Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The O´Jays : Back Stabbers

This record came by mail this morning and it was a special feeling when the needle hit the vinyl. Back Stabbers is a studio album by Philadelphia soul group The O'Jays, released in August of 1972 on Philadelphia International Records. Recording sessions for the album took place at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1972. Back Stabbers was a breakthrough album for the group, reaching the top 10 of the Billboard Pop Albums chart and selling over 500,000 copies within a year of release. It also featured two of their most successful singles, "Back Stabbers" and "Love Train", which hit number one on the Billboard Pop Singles chart. On September 1, 1972, the title track was certified as a gold single by the Recording Industry Association of America. The following year, on May 8, Back Stabbers was also certified gold in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America. It has gained the reputation as a landmark album of early 1970s soul and has been cited by critics as "the pinnacle of Philly soul." In 2003, the album was ranked number 318 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time...

Ramsey Lewis : Party Time

Ramsey Lewis has long explored the boundary between bop-oriented jazz and pop music. Most of his recordings (particularly by the mid-'60s) were very accessible and attracted a large non-jazz audience. In 1956, he formed a trio with bassist Eldee Young and drummer Red Holt. From the start (1958), their records for Argo/Cadet were popular, although in the early days, they had a strong jazz content. In 1958, Lewis also recorded with Max Roach and Lem Winchester. On the 1965 albums The In Crowd and Hang On, Ramsey made the pianist into a major attraction and from that point, on his records became much more predictable and pop-oriented. In 1966, his trio's personnel changed with bassist Cleveland Eaton and drummer Maurice White (later the founder of Earth, Wind & Fire) joining Lewis. In the 1970s, Lewis often played electric piano, although by later in the decade he was sticking to acoustic and hiring an additional keyboardist. He can still play melodic jazz when he wants to, but Ramsey Lewis has mostly stuck to easy listening pop music during the past 30 years. In 2004 he released Time Flies, a look back at some of his most popular songs through new recordings.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Junior Mance : Don't Cha Hear me Callin' to Ya

Junior Mance is well-known for his soulful bluesy style, but he is also expert at playing bop standards. He started playing professionally when he was ten. Mance worked with Gene Ammons in Chicago during 1947-1949, played with Lester Young (1950), and was with the Ammons-Sonny Stitt group until he was drafted. He worked as Dinah Washington's accompanist (1954-1955), was in the first Cannonball Adderley Quintet (1956-1957), and then spent two years touring with Dizzy Gillespie (1958-1960). After a few months with the Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis/Johnny Griffin group, Mance formed his own trio and has mostly been a leader ever since. He has led sessions for Verve, Jazzland, Riverside, Capitol, Atlantic, Milestone, Polydor, Inner City, JSP, Nilva, Sackville, and Bee Hive, among other labels.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Kutiman : No Groove Where I Come From

Our respect for the things Kutiman sends out to the world is deep ! What a talent !
Ophir “Kutiman” Kutiel is a 27 year old musician, composer and producer from Tel Aviv. He plays drums, keyboards, guitar and bass.
He blew everyone away with his Thru You project last year, a compilation of songs created with unrelated youtube video samples. If you haven't seen this you should definetely go here : you'll be amazed !
The response on “No Groove Where I Come From” was simply phenomenal. Dj's like Gilles Peterson, Diplo and Roskow (Jazzanova) were instantly hooked, the Parisien afrobeat community welcomed Kutiman with open arms and and “Straight No Chaser” magazine dubbed him “Psychedelic space funk architect”.
Kutiman is probably working on his second album right now, we are looking forward to that !!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gary Bartz Ntu Troop : Celestial Blues

Alto saxophonist Gary Bartz attended the Juilliard Conservatory of Music and became a member of Charles Mingus' Jazz Workshop from 1962-1964 where he worked with Eric Dolphy and encountered McCoy Tyner for the first time. He also began gigging as a sideman in the mid-'60s with Abbey Lincoln and Max Roach, and later as a member of Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers.
His recording debut was on Blakey's Soul Finger album. Tyner formed his famed Expansions band in 1968 with Bartz on alto. In addition, Bartz also formed his own bands at this time and recorded a trio of albums for Milestone, and continued to tour with Max Roach's band. In 1970, Miles Davis hired Bartz and featured him as a soloist on the Live-Evil recording.
Bartz formed the Ntu Troop that year as well, an ensemble that fused soul and funk, African folk music, hard bop, and vanguard jazz into a vibrant whole. Among the group's four recordings from 1970-1973, Harlem Bush Music: Taifa and Juju Street Songs have proved influential with soul jazzers, and in hip-hop and DJ circles as well.

