Herbie Mann – Live at the Whisky A Go Go (1969)

Herbie Mann – Live at the Whisky A Go Go
Vinyl rip in 24 bit 192 khz | Art at  300 dpi
1.22 GB 24-192 khz| 24 bit 96 khz – 611 MB | 211 MB 16-bit 44.1 khz
Atlantic SD 1536 | Released 1969 | Soul-jazz / jazz-funk / fusion

Dr. Vibes’ Twelve Days of Christmas – Day 2:
I am not sure that anyone feels as passionately one way or another about Herbie Mann as they do about, say, marmite or The Grateful Dead, but he certainly seems to divide people.  Adjectives like “lightweight” and “phony” have been thrown around when I’ve posted his work here.  His recording output was prolific and many titles are very common, lining the cut-out bins of many a trusty record shop.  But one thing is hard to deny – he sure could put together a solid lineup when he wanted to.  I mean just look at the list of musicians on this.  Miroslav Vitous and Roy Ayers? Sonny Sharrock?  Since I mentioned him in yesterday’s 12 Days of Christmas post, I figured this album would provide some continuity.  But in truth Sharrock is pretty under-utilized – he plays chunky rhythm guitar through all but the last few minutes of the album, where he takes an abrupt free jazz solo on Rufus Thomas’ “Philly Dog”.  Makes me laugh a little every time I hear it.  The first side of the album is a stretched out jam of a song written by Chris Hills (of the group Everything Is Everything) which appeared on a Vanguard Apostolic album in the same year of 1969.  So I guess it is no coincidence that group’s second (and final) studio album was produced by Herbie Mann and issued on his vanity label, Embryo Records.

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George Freeman – New Improved Funk (1974) (with Von Freeman)

George Freeman – New Improved Funk
1974 Groove Merchant GM 519
Vinyl rip in 24 bit 192 khz | Art at  300 dpi
Soul Jazz –  Hard bop – Jazz
24-bit 192 khz – 1.55GB | 24 bit 96 khz – 902 MB | 238 MB 16-bit 44.1 khz

12 Days of Christmas – Day 1:  Except for the opening title track (all two minutes of it), this is a lot more of a straight soul-jazz album than the title would imply. It’s good stuff though, with great tenor playing by the late Von Freeman throughout the whole endeavor. Bobby Blevins on the organ chugging along like a mad lorry driver (“crazy trucker”).  George’s guitar playing can switch back and forth from Albert King-like, single-note runs laden with vibrato to angular scronking ala Sonny Sharrock within the same tune (Exhibit A: “Big Finish”, which closes out the first side of the LP….. Continue reading

Kenny Burrell – Have Yourself A Soulful Little Christmas (1966)

Kenny Burrell – Have Yourself A Soulful Little Christmas
1966 Cadet Records LPS 779
This Reissue 2003 Verve Records / Cadet – EU Pressing

A warm little record to shepherd you through the cold days of Yuletide and the malaise of piped-in holiday music.  It’s a statistical fact that most Christmas albums are crap.  They also have historically made up a mindbogglingly large proportion of record sales throughout the history of recorded music.  So, apply your analogy of choice – 100 monkeys with typewriters, stopped clocks that are right twice a day — and you are bound to get some good ones hidden among the dregs.  This Cadet soul-jazz offering from Kenny Burrell is one of those.

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Larry Coryell – Coryell (1969) – Special Blog 10th Anniversary Post!

Larry Coryell – Coryell
1969 Vanguard Apostolic VSD 6547 | Vinyl rip in 24 bit 196 khz | Art at 600 and 300 dpi
Jazz-Rock / Jazz-Funk / Soul / Fusion / Psychedelic

I’ve been holding back on posting about this album until I could commemorate the 10th ANNIVERSARY of this blog.  It’s a very special record to me from the great guitarist Larry Coryell, who passed away in 2017.  It’s unique in that it captures him in a kind of transition between his time playing in the psychedelic rock group The Free Spirits and his future as an icon of jazz fusion, in the pre-Bitches Brew era when that genre was still fresh and nascent.  And it’s soul-shaking, mind-melting grooviness from start to finish.  I like to imagine that Hendrix heard this album and  decided to shelve the Experience on the spot and start up his Band of Gypsies.  Bernard “Pretty” Purdie on the drums and Chuck Rainey on bass are holding down a solid soul groove  here, which just elevates the vibe to transcendent levels. Continue reading

Herb Alpert & Hugh Masekela – Herb Alpert / Hugh Masekela (1978)

Herb Alpert and Hugh Masekela – Herb Alpert / Hugh Masekela
Vinyl rip in 24 bit 196 khz | Art at 600 and 300 dpi
24-bit 192 khz 1.29 GB |24-bit 96 khz – 688 MB |16-bit 44.1 khz – 232 MB
1978 Horizon / A&M Records Sp 728  |  Jazz-Funk / Jazz / African Continue reading