Graham Luckhurst picks a few of his favourite Jazz and Fusion tracks for us.
I've been avidly listening to and collecting all forms of Jazz for the last 10 years or so now. I was too young to witness the London hayday of the late 80's and early 90's so for me it all started with compilations such as Gilles Peterson's 'Worldwide', THAT Journey's By DJ double with Gilles and Norman Jay, BBE's Jazz Spectrum compilations and Russ Dewbury's remarkably long standing Jazz Rooms club sessions in Brighton (that still run, over 20 years on!).
So, here are a few tracks that have stuck with me over the years:
Gary Bartz - Celestial Blues
I first heard Gary Bartz via the essential 'Anthology' compilation on Soul Brother. Celestial Blues blew my mind, as did Uhuru Salsa, with their tough drums, soaring vocals from Andy Bey and sax. Killer records.
Horace Silver - I've Had A Little Talk
This is taken from Silver's 1970 Quintet album 'Total Response' on Blue Note, which is solid. Uplifting, spiritual business with a great vocal.
Jon Lucien - Would You Believe In Me
Lucien's Rashida album is a most-own record. Simple as that. This is a beauty, again in a similar vein to the two previous picks - tough drums and vocal.
Tom Scott - Today
As sampled by Pete Rock for 'T.R.O.Y (They Reminisce Over You)', originally brought to my attention by Mr Thing on his mixtape for the now defunct Lotek magazine. Taken from Scott's classic 'Honeysuckle Breeze' LP.
Idris Muhammad - Loran's Dance
Laid back, dope Jazz track from the awesome Power Of Soul album. One of many tips over the years from my good friend Mr See.
Les McCann & Eddie Harris - Shorty Rides Again
This was sampled on Eric B & Rakim's monster 'Hypnotic' and tipped to me by Andy Edwards. You're probably spotting a theme in my selections - I like the combination of tough grooves, bass and sax, more 'danceable' (for want of a better term) than more traditional forms of Jazz.
Roy Ayers Ubiquity - We Live In Brooklyn Baby
First heard this on Gilles Peterson's Worldwide compilation. Wish I could hear it for the first time again. Mind-bendingly good, one of my favourite tracks of all time. Taken from the Ubiquity LP 'He's Coming'.
Tyrone Washington - Submission
Straight huge. Sampled by many. Taken from his 'Roots' LP which is now pretty reasonable even on original.
Another one I picked up from another 'Anthology' compilation on Soul Brother. Slightly free-er feel to this one, not surprising given the title. Taken from the 'Blues And Soulful Truth' LP.
Bobby Cole - A Perfect Day
This was a Jazzman Gerald 7" re-issue. Another great source for all things rare. Uplifting and tough.
Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Spirits Up Above
Ultimate end of the night record. Huge intro then straight into the dance. Taken from the Volunteered Slavery album from 1969.
Seawind - Free
First heard this on the white labelled 'Underdog Edits' series. This is early 80's fusion which is in most of cases pretty cheesey, fortunately this one stays on the right side of the line and is considered a dancers classic now. The original version appears on the 'Reunion' LP which has recently been re-issued.
The Rance Allen Group - Peace Of Mind
Now were down to the last two picks. Both of which I would consider to be all times favourite tracks. This one is taken from the Mizzell produced 'Say My Friend' LP which is as solid as they come. This track is immense. Massive production, piano, vocal, drums, the works. Near on perfect.
John Klemmer - Free Soul
I first heard this at Plastic People in London during my days of going to their Saturday 'Balance' sessions which usually featured club owner Ade spinning records he wanted to play on the amazing sound system. Nothing more required. Klemmer's albums can be a little bit hit and miss but 'Blowin Gold' is a must-have and the cover is tasty too.
UNFORTUNATELY I CAN'T FIND A DECENT VERSION ON YOUTUBE
Here is the Spotify playlist for this post:
You can also listen to two continuous mixes via Soundcloud that Graham has put together for us: