Eddie Hazel – “Rest In P”
1994 P-Vine Records PCD-2884
Released in Japan
Eddie Hazel would have turned 70 years old in April of this year. This collection of rarities by Hazel is a delight for longtime fans and should impress the neophyte, though I wouldn’t recommend it for the totally uninitiated – those people should start with the first three Funkadelic albums, then Standing On The Verge of Getting It On, and then his solo album Games, Dames, and Guitar Thangs. (More comments below the break) Continue reading
1973 (Original release)
2006 reissue Hi & Fly Records HF00019
RIP Emmanuel N’Djoké Dibango, 1933 – 2020, a victim of COVID-19.
Roy Ayers Ubiquity – Everybody Loves The Sunshine
Original release 1976 Polydor
2016 Reissue – Polydor / The Verve Music Group B0024310-01
This 40th anniversary gold pressing is a nice reissue of one of the high points of Roy Ayers Ubiquity’s catalog. There is less vibraphone and a lot more Arp on this one. Every song a winner. Also, it seems like only a matter of time before the track “Lonesome Cowboy” gets used in a Coen Brothers film. Or maybe Tarantino. Anyway enjoy it before they ruin it. The whole album successfully grafts its cosmic jazz-funk onto the kind of broad positivity preached by pre-Riot era Sly Stone (with “People And The World” sounding like a bit like a discarded Family Stone jam).
Roy Ayers Ubiquity – Virgo Red
1973 Polydor PD-6016
Vinyl rip in 24-bit/192 kHz | Art scans at 300 dpi
An underrated Roy Ayers Ubiquity album, Virgo Red has to overcome the fact that it leads off with its weakest track, a cover of the Hot Chocolate song “Brother Louie”, which became a #1 hit for Stories and was ruined for all perpetuity by disgraced comedian Louis C.K. Blame it on his time playing with hirsute Herbie Mann if you will, but Roy seemingly couldn’t pass up an opportunity for cheesy covers of pop songs. Continue reading
Helio Matheus – Matheus Segundo Matheus (1975)
Original release, RCA-Victor, Brazil
2018 Reissue, Athens Of The North, AOTNLP017
A short-and-sweet Friday post for you to get your weekend started on point. Scottish label Athens Of The North (or AOTN) serves up a reissue of this cult classic that, thanks to a collector’s market gone mad, I will never be able to afford as an original pressing. No idea what they used for their source but it sounds pretty decent, so I feel like this label has done music fans a huge favor by making it available. As you can see below, the list of contributing musicians here is huge and includes members of Azymuth, Sá, Rodrix & Guarabyra and other heavyweights. Helio himself was well established as a writer and arranger in MPB circles at this time, but recorded very little under his own name. It’s a solid offering of samba-soul, samba-rock, MPB, and even a little dreamy orchestral psychedelic pop thrown in. It may have some questionable lyrics (for example, “Briguenta”) but the grooves make up for it. Plus it has maybe the best back-cover photograph of all time..
James Gilstrap – Love Talk
1976 Roxbury Records RLX 105
Jim Gilstrap is better known as a backup singer, but Stevie Wonder fans might know him for singing the first verse of “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life”, which also makes him the first voice you hear on the epic Talking Book. His name appears on tons of albums. You can see a partial list of his session credits here , where you can see that he was very busy in the 1970s, working in the worlds of rock, soul, jazz, and funk. The fact that Gene Page did the arranging on this record is also worth noting. This album, which has never appeared on CD, is a nice, short set of soulful disco-funk, and the mellow version of Todd Rundgren’s “Hello, It’s Me” has me wondering if Prince ever covered the song on solo piano. Continue reading