Roland Haynes – 2nd Wave (1975) (2020 Black Jazz / Real Gone Music)

 

It’s a total coincidence (or is it?) that my first two posts about the Black Jazz reissues have been by keyboardists, without any brass or reeds in their band. Weird, eh? This record, “2nd Wave” is great stuff by a one-and-done mysterious key tickler, Roland Haynes. There are actually two Fender Rhodes players here, so that should be welcomed by those of you for whom there is Never Enough Rhodes.  Not much is known about Roland Haynes, a situation that is not cleared up by the liner notes by Pat Thomas in the insert.  Continue reading

Juan Formell y Los Van Van – Vol. III (1974)


Juan Formell & Los Van Van
Juan Formel & Los Van Van (Vol. III)
Label: Egrem – CD 0128
Series: Coleccion Juan Formell Y Los Van Van – Vol. III
Format: CD, Album, Reissue, Special Edition
Cuba, 1995
Genre: Latin, Funk / Soul
Style: Funk, Son, Salsa, Cubano

Well, dear friends, I had planned to post something special for my birthday, which was two weeks ago, but being the notorious party animal that I am, time went out the window as I left a trail of havoc and destruction in my wake.  Actually, I spent the night alone, mildly intoxicated, and rewatching episodes of Flight of the Conchords.  In any event, not as if a record by Los Van Van isn’t special (I haven’t heard a bad one yet), but this was not the post I had planned to do.  It’s a lovely record and sounds like it could have been recorded at the same sessions as their other release from 1974.  It opens with a piece (Llegué Llegue / Guararey de Pastora)  that could maybe have been inspired by Fela Kuti.  Another tune (De Todo Lo Mejor) reminds me of chansón.  Both are real possibilities with someone as forward-thinking at Juan Formell.  Lots of Vox and/or Farfisa organ all over the place too. The album may not have any monster earworms like Chirrin Chirran from their previous release (though Sera Tan Grande El Amor comes very close), but it’s no slouch either!

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Joe Cuba – Steppin’ Out (1963, Mono)

Joe Cuba – Steppin’ Out
 Seeco SCLP 9248
Original release 1963
This pressing, late 60s / early 70s
Style: Pachanga, Mambo, Guaguancó, Cha-Cha, Bolero, Salsa

The back cover of this early Joe Cuba LP includes instructions on how to dance the ‘Wabble Cha’, a dance step I presumed they hoped would take the world by storm. There are two great vocalists on this record – Cheo Feliciano and Jimmy Sabater.  “To Be With You” would become Sabater’s trademark song.

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Gene Russell – New Direction (1972) (Black Jazz BJ01 – RSD 2020)

Gene Russell
New Direction
Real Gone Music RGM1018
Released: 29 Aug 2020
Limited Edition, RSD exclusive, Clear with Black Swirl
US  Original release on BLACK JAZZ RECORDS as BJ/1 in 1971

Well, it has been nearly two months since my last post here. I had planned to share this record at the beginning of the year, hoping that 2021 would symbolize a “new direction” for the world.  But those hopes got dashed just a few days in.

I haven’t been sitting around in the bad kind of funk and stewing in my own juices, however.  The Doctor has just been busy putting food on the table.  And watching more films than last year, so far. That was one of my New Year’s Resolutions. Continue reading

100 Proof Aged In Soul – 100 Proof (1972)


100 Proof Aged In Soul – 100 Proof
1972 Hot Wax HA 712
Vinyl transfer at 24-bit / 192 khz

Classic soul here, on an album that has only been reissued on CD in Japan. Nice and warm northern soul arrangements and production values, pure pleasure from start to finish. The group was put together by the very busy Holland-Dozier-Holland team and featured veterans of R&B groups like The Falcons, The Contours, and The Originals.  The record was produced by General Johnson, who also has a few writing credits on it, and it has a similar sound to other gems from the other Detroit ‘HDH’ labels Hot Wax / Invictus Records catalogs, like Chairman of the Board.  There aren’t any big hits here like their first albums, Somebody’s Been Sleeping In My Bed, but there’s no duds here either.   Alongside the very fine original contributions, there is a cover of the early Bee Gee’s tune “Words” as well as The Association’s “Never My Love”, which closes the record.  I’m posting it today to help your 2020 go out on a mellow and upbeat note.  I have a super-clean copy of it and did a vinyl transfer sometime in 2019 just for fun, with editing and tweaks done sometime this year.

A1 Everything Good Is Bad 4:53
A2 Since You Been Gone 3:50
A3 Nothing Sweeter Than Love 3:50
A4 Ghetto Girl 3:47
B1 Words 3:56
B2 I Don’t Care If I Never Get Over You 3:59
B3 Don’t Scratch Where It Don’t Itch 3:46
B4 Don’t You Wake Me 3:39
B5 Never My Love 4:02

Arranged By – H.B. Barnum, McKinley Jackson, Paul Riser
Producer – General Johnson, Greg Perry
Producer, Executive Producer – Ron Dunbar
Recorded By, Mixed By – Barney Perkins, Ed Redd, Jerry Hall

 


 

 


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