Friday, December 02, 2016



Johnny Bristol first got his start at Motown – where both his songwriting skills and studio talents graced an excellent range of singles and album tracks in the late 60s – but as the 70s moved in, Bristol really became a strong singer on his own – with a fantastic sound that we'd rank right up there with the best of the period, even though Johnny never fully got his due! In a way, Bristol was a bit like Lamont Dozier – another background talent who turned out an equally fine range of records as a solo star – and like Dozier, Johnny always remained his own man throughout his solo years – never giving into easy commercial tricks, or overdone disco cliches. Instead, the man was pure class, all the way through – with an especially strong ability to hit a mellow soul groove that's maybe rivaled only by Leroy Hutson or a rare few others. This package collects together all the best of those solo cuts, most of them sweet midtempo steppers or warm mellow numbers – with titles that include "Lusty Lady", "Go On & Dream", "Memories Don't Leave Like People Do", "Have Yourself A Good Time", "She's So Amazing", "I'm Waiting On Love", "Strangers In The Dark Corners", "Love No Longer Has A Hold On Me", "Take Me Down", "Till I See You Again", "I'm So Proud Of You", "Hold ON To Love", "Do It To My Mind", and "Woman Woman".  ~ Dusty Groove


A fantastic album from trumpeter Kenny Wellington – one that shows us that the 70s spirit of artists like Roy Ayers and the Mizell Brothers is alive and well – as long as you know where to look! The record's contemporary, but has a really classic blend of jazz and soul – one that still allows plenty of space for Kenny's soaring solo work, but also has a wonderful focus on sharp rhythms and a righteous overall sound! The balance is no surprise – given that Kenny's got a legacy that goes back to classic work in the groups Central Line, Light Of The World, and Beggar & Co – but this album's way deeper and more powerful than anything Wellington gave us back in the day – and features some especially nice work on vocals, by a quartet that's headed up by Augie Johnson, who brings in a vibe that's similar to his music with Side Effect and the LA Boppers. The whole thing's wonderful – righter than most folks sound when they go for a groove like this – and titles include "Heading Home", "Dreaming Of Futures Bright", "Fat Cherry", "Kings For A Day Masters Of The Night", "You Can Run", "E3 Symphony", and "Miles 2 Go". ~ Dusty Groove


One of the headiest Peter Brotzmann albums we've heard in years, thanks to the sound of the Black Bombaim group from Portugal – who play with a guitar-heavy drive that almost takes us back to Brotzmann's Last Exit recordings of the 80s! The group play with a forward energy that takes off right from the start – heavy drums and full-on fuzzy guitar, plus some deep electric bass as well – all of which puts the reedman in a different setting than most of his recent projects, and one that reminds us just how well-suited he can be for such an experience! Some of the performances here really blow our minds all over again – with a tone that's strong, and incredibly clear – sometimes even more focused than on some of Brotzmann's other recent records, but still very free and sharp-edged overall. The album was recorded live in the studio, with a very jamming vibe – and the CD seems to have one more track than the vinyl LP. ~ Dusty Groove


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