Shafiq Husayn – Pre-Alignment, Vol. 1: A Prelude To The L∞P

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Producer/Master Teacher, Shafiq Husayn, (1/3rd of SA-RA Creative Partners and producer for the likes of Erykah Badu, Bilal, Blu, & many more) teamed up with FRSH SLCTS (http://FRESHselects.net) to debut the first in a new series of mixes – dubbed Pre-Alignment, which Shafiq has put together as a prelude leading up to his highly-anticipated sophomore release, The L∞P.

Pre-Alignment, Vol. 1: Beatstrumentals & Dialog is a 26 minute mix featuring all new, unreleased beats and never before heard collaborations w/ the likes of Krondon (Strong Arm Steady), J Mitchell, Breezy Lovejoy and D-Prosper.

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everybodydigs#32 Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue

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everybodydigs# is a series of posts about Jazz, Funk, Soul & R’n’b albums released from the 20s to the 90s, you can read a brief description/review and listen to a small preview (when it’s possible). everybodydigs# is like when someone tells you “hey you should listen to this album!” and nothing less, enjoy!

Kind of Blue isn’t merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it’s an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence. Why does Kind of Blue posses such a mystique? Perhaps because this music never flaunts its genius. It lures listeners in with the slow, luxurious bassline and gentle piano chords of “So What.” From that moment on, the record never really changes pace — each tune has a similar relaxed feel, as the music flows easily. Yet Kind of Blue is more than easy listening. It’s the pinnacle of modal jazz — tonality and solos build from the overall key, not chord changes, giving the music a subtly shifting quality. All of this doesn’t quite explain why seasoned jazz fans return to this record even after they’ve memorized every nuance. They return because this is an exceptional band — Miles, Coltrane, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb — one of the greatest in history, playing at the peak of its power. As Evans said in the original liner notes for the record, the band did not play through any of these pieces prior to recording. Davis laid out the themes before the tape rolled, and then the band improvised. The end results were wondrous and still crackle with vitality. Kind of Blue works on many different levels. It can be played as background music, yet it amply rewards close listening. It is advanced music that is extraordinarily enjoyable. It may be a stretch to say that if you don’t like Kind of Blue, you don’t like jazz — but it’s hard to imagine it as anything other than a cornerstone of any jazz collection.

Personnel: Miles Davis (trumpet); John Coltrane (tenor saxophone); Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly (piano); Cannonball Adderley (alto saxophone); Paul Chambers (bass); Jimmy Cobb (drums).

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#31 Duke Ellington & John Coltrane – Duke Ellington & John Coltrane

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everybodydigs# is a series of posts about Jazz, Funk, Soul & R’n’b albums released from the 20s to the 90s, you can read a brief description/review and listen to a small preview (when it’s possible). everybodydigs# is like when someone tells you “hey you should listen to this album!” and nothing less, enjoy!

For this classic encounter, Duke Ellington “sat in” with the John Coltrane Quartet for a set dominated by Ellington’s songs; some performances have his usual sidemen (bassist Aaron Bell and drummer Sam Woodyard) replacing Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones in the group. Although it would have been preferable to hear Coltrane play in the Duke Ellington orchestra instead of the other way around, the results are quite rewarding. Their version of “In a Sentimental Mood” is a high point, and such numbers as “Take the Coltrane,” “Big Nick,” and “My Little Brown Book” are quite memorable. Ellington always recognized talent, and Coltrane seemed quite happy to be recording with a fellow genius. (allmusic)

Personnel: Duke Ellington (piano); John Coltrane (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Aaron Bell, Jimmy Garrison (bass); Elvin Jones, Sam Woodyard (drums).

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#30 George Duke – The Aura Will Prevail

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everybodydigs# is a series of posts about Jazz, Funk, Soul & R’n’b albums released from the 20s to the 90s, you can read a brief description/review and listen to a small preview (when it’s possible). everybodydigs# is like when someone tells you “hey you should listen to this album!” and nothing less, enjoy!

