Thursday, October 30, 2014



In 2009, there was ‘Gilles Peterson Presents Havana Cultura’ followed by a remix album. After that ‘The Search Continues’ (2011) and then ‘Mala In Cuba’ (2012). Now we have ‘Havana Cultura Soundclash’, a compilation of collaborations between Cuban vocalists, musicians and unsigned artists from around the world. All projects have brought musical exchanges to Cuba — with its illustrious yet traditional music scene — a nation where rhythms (salsa, rumba) exist as the lifeblood of its people; where access to new music is limited, barely any broadband internet service and decent home studio technology is rarely affordable. Despite this, Havana boasts a solid homegrown hip-hop scene and vibrant nightlife ruled by reggaeton, with house, techno, EDM, dubstep, trap and moombahton breaking through. 


Swindle - one of the most exciting, charismatic young producers coming out of the UK - received outstanding reviews last year in response to his album “Long Live The Jazz” where, according to XLR8R, “the South Londoner… settled into a brightly embellished, jazz-inflected style of dubstep”. He also played piano for the Mala in Cuba Live shows in 2012/13, a testament for his ability to waver between styles and genres impeccably. As well as this, Swindle holds a key role in the Butterz label and Collective, and has produced for the likes of Roll Deep and Footsie. Now well known for his dynamic live shows, Swindle’s sound is truly unique and constantly developing. With the title track ‘Walter’s Call’, Swindle dives straight in at the deep end with sirens and footwork inspired drums, gradually building themes of energetic brass brilliance into the mix. Seamlessly produced, this sets the EP off to a blazing start, introducing the influences of early 20th century chaotic jazz, which run throughout.


Mindblowing sounds from the great Bunny Lee – and exactly the kind of collection that makes us love the Pressure Sounds label so much! The track selection is wonderful – and most numbers are balanced in a unique space between reggae and rocksteady, and often have some crucial influences from American soul and funk as well – but they come across with a mode that's very different from more standard reggae, especially the style of the music that would be more codified a few years later. Instead, there's a really rich sense of experimentation here – as Bunny Lee and his All Stars work on instrumental tracks, or alongside other key artists like Delroy Wilson, Rico Rodriguez, Tommy McCook, U Roy, or Winston Williams. Some tunes have amazingly trippy touches – and a few points even mix in some wild moog too – and titles include "Double Attack", "Ivan Itler The Conqueror", "Scarface", "Joe Lewis", "War", "Wet Vision", "When I Get My Freedom", "Smooth & Sorts", and "Death Rides A Horse".  ~ Dusty Groove


Soul Jazz have done it again – and really knock it out of the park with this tremendous collection of Crescent City soul! Yes, there have been plenty of New Orleans collections over the years – and yes, most of them are pretty darn good – but there's really something special going on here – a very fresh take on the Nola sound, with lots of lesser-known tracks by some of the bigger names on the scene – and a special focus that goes way past the hits, and which also shows some real overlooked nuggets from the early 70s too! The tunes all still have that great New Orleans mix of grit and groove – but there's often a nice sense of warmth, too – less of the cliches you might associate with the scene, and some surprisingly mature modes on some of the later tracks too – almost as if deep soul modes from farther north in the south were filtering down to the city to change up the groove. As usual, Soul Jazz have included some copious notes to support their excellent music choices – and quite frankly, we're even more impressed than ever with their work on this project – and we've been stocking their albums for almost 20 years! Titles include "She's On My Mind" by Aaron Neville, "Caught You In A Lie" by Robert Parker, "Don't Pity Me" by Curley Moore, "Steppin Out" by Lionel Robinson, "Being Without You" by Maurice Williams, "Congratulations Baby" by Barbara West, "I Don't Wanna Hear It" by Betty Harris, "Back Street Lover" by Ernie K Doe, "I've Never Considered" by Inell Young, "The ABC Song" by Diamond Joe, "Tell Her That I Love You" by Jimmy Hicks, and "She'll Never Be Your Wife" by Irma Thomas. ~ Dusty Groove.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


The Grammy-winning composer Maria Schneider and her Orchestra perform Tuesday, November 25 – Sunday, November 30, 2014 at The Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, NYC. Sets nightly at 7:30 and 10 p.m. with an 11:45 p.m. set on Friday and Saturday.  

In addition to composing for and recording The Thompson Fields, the first CD in seven years from the Maria Schneider Orchestra (to be released April 21, 2015 via ArtistShare), Schneider has been involved in a myriad of activities. In the spring, she was approached by David Bowie to collaborate on a new work. The resulting song, “Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime),” will be released on a 10-inch Bowie record on November 17, as well as on his new greatest hits 3-CD and 2-CD compilations as the only new song.  As Maria says: “I am thrilled with the results.”

In addition, she testified before Congress about music creators’ rights and the need for change in copyright laws. “It's now or never time for music creators to make our voices heard,” says Schneider. “Free music is a relatively new concept, and it's just so ridiculous, almost as ridiculous as everyone being convinced they should pay for water in plastic bottles. I say, let’s pay for music as we always did, and drink water for free from the tap, just like we used to.”

Maria Schneider’s music has been hailed by critics as “evocative, majestic, magical, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, and beyond categorization.” She and her orchestra became widely known starting in 1994 when they released their first recording, 'Evanescence.' With that recording, Schneider began to develop her personal way of writing for her 17-member collective, made up of many of the finest musicians in jazz today, tailoring her compositions to distinctly highlight the uniquely creative voices of the group. Subsequently, the Maria Schneider Orchestra has performed at festivals and concert halls worldwide. She herself has received numerous commissions and guest conducting invites, working with over 85 groups from over 30 countries spanning Europe, South America, Australia, Asia and North America.

