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

Flabbergasted Freeform #19 – The “Lost Episode”

It’s been a year since the last Flabbergasted Freeform, and ten months since the last “Focus” podcast of old calypso and soca.  There are a bunch of reasons why I didn’t feel like doing them any more, but I won’t go into them here.  But since this month marks the TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the blog, I thought it called for some special commemorations.  This Freeform mix was done in December of last year and was only circulated privately.  It’s a good time, though, so I’m sharing it with the world now and hope the world enjoys it.  The first person to find the couple bars of “Them Changes” quoted in another song gets a free Secret Decoder Ring. That is, as soon as I get them from the magazine I ordered where I ordered a dozen of these powerful devices, which happened to be a back issue from 1958, so please be patient.

You can stream the podcast at Mixcloud or get it directly from the link below the widget.

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

Bobbi Humphrey – Blacks and Blues (1974) (24-bit 192 khz)

Bobbi Humphrey
Blacks And Blues
1974 Blue Note BN-LA142-G

Chicago, Damn  6:44
Harlem River Drive  7:24
Just A Love Child  8:21
Blacks And Blues  4:30
Jasper Country Man  5:16
Baby’s Gone  8:47

Recorded at Sound Factory Studios Hollywood, CA
Mastered at The Mastering Lab
Manufactured by United Artists Records, Inc.

Arranged By, Conductor – Larry Mizell
Backing Vocals and vocal arrangements – Fred Perron, Larry Mizell & Fonce Mizell
Clavinet, Trumpet – Fonce Mizell
Composed By – Larry Mizell
Congas – King Errison
Drums – Harvey Mason
Electric Bass  – Chuck Rainey, Ron Brown
Flute, Vocals [Solo] – Bobbi Humphrey
Guitar – David T. Walker, John Rowin
Percussion – Stephanie Spruill
Piano, Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Jerry Peters
Synthesizer [Arp] – Fred Perren

Producer – Chuck Davis, Larry Mizell
Liner Notes – Leonard Brown
Photography By, Art Direction – Bob Cato
Engineer [Recording Assistant] – Chuck Davis, John Arias
Engineer [Recording] – John Mills
Engineer [Remix] – Chuck Davis, John Arias*, John Mills
Design – John Williams
Executive-Producer – George Butler

Notes
Recorded June 7 & 8, 1973 at Sound Factory, Hollywood, California.
Mastered at Mastering Lab, Hollywood, California.
Matrix / Runout (Runout Side 1 etched): 22 BN – LA 142 G – I
Matrix / Runout (Dead Wax Side 1 stamped): TML
Matrix / Runout (Runout Side 2 etched): 22 BN – LA 142 G – 2
Matrix / Runout (Dead Wax Side 2 stamped): TML

RIPPING INFO:
Blue Note BN-LA142-G vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica AT440-MLa cartridge; Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; Audioquest King Cobra cables; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 192khz; clicks and pops removed with Click Repair on light settings, manually auditioning the output; further clicks removed with Adobe Audition 3.0; dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.

 

This is one of the best records crafted by the production team of the Mizell Brothers for Blue Note, who also did notable albums for Donald Byrd, Freddie Hubbard, Johnny Hammond (for Salvation Records, a Motown subsidiary), and Gary Bartz, among others.  It was the first of three albums they made with Bobbi Humphrey, and although I’m not completely sure whether or not this was her biggest seller, it certainly put her on the map. The soaring, epic funk of tunes like Harlem River Drive sound deceptively effortless. There’s actually a lot going on there. Bobbi  does some singing on this album too in a girlish but charming voice.  The Mizells crafted their own genre in a way, pushing jazz-funk and soul-jazz into a kind of cinematic disco-jazz, as if all your favorite 2-3 minute instrumentals from Blaxploitation soundtracks were given new, deeper treatments and allowed to stretch out into full-fledged compositions.  Actually this a mediocre analogy for this record, because those constant qualities of blaxploitation film music – the tension of danger or menace – are nowhere to be found here.  There’s still a sense of something exciting going on, but it’s a lot more Summer Breeze than Superfly, I guess.  Pretty much all joyful exuberance here – this is another post I meant to do during the summer, but it’s about to be summer soon enough in the southern hemisphere so maybe I’m early rather than late.   The ensembles found on the Mizell Bros albums were always filled with heavyweights and this one does not disappoint, with stalwart Harvey Mason on the drum kit and the regal King Erisson on congas pinning down the lush soundscapes to solid earth.  Fans of the Arp synthesizer (and who isn’t a fan of the Arp?) won’t be disappointed either as it’s put to great use.  Also don’t be put off by the scrappy condition of the album cover – I lucked out and found an almost Near Mint copy of this in a “previously well-loved” jacket. Hope you enjoy it.

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