In 1975, George Duke was dabbling in R&B vocals. But instrumental jazz-fusion was still his primary focus, and he had yet to be played extensively on any of the genres’ stations. When The Aura Will Prevail came out that year, no one bought the LP for its occasional R&B vocal — the main attraction was Duke’s keyboard playing. “Fools” is a melancholy soul ballad that finds him singing lead and predicts what was to come on R&B-oriented releases like Don’t Let Go (1978) and Master of the Game (1979), but it isn’t typical of the album on the whole. This is a fusion effort first and foremost, and Duke has plenty of room to stretch out and improvise on instrumentals that range from the insistent “Floop de Loop” to the Brazilian-influenced “Malibu” (which shouldn’t be confused with the Hole/Courtney Love gem). Two of the songs were written or co-written by Frank Zappa: the fusion instrumental “Echidna’s Arf” and the gospel-minded soul item “Uncle Remus” (another tune that gives Duke a chance to sing lead). Without question, The Aura Will Prevail is among this artist’s finest fusion-oriented albums. (allmusic.com)

Personnel: George Duke (keboards, vocals); Alphonso Johnson (bass); Leon “Ndugu” Chancler (durms); Airto Moreira (percussion); Sylvia Saint James (vocals); Kathy Woehrle (vocals).

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#29 Donald Byrd & Kenny Burrell – All Night Long

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everybodydigs# is a series of posts about Jazz, Funk, Soul & R’n’b albums released from the 20s to the 90s, you can read a brief description/review and listen to a small preview (when it’s possible). everybodydigs# is like when someone tells you “hey you should listen to this album!” and nothing less, enjoy!

Two of guitarist Kenny Burrell’s best sessions from the 1950s were this release and its companion, All Day Long. Burrell is teamed with an impressive group of young all-stars, including trumpeter Donald Byrd, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, Jerome Richardson on flute and tenor, pianist Mal Waldron, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Art Taylor. In addition to the lengthy “All Night Long” and three group originals (two by Mobley and one from Waldron), the original LP program has been augmented by a medley of “Body and Soul” and “Tune Up” from the same session. Jam sessions such as this one are only as good as the solos; fortunately, all of the musicians sound quite inspired, making this an easily recommended set. ~ Scott Yanow

Personnel: Donald Byrd (trumpet); Jerome Richardson (tenor saxophone, flute); Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone); Mal Waldron (piano); Kenny Burrell (guitar); Doug Watkins (bass); Arthur Taylor (drums).

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#28 Hank Mobley – The Turnaround

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everybodydigs# is a series of posts about Jazz, Funk, Soul & R’n’b albums released from the 20s to the 90s, you can read a brief description/review and listen to a small preview (when it’s possible). everybodydigs# is like when someone tells you “hey you should listen to this album!” and nothing less, enjoy!

Hank Mobley’s later Blue Note sessions took on a much harder edge than his earlier efforts. The saxophonist’s round tone became funkier as he delved deeper into the popular soul-jazz style that had been introduced with Lee Morgan’s hit “The Sidewinder.” The Turnaround is one of Mobley’s best releases of this period, offering many unforgettable solo moments as well as some intense small group workouts.

Personnel: Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone); Freddie Hubbard, Donald Byrd (trumpet); Barry Harris, Herbie Hancock (piano); Butch Warren, Paul Chambers (bass); Billy Higgins, Philly Joe Jones (drums).

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#27 Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Indestructible

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everybodydigs# is a series of posts about Jazz, Funk, Soul & R’n’b albums released from the 20s to the 90s, you can read a brief description/review and listen to a small preview (when it’s possible). everybodydigs# is like when someone tells you “hey you should listen to this album!” and nothing less, enjoy!

