A stunner of a record from the mighty Jorge Ben – and a record that catapulted the Brazilian singer to international fame at the time! Ben had already been making magic for almost a decade down in Brazil – and his compositions and grooves left an undeniable impact on the scene in the post-bossa years – but this album has Jorge really emerging as the global soul star he was destined to be – from his powerful stare on the cover, right down to the grit in the grooves!
A mad mix of Latin and funky rhythms – a 70s classic from the Belgian group Chakachas! The album's best known for its title hit "Jungle Fever" – an insane cut that features heavy drums, choppy guitar, and a stop/start action that's peppered with sounds of female pleasure! The track was a worldwide hit, and continues to be a funky classic today – thanks to a heavy sample history, and a life in playlists worldwide – but the rest of the album's pretty darn great too, and even weirder. Some tracks mix easy Euro grooving with heavy conga, others have kind of an LA Chicano funk approach, and still others throw in some mad horns to complicate matters with nice jazzy riffing. Really great throughout – and maybe one of the best funky albums to ever come out on a major label!
Recorded and released in 1975, Seriously Deep is the only album producer, arranger, conductor, and composer David Axelrod recorded for Polydor. Strangely enough, Jimmy Bowen and Cannonball Adderley produced it, not Axe. He did write everything here, and one has no doubt that he hand-selected most of the set's players: Joe Sample on Fender Rhodes, clavinet, and Arp synth; Ernie Watts, Jerome Richardson, Jay Migliori, and Gene Cipriano on reeds and winds; trumpeters Snooky Young and Allen DiRienzo; Jimmy Cleveland and Dick Hyde on trombones; Billy Fender and John Morell on guitars; Jim Hughart on bass; drummer Ndugu Chancler; percussionist Mailto Correa; and concertmaster Jack Shulman for the strings.
Sublime sounds from the always-amazing Ahmed Abdul-Malik – a jