Tuesday, December 09, 2014

New Releases: On A Cool Day: The Soulful Side Of Cool Jazz; Free Soul Christmas; Speak Easy: The RPM Records Story


Not just cool jazz – despite what the title might say – and instead a whole host of soulful jazzy styles from the late 50s and early 60s – pulled forth from the kind of singles that once boomed from backroom jukeboxes in taverns on the south side of town! The collection is great – very much in the spirit of some of the Mod Jazz compilations on Ace, but maybe even a bit more farther-reaching too – and the tracks are a great mix of instrumental and vocal jazz numbers, put together with the same great ear as the soul collections on the Outta Sight label. Titles include "Like Young" by Ann Henry, "I Walk The Streets" by Lyn Avalon, "Scenes In The City (edit)" by Charles Mingus, "Comin Home Baby" by Dave Bailey, "Johnny With The Gentle Hands" by Cootie Williams & Wini Brown, "Baby Do You Ever Think Of Me" by Sonny Stitt, "Goodbye Old Girl" by Art Farmer, "Wayning Moments" by Wayne Shorter, and "Sack O Woe" by Ray Bryant.  ~ Dusty Groove


One of the coolest Christmas compilations we've ever seen – a wonderful blend of contemporary cuts and overlooked gems from the past 40 years – including some excellent gems from the 80s that have never gotten the right sort of exposure! There's some real treasures on here – songs we totally totally love – and the mood changes often, but in a really great way – so that favorites mix nicely with the more obscure numbers – in a batch of cuts that runs for over 80 minutes, and which includes "Driving Home For Christmas" by Chris Rae, "Wonderful Christmas Time" by Silje Nergaard, "What Do You Want This Year For Christmas" by Dean Grech, "This Christmas" by Malene Mortensen, "Thanks For Christmas" by Three Wise Men (XTC), "Ho Ho Ho" by Georgie Fame, "On Christmas Morning" by Benny Sings & Clara Hill, "Benoit's Christmas" by Pale Fountains, "Joy" by Tracey Thorn, "Last Christmas" by Til Bronner, "This Christmas" by Mary J Blige, "The Bell That Couldn't Jingle" by Burt Bacharach, "Fairytale Of New York" by The Pogues, "Christmas Love" by Rotary Connection, "Santa Baby" by The French Impressionists, and "Simply Havin A Wonderful Christmas Time" by Joke Bruijs.  ~ Dusty Groove


Rare tracks, unissued material, and lots of un-reissued tracks too – all pulled together to present a great second chapter of the legendary R&B powerhouse – RPM Records! RPM was a key force in shaping the sound of the west coast during the 50s – and in addition to recording important sounds from artists in LA and San Francisco, the label also drew from points as far east as Memphis or New Orleans– as you'll hear in this overstuffed batch of tracks! Familiar names from the RPM/Modern catalog are here, next to much more obscure artists, and a few we never knew recorded for the label – and the overall vibe here is top-shelf R&B, with lots of soulful currents throughout. Titles include "Snake Eyed Mama" by Don Cole, "Bim Bam" by BB King, "Memories Of You" by Prentice Moreland, "Speak Easy" by Vido Musso, "Blues In The Dark" by Little George Smith, "Whoopin & A Hollerin" by Preacher Stephens, "Real Pretty Mama" by The Meadow Larks, "Feel My Broom" by Quinn Kimble, "Ruben" by Johnny Guitar Watson, "I Ain't Drunk" by Lonnie The Cat, "Love Me Pretty Baby" by Connie Mack Booker, "One Whole Year Baby" by Earl Curry, "Hands Off" by Donna Hightower, and "The Dream (parts 1 & 2)" by The Fox. 54 tracks in all – and great notes too!  ~ Dusty Groove

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