Boogaloo Joe Jones – Right On Brother (1970)

Blending a soul-jazz sensibility with driving funk-rock rhythms, guitarist Boogaloo Joe Jones (Ivan Joseph Jones to his parents) tapped into a style that may have been slightly out of step with popular tastes of the early 70s but has since found a new and enthusiastic online audience who find themselves exposed to an abundance of … Continue reading Boogaloo Joe Jones – Right On Brother (1970)

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Larry Young – Unity (1965)

Reid Miles’ cover designs for Blue Note were very often innovative and many are now regarded as iconic, but few are as striking and timeless as his artwork for Larry Young’s Unity, the organist’s second release for the label. Stacked bold black capitals in sans-serif type on a plain white background. Blood-orange circles bouncing inside … Continue reading Larry Young – Unity (1965)

Rusty Bryant – Fire Eater (1971)

A gold-plated classic from the soul-jazz vaults, tenor sax-man Rusty Bryant was clearly in a funky-as-hell mood when he cut this album at the Van Gelder studio for Prestige Records. It succeeds because there is nothing lightweight to be found here of the sort you might encounter on a Lou Donaldson LP, for example. Three … Continue reading Rusty Bryant – Fire Eater (1971)

Jimmy Smith – Root Down (1972)

The intoxicating, sweaty atmosphere of The Bombay Bicycle Club in Los Angeles on the evening of February 8, 1972 is faultlessly trapped forever on this excellent live release by Hammond B3 maestro Jimmy Smith. Energised by the young street-wise musicians in his new line-up and inspired to investigate new directions in groove-saturated jazz, Smith unwittingly … Continue reading Jimmy Smith – Root Down (1972)

Shirley Scott – Shirley Scott & The Soul Saxes (1969)

Undeservedly obscure but near essential in your collection, this recording from the peak Atlanta Records soul era features some major players and a great set list. In itself this is no guarantee of a classic; this dynamite disc, however, delivers the goods in abundance. Organist Shirley Scott had been a prolific soul-jazz recording artist since … Continue reading Shirley Scott – Shirley Scott & The Soul Saxes (1969)

Ronnie Foster – The Two-Headed Freap (1972)

I have no idea what a freap is, and a two-headed specimen is something I can't begin to imagine. Regardless, this sparkling slice of funked out soul jazz is a pure document of the times from which it emerged. Many jazz purists were dismayed that Blue Note would dare release anything so unashamedly contemporary, but … Continue reading Ronnie Foster – The Two-Headed Freap (1972)

Dr. Lonnie Smith – Drives (1970)

Before he started wearing a turban and styling himself as "Doctor", Lonnie Smith was a leading light among the many soul-jazz organ players that emerged in the late 60s. Signed to the Blue Note label he produced some of the more original and interesting albums of the genre and spun his sound on discs by … Continue reading Dr. Lonnie Smith – Drives (1970)

The New Mastersounds- The Nashville Session (2016)

True to their retro agenda, British four-piece funksters The New Mastersounds recorded this well honed set live in the studio in front of an audience made up of invited fans, whisked the tapes to the vinyl pressing plant with orders to punch out no more than one thousand copies and loaded their gear into the … Continue reading The New Mastersounds- The Nashville Session (2016)

I Want To Hold Your Hand – Grant Green (1965)

Never known to be a particularly ardent fan of jazz or latin music, one wonders what John Lennon would have thought of the many lightweight jazzbo smooch covers of his tunes by piano lounge acts or TV variety show orchestras. If they are cringe-inducing for us, imagine the pains suffered by the leading Fab himself. … Continue reading I Want To Hold Your Hand – Grant Green (1965)

Reuben Wilson – Blue Breakbeats

A jazz-heavy diet rich with high-end finesse can sometimes leave you feeling malnourished and light-headed, and you may find yourself craving some deeply satisfying street-food served on a wonky plastic plate or, even better, in a paper bag. This 1998 compilation of the funkiest tracks from organist Reuben Wilson's first three albums is the equivalent … Continue reading Reuben Wilson – Blue Breakbeats