Records of the Month – Jazz and Soul – July 2020
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!
Takin’ Off, 1962
Just the line-up on this album is enough to get you excited – Herbie on piano, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet and Dexter Gordon on tenor… are you kidding? On top of that, bear in mind that this was Herbie’s debut album at the young age of just 22.
This album was a preview of things to come, considering the following year Herbie would join Miles Davis and would start a relationship resulting in a number of phenomenal albums. The opening groove, Watermelon Man, is one of our favourites and it sounds just as good and fresh today as we’re sure it did back in 1962.
It’s also great to hear Dexter Gordon on this album after a troubling decade of his life in which he struggled with substance abuse and jail time. His solo on The Maze is one that really sticks with us – he brings some sort of a power to it that is reminiscent of Coltrane a little bit.
Overall, this album is more than a debut – it’ a statement. Jazz wouldn’t be the same after this album ladies and gentlemen – Herbie has just come to town and he means business.
Mayfield is one of our favourite soul artists to come out of Chicago. He started his career with The Impressions throughout the 60s, and upon leaving the group released this as his debut solo album.
It’s a departure from his earlier style which may have been seen as more commercial, whereas in this he really spread his wings and was much more vocal in his social critique. Soul music played a huge part in the civil rights movement and provided a platform of expression for many artists – most notably Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding.
The album starts off strong with If There’s a Hell Below, in which Curtis demonstrates his ability to shock you with his lyrics, while grooving to the most infectious rhythm and guitar.
The loaded start is then balanced out by the breezy and optimistic Move on Up, a song which would go on to be one of his most iconic tunes.
Somethin’ Else, 1958
This is the album that preceded the iconic Kind of Blue – in fact, we would even say that this is the younger brother of that legendary album. One of the few occasions in which Miles Davis acted a side-man… but that may have been acceptable given that the lead was Cannonball Adderley.
Let’s be realistic here – if you put legends such as Cannonball, Miles and Art Blakey (drums) in one place, how could the result not be a phenomenal album? Unlike his usual high-powered and twisting playing style, no doubt influenced by Charlie Parker, Cannonball brings us a very patient, thoughtful and meticulous set which creates one hell of a mood.
There’s not a single note which is out of place, unnecessary or excessive. Without raving on too much about it, we really feel if you were to study this album, you would probably be able to crack the formula to jazz. Let’s face it – we’re trying to introduce you to some of the very greatest – and you deserve to own this.