Jazz-Funk


Lascelle 'Lascelles' Gordon - the driving force behind Vibration Black Finger – astonishes us yet again with a magnificent second album. Once more his inspiration is drawn from the obscure spiritual jazz collectives of the 1970s where he employs a vast array of like-minded collaborators to create a listening experience infused with an ever-present undercurrent of personal expression and cultural empowerment that's as enriched with ideas as it is progressive in its form. Having earned his chops as founding member of the Brand New Heavies, Campag Velocet and Heliocentric World, Lascelle's latest album Can You See What I'm Trying to Say bursts with energy and vivid contrasts, flowing effortlessly between beat-laden grooves, oscillating improvisations, soulful recitations, audio verité and moody atmospherics. The album drops like a post-hip-hop reimagining of foundational genres, with a prayer to the future. ''Can You See What I'm Trying to Say' is a quote from Marion Brown, the great alto saxophonist' explains Gordon. 'The album was put together over the last three years, not in the conventional way of going into the recording studio with musicians, but starting from ideas I had on various formats (cassettes, mini disc, DATs & reel to reel). I also used field recordings. I did a lot of home recording with long time musical friends Ben Cowen & Diana Gutkind, some of them going back 20 years. The voices of my nieces (heard on Law of the Universe) were recorded 25 years ago. 'Only in a Dream' and 'Empty Streets' are the only songs that were recorded live in the studio.' 'I was blown away by the New Life Trio 'Empty Streets' (from 1978) and was fascinated by the vocals' continues Lascelles. 'I always thought it would be great to cover this tune'. Such is the power of this song, it's used to open the album, with vocalist Ebony Rose turning in a thoroughly haunting vocal performance. While not a concept album as such, Lascelles has nonetheless conceived and presented Can You See What I'm Trying to Say to be heard as a complete listening experience, with each track blending into the next, resulting in a seamless expression of music. Following 'Empty Streets', some instrumental interludes segue into a dimensional drift of beats, space synths, horns and electronics; there's a vocal reprise of 'Acting For Liberation', sung with gusto by Maggie Nichols, and then there's the album's momentous finale, 'Only In A Dream', which takes off as an ominous drone before a delicious bassline from the late Ken Kambayashi transforms it into an intense, soaring epic which finally descends onto another world. In a career spanning several decades, Lascelle Gordon remains an omnivorous musical force, whether as DJ, collaborator or radio broadcaster. As amply demonstrated on Can You See What I'm Trying to Say, he refuses to rest on his laurels and continues to impress with music that is as rich, vital and contemporary as anything he's done before, covering an incredible amount of musical ground in the process.

Back in stock! David Axelrod delivered one of the great psychedelic albums with 1968’s Song of Innocence, based around the poetry of William Blake. It is considered by many his masterpiece. Song of Innocence is this weird hybrid that no one, not even Axelrod himself, could ever really describe. The listener is pulled in by his melodies, simplistic at first blush, but colored by odd chord progressions and turn arounds, grounded by the drummer Earl Palmer and Carol Kaye’s funk, torn between the juxtaposition of musical elements – a jazz vibraphone solo here, a fuzz guitar tear here, a nod to the baroque in Don Randi’s clavichord comps – and put at ease, always, by Axe’s arrangements, which utilize brass and strings in a way that no 1960s arranger did. It’s worth noting that there are really count-on-your-hand examples of anything that might even be compared to Song of Innocence. Perhaps Arthur Verocai’s self-titled and only artist album, issued on the Brasilian Continental label in 1972, or the collaborations between Serge Gainsbourg and Jean Claude Vannier, which found their epitome in 1971’s Histoire de Melody Nelson. But even these albums, superb, in any thinking music fan’s canon of the best from this era, perhaps in their lives - and perhaps in line with Song of Innocence - are one-offs. Axelrod’s Song of Innocence set in path a series of artist albums on Capitol and other labels and influenced the world countless times over, from The Verve to DJ Shadow to Madlib to J.Dilla. Remastered from the original tapes in a new transfer, with extensive liner notes and unpublished photos.

