Roy Ayers Ubiquity – Virgo Red (1973) (Polydor PD-6016)

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

Roy Ayers Ubiquity – Change Up The Groove (1974)

Roy Ayers Ubiquity
Change Up The Groove
Polydor PD 6032

This record probably gets overlooked a bit in favor of the Ubiquity releases that preceded it, but it is solid album.  Any record with Pretty Purdie on the drum kit is a solid album though, amiright? Soulful covers of Stevie Wonder, the Theme From MASH, and Roberta Flack are peppered among the originals. In fact, the latter artist – represented by Eugene McDaniels’ “Feel Like Makin’ Love” – is a particularly homegrown choice, as keyboardist Harry Whitaker was now a regular contributor to Roberta Flack’s group and would work as her arranger for a while.  Actually if I’m being honest, as the longest tune on the album I find it a bit boring, in spite of featuring what sounds like a Mellotron (not credited on the jacket). And the MASH theme (aka Suicide Is Painless) is kind of corny.  The real highlights are the original tunes like Sensitize, Fikisha, and The Boogie Back.  The group’s interpretation of the ubiquitous Stevie’s Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing does take celestial carefree flights of joy and should make you grin.  Don’t be fooled by the worn-out jacket: this Sterling Sound pressing is actually in very nice shape and I think the rip came out pretty good. Stay tuned for more Ubiquity from me this summer Continue reading

Universal Togetherness Band – Universal Togetherness Band (2015)


Universal Togetherness Band – Universal Togetherness Band
Vinyl rip in 24 bit 192 khz | Art at  300 dpi
24-bit 192 khz – 1.57 GB | 24 bit 96 khz – 838 MB | 281 MB 16-bit 44.1 khz
Numero Groupo NUM57 | Released 2015 | Funk – Soul – Jazz-Funk

Dr. Vibes’ Twelve Days of Christmas – Day 4:  Numero Group are the reigning kings of releasing “lost” music. I have joked in the past, among select company of course, that on occasion some of that music probably could have remained lost. But it is clearly a labor of love for them, and the fine attention to detail in the research, liner notes, rare photos, and decent audio restoration and mastering more than compensates for the occasional lackluster release (and, of course, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure etc.) But whereas a great deal of Numero’s lost music is usually comprised  7″ singles by singers or groups who may have had a local or regional fan base, released by indie labels in numbers small enough to be destined for 21st-century audio archeologists, The Universal Togetherness Band is another story – an entire album of material, recorded in pristine quality as a student project through the audio engineering program at Columbia College in Chicago (a small arts college with a strong practical, ‘hands-on’ component, for kids who can’t afford the elite Art Institute down the street..).  The end result was top-notch jazz-funk-disco-soul that would have fit nicely with any of the groups on the De-Lite Records roster or a similar outfit.  Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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