Friday, August 31, 2012



Insanely wonderful work by Bacharach – in a way that we can hardly begin to describe (but we'll certainly try!) By the time this one was recorded – 1971 – Burt's reputation as a songwriter and arranger were so firmly established that he had an incredible amount of freedom in the studio. Here, working with tunes that were mostly well-worn, plus a new one or two – Burt comes up with an amazingly complex set of arrangements, opening up his tunes like little flowers, focusing on a particular instrumental tendril, and drawing it out into incredible lines of melody and color. Proof of this is the album's extended version of "Wives & Lovers", or its suite for orchestra, entitled "And The People Were With Her". All tracks are great – from Burt's intimate vocal on "Hasbrook Heights", to the jangly instrumentation of "Freefall", to the completely recast versions of hits like "One Less Bell To Answer", "April Fools", and "Mexican Divorce".


Forget everything you know about "Raindrops Are Falling On My Head", and give Burt kudos for this gem of an album! Sure, "Raindrops" shows up here a few times – instrumentally, and in 2 BJ Thomas vocal versions – and it's not a bad tune at all. But the real gems are some of the instrumentals – which have Burt almost doing a Tijuana take on his classic A&M sound – in a style that's really wonderful! Our favorite cut is the amazing "South American Getaway" – a breezy vocal scatting number that seems to take the best of the Swingle Singers and I Cantori Modern and roll them into one groovy tune that soars, dips, turns, twists, and holds our dear heart close for 5 minutes and 13 seconds! It's a real gem, and worth the price of the album alone – but you'll also get a few other nice ones, like "The Old Fun City", "The Sundance Kid", "Come Touch The Sun", and "Not Goin Home Anymore".


The maestro never fails to let us down – and even on this late 70s album, Burt Bacharach still sounds great – stepping out in a swirling mix of strings, jazz, and studio arrangements that are still far beyond the work of most of his contemporaries! There's a sophisticated, adult quality to this record that really stands out – one that's not as catchy pop as some of Burt's 60s work, and which features some even more serious lyrics on the album's vocal tunes – numbers that still have him leaning towards the soul side of the spectrum at times, thanks to lead work by Joshie Armstead on a number of the best tracks – who joins a vocal cast that also includes Peter Yarrow, Jamie Anders, and Mellisa Mackay. At times, the sound is more personal and contemplative than even on other late Bacharach records – but that's also a great change too, and opens up into that warm world of Hasbrook Heights that Burt first started showing us as he grew. Titles include "I Took My Strength From You", "The Young Grow Younger Every Day", "When You Bring Your Sweet Love To Me", "Another Spring Will Rise", "Us", "We Should Have Met Sooner", and "No One Remembers My Name".


A great batch of early work from Burt Bacharach – one of the first albums to be issued under his own name, and proof that Mr B was head and shoulders above most of the other arrangers and composers of his time! At some level, the style here is a bit more traditional than some of Burt's later work – with strings and vocal chorus used on many numbers – but the tight, focused, syncopated Bacharach groove is already very firmly on place – on a set of all original numbers, done as instrumentals with some really incredible production! Voices float next to tinkling piano, sweeping strings, and stepping rhythms that show that even when things are mellow, they can still be a bit funky – and the record easily takes 60s easy to a whole new level of maturity and sophistication. Titles include "Wives & Lovers", "Trains & Boats & Planes", "What's New Pussycat?", "The Last One To Be Loved", "Saturday Sunshine", "24 Hours From Tulsa", and "A House Is Not A Home". CD features 4 bonus tracks that include "And So Goodbye My Love", "My Little Red Book", "What's New Pussycat", and an alternate version of "Saturday Sunshine.


An incredible live recording by Burt Bacharach – and one that wasn't issued in the US! This early 70s concert is great proof that the Bacharach magic didn't come from any studio tricks – but from the genius of Burt himself – as the maestro's working here in a fantastic larger-than-life setting, one that offers slightly different takes on the magical tunes of his A&M years. The arrangements include a large instrumental group, plus strings and uncredited singers – and Burt himself delivers some wonderful vocals on a few tunes too. Titles include "Promises Promises", "The Look Of Love", "Walk On By", "Come Touch The Sun", "Bond Street", "Close To You", "A House Is Not A Home", and 2 nice medley tracks!


Quite possibly the greatest moment ever for Burt Bacharach – and that's saying a heck of a lot, considering the greatness of all of his work! The record's a slightly-overlooked gem from Burt's 70s years – a record that steps off the compressed sophistication of his best 60s work for A&M, but pushes things slightly into even more adult territory – a space that's beyond simple instrumental pop, and which features complicated rhythms, amazing songwriting, and a batch of tunes so great, you'll be coming back to this one for years to come! The record leads off with the sublime "Something Big", a building vocal number that always sends chills down our spine – then follows with the skittish rhythm of "Monterey Peninsula", almost drum and bass at times! Even the mellower tracks are great – somewhat soulful, and always touched with unusual phrasings, timings, or jazzy changes that are simply mindblowing. Other tracks include "The Balance of Nature", "Lost Horizon", "Walk The Way You Talk", "Reflections", "Long Ago Tomorrow", and "I Might Frighten Her Away".


Fantastic work by maestro Burt Bacharach – subtle genius, and an album that offers more to us every time we listen to it! Burt's work has been recorded by many – but few ever gave it the kind of treatment that he did – as you'll hear in this brilliant array of sweeping strings, sly syncopation, and well-placed instrumental solos! The sound is breathtaking throughout – a new level of maturity and majesty for 60s instrumental pop – and the record's an enduring classic that deserves a place in every sensitive record collection. Includes the amazing cut "Pacific Coast Highway", plus great versions of other classics, like "Wanting Things", "She's Gone Away", "Knowing When To Leave", and "This Guy's In Love With You".


An obscure and wonderful chapter in the career of Burt Bacharach – material penned for a 1967 TV musical starring Rick Nelson and Joanie Sommers – all of it perfect 60s Bacharach pop all the way through! The plot of the musical is a bit silly, but the performance isn't – tightly-crafted vocal numbers that often mix Burt's older Brill Building style with a bit more of a Sunshine Pop kind of approach. Although penned by Bacharach, the music is actually conducted by Peter Matz – who does a great job of retaining the maestro's sense of space and timing, but also unlocks some bolder flourishes in the tunes, and manages to get some really amazing vocal performances out of both Sommers and Nelson! There's a sophistication here that goes beyond the roots of both singers – and the record's filld with lesser-known tracks that still sparkle with plenty of Bacharach brilliance – including "It Doesn't Matter Anymore", "They're Gonna Love It", "Juanita's Place Montage", "Try To See It My Way", "They Don't Give Medals", "Fender Mender", and "Juanita's Place".


Fantastic! We love Burt Bacharach in so many ways that it's easy to forget the genius of these early A&M sides – but going back to them is always a treat, and it's wonderful to hear the way that Burt lays down his own work when given the chance! You know the tracks – "House Is Not A Home", "Bond Street", "Reach Out For Me", "Are You There", "Windows Of The World" – but you may not know the arrangements, which are superb – quite different than the more famous vocal versions you've probably heard ad infinitum, and recorded at a level that brings a whole new magic and majesty to 60s pop! An essential record for any fan of all things groovy – and an album of new pleasures each time we hear it!


An ambitious album by Burt Bacharach – recorded with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, but done in one 4 hour session – so that there's a sense of liveness and spontaneity that's quite fresh, and which escapes some of the 70s studio overindulgence of the time! Most tracks are instrumental, and although orchestral, they're done with a good sense of rhythm – and a wonderful feel that really hearkens back to the Bacharach charm of the late 60s A&M years, while also offering a few soundtracky twists. Titles include "Magdalena", "Riverboat", "Summer Of 77", "New York Lady", "There Is Time", "The Dancing Fool", and "Woman".

