drummer 'Drummie' Joe Isaacs had already created history as the house drummer at Studio 1 in Jamaica on countless pre-reggae classics before moving to Canada in 1968 and is credited with slowing down the fast pace of ska during the rocksteady era. With Risco Connection, Isaacs released a series of choice reggae / disco covers, from "Ain’t No Stopping Us Now" and "Good Times" to "I’m Caught Up (In A One Night Love Affair)" and "It’s My House" as limited 12” singles on his own Black Rose imprint. 'Arriving in Canada, we were one of the first set of musicians out of Jamaica coming here,' explains Isaacs. 'With Risco Connection, we wanted to try something new, songs that would have a crossover between disco and the rocksteady feeling and the right lyrics. We had trouble getting them well distributed widely at the time but people still picked up on the sound.'

        Recorded at Glen Johansen’s small studio Integrated Sound in Toronto, musicians included Jamaican, US and Canadian players with Isaacs on drums and percussion, bassist Clarence Greer, guitarist Tony Campbell and keyboardist/singer Glen Ricketts. Isaacs also called on a number of great independent vocalists including Terry Hope ("It’s My House"), Merlyn 'Lorna' Brooks, ("Caught Up"), Otis Gayle and Juliette Morgan ("Bringing The Sun Out" and "Sitting In The Park") and Tobi Lark ("Good Times"). The biggest hit of all the singles was Risco’s dynamite cover of McFadden and Whitehead’s "Ain’t No Stopping Us Now", selling over 5,000 copies in Toronto and New York with the dub version becoming a firm favourite of David Mancuso at his famed Loft parties.

        "Risco Version" brings together all of the vocal versions, dubs and extra tracks from the singles. Both formats feature an interview with Joe Isaacs and liner notes by journalist Angus Taylor. Audio is restored by Sean P and fully remastered and cut loud and proud by The Carvery. 

        TRACK LISTING

        A1. Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now (Vocal)
        A2. Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now (Version)
        B1. Good Times
        B2. One More Time (Instrumental)
        C1. I’m Caught Up
        C2. Argument
        D1. It’s My House (Special Disco Version)
        D2. It’s My House (Version)
        E1. Bringing Out The Sunshine
        E2. Risco Music
        E3. Reggae Music
        F1. Sitting In The Park
        F2. Park Version
        F3. Stopping (Version) 

        Bennie Maupin & Adam Rudolph

        Symphonic Tone Poem For Brother Yusef

          Strut present an exclusive collaboration between two jazz greats, Bennie Maupin and Adam Rudolph, on ‘Symphonic Tone Poem For Brother Yusef’, originally commissioned by the Angel City Jazz festival in Claremont, to mark the late, great Yusef Lateef’s 100th birthday on 9th October, 2020.

          The album weaves a magical, meditative path across five movements, combining electronics, saxophone, voices and Rudolph’s wide palette of percussion from hand drums to thumb pianos and gongs. “I learned so much from Yusef about intervals,” explains Rudolph. “Greats like Yusef, Ornette Coleman and Coltrane stopped using traditional harmonic forms and introduced systems of working with intervals. So, there was an intellectual process with this album, but mostly it was just intuitive. What I love about intuition is that it erases its own tracks behind it. On the 5th Movement of this album, I was working around a major seventh but 90% of what happened was instinctive. It is a unique moment; you can’t go back and recreate it.”

          Both artists bring unparalleled experience to the project. Detroit’s Bennie Maupin is best known for his work with Miles Davis on Bitches Brew, Herbie Hancock and The Headhunters and Eddie Henderson. Chicago percussionist Adam Rudolph was Yusef Lateef’s percussionist for 20 years and has worked with many other jazz luminaries including Pharoah Sanders, Wadada Leo Smith and Don Cherry. His work with Mandingo Griot Society during the ‘70s and ‘80s and, more recently, leading Hu Vibrational and Go Organic Orchestra constantly break new ground in the use and context of percussion.
          “Brother Yusef was a luminous being who continues to be an inspiration to so many of us,” continues Rudolph. “He was a great teacher, not only of music, but also of how to live as an artist and as a human being.”

          ‘Symphonic Tone Poem For Brother Yusef’ is released on LP, CD and digital. The album is mastered by Technology Works and cover art is by Nancy Jackson, based on a Lateef saying, "Have you noticed the leaves waving to you? It's okay to wave back.”

          TRACK LISTING

          A1. First Movement
          A2. Second Movement
          A3. Third Movement (Part 1)
          B1. Third Movement (Part 2)
          B2. Fourth Movement
          B3. Fifth Movemen

          Wayne Davis

          Wayne Davis

            Strut present the first ever reissue of an essential lost classic from the Black Fire catalogue, Wayne Davis’ powerful self-titled gospel-soul album from 1976. An accomplished vocalist and keyboard player, Davis had studied in Washington D.C. and had worked with Roberta Flack and she subsequently secured him a recording deal with Atlantic Records; he released the 'A View From Another Place' album in 1973 and Roberta contributed electric piano to one of the tracks. Davis was the dropped from the label and his subsequent album was released by Jimmy Gray on Black Fire. Produced by Jimmy Watkins and Bias Studios manager, Bob Dawson, the album line-up featured the celebrated poet and flautist Wanda Robinson and the horn section from legendary D.C. go-go pioneers Experience Unlimited. Wayne later returned the favour, appearing as a vocalist on Experience Unlimited’s seminal 'Free Yourself' album.

            TRACK LISTING

            A1. Strive On And Be Strong
            A2. Morning
            A3. Love Is
            A4. The Garden (There Is A Garden, Far Away!)
            B1. Look At The People!
            B2. Dawn Of A New Day
            B3. Things Seem Just Right, Now!
            B4. Intermezzo / Bahjia Habiba
            B5. “… One Last Thing!” 

            Strut present the definitive edition of Patrice Rushen’s landmark album from 1982, ‘Straight From The Heart’. Recorded during Elektra’s drive for ‘sophisticated dance music’ as many jazz artists created their own arrangements of disco and boogie, the sessions marked a progression for Patrice as she began exploring sonics as much as songwriting. “I was looking at different ways to experiment with the sounds on my records. Synths widened the palette available to us.”

            Singles from the album included ‘Breakout!’, ‘Number One’ and the global hit ‘Forget Me Nots’. “Bassist Freddie Washington played the bassline during a jam at my family’s house. I caught it, we kept messing around with the groove, then I developed the lyrics and chorus. It was just about recognising that moment when it came up.”