Schneider’s music blurs the lines between genres and she is on a very short list of those who have received GRAMMY Awards in both "jazz" and "classical.” Her long list of commissioners are quite varied and range from the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, to Peter Sellars' New Crowned Hope Festival (Vienna’s Mozart Festival), Jazz at Lincoln Center, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, The American Dance Festival, Kronos Quartet, The Metropole Orchestra, the Danish Radio Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and most recently, the Ojai Festival, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Cal Performances ('Winter Morning Walks'), featuring soprano, Dawn Upshaw, and three musicians long associated with Schneider: pianist, Frank Kimbrough, bassist, Jay Anderson, and multi-instrumentalist, Scott Robinson.

Schneider's latest fan-funded recording with Dawn Upshaw ('Winter Morning Walks') earned three 2014 GRAMMY Awards: Best Contemporary Classical Composition ('Winter Morning Walks'), Best Classical Vocal Performance (Dawn Upshaw), and Best Engineered Recording/Classical (David Frost, Brian Losch, Tim Martyn).

Schneider and her orchestra have a distinguished recording career bringing her a total of ten GRAMMY nominations and three GRAMMY awards. Unique funding of projects has become a hallmark for Schneider through the trend-setting company, ArtistShare®. For these projects, she documents her creative process for participating fans, who "fan-fund" her recordings through pre-orders. She's now composed four works for her own orchestra with the participation of commissioners coming directly from her ArtistShare® website fan base. Her album, 'Concert in the Garden'  (2004) became historic as the first recording to win a GRAMMY with Internet-only sales. Even more significantly, it blazed the "fan-funding" trail as ArtistShare's® first release. In 2012, her alma mater, the University of Minnesota, awarded Schneider an honorary doctorate.

The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club returns with Volume 3

The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club returns - and Volume 3 is a truly international round up of all things hip, happening and gorgeously groovy!

Since Volume 2 was released a year ago, Craig Charles has continued to spread the sound of good grooves right around the world, not just via his radio shows on 6Music and BBC Radio 2, or by DJ-ing to a huge sea of humanity at Glastonbury Festival 2014, but he also took his trunk of funk to Australia to spread his kind of dance floor dynamite to Antipodean audiences hungry for fresh soulful sounds and some foot stomping funk.

Hisbrand new selection really does have it all - the feel good, piano pumping, hand clapping work out Do Your Thing by 6ix Toys is a joyous opener that should have anyone with a working pair of legs jumping up to get down.

There is a great selection of seductive, female voices across Volume 3 - Sophia Bastians' gutsy, blues drenched Breaking is a minor key wonder, Sena Dagadus' strutting afrobeat anthem Accra City People rolls over the horizon like a steam train with no brakes - and Juliette Ashbys' sexy and sassy Like A Bass Guitar digs down deep into a funk heavy groove in all the right ways, and The Getups' featured vocalist Sabina Challenger rides on the bands trademark tight Hammond funk groove like an award winning surfer.

21st century neo-soul makes it's presence felt too - Harleighblus' crisp and rugged 'Play Me' leads perfectly to the UK Soul Don #1 Omar's massive tune The Man, the track that became an instant classic and saw the album of the same name top charts and reach places you might not expect, as even long time fan Prince Charles owns a copy!

Omar isn't the only legendary male voice featured - ladies and gentlemen, hold my calls! He's got the legend that is Afrika Bambaataa featuring onThe Mighty Mocambos funking hip hop roof raiser It's The Music Part 1 - and Australian superstar Daniel Merriweathers' bluesy vocal on Cookin On 3 Burners Losin' Steak makes it clear why people like Mark Ronson beat a path to his door when its talented man tonsils they require! 

Boogaloo, soul-jazz and latin sounds feature strongly too - Sunlight Squares' Vamanos Pal Monte will without doubt make your dancing feet itchy,Speedometers huge selling reworking of Pharell Williams Happy will have you soul clapping and spinning like you are at Wigan Casino - and Ray Lugo & The Boogaloo Destroyers El Ritmo De Nuevo York will make you feel like your back in late 60's New York partying with Ray Barreto & Mongo Santamaria, and The Andre Espeut Quintets' Let It Go is jazzy enough to make even girls grow a goatee beard.

The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club Volume 3 does even more than it says on the tin - 19 personally selected, party starting slices of full fat grooves proves, as the saying goes that 3 is indeed the magic number!


Kenny G has had one of the most eclectic and dominant careers the music business has ever seen. He’s maintained a high level of creative excellence through decades of unprecedented commercial success by never allowing himself to stay in one place too long. That reputation for musical curiosity stays well intact on his fourteenth studio album Brazilian Nights, set for release on January 27th, 2015 via Concord Records. Pre-order the album here:

“I’ve been in love with bossa nova my whole life,” says the saxophonist in the album’s liner notes. “I think the first song that ‘won me over’ was Cannonball Adderley’s version of “Quiet Nights”. And more recently I’ve been listening (non-stop!) to Stan Getz’s album called Getz For Lovers. I think I've listened to that record almost every day for the past 5 years and it really was the inspiration in making this album. My goal was not only to make a bossa nova album that pays tribute to the “Masters” who I’ve been listening to (Cannonball Adderley, Paul Desmond and Stan Getz) but also to write and record original bossa novas that I hope can ‘hold their own’ in this distinguished company. I humbly say that I feel we’ve succeeded.”

Starting with melodious sounds of “Bossa Antiqua,” the ten-song set is a mixture of classics and Kenny G originals. Writing five of the ten tracks with longtime collaborator (and co-producer) Walter Afanasieff, the veteran performer plays alto, tenor and soprano sax and is dazzling on such cuts as “Bossa Real, ”the gently pulsating “April Rain,” and the relaxed yet dramatic flair of the title cut.

