curtis mayfield - superfly

Curtis Mayfield: Superfly OST (1972)

Day 23 of the #mayvinylchallenge (which was yesterday, I know) asked for a soundtrack. I was considering the other amazing 1972 soundtrack album by a titan of r&b and soul, but while doing yardwork that opening riff to “Pusherman” came on and I really had no choice. So let’s spend a few minutes talking about Curtis Mayfield and how the soundtrack to Super Fly is not only one fo the best soundtracks of all time, but one of the best albums, period.

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kamasi washington - heaven and earth

Kamasi Washington: Heaven and Earth (2018)

Day 11 of the #mayvinylchallenge is the Best Total Package, and the fact is that in my relatively brief time collecting vinyl (about three years) I never purchased any box sets. It’s only recently that I started focusing on new vinyl at all; most of my vinyl was purchased used. So I’ll twist this a little bit to talk about the wonder I experienced with Heaven and Earth, the massive multi-record set from jazz saxophonist and composer Kamasi Washington. Beautiful packaging, and a sweet surprise I never would have known about hidden in the seams.

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thundercat - drunk

Thundercat: Drunk (2017)

Day 10 of the #mayvinylchallenge is your favorite 10″, and that guideline makes it pretty easy for me, since I have only one 10″ in my record collection. It’s a doozy, though: the third full length from the Space Ace of Bass, Thundercat. Although I had heard his distinctive style of playing on projects from Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, and even Suicidal Tendencies, Drunk was my first exposure to the man as a solo artist and composer, and it was on of those pivotal “aha!” discoveries on my musical journey.

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cleveland eaton - plenty good eaton

Cleveland Eaton: Plenty Good Eaton (1975)

I wasn’t familiar with Cleveland Eaton before seeing this reissue from Real Gone Music when I was looking at grabbing the Kool and the Gang vinyl I discussed a few weeks ago. But the description – a blend of Ramsey Lewis’s soul funk and the swing of Count Basie filtered through the fusion that was riding high in the mid 70s – caught me. The fact that Plenty Good Eaton not only was a fun play on words but was originally on the Black Jazz label was another vote of confidence for a blind buy, so I took the dive…I’m here to report I am now the happier for it.

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kool and the gang debut

Kool and the Gang: Kool and the Gang (1970)

If we’re re-booting this blog for 2021, I thought I’d start with some of my most recent vinyl acquisitions. I can’t pinpoint when I precisely fell in love with soul and funk music; I’d been exposed to it on the radio in the 70s, but rock and metal took over, and it wasn’t until high school and late nights driving around town with Parliament’s Up For the Down Stroke blasting out the windows (that’s how my friends rolled in upstate New York circa 1990) and obsessing over the wriggle of Isaac Hayes’s Shaft score that I started to identify something that spoke to my DNA. Fast-forward about 30 years and when I got the note that Real Gone Music was reissuing Kool and the Gang’s debut self titled album on yellow vinyl I was all in.

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beastie boys - the mix up

Beastie Boys: The Mix-Up (2007)

It’s been a while, so in my head I was getting The Mix-Up confused with The In Sound From Way Out. ┬áTHAT album is a compilation of the instrumental tracks from the previous Beastie Boys records. ┬áTHIS record is the official seventh studio album from the mixmasters, an all original instrumental album that serves as a respite from the hard rap stance of To The 5 Boroughs, and for me personally it’s one of the best records to just throw on a chill to, a laid back groove session that reinforces the chemistry between Diamond, Yauch, and Horovitz. Continue reading “Beastie Boys: The Mix-Up (2007)”