Records of the Month – Jazz and Soul – April 2021

Jazz and Soul Subscription 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! We strive to the the best jazz subscription service with some soul mixed into it!

Lou Donaldson

Alligator Bogaloo, 1967
Blue Note

Lou Donaldson Alligator Bogaloo

It’s impossible not to immediately fall under the groovy spell of this record from the moment it starts spinning.

The story behind how the title track came to be has many versions but the gist of it is that after recording all of the originally planned tunes in Rudy van Gelder’s studio, Lou was told he was 3 minutes shy of a complete album. Right then and there, he came up with a catchy riff and let the band do their magic.

The improvised tune was such a success that it immediately became the opening number. The band accompanying Lou were all future legends still in their early days: on guitar was a young George Benson, displaying his prowess through an awesome solo on Rev. Moses, together with the one and only Lonnie Smith on B3 organ and drummer Leo Morris – later to be known as Idris Muhammad.

Our favourite part of the record is Smith’s effortless touch on the organ which hits you in all the right spots and adds a soul-funk spice like none other we’ve heard!

Jimmy Scott

The Source, 1969
Music on Vinyl

Jimmy Scott - The Source

While Jimmy Scott may not be a household name among jazz fans, believe us when we say he is as unique as they come. Jimmy’s voice is as powerful as an ocean, able to pull you down under its tides in an instant.

His contralto voice was the result of a rare genetic condition known as Kallman syndrome, while his heavily melancholic style can be attributed to the tragedies he suffered throughout his life.

Abandoned by his father at a young age and orphaned after the tragic death of his mother, Jimmy grew up in foster care. With the help of his girlfried at the time, he signed with Ray Charles’ Tangerine Records and recorded The Source.

His overall peculiarity and feminine style were viewed as such a liability by record companies at the time that they refused to put him on the cover of the album, instead replacing him by the woman you see on your left.

If that weren’t enough, Jimmy’s former label Savoy insisted that he was still under contract with them, resulting in The Source being pulled.

The album remained out of circulation until it’s eventual re-release in 2001.

Theo Croker

Star People Nation, 2019
Music on Vinyl

Theo Croker - Star People Nation

In case you haven’t heard of Theo Croker, allow us to introduce you. Grandson of famed trumpet player Doc Cheatham, Theo started playing the horn at age 11.

After completing his studies at Oberlin under the supervision of the legendary Donald Byrd, Theo spent several years playing in Shanghai. Following his return to the US, he released a number of albums including one with the great Dee Dee Bridgewater.

Star People Nation is an absolute melting pot of styles and sounds – it’s R&B, modal jazz and soul with a hip hop heartbeat running through it.

To record the album Theo gave the band very little direction, instead relying on their ability to play off one another (sounds a bit like what Miles did with Kind of Blue, doesn’t it?).

The results were then cut, sampled, and played over again, ultimately producing an awesome and cosmically expansive listen. The album received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album in 2020.


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