~ Dusty Groove



Pianist Sophia Domanchic gets some wonderfully freewheeling company here – the bass of Mark Helias and drums of Andrew Cyrille – both perfect accompaniment for her long, lively lines on piano! The tunes are all quite long – most stretch past the 10 minute mark – and have a very open, expressive feel – a way of being quite bold on the keyboard, yet still managing to swing, too – the kind of groove that could only come with such accomplished rhythm players like these. The set's got a sparkle and charm that's undeniable – and both Helias and Cyrille get in some beautiful solo moments that are quite inventive. Titles include "Vestiges", "How To", "Dr Licks", "En El Barrio De Triana", and "Aubade". ~ Dusty Groove


A double-drone spectacular – the guitars of Richard Bonnet and saxes of Tony Malaby – both wrapped together in extended sonic explorations! The tones of the two instruments intertwine nicely – with lots of long, low notes that are often pretty darn noisy – Malaby on tenor and soprano sax, Bonnet on a 7 string electric that sounds nice and gritty! Titles include "Vibrations", "Synapse", "Gaba", "Kainate", "Verticale De L'Instant", "Trains D'Ondes", and "Intelligence Divergente". ~ Dusty Groove


One of the most compelling albums we've heard from Luaka Bop in awhile – a set of tracks that draws from Sierra Leone roots and 70s African psych – all recorded with an intensity and urgency that really drives the album along, right from the get-go! Rhythms are fast, but never out of control – and certainly not in the too-bombastic mode that you'd hear from more hip hop-styled African work of late. Instead, they've got this bubbling, quick-stepping quality that's really wonderful – fast paced amidst the more echoey, fuzzy-edged sounds on the keyboards and guitars – all held together beautifully by the vocals fo Amed Janka Nabay! Titles include "Somebody", "Rotin", "En Ya Sah", "Kill Me With Bongo", "Feba", "Ro Lungi", and "Eh Mane Ah". ~ Dusty Groove

Thursday, August 30, 2012



A 2012 release, the eighth solo project from Rippingtons saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa. Featuring a who's who of special guests, including pianist David Benoit, Rippingtons guitarist Russ Freeman, Spyro Gyra keyboardist Tom Schuman, and guitarist Chuck Loeb, Let It Ride is being released in between a hectic tour schedule as featured soloist for the Rippingtons and the Sax Pack, a sax trio supergroup he fronts with saxophonists Steve Cole and Marcus Anderson. His last few albums have all debuted Top 10 on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz chart, and this album should be no different. ~


Nils new album, City Groove captivates the exciting vibrant sound of the best of today's jazz grooves. The album includes 12 original compositions featuring some of today's hottest musicians accompanying Nils on lead guitar. The players include Ricky Lawson and Simon Phillips on drums; Alex Al, Reggie McBride and Daryl Jones on bass; Clydene Jackson and Mitch Forman on keyboards and Oliver Brown percussion. Nils is also joined by chart topping artist Jeff Golub on a great instrumental duet. Tracks include: City Groove, Casablanca, Sunset Blvd., Let's Bounce, Funk In Da House and 7 more.


Adorned with contributions from roughly two dozen friends and guests, Joy Ride serves as a smooth-jazz group hug, and at its center is pianist Bob James, exuding warmth and ample feel-good energy throughout this disc's 12 selections. Concluding his fourth decade as a recording artist, the ageless pianist surrounds himself with a new guest list on almost every track, and the diversified results are flavorful, predictable, and eminently satisfying for fans of the genre. James's rotating ensemble at times included guitarist Chuck Loeb (who also produced and helped write two cuts), Boney James (who glows on the album's lone sax-dominated tune, "Raise the Roof,"), Chris Botti, Lee Ritenour, Norman Brown, Jonathan Butler and, well, on it goes. Name a musical flavor--urban, pop, funk, R&B, even faint traces of world music--and James stirs it into his stew for all seasons. ~ Terry Wood /



Pure brilliance from the lovely Joyce – an album that sparkles wonderfully throughout – in just the way we love from her older classics! The passage of years hasn't dimmed her beauty at all – and both Joyce's vocals and acoustic guitar work are sublime – lively, but in a really subtle way – with plenty of jazz inflections, and a mix of bossa roots that goes way beyond just about any other artist who tries to work in territory like this! Even after decades of recording, Joyce has this really unique, really sublime approach to her music that makes her records unlike anyone else's – as you'll hear on tracks that include "Puro Ouro", "Estado De Graca", "Aquelas Cancoes Em Mim", "Claude Et Maurice", "Quero Ouvir Joao", and "Tudo". ~ Dusty Groove


A great idea for a compilation – a really cool set that focuses on the best days when jazz and rock were really combined together – that stretch in the late 60s and early 70s when horns were equally blended with guitars, in a groove that was plenty powerful overall! Some of the numbers here are familiar giants of the genres, and others are a bit surprising – and together, the music really does a great job tracing this evolving trend through its growth in the 70s! Titles include "Killing Floor" by Electric Flag, "Get It On" by Chase, "What Is Hip" by Tower Of Power, "Hold On" by Memphis Horns, "Mercy Mercy Mercy" by The Buckinghams, "Gonna Fly Now" by Maynard Ferguson, "Some Skunk Funk" by Brecker Brothers, "Vehicle" by Ides Of March, "In The Stone" by Earth Wind & Fire, "Non Pacem" by Azteca, "Goldmine" by Sons Of Champlin, and "New York" by Dreams. (Blu Spec CD.) ~ Dusty Groove


Fusiony soul from the early 80s on Columbia – and one of the more vocal-oriented albums cut by keyboardist Rodney Franklin! The vocals are sung by Jim Gilstrap, Howard Smith, and Darryl Phinnessee – but at the heart of all the tracks are Rodney's nice soulful keyboards – which have the same smooth feel as Bobby Lyle's from the same time. The record was produced by Stanley Clarke – and itincludes "Enuff Is Enuff" – the theme from the early 80s blacksploitation flick One Down,Two To Go – plus "Sonshine", "Learning To Love", "Don't Wanna Let You Go", "Sailing", "That's The Way I Feel 'Bout Your Love". ~ Dusty Groove

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Complex and deeply-rooted emotional and sentimental forces are at the heart of one of our greatest living American popular songwriters, forces which course through the 91 tracks on Bill Withers - The Complete Sussez And Columbia Masters. The box set, contain­ing all nine albums that Withers recorded from 1971 to 1985, will be available at the website – – as well as all general retail on October 30th through Columbia/Legacy. As with many of the more than two dozen box sets released so far in Legacy's Complete Album Collections series, Bill Withers - The Complete Sussex And Columbia Masters benefits from the artist's entire catalog, on two separate record labels, being under the Sony Music banner:

Just As I Am (Sussex, 1971), with the Grammy Award®-winning, Grammy® Hall Of Fame song "Ain't No Sunshine," and "Grandma's Hands";

Still Bill (Sussex, 1972), with the Grammy® Hall Of Famer "Lean On Me," plus "Use Me" and "Kissing My Love";

Bill Withers Live At Carnegie Hall (Sussex, 1973), double-LP in single-CD configuration, with singles "Let Us Love" and "Friend Of Mine";

+'Justments (Sussex, 1974), final Sussex album, with singles "The Same Love That Made Me Laugh," "You" and "Heartbreak Road";

Making Music (Columbia, 1975), his first Columbia LP, with "Make Love To Your Mind" and "I Wish You Well";

Naked & Warm (Columbia, 1976), with "If I Didn't Mean You Well" and "Close To Me";

Menagerie (Columbia, 1977), with "Lovely Day" and "Lovely Night For Dancing";

'Bout Love (Columbia, 1979), with "Don't It Make It Better" and "You Got The Stuff";

Wathing You Watching Me (Columbia, 1979), with "Oh Yeah!" and "Something That Turns You On."

Bill Withers - The Complete Sussex And Columbia Masters was compiled by Leo Sacks, the longtime Legacy producer who also supervised Take A Look: Aretha Franklin Complete On Columbia and Earth Wind & Fire: The Columbia Masters (both 2011). All music has been newly mastered from the original analog tapes by Sony Senior Mastering Engineer Mark Wilder, recipient of seven Grammy Award® nominations and three Grammy Awards® in his nearly 25 years at Sony.