He admits that he took his time making Brazilian Nights, as he wanted to immerse himself into the light and melodic sounds of music from across the globe. “I spent a year and a half studying and embracing the style of the bossa novas from decades ago. I had fun and learned a lot during my "wonderful labor of love” and I truly hope you get the same pleasure from this album that I have experienced when I sit down after a long day and put on my “bossa nova” sounds. Words can’t describe that feeling but hopefully the melodies that I’ve played here will.”

Melodies and music have long been a signature part of Kenny G’s life. Since releasing his self-titled debut disc in the fall of 1982, Kenny G has become the biggest selling instrumental musicians of the modern era and one of the best selling artists of all-time with global sales totaling more than 75 million records.  His biggest album was 1992’s Breathless – which sold a staggering twelve million copies in the United States alone. In addition, his 1994 Christmas disc Miracles: The Holiday Album ranks as one of the most successful Yuletide albums ever – with sales over eight million copies. Seven of his singles have hit the Top-40 on the Billboard Hot 100. He has also been ranked as one of the most-played artists in the Adult Contemporary format – with nine top ten singles. His biggest hit came with 1987’s “Songbird,” which peaked at #4 on the Hot 100. Kenny G continues to play to sold out houses both here and abroad, with dates on his calendar already filled through mid-2015.

Kenny G has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the business during his legendary career, ranging from Michael Bolton to Weezer to Whitney Houston. He recently worked with pop superstar Katy Perry on her single “Last Friday Night.”

Track Listing for Brazilian Nights:
Bossa Antigua
Corcovado (Quiet Nights For Quiet Stars)
Bossa Réal                                        
Brazilian Nights               
April Rain                         
Menina Moca                   
Bu Bossa                          
Girl from Ipanema  
Summer Love                                                                  
Kenny G Upcoming Tour Dates:
October 30 / New York, NY @ Blue Note
October 31 / New York, NY @  Blue Note
November 1 / New York, NY @ Blue Note
November 2 / New York, NY @ Blue Note
November 15 / Colomno, Sri Lanka @ Royal Complex
November 16 / Bangkok, Thailand @ River Jazz Festival
November 20 / Johannesburg, SA @ Coca Cola Dome
December 4 / Baltimore, MD @ Lyric Opera House
December 5 / Dover, DE @ Dover Downs Hotel and Casino
December 7 / Durham, NC @ Durham PAC
December 9 / Orlando, FL @ The Plaza Live
December 11 /  Ft Lauderdale, FL @ Parker Playhouse
December 12 / Clearwater, FL @ Ruth Eckerd Hall



Drummer Joe Farnsworth pays tribute to the greats of the 50s and 60s – Elvin Jones, Roy Haynes, Art Blakey, Max Roach, and others – in a smoking set that features his longtime musical companions Eric Alexander on tenor, Harold Mabern on piano, and Nat Reeves on bass! There's a vibe here that's different than other recent dates from this well-matched team – as the players are definitely trying to skew their sounds differently with each number dedicated to a different drummer – especially Alexander and Mabern, who really match Farnsworth's energy as he changes things up. Titles include "Syeeda's Song Flute", "Two Bass Hit", "Reflection", "George's Dilemma", and "Cute".  ~ Dusty Groove


The great Bobby Bradford recorded famously for the Nessa label backin the 70s – but here he's heard in the company of some younger players on a contemporary recording – one that shows that his fire hasn't dimmed at all! The group's a quartet – with Frode Gjerstad on alto and clarinet, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on bass, and Frank Rosaly on drums – and the three tracks are all relatively long and quite free – but have this organic sense of building that really matches some of Bradford's energy from the early days – a style that's not as rhythmic or modal as before, but partly because Rosaly and Flaten are such amazingly complex musicians! Titles include "The Silver Cornet tells", "A Story About You", and "And Me Me & You".  ~ Dusty Groove


An incredible album – one of the few rare early sides cut by pianist Horace Tapscott, a seminal figure in the LA underground of the 60s and 70s! The record is as pure Tapscott as you could ever get – experimental, but not too free; spiritual, but never too sappy; progressively political, but never overwrought – and Tapscott is playing with a strong quintet that includes Black Arthur Blythe on alto, David Bryant and Walter Savage on bass, and Everett Brown on drums. The lineup is great – and Blythe is a real revelation, with a tone and style that's different than some of his later work, but equally soulful – and the use of two basses makes for some wonderful rhythmic elements that really drive the modal energy of the music. The set includes an important early version of "The Dark Tree" – a modal groover that's one of Tapscott's lasting legacies – plus the tunes "Niger's Theme", "For Fats", and "The Giant Is Awakened".  ~ Dusty Groove



Plenty of movement from the great Gerardo Frisina – a set that's awash in all the Latin and modal elements we've always loved in his music – and a record that filled with jazzy touches throughout! Rhythms are both live and programmed – but even the latter have a very spontaneous feel, when mixed with the warm acoustic instrumentation of the combo – which includes vibes, tenor, trumpet, flute, and piano – as well as a bit of Fender Rhodes too! Gerardo seems to have opened up his style a bit more than before – and there's some surprising turns at various points, including one great 70s-style drumbreak track, and a few more that are more jazz overall than some of his more Latin-oriented grooves. If you've ever loved Gerardo, or the Schema label too, you'll find plenty to love here – on titles that include "Reporter", "I Need Rhythm", "Arrival", "Movement", "The Talisman", "Selvatico", "The Sound Image", and "Mystic Latin". ~ Dusty Groove