            “When I delivered the album to the label, the A&R said, ‘we don’t like anything on here.’ I realised quickly that they would give us no support so producer Charles Mims, myself and Freddie decided to engage a promotion company ourselves to start working the single. Although it took a while to pick up support, it paid off.” The single hit no. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1982 and the album became Patrice’s best seller globally from her time with Elektra / Asylum, securing a Grammy nomination. In more recent years, the album has become a regular source for samples in the world of hip hop and R&B. Most famously, Will Smith’s theme for the film ‘Men In Black’ and George Michael’s ‘Fastlove’ were both based, to varying degrees, on ‘Forget Me Nots’.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Forget Me Nots
            2. I Was Tired Of Being Alone
            3. All We Need
            4. Number One (Instrumental)
            5. Where There Is Love
            6. Breakout!
            7. If Only
            8. Remind Me
            9. (She Will) Take You Down For Love
            10. Forget Me Nots (12” Version)
            11. Breakout! (12” Version)
            12. I Was Tired Of Being Alone (12” Version: F. Byron Clark Remix)
            13. Number One (Instrumental) (12” Version)

            Flock

            Flock

              Flock is a brand new collaboration between five leading musicians from London's open-minded jazz and experimental scenes: Bex Burch (Vula Viel), Sarathy Korwar, Dan "Danalogue" Leavers (Soccer96, The Comet Is Coming), Al MacSween (Maisha) and Tamar Osborn (Collocutor).

              The musicians were first brought together by drummer Sarathy Korwar during March 2020 for one of Boiler Room, Total Refreshment Centre and Night Dreamer’s more memorable streamed sessions from early lockdown. It caught the attention of Strut Records and the label presented an open offer for the musicians to create a new, completely freeform project.

              Gathering together at The Fish Factory in London Summer 2020, the approach was to try something fresh. "I wrote texts as scores for the session and the emphasis was on breathing and listening to each other", explains Bex Burch. "Improvisation is composition in itself, so although the music was freely improvised, we sometimes chose to stay on form and rhythm, repeating melodies and groove."

              Tracks include the pulsing, searching opener ‘Expand’, the taught soundscape ‘Prepare To Let Go’ and the frenetic, urgent ‘Bold Dream’. At times widescreen and cinematic and at others more tense and claustrophobic, each Flock piece explores its own colour and mood.

              "Every moment in this process has been a new journey into the unknown. Everyone came, breathed and brought openness of heart, ears, lungs and wings."

              Artwork is based on an exclusive new illustration piece by Muhammad Rofi Fatchurofi.

              TRACK LISTING

              01 / A1. Expand
              02 / A2. Prepare To Let Go
              03 / A3. Sounds Welcome
              04 / B1. It’s Complicated
              05 / B2. What Purpose
              06 / C1. Murmuration
              07 / C2. Bold Dream
              08 / C3. My Resonance
              09 / D1. How Many Are One
              10 / D2. Fully Breathed

              Flora Purim

              If You Will

                One of the all-time greats of Brazilian jazz fusion, Flora Purim, returns with her first studio album in over 15 years.

                Conceived as a celebration of her music and collaborations, the album explores new compositions alongside fresh versions of Flora’s favourite personal songs and positive lyrics from across her varied career. Title track ‘If You Will’ reprises a song from her inspired collaborations with George Duke: “You will find... good love, real joy, so much peace of mind, if you will…”; the resilient ‘This Is Me’ updates an Airto jam band tune ‘I Don’t Wanna Be Myself Again’; ‘500 Miles High’ marks the heyday of the late Chick Corea’s Return To Forever band and ‘Zahuroo’ interprets a song by Claudia Villela about “a shapeshifting animal creature, a messenger who acts as a bridge between our thoughts and the universe.” A family affair recorded primarily in Curitiba and Sao Paulo, ‘If You Will’ brings together many of Flora’s closest circle of musicians including Airto Moreira, guitarist José Neto, her daughter Diana Purim on vocals and percussionist Celso Alberti. The album is the latest chapter in Flora’s long, illustrious and varied career. As well as her celebrated partnership with Airto and her early days with Quarteto Novo, Flora has worked with Stan Getz, Gil Evans, Miriam Makeba, George Duke, Chick Corea (as an original member of Return To Forever), Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nation Orchestra, Uruguayan band Opa and many more. Her solo albums on Milestone remain true jazz fusion classics.

                TRACK LISTING

                LP
                A1. If You Will Feat. Diana Purim
                A2. This Is Me
                A3. 500 Miles High
                A4. A Flor Da Vida
                B1. Newspaper Girl
                B2. Dandara
                B3. Zahuroo
                B4. Lucidez

                CD
                1.If You Will Feat. Diana Purim
                2. This Is Me
                3. 500 Miles High
                4. A Flor Da Vida
                5. Newspaper Girl
                6. Dandara
                7. Zahuroo
                8. Dois + Dois = Tres
                9. Lucidez

                Sun Ra Arkestra & Salah Ragab

                Sun Ra Arkestra Meets Salah Ragab In Egypt

                  Strut present the final instalment in their series of reissues of Sun Ra’s historic recordings in Egypt with The Sun Ra Arkestra meets Salah Ragab in Egypt plus the Cairo Jazz Band, originally released on Greek label Praxis in 1983.

                  Salah Ragab first encountered the Arkestra at a concert at the house of Goethe Institut ex-pat Hartmut Geerken during the Arkestra’s first visit to Cairo and Heliopolis in December 1971 and, although Ra and Ragab did not meet in person on that occasion, they did meet and bond together when Ra returned to Egypt in 1983, resulting in these recordings. The Arkestra had been touring Europe in March 1983 and made their way to Cairo, playing a number of concerts during April at the Il Capo / Il Buco venue before recording the two superb studio versions of Ragab compositions, ‘Egypt Strut’ and ‘Dawn’, at El Nahar Studios in Heliopolis in May, featuring Salah Ragab on congas.

                  Kostas Yiannoulopoulos, organiser of the Praxis festival in Greece, released the recordings as the A-side of this album, with three tracks by Salah Ragab and the Cairo Jazz Orchestra on Side B. ‘Ramadan’ and ‘Oriental Mood’ were first heard on the Cairo Jazz Orchestra album Egypt Strut released in 1973 while ‘A Farewell Theme’, received its very first release on this record, written following the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1970; the piece was played at the much-loved President’s funeral. This first ever official reissue of the album features previously unseen photos and memorabilia alongside brand new liner notes by Hartmut Geerken and Paul Griffiths. The album is released in its original artwork and is fully remastered by Technology Works.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. Egypt Strut
                  2. Dawn
                  3. Ramadan
                  4. Oriental Mood
                  5. A Farewell Theme

                  Various Artists

                  Aloha Got Soul - Soul, AOR & Disco In Hawaii 1979 - 1985

                    ‘Aloha Got Soul’ encompasses a vibrant era of contemporary music made in Hawai’i during the 1970s to the mid-1980s as jazz, rock, funk, disco and R&B co-existed alongside Hawaiian folk music. Hawai’i’s identity had undergone huge change: statehood into America in ‘59 and the Vietnam War were the backdrop as Hawai’i’s youth found inspiration in a new wave of international music led initially by The Beatles and Stones and, later, by US R&B bands like Earth Wind & Fire and Tower Of Power. Garage bands flourished during the ‘60s and, by the ‘70s, live music was at its peak.

