Hey Vinyl Lovers,
We’re super excited to announce our August Jazz and Soul Records of the Month!
Our musical elves have sifted through thousands of archives of music and listened to hours upon hours of albums to bring you 3 incredible records this month! Not only that, but a dedicated team of historians tried their absolute best to give you a little background on each one! All part of a day’s work here at Vinyl Wings!
Remember, if you like what you see you can always sign up for next month’s box by subscribing here!
Robert Glasper Experiment
Black Radio, 2012
We live in interesting times. We are fortunate that we have a large arsenal of predecessors and music which we can draw from, and then combine those with today’s trends to create something fresh.
That being said, we hoped to bring you something a little different this month. We think what pianist Robert Glasper was aiming for with this album was to narrow the rift that exists in people’s styles and musical tastes.
He’s taking old school influences and making them appealing to a modern crowd. And the result, as peculiar as it might be, is quite honest and uncompromising.
The most notable songs on the album are Afro Blue, featuring the soulful Erykah Badu, and the final track – Smells like Teen Spirit. We’ve heard a number of covers of that song but nothing like this – it’s interesting, just as unusual as the original, and is the perfect exhibit of what can be done with a song under someone else’s vision.
The Fatback Band
Keep on Steppin’, 1974
Formed in New York City in 1970, The Fatback Band was the brainchild of drummer Bill Curtis. Although they wouldreach the peak of commercial success in the 80s when they pivoted more into disco, the group was a cult and underground funk phenomenon.
We dig the raw sound that is present throughout this whole record, dominated by the funky bass-lines of Johnny Flippin and the groovy drumming of Curtis.
Their thick funky sound reminds us a little bit of an early Sly and Family Stone or maybe even a stripped-down version of Slave.
From the very opening, Mister Bass Man sets the tone of what’s to come in this record. It’s a groove that’s hard not to dance and shake to. Wicky Wacky features some awesome scat singing and gives us that New York street funk vibe, calling out to where all the party people are.
Stick this one on at a house party to get the party popping and watch your guests start grooving!
The Blues and the Abstract Truth, 1961
This heavyweight classic is one of the greatest jazz records to come out of the 60s. All of that credit goes to Nelson’s writing and arranging which made this the masterpiece that it is.
Nelson arrived to New York in 1959, the same year that Kind of Blue was recorded. By this point, Nelson learned arranging from various influences and most importantly understood how to make a small band sound much bigger.
Take the opening tune Stolen Moments – not only is it an incredibly beautiful composition that would go on to be a modern jazz standard, but the band’s sound is so full it’s hard to believe it’s achieved by a mere 7 musicians.
The collaborators on this one are the absolute giants of modern jazz. Freddie Hubbard shines through with some of his best soloing work, while Eric Dolphy backs him up seamlessly.
The rhythm section is arguably one of the most potent in all of jazz of Paul Chambers, Roy Haynes and Evans on piano.
Evans and Chambers both being Kind of Blue alumni, it’s no wonder the album has a little bit of that feel to it as well, with an infusion of the blues to it as well!