Roy Ayers Ubiquity ‎– 1972 – He’s Coming

 One of the rarest and greatest Roy Ayers albums of all time – the sly, funky and spiritual masterpiece He’s Coming – really the beginning of the funk years from Roy Ayers Ubiquity! This one’s a totally solid mix of soulful jazz, jazzy soul and righteous funk – and it’s straight up wonderful all the way through – with a groove that’s hugely influential to say the least! Includes the amazing track “We Live In Brooklyn Baby“, which has a slow sample bassline in the intro that’s just incredible – plus groovy cuts like the spiritual funk classic “He’s a Superstar“, “He’s Coming“, and “Sweet Tears“. The lineup includes Sonny Fortune on soprano sax and flute and Billy Cobham drums and percussion, and the record’s co-arranged by Harry Whitaker, who’s also on keys and vocals – with other tracks include “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”, “Ain’t Got Time”, “I Don’t Know How To Love Him”, …

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Delegation – 1979 – Eau De Vie

One of my favorite albums at the end of the 70′s, the golden decade for R’n’B.  A sweet bouncy groover – one of the rare albums of modern soul cut by the Delegation! The group in this incarnation are a trio – Ray Patterson, Ricky Bailey, and Bruce Dunbar on vocals – stripped-down harmonically, a perfect fit for the album’s groove-heavy arrangements. The album’s got the same warm finish, with a touch of jazz, that you might find in some of the Arista modern soul albums from the same era – infused with a bit more of a club approach on a few of the more uptempo cuts. Tracks A1 Heartache No. 9 5:16 A2 Sho’ ‘Nuff Sold on You 5:15 A3 One More Step to Take 4:40 A4 Blue Girl 5:12 B1 Darlin’ (I Think About You) 4:19 B2 You and I 5.17 B3 Stand Up (Reach for the …

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Enchantment – 1977 – Once Upon A Dream

Rip and Research by Mr.Moo  Posting and additional info’s by Nikos Soaring soul from Enchantment – one of the smoothest groups of their generation, and an outfit who could sound equally great on the dancefloor or for more laidback listening! The harmonies here are really great – stepping out strongly, and often breaking with an extra effort that almost seems gospel-inspired, but without the cliches that usually mar work of that orientation. Production and arrangements are by Michael Stokes, and very good throughout – full, but stepping back nicely on the more intimate numbers – so that the voices dominate beautifully, and really send home the tunes – in a way that’s almost like that great turn The Dramatics took in their post-Stax years (Dusty Groove). Tracks A1 Sunny Shine Feeling 3:43 A2 If You’re Ready (Here It Comes) 4:42 A3 It’s You That I Need 5:59 A4 You’re The One 4:32 B1 You …

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The Modulations – 1975 – It’s Rough Out Here

 One of the greatest east coast vocal group albums from the seventies, and still a sought-after classic! The band’s an East Coast sweet soul vocal group, with a deep soul feel and some heartbreaking vocals that hit the upper reaches of the harmony style – and they’ve got a super-dope look and style that puts them in the company of groups like Soul Generation, True Reflection, and Natural Four. Norman Harris, Vince Montana, and Bobby Eli all had a hand in this, so you know the production is right, and the sound is large with a sweet Philly mix of moods (Dusty Groove). Tracks A1 Rough Out Here 4:46 A2 Head On Collision With Heartbreak 3:15 A3 Love at Last 5:05 A4 I’ll Always Love You 3:47 B1 I’m Hopelessly in Love 3:18 B2 I Can’t Fight Your Love 3:59 B3 Worth Your Weight in Gold 4:57 B4 Those Were …

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Donny Hathaway – Never My Love : The Anthology

  Review by Michael Patrick Hicks I, like many others, came to Donny Hathaway’s music through his duets with Roberta Flack. Well, one song called “The Closer I Get To You“. It was included on a Flack compilation I had recently bought. His voice just floored me. He sounded like a smoother Stevie Wonder. But the fact is – Stevie Wonder sounded like him. Donny’s debut album had a huge effect on Stevie’s singing. Listen to the change in Wonder’s vocal delivery from 1970 onwards. The Motown genius was so impressed with Hathaway’s debut – he bought a number of copies and gave them as gifts to friends, family and those in the industry.  During his short life, Donny Hathaway released only three solo studio albums. His debut, Everything Is Everything, from 1970; 1971’s Donny Hathaway, and Extension Of A Man, which appeared in ’73. As timeless as these studio …

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Chanson – 1978 – Chanson

Starting of as a broad assemblage of studio musicians, Chanson were led by bassist James Jamerson Jr. (son of the famous Motown bassist James Jamerson) and guitarist David Williams. The two of them met while playing with Temptations and they hatched the idea of Chanson. They released the superb debut album with such hits as the #21 Billboard Hot 100 chart smash “Don’t Hold Back” which also entered the R&B top ten at #8, plus the top twenty US Dance Chart classic “I Can Tell“.  The album also featured Earth, Wind & Fire‘s horn section, and Boz Scaggs‘ rhythm section which will assure a spot in everyone s soul music collection. Tracks A1 Don’t Hold Back 4:23 A2 I Can Tell 7:03 A3 I Love You More 3:49 B1 Why 4:25 B2 Did You Ever 4:33 B3 All the Time You Need 5:10 A duo comprising guitarist David Williams, and …

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Esther Phillips ‎– 1972 – From A Whisper To A Scream