BILLY BROOKS CULT JAZZ-FUNK ALBUM OFFICIALLY REISSUED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DECADES. FEATURING THE ICONIC 'FOURTY DAYS' SAMPLED BY A TRIBE CALLED QUEST FOR THEIR CLASSIC 'LUCK OF LUCIEN' Wewantsounds is delighted to announce the reissue of Billy Brooks' much sought-after album "Windows Of The Mind," released in 1974 on Ray Charles' Crossover Records. The album, co-produced by Charles and featuring such heavy players as Herman Riley, Calvin Keys and Larry Gales, includes one of the most famous samples in hip hop history in the form of 'Fourty Days' which forms the backbone of A Tribe Called Quest's 1990 anthemic 'Luck of Lucien.' Newly remastered, the reissue comes with original artwork. There's not a huge amount of information to be found about trumpet player Billy Brooks. A solid session musician who'd been around since the 50s, he played with the likes of Lionel Hampton, Cal Tjader and of course Ray Charles, who signed him to his sub label Crossover Records in the early 70s to release "Windows of the Mind." Interestingly Brooks also appears on Bea Benjamin's 1976 cult classic African Songbird produced by Dollard Brand. "Windows of the Mind" released in 1974 remains Brooks' only solo album. "Windows of the Mind" was recorded in Los Angeles and co-produced by Ray Charles. It is a skilful brass-led mix of jazz and funk performed by such cult players as bassist Larry Gales (Thelonious Monk), drummer Clarence Johnston (Freddie Roach, James Moody), Saxophonist Herman Riley (Side Effect, Pleasure, Earth Wind & Fire, Letta Mbulu), guitarists Jef Lee (Roy Ayers, Sylvia Striplin) and cult player Calvin Keys of Black Jazz Records fame. From the groove of "Rockin Julius", "Shetter Cheeze" and "Black Flag" to the mid-tempo Jazz mood of "Cooling It" and "C.P. Time" and the cinematic brass pyrotechnics of "The Speech Maker", "Windows Of The Mind" is a superb funked up big band jazz album. "Windows of the Mind" did reasonably well among the jazz circles when it came out but its fate would change fifteen years later when, in 1990, A Tribe Called Quest heavily sampled its closing track "Fourty Days" for their own "Luck of Lucien" featured on the group's debut album "People's Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm." The album revolutionised hip hop and "Luck Of Lucien" became one of the album's highlights, thus cementing the reputation of Billy Brooks original LP among DJs and collectors. Original LPs now change hands for a few hundred dollars. Wewantsounds is now glad to make this landmark album available again in partnership with The Ray Charles Foundation, with newly remastered audio and striking original artwork.

Dig right now into the Wamono sound - the cream of the Japanese funk, soul, rare groove and disco music developed throughout the years since the end of the sixties in Japan! - Fully licensed Nippon Columbia and Victor Japan masters available for the first time outside of Japan, featuring Akira Ishikawa, Jiro Inagaki, Chikara Ueda, Kifu Misuhashi, Toshiko Yonekawa and more! - Tracks selection by Japanese super diggers and Wamono specialists DJ Yoshizawa Dynamite and Chintam - Mastered and cut at Timmion Cutting Lab - Artwork by Yoxxx (Tokyo) - 180g heavy vinyl pressing Active as a professional DJ in Japan since the late eighties, DJ Yoshizawa Dynamite is also a renowned remixer, compiler and producer. An avid record collector and an expert of the Wamono style, Yoshizawa published the Wamono A to Z records guide book in 2015 which instantly sold-out. The book unveiled a myriad of beautiful and rare records from a highly prolific, but still then unknown, Japanese groove scene. After many years working as a record buyer for several stores, DJ Chintam opened his own Blow Up shop in 2018 in Tokyo's Shibuya district. A member of the Dayjam Crew and a specialist of soul, funk, rare groove and disco music, Chintam is also an expert of the home-brewed Wamono grooves. He supervised and wrote the Wamono A to Z records guide book together with Yoshizawa. With this first volume of the Wamono series, our two DJs here guide you through some of the best and rarest jazz funk and rare groove tunes produced in Japan between 1968 and 1980. Put the needle on the record, turn up the volume and dig right now into the Wamono sound - the cream of the Japanese funk, soul, rare groove and disco music developed throughout the years since the end of the sixties in Japan!