All Albums

with reviews

The Gap Band ‎- 1980 – Gap Band III

When Gap Band III came out in 1980, the Wilson Brothers were widely regarded as true heavyweights in the funk field. Many funk experts will tell you that creatively, they were right up there with the likes of Cameo, Rick James, the Isley Brothers, and the Bar-Kays in the early ’80s. Over…

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The Jackson 5 ‎- 1969 – Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5

An impressive debut album, made doubly impressive by the fact that the lead singer of the Jackson 5 is an eleven-year-old kid. Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5 is arguably the best of the J5 LPs. It’s certainly the most digestible, since Berry Gordy and his…

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Horace Tapscott Quintet – 1969 – The Giant Is Awakened

  There are very few musicians who can be turned towards to feel the beating heart of African-American ethos. Horace Tapscott Quintet is one of them. The blunt force with which he strikes piano keys is reminiscent of the hard edge in the deepest part…

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Sir James – 1981 – Sophisticated Funk

Sir James Randolph was born in Brewton Alabama. After leaving Alabama, he moved to New York where he attended and graduated from Long Island University. He started to sing in night clubs throughout the city. Then he was involved into Theater, Television & Film. Performing in…

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The Temptations – 1972 – All Directions

A monster album, the one that put them back in the spotlight and signaled that Norman Whitfield had saved the day. Damon Harris had replaced Eddie Kendricks, and there were many doubters convinced the band was finished. Instead, Whitfield revitalized them via the majestic single, “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone“. Despite its…

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Laura Lee – 1972 – Love More Than Pride

After Etta James’ highly successful trip down South, Chess Records decided to send another one of its finest female soul vocalists to Muscle Shoals. Laura Lee possessed some huge pipes, perfectly suited for the raw soul & roll that was dominating the scene in the…

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Deniece Williams – 1979 – When Love Comes Calling

Significantly different from 1977’s Song Bird, When Love Comes Calling followed Deniece Williams’ success with Johnny Mathis on the number one Hot 100 single “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late” and subsequent album That’s What Friends Are For. Williams signed to Maurice White’s Columbia-affiliated ARC label, but White was otherwise all but absent compared to his level…

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Al Green – 1977 – The Belle Album

Most Al Green albums work their way over time into you; this one uncharacteristically reaches out and shakes you up, an odd result when one goes largely acoustic and goes for more or less the same quiet grooves that one had pursued for most of…

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Coke Escovedo ‎- 1975- Coke

 I stumbled across this album while quenching my thirst for some groovy classic funk. You know, the kinda funk that incites that face like you caught a whiff of somethang so rank…  Well, this 1975 release by Coke Escovedo will certainly spark your soul.  “Coke”…

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The Dells – 1971 – Freedom Means

1971 was a huge year for Soul Music – especially American Soul. Marvin Gaye’s staggering “What’s Going On” on Tamla (which many argue is the greatest LP every made in any genre and they might be right) – Aretha Franklin’s right-on Grooveathon “Aretha Live At…

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Shuggie Otis ‎- 1971 – Freedom Flight

AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek 1971’s Freedom Flight is perhaps, in its own way, every bit as adventurous and regal as Shuggie Otis’ masterpiece, Inspiration Information. Produced by Shuggie’s father, R&B legend Johnny Otis, the album features seven stellar, genre bending cuts, most of which were written…

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Margie Joseph – 1971 – Phase II

Amazingly, Margie’s second and last LP for Stax failed to chart. For my money, as brilliant as ‘Margie Joseph Makes a New Impression‘ is – and brilliant IT IS – ‘Phase II’ actually surpasses its predecessor in coming up with beautifully orchestrated soul gems that…

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Gwen McCrae – 1976 – Something So Right

Beautiful 70s Miami Soul, produced by Steve Alaimo & Clarence Reid  featuring Latimore on piano. Classic Soul / Funk album from 1976, featuring the killer song ‘I’ve Got Nothing To Lose‘ sampled by Royal Flush on ‘Iced Down Medallions’. Tracks A1 Something So Right 5:24…

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Banda Black Rio – 1977 – Maria Fumaça

Banda Black Rio were formed in 1976 in Rio de Janeiro. They revolutionised ‘black instrumental music’ at the time with their Brazilian re-interpretation of soul, jazz, funk and disco grooves, inspired by the likes of Tim Maia and reminiscent of Kool & The Gang and…

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The JB’s – 1972 – Food For Thought

 There are funk bands. And then there are The JB’s. In the early 1970s, James Brown’s production stable was quite simply overflowing with soul. Beyond his own genre-bursting music – which brought funk and R&B to new stratospheres with each platter he released – he…

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Nina Simone – 1966 – High Priestess Of Soul

A much more upbeat record from Simone than we’re used to, although a more upbeat Nina Simone is still a fairly calm, reserved figure.  Some of the jumped-up moments are pretty excellent -the Ray Charles-esque “I’m Gonna Leave You“, the cover of “Brown Eyed Handsome…

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Betty Davis – 1975 – Nasty Gal

Funk and R&B singer Betty Davis was influenced by close friends like Jimi Hendrixand her ex-husband, jazz legend Miles Davis. In 1975, visionary music mogul Chris Blackwell signed her to his Island Records label, which released her groundbreaking album Nasty Gal. Davis’ sexy growl conjures images of her the way…

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Messengers Incorporated – 1972 -Soulful Proclamation

This is a very rare album. Recorded at Benson Sound Studio, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Produced by Messengers Incorporated. They are Midwest Funk, mixture of everything. The band, Barbara Burton, Sonny Morrison, Morris McCraven, Charles Burton, Maurice Love, James “Bucky” Young, Maurice Howard, Charles Atkinson, Jim…

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Del Jones’ Postive Vibes’ – 1973 – Court Is Closed

Del Jones’ Positive Vibes were a Philadelphia band that released two versions of the same album – both self-released on Hikeka Records in 1973. First was the ‘psych mix’ entitled ‘Court Is Closed’ and then the self-titled ‘soul mix’ with added horns and re-ordered with…

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Fela Ransome-Kuti And The Africa ’70 With Ginger Baker ‎- 1971 – Live!

An essential part of Fela’s catalog. Kuti’s intelligence as an arranger is otherworldy. He does things in such a way I’d scoff at probably if you told me, but they’re nothing less than pure brillance. It is absolutely clear from all of these arrangements that…

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