Records of the Month – Jazz and Soul – March 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!

Herbie Hancock

Head Hunters, 1979
Music on Vinyl

Herbie Hancock - Head Hunters

Oh how we love Herbie Hancock! From his early fiery bebop to the more mainstream ballads of his later albums and everything far out and in-between! … But then there’s Head Hunters – an album which is just so groovy it’s infectious!

Last month we brought you Miles in the Sky on which Herbie played keys, and we can certainly hear a lot of that album here. Herbie took what he learned from Miles, marinated it in funk, added a side-order of thick bass and was cookin’!

Though there may only be four tracks on the entire album, each one is so complex and the musicians are in such a cohesion you need multiple listens to really hear everything that’s going on.

Hancock was later quoted in relation to the album saying “I took a chance. There was always the risk that I might make some new fans, but only at the cost of losing more established ones. This was music I wanted to make, though, so the gamble was worth it.”

Al Green

Gets Next to You, 1971
Fat Possum

Al Green Gets Next to You - LP record

With his second album for Hi Records in collaboration with the legendary producer Willie Mitchell, Al Green cemented himself as one of the great young soul talents of the time.

With the tragically premature passings of Sam Cooke in 1964 and Otis Redding in 1967, a void had to be filled within the world of soul. Born in Arkansas, Green grew up as one of ten children in a strictly religious family. In fact, his father infamously kicked him out of the house at a young age after catching him listening to Jackie Wilson records.

Green was heavily drawn towards the groovy style of Wilson Pickett and the vocal prowess of Mahalia Jackson, and finally managed to find his own sound with Hi Records and Willie Mitchell who paired him up with arguably one of the greatest house bands a record company could ask for.

The album kicks off with a tastefully bluesy cover of the Temptation’s Can’t Get Next to You which the band slow way down, allowing Al’s gritty soulful voice to really take over.

The record features some great hip-shaking numbers like I’m a Ram and Driving Wheel, while also displaying Green’s increadible seductive vocal abilities on Tired of Being Alone, which would prove to be a indication of things to some with his next album!

The Dave Brubeck Quartet

Time Out, 1959
Music on Vinyl

Time Out - Album cover

Among jazz musicians Dave Brubeck sits within a league of his own. His playing is so distinctly recognizable – it’s the sophisticated kind of cool that very few possess. Maybe it’s got something to do with the California sun.

While we at Vinyl Wings always strive to bring our members records they may not have heard of, and it’s unlikely that Time Out is such a record, we felt you would love this beautiful audiophile edition from the folks at Music on Vinyl.

What makes this such a special album is the originality of the time signatures used by Brubeck in the tunes. The band’s experiences while on a government-sponsored Cold War Tour provided the inspiration for this masterpiece. For example, the opening Blue Rondo à La Turk is written in a time signature common to Turkish folk music, something Brubeck experienced firsthand while on the tour.

The entire album is a simply delightful listen from front to back and a must-have in any jazz lover’s collection. Check out our longer post on the year 1959 and why we feel it was the greatest year in jazz here!

 

 

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