Last track in this mix

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bob James : Nautilus

Bob James' recordings have practically defined pop/jazz and crossover during the past few decades. Very influenced by pop and movie music, James has often featured R&B-ish soloists, most notably Grover Washington, Jr., who add a jazz touch to what is essentially an instrumental pop set. He actually started out in music going with a much different direction. In 1962, James recorded a bop trio set for Mercury, and three years later his album for ESP was quite avant-garde, with electronic tapes used for effects. After a period with Sarah Vaughan (1965-1968), he became a studio musician, and by 1973 was arranging and working as a producer for CTI. In 1974, James recorded his first purely commercial effort as a leader with the album "One", where "Nautilus" is the ending track. He later made big-selling albums for his own Tappan Zee label, Columbia, and Warner Bros., including collaborations with Earl Klugh and David Sanborn. James remains relatively busy in the studio and since 2000 has released several albums including Dancing on the Water in 2001, That Steamin' Feelin' in 2002, Hi-Fi in 2003, and Urban Flamingo in 2006, among others.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bah Samba : Let The Drums Speak

The latin, jazz and funk grooves crew, Bah Samba team up with the legendary US soul outfit The Fatback Band, with a revisited version of the Fatback 1975 classic, ‘Let The Drums Speak’. Having been thrown together by their manager, Bah Samba’s Julian & Mark got together with Fatbacks’ Jonny Flippen (Bass) and Bill Curtis (Drums) for a jam session. The result is this superb faithful interpretation of a soulful classic with that Fatback feel-good party vibe to keep the floors well oiled.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Collie Buddz : Come Around

Collie Buddz is a reggae and dancehall artist from Bermuda, best known for his single "Come Around". Although born in New Orleans, he moved to his mothers' home of Bermuda at the age of five, after the death of his father. He performed on Shaggy's 2007 album Intoxication on the track "Mad Mad World". In 2008, his song "SOS" was released on WWE The Music, Vol. 8 as the entrance theme for wrestler Kofi Kingston. He also appeared in a 2009 remix of Kid Cudi's single "Day 'n' Nite". His name is based on slang for cannabis. He launched his own record label 'Harper Digital'.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pleasure Web : Music man (pts 1 and 2)

More funky breaks with a serious obscure 45 that was brought under the attention because it was sampled by Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark with their "Jayou" release in 1998 and produced at the "Red October Chemical Storage Facility" under the name "Jurassic 5"

Track 8 & 9 in this mix.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Syl Johnson : Is It Because I'm Black

Born Sylvester Thompson in Holly Springs, Mississippi, Johnson sang and played with blues artists Magic Sam, Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells and Howlin' Wolf in the 1950s, before recording with Jimmy Reed for Vee-Jay in 1959. He made his solo debut that same year with Federal, a subsidiary of King Records of Cincinnati, backed by Freddie King on guitar.
He then began recording for Twinight Records of Chicago in the mid 1960s. Beginning with his first hit, Come On Sock It to Me in 1967, Johnson dominated the label as both a hitmaker and producer. His song Different Strokes, also from 1967, featured recently on the Ultimate Breaks and Beats breakbeat compilation.
Like other black songwriters of the period, several of his records at this time explored themes of African-American identity and social problems in songs including "Is It Because I'm Black", which reached Number 11 in the R&B charts in 1969.
In 1971, Willie Mitchell brought Johnson to Hi Records, the two recording three albums which spawned a number of singles. Produced in Memphis with the Hi house band, these yielded music of power and enduring value, including the hits We Did It, Back for a Taste of Your Love and Take Me to the River, his biggest success, reaching Number 7 on the R&B charts in 1975. However, at Hi Johnson was always to some extent in Al Green's shadow commercially, if not artistically. Mitchell also chose to use mainly in-house material rather than Johnson originals.
After the Hi years ended, Johnson produced two LPs for his own Shama label, the latter of which (Ms. Fine Brown Frame, 1982) was picked up for distribution by Boardwalk Records and produced Johnson's last hit record, the title cut.
Around the mid-1980s, Johnson started a fast-food fish restaurant business, and became semi-retired from performing, only making occasional appearances at blues club gigs.
In 1992, Johnson found out that his classic song "Different Strokes" had been sampled by number of rappers including Wu-Tang Clan, Kool G Rap, Hammer, and the Geto Boys. Stimulated by this fact, he decided to make a come back in the music business. In 1994, he released the album Back in the Game on Delmark Records. The album featured the Hi rhythm section and his youngest daughter Syleena Johnson.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Kraak & Smaak : C'mon People