Inside the box set, the nine albums are each packaged in a replica mini-LP sleeve reproducing that LP's original front and back cover artwork. The accompanying booklet includes complete discographical information for each album, along with a personal introduction to the box set written by Bill Withers. In the case of Bill's debut album, 1971's Just As I Am, an essay is included that he wrote for a 2005 CD reissue on Legacy. Complete notes are also included that were originally written for various LPs at the time of their release, notably Live At Carnegie Hall, +'Justments, Making Music, and Naked & Warm.

The new 1,500-word essay, "Hello Like Before," that is the centerpiece of the booklet, was written by Michael Eric Dyson, a professor of sociology at Georgetown University and a Political Analyst on MSNBC. Named by Ebony magazine as one of the 100 most influential black Americans, Dyson received the American Book Award for Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and The Color of Disaster. He is also the author of Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur (2001); I May Not Get There with You: The True Martin Luther King (2000, winner of an NAACP Image Award), and the best-selling Mercy, Mercy Me: The Art, Loves and Demons of Marvin Gaye (2004).

Three-time Grammy Award®-winner Bill Withers established his reputation at the very onset of his career in 1971 and '72, when his string of consecutive hits on the indie Sussex Records label dominated the Pop and R&B charts and became American standards. "Ain't No Sunshine," "Grandma's Hands," "Lean On Me," and "Use Me" are inscribed in our collective musical psyche, and have turned into cultural touchstones in the four decades since they were produced.

Numerous examples exist of Bill Withers' continuing influence on culture. Lean On Me, director John Avildsen's critically hailed 1989 film, utilized three different versions of the song (as recorded by Thelma Houston with the Winans, by Club Nouveau, and by a member of the cast) to connect the spirit of the song with the film's story. Another example is Al Jarreau, who has always paid homage onstage to Bill Withers, and who recorded a tribute album of eight of his songs, issued under several titles in the U.S. and abroad. And then there is "Just the Two Of Us," a top 20 pop and R&B hit for Will Smith in 1998, from his debut Columbia album, Big Willie Style. The track later showed up on 1999's Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me movie soundtrack, as a hilarious duet with Dr. Evil.

Covers and tricked-out samples of Bill Withers' litany of signature compositions spice up the pop and hip-hop landscape with regularity. Over the last two decades, such gems as "Who Is He (And What Is He To You)?," "Lovely Day" and "Kissing My Love" have made their way back into many repertoires.

The unlikeliest star to emerge from Slab Fork in the dirt-poor Appalachia coal mining hills of West Virginia, where he was born on the 4th of July in 1938, Bill Withers struggled throughout his youth. "I was small," he confessed to one writer, "I stuttered, I wet the bed, I was sickly and unpopular. Later in life I started writing poetry and songs as a way to legitimize myself." After nine years in the Navy followed by a variety of blue collar jobs he settled in Los Angeles around 1967, where he found work at the aerospace facilities of McDonald-Douglas and Lockheed. A co-worker, keyboardist Ray Jackson, helped Bill put together his first demos which they worked on in drummer James Gadson's garage; Jackson and Gadson later became the nucleus of the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, along with bassist Melvin Dunlap.

The demos won Bill a deal with Sussex Records, run by black businessman Clarence Avant. Bill's debut album, Just As I Am, was produced by Booker T. Jones of Booker T & the MG's, and featured MG's drummer Al Jackson. Guitarist Steve Cropper of the MG's was unavailable, so Booker recruited 26-year-old Stephen Stills for the sessions. The LP was in the right place at the right time in the summer of 1971, when the RIAA gold Top 10 "Ain't No Sunshine" established Bill Withers. The followup single, "Grandma's Hands," worked its way into people's hearts via the 1973 cover by the Staples Singers. "Ain't No Sunshine" went on to win the Grammy Award® as Best R&B Song (a songwriter's award).

Booker T was unavailable to produce the next LP, so Bill took over, aided by Jackson, Gadson, Dunlap and guitarist Benorce Blackman. The title, Still Bill, pointed to his humble sense of staying unspoiled in an age of excess. The massive back-to-back success of "Lean On Me" and "Use Me," both gold singles, sent the LP to RIAA gold as well. (One track, "Let Me In Your Life," became the title tune of Aretha Franklin's Let Me In Your Life LP of 1974.)

Live At Carnegie Hall, was an unprecedented double-LP that confirmed the arrival of a major artist. It did not fare as well on the charts as his first two LPs, nor did its followup, +'Justments (a not-so-subtle commentary on his financial mess with Sussex), but by that time, 1975, Bill was already on his way to Columbia Records. The new label association took some time (and two LPs, Making Music, whose "Make Love To Your Mind" was a #10 Soul hit, and Naked & Warm) to break in, but the third was the charm. "Lovely Day" became Bill's biggest R&B (#6) and pop (#30) crossover hit in five years, as Menagerie returned him to the RIAA gold realm.

He ended the decade of the '70s with 'Bout Love. A long hiatus was ended in 1981 with "Just the Two Of Us," his timeless smash hit with saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr. (on Elektra). "Just The Two Of Us" (#2 pop and #3 R&B) went on to win the Grammy Award® as Best R&B Song for Bill and co-writers William Salter and Ralph McDonald. In 1984, Bill teamed with percussionist McDonald for another hit single, "In the Name Of Love" (Polydor), which reached #13 R&B. Bill finally returned with one last Columbia album in 1985, Watching You Watching Me, which yielded two modest mid-chart R&B singles ("Oh Yeah!" and "Something That Turns You On").

After recording 91 tracks on his nine albums, Bill Withers stepped away from active recording and turned his attention to one of his other passions, home repair. But his admirers on both sides of the Atlantic have kept his music publishing concerns very busy, starting in 1987, when Club Nouveau adapted "Lean On Me" for a new generation. The track reached #1 pop, #2 R&B, and #3 in the UK, and won Bill his third Grammy Award® as Best R&B Song. The following year, British DJ Ben Leibrand's Sunshine Mix of "Lovely Day" returned the song to the UK national chart.

A sample of "Grandma's Hands" was heard on 1996's "No Diggity" by BLACKstreet featuring Dr. Dre. The massive RIAA platinum #1 pop and #1 R&B hit (4 weeks each) went on to win the Grammy Award® as Best R&B Vocal Performance, Duo/Group. Also in '96, Me'Shell Ndegéocello revived "Who Is He (And What Is He To You)?" on her Peace Beyond Passion album. Bill's original version of the song showed up the next year on Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown movie soundtrack.

Aaron Neville brought "Use Me" back onto the charts in 1995 (on his Tattooed Heart album) and five years later, Hootie & the Blowfish closed out their Scattered, Smothered & Covered album with the tune. A Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, and recipient of ASCAP's 2006 Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award, Bill Withers has two songs in the Grammy® Hall Of Fame: "Ain't No Sunshine" (inducted 1999) and "Lean On Me" (2007). There are hundreds of Bill Withers covers to be found on Internet sources, and hip-hop sampling never ends.

"The magnitude of Bill Withers' own value can't be denied," Dyson concludes. "His stories have shaped a generation's understanding of itself. His poetry has touched the lives of millions around the globe whose tongues can barely express what their hearts so deeply feel."


JUST AS I AM by BILL WITHERS (originally issued 1971, as Sussex 7006) Selections: 1. Harlem • 2. Ain't No Sunshine (1st single, Hot 100 #3, R&B #6) • 3. Grandma's Hands (2nd single, Hot 100 #42, R&B #18) • 4. Sweet Wanomi • 5. Every­body's Talkin' • 6. Do It Good • 7. Hope She'll Be Happier • 8. Let It Be • 9. I'm Her Daddy • 10. In My Heart • 11. Moanin' And Groanin' • 12. Better Off Dead.

