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)

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)

Booker T & The MG’s – Melting Pot (1971)

With a cover that vaguely resembles The Doors L.A. Woman which was released only three months later, and a title track that channels 'Riders On The Storm' with a slightly less foreboding "killer on the road..." vibe about it, Booker T & The MG's were tuned in to a similar stream for their final group … Continue reading Booker T & The MG’s – Melting Pot (1971)