Although Kraak & Smaak originally started out as a studio project for the founder members Oscar De Jong, Mark Kneppers & Wim Plug it quickly became one of the hottest live and DJ properties in dance music. The live band has the addition of Rose – vocalist, Seb – MC and vocalist, Andre – drums and Marc on the bass guitar. Coupled with the keyboards, FX and percussion played by the band themselves it’s a formidable slice of funk on the floor with the epic moments provided by K&S’s more leftfield output. For DJ sets band member DJ Sargon, Mark and Wim are the main spinners capable of laying down an eclectic sound that makes them as happy spinning in the tiny basement of a deep funk night as it does dropping huge riffs to festival crowds.

When it came out, their debut album Boogie Angst stood out because it sounded like nothing else around. The K&S brand of future funk led to their singles being supported by the cream of Radio 1. Annie Nightingale was the first to support the band and invited K&S to record a guestmix for her show. Annie Mac, Pete Tong and Rob Da Bank also came to the party with Rob even licensing their first single Money in the Bag for his Blue Room compilation CD. Their breaking sound led to a whole host of requests for remixes with Jamiroquai at the front of the queue as well as Mark Rae (a particular beauty of a mix that’s big with the jazz heads) Max Sedgley (who Rob da Bank asked the band to do a mix of), Richard Dorfmeister (whose Kruder&Dorfmeister Sessions album has been an inspiration to the band) and friends and family like Fort Knox Five, Soul of Man and Skeewiff. These remixes were collected onto a double album (they’d been busy) called The Remix Sessions which was released last year and since then Junkie Xl and Sam Sparro have also been added to their impressive re-rub list.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Quantic : Not So Blue

This is definitely one of my favourite tracks of all time ! Unbelievable how much feeling and depth you can find in an instrumental track like this.
Will Holland is one of the most talented and prolific artists in the world of alternative dance music today.
He has enjoyed consistent success with Quantic, releasing his first album, The 5th Exotic in the summer of 2001. It was picked up on by some of the most respected names in underground music. Richard Dorfmiester, Mr Scruff and LTJ Bukem all rated it very highly, not surprising when tunes like “Common Knowledge” and the near classic “Life in the Rain” had blazed across dance floors all over Europe.
He built on this acclaim with the release of Apricot Morning less than a year later, dispelling any talk of “the difficult second album”. His sound seemed to expand in every direction on ‘Apricot Morning’ and he became the first Tru Thoughts artist to collaborate with Alice Russell; Gilles Peterson ranked it amongst his albums of the year. The track Not so Blue comes from this album..

Before last track in this mix...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Latin Blues Band : I'll Be A Happy Man

From the album "Take A Trip Pussycat". The group, like a rare few others of their generation, are an insane mix of Latin jamming, psychedelic soul, and stoner funk riffing -- all sifted together in a blender, with a sound that brings out the best aspects in all elements involved! The album's got some wonderful bouncy cuts with a Latin soul groove and weird English lyrics -- like "Lay An Oz On Me Baby", "I'll Be A Happy Man", and "Pussycat" -- the kind of raw, wild, and very groovy tracks that you'd buy an album like this for. And there's also a totally great, totally tight descarga cut called "The Cow", that runs for 8 minutes with a very firey groove and lots of amazing playing! And if that wasn't enough, the cover's got a wild psychedelic image of a nude body with lots of colored lights projected over it, and a feeling that's about as trippy as the band must have been when they recorded this one!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Nora Morales Quintet : Saona

Noro Morales was born in Puerto Rico in 1911 and came to New York in 1935, where he played briefly with the bands of Alberto Socarras and Augusto Coen before establishing the Brothers Morales (Noro-Humberto-Esy) orchestra in 1939. The 1942 Decca 78 "Serenata R¡tmica" gave Morales instant recognition. During the decade of the '40s, his and Machito's band was the most popular in NYC.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Sweet Talks : Eyi Su Ngaangaa