STILL BILL by BILL WITHERS (originally issued 1972, as Sussex 7014) Selections: 1. Lonely Town, Lonely Street • 2. Let Me In Your Life • 3. Who Is He (And What Is He To You)? • 4. Use Me (2nd single, Hot 100 #2, R&B #2) • 5. Lean On Me (1st, single, Hot 100 #1, R&B #1) • 6. Kissing My Love (3rd single, #12 R&B, #31 Pop) • 7. I Don't Know • 8. Another Day To Run • 9. I Don't Want You On My Mind • 10. Take It All In And Check It All Out.

BILL WITHERS LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL (originally issued 1973, as double-LP Sussex 7025) Selections: 1. Use Me • 2. Friend Of Mine (2nd single, Hot 100 #80, R&B #25) • 3. Ain't No Sunshine • 4. Grandma's Hands – With Rap • 5. World Keeps Going Around • 6. Let Me In Your Life – With Rap • 7. Better Off Dead • 8. For My Friend • 9. Can't Write Left-Handed • 10. Lean On Me • 11. Lonely Town, Lonely Street • 12. Hope She'll Be Happier • 13. Let Us Love (1st single, Hot 100 #47, R&B #17) • 14. Medley: Harlem / Cold Baloney.

+'JUSTMENTS by BILL WITHERS (originally issued 1974, as Sussex 8032) Selections: 1. You (2nd single, R&B #15) • 2. The Same Love That Made Me Laugh (1st single, Hot 100 #50, R&B #10) • 3. Stories • 4. Green Grass • 5. Ruby Lee • 6. Heartbreak Road (3rd single, Hot 100 #89, R&B #13) • 7. Can We Pretend • 8. Liza • 9. Make A Smile For Me • 10. Railroad Man.

MAKING MUSIC by BILL WITHERS (originally issued 1975, as Columbia 33704) Selections: 1. I Wish You Well (2nd single, R&B #54) • 2. The Best You Can • 3. Make Love To Your Mind (1st single, Hot 100 #76, R&B #10) • 4. I Love You Dawn • 5. She's Lonely • 6. Sometimes A Song • 7. Paint Your Little Picture • 8. Family Table • 9. Don't You Want To Stay? • 10. Hello Like Before.

NAKED & WARM by BILL WITHERS (originally issued 1976, as Columbia 33704) Selections: 1. Close To Me (2nd single, R&B #88) • 2. Naked & Warm (Heaven! Oh! Heaven!) • 3. Where You Are • 4. Dreams • 5. If I Didn't Mean You Well (1st single, R&B #74) • 6. I'll Be With You • 7. City Of The Angels • 8. My Imagination.

MENAGERIE by BILL WITHERS (originally issued 1977, as Columbia 34903) Selections: 1. Lovely Day (1st single, Hot 100 #30, R&B #6) • 2. I Want To Spend the Night • 3. Lovely Night For Dancing (2nd single, R&B #75) • 4. Then You Smile At Me • 5. She Wants To (Get On Down) • 6. It Ain't Because Of Me Baby • 7. Tender Things • 8. Wintertime • 9. Let Me Be the One You Need.

'BOUT LOVE by BILL WITHERS (originally issued 1979, as Columbia 35596) Selections: 1. All Because Of You • 2. Dedicated To You My Love • 3. Don't It Make It Better (1st single, R&B #30) • 4. You Got The Stuff (2nd single, R&B #85) • 5. Look To Each Other For Love • 6. Love • 7. Love Is • 8. Memories Are That Way.

WATCHING YOU WATCHING ME by BILL WITHERS (originally issued 1985, as Columbia 39887) Selections: 1. Oh Yeah! (1st single, Hot 100 #106, R&B #22) • 2. Something That Turns You On (2nd single, R&B #46) • 3. Don't Make Me Wait • 4. Heart In Your Life • 5. Watching You Watching Me • 6. We Could Be Sweet Lovers • 7. You Just Can't Smile It Away • 8. Steppin' Right Along • 9. Whatever Happens • 10. You Try To Find A Love.

~ Legacy Recordings


Festival attendees will see a lineup of world-renowned musicians playing throughout the weekend, including headliners Wayne Shorter, Pat Metheny, Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea and Gary Burton. Performances kick off at 7 p.m. on Aug. 31 with Artist in Residence Terence Blanchard taking the stage, followed by the legendary Sonny Rollins.

"We have an amazing collection of musicians performing this year and there will be a lot of energy downtown over the weekend. We want to bring some of the greatest jazz music out there to the festival, and I think we've accomplished that," said Gretchen Valade, chair of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation board of directors. "This year really is the culmination of our mission to bring world-class jazz to the heart of Detroit and keep it free for the public."

Three stages will be set up in Hart Plaza, and one in Campus Martius, showcasing a variety of artists to watch at any given time. Performances start as early as noon and end at approximately 10:45 p.m. Aug. 31 through Sept. 3. But the beat doesn't stop when the stages close for the night; Friday through Sunday jam sessions will begin at 10:30 p.m. in the Volt Bar & Lounge in the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, the Festival's official hotel.

In addition to headliners, this year's Festival represents a homecoming for some accomplished names in jazz including former Detroiters Charlie Gabriel of the legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band, saxophonist Charles McPherson who started his career with Charles Mingus and trombonist Curtis Fuller known for his work with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Also, current local musicians will be prominently featured, including bassists Rodney Whitaker and Marion Hayden, and world-renown trumpeter Marcus Belgrave.

In addition to its annual music festival, the Detroit Jazz Festival works to educate students on the music industry year round by creating concerts, jazz workshops and more designed to help foster the legacy of jazz in Detroit. For example, the Festival continued its partnership with Wayne State University for the J.C. Heard Jazz Week at Wayne program at the end of July. Students that excelled during the week-long program will be among the youth musicians performing over the weekend. In addition, the Festival hosts various free concerts throughout the year as part of the Detroit Jazz Festival Community Series supported by PNC Foundation.

"With Detroit's roots in jazz, we're really investing in our community by helping young, talented musicians open their eyes to the jazz culture," said Chris Collins, artist director for the Detroit Jazz Festival. "We have some outstanding youth joining us in concert this year - not only in the J.C. Heard All-Star Youth Ensemble. The high school bands that will be attending are also phenomenal."

This year, in addition to seeking out top industry performers and enthusiastic young musicians, the Festival launched annual competitions aimed at finding undiscovered artists. Submissions from all over the country were sent in for the national saxophone and arranging competitions. The sax competition resulted in a first place tie after judging by a panel of musicians that included saxophonist Terence Blanchard and Festival artistic director, Chris Collins. Winners Danny Janklow from Los Angeles and Geoff Vidal from Brooklyn, N.Y., received cash prizes and will perform at the Festival. The winner of the arranging competition will be chosen this Wednesday and announced at the Festival.

The Detroit Jazz Festival is the world's largest free jazz festival and for 33 years people from all over the world have been venturing to Detroit to see some of the industry's top musicians perform. The Festival enriches the city center by annually bringing in tens of millions of dollars, boosting the local economy. With the help of the DTE Energy Foundation, the Festival is also making a positive impact by continuing its efforts to promote a green atmosphere through recycling, reducing paper waste and more to minimize its carbon footprint.

This year's Festival has been enhanced due to our new presenting sponsor, the Chrysler brand. In addition to sponsoring, the Chrysler brand will be holding a ride-and-drive throughout the festival to provide attendees the opportunity to test drive the 2012 product lineup. Hosting ride-and-drives and competitions, educating the public and the helping to provide the resources needed to put on a festival of this magnitude would not be possible without the Festival's many sponsors, including the Chrysler brand, JPMorgan Chase, Carhartt, Mack Avenue Records and DTE Energy Foundation.