                    For the ‘70s generation of artists, some came through the talent contest ‘Home Grown’ and its accompanying compilation LP. Singer Nohelani Cypriano won it with her instant radio hit, ‘Lihue’. Other winning songs, like Marvin Franklin’s soul surfer jam ‘Kona Winds’, burned more slowly but have endured with DJs today. Many records also packed a powerful message. In 1978, Hawaiian was made the official state language and a huge movement arose to revive hula and traditional music. Steve & Teresa’s ‘Kaho’olawe Song’ longs for an island long gone: the US military had used Kaho’olawe as a bombing range since Pearl Harbor. Nohelani Cypriano sang about the once sleepy town of Kailua, now a popular tourist destination: “Kailua needs no high-rise with her blue skies, not for our eyes. Can you realize?” Leading Hawaiian artists like Aura, Mike Lundy and keyboardist Kirk Thompson’s Lemuria took time in high quality facilities like Broad Recording Studio to make albums. Others grabbed studio time when they could: Tender Leaf’s Murray Compoc worked for the city bus by day and recorded an album during night sessions. Other albums were spontaneous. In 1983, Steve Maii & Teresa Bright recorded an acoustic set in just 3 hours after being invited to a studio following a gig.

                    For the artists of the ‘70s, the climate for music changed rapidly during the mid- ‘80s as DJ culture grew and live venues shut down. Hawai’i’s R&B era shone brightly and relatively briefly but, despite brilliant musicians, regular gigs and LP releases, most of the music barely made it to the mainland. Thanks largely to Aloha Got Soul’s Roger Bong, a new interest in this fertile era of Hawaiian music has grown, culminating in this new compilation of overlooked gems. ‘Aloha Got Soul’ is compiled and annotated by Bong and features rare photos and original artwork.


                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. Tender Leaf - Countryside Beauty
                    2. Aura - Yesterday's Love
                    3. Aina - Your Light
                    4. Lemuria - Get That Happy Feeling (Instrumental)
                    5. Roy & Roe - Just Don't Come Back
                    6. Hawaii - Lady Of My Heart
                    7. Hal Bradbury - Call Me
                    8. Mike Lundy - Love One Another
                    9. Nova - I Feel Like Getting Down
                    10. Nohelani Cypriano - O'Kailua
                    11. Brother Noland - Kawaihae
                    12. Marvin Franklin With Kimo And The Guys - Kona Winds
                    13. Greenwood - Sparkle
                    14. Chucky Boy Chock & Mike Kaawa With Brown Co. - Papa'A Tita
                    15. Steve & Teresa - Kaho'Olawe Song
                    16. Rockwell Fukino - Coast To Coast.

                    Juanita Euka

                    Mabanzo

                      Strut present Mabanzo - the debut solo album by Congolese vocalist, Juanita Euka. A familiar face to many from London’s vibrant live music scene over the last decade, Juanita has fronted London Afrobeat Collective’s dynamic live shows, the fusions and cross-pollinations of Animanz and maverick Cuban collective Wara. As a solo artist, she broke through in early 2020, performing her single ‘Alma Seca’ in season 3 of blockbuster series Killing Eve.

                      Born in RD Congo and brought up in Buenos Aires, Juanita’s upbringing involved many different musical influences, not least her uncle, Congolese rumba giant Franco Luambo Makiadi. “In Argentina, I listened to a wide range of style from AfricanAmerican artists to Dominican stars like Juan Luis Guerra, the Congolese greats like my uncle and Papa Wemba and various music from Argentina including Mercedes Sosa. Some of my main inspirations were (and still are) international Afro-Cuban artists like Celia Cruz and La Lupe.” Moving to the UK aged 14, she immersed herself in London’s own sounds, from garage to grime.

                      On Mabanzo (meaning ‘Thoughts’), Juanita brings her many and varied musical influences into play and pulls no lyrical punches. Killer dancefloor single ‘Na Lingi Mobali Te’ is pure contemporary Congolese guitar gold, ‘Mboka Moka’ channels ‘80s boogie and Quincy horn stylings on an anthem for personal struggle and ‘Baño de Oro’ brings a heavy Afro-Cuban workout. Elsewhere, the epic ballad ‘Sueños de Libertad’ is an impassioned call for freedom and the lilting ‘For All It’s Worth’ champions love over materialism.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      CD:
                      1. Alma Seca
                      2. Mboka Moko
                      3. For All It’s Worth
                      4. Sueños De Libertad
                      5. Na Lingi
                      6. Blood
                      7. Baño De Oro
                      8. Motema
                      9. Camarades
                      10. War Is Over
                      11. Irresolute
                      12. Alma Seca (Acoustic Version)

                      LP:
                      A1.Alma Seca
                      A2. Mboka Moko
                      A3. For All It’s Worth
                      A4. Sueños De Libertad
                      B1. Baño De Oro
                      B2. Nalingi Mobali Te
                      B3. Motema
                      B4. Blood

                      Nashenas

                      Life Is A Heavy Burden - Ghazals And Poetry From Afghanistan

                        Strut present the first compilation of legendary Afghan Ghazal singer Dr. Mohammad Sadiq Fitrat a.k.a. Nashenas, recorded at the Radio Afghanistan Studios and later released on singles by the Royal label in Iran.

                        Nashenas first made his move towards music aged 16 in 1951 when he approached Afghanistan’s national radio station, Radio Kabul, with an idea for a broadcast and, impressed with his language skills, they offered him a permanent job. “I was in close contact with some of the big names in Afghan music like Jalil Zaland,” Nashenas explains. “My father had a gramophone and we listened to other singers like Ustad Qasim Khan and Kundan Lal Saigal.” After unsuccessful initial forays into singing sessions for the station, he honed his skills as a writer, singer and musician, playing the harmonium. Inspired by a movie he had seen at the cinema, Nashenas wrote a new poem and sang on air again after the evening news, using the name ‘Nashenas’ (meaning ‘unknown’) for the first time. Following a wave of positive feedback from the public, he was given a new weekend slot and built his reputation through film song interpretations, famous poems set to music and his own compositions sung in Dari and Pashto.

                        Nashenas would witness turbulent times as Afghanistan found itself caught up in the Cold War and the early ‘90s civil war until it became too dangerous to stay in the country. Through a friend in the U.N., he was able to seek asylum for himself and his family and take up residence in London, continuing to work as a musician and giving concerts globally.

                        Most of Nashenas’ recordings during this period were only made for broadcast, later surfacing on singles through the Royal label in Iran. Life Is A Heavy Burden is compiled from these singles by Chris Menist and Mads Jensen. All tracks are remastered by The Carvery and both formats feature new liner notes including an interview with Nashenas. The album is part of the new United Sounds of Asia series curated by Chris Menist and Maft Sai of Paradise Bangkok.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        1. The Way I Love My Beloved
                        2. Your Sorrow Is Killing Me
                        3. Flower Had A Thorn
                        4. I Am Happy Alone
                        5. Life Is A Heavy Burden
                        6. O Beloved, The Sorrow Of Your Love Destroyed Me
                        7. The Author Of Destiny

                        Salah Ragab & The Cairo Jazz Band

                        Egyptian Jazz

                          Strut present the 1973 Egyptian jazz classic, 'Egypt Strut' by Salah Ragab and Cairo Jazz Band.

