Thursday, January 14, 2016



A fantastic album from the great Alan Price – known to some as one of the founding members of The Animals, but also a hell of an artist on his own – working here in a sweet blend of jazz, soul, and R&B elements – with a vibe that's very similar to his excellent collaborations with Georgie Fame! In fact, there's a groove here that's quite like Fame's brilliant late 60s/early 70s material – a sound that's quite different than you might expect from the 1974 recording date of the set – a truly timeless vibe that may make the set Alan's best-ever album! Yet oddly, the record was barely issued at the time – recorded, released, and pulled from the racks immediately – which means that even most Price fans have never heard the set – which finally gets its due with this well-done CD release. The quality of the songs is wonderful – some of Alan's best writing – and instrumentation is mostly lean, jazz-styled small combo backing – with far less production than most big label sets were getting at the time. Titles include "Savaloy Dip", "Pure Jimmy", "Smells Like Lemon Tastes Like Wine", "Willie The Queen", "Passin Us By", and "Country Life".  ~ Dusty Groove


A killer collection of contemporary soul – all pulled together with the kind of cool, classy sound we've come to expect from the Expansion label over the years! Expansion always has a great ear for digging out the best of the underground – and honestly, these guys were committed to Neo Soul before the movement had even formed – through their own recordings of American artists in the early 90s. That tradition continues strongly with a set like this – where the label offers up 35 gems on a well-priced 3CD package – brimming over with contemporary soul cuts that have way more going on than mainstream work on the charts. The set's a great way to discover a huge amount of Neo Soul cuts at a great price – and titles include "Promise" by Diane Marsh, "Love Crazy" by Chazz Mac, "Love In My Eyes" by Gene O, "Treat You Right" by Ian Martin with Jill Zadeh, "The Other Side" by Matthew Winchester, "Listening To Your Heart" by Tyrone Lee, "Even A Fool" by Dunn Street, "Help Yourself To My Love (live)" by Kashif, "Will You Be My Lady" by Damon Cooper, "The Road" by Paul Johnson, "Amazing" by Victor Haynes, "Funky Maharaja (heavy funk mix)" by Sham De Re with Xantone Black, "It's All Divine" by James Day & Darren Polite with Tina Broussard and U-Nam, "Call On Me" by The R&R Orchestra, and "Heartbreaking (classic mix)" by The Sound Principle with Richard Anthony Davis.  ~ Dusty Groove


Two sweet sets from Hiroshima – back to back on a single CD! First up is the self-titled first album from Hiroshima – a group who took the 70s experiments in Japanese fusion right into the American mainstream – with a wonderful blend of jazz and soul, and a production style that was never too polished or commercial! The group's led by reedman Dan Kuramota – who plays both sax and flutes, including a bit of Japanese wooden flute – which gives the record a few slight "Eastern" touches a times, although the overall vibe is strongly in the best soulful fusion of the period! In keeping with that approach, there's a bit of vocals on the record – sung in English with a soulful vibe – on titles that include "Lion Dance", "Da Da", "Taiko Song", "Holidays", "Never Ever", and "Kokoro". Odori is a wicked blend of jazz and soul from Hiroshima – a group who've got the smooth blend of styles we love in some of the import-only fusion dates that were coming from Japan in the late 70s! The group's got a few light touches that emphasize their Pacific roots – including light flute lines and touches of koto and shamisen, but often used in more subtle ways than on earlier Japanese albums that mixed these rootsy elements with jazz – and the overall vibe here is one that's got plenty of appeal to fans of crossover fusion from the time, especially the kind with a strong current of soul! There's a bit of vocals on the record, too – and titles include "Winds Of Change", "Odori", "Echoes", "Cruisin J-Town", "Fortune Teller", and "Shinto".  ~ Dusty Groove


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