Isaac Hayes – Groove-a-thon (1976) 320 kbs

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ISAAC HAYES – GROOV-A-THON – 320 kbs
Released 1976 on HBS Records

An unjustly neglected item in Mr. Hayes catalog, at least by me. The second release on his own HBS (Hot Buttered Soul) imprint, I like this better than Chocolate Chip (the first on HBS, which I should have posted anyway but will now wait until 2010). Or at least, that’s what I am saying now. This was actually the first album of his I ever bought, and maybe it didn’t do much for me at the time or I was just too blown away with his earlier Enterprise recordings once I discovered them to pay this title too much attention. But this is high-quality Isaac Hayes.
The title track has disco aspirations but without neglecting the funky soulfulness that you would come to expect from an ten-minute Ike track. It even ends with a low-key guitar solo. The second tune is just gorgeous, an earnest and articulate ballad about two people in a love affair who are committed to someone else. It’s the kind of confessional story that fills many an Isaac Hayes tune, but he never fails to make me believe that, in the moment I am listening, this is the first time he has ever told it to anyone. Rock Me Easy Baby is just a warm slab of funk, with some flute riffs that I am pretty sure have been sampled a million times. Hayes was famous for his innovative covers of other peoples songs and for making them entirely his own (That Loving Feeling; Something; Ain’t No Sunshine and others) — and his interpretation of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ is no exception, opening up the album’s second side in triumphant fashion. The album does not quite end with the same momentum it begins with, but by this time I’ve enjoyed myself so much I am not keen on complaining. A very strong effort from the second half of the 1970s for Isaac Hayes (may he rest in peace always!).

A1 Groove-A-Thon (9:48) Guitar [Solo] – Anthony Shinault
A2 Your Loving Is Much Too Strong (5:39)
A3 Rock Me Easy Baby (8:17)
B1 We’ve Got A Whole Lot Of Love (5:42)
B2 Wish You Were Here (You Ought To Be Here) (5:53) Guitar – Charles Pitts*
B3 Make A Little Love To Me (6:24) Guitar [Solo] – Anthony Shinault

Credits: Arranged By – Isaac Hayes , Lester Snell Artwork By [Album Design] – Martin Donald Artwork By [Art Direction] – Tom Wilkes Artwork By [Lettering] – Joe Garnett , Ron Criss Backing

Vocals – Hot Buttered Soul Unlimited* , Isaac Hayes
Bass – Erroll Thomas*
Congas – Jimmy Thompson*
Drums, Tambourine – Willie Cole , Willie Hall
Engineer – Henry Bush , Roosevelt Green Engineer [Re-mix] – Isaac Hayes , Roosevelt Green French Horn – Bryant Munch , Richard Dolph
Guitar – Michael Toles , William Vaughn
Keyboards – Isaac Hayes , Lester Snell , Sidney Kirk
Mastered By – Lanky Linstrot
Photography – Jeff Dunas
Producer – Isaac Hayes
Saxophone [Alto] – Bill Easley , Emerson Able
Saxophone [Baritone] – Floyd Newman
Saxophone [Tenor] – Darnell Smith , Lewis Collins (2) , Tommy Williams (4)
Trombone – Jackie Thomas , Bill Flores*
Trombone [Bass] – Gary Russell
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Ben Cauley , Edgar Matthews , Johnny Davis , William Taylor (2)
Written-By – Isaac Hayes

All selections recorded at Hot Buttered Soul Recording Studios 247 Chelsea Avenue Memphis, Tennessee 38107 Mastered at ABC Recording Studios, Inc.