Deeply spiritual jazz from the American underground of the 20th century – music that sits in a perfect space between straight jazz and more avant garde material – always reaching out in this really soaring, searching sort of way – but never too outside or free! Rhythms are at the core of most of these numbers – often modal elements, with especially strong basslines – or earthy percussion with strong Afrocentric inspirations, recast here in the huge wave of jazz experimentation of the 60s and 70s! Most tracks are from those key decades, but he set also features some overlooked gems from the 80s too – and a good deal of these tracks are from albums we hardly ever see anymore these days. As usual, Soul Jazz has done a stunning job with the notes and package – dovetailing with their book of the same name – and tracks include "Second Line March" by David Lee, "Flashback Of Time" by Creative Arts Ensemble, "Chang Chang Chang" by Yusef Lateef, "Utopia & Visions" by Don Cherry, "It's A Trip" by Last Poets, "Universal Spiritual Revolt" by Tyrone Washington, "In The Moog" by Harold McKinney, "Spaces & Things" by Doug Hammond, "Tzaddi Vau (part 1)" by Pheeran Ak Laff, and "Dealin" by Richard Davis.  ~ Dusty Groove


Wonderful work from one of the greatest Italian jazz groups of the 60s – heard here in two of their rarest recordings! The set brings together material from two sessions that were only issued on the Fonit sound library label – but both are every bit as sharp and soulful as the best Basso-Valdambrini work for bigger labels – including their early 60s gems on RCA! And like those records, there's a wonderful sense of rhythm here – kind of the soul jazz side of Blue Note, but handled with a fresh sound that's nicely free of any copycat cliches – and which instead really has the group finding their own voice through their writing and solos. The H602 album is billed as "pop jazz" – which is more a 60s soul jazz style – and H603 is called "Californiano", with a bit of a west coast vibe, but still very much the best grooves we've come to love from the combo. The lineup on both includes tremendous trumpet from Oscar Valdabrini and tenor from Gianni Basso – with rhythms from Ettore Righello on piano, Giorgio Azzolini on bass, and Lionella Bionda on drums. Titles include "Pick Up", "Glaucus", "Gold Mine", "From Me", "Maglione", "Muy", "Plinius", and "Transistor".  ~ Dusty Groove

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sweet Soul and Funk: Willie Hutch - Foxy Brown; Moniquea - Yes No Maybe; CG Cameron


A nice one on the MoFunk label from singer Moniquea – whose laidback, warmly soulful voice is backed by lean, bouncy synth funk production – coming off as a sweet modern take on the boogie soul and digital funk sound of the 80s! Monquea's voice and a strongly song-based approach really makes it soar, and feel fresh and vibrant, even while proudly flaunting 80s influences. Producer XL Middleton is wise to keep it lively and funky, with some spacey keyboards and some funky fuzz guitars in the mix. Very nice stuff! Titles include "If I Let You Take My Heart", "A Certain Way", "Casanova (Let You Go)", "Secret", "I Don't Wanna Get Used To It (Extended Album Mix)", "I Need It All" feat I Ced, "Not Enough (Extended Album Mix)" and "Can't Be Without My Baby".  ~ Dusty Groove


A nice one on the MoFunk label from singer Moniquea – whose laidback, warmly soulful voice is backed by lean, bouncy synth funk production – coming off as a sweet modern take on the boogie soul and digital funk sound of the 80s! Monquea's voice and a strongly song-based approach really makes it soar, and feel fresh and vibrant, even while proudly flaunting 80s influences. Producer XL Middleton is wise to keep it lively and funky, with some spacey keyboards and some funky fuzz guitars in the mix. Very nice stuff! Titles include "If I Let You Take My Heart", "A Certain Way", "Casanova (Let You Go)", "Secret", "I Don't Wanna Get Used To It (Extended Album Mix)", "I Need It All" feat I Ced, "Not Enough (Extended Album Mix)" and "Can't Be Without My Baby".  ~ Dusty Groove


Strong work from GC Cameron – really making a bold mark here on his own – working in a smooth, rich, masculine style that's a bit like some of the best early 70s material from Eddie Kendricks! Arrangements are by James Carmichael, Paul Riser, Wade Marcus, Gene Page, and other smooth soul talents – and GC's got this edgey vocal approach that strikes out from the backings very strongly, with a hip dope sound on the best cuts, almost in a blacksploitation soundtrack mode – with a sharper edge than on his previous group recordings. Titles include a great version of "If I Ever Lose This Heaven", plus the cuts "Me & My Life", "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday", "Strong Love", "Share Your Life", "Truly Blue", and "Don't Want To Give It Up". ~ Dusty Groove



Really beautiful work from one our favorite John Zorn projects of the past few years – his sublime Gnostic Trio, a group with Bill Frisell on guitar, John Medeski on organ, and Kenny Wollesen on vibes! The trio come together here in these ethereal, hypnotic compositions by Zorn – really meditative music that's way different than the squeaks and squonks of his early years – and which shows this amazing maturation, and a great understanding of the more subtle sides of the sonic spectrum. For this album, the group adds in two harpists and one additional musician on bells and vibes – which only makes the sound more incredible – and titles include "Apocryphon", "The Divine Word", "Gnostic Hymn", "Into The Light", "Perfect Mind", and "Providence".  ~ Dusty Groove


Funky blues galore – not the kind of sad, weepy blues of the old days – but the kind of gritty grooves that really broke big during the 60s and 70s funky generation! Most numbers here mix older blues elements with sharp snapping drums and tight rolling basslines – a sweet fusion of roots and contemporary sounds from the 70s – served up by a mix of well-known artists and lesser-known geniuses! The track selection is superb, with loads of tracks we'd never heard before – and the set's exactly the kind of collection that has us running back to BGP/Ace year after year – and digging everything they ever do. And even if you're not usually a blues fan, if you dig funky sounds you'll find plenty to love here – with titles that include "Walk On" by Finis Tasby, "Gimme Some Of Yours" by Artie White, "I Want You" by Smokey Wilson, "It's Real" by Jimmy Robins, "Sister Rose" by Shakey Jake Harris, "Them Love Blues" by Earl Wright, "I Finally Got You" by Jimmy McCracklin, "He Made You Mine" by Big Daddy Rucker, "Lovemaker" by Lowell Fulsom, "Getting Down With You" by Obrey Wilson, "Don't Down Me People" by Memphis Soul, and "I Don't Understand It" by Ice Water Slim & The Fourth Floor. ~ Dusty Groove


Really really great work from pianist Mats Oberg – a musician we've always loved, but who really blows us away with this solo set of improvisations! Mats has this free-flowing sense of imagination that really loves us breathless – a way of creating on the keys of the piano that almost rivals Keith Jarrett at his 70s best, but which also has a more soulful focus and sense of direction too – so that each of the creations feel like preconceived songs more than spontaneous moments of music. The package has images of Mats posed before vintage albums by Berndt Egerbladh and a life-sized image of Stevie Wonder – and we might well say that the music has a soulful core that lies somewhere between the spirit of these two great musicians of the 70s. Titles include "Song For Amy", "Charlie Boy & Verkstadsbossa", "Sarek", "You Shall Find Your Way", "Ossians Vast", and "November Min Van".  ~ Dusty Groove

New Releases: AL GREEN-Free Soul: The Treasure Of Al Green; WILLIE MITCHELL-The Hi Records Singles Collection; Good All Over: Rare Soul From The Westbound Records Vaults


Over 80 minutes of magic from the great Al Green – a special entry into the Japanese-only series of Free Soul collections! The series often mixes together great tracks from different artists, but this volume features only music from the godlike Al himself – a warm, mellow blend of Memphis soul nuggets – and one that mixes together classic Hi Records hits with some lesser-known gems from Green! Willie Mitchell's great production really ties the whole thing together – as does the wonderful work of Free Soul maestro Toru Hashimoto, who still has one of the greatest ears for grooves we've ever heard. Titles include "Full Of Fire", "Let's Stay Together", "You Ought To Be With Me", "Love", "Take Me To The River", "Sha La La", "Love & Happiness", "Love Ritual", "So Good to Be Here", "Loving You", "Your Love Is Like The Morning Sun", "King Of All", "Look What You Done For Me", and "I Think It's For The Feeling".  ~ Dusty Groove


Pure greatness from Memphis soul legend Willie Mitchell – maybe best known as the studio force behind Hi Records work by Al Green and Ann Peebles, but a heck of a recording artist on his own! Willie had a great ear for catchy, groovy soul instrumentals – done in a style that echoes a bit of the genre over at Stax/Volt at the time, but which often takes off into some of the fuller, more flowing modes that Mitchell would use with singers. A number of Willie's singles have his trumpet in the lead, but others have a variety of instrumentation – and often put more emphasis on the gritty grooves at the bottom. And like similar soul instrumental artists, some of Mitchell's best moments were in the 7" format – not on full LPs – which makes this collection essential, as it features 20 tracks that only appeared on 45s, not on Mitchell's albums – including two with singer Don Bryant in the mix. Titles include "Drippin", "Easy Now", "Empty Rooms", "Check Me", "Secret Home", "20-75", "Buddy Bear", "Crawl (parts 1 & 2)", "Aw Shucks", "Lucky", "Last Tango In Paris", "The Champion (parts 1 & 2)", "My Babe", "Kitten Korner", "Six To Go", "Beale Street Mood", "Teenie's Dream", and lots lots more – a total of 48 tracks in all!  ~ Dusty Groove


Rare tracks from one of the greatest soul labels ever – Detroit's legendary Westbound Records, the famous home of Funkadelic – but a source for countless many more grooves! This set features really rare singles and unreleased tracks from Westbound – a flurry of great soul tracks that's surprised even our Westbound-raised ears – with tracks that run from righteous soul to heavy funk, to great group harmonies, and more! There's nary a big name in the set – and instead, the whole thing really focuses on the hinterland of the Westbound scene – including some especially rare gems that were issued as singles by the even-smaller Eastbound label, who did some wonderfully groovy work in the early 70s. Titles include "Admit Your Love Is Gone" by Damon Shawn, "Old Fashioned Woman" by Unique Blend, "I'm Falling In Love" by Fantastic Four, "Tender Moments" by AC Tilmon & Denise LaSalle, "I Love You" by The Motivations, "More Love" by Emanuel Laskey, "What Am I Gonna Do" by Houston Outlaws, "I Don't Know How" by The Superlatives, "Trying Real Hard" by The Magictones, "You Can't Take This Love For You From Me" by Bob & Harold, "I'm Loving You You're Leaving Me" by The Magictones, "Does He Treat You Better" by Unique Blend, and "Rosetta Stone" by AC Tilmon & Detroit Emeralds.  ~ Dusty Groove


A pair of spy spoof gems – back to back on a single CD! First up is Our Man Flint, which features excellent soundtrack work by Jerry Goldsmith – possibly his greatest ever! Jerry's usually a bit staid with some of his scores – but working here on the soundtrack to this James Coburn spy spoof film, he's truly fantastic! The approach mixes strings and bossa-inflected grooves with some spookier instrumental touches – either on electric guitar, sax, or a "tortured" Thomas organ and a Solovox – and the overall feel of the album is on a par with the best work of the sort by Lalo Schifrin or Hugo Montenegro! Titles include "Doing As The Romans Did", "All I Have To Do Is Take A Bite of Your Apple?", "Tell Me More About That Volcano", and "Our Man Flint". In Like Flint continues Jerry Goldsmith's great run of grooves for the Flint spy spoof films of the 60s – working in a style that's a lot more complex than Lalo Schifrin or John Barry, but still every bit as groovy! Goldsmith's got this excellent style of swirling together strings, instrumental solos, and lots of cool offbeat elements – all with a sound that's often jazzy, but pretty unusual too – maybe in the best territory of Piero Piccioni over on the Italian scene! Arrangements are by Marty Paich and Warren Barker – who bring their most playful modes to the album – and titles include the vocal numbers "Where The Bad Guys Are Gals" and "Your Zowie Face", plus "Ahh Yer Father's Bob-Lip", "Mince & Cook Until Tender", and "Lost In Space". ~ Dusty Groove