Lee Morgan once again became part of the Jazz Messengers after replacing Freddie Hubbard, who left after replacing Morgan originally. The band is rounded out by pianist Cedar Walton, a steaming Wayne Shorter on tenor, Curtis Fuller on trombone, and bassist Reggie Workman with Art Blakey on the skins, of course. Indestructible is a hard-blowing blues ‘n’ bop date with Shorter taking his own solos to the outside a bit, and with Blakey allowing some of Fuller’s longer, suite-like modal compositional work into the mix as well (“The Egyptian” and “Sortie”). There are plenty of hard swinging grooves– an off-Latin funk à la Morgan’s “Calling Miss Kadija,” Shorter’s killer “Mr. Jin,” and Walton’s ballad-cum-post-bop sprint “When Love Is New” — and the Blakey drive is in full effect, making this album comes closest in feel to the Moanin’ sessions with Bobby Timmons. Here the balance of soul groove and innovative tough bop are about equal. Morgan lends great intensity to this date by being such a perfect foil for Shorter, and their trading of fours and eights in “Sortie” is one of the disc’s many high points. Morgan’s bluesed-out modal frame is already in evidence here as he was beginning to stretch beyond the parameters of the 12-bar frame and into music from other spaces and times. ~ Thom Jurek

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers: Art Blakey (drums); Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone); Lee Morgan (trumpet); Curtis Fuller (trombone); Cedar Walton (piano); Reggie Workman (bass).

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#26 Roy Ayers – Virgo Vibes

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everybodydigs# is a series of posts about Jazz, Funk, Soul & R’n’b albums released from the 20s to the 90s, you can read a brief description/review and listen to a small preview (when it’s possible). everybodydigs# is like when someone tells you “hey you should listen to this album!” and nothing less, enjoy!

Long before becoming an acid jazz icon and figurehead to a new generation of hip-hop and house artists, Roy Ayers was a promising young jazz vibraphonist. His second solo album and Atlantic debut, is a vital root note for all future keepers of the funk.

Personnel: Roy Ayers (vibraphone); Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone); Charles Tolliver (trumpet); Ronald Clark (piano); Carr (drums).

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#25 Sam Rivers – A New Conception

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everybodydigs# is a series of posts about Jazz, Funk, Soul & R’n’b albums released from the 20s to the 90s, you can read a brief description/review and listen to a small preview (when it’s possible). everybodydigs# is like when someone tells you “hey you should listen to this album!” and nothing less, enjoy!

The title of A New Conception refers to Sam Rivers’ ingenious interpretations of standards on this record. Rivers treats the songs — such familiar items as “When I Fall in Love,” “I’ll Never Smile Again,” “That’s All,” “What a Difference a Day Makes,” and “Secret Love” — with respect, but he doesn’t treat them as museum pieces. He knows that if the songs are to remain fresh, they need to be heard in different ways, and he skillfully opens up each composition to contemporary avant-garde techniques. Rivers and his supporting trio of pianist Hal Galper, bassist Herbert Lewis, and drummer Steve Ellington gradually ease each number into more adventurous territory, slowly shifting into exploratory instrumental sections, slyly varying the melodic themes, or adding shaded dissonant textures. It’s challenging music that remains accessible, since it reconfigures familiar items in new, intriguing ways. The sheer skill in Rivers’ arrangements once again confirms his large, unfortunately underappreciated, talent.

Personnel: Sam Rivers (tenor and soprano saxophone, flute), Hal Galper (piano), Herbie Lewis (bass), Steve Ellington (drums)

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

Top Tape – Dublab x Leaving Records x Stones Throw

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Top Tape is co-presented by our brethren in sound, Leaving Records. For this recurrent happening the dublab tape team dig up their favorite cassingles, mixtapes, and cassette spooled albums for a night of magnetic music. This evening of super saturation is hosted by Frosty + Matthewdavid and features an all-tape tag-team rotation of amazing djs. VHS visions are mixed live on the big screen by Alex Pelly and occasional inspired video heads.

This is an archive of a special Top Tape installment celebrating the collaborative Stones Throw x Leaving Records double cassette compilation DUAL FORM. The night featured all-tape sets by Peanut Butter Wolf, Matthewdavid, M. Geddes Gengras, White Rainbow, EMV, Knxwledge, Large Cats, Cat 500, Sun Araw and many more! Dual Form “Golden Tickets” were dropped at local record stores and lucky winners received a limited edition Leaving Records mix tape cassette by Matthewdavid. High energy was truly in the air for this night. We hope you enjoy the archive!

MP3: DOWNLOAD! (right click and save)