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.

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George Freeman – New Improved Funk (1974) (with Von Freeman)

George Freeman – New Improved Funk
1974 Groove Merchant GM 519
Vinyl rip in 24 bit 192 khz | Art at  300 dpi
Soul Jazz –  Hard bop – Jazz
24-bit 192 khz – 1.55GB | 24 bit 96 khz – 902 MB | 238 MB 16-bit 44.1 khz

12 Days of Christmas – Day 1:  Except for the opening title track (all two minutes of it), this is a lot more of a straight soul-jazz album than the title would imply. It’s good stuff though, with great tenor playing by the late Von Freeman throughout the whole endeavor. Bobby Blevins on the organ chugging along like a mad lorry driver (“crazy trucker”).  George’s guitar playing can switch back and forth from Albert King-like, single-note runs laden with vibrato to angular scronking ala Sonny Sharrock within the same tune (Exhibit A: “Big Finish”, which closes out the first side of the LP….. Continue reading

Kenny Burrell – Have Yourself A Soulful Little Christmas (1966)

Kenny Burrell – Have Yourself A Soulful Little Christmas
1966 Cadet Records LPS 779
This Reissue 2003 Verve Records / Cadet – EU Pressing

A warm little record to shepherd you through the cold days of Yuletide and the malaise of piped-in holiday music.  It’s a statistical fact that most Christmas albums are crap.  They also have historically made up a mindbogglingly large proportion of record sales throughout the history of recorded music.  So, apply your analogy of choice – 100 monkeys with typewriters, stopped clocks that are right twice a day — and you are bound to get some good ones hidden among the dregs.  This Cadet soul-jazz offering from Kenny Burrell is one of those.

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Hugh Masekela – The Lasting Impressions of Ooga Booga (1965/1968)

Hugh Masekela – The Lasting Impressions of Ooga Booga
1996 Verve 531 630-2

“The Americanization of Ooga Booga” (1965)

01 – Bajabula Bonke (8:05) (Miriam Makeba)
02 – Ozinorabiro (6:38) (Miriam Makeba)
03 – Unhlanhia (5:22) (Miriam Makeba)
04 – Cantelope Island (5:28) (Herbie Hancock)
05 – U-Owi (5:26) (Hugh Masekela)
06 – Masqueneda (7:43) (Jorge Ben)
07 – Abangoma (4:04) (Miriam Makeba)
08 – Mixolydia (6:59) (Hugh Masekela)

“The Lasting Impression of Hugh Masekela” (1968)

09 – Con Mucho Carino (4:41) (Larry Willis)
10 – Where Are You Going? (7:42) (Hugh Masekela)
11 – Morola (5:05) (Hugh Masekela)
12 – Bo Masekela (4:40) (Caliphus Semenya)
13 – Unohilo (6:49) (Alan Salenga) 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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