For more information, the full list of performers and performance times, visit



Field recordings of Western Sahelian guitar music – recorded by Christopher Kirkley from 2009-2011 – and an evocative aural trip to the region, courtesy Sahel Sounds and Mississippi! Like the other great Sahel Sounds release, it's beautifully done – and impeccably well recorded – the sound is excellent! There's a number of different styles here captured in a number of different areas in the region – including Mauritania, Senegal and Mali. There's some great songs here that feature just guitars and voices, and others that are done by larger groups. Includes "Laila, Je T'Aime" by Le Marchand Du Soleil, "Kaounare" by Alkibar Gignor, "Vielle Terre" and "Penda" by Le Dental Orchestra, "Sudan" by Amanar, "Yooro" by Hamadth Kah, "Bambara" by Soueyman Niafounke, "Ce Weeti" by Hamadth Kah and more. (Includes color insert booklet.) ~ Dusty Groove


Truly, truly one of the most essential reggae albums of all time, and without a doubt one of our top dub albums. While we may be known for our hyperbolic comments on LPs here at Dusty, this album is very much deserving of the praise, and if you don't own it, you need to. Basically a collection of dubs of rhythms for some of Pablo's most popular productions as vocal cuts on 45s that had rocked the sound systems, this set features a mighty rockers rhythm team and mixing courtesy Errol Thompson and King Tubby. Includes "Keep On Dubbing", "Stop Them Jah", "Young Generation Dub", "Each One Dub", "555 Dub Street", "Braces Tower Dub", "King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown", "Corner Crew Dub", "Say So", "Skanking Dub" "Satta Dub" and "Frozen Dub". This Get On Down vinyl version is a box set of 3 X 10-inches with a 16-page booklet of notes and photos. (Limited edition.) ~ Dusty Groove .


Is that barock or baroque? Whatever the case, the album's a pretty darn groovy affair – twin flutes from Sadao Watanabe and Akira Miyazawa – two of Japan's best reedmen at the end of the 60s – working here with some sweet arrangements that mix classical roots with mod instrumental modes! The approach is a bit like some of the best groovy European sessions of this type – and the production and instrumentation also carry occasional soundtrack echoes too – especially in the album's use of bossa rhythms, vibes, and wordless vocals at points – which make the whole thing feel like some lost Italian or French session from the time. Titles include "Orchestral Suite No 2", "Flute Sonata No 1", "Musical Offering", "Toccata & Fugue In D Minor", and "Invention In 6 Parts No 9". ~ Dusty Groove



A suite of tracks inspired by the poetry of Rimbaud – but carried off with sounds that are light years from his words on paper! The music is some of John Zorn's most hard-hitting in recent years – very different than the lyrical, poetic style you might expect – and done in with a fair bit of noise and electronics at times, mixed alongside acoustic instrumentation with offbeat phrasing and tuning. Titles include "Bateau Ivre", played by the Talea Ensemble with flute, clarinet, vibes, and strings; "A Season In Hell", which features both Zorn and Ikue Mori on electronics; "Illuminations", a loose free jazz piece from the trio of Stephen Gosling on piano, Trevor Dunn on bass, and Kenny Wollesen on drums; and "Conneries", which has insane vocalizations from Mathiew Almaric, plus alto, piano, organ, and guitar from Zorn! ~ Dusty Groove


A beautiful set from a tenorist we hardly know at all – but who's playing here in some great company – including Sam Yahel on Hammond, David Weiss on trumpet, and Adam Rogers on guitar! Most tunes are originals, and they're really well written – able to capture a good deal of feeling in a few short lines – letting the players come together with a rich sense of expression at the start, then take off freely with their own spiritual interpretations of the themes. A few moments are nicely exploratory, but the album's definitely got an inherent sense of swing – and tunes include "Alibis & Lullabies", "Serene Pilgrimage", "Loaf", "Luiza", "Cloud Nine", and "Ystava Sa Lapsien". ~ Dusty Groove


Neo-classic boogie funk genius Dam-Funk returns with a stellar 12-inch EP on Stones Throw – channeling his inner Prince a bit on the title track – and straight up covering Prince for the following track! "I Don't Wanna Be A Star!" is as infectious as anything we've heard from Dam-Funk to date – and it's here as a 12" Mix, that's presumably a bit different that the version on the forthcoming Invite The Light LP. "17 Days" is a cover of the Prince tune – and it's a faithful one, but it hones in the rubbery bass funk at the core. The solid instro funk jam "Fadin'" and the equally strong electro-styled "New Knock" fill out the flip. ~ Dusty Groove



A loving look at the Adventure Music label – served up in a 3-CD set that offers a heck of a lot of great music for a very low price, all hand-picked by the lovely Monday Michiru! Adventure's been one of the best sources for Brazilian music and acoustic sounds for the past decade – a label with a really strong dedication to a few sorts of styles – like some of the best mixes of jazz, bossa, and choro modes recorded in Brazil – or the wonderful post-folk acoustic underground that's risen up in the US. The package really spans the full scope of the label's music – and offers up a whopping 44 tracks in all – all to introduce you to their efforts. Our hat's off to Monday for the track selection – and the package features work by Hamilton De Holanda, Ricardo Silveira, Daniel Santiago, Muiza Adnet, Mike Marshall, Jovino Santos Neto, Moacir Santos, Antonio Arnedo, Maria Marquez, Clarice Assad, Tom Lellis, Eva Scow, Gui Mallon, Toninho Horta, Florencia Ruiz, Alex Hargreaves, Philippe Baden Powell, and others! ~ Dusty Groove


Lots of sharp changes here – deft tenor work from Tom Tallitsch, really cooking strongly alongside the Hammond of Jared Gold! Gold's fast becoming one of our favorite contemporary players on his instrument – and for this sweet little set, he brings out a lot of Larry Young-like lines – arcing and curving with an angular feel that's really great – and setting fire to Tom's tenor nicely, as it runs alongside the organ with a Joe Henderson sort of vibe. Guitar is from Dave Allen, drums from Mark Ferber, and titles include "Tenderfoot", "Coming Around", "Double Shot", "Flat Stanley", "Travel Companion", and "Dunes". ~ Dusty Groove


One of the rarest non-Saturn LPs by Sun Ra – an obscure set recorded for the Philly Jazz label, the imprint who also released Ra's classic Lanquidity album! This set has the group returning to a more traditional Arkestra groove – recording in Chicago with a mix of acoustic instruments and electric keyboards that reminds us of some of the band's best work for Saturn – very odd and offbeat at times, quite free at others – but always brought back beautifully with a sense that all is unified under the cosmos! Ra really stretches out on organ and synthesizer – and also plays a bit of piano as well – and titles include "Mayan Temples", "Inside The Blues", "Over The Rainbow", and "Intrinsic Energies". ~ Dusty Groove

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


The famed DJ of the ”chilled Ibiza sound” returns with a new compilation Blue Note Beach Classics Presented By Jose Padilla out now on the world famous jazz label Blue Note. Jose Padilla says “I do not consider myself a jazz expert; I’m just a Jazz lover. I believe that Jazz is a way of living, and I haven’t reached that point yet. What I like about Jazz is its diversity.”

“Every time I saw Blue Note compilations, I wished I could take part in such a project. Now thankfully I am able to show my respect and gratitude to this great label with my personal Blue Note compilation. Jazz is a part of my musical roots; it is a part of my journey and is still a part of my sets, both private & public.” José Padilla has gone from a poor barrio in Northern Spain, to a jet-set DJ lifestyle; performing in London, Paris, Monte-Carlo, Amsterdam, Miami, Italy, Moscow, Australia… and serving as a musical ambassador for the island of Ibiza.

Blue Note Beach Classics Presented By Jose Padilla is Jose’s 18th album release and is a stunning representation of modern ambient, jazz and breaks. This new compilation album featues tracks from French jazz pianist Michel Petrucciani to Oscar-and Grammy-winner Herbie Hancock.

