Thursday, January 29, 2009

Prayve's Funky Soul Jazz

Hi everybody! I'm back this time with a new selection of finely matured soul jazz tracks, which just seem to have just gotten better with age!

In the late fifties and early sixties, hard bob jazz started incorporating strong blues, gospel and rhythm and blues influences. With a very rhythmic-heavy backbone, and solid solo musicianship, the grooves started getting tighter and more and more funky. This eventually evolved into the advent of jazz funk, with the later appearance of the synthesizer.

Soul Jazz ensembles were often smaller, favoring trios and quartets over the typical jazz quintet or sextet; and often featured the famed Hammond organ.

This comp starts out with a massive joint, "Book of Slim" by Gene Harris & the 3 Sounds; which was notoriously sampled by Madlib in "Shades of Slim", the opener of his Shades of Blue album. Super tight drum and bass lines with very jazzy piano riffs, along with beautiful strings arrangements.

Stanley Turrentine's cover of Dusty Springfield's "Spooky" is another killer, and was never released until recently in a Blue Note unreleased series.

Grant Green's "Sookie Sookie" from his classic 1970 Blue Note "Alive" was sampled in 1993 by jazz-rap group US3 for the song "Tukka yoot's riddim". Green's original soul jazz version is a 10 minute dance-floor killer, showcasing insanely good guitar, sax and organ solos.

Then comes Monty Alexander's cover of Al Green's "Love and Hapiness" from the album "Rass!". Monty Alexander was born in Kingston, and this album was recorded with Ernest Ranglin, the legendary guitarist who recorded many of Ska and Reggae's seminal albums. "Love and Hapiness" oozes with cool mellow guitar riffs, a blend of jazz and reggae beats and elctric piano grooves. Absolute dope - Guaranteed by your dealer (me)!

Other gems here include some incredibly soulful jams by harpist Dorothy Ashby; keyboardists Eddie Russ, Junior Mance, Lonnie Smith, Reuben Wilson, Les McCann and Billy Larkin; an amazingly cool version of the Jackson Five's "I want you back" by vibe legend Cal Tjader; and some spectacular tenor sax work by Curtis Amy and Gene Ammons.

Gene Ammons is responsible for the track "Jungle Strut". And Wow!!!! What a cut!!! A HUGE, super soulful, yet dark and hypnotysing, piece of groove, featuring Bernard Purdie on Drums. Good luck not getting your mind blown away...

Other favorites of mine on this compilation: Junior Mance "Don't Cha Hear Me Callin' To Ya"... serious breaks and soul in this bomb; Billy Larkin & the Delegates "Pygmy": latin flavored soul jazz, with great percussion and organ drive!

Finally, we close out with a couple of Lalo Schifrin-penned soundtrack material. First with the haunting "Hunt Down" for the film "Mannix", then with "The Danube Incident" from the second "Mission Impossible" soundrack, sampled by Portishead on "Sour Times".

The last track is the treasured "Ripped Open By Metal Explosions". A classic piece of soulful darkness by Galt McDermot, with Idris Muhammad on drums.

Complete tracklist is:

1. Gene Harris & The 3 Sounds - Book of Slim, 1968
2. Stanley Turrentine - Spooky, 1968
3. Grant Green - Sookie Sookie, 1970
4. Gian Franco Pienzio - Grigio Perla, 1973
5. Dorothy Ashby - Soul Vibrations, 1968
6. Monty Alexander - Love And Happiness, 1974
7. Eddie Russ - Watergate Blues, 1974
8. Curtis Amy - Mustang, 1969
9. Billy Larkin & the Delegates - Pygmy, 1964
10. Cal Tjader - I Want You Back, 1973
11. Junior Mance - Don't Cha Hear Me Callin' To Ya, 1970
12. Reuben Wilson - Knock On Wood, 1969
13. Les McCann - Shamading, 1972
14. Lalo Schifrin - Hunt Down, 1966
15. Lonnie Smith - I Feel The Earth Move, 1971
16. Gene Ammons - Jungle Strut, 1970
17. Lalo Schifrin - The Danube Incident, 1969
18. Galt McDermot - Ripped Open By Metal Explosions, 1970

Download now and get your soul jazzed-up!