                          Inspired by a concert in Cairo by Randy Weston in 1967 encouraging PanAfrican unity, drummer Ragab, Eduard “Edu” Vizvari, a Czech jazz musician, and Hartmut Geerken of Goethe Institut vowed to create Egypt's first jazz big band. Following the Arab-Israeli war, Ragab became a Major in the Egyptian army and had unparalleled access to the military's 3000 musicians spanning Upper and Lower Egypt, along with a wide range of instruments. Part of the barracks were christened the Jazz House and, following a crash course in jazz history by Geerken, the Cairo Jazz Band was born, playing their first concert at Ewart Memorial Hall at the American University in 1969. Further inspired by Sun Ra & His Arkestra's first visit to Egypt in 1971, Ragab recorded an album for the Egyptian Ministry Of Culture a year later, entitled ‘Egyptian Jazz’, later released as 'Egypt Strut', a perfect fusion of jazz with Arabic modes with tracks referencing Islamic festivals, Egyptian landmarks and friends and family dear to Ragab. The Wire’s Francis Gooding summarises the album as “esoteric African American Egyptianism and radically spiritualised modal jazz taken up by Ragab as the tool for a form of mystical Egyptian nationalism – a triumphalist military jazz, angled in Ra-like fashion towards the Gods of the New Kingdom.”

                          The vinyl album is released in its original Prism Music Unit artwork and is packaged with the original house bag designs. CD version includes extra unreleased tracks and a 24 page booklet featuring unseen photos and extensive liner notes by Francis Gooding (The Wire).

                          TRACK LISTING

                          Side A
                          A1. Oriental Mood
                          A2. Dawn
                          A3. Mervat
                          Side B
                          B1. Ramadan In Space Time
                          B2. Kleopatra
                          B3. Neveen

                          Strut return to the rich archives of Black Fire Records for the Drum Message album by Ghanaian master percussionist Okyerema Asante from 1977.

                          After playing a short spell early in his career with Ebo Taylor’s Blue Monksband at Tip Toe’s in Accra, Asante joined the fledgling Hedzoleh Soundz during the early ‘70s at their Napoleon Club residency in the city. After playing Fela’s Shrine, Fela recommended them to Hugh Masekela as an ideal backing band and Hedzoleh joined Masekela on a US tour in December 1973. Sharing the same management company, Charisma, Asante first met Plunky and Oneness Of Juju during an East coast tour with Masekela, starting a relationship with the band that has endured until today.

                          Recorded at Arrest Studios in Washington D.C. in October 1977 and featuring musicians from Oneness alongside Gil Scott Heron cohort Brian Jackson on piano, Drum Message represents an important milestone for Asante: “This album really came from my heart. I wanted to project the African spirit in the music and come out with some unique African jazz. To be able to record it on Black Fire was extra special.” The album also involved some serious physical graft: “The studio was up on the 14th Floor and the elevator was often broken down. I showed up with a van full of African drums and Jimmy Gray from Black Fire and myself had to carry them all the way up there, each day!”

                          The resultant album was well worth the sweat. ‘Adowa’ adds jazz arrangements to a traditional Asante rhythm and Oneness classic ‘Follow Me’ is skilfully re-worked (“I used the bass drum in place of the bass guitar so it was all based on rhythms.”). New versions of Asante dancefloor favourite ‘Sabi’ sit alongside the mellow groove of ‘Asante Sana’ (“I wanted something cool like reggae or highlife on that track, a similar vibe. So, I went inbetween.”).

                          TRACK LISTING

                          A1. Drum Message
                          A2. Asante Sana
                          A3. Follow Me
                          B1. Sabi
                          B2. Mother Africa
                          B3. Never Fly Away From The Funk
                          C1. Play A Sweet Rhythm On Them Drums
                          C2. Adowa
                          C3. Sabi (Black Fire Mix)
                          D1. Kazi’s Awakening
                          D2. To The Ancestors

                          Theatre West

                          Bow To The People

                          Strut presents one of the most in-demand and significant albums from the archives of Jimmy Gray’s Black Fire Records, ‘Bow To The People’ (1976) by theatre collective Theatre West, based out of Dayton, Ohio.

                          Founder Clarence Young III was a US Air Force Vietnam Vet who had been part of a theatrical troupe entertaining soldiers in 15 countries during his tour. When he returned home in 1969, he started Theatre West in Dayton, Ohio as an outlet for inner city youth to come together and express themselves. At its height, the company involved around 27 members. “Everybody played everything and did everything,” recalls bassist Sigmond Dillard. “We all had to sing, dance and act all the time. If someone messed up, you came in. It was a tight unit and we were constantly helping each other out.”

                          “There were so many talented and gifted people in our troupe,” continues Dillard. “Rita Brown went on to New York, starring in the film Disco Godfather during the late ‘70s. Bruce Davis went on to work regularly on Broadway in Chicago, All That Jazz and more. Our Musical Director was Delbert Taylor and he also played with Gil Scott Heron’s Midnight Band and with Slave afterwards in the early ‘80s. Vibes player Ben Wilson and I also played regularly with Gil.”

                          Recorded at Arrest studios in Washington in ’76, ‘Bow To The People’ brought together songs from several of Theatre West’s best known plays including Bow To The People, The System and Black Love and unflinchingly explored serious issues around drug addiction, mental health and cultural awareness. “The whole idea of Bow To The People was to honour our black forefathers,” explains Dillard. “It was important to do that for the kids that didn’t know.”

                          Shelved following the original recording, the Bow To The People album eventually surfaced on a limited CD on Black Fire in 1993. Now receiving its first full international release, the album features the previously unreleased tracks ‘Man Of Many Means’ and ‘I Don’t Know Much About Love’.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          LP
                          A1 Searching For Ourselves
                          A2. Crossroads
                          A3. Bow To The People
                          A4. One Little Chance
                          B1. Children Of Tomorrow's Dreams
                          B2. Black Love
                          B3. Big Brother
                          C1. No More Junk
                          C2. Della Get Down
                          C3. I Am A Woman
                          C4. I Really Like It
                          D1. Puppet
                          D2. Man Of Many Means (Previously Unreleased)
                          D3. Cool Out Your Mind

                          CD
                          1. Searching For Ourselves
                          2. Crossroads
                          3. Bow To The People
                          4. Black Love
                          5. One Little Chance
                          6. Big Brother
                          7. Children Of Tomorrow's Dreams
                          8. No More Junk
                          9. Della Get Down
                          10.I Am A Woman
                          11. I Really Like It
                          12. Puppet
                          13. Cool Out Your Mind
                          14. Man Of Many Means (Previously Unreleased)
                          15. I Don't Know Much About Love (Previously Unreleased)

                          Strut presents the first full international release for another lost classic from the Black Fire Records archives, ‘Southern Energy’, the only album recorded by R’n’B and jazz collective Southern Energy Ensemble in 1977.

                          Trumpeter Marvin Daniels had been drafted into the US army in Germany during the mid-‘70s, playing in the military touring band 100% Pure Poison. Upon returning to Virginia State College, he met up with an old friend, saxophonist Al Clarke, and they began to form a new band, pulling together various students from the University including Nat Lee (keys), William “Spike” Johnson (drums and percussion) and Adolphus “Peddie” Maples (percussion and vocals). “As Southern Energy, we started playing the chitlin R’n’B circuit and ended up gigging most weekends at clubs, universities and military bases in Virginia and North and South Carolina,” remembers Daniels.

                          After meeting Plunky Branch and Black Fire Records MD and producer, Jimmy Gray at a JuJu gig in Richmond, Virginia, Gray signed the band and they recorded some high energy sessions during 1977. “Southern Energy was tight,” continues Daniels. “We had great musicians and great vocalists in Judy Spears and Garrie Wayne, both vocal majors from Virginia State College. The album was all about positive messages and celebrating real people.” Tracks include the storming dancefloor jazz workout ‘Third House’, the optimistic ballad ‘Looking Ahead’ and the extended funk anthem ‘F-U-N-K-Y ‘Til The Day I Die’.

                          The band would break up soon after the members left college. Daniels moved to Philadelphia to work with Evelyn “Champagne” King in 1978 before co-founding Chops horns who would go on to become one of the most in-demand US session units of the ‘80s, working with Sugarhill Gang, The Police, The Rolling Stones and more. Maples would go on to play on sessions for Oneness Of Juju.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          01. Open Your Mind
                          02. F-U-N-K-Y ‘Til The Day I Die
                          03. Third House
                          04. See Funk
                          05. Looking Ahead
                          06. Energy
                          07. The Best Part Of Me Southern Energy

                          Miriam Makeba

                          Keep Me In Mind

                            Miriam Makeba’s ‘Keep Me In Mind’ was her last album for Reprise and reflected major changes in both her own personal life and politically within the USA. After becoming a national star globally following the success of ‘Pata Pata’ in 1967, she had fallen out publicly with her mentor and ‘Big Brother’, Harry Belafonte. Makeba made the decision to return to Africa following an invitation from President Sékou Touré of Guinea. In Conakry, Makeba met Stokely Carmichael, President of civil rights organisation the SNCC and they would later marry. “With the Vietnam War, the student protests and the riots in the ghettos, everyone is scared,” Makeba said. “Everyone is afraid that there will be a great black uprising.” Makeba’s concerts were widely cancelled and both her and Carmichael were followed relentlessly by the FBI.

                            Reprise also terminated her contract but brought in producer Lewis Merenstein for her final recording for the label, best known for his work with Van Morrison on ‘Astral Weeks’. Merenstein suggested two Van songs for Makeba to cover, ‘Brand New Day’ from the ‘Moondance’ sessions and ‘I Shall Sing’ and further songs were added to reflect both the political climate and Makeba’s own memories including Stephen Stills’ ‘For What It’s Worth’ and Lennon & McCartney’s wistful ‘In My Life’. New compositions by Makeba and her daughter Bongi included ‘Lumumba’, a personal tribute to Congolese independence leader, Patrice Lumumba. Reflective of the times, the album is infused with a palpable despair but, as in all of her music, a quiet determination still shines through.

                            This new reissue of ‘Keep Me In Mind’ is presented in its original artwork and features rare photos and new extensive liner notes by Francis Gooding of The Wire. Remastered from the original tapes by The Carvery.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            A1. Lumumba 2.46
                            A2. For What It’s Worth 2.45
                            A3. Brand New Day 3.17
                            A4. I Shall Sing 3.06
                            A5. Kulala 2.37
                            B1. In My Life 3.08
                            B2. Down On The Corner 2.32
                            B3. Ibande 2.17
                            B4. Measure The Valleys 3.33
                            B5. Tululu 2.11

                            Sun Ra

                            Lanquidity (Deluxe Edition)

                              Strut present the definitive edition of Sun Ra’s classic ‘Lanquidity’ album from 1978 with brand new 4LP box set and 2CD editions.

                              Recorded overnight at Bob Bank’s Blank Tapes on 17th July 1978 after the Arkestra had appeared on Saturday Night Live, the album is unique in the Ra catalogue. “Most critics felt that it was more of a fusion-inspired record,” explains Michael Ray. “As the name suggests, the album is liquid and languid.” Bob Blank continues, “Musically, it was very ad hoc and freeform. There were horn charts but most tracks came out of improvised jams. Sun Ra just did his thing.”

                              Comprising five effortlessly fluid pieces, the album eases in with Lanquidity. Danny Ray Thompson remembers, “This was one of Sun Ra’s on-the-spot compositions. It is almost like an Ancient Egyptian Stargazing Ceremony, mapping out the stars and the planets.” Where Pathways Meet is “Sun Ra’s funky version of an Egyptian march. Pharaoh is sending his troops off to fight and this is his pep-talk!” continues Thompson. “The music seems to take different pathways but still converges.” The loping groove of That’s How I Feel, features the reflective trumpet lines of Eddie Gale with solos by John Gilmore and Marshall Allen: “Marshall comes in with that snake charming oboe.” Says Thompson. The funky Twin Stars Of Thence weaves around Richard Williams celebrated elastic bassline while the haunting closer, There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of), is pure “space music.” The poet Mama Nzinga described it as ‘The essence of light. Spirit takes a ride inside the deep dark space of just being.”

                              The new box set edition of ‘Lanquidity’ features the widely distributed version of the album alongside alternative mixes by Bob Blank originally released in limited quantities for a 1978 Arkestra gig at Georgia Tech. Both versions of the album are cut loud at 45 rpm over 2LPs each.

                              Housed in a silver foil box, both LP sets reflect the original Phlly Jazz artwork. The first comes in a foil / magenta sleeve while the second features 2 x yellow A4 sheets pasted onto a white sleeve. Also included is a 12-page over-sized booklet featuring unseen photos by Veryl Oakland and liner notes by Tom Buchler (Philly Jazz), Michael Ray and Danny Ray Thompson (Sun Ra Arkestra) and Bob Blank.

                              The 2CD version is housed in a foil digipak.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              4LP TRACKLISTING:
                              A1. Lanquidity
                              B1. Where Pathways Meet
                              B2. That’s How I Feel
                              C1. Twin Stars Of Thence
                              D1. There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of)
                              E1. Lanquidity (Alternate Version)
                              E2. Where Pathways Meet (Alternate Version)
                              F1. That’s How I Feel (Alternate Version)
                              G1. Twin Stars Of Thence (Alternate Version)
                              H1. There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of) (Alternate Version)

                              2CD TRACKLISTING:
                              CD 1
                              1. Lanquidity
                              2. Where Pathways Meet
                              3. That’s How I Feel
                              4. Twin Stars Of Thence
                              5. There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of)
                              CD 2
                              1. Lanquidity (Alternate Version)
                              2. Where Pathways Meet (Alternate Version)
                              3. That’s How I Feel (Alternate Version)
                              4. Twin Stars Of Thence (Alternate Version)
                              5. There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of) (Alternate Version)

                              Nubiyan Twist

                              Freedom Fables

                              Nubiyan Twist return with their brand new album ‘Freedom Fables’ on Strut on 5th February, the follow-up to the acclaimed ‘Jungle Run’ from Spring 2019.

                              Woven around soul searching, cautionary tales and parables for modern life, the new album is the most accomplished yet by the Leeds / London collective, effortlessly fusing different soul, jazz and global styles with great musicianship and lyrics. “Freedom Fables reflects on the power of narratives. Each vocalist on this record explores their own memoirs, a freedom of expression underpinning our belief that music is the ultimate narrative for unity,” explains Tom Excell. “The record references a lot of music that we all loved during our formative years; you can hear touches of broken beat, blunted hip hop, highlife, Latin, jazz and UK soul running through the tracks.”