Blue Note Beach Classics Presented By Jose Padilla tracklist:
1. Michel Petrucciani-Brazilian Suite [6:19]
2. Andrew Hill-Poinsettia [6:18]
3. Stacey Kent-Samba Saravah [3:43]
4. Chico Hamilton-The Morning Side Of Love [5:8]
5. Lee Morgan-Ceora [6:19]
6. Herbie Hancock-Dolphin Dance [9:15]
7. Chet Baker-I ve Never Been In Love Before (Vocal) [4:24]
8. Stan Getz-Autumn Leaves (Instrumental Version) [2:58]
9. Grant Green-Hurt So Bad [6:47]
10. Bobbi Humphrey-Blacks And Blues [4:37]
11. Quasimodo-Waltz ga Kikoet [5:30]
12. Cannonball Adderley-Hummin [4:16]
13. Miles Davis-Dear Old Stockholm [4:8]
14. Ike Quebec-Blue Samba [5:15]
15. Big John Patton-The Shadow Of Your Smile (Instrumental) [6:52]
16. Donald Byrd-(Fallin Like) Dominoes [7:33]
17. Chet Baker-Moonlight Becomes You (Alternate Take) [2:51]
18. Nancy Wilson-How Insensitive (Insensatez) [3:3]
19. Jackie McLean-Dont Blame Me [4:21]
20. Horace Parlan-On The Spur Of The Moment [5:46]
21  Donald Byrd-Books Bossa [6:48]
22. Dexter Gordon-Le Coiffeur [6:57]


In the ten years since his move to New York City from Chicago, tenor, saxophonist, composer, and arranger Russ Nolan has made great strides in advancing his musical career. He immersed himself in the scene, playing and collaborating with a wide range of musicians. He made his first recordings as a leader-the quartet date Two Colors (2004) and the much-praised With You in Mind (2008), on which he was backed by the Kenny Werner Trio. And, less typically, he hit the dance floor, becoming an active and accomplished salsa dancer.

It was Nolan's experiences as a dancer over the last five years that led to the conception and execution of his forthcoming CD Tell Me, which his Rhinoceruss Music label will release on September 28. "On the dance floor, you key off of a rhythm," he says. "Getting it into my body helped my sense of time. I became a lot freer with rhythm."

Latin rhythms assert themselves in unexpected places and in unexpected ways on the new album, produced by and featuring violin sensation Zach Brock. "Russ and I began our musical relationship over ten years ago in Chicago," says Brock. "I feel privileged to have worked on both the production and performance aspects of this recording. The band is top-notch, the music is both challenging and accessible, and the bandleader is a truly inspiring soloist, writer, and arranger."

Nolan is a powerful tenor player who strikes a soulful balance between a classic, hard-edged sound and the airier tones and textures popularized by Michael Brecker. As an arranger he applies his distinctive touch to an array of material including Joe Zawinul's "A Remark You Made," John Lennon's "Nowhere Man," and, most strikingly, Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments." "The singer I wrote it for didn't like 6/8, so I kept it for myself," Nolan says of the dynamic chart.

For the new disc, Nolan put together a strong quartet comprised of Art Hirahara, the San Francisco native whose second album, Noble Path, was released last year on Posi-Tone; bassist Michael O'Brien, who plays with Brazilian guitarist Sandro Albert; and drummer Brian Fishler. (Producer/violinist Zach Brock appears on three tracks.) "We're a band," Nolan says. "We've spent a lot of time together. These guys may not be well known yet, but they can really play."

Russ Nolan, 44, was born and raised in Gurnee, Illinois (halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee), where he was a star basketball and baseball player and also played in the school marching and jazz bands. After a few semesters at Northern Illinois University, Nolan ended up in the vaunted jazz program at North Texas State (now known as the University of North Texas). He became friends there with fellow saxophonist Jeff Coffin, with whom he played in a three-tenor band also featuring Larry Panella.

Back in Chicago, however, he played very little music from 1994 until the end of the decade. Then he was contracted to play in the orchestra that backed singer Kurt Elling at Mayor Richard M. Daley's big millennium bash. That was where he first met Brock, with whom he subsequently played in a quintet of musicians associated with the Bloom School of Jazz.

Yet the Windy City was never the right fit for Nolan. The more he studied and played with visiting New Yorkers including Chris Potter, Kenny Werner, and Dave Liebman -- and the more they encouraged him to move to the Big Apple -- the more he knew he had to go East if he was going to make anything of his career. He made the move six months after 9/11, settling in Sunnyside, Queens. It wasn't easy getting gigs, but being in the jazz capital of the world rejuvenated him. (He also met his wife, Luz, while pursuing his salsa dance muse.)

"Playing here is everything I could have hoped for," he says. "There's such a strong sense of community that phrases like 'Hey, let's try this' and 'I think this would work better here' help create the dynamic and progressive music this city is known for."




Robert Glasper’s breakout year heads into a busy autumn with the keyboardist announcing the October 9 release of Black Radio Recovered: The Remix EP. The 6-track EP, which was produced by Glasper, features remixed and previously unreleased tracks from his acclaimed album Black Radio. The remixers include Glasper himself, as well as ?uestlove, 9th Wonder, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Pete Rock, with additional contributions from rappers Black Milk and Phonte, The Roots band, and vocalist Solange Knowles. The remixes reinvent tracks that originally featured Bilal (“Letter to Hermoine”), Erykah Badu (“Afro Blue”), Meshell Ndegeocello (“The Consequences of Jealousy”), and yasiin bey (“Black Radio”), as well as Robert Glasper Experiment’s cover of the Little Dragon song “Twice.” Also included is “Dillatude #2,” the Experiment’s tribute to the late, great hip hop producer J Dilla which is a previously unreleased track from the Black Radio sessions.

Robert Glasper Experiment has also been added to the line-up of the iTunes Festival 2012, taking place at the Roundhouse, Camden Town in London, on September 23. By downloading the free iTunes Festival App, fans from across the globe can watch the show live or view it afterwards for a limited time on their computer with iTunes, on their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or on the big screen using Apple TV.

Glasper has also announced an extensive fall North American tour that will include a CMJ showcase at S.O.B.’s in New York City, 2 nights at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles that spotlight Glasper with both his Experiment band and Trio, as well as appearances in Washington DC, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and a hometown show in Houston. See below for a full list of tour dates.

The track listing for Black Radio Recovered: The Remix EP is as follows:
1.Afro Blue feat. Erykah Badu / 9th Wonder’s Blue Light Basement Remix feat. Phonte
2.Black Radio feat. yasiin bey / Pete Rock Remix
3.The Consequences of Jealousy feat. Meshell Ndegeocello / Georgia Anne Muldrow’s Sassy Geemix
4.Twice / ?uestlove’s Twice Baked Remix feat. Solange Knowles & The Roots
5.Letter to Hermione (feat. Bilal) / Robert Glasper and Jewels Remix feat. Black Milk
6.Dillatude #2

September 15 – Indianapolis Jazz Festival – Indianapolis, IN
September 23 – iTunes Festival @ The Roundhouse – London, England
September 26 – Milwaukee Performing Arts Center – Milwaukee, WI
October 4 – Showcase Live – Foxboro, MA
October 5 – Iron Horse – Northampton, MA
October 6 – Traif – Buffalo, NY
October 7 – The Egg – Albany, NY
October 9 – Royalton – Fairfield, CT
October 11 – Birchmere – Alexandria, VA
October 12 – Ram’s Head – Baltimore, MD
October 13 – World Café Live – Philadelphia, PA
October 16 – SOB’s – New York, NY
October 19 – The Hoxton – Toronto, Ontario
October 20 – The Shelter – Detroit, MI
October 21 – Lincoln Theatre – Columbus, OH
October 25 – Royce Hall – Los Angeles, CA
October 26 – Discovery Green – Houston, TX
October 27 – Royce Hall – Los Angeles, CA (Trio)
October 28 – Anthology – San Diego, CA
November 1 – Palace of Fine Arts Theatre – San Francisco, CA
November 4 – Triple Door – Seattle, WA

