JUNIE - THE WESTBOUND YEARS
Walter "Junie" Morrison had the great honor of being a member of both of Westbound's biggest collectives (although not necessarily at the same time) – the hard funky Ohio Players, and the cosmic brotherhood of Funkadelic/Parliament. During the mid-70s, though, Junie embarked upon a solo career, and cut a few wild LPs for the label which mixed funk, soul, and even some strange rock-oriented leanings. The resulting recordings were some of the more messed-up that Westbound ever issued, with moments that are delightfully funky, and others that are downright silly. This sweet 20 track compilation brings together most of the best moments of Junie's Westbound Years, and includes cuts like "Johnny Carson Samba", "Walt's Third Trip", "Tight Rope", "Cookies Will Get You", "Super J", "Super Groupie", and the great "Granny's Funky Rolls Royce", featuring the Funky Granny from "Funky Worm"! ~ Dusty Groove.
AKI TAKASE / DAVID MURRAY – CHERRY SAKURA
As much as we love reedman David Murray in a group, we almost love him even more in a spare setting – especially a duet album like this, where he can both stretch out on his horn, but also soulfully interact with another player! Pianist Aki Takase provides lines that are sometimes sharp and angular, sometimes long and flowing – and Murray balances the sound out with beautiful work on both tenor and bass clarinet – sometimes with an approach that's almost traditional tenor ballad, sometimes a bit more freewheeling. The sound is great, and takes us back to David Murray projects like this from years back – on titles that include "Cherry Sakura", "A Very Long Letter", "Stressology", "A Long March To Freedom", "Blues For David", and "To AP Kern". ~ Dusty Groove
IZO FITZROY - SKYLINE
Izo Fitzroy may look like a languid country singer on the cover (we're not sure why – maybe it's the old American car) – but she comes across with a deeply soulful sound on the album, and a strong raspy edge in her vocals that comes as a mighty nice surprise! The set's definitely going for a late 60s/early 70s funky soul vibe – but Izo's approach is maybe a bit different than some of the younger "funk girls with band" albums out there – nicely lean, with sharp instrumentation that never tries to hard to push any sort of agenda – which leaves the strength of Fitzroy's singing to really bring most of the power to the tunes. Given her voice, we're sure that the lady could sparkle in whatever style she chooses – and titles include "Break The Levee", "Shadowlands", "Reckoning", "Here I Come", "Hope You Can Wait", "Day By Day", "Say Something", "Heads Held High", and "I Keep You Guessing". ~ Dusty Groove