The Sweet Talks were one of the most popular highlife bands to operate in the 1970s. The band started out as the official group of a Ghanaian glass factory, but later received sponsorship from, and a home at, the Talk of the Town club. Their first album, Adam and Eve, made enough of a splash in World Music waters to lead to a tour of America in 1975 and a follow-up album recorded Stateside in 1978. The group broke up a short while after. Crentsil went on to form the Super Sweet Talks, which in turn became known as the Ahento Band.
The beat of this track is relentless, anchoring the rhythm section and the shimmering layers of funk guitar. Once the horn riff hits and Crentsil's voice kicks in, you're hooked. It's simply gorgeous music that grabs you by the collar and transports you back in time to the heyday of Ghana's music scene, the Talk of the Town club.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The 3rd Generation : Because Of Money

Appears on the Ghana Soundz compilation. Ghana Soundz was the first ever Soundway compilation and became recognised worldwide due to the licensing of the Oscar Sulley track, ‘Bukom Mashie’ to the soundtrack of Hollywood blockbuster, ‘Last King of Scotland’.
Pounding rhythms, blaring horns and pumping vocals – the music is a document of a time forgotten when flares and Cuban heels strutted the streets and night-spots of Accra, the sizzlingly hot and humid capital of Ghana. Influenced as much by traditional rhythms and local highlife as by the music of Fela Kuti, James Brown and Santana, these tunes had almost become extinct, until now!
Ghana Soundz was the first of three collections of rare afro-beat, afro-funk and afro-fusion that Miles Cleret painstakingly travelled the length and breadth of Ghana to assemble.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Quantic : Cuidad del Swing

Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno is the latest in the ever-growing series of outings from the unstoppable Will “Quantic” Holland, and “Cuidad Del Swing” is the first taster.
Unmistakably Quantic, but with an emphasis on dub/reggae sounds, the “Cuidad Del Swing” 7” opens with an infectious, summery piano hook, and the dub flavour will whisk you away to tropical summery sonic bliss.
The concept and style of the Flowering Inferno project simply rests on pleasurable, easy-to-listen reggae-inspired music made in a tropical climate, and the tracks were laid down in Quantic’s freshly-built studio at his Columbia home. Featuring Holland on various instruments, it trips along with a dub lilt and is mostly built on hip hop orientated beats. As with the last Quantic Soul Orchestra album ‘Tropidelico’, the Latin American location in which this music was conceived and recorded has infused it with an irresistible and authentic exotic air.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mulatu Astatke : Yegelle Tezeta

Mulatu Astatke is an Ethiopian musician and arranger. He is known as the father of Ethio-jazz. Born in 1943 in the western Ethiopian city of Jimma, Mulatu was musically trained in London, New York City, and Boston, where he was the first African student at Berklee College of Music. He would later combine his jazz and Latin music influences with traditional Ethiopian music.
He has worked with many influential jazz artists such as Duke Ellington during the 1970s. After meeting the Massachusetts-based Either/Orchestra in Addis Ababa in 2004, Mulatu began a collaboration with the band which continues today, with the most recent performances in Scandinavia in summer 2006 & London, New York, Germany, Holland, Glastonbury, Dublin and Toronto in summer 2008. In the autumn of 2008, he collaborated with London-based Psyche-Jazz collective, The Heliocentrics on an album 'Inspiration Information Vol. 3' which included re-workings of his earlier Ethio-Jazz classics with new material by The Heliocentrics and himself. Mulatu's signature instrument is the vibraphone.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lafayette Afro-Rock Band : Darkest Light

Lafayette Afro Rock Band toiled in obscurity during their years of activity, but have now become of interest to Western critics and music historians due to their ubiquitous break beats. Due to their unpopularity when compared to contemporary acts such as Funkadelic, few copies of their studio LPs have survived; this has led to, with the exceptions of "Hihache" and "Darkest Light", the attention of critics and historians being drawn to the band's three greatest hits albums: Afon: Ten Unreleased Afro Funk Recordings, Darkest Light: The Best of and The Ultimate Collection. Music historian Dave Thompson unfavorably reviewed Afon, but praised Darkest Light, singling out "Soul Frankenstein," "The Gap," "Conga," "Malik," "Soul Makossa," "Scorpion Flower," "Nicky" and "Darkest Light" as the "high points" of the "ultimate point of entry" for the band. British music newspaper Melody Maker and Allmusic critic Jason Ankeny have also both favorably reviewed Darkest Light, with Ankeny stating that it is "one of the great documents of classic funk." The Ultimate Collection received particular acclaim from Allmusic writer Jason Birchmeier, who asserted that it was "a gem" that "you can't go wrong with."