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Music Hall MMF.5 Turntable with Goldring 1012GX cartridge, Gyger II diamond stylus, and MK II XLR Ringmat –> Projekt Speedbox II -> Parasound Z Phono Preamp -> Marantz PMD 661 digital recorder at 24/96khz

Declicked on very light settings with Click Repair -> DC Offset and track splitting in Adobe Audition 2.0
Dithering using Mbit via iZotope RX Advanced
Converted to FLAC and mp3 with DbPoweramp

Ripped by Flabbergast

Freddie Hubbard – Keep Your Soul Together (1973) 320kbs

Track List:
Brigitte
Keep Your Soul Together
Spirits of Trane
Destiny’s Children

Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard’s CTI recordings have long been underrated and a bit
downgraded by writers who get them confused with his much commercial output for
Columbia. For this LP (not yet reissued on CD) Hubbard is heard in fine form on
four of his originals (highlighted by “Spirits of Trane”) with a septet that
includes tenor-saxophonist Junior Cook, keyboardist George Cables, guitarist
Aurell Ray, either Kent Brinkley or Ron Carter on bass, drummer Ralph Penland
and Juno Lewis on percussion. The music is sometimes funky but definitely
creative jazz with Hubbard heard during his prime period.
– Scott Yanow, All
Music Guide

VINYL RIP – Technical SpecsMusic Hall MMF.5 Turntable with Goldring 1012GX cartridge, Gyger II diamond stylus, and MK II XLR Ringmat –> Projekt Speedbox II -> Parasound Z Phono Preamp -> Marantz PMD 661 digital recorder at 24/96khzDeclicked on very light settings with Click Repair -> DC Offset and track splitting in Adobe Audition 2.0 Dithering to 16-bit using iXotope Mbit
Converted to FLAC and mp3 with DbPoweramp

Bobby Hutcherson & Harold Land – San Francisco (1970) 320kbs

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01 – Goin’ down south (7:05) (Sample)
02 – Prints Tie (7:24) (Hutcherson)
03 – Jazz (5:18) (Sample)
04 – Ummh (7:42) (Hutcherson)
05 – Procession (5:40) (Hutcherson)
06 – A Night In Barcelona (7:20) (Land)

LINK HERE!

Bobby Hutcherson – Vibes, Marimba, Percussion
Harold Land – Tenor Sax, Flute, Oboe
Joe Sample – Acoustic & Electric Pianos
John Williams – Acoustic & Electric Basses
Mickey Roker – Drums

Produced by Duke Pearson at UA Studios LA
Recording Date: July 15 1970

Review by Steve Huey

Bobby Hutcherson’s late-’60s partnership with tenor saxophonist Harold Land had always produced soulful results, but not until San Francisco did that translate into a literal flirtation with funk and rock. After watching several advanced post-bop sessions gather dust in the vaults, Hutcherson decided to experiment with his sound a bit, but San Francisco still doesn’t wind up the commercial jazz-funk extravaganza that purists might fear. Instead, Hutcherson and Land stake out a warm and engaging middle ground between muscular funk and Coltrane-style modality; in other words, they have their cake and eat it too. Joined by pianist/keyboardist Joe Sample (also of the Jazz Crusaders), acoustic/electric bassist John Williams, and drummer Mickey Roker, Hutcherson and Land cook up a series of spacious, breezy grooves that sound unlike any other record in the vibist’s discography (even his more commercial fusion sessions). The selections — all group-member originals — often skirt the edges of fusion, but rarely play it as expected; they might float some spare tradeoffs over a loping, heavy bass groove, throw in an oboe solo by Land, or — as on the slowest piece — keep time only with intermittently spaced piano chords. It’s all done with enough imagination and harmonic sophistication to achieve the rare feat of holding appeal for traditional jazz and rare-groove fans alike. It’s a shame Hutcherson didn’t explore this direction more, because San Francisco is not only one of his best albums, but also one of his most appealing and accessible. [Note: The song descriptions in the liner notes often match up with different titles on the CD reissue, suggesting that the tracks may have been scrambled to a startling degree. If the liners are correct, the actual CD running order is “A Night in Barcelona,” “Goin’ Down South,” “Procession,” “Ummh,” “Jazz,” and “Prints Tie.”]

Freddie Hubbard – Red Clay (1970) 320 kbs

I’m not typically a huge fan of the CTI catalog. Creed Taylor’s production aesthetic leans towards a sterile polish, with a dampened sense of dynamic, and with the listener feeling like they are hearing everything through headphones even when they’re not. Everything feels close-mic’d to me — the drum sound favors close-mic techniques over overhead microphones that are more common in jazz recordings from the hard-bop era where cats like Hubbard cut their teeth, resulting in a drum sound that doesn’t “breath” or have much “air,” to use the usual sound engineer metaphors. And all this in spite of the fact that the one and only Rudy Van Gelder was manning the controls as lead engineer. But I don’t really know anything about what the CTI situation was like behind the scenes.. Perhaps some kind blog visitor will set me straight.