 Esther Phillips had a long and storied career and all of her recordings for KUDU have something nice on them, but this is probably the best one.  The credits for “From A Whisper To A Scream“, Esther’s 1972 Kudu debut – considered by many to be her finest album for the label – lists such renowned players as Hank Crawford on sax, Eric Gale and Cornell Dupree on guitar, Bernard Purdie on drums, Richard Tee on keyboards and Gordon Edwards on bass.  Also enlisting the cream of background singers (Joshie Armstead, Hilda Harris and Tasha Thomas) giving Esther just the right vocal cushion for her blues-tinged interpretations of works by everyone from poet/singer Gil Scott-Heron and the great Marvin Gaye to New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint and soul man Eddie Floyd. Tracks A1 Home Is Where the Hatred Is 3:25 A2 From a Whisper to a Scream 4:15 A3 To …

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Exit 9 – 1975 – Straight Up

A very essential issue.  A top killer funk groove and hard to find on original vinyl.  The one and only album by Exit 9 — an obscure funk combo who recorded this rare set for Brunswick in 1975! The group is extremely tight instrumentally — working at a very fast funky clip that’s kind of similar to work by Bohannon or Sound Experience — both of whom shared Exit 9′s pre-disco approach to dancefloor grooves — more fast-funk than the tighter club sound of later years, and proof that a funky combo could hit the dancefloor if it had the right groove! Most numbers have vocals, and instrumentation includes lots of nice guitar work that keeps a rawer edge on the tracks — choppy and gritty in a really great way.  Tracks A1 Jive Man 5:05 A2 Straight Up 3:19 A3 Julie I Love You 3:47 A4 Fly 3:37 B1 …

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The Delfonics – 1970 – The Delfonics

Intro Review by Dusty Groove  Main Review by AMG Rip, Posting and additional info’s by Nikos  The Philly legends.  The third album in an amazing early run from The Delfonics – the kind of work that set a whole new standard for group soul in the 70s! A number of the tracks here had already risen to fame before the album’s release as singles – and these are mixed with some additional tracks that are woven together in a near-perfect symphony of sound! The mighty Thom Bell arranged most of the numbers here – save for 2 by Anthony Dorsey – and the group’s heavenly harmonies are in amazing form on both mellow ballads and a few more righteous numbers.   It was the group’s only album to crack the Billboard top 100 (peaking at #61) and contained five charting singles, including the majestic “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)“, a top 10 …

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Prince Phillip Mitchell – 1978 – Make It Good

Intro review by Dusty Groove  Main Reviews from Amazon Rip, Posting and additional info’s by Nikos The long-overdue full length debut from Phillip Mitchell – an artist who cut some great singles over the course of the 70s and also wrote a fair bit of classics for other, bigger name acts! Phillip did some of his earlier work of the decade in both Memphis and Muscle Shoals – but he also had a key relationship with Norman Connors as well, who helped Mitchell take his southern roots into even more sophisticated soul territory! Mitchell produced the album himself – and arranged with Paul Riser and McKinley Jackson – and the overall sound is a wonderful blend of deeply personal vocals with smoother mellow soul grooves – a really top-shelf affair all the way through, and the kind of album that’s only finally getting its due many years later! Tracks A1 Star In The Ghetto 7:12 A2 You’re …

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Evelyn “Champagne” King – 1977 – Smooth Talk

Intro review by Dusty Groove  Main Reviews from Amazon Rip, Posting and additional info’s by Nikos Wonderfully smooth soul from Evelyn Champagne King, one of her real standouts from the early days, and a tremendous collaboration with producer/arranger T Life! The sound here is upbeat and catchy, but never too poppy, done with a slight hint of that groove that King would hit more famously in the 80s, but served up here with a deeper sense of warmth, and a slightly more laidback feel. King is classy without being cloying – just like a sip of the right sort of champagne – and T Life’s backings often have a slight undercurrent of funk. Tracks A1 Smooth Talk 5:29 A2 Don’t Know If It’s Right 4:17 A3 Till I Come Off the Road 2:38 A4 Dancin’, Dancin’, Dancin’4:13 B1 Shame 6:35 B2 Nobody Knows 4:31 B3 We’re Going to a Party 3:48 B4 The Show …

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The Mirettes – 1969 – Whirlpool

Intro reviews by SoulStrut   Main Reviews by AvidOldiesCollector Rip, Posting and additional info’s by Nikos The Mirettes got their start as the back-up singers for the Ike & Tina Turner Show, better known as the Ikettes. In the late 1960s they left and renamed themselves the Mirettes. Under their new name they recorded two records, In The Midnight Hour, their first, and this, their second entitled Whirlpool. They have a fine mix of funky Soul numbers like “Sister Watch Yourself“, “Whirlpool“, the midtempo “Heart Full Of Gladness“, and more traditional Soul cuts such as “Something’s Wrong“, “At Last (I Found A Love)” with a nice repeating breakdown, and a stripped down cover of “Stand By Your Man”. The ladies also break out with the Gospel influenced “If Everybody’d Help Somebody“. No matter what the style, the three singers deliver some fine group vocals always backed by a strong horn section. Tracks A1 Sister …

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Switch (1978) Switch – Switch (1979) Switch II

Intro reviews by Dusty Groove  Main Reviews by Allmusic Rip, Posting and additional info’s by Nikos A seminal bit of seventies soul from Switch, and a record that really helped set the tone for countless others to come in the 80s – no surprise, given that the group’s got members from both the DeBarge and Ingram families! There’s a warmth here that few others can match – an earnest, honest quality that never gets lost, even amidst the well-crafted instrumentation and tight production of the record – almost an updated legacy of the early 70s east coast scene, but never polished up too much at all! There’s some wonderful harmonies that work perfectly on both the upbeat and mellower numbers – warming things up beautifully. Tracks A1 I Wanna Be With You 3:51 A2 There’ll Never Be 5:22 A3 I Wanna Be Closer 4:14 A4 We Like to Party…Come On 3:46 B1 Fever …

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