Monday, October 27, 2014



Martha's lost the Vandellas for this one, but that's fine with us – as she's stepping out as a hip soul diva, laying down a mixture of mellow and upbeat tunes, in a style that's somewhere between Marlena Shaw and Gladys Knight. Production (and we assume arrangements) are by Tony Silvester, Bert De Coteaux, General Johnson, and Tony Camillo – and tracks include "Thank You", "Love Blind", "This Time I'll Be Sweeter", "Second Chance", and "Now That We Found Love".  ~ Dusty Groove


An instant classic from Chicago vocalist Dee Alexander – one of the greatest jazz singers working today – and an artist we'd easily rank right up there with old school talents like Shirley Horn or Lorez Alexandria! Dee can sometimes be far-reaching in her style, but here she steps back to an older generation of jazz – reworking numbers in a hip sort of 60s way, especially the more sophisticated end of the soul jazz spectrum, ala Horn and Alexandria's albums for ABC/Impulse. Backing is by a wonderfully fluid small group – with the piano of Miguel Delacerna, bass of Harrison Bankhead, and drums of Ernie Adams – plus guest work from Ari Brown on tenor, Oliver Lake on alto, and Corey Wilkes on trumpet. The album's a dedication to Alexander's mother – and the strong guidance she gave her growing up on the west side of Chicago – and tunes include "Soul Serenade", "As Long As You're Living", "Guess Who I Saw Today", "Nature Boy", "Lonesome Lover", "Letter From Home",a nd "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise".  ~ Dusty Groove


A great litle early album from Ann Peebles – rawer than most of her more familiar stuff, with a gutbuckety soul quality that really keeps things fresh! Willie Mitchell produced and arranged (of course!), and the record's got some sweet backing vocals by Rhodes, Chalmers, & Rhodes – very much in a Sweet Inspirations mode. Tracks include a funky remake of The Isleys' "It's Your Thing", plus "Solid Foundation", "Crazy About You Baby", "Give Me Some Credit", and "Generation Gap Between Us".  ~ Dusty Groove

Tony Bennett And Lady Gaga To Perform Together Live At The Hollywood Bowl And Radio City Music Hall

Following the immediate sell-out of their recently announced special evening at The Wiltern on Feb. 8 in Los Angeles. Live Nation is pleased to announce that TWO additional "once in a lifetime" concerts have been confirmed with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. In celebration of their new collaborative jazz album Cheek To Cheek, the pair of icons will join forces for two incredible evenings Saturday, May 30 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and Friday, June 19 at Radio City Music Hall, New York. Tickets for both performances will go on sale starting Monday, Nov. 3. Both artists will be accompanied by a full orchestra along with each artist's jazz ensembles who will also serve as special guests for the evening.

Cheek to Cheek debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 charts upon its release on Sept. 23.  Now at 88, Bennett remains the oldest artist in music industry history to have an album on the #1 spot on the Billboard charts. Cheek To Cheek marks Lady Gaga's third consecutive #1 album release in just over three years.

Cheek To Cheek features classic jazz standards sung by Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett in a combination of vocal duets and solo performances. From the title track to "But Beautiful" to "I Won't Dance," the record showcases the chemistry between the two artists, who span 60 years in age. As Bennett says, "What I really love about being a jazz singer is that jazz artists are very creative, very honest, from phrase to phrase," and Lady Gaga adds, "We wanted to make something that sounded perfect because of the quality of the emotion…the honesty." Cheek To Cheek also features the Lady Gaga solo "Lush Life," accompanied by Tony Bennett's solo of  "Sophisticated Lady." The two songs complement each other, as Lady Gaga explains, "I loved making 'Lush Life,' Tony mentored me emotionally through the process," and Tony Bennett adds, "I sang 'Sophisticated Lady' to answer her on 'Lush Life,' and because Duke Ellington wrote it, who collaborated with Billy Strayhorn, the writer of 'Lush Life.'" Recorded in New York City, Cheek To Cheek took over a year to complete and features jazz musicians associated with both artists including members of Bennett's quartet: Mike Renzi, Gray Sargent, Harold Jones and Marshall Wood as well as pianist Tom Ranier. Jazz trumpeter Brian Newman, a long-time friend and colleague of Lady Gaga appears on the album as well with his NYC-based jazz quintet. Jazz soloists on selected tracks include tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano, trumpeter George Rabbai and flutist Paul Horn, who passed away in July.

"We are thrilled to present this very special show. Individually they are incredible talents, together it is something not to be missed," said Arthur Fogel, president of global touring and chairman of global music, Live Nation.

Dec. 31, 2014 / Las Vegas, NV /  The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan - Sold Out!
- Feb. 08, 2015 / Los Angeles, CA / The Wiltern - Sold Out!
- May 30, 2015 / Los Angeles, CA / Hollywood Bowl           
- June 08, 2015 / London, UK / Royal Albert Hall
- June 19, 2015 / New York, NY / Radio City Music Hall

Friday, October 24, 2014

Urban-Jazz Trumpeteer Joey Sommerville Releases "Overnight Sensation"

It’s smooth sailing in paradise this week for urban-jazz trumpeter Joey Sommerville as one of the headliners aboard the star-studded Capital Jazz Cruise, but he will hit the ground running next week once the Caribbean voyage ends. Next Tuesday (Oct. 28), Sommerville will release his fifth album, “Overnight Sensation,” and two days later (Oct. 30) he will play an album launch concert in his adopted home of Atlanta at The Suite Food Lounge. In the meantime, the disc’s title track has been priming the pump in recent weeks as one of the most added radio singles. 

“Overnight Sensation” is a snapshot of the artist and the man behind the music with nine new songs that he wrote or co-wrote inspired by his real life experiences over the past 20+ years. Sommerville also produced the set with seminal fusion keyboardist Jeff Lorber sharing the producer’s chair on a pair of tracks. The session incorporating R&B, funk, contemporary and straight-ahead jazz, go-go and blues includes spotlight solos from hall of fame guitarist Earl Klugh, edgy trombonist Jeff Bradshaw, emerging saxophonist Elan Trotman and journeyman guitar player Eric Essex. The offering is personal for Sommerville and he seizes the moment with expressive and lyrically astute trumpet and flugelhorn work while adding keyboards and acoustic piano, programming drums and synth bass, and singing lead and background vocals.     
An energetic muted trumpet lead heralds Sommerville’s arrival on the album opener “Overnight Sensation” driven by a snappy piano and synth percussion rhythm. Klugh deftly spins a sensual web of acoustic guitar around Sommerville’s impassioned flugelhorn foreplay on “Desire.” Sommerville and Bradshaw unleash an imaginative rock-laced assault on Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” that swelters and swings. A “life of the party” Sommerville voices “Red Cups” utilizing a rump shaking go-go beat. Written on the occasion of his 17th wedding anniversary, Sommerville strips away the bravura revealing a husband still deeply in love with his wife without any regrets (“I don’t need a rewind”) despite enduring drama, struggles and trials while raising a family together. Voice quivering with emotion, he sings the vulnerable paean honoring their love, partnership, marriage and friendship. Lorber’s slick touch is all over the funky groove on “The Next Big Thing” and he even chimes in with an animated synth on the pre-chorus adding a bit of color and quirk. Sommerville’s declarative trumpet feeds the frenzy of jazz-funk with Trotman getting in on the action by dishing a cool sax solo. The bluesy and somber “Rebecca Of Birmingham” pays homage to Sommerville’s late grandmother giving Essex a chance to reflect with a searing electric guitar eulogy. “Karma” is a straight-ahead jazz meditation that ethereally floats trumpet and piano melodies on a shuffling beat. Harmonically rich “Forever” plays for keeps in a classic R&B setting. Back in full festive mode, Sommerville closes the collection with an invigorating jaunt along the anthem-like “The Passport Life.” 

A popular, good-time performer on the concert and festival circuit, Sommerville has been featured on Grammy-nominated and Juno Award-winning recordings. He’s hoping that the quality of the songs, musicianship and production on “Overnight Sensation” will elevate his solo recording career to similar acclaim and accomplishment.

Blue Note 75 Special Releases: Uncompromising Expression; Astell & Kern Box Set; Thelonious Monk 'Round Midnight Complete Blue Note Singles


November 4 will see the release of Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression, a label-spanning 5-CD box set that is a companion piece to a new hardcover book of the same title authored by Richard Havers. Theset opens with the label's very first artist, pianist Meade "Lux" Lewis, and closes 75 years later with the progressive sounds of bassist Derrick Hodge.  A sweeping overview of one of the world's most diverse and celebrated Jazz catalogs, the collection also features Art Blakey, Donald Byrd, John Coltrane, Norah Jones, Thelonious Monk, Cassandra Wilson, and many more. Curated by Havers, each of the discs covers a specific era of the label's evolution from boogie to bop, soul jazz to 21st Century trailblazers including Robert Glasper and Gregory Porter.


On November 4 we will release the 2-CD set 'Round Midnight: The Complete Blue Note Singles comprising Thelonious Monk's first recordings as a leader between 1947-1952, which include the first version of his classic composition "'Round Midnight." The Blue Note Records 75th Anniversary Vinyl Reissue Series also continues with four new titles released on October 28: Horace Silver Horace Silver And The Jazz Messengers, Thelonious Monk Genius of Modern Music, Volume 1, Hank Mobley No Room For Squares, and Dianne Reeves I Remember. Additionally, Blue Note Authorized Dealers will carry an exclusive 10" reissue of Miles Davis Young Man with a Horn, the first of three 10" albums the great trumpeter recorded for Blue Note in the early 1950s.


Blue Note has partnered with the high-end audiophile brand Astell&Kern on a limited edition box set.  The Astell & Kern Blue Note 75th Anniversary Box Set: Limited Edition features 75 essential Blue Note albums newly remastered from analog to the hi-res MQS digital format (24bit/192kHz). The lavish collection includes a Blue Note branded Astell&Kern AK240 high-resolution portable audio player pre-loaded with all 75 titles, a special book filled with original album art, as well as Richard Havers' new book, Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression.
~ Blue Note Records


Our Point of View is a supergroup that celebrates the vitality of Blue Note by looking ahead and assembling the leading young artists on the Blue Note roster who continue to move Jazz forward. The creative young voices of Jazz have been the lifeblood of Blue Note Records throughout its storied 75 year history, from Thelonious Monk and Herbie Hancock to Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson, all of whom made their debut albums for the legendary label. Our Point of View is a supergroup that celebrates the vitality of Blue Note in honor of our 75th anniversary by looking ahead and assembling the leading young artists on the Blue Note roster who steadfastly continue to move Jazz forward. Featuring keyboardist Robert Glasper, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland, guitarist Lionel Loueke, bassist Derrick Hodge, and drummer Kendrick Scott, the band’s repertoire draws from each of these artists’ own remarkable catalogs as well new spins on Blue Note classics. Our Point of View will perform select shows this Fall including Monterey Jazz Festival  (9/20), Blue Note Xperia Lounge Festival in Paris (11/20), and London Jazz Festival (11/22) and (Le) Poisson Rouge in NYC (12/12) presented by WBGO. Monterey Jazz Festival will also present an exhibition and panel discussion on the legacy of Blue Note moderated by Ashley Kahn and featuring Bobby Hutcherson, Robert Glasper and Don Was. The Blue Note Xperia Lounge Festival in Paris runs from November 18-23 with additional performances by Gregory Porter, Jason Moran, and others.

Spirit of Malombo: Malombo Jazz Makers, Jabula Jazz & Jazz Afrika 1966-1984

South Africa's Julian Bahula created a unique synthesis of Western jazz and the indigenous rhythms of his home country, spreading his culture to an international audience as well as creating awareness for political issues affecting his homeland. Strut's new Spirit of Malombo collection sheds light on this visionary musician and tireless advocate for uality in South Africa.

In the early '60s, Bahula introduced indigenous malombo drums alongside guitar and flute to create a new, politically-charged fusion. After a spell with guitarist Philip Tabane, Bahula settled with musicians Lucky Ranku and Abie Cindi as Malombo Jazz Makers and the trio placed themselves bravely on the frontline of anti-apartheid activism including a domestic tour with Steve Biko as part of the 'Into The Heart of Negritude' theatre production.

As the pressure of apartheid intensified, Bahula moved to political exile in the UK, where he formed new Afro super-group, Jabula. The band worked closely and selflessly with the exiled ANC, the Anti-Apartheid Movement and other anti-apartheid organisations, using their music to help spread political awareness across Europe.

In '83, Bahula and his wife Liza set up the first concert in the UK to raise awareness for Nelson Mandela, 'African Sounds', an event that helped kick-start the international pressure leading to Mandela's release in 1990. The Specials' Jerry Dammers was there and was inspired by Jabula's track 'Mandela' to write the huge hit for The Special A.K.A., 'Free Nelson Mandela'.

Spirit Of Malombo documents Bahula's incredible musical journey from 1966 to 1984 for the first time. Package includes rare photos, poster artwork and memorabilia with extensive sleeve notes from author Francis Gooding. The cover features a still from leading South African photographer, Ernest Cole.

~ Strut

Dianne Reeves to Perform National Anthem at NFL Game at London's Wembley Stadium

Currently on tour in Europe in support of her new album Beautiful Life, Dianne Reeves will be performing the national anthem at the Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons football game at London's Wembley Stadium this Sunday, October 26th at 9:30am EDT / 6:30am PDT -- despite the Atlanta Falcon's front office having post a graphic to their fans that the Falcons would be playing this game in Spain. As part of the "NFL International Series," this will be the 10th NFL game to occur at the world-renowned Wembley -- the second largest stadium in Europe. The game is to be broadcast nationally on FOX as well as throughout the UK. Born in Detroit and raised in Denver, Reeves said with a wink, "Of course I am a Lions' fan, but I'm glad they're not playing against the Broncos!" 

Shifting to a somewhat less raucous setting, Reeves will be the featured soloist with the New York Philharmonic at their annual New Year's Eve Concert at Lincoln Center -- to be broadcast live on PBS.

Following a five year recording hiatus, Reeves dug in deep and what she found and what resulted was Beautiful Life -- her Concord Records debut. The album showcases Reeves' sublime gifts by weaving a framework of 21st Century Jazz with R&B, Latin and Pop elements. Produced by Terri Lyne Carrington and featuring George Duke, Robert Glasper, Lalah Hathaway, Sean Jones, Raul Midón, Gregory Porter and Esperanza Spalding, Beautiful Life is a seamless blend of originals and inspired interpretations of classics including Bob Marley's "Waiting In Vain," Marvin Gaye's "I Want You" and the jazz classic "Stormy Weather."



The standout classic from Curtom disco diva Linda Clifford – and an album that showed that Chicago could rival Philly in the clubby groove department! Linda has a proud presence that really matches that of her better-known sisters in the City Of Brotherly Love – and she's singing here with a strong sense of personality that really sets the album apart from other female disco albums of the era. One of the greatest examples of this is her stunning "Runaway Love" – which has a bad-rapping, almost Marlena Shaw-esque monologue in the middle – but other tracks are equally nice, and include "Gypsy Lady", "If My Friends Could See Me Now", "Broadway Gypsy Lady", "You Are You Are", and "I Feel Like Falling In Love Again". Arrangements are by Gil Askey – who also produced the set in collaboration with Curtis Mayfield!  ~ Dusty Groove


A great Memphis sound from the second greatest instrumental group on Stax next to Booker T & The MGs – heard here on a massive record that really pushes The Mar-Keys to the next level! On previous records, the combo always had a sound that was a bit brighter than Booker and his group – still soul, but not nearly as sharp. Yet this time around, they really dig deep – and have a way of smoking out plenty of the best soulful elements associated with the Stax Records sound – that great way with a heavy-stepping groove, instrumentation that's tight yet never slick, and solo moments that burst out and really give the tunes a hell of a lot of personality! The rhythm jumps out of the grooves on numbers like "Honey Pot", "Grab This Thing" and "Philly Dog", and the album winds up with a James Brown medley that's pretty darn swingin too.  ~ Dusty Groove


A fantastic album of soul from Barbara Lynn – an oft-overlooked gem in the crown of Atlantic during their glory soul days in the 60s, and a singer with a raw soulful style that really deserved greater exploration! The album's filled with wonderful original tunes, written either by Barbara or arrangers Cliff Thomas, Ed Thomas, and Bob McRee. The set was recorded at the Grits & Gravy Studios in Clinton, Mississippi by Huey P Meux – which gives it a slightly different style than much of the Atlantic output at the time. Titles include "You're Losing Me", "Sufferin City", "You'll Lose A Good Thing", "Take Your Love & Run", "I'll Suffer", "Maybe We Can Slip Away", "Multiplying Pain", and "Mix It Up Baby". ~ Dusty Groove


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