                              The album is also packed full with illustrious guest appearances: regular collaborator Cherise features on the brilliant ‘Tittle Tattle’, calling out gossip through acerbic nursery rhyming, the loping ‘Flow’ dealing with the ebb and flow of anxiety and the epic Brazilian jazz workout, ‘Keeper’; UK jazz saxman Soweto Kinch brings a burning alto solo and rhymes to the determined ‘Buckle Up’ alongside the band’s own vocalist Nick Richards as the track aims to “find the door to peace” among life’s challenges. “Soweto is a trailblazer of the UK scene both as an alto player and as a rapper with a unique flow and important lyricism,” reflects Tom Excell. “It was really important for us to invite him to contribute to the album.” Richards continues the “dust yourself off and find hope” theme on the rousing ‘Wipe Away Tears’; Ghanaian great Pat Thomas voices a gorgeous Accra meets London highlife jam; massive new vocal talent Ria Moran (a contemporary from the band’s time at Leeds College Of Music) steps up on the sensual ‘Morning Light’ tackling delicate complexities of the heart and long time friend of the band, KOG, brings his trademark full strength Afro dancefloor energy.

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Matt says: Funky in parts, soulful throughout and beaming good vibes and positive attitude, Nubiyan Twist could be that perfect tonic for garden parties and park gatherings once the lockdown rules are lifted.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. Morning Light Feat Ria Moran
                              2. Tittle Tattle Feat Cherise
                              3. Ma Wonka Feat Pat Thomas
                              4. Buckle Up Feat Soweto Kinch
                              5. Keeper Feat Cherise
                              6. If Only Feat Ruby Wood
                              7. 24-7 Feat Ego Ella May
                              8. Flow Feat Cherise
                              9. Wipe Away Tears Feat Nick Richards
                              10. If I Know Feat Kog

                              Oneness Of Juju

                              African Rhythms 1970-1982

                                Strut kick off a brand new deal with the seminal independent black jazz and soul label Black Fire in May with ‘African Rhythms 1970-1982’, a comprehensive 2CD / 3LP compilation of Oneness Of Juju, led by Plunky J. Branch.

                                Tracing their career from the band’s earliest work in 1970 with South African exiled jazzman Ndikho Xaba in San Francisco, the compilation covers the band’s journey to New York’s loft jazz scene, forming Juju and releasing two landmark albums of hard-hitting percussive jazz on Strata-East. “I saw myself as a cultural warrior,” explains Plunky. “We studied about Africa and tried to infuse our music with an African spirit.” Moving back to his hometown of Richmond, Virginia during the mid-‘70s, Plunky drew in a superb new group of musicians and vocalists and created the band’s new incarnation, Oneness Of Juju, retaining the African influence but fusing his sound with funk and R’n’B on the classic ‘African Rhythms’ album. “We realised that, if we put a backbeat to the Afro-Cuban rhythms, people in Richmond and Washington D.C. could be drawn into it; it didn’t change anything about our message.” The change would lead to a series of enduring soul-jazz classics on Jimmy Gray’s Black Fire label, including ‘River Luv Rite’, ‘Plastic’ and ‘Don’t Give Up’ and their biggest crossover international hit, ‘Every Way But Loose’ in 1982, later famously remixed by Larry Levan. The band received renewed interest in their music during the mid-‘80s as Washington D.C.’s go-go innovators cited the band as a major influence and rare groove DJs revived their albums for London dancefloors.

                                ‘African Rhythms 1970-1982’ reprises a compilation released on Strut in 2001 and is newly remastered by Frank Merritt at The Carvery. Both formats feature a 12” sized 4pp booklet featuring rare photos and a comprehensive interview with Plunky Branch within liner notes by Chris Menist.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                3LP
                                A1. Oneness Of Juju - African Rhythms (Album Version)
                                A2. Oneness Of Juju - Follow Me
                                A3. Oneness Of Juju – Nooky
                                B1. Oneness Of Juju – River Luv Rite
                                B2. Roach Om – No Name #3 / Love Is… / My Nigger & Me
                                B3. Juju – Nairobi / Chants
                                C1. Oneness Of Juju – Chants / Don’T Give Up
                                C2. Oneness Of Juju – Be About The Future
                                C3. Juju & The Space Rangers – Got To Be Right On It (Original 45 Version)
                                D1. Oneness Of Juju – Space Jungle Funk
                                D2. Oneness Of Juju – West Wind (Previously Unreleased)
                                E1. Juju & The Space Rangers – Plastic (Original 45 Version)
                                E2. Plunky & Oneness Of Juju – Every Way But Loose (Original Version)
                                E3. Okyerema Asante Feat. Plunky – Sabi (Black Fire Mix)
                                F1. Okyerema Asante Feat. Plunky – Asante Sana
                                F2. Oneness Of Juju – Bootsie’S Lament (Unreleased Version)

                                CD1
                                1. Oneness Of Juju - African Rhythms (Album Version)
                                2. Oneness Of Juju - Follow Me
                                3. Oneness Of Juju – Space Jungle Funk
                                4. Juju & The Space Rangers – Got To Be Right On It (Original 45 Version)
                                5. Okyerema Asante Feat. Plunky – Sabi (Black Fire Mix)
                                6. Interlude: Rhythms Timelessness
                                7. Roach Om – No Name #3 / Love Is… / My N*Gg*R & Me
                                8. Oneness Of Juju – West Wind (Previously Unreleased)
                                9. Juju – Freedom Fighter
                                10. Oneness Of Juju – Be About The Future
                                11. Oneness Of Juju – Nooky
                                12. Interlude: African Rhythms
                                13. Plunky & Oneness Of Juju – Every Way But Loose (Original Version)

                                CD2
                                1. Oneness Of Juju – Bootsie’S Lament (Unreleased Version)
                                2. Oneness Of Juju – Chants / Don’T Give Up
                                3. Oneness Of Juju – River Luv Rite
                                4. Plunky & Oneness Of Juju – Higher
                                5. Interlude: African Rhythms Chant
                                6. Juju – Nairobi / Chants
                                7. Okyerema Asante Feat. Plunky – Asante Sana
                                8. Interlude: African Rhythms Ii
                                9. Juju & The Space Rangers – Plastic (Original 45 Version)
                                10. Oneness Of Juju – African Rhythms (Original 45 Version: Part 1)
                                11. Juju – The End Of The Butterfly King

                                Greg Foat

                                Symphonie Pacifique

                                  Foat has become a versatile mainstay in UK jazz through an acclaimed series of albums on Jazzman and Athens Of The North, moving from soul-jazz workouts to library music to cinematic, haunting compositions and pastoral acid folk. ‘Symphonie Pacifique’ goes expansive and widescreen, building a lush soundscape using choral textures, harp and tubular bells on the atmospheric ‘After The Storm’ alongside sensual groove-based tracks like the undulating ‘Anticipation’, the album title track and Groove Merchant-channelling ‘Nikinakinu’, all driven by Phil Achille on bass, Eric Young on congas and Moses Boyd’s crisp, flowing breakbeats. Other tracks include a moving tribute to KPM library legend Duncan Lamont on the reflective ‘Lament For Lamont’ and the languid, simmering ‘Island Life’.

