After a series of sugary soul-jazz dates for Blue Note, Reuben Wilson resurfaced on Groove Merchant with The Sweet Life. The title notwithstanding, the session is his darkest and hardest-edged to date, complete with a physicality missing from previous efforts. Credit tenor saxophonist Ramon Morris, trumpeter Bill Hardman, guitarist Lloyd Davis, bassist Mickey Bass, and drummer Thomas Derrick, whose skin-tight grooves sand away the polished contours of Wilson's organ solos to reveal their diamond-sharp corners. The material, while predictable (i.e., standbys like "Inner City Blues" and "Never Can Say Goodbye"), is nevertheless well suited to the set's righteous funk sound.
This killer little Groove Holmes date was produced by the mighty Sonny Lester, and features a big band arranged and conducted by Manny Albam. Other than Holmes, the only other soloist credited here is Eddie Daniels on tenor and flute. The material here is curious upon first glance, with covers of Gerry Goffin's "Go Away Little Girl," Stevie Wonder's "You've Got It Bad," and Carole King's "It's Going to Take Some Time" situated around some hard soul-jazz numbers by the organist, including "Groove's Groove," along with Norman Gimbel's sweet ballad "How Insensitive" and slippery little soul tune "Meditation."
Monster funk from Hammond hero Reuben Wilson – an album of hard-burning, bad-walking tunes that are a fair bit different than most of his other work! Although Wilson recorded some pretty traditional organ jazz for the Blue Note and Groove Merchant labels, this album has him working with his "Cost Of Living" group – a combo who only recorded this one album, and which includes Richard Tee on keyboards, Bad Bascomb on bass, Bernard Purdie on drums, and both Houston Person and Pee Wee Ellis on tenor sax! Most cuts have some sort of vocals – sung by either Sammy Turner or Kenny Williams, both of whom really fit the badass spirit of the record, and bring in a nice range of deeper themes from the 70s.
Celebrating 20 years in the music business, Pitch Black, allegedly the godfathers of New Zealand electronica, are happy to announce the release of their fifth studio album, Filtered Senses. Since their very first gig at the Gathering music festival on Takaka Hill in 1996, Mike and Paddy have wowed audiences all over the world with their unique genre-bending brand of live electronic music. The secret to their longevity is that if you’re never in fashion, you’re never go out of fashion! In an age when electronic genres and fads come and go, seemingly monthly, Pitch Black have managed to keep their sonic identity due to the blend of two very different personalities and musical styles: Paddy Free, the manic groove-merchant, and Michael Hodgson…
Erstwhile 10,000 Maniacs frontwoman Natalie Merchant continues her highly successful solo career with LIVE IN CONCERT, a show that was recorded at New York's Neil Simon Theater. The set opens, somewhat appropriately, with one of the songs that got Merchant's solo career off to a blazing start, "Wonder." As she usually does in live performance, Merchant plays with the lyrical phrasing of the song to add unexpected melisma and daring tonal gambits. Merchant lends the dark and ephemeral "San Andreas Fault" a lightly sultry quality not found on the studio version. Other familiar favorites include "Beloved Wife," "Carnival," and "Ophelia." Merchant revisits the Maniacs' catalog only once, for a rousing take on "Gun Shy." Two unexpected covers spice the middle of the set: a haunting and powerful reading of David Bowie's "Space Oddity," and a beautiful take on Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush".