Bo Diddley – The Black Gladiator (1970) Japanese press

It’s never too late to commemorate the passing of the great Bo Diddley earlier this year. And what better choice than this little-known piece of fuzzed-out gutter funk, “The Black Gladiator.” OK, now the first thing you’re thinking is, “What’s going on with this cover art?” Don’t ask me. Maybe Bo (and not Hendrix, or Miles Davis) was actually the subject of Betty Davis’ infamous tune, “He Was A Big Freak.” But we’re not interested in fogging the memory of … Continue reading

Linton Kwesi Johnson – LKJ , A Capella Live (1996)

I wasn’t sure if I should share this here without first sharing some of LKJ’s musical records first. But I decided it’s worth it. For one, this record is a bit harder to find than his landmark late 70s dub/reggae albums. But also because in many ways it makes a perfect introduction to his work, since he began his career as a published poet rather than a recording artist. For anyone interested in reggae, Caribbean cultural history, in poetry – … Continue reading

Gil Scott-Heron – Free Will (1972)

This is, plain and simple, essential listening. Gil Scott-Heron – Free Will (1972) – aqui Side one All songs written by Brian Jackson and Gil Scott-Heron. 1. “Free Will” – 3:43 2. “The Middle of Your Day” – 4:32 3. “The Get out of the Ghetto Blues” – 5:12 4. “Speed Kills” – 3:18 5. “Did You Hear What They Said?” – 3:32 Side two All songs written by Gil Scott-Heron. 1. “The King Alfred Plan” – 2:47 2. “No … Continue reading

Ray Barretto – Acid (1968) VBR

booklet-01-2

{2001 French pressing with bonus tracks} RAY BARRETTO – Acid (1968)VBR Psychedelic salsa? Not quite, except for the occasional Austin Powers-isms like “yeah, baby” and “sock it to me”. But this is a landmark record and needs to be in the collection of any fan of salsa or Latin soul. The closing track is the most ‘out’ of any of them and for me is worth the price of admission all on its own. Tracks (of the original LP)1. El … Continue reading

Donny Hathaway – These Songs for You, Live! (2004) Vbr

Scan-080719-0001

I mistakenly thought I had posted this over the weekend, but I had not. It might be because I was listening to it over and over again and only *thought* I had shared it here. This is a beautiful record, aside from the legitimate complaints from Hathaway fans that his legacy as a live performer has yet to receive proper documentation. What this record does is combine tracks from 1972’s “Donny Hathaway Live!” with tracks from “In Performance” (recorded in … Continue reading

Bill Withers – Still Bill (1972) Soul classic with bonus tracks!

booklet-01

This is just pure magic from start to finish. Lets forget about Bill’s amazing story for a moment and just focus on his music, his unique sound, and immediately identifiable voice and writing style. The fact that he was a ‘music business outsider’ of sorts no doubt contributes to all of the above, but in many ways its beside the point. This is some of the most soulful music ever committed to wax. It’s in the rare cadre of records … Continue reading