                                  The album is a truly international collaboration, recorded analogue and produced by Greg Foat at London’s Fish Factory studios with strings recorded in Edinburgh and choir in Gothenburg. The album was mixed by Mattias Glava at Kungsten Studios in Gothenburg. Cover artwork is based on a painting by early 20th Century Algerian / Parisian artist Henry Valensi.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Barry says: Greg Foat has always had a firm place on the shop stereo, and 'Symphonie Pacifique' cements that likelihood with a swaying, filmic mash-up of syncopated hooks, frenetic percussion and effortless, jazzy cool. As perfectly redolent of the genre's past as it is it's future.

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  A1. Prelude
                                  A2. Symphonie Pacifique
                                  A3. Undulation
                                  A4. Anticipation
                                  A5. Mu
                                  A6. Yonaguni
                                  B1. Island Life
                                  B2. Nikinakinu
                                  B3. Man Vs. Machine
                                  C1. Before The Storm
                                  C2. After The Storm
                                  C3. Meditation On A Pedal Steel
                                  C4. Lament For Lamont
                                  D1. Pointe-Vénus
                                  D2. Mother’S Love
                                  D3. Epilogue: Three Tenors

                                  Strut and Art Yard present the first compilation bringing together the modern era recordings of Tribe, Detroit’s acclaimed independent jazz collective.Tribe began as a musical ensemble in 1971 co-founded by Saxophonist Wendell Harrison and trombonist Phil Ranelin that soon expanded into a broad amalgam including a live collective and independent record label. Ignored by the mainstream, many African American jazz artists in Detroit and across the US began creating their own small imprints and Tribe emerged alongside other cultural entities to express selfdetermination goals in the city: saxophonist Ernie Rodgers with his sessions at Rapa House; John and Leni Sinclair’s Artist Workshop; Bruce Millan’s Repertory Theater; the Hastings Jazz Experience and the Strata Corporation led by Kenny Cox. Harrison’s ideas of independence, self-determination and education were central to the Tribe ethos: “I might be possessed with a drive to get the knowledge out,” explained Harrison, “because I see this as sustaining the future of the jazz diaspora, the jazz tradition.” Tribe album releases like Harrison’s ‘An Evening With The Devil’ (1972) and Harrison and Ranelin’s ‘A Message From The Tribe’ (1973) became early ‘70s milestones in Detroit jazz.

                                  In 1977, Harrison teamed up with pianist/composer Harold McKinney to form Rebirth Inc., aided by Detroit cultural warrior John Sinclair, a continuation of the Tribe community ethos. Musically, it formed a link with radio station WDET and began an outreach program to teach children and to publish Harrison’s jazz instruction books. Harrison continue to record extensively as a leader with his own labels, WenHa and Tribe, documenting the collective through sessions led by Phil Ranelin, Harold McKinney, Pamela Wise and more.

                                  The ‘Hometown’ compilation places the spotlight on this later era of Tribe and Rebirth Inc., with rare and previously unreleased recordings from Harrison’s WenHa / Rebirth Studios and the SereNgeti Gallery And Cultural Center. Among many highlights, Harold McKinney and his “McKinfolk” family of musicians contribute the pulsing ‘Wide And Blue’ and dance celebration ‘Juba’; Phil Ranelin re-works his classic ‘He The One We All Knew’; Poet Mbiyu Chui (Williams Moore), pianist Pamela Wise and percussionist Djallo Djakate spark on the uncompromising ‘Ode To Black Mothers’ and the rallying cry of ‘Marcus Garvey’: “If we ever get together we will astound the world.” Harrison himself evokes the power and majesty of juju on ‘Conjure Man’.


                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  LP
                                  A1. Wide And Blue
                                  A2. Freddie’S Groove
                                  B1. Juba
                                  B2. Ode To Black Mothers
                                  B3. Conjure Man
                                  C1. Libra Ahora
                                  C2. Hometown
                                  D1. He The One We All Knew
                                  D2. Marcus Garvey
                                  D3. The Slave Ship Enterprise

                                  CD
                                  1. Wide And Blue
                                  2. Freddie’S Groove
                                  3. Ode To Black Mothers
                                  4. Juba
                                  5. Libra Ahora
                                  6. Conjure Man
                                  7. Marcus Garvey
                                  8. Hometown
                                  9. He The One We All Knew
                                  10. The Slave Ship Enterprise

                                  Miriam Makeba

                                  Pata Pata

                                    Strut presents an all-time classic of South African music, the definitive remastered edition of Miriam Makeba’s ‘PataPata’, her first album recorded for Reprise in 1966. The album marked a significant international breakthrough for Makeba.

                                    Moving to the US after the anti-apartheid film ‘Come Back, Africa’ gained international attention and staying there in exile, she quickly built her career in New York during the ‘60s, mentored by Harry Belafonte. Signing with Reprise after a period with RCA, she returned to one of her older songs: “I wrote ‘PataPata’ back in 1956, back in South Africa,” remembered Makeba in her autobiography. “It was a fun little song and I was thinking of a dance that we do at home (“pata” means ‘touch” in Zulu and Xhosa).”

                                    Originally a hit in South Africa with her early vocal harmony group the Skylarks, the new recording, produced by Jerry Ragovoy, brought a lighter uptempoR’nB arrangement, adding some English lyrics. “It was my first truly big seller. All of a sudden, people who never knew I had been in America since 1959 were asking me to be on their television shows and play at their concert halls during 1967. In the discotheques, they invented a new dance called the ‘PataPata’ where couples dance apart and then reach out and touch each other. I went to Argentina for a concert and, across South America, they are singing my song.”


                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    A1. PataPata (Mono Version)
                                    A2. Ha Po Zamani (Mono Version)
                                    A3. What Is Love (Mono Version)
                                    A4. Maria Fulo (Mono Version)
                                    A5. YetentuTizaleny (Mono Version)
                                    A6. Click Song Number One (Mono Version)
                                    B1. Ring Bell, Ring Bell (Mono Version)
                                    B2. Jol’Inkomo (Mono Version)
                                    B3. West Wind (Mono Version)
                                    B4. Saduva (Mono Version)
                                    B5. A Piece Of Ground (Mono Version)
                                    C1. PataPata (Stereo Version)
                                    C2. Ha Po Zamani (Stereo Version)
                                    C3. What Is Love (Stereo Version)
                                    C4. Maria Fulo (Stereo Version)
                                    C5. YetentuTizaleny (Stereo Version)
                                    C6. Click Song Number One (Stereo Version)
                                    D1. Ring Bell, Ring Bell (Stereo Version)
                                    D2. Jol’Inkomo (Stereo Version)
                                    D3. West Wind (Stereo Version)
                                    D4. Saduva (Stereo Version)
                                    D5. A Piece Of Ground (Stereo Version)

