This new series is focused on re-issuing classic and hard to find albums from the funk, soul & jazz vaults. Two albums from one artist per release, digitally re-mastered from the original tapes. These albums aren’t just music – they are part of jazz and soul heritage.
• Digitally re-mastered from original ¼” tapes for unequalled sound quality.
• Beautifully restored artwork on quality flat pack packaging.
CD1 - The Headhunters - Survival Of The Fittest
The first release in this series is one of the most important albums in jazz funk history. The Headhunters is the band Herbie Hancock used when moving into his electronic fusion period. His album “The Head Hunters” became one of the best-selling jazz/fusion albums of all time, (even out-selling Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew”) and in 1975 the band released their first project without Herbie, “Survival Of The Fittest”.
CD2 – The Headhunters – Straight From The Gate
In 1979 the follow-up album “Straight From The Gate” developed their sound, but with a more accessible combination of jazz, funk and rock. This was daring at the time, but has paved the way for many cross genre releases since. Again, the album has been a source of inspiration to the Hip-Hop generation, most notably by Q-Tip on Mobb Deep’s “Drink Away The Pain”.
CD1 - Ramsey Lewis – Funky Serenity
For nearly 50 years Ramsey Lewis has enjoyed a solid and long reputation as the consummate musician. This original 1973 Columbia Records album “Funky Serenity” features liner notes by then label head Clive Davis and features Lewis’ funky twist on tunes such as “If Loving You Is Wrong”, “Betcha By Golly Wow”, and “Where Is The Love”.
Davis praises Lewis on the album sleeve notes as being one of the most progressive musicians he’d ever met, and this proves a worthy complement as the album has been plundered by the Hip-Hop community including The Fugees, A Tribe Called Quest and Dilla. One for the connoisseurs and beat diggers alike.
CD2- Ramsey Lewis – Salongo
“Salongo” earns most of its raves by being one of the few albums of the time to sidestep commercial considerations. Produced by the phenomenal dream team of Maurice White (Earth Wind & Fire) and Charles Stepney, (under their Kalimba Productions moniker) they give the album its sound for Ramsey and his hand picked band to play under.
The overall sound has greater African and Brazilian influences, worked into a soulful fusion groove that sounds a lot like the instrumental backings Earth Wind & Fire were using at the time, making this a seminal release.
Both these albums have been digitally re-mastered from the original tapes and put together on one package for the very first time.
CD1 - Larry Young’s Fuel
Larry Young was part of the earliest fusion experiments in the late 60’s/early 70’s, playing on Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew”, recording with Jimi Hendrix and being part of Tony Williams’ groundbreaking “Lifetime” project.
By 1975 Young was signed to Arista and ready to fire up a full on 70’s style jazz-fusion assault with his group Fuel. The first, “Larry Young’s Fuel” is one of THE essential electric jazz sets of the 70s – and features the classic break cut “Turn Out the Lights”– plus other great tracks that include “Floating”, “Fuel for the Fire”, “I Ching”, “H+J=B (Hustle + Jam = Bread)” and “New York Electric Street Music”.
CD2 - Larry Young’s Fuel / Spaceball
The follow up album “Spaceball” in 1976 takes the fusion of funk, rock, soul, and jazz to new heights. The sessions found Young behind the boards as producer and behind the keyboards as a player, utilizing everything from a Mini Moog to a Hammond B3, a Fender Rhodes to a traditional acoustic piano. The resulting project is thoroughly funky and often called the absolute best of his post-Blue Note recordings.
Young was only 38 when, in 1978, he checked into hospital suffering from stomach pains, and died from untreated pneumonia. Both albums became highly collectable “rare grooves” among the UK funk, soul and jazz fans. This package brings together for the first time his seminal solo work. Both albums have been digitally re-mastered from the original tapes.