Thursday, December 11, 2014



Billy's got no "inner conflicts" here – as the album's a full-on set of heavy jamming, one that features some nice electronics alongside Billy's drums! The album's actually one of our favorite Cobham sessions of the 70s – a record that we'd rank right up there with Spectrum for sheer intensity, and for its ability to appeal to our funk-tuned ears. The variety of rhythms on the record is really really great – earthy and tribal one minute, and electric and spacey the next – all coming off well without trying too hard, and with a feel that's much more jazzy and soulful than some of Billy's more rock-focused work. Players include George Duke as Dawilli Gonga on keyboards, John Scofield on guitar, Julian Priester on trombone, Jimmy Owens on trumpet, and Pete & Sheila Escovedo on percussion. Titles include "Inner Conflicts", "Arroyo", "El Barrio", "Nickels & Dimes", and "The Muffin Talks Back". ~ Dusty Groove


One of the coolest, hippest albums ever from reedman Hadley Caliman – cut at a time when Caliman was playing on a lot of other west coast sessions – both jazz and soul – and a record that definitely pushes his new ideas to the forefront! Hadley is always great, no matter what the setting – but this record really offers him the chance to stretch out and express himself – both on tenor and flute, in a way that's more Strata East or Black Jazz spiritual than some of the other albums on the Mainstream label at the time. The group's nicely laidback – with Larry Vuckovich on piano, John White Jr on guitar, Clarence Becton on drums, and Bill Douglass on bass – but Caliman is the clear star of the set, and shines brightly throughout. Tracks include "Cigar Eddie", "Longing", "Comencio", and "Kicking On The Inside". ~ Dusty Groove


A key 70s album from Blue Mitchell – and a set that's perfectly balanced between the lyricism of his mid 60s sides for Blue Note, and the electric funk of later years! The tracks are long, and have a really great vibe – plenty of room for Mitchell's sweet trumpet in the lead, with longer solos than on his last funk albums for Blue Note – and given a nice sense of bounce, a groove that's almost modal at times, by a group that features Walter Bishop on piano, Larry gales on bass, and Doug Sides on drums. Bishop's clearly playing some Fender Rhodes at times – ala his Black Jazz albums – and the group also features some of the most righteous tenor work we've ever heard from Jimmy Forrest, an artist we really know best for sides from a decade before. Titles include a killer reading of "Soul Village" – later recorded famously by Bishop – plus "Blues For Thelma", "Queen Bey", "Mi Hermano", and "Are You Real". ~ Dusty Groove

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