                                    Various Artists

                                    Disco Not Disco

                                      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2019 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                      “Strut Records were there first, well before DFA recorded The Rapture’s Sub Pop debut. ‘Disco Not Disco’ preceded the punk funk revolution by two years.” - Resident Advisor For Record Store Day 2019, Strut present the first ever repress since 2000 of the influential first volume of ‘Disco Not Disco’ compiled by Joey Negro and Sean P as part of the label’s 20th Anniversary. ‘Disco Not Disco’ was a perfectly timed compilation back in 2000. Released when interest in the myths, history and playlists of original New York clubs like Paradise Garage and The Loft was at its peak, the album drew on the outer limits of leftfield disco championed by Levan and Mancuso, bringing together unlikely dancefloor anthems by rock acts like Yoko Ono and Ian Dury, obscurities from cottage labels like BC and Splash and selected oddities from the unique mind of avant-garde hero, Arthur Russell. It was essentially a celebration of the sonic melting pot in New York during the early ‘80s, an era when punk had burnt itself out and disco had become commercial and saccharine; in its place, the post-punk movement threw up brilliant oddities which tore up the accepted rulebook. Since its release, the compilation title has become a by-word for a whole genre of music and remains a landmark collection of its time. With original copies now changing hands for €100+, this new pressing is a welcome return for an essential celebration of disco’s difficult cousins. The album features full original artwork and Kris Needs’ sleeve notes and is remastered and cut by The Carvery. • First volume of the seminal compilation series repressed for the first time since 2000 for Record Store Day • Album title became known as a style of music in its own right, when rock bands and experimental NY artists aimed at the dancefloor • Major influence on the punk funk bands and labels of early 2000s including DFA • Album remastered by The Carvery and featuring full original artwork and sleeve notes by Kris Needs

                                      Strut present an exclusive new reissue of a great (and now very rare) original album from the early career of Nigerian juju star Shina Peters, ‘Sewele’ from 1986.

                                      “‘Sewele’ represented a time of transition in my music career,” explains Peters. “I had branched out to start as a solo artist after spells with Ebenezer Obey, Prince Adekunle and Segun Adewale and I was trying to find my own voice and to play juju in a more progressive direction. This was an important time for me. Three years later, I had honed that sound into AfroJuju, and my ‘Ace: Afro Juju Series 1’ album broke me as an artist.

                                      On ‘Sewele’, Peters explores different themes on four extended juju workouts, showcasing his incredible guitar work and his sense of fun as the odd Bob Marley and Abba riff pops up in the grooves. The title track means ‘shower of blessings’: “it’s like a prayer for my fans throughout Nigeria and the diaspora.” The funky Afrobeat of ‘Yabis’ is about being proud to be African and not to follow American ways and ‘Agbe’ere De’ states proudly that Peters is coming again with something different: “I always wanted to get the message across to my fans that I was keeping things fresh and creating melodies and music that people would enjoy.” The final track, ‘Late Aboderin’, is a moving tribute to Peters’ mentor, the late Chief Aboderin: “He helped me in many ways including legal aid in a court case against a record label. He also bought a van to carry the band to concerts.


                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      A1. Sewele
                                      A2. Yabis
                                      B1. Agbe’Ere De
                                      B2. Late Aboderin

                                      Trevor Jackson (Playgroup / Underdog / Output Recordings) returns with the eagerly awaited second instalment of his 'Metal Dance' compilation series, following widespread critical acclaim in the wake of 'Volume 1'. Drawing from Jackson’s deep collection of original industrial, post-punk, EBM and new wave, the album is an inspired mix of sounds and styles, mining classics, dub versions, oddities and secret weapons inspired by his formative clubbing years at many of London's seminal nightlife haunts.

                                      Alongside more familiar names like Visage, Chris & Cosey, Front 242 and Ministry, the compilation includes unexpected outings by 80s artists Godley & Crème (with the obscure B-side "Babies") and an early incarnation of Sheffield’s ABC, Visa Versa, with "Riot Squad". As before, Jackson also places the spotlight onsome of the less heralded bands of the time and casts the net far and wide: Germany’s Plus Instruments, Spain’s Diseno Corbusier offshoot Esplendor Geometrico, Italy’s Neon and Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Haruomi Hosono out of Japan all feature. The selection even travels as far as Lebanon for the outrageous "Tanki Tanki" by Rene Bandaly Family, a truly one-off slice of intense political Arabic proto-techno (here re-edited by fellow Lebanese artist Rabih Beaini aka Morphosis). Rarities include tracks from pre-Liaisons Dangereuses / DAF group CHBB, Craig Leon & Arthur Brown, and Trevor's own re-edit of Rusty Egan’s "Twilight Zone," all receiving their first official release on CD.

                                      'Metal Dance 2' is another essential selection of anarchic machine music which remains hugely influential on today’s generation, informing the sound of groups and labels such as The Knife, Factory Floor, Gesaffelstein, COMEME, DFA and L.I.E.S.

                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Patrick says: Mega selection of synthwave bangers, Industrial rumblers and skewed EDM cuts plucked from the archives by Trevor Jackson. If you're tuned into the likes of Bahnsteig 23, LIES and Macadam Mambo, you need to cop this disc.

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      A1. Logic System - Unit
                                      A2. Psyche - The Saint Became A Lush
                                      A3. Skinny Puppy - Dead Lines (400 Blows Remix)
                                      B1. Visage - Der Amboss (Extended Version)
                                      B2. Rusty Egan - The Twilight Zone (Trevor Jackson Edit)
                                      B3. Rene Bandaly Family - Tanki Tanki (Rabih Beaini Edit)
                                      C1. Ministry - Over The Shoulder (12" Version)
                                      C2. Mile High Club - Walking Backwards
                                      C3. CHBB - Ima Iki-Mashoo
                                      C4. Esplendor Geométrico - Necrosis En La Poya
                                      D1. Vice Versa - Riot Squad
                                      D2. Crash Course In Science - Jump Over Barrels
                                      D3. Haruomi Hosono - Platonic
                                      D4. Godley & Creme - Babies
                                      D5. Front 242 - Body 2 Body (2 Trax)

                                      Amp Fiddler & Sly & Robbie

                                      Inspiration Information

                                      Strut launch a new series, "Inspiration Information", which sees the label take a break from their usual (excellent) compilations, and come up with a series of studio-based works instead. The series brings together current artists and producers with their musical heroes for a mouth-watering one-off collaboration. With each album centred around an intensive five-day writing and recording session, the emphasis is on spontaneity, musicianship and an open A&R brief. The series kicks off with Detroit soul maverick Amp Fiddler in a head-to-head collision with reggae legends, Sly & Robbie. Arriving at Anchor Studios in Kingston, Jamaica, armed only with a handful of acoustic vocal ideas, Amp and the Riddim Twins recorded the album in just three days during June with overdubs laid down a week later in Detroit. The result is a confident, laid back set that brings a whole new twist to Amp's trademark vocal style: Sly builds innovative digital and live rhythms, Robbie underpins the tracks with solid bass foundations and original generation guests 'Sticky' Thompson (percussion) and Dalton Browne (guitar) add plenty of colour. Back in Detroit, Amp knitted together the finishing touches, adding extra keys and backing vocals. The tracks are never predictable, at times echoing Sly & Robbie's 80s days with Island Records at Compass Point studios, at others structured around more mood-based keyboard pads and new patterns re-inventing the established dancehall template.


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