~ Blue Note Records



The best in years from Dwele – who honestly has yet really make any kind of creative mistep – and Greater Than One is one of his greatest records to date! Detroit singer and producer Dwele has long balanced a love for classic soul of the Donny Hathaway school with contemporary, though wisely trend-skirting production – and he does that once again here. There's a more focused feel, and really strong, insistent songs this time out, too. Of course Dwele's voice is the greatest selling point, and it's layered beautifully throughout! Includes "Greater Than One Less Than Three", "Going Leaving", "Takes22Tango", "What You Gotta Do" with Raheem DeVaughn, "What Profit", "Obey", "Must Be" feat J Tait, L'Renee & Black Milk, "Swank" and "Patrick Ronald" feat Monica Blaire, "Frankly My Dear (I'm Bennett I Ain't Innit)" and more. ~ Dusty Groove

Modern blue-eyed soul from Kendra Morris on Wax Poetics Records – and it delivers in full on the promising couple of Wax Po singles leading up this solid full length! If the title Banshee brings to mind a shrill spooky cry, fear not – because Kendra is a natural and truly soulful singer! There's a nice live band feel to the record, too – with core backing of guitar, drums bass and spacey keys – plus occasional violin and other additional instrumentation. A win! Titles include "Waiting", "The Plunge", "Old Photos", "Right Now", "Today", "How You Want It", "If You Didn't Go", "Concrete Waves", "Here", "Banshee" and more. ~Dusty Groove


The first full album featuring the incredible voice of Janis Joplin, as the singer of Big Brother & The Holding Company! Even at this early point, it's clear that there's some really incredible things happening with this band. Originally released on Mainstream, the production is a bit thin compared to the bigger sounding records to come, which actually works incredibly well – as Janis's voice just tears right through in a really exciting way. The rawer Big Brother backdrop is great, too! Titles include "Easy Rider", "Bye, Bye Baby", "Intruder", "Women Is Losers", Moondog's "All Is Lonliness", and "Down On Me". (180 gram vinyl remaster – with the restored original artwork!) ~ Dusty Groove



Damn great work from guitarist Grant Green – one of his killer sessions with pianist Sonny Clark – recorded in the early 60s, but unissued until nearly 20 years later! The groove here is a bit different than some of Green's early dates with organ – a bit more soulful hardbop at times, with some great work on rhythm from Sam Jones on bass and Art Blakey on drums – two great players who complete the group beautifully. The setting is calm and spare, but very fluid, and all players play with a brilliant edge – Blakey is excellent, and hearing him on this one makes you want more of his work as a sideman (which was to diminish greatly after this recording). Tracks include takes on "Airegin", "I Concentrate on You", ""The Song Is You", "The Things We Did Last Summer" and a stellar version of "It Ain't Necessarily So". CD also features "Nancy" and an alternate of "Airegin". ~ Dusty Groove


A really heady set of tracks from vibist Bobby Hutcherson – a record that has him stepping away from the harder sounds of his early modern years – and moving into the sublime mix of soulful and modal styles that would really grow strongly by the end of the 60s! The album's a treasure through and through – warm, subtle interpretations of the music by a group that features Hutcherson on vibes, James Spaulding on alto and flute, Stanley Cowell on piano, Reggie Workman on bass, and Joe Chambers on drums – all working together in modes that are quite like Hutcherson's music with Harold Land – but slightly looser and freer at points too. The album includes a fantastic version of Cowell's "Effi", which was later recorded by Charles Tolliver a few times, plus other beautiful compositions by Joe Chambers – including "Patterns", "Ankana", "Irina", and "Nocturnal". Also features a bonus alternate of the title track! ~ Dusty Groove


A killer album that stands as a wonderful complement to Ike Quebec's classic LP sessions for Blue Note – and a set that's even more noteworthy for a rare early appearance of keyboardist Earl Van Dyke! Earl's best known for later famous work at Motown – but here, he plays some great mellow Hammond – really laying back nicely, alongside Quebec's soulful tenor – in a group that also features Willie Jones on guitar, Sam Jones on bass, and Wilbert Hogan on drums. The tunes here were all originally recorded as potential singles for Quebec, but most weren't issued by Blue Note at the time – and they're pulled together here as a really well-crafted album that's essential listening if you're a fan of the tremendous tenorist! Titles include "Intermezzo", "With A Song In My Heart", "How Long Has This Been Going On", "What Is There To Say", "All The Way", and "But Not For Me". ~ Dusty Groove



Excellent bit of west coast Latin fusion – featuring an all star band that includes such massive talents as Pete Escovedo, George Muribus, Paul Jackson, Lenny White, Coke Escovedo, and Victor Pantoja. The groove is nice and smooth, with a Bay Area early 70s sound on the production tip – and in a way, the record reminds us of some of the excellent work on Fantasy Records from the time, with touches of other 70s CA Latin soul groups, like Malo or El Chicano. Cuts include "Peace Everybody", "Empty Prophet", "Can't Take The Funk Out Of Me", "Azteca", "Ah! Ah!", and "Mamita Linda". ~ Dusty Groove


Excellent album of west coast Latin grooves by this electric fusion outfit that included Pete and Coke Escoved, Flip Nunez, Paul Jackson, Victor Pantoja, and Tom Harrell – plus guest players Lenny White, Mike Nock, and Neal Schon. The tracks have a bit of a Chicano Rock feel to them, with lots of nice electric moments. Titles include "Red Onions", "Mazatlan", "Whatcha Gonna Do", "Mexicana, Mexicana", and "Love Is A Stranger". ~ Dusty Groove


Despite the "tender" in the title, this is actually a pretty soulful set – a great little small combo side that includes Richard Wyands on piano, Martin Rivera on bass, and Oliver Jackson on drums. Kenny's at the top of his form – really leading the group in a way that he doesn't always manage on other albums – and even the laidback tunes have plenty going on to keep our ears happy! Titles include "La Petite Mambo", "Suzy", "The Tender Gender", "Girl Talk", "Isabella", and "Hot Bossa". ~ Dusty Groove


While they didn't do it too often, once in a while the folks at Atlantic would pull Ray Charles in on a jazz session, often with some great results. Both he and Milt get a chance to stretch out a bit here, fooling around on a couple of different instruments than you might typically hear them on, like Milt on piano and guitar and Ray on alto, and they aquit themselves admirably in those roles. Other players include Billy Mitchell, Connie Kay and Oscar Pettiford,a nd the sets filled with nice rolling soulful jazz, mostly penned by Milt & Ray: "Blue Funk", "Cosmic Ray", "Soul Brothers", and "How Long Blues". ~ Dusty Groove.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Sharon Marie Cline is one who stays focused on her dreams, furiously working all facets of her career, her latest goal penning her new single “This Is Where I Wanna Be”.

 Sharon Marie Cline is taking all the necessary steps to a global music community all her own! Focused on giving her fans what they want, Sharon Marie opened her channels of heart to penning her new single “This Is Where I Wanna Be” with pianist and Music Director Rich Eames. Perfect caption for a driven musical powerhouse who has found her nitch and wants to take it global. Not only does Cline have her own social network that garners visitors from all over the world, she maintains a healthy marketing strategy to have her fans jump on her bandwagon with each offering she provides from live performance to her upcoming CD “This Is Where I Wanna Be”. With great musicians supporting her musical essence, Rich Eameson piano, John Belzaguy on bass (formerly with Natalie Cole and Nancy Wilson) Jon Stuart on drums and Rob Hardt on flute (currently with Pancho Sanchez and formerly with Strunz and Farah ) she can’t go wrong.

“This album is my affirmation. My affirmation of Love and Dreams. It's an optimistic offering to the world. I guess I feel, what better gift to offer the world right now but my particular expression of Love, Romance, Joy...” says Cline.

Always on the jazz club scene, from Los Angeles to Miami, Sharon Marie’s upcoming gigs include Llew Matthews (Nancy Wilson's music director) and Jon Laskin on bass at Jazzy’s Restaurant, August 31st in Temecula, CA, then off to a mini-tour to Miami in September. Looking to perform on jazz festival stages, tour with her own ‘Bad Boyz Of Jazz” as well as seeking non-exclusive booking agents for worldwide performances from studio sessions to concert halls, Sharon Marie has her heart set on a worldwide musical community enjoying her music. Her brilliant interpretations and her smooth mellifluous sound leave a lasting impression on her listeners that is truly unforgettable!