Sunday, March 7, 2010

El Sexteto Miramar : Cumbiamba

Discos Fuentes (Fuentes Records) has been the largest label in the vast country of Colombia since 1934, a place where music is impossible to escape. This track appears on "Colombia!", a collection that concentrates on the golden years of 1960-1976 of the label and is hand-picked by Soundway Records team from a huge catalogue of hot, tropical music styles. Cumbia, Gaita, Fandago, Salsa and Champeta all feature in our selection from one of the world's best Latin music archives.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Charlie Palmieri : Either You Have It or You Don't

Put the needle on the spot, let it go, sit down, relax and watch the women fill the dancefloor... Always a pleasure indeed !
Charlie Palmieri, also known as "The Giant of the Keyboards" was a renowned salsa master.
In October 1947, Tito Puente, the musical director of the Fernando Alvarez Band, was impressed with Palmieri and hired him to play for his band at the Copacabana Club; here he played with Tito until 1953 and during the 1950s he played with various bands.
In 1967 he scored a hit with "Either You Have It or You Don't"

Thursday, March 4, 2010

C. Palomares Y Su Yuboney : Push Push Push

This one appears on the album "Gozalo, Bugalu Tropical". A killer batch of boogaloo material, but not from the usual sources! Although boogaloo is a genre normally associated with the New York scene at the end of the 60s, the music here all hails from Peru and represents a great new sound, music inspired by the Nuyorican originals, but which often take things into whole new directions! The Peruvian approach to boogaloo is a bit looser than the New York one, a bit more open and free, and often heavily touched by jazz music as well, resulting in a sound that's also got plenty of hard-jamming descarga elements too ! Given the racial makeup of the Peruvian scene, there's a bit less soul influence going on too, lyrics are more often in Spanish, and less inspired by the Harlem sound, but the overall rhythms still share plenty with the Latin soul styles of New York, and provide a great foil for some of the jazzy instrumentation. This package is a massive discovery in music, one that goes way beyond some of the few Peruvian Latin titles from the time that have been reissued, and it's overflowing with amazing work that's totally new to our ears!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bossa Tres : Imprevisto

The far-reaching tendencies of "Imprevisto" never fails to impress, and nearly overwhelms.
The song closes the album "Bossa Tres Em Forma!" recorded in 1965.
The Bossa Três was the first instrumental group of the bossa nova. In 1961, Luís Carlos Vinhas (piano), Tião Neto (bass), and Edison Machado (drums) teamed up to form the trio. They went to the U.S. to accompany the dancers Lennie Dale, Martha Botelho, and Joe Benett on The Ed Sullivan Show. They remained in the U.S. and recorded three albums in New York, which were released by Audio Fidelity in 1962 (one of them accompanying Jo Basile). The group continued to perform in jazz nightclubs until its dissolution. Returning alone to Brazil, Vinhas regrouped the trio with other musicians and continued to work, recording and performing throughout Latin America. The Bossa Três recorded with Pery Ribeiro in 1966 and, in 2000, with Wanda Sá.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Erik Sumo : This Is Where It Began

The Budapest based producer Ambrus Tövisházi and singer/songwriter plays in different bands and releases under different pseudonyms. The internationally most famous of Ambrus’ pseudonyms is “Erik Sumo”, under which he released 12’’ on “Pulver Records”. His 2002 release “Just a Woman” was a laid back house-tune that entered many playlists and charts of people like Giles Peterson and of course the souls and bodies of the fans.
‘This Is Where It Began’: a genre defying and surreal collection of songs that are sure to turn so-called ‘dance’ music on its head. An album inspired as much by Ennio Morricone and Clint Eastwood as it is by post-punk, Portishead and the cosmic sounds of seminal outfits like the RTB Big Band. Strings, harmonicas and infectious hand clapping conspire to mess with your mind, as traditional and future influences provide an unforgettable soundclash.