But this record stands as a shining exception for me. Not that those production elements aren’t still there to some extent, but Hubbard’s vibrant arrangements and the energy of this ensemble overcome them easily. To borrow some imagery from my friend Clint Striker, CTI records are often just too “clean” — they could benefit from being more “dirty.” Well this one still has some grit to it, some “dirt,” particularly in the lovely Fender Rhodes work from Herbie Hancock and Johnny Hammond, the latter on the previously unissued live performance of the title track. This track is in itself worth the price of admission of this remaster. It highlights the funky loose-booty tightness and explosive dynamism that Hubbard’s band was capable of when they were not reined in by Taylor’s hermetic controls.

I think the best way to hear this album is on wax. If I had time – which I don’t — I’d give you all a vinyl rip. But this remaster, loud and brash as it may be, should hold you over. Enjoy!
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Freddie Hubbard – Red Clay (1970) 320 kbs in em pee three

Originally released on CTI
Reissued in 2002 as a Legacy Remaster

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Manu Dibango – Africadelic (1975) 320 kbs

Manu Dibango
Released 1973
This pressing 2006, Hi Fly Reocrds

1 The Panther 2:29
2 Soul Fiesta 2:08
3 Africadelic 2:16
4 African Battle 3:00
5 Black Beauty 2:50
6 African Carnaval 3:16
7 Moving Waves 4:03
8 Afro-Soul 2:44
9 Oriental Sunset 1:47
10 Monkey Beat 2:42
11 Wa-Wa 3:03
12 Percussion Storm 1:54

AFRICADELIC is the classic 1973 album composed and recorded in the span of one week by Manu Dibango, after the encouraging success of his monster hit “Soul Mokossa.” Here he continues to fuse Afro-Caribbean flavors with the contemporary Latin … Full Descriptionand funk influences of the day, resulting in a highly soulful, highly danceable album.

DUSTY GROOVE says

Incredibly funky work from Manu Dibango — a set that’s easily as great as his classic Soul Makossa album — but which is a lot more obscure overall! The work’s got a fiercely-jamming quality all the way through — lots of rumbling percussion at the bottom, and also a bit of keyboards as well — served up in a heady brew that turns out to be a perfect setting for Dibango’s sharp-edged reeds! The record’s got a few especially great break tracks, but all numbers are pretty darn great too — filled with more funky changes, flaring horns, and 70s-styled grooves than you might ever hope to find in a single album! Tracks include “Black Beauty”, “Soul Fiesta”, “The Panther”, “Africadelic”, “Moving Waves”, “Afro Soul”, “Wa Wa”, “Percussion Storm”, “Monkey Beat”, and “Oriental Sunset”.

It might be an attempt to quickly cash in on the success of Soul Makossa, but it’s still an amazing record from start to finish. Enjoy!

Check out the very very nice Manu Dibango Discography over at Soundological Investigations!

Caroline Crawford – Nice and Soulful (1979) 320 kbs


Caroline Crawford – Nice And Soulful (1979)

www.dustygroove.com
A stunning set of soul tunes from the lovely Caroline Crawford — produced by Bohannon, and some of his best work from the time! Caroline’s got a great style that moves past other club singers of the time — much more soulful and sophisticated than simple disco diva styles, drenched in a deeper soul sound that grounds the album nicely in a strong tradition of 70s soul. The production is tight, but unobtrusive — a bit like some of the best work that Barry White did with singers of a similar style — and the whole album sparkles with a freshness that will make you say “Hey, why I have I been missing this one all these years?” Titles include “The Strut”, “I’ll Be Here For You”, “Havin Fun”, “Facts Of Life”, and “Love Me Or Leave Me Alone”.

Tracks
1. I’ll Be Here For You
2. Can’t Hold Me Back
3. Love Me Or Leave Me Alone
4. The Strut
5. The Facts Of Life
6. Havin’fun