In 2013, Funky Town Grooves reissued a significant portion of Norman Connors' discography as a leader slash highly connected talent organizer. Along with straightforward Dance of Magic/Dark of Light and You Are My Starship/Aquarian Dream two-for-one releases, as well as individualized bonus-track-enhanced reissues of Invitation and Take It to the Limit, there was this - a pairing of Connors' 1974 Buddah dates. Among the highlights: a gorgeous eight-minute "Love from the Sun," a storming version of Carlos Garnett's "Mother of the Future" (with Jean Carn at full, jaw-dropping power), and Reggie Lucas' funky instrumental "Slew Foot."
Gwen McCrae, a gutsy soul singer in the southern style and initially influenced by such leading lights of the soul world as Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin, is known best for her 1975 R&B #1 Rockin Chair . Having married George Rock Your Baby McCrae after a whirlwind romance in 1963 the couple became a vocal duo and were discovered by influential singer/producer Betty Wright in the late 60s.
Robert "Bob" Hurst's 2013 album Bob: A Palindrome follows up the bassist's 2010 studio album Bob Ya Head. Recorded in 2001, the album's release was delayed by 9/11, as well as Hurst's own busy career as a highly sought-after sideman and professor of music at the University of Michigan. Joining Hurst here are such longtime associates as saxophonist Branford Marsalis, drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts, trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, flutist and bass clarinetist Bennie Maupin, pianist Robert Glasper, and percussionist Adam Rudolph. With all the songs composed and arranged by Hurst, including the epic mid-album Duke Ellington-style three-part "Middle Passage Suite," Bob: A Palindrome is a superb showcase for Hurst's improvisational skill, songwriting ability, and talent for assembling an all-star band. This is urbane, highly creative, and straight-ahead modern jazz at its finest.
Digitally re-mastered edition of this 1976 release, the 12th album from the enigmatic singer/songwriter. Shawn Phillips has recorded 20 albums and worked with musicians including Donovan, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Bernie Taupin and many others. Shawn's seminal release was Second Contribution, but Rumplestiltskin's Resolve is rated by the fans as the high point in his musical career. In the 1960's, Phillips played on several Donovan albums, performed at the Isle of Wight festival, sang on the Beatles' "Lovely Rita", and was cast to play the lead in the original production of Jesus Christ Superstar (he had to withdraw due to his heavy recording and touring schedule).
Even before their debut album, Happiness, became one of the fastest-selling albums in the U.K. in 2010, Manchester duo Hurts already had a rabid online fan base, stoked by several arch, expertly art-directed videos that the group self-produced, which captured the eye while showcasing the band's mix of '80s synth pop melodicism, Krautrock angularity, and '90s Hi-NRG balladry. The videos expertly juxtaposed a Helmut Newton-esque black-and-white aesthetic with the group's musical love of dance-club dramatics, á la Depeche Mode, Erasure, and Pet Shop Boys, eventually attracting the attention of Euro-pop diva Kylie Minogue, who ended up singing on the track "Devotion."
Features 24 bit digital remastering. Comes with a description. On this interesting LP, Four Brothers Sound refers to the four overdubbed tenor saxes Giuffre uses throughout the session. The effect is similar to that achieved by Bill Evans on his similar effort, Conversations With Myself. The chief differences between the two might be this: where Evans layered wholly different improvisational lines to the same changes, Giuffre generally sticks to ensemble work. Also, Evans was the only performer on his set, while pianist Bob Brookmeyer and guitarist Jim Hall join Giuffre on several cuts.
A really special record from a really special group – one of two sublime 70s gems from Azteca – a wicked blend of jazz, funk, Latin, and soul – all put together by a young Coke Escovedo! Coke's ostensibly the leader of the group, but there's also a richly collaborative feel going on – a style that brings together jazz players like Tom Harrell on trumpet, Mel Martin on saxes, George Muribus on Fender Rhodes, and Flip Nunez on organ – and Latin players like Victor Pantoja on congas, Coke Escovedo on timbales, and Pete Escovedo on added percussion. In fact, the set's a key early example of the strength of the Escovedo family – and like their best later efforts, the set really stretches out and pushes the boundaries of conventional genres. There's also some great guest work from Lenny White on drums, Mike Nock on keyboards, and Neal Schon on guitars – and vocals are by a range of singers who really keep things fresh.
Zen-Men, Fous De La Mer, Lenny Ibizarre, Chris Le Blanc, Jean F. Cochois, Lemongrass, Jens Buchert, Blank & Jones, Chris Zippel, Guardner, Bliss and many more. Compiled by DJ Jondal.
This Sony UK 2013 two-fer pairs two latter-day albums from Buddy Guy: the 2005 album Bring 'Em In and its 2008 sequel, Skin Deep. The Steve Jordan-produced Bring 'Em In and the Tom Hambridge-produced Skin Deep are both cut from the same cloth and feature a bunch of cameos – Keith Richards, John Mayer, and Tracy Chapman on the former; Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi, Eric Clapton, and Robert Randolph on the latter – and if neither are standouts in his discography, they're both enjoyable and this is a nice, easy way to get them both simultaneously.