“Sharon Marie Cline is the perfect example of taking your career and working it from every side. With the backdrop of her slogan “My Heartsong” as the wellspring of her creating her own social network, to taking her hand to songwriting, to continually connecting with her fans at her events it takes consistency to maintain your fan-base and that is the golden ring Sharon strives for as she breathes life into her dreams”. The musical conversation on this tune, is warm, melodic, rhythmically cohesive and lyrically appealing, Sharon Marie is forever growing into her golden shoes” says Jaijai Jackson of The Jazz Network Worldwide Social Network.

Be sure to come by and listen in on “This Is Where I Wanna Be” at The Jazz Network Worldwide and consider joining and adding your voice to Sharon Marie Cline’s heartsong at



A life well lived is often the best foundation for compelling art and there’s no denying Jonathan Butler has been blessed with a fascinating life. A South African native whose expansive musical gift has earned accolades in the R&B, contemporary jazz and gospel fields, Butler’s new release Grace And Mercy is filled with the soulful sounds and insightful lyrics fans have come to expect from the veteran performer.

A key word in Butler’s life is balance and after years of touring the globe, he’s learned just how important time away from the spotlight can be. “These days I try to do a little bit of living in between. I balance my life,” he shares. “I’ve got to spend time living, and through living you come up with stories to talk about and songs to write. These songs are personal experiences. People always assume that because you’re a recording artist and you travel the world that you don’t have problems and you don’t have disappointments in your life, which is not true. We all do. This album truthfully and honestly lets people know that the songs that I’m writing are the things that I’m going through in this season. I’m hoping those songs will effect people in a positive and wonderful way.”

On Grace And Mercy Butler delivers a collection of songs that serve as a soothing musical balm in today’s troubled times. “This album really speaks about optimism, faith, belief and hope, especially in the light of what everybody has been experiencing in the last two or three years,” he says. “There’s been a lot of people losing their homes, their jobs, enduring the challenges that life brings. I’m hoping this album will bring hope to people. Songs like ‘Give it Up To God,’ ‘I Stand On Your Word,’ and ‘Who is Like the Lord’ were written from experiences that I’ve had to go through myself.”

The lead single, “I Stand On Your Word,” is a soaring ballad that reminds us of the power of God’s promises. “I love that song,” Butler says. “I hope that it hits home to a lot of people.”

God’s word became real to Butler when he was just a teenager. At 19-years-old, Butler’s life forever changed when he became a Christian. “It was love that drew me to Christ,” he smiles, “the love of someone who cared enough to talk to me about Jesus and take me in when I was basically a broken young man in South Africa. It was my late brother-in-law, my wife’s brother, who led me to Christ. He was that person in my life that actually took the time to talk to me about Jesus, and it didn’t take me long to give my heart to Christ because of that.”

In the past few years, his faith has sustained Butler during some difficult times. He lost his beloved mother and a very close friend in addition to helping his wife battle cancer. It’s been tumultuous time that saw the gifted musician leaning ever closer to God and pouring his experiences into his music. Grace and Mercy showcases Butler’s gift for taking potent lyrical messages and enveloping them in memorable melodies. “Give it up to God” is a soul-stirring slow jam that spotlights Butler’s warm, distinctive voice. “Simplicity always wins for me,” Butler says of the song. “There is such power in a simplistic lyric. You really reach people when you say simply, ‘Give it up to God.’ We all go through those every day trials. We read the Proverbs and Psalms and most of the time we forget that the Bible says, ‘Trust in the Lord with your heart and lean not on your own understanding.’ Every day we have to give it up to God, EVERY day.”

Among Butler’s favorite tracks are “I Know He Cares.” “I love, love, love, love ‘He Cares!’ I wrote ‘He Cares’ and it spoke to me,” Butler says. “I started with the music and then started writing these lyrics down. We all need to know that God really cares for us. The Bible says, “We are the sheep of his pasture” and he absolutely does care for us. That song really speaks to me a lot.”

“Moments of Worship” is another highlight on Butler’s new project. “I actually recorded ‘Moments Of Worship’ in Spain years ago,” he says. “I was at a friend’s house and he had a studio and an engineer. I sat in front of a piano and started singing my favorite worship songs and I just decided to do that on this album. At the end of all the music, it comes back to worship, which I think is beautiful.”

Lyrically Grace And Mercy delivers the kind of Biblically grounded, emotionally uplifting songs Butler has become known for, yet musically he says fans might be caught slightly off guard. “It’s going to surprise people a little bit coming from me because I think it’s much more of an edgier gospel record,” he says of the project, which was recorded at his home studio. “It’s more urban. Overall I feel it’s much more of a raw type of record. I didn’t grow up in church, but I’m a born again Christian. For the last 30 years I’ve been saved so I write from that place. I draw a lot from different elements and experiences and also my culture from South Africa, so I think it’s a little bit different.”

Born in Cape Town, Butler was the youngest of 12 children. He discovered a gift for music early in life and began singing and playing guitar at age seven. As a child, he traveled all over South Africa performing with a troupe of 100 children, getting a first hand look at the country’s disturbing dichotomy---devastating poverty and extreme affluence that existed under Apartheid.

Butler signed his first record deal as a teen and became the first black artist played on white South African stations. “That was 1974 and it was a song titled ‘Please Stay,’” Butler recalls of the historic tune, which won a Sarie Award, the South African equivalent of a Grammy. “Back then I was with an independent label called CCP Productions.”

Though Butler lived in England for 17 years and currently makes his home in Encino, CA, his youth in South Africa continually colors his artistry. “All those memories and all those experiences are what makes a woman or a man a stronger person,” he says. “It influences how they live their lives and their appreciation for life and freedom. That’s what shapes you and gives you that sensitivity of heart. Anyone who grew up in South Africa, or even in the 60’s in America, has a deeper appreciation for life and for freedom. It shapes their lives completely. I feel like all of the stuff that we grew up with in South Africa has made me a better person.”

Butler has toured the world with such acclaimed artists as Kirk Whalum, Dave Koz and Ruby Turner. He’s earned Grammy nominations and rave reviews in the jazz and R&B fields, but his gospel albums hold a special place in his heart. “It was always a desire that I had,” he says of recording gospel music, “but I never really wanted to do it just for the sake of it. I needed to know that God would release me to do it because it’s a ministry. It changes people’s lives and I wanted to be sure that the Lord would release me to it. I prayed about it for a long time. I waited and then when I got the confirmation, God began giving me these songs. I wrote ‘Falling In Love With Jesus’ and that opened the door for me to walk seamlessly into my ministry.”

Music, ministry, faith and family are all woven joyfully together for Jonathan Butler. His daughter, Jodie, tours with him, sings background vocals on Grace And Mercy, and is an integral part of his ministry. “She is actually working on her own project right now,” the proud father says. “I’m going to be making time to help develop her record. She’s a great writer and she’s working on new songs.”

Butler has a lot to smile about these days. His wife of 30 years survived her battle with cancer, and they enjoy spending time doting on their little granddaughter. “With this record I’m really addressing where the Butler family has been and what we have gone through in 2010 and 2011,” he says. “My inspiration is definitely my family. They support me. They love me and they encourage me. I’m very, very excited about this record. I can’t wait for people to and connect with it because I believe that God has a lot in store for me and I’m heeding the call and obeying God.”

A life well lived is often the best foundation for compelling art and there’s no denying Jonathan Butler has been blessed with a fascinating life. A South African native whose expansive musical gift has earned accolades in the R&B, contemporary jazz and gospel fields, Jonathan’s new release Grace And Mercy is filled with the soulful sounds and insightful lyrics fans have come to expect from the veteran performer.

Grace And Mercy is scheduled for release on September 25, 2012.


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