True Audiophile: Best of Groove Note is basically a fancy name for the Super Audio CD label sampler. Groove Note Records began releasing jazz and blues recordings in 2005. They've also expanded their vision and have begun to re-release rare tracks by vintage artists and look to genre-bending vocalists in order to showcase excellent music coming from the jazz and blues traditions.
Robinsongs brings you perhaps the definitive round up of cool tracks to be released by CTI Records and affiliated label Kudu on a Double CD.
Tim Simenon's Bomb the Bass pet project pumped some of the best acid house straight into late-'80s dance clubs. Best known stateside for the seminal "Beat Dis," similarly groundbreaking slow-beat club groove, and the Burt Bacharach cover "Say a Little Prayer," Simenon's brand of acid-laced rap and snappy sampling kept sweat flowing coast to coast. Unfortunately, by the time the band's second album appeared in 1991, Bomb the Bass was all but forgotten in the beginnings of the grunge backlash. However, the sonics have continued to percolate, hence the welcome appearance of the U.K. compilation Beat Dis: The Very Best Of, which serves up a healthy hodgepodge of hits and a neat tweak for aging ravers' long-lost brain cells. In no particular order, Beat Dis unravels 1988 through 1991, commencing with the 12" version of "Beat Dis" and ending with the absurdly short "Megamix," while hitting all the important points in between. First-wave favorites include the aforementioned "Say a Little Prayer" and "Shake It," while the 1991 incarnation weighs in mightily with "Dune Buggy Attack" and the British hit "Winter in July".
Covering prime early recordings from 1956-1960 and one mid-'80s cut, Blue Note's The Best of Jimmy Smith offers up a fine introduction to the trailblazing jazz organist. Smith's Blue Note sessions not only introduced the world to the complex solo possibilities of the Hammond B3 organ, but simultaneously ushered in the soul-jazz era of the '60s, spawning a wealth of fine imitators in the process. Before delving into more commercial terrain on Verve in the late '60s, Smith cut a ton of jam-session dates for Blue Note, often with the help of hard bop luminaries like trumpeter Lee Morgan, alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson, tenor saxophonists Tina Brooks and Stanley Turrentine, and drummers Art Blakey and Donald Bailey. All are heard here on classic cuts like "The Sermon," "Back at the Chicken Shack," and "The Jumpin' Blues," with Smith regular Turrentine and a young Morgan availing themselves in especially fine form. For his part, Smith eats up the scenery on all the sides here, taking his solo to particularly impressive heights on a fleetly swinging rendition of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home".
Standard CD reissue of this 2010 album from the New York-based instrumental fusion band. With the release of the TELL YOUR FRIENDS (and the 2012 follow-up album GROUND UP), Snarky Puppy has gone from an underground secret to one of the most internationally respected names in contemporary Jazz. Over the last four years of touring, the group has gained a reputation for putting on a live show unparalleled in energy, virtuosity, and musicianship. They seamlessly fuse a deep knowledge and respect for the Jazz tradition with sonic and conceptual innovation in a way that is able to reach the most critical - or most carefree - audience.
In Memoriam: Hugh Masekela (1939–2018). South African jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela died on January 23, 2018, at the age of 78 after a long battle with cancer. I was briefly introduced to South African Jazz by watching the HBO series, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Some of the scenes took place inside local jazz clubs in Botswana. So when I saw this album, I decided to give it a try. What a wonderful surprise! The music is unique and distinct, but a close listen will give hints of American Jazz artists, such as George Benson or Herbie Hancock. This album is my new favorite.
Buddha's Sho Nuff Groove: The Best of Harvey Mason is an excellent 12-track compilation, featuring all of the fusion musician's biggest crossover smooth jazz and lite funk hits, including "Marching on the Street," "Set It Free," "Till You Take My Love," "What's Going On," "Liquid," "Don't Doubt My Lovin'," "How Does It Feel," and the 12-inch mix of "Groovin' You." This doesn't give a full picture of his talents as a sideman and producer, but it is a concise chronicle of his solo recordings and a welcome addition to his catalog.
Although several other hard rock acts have seen their hits repackaged more times than Kiss (namely the Who, Motörhead, Black Sabbath, etc.), the masked quartet certainly isn't far behind, as 2002 saw the group's latest in a long line of collections, The Very Best of Kiss. Despite recycling many of the same selections over and over on these sets (1978's Double Platinum, 1988's Smashes, Thrashes & Hits, 1997's Greatest Kiss, etc.), fans will flock to the stores to buy any piece of Kiss merchandise to complete their collections, hence the arrival of another of hits. While The Very Best of Kiss does contain a smattering of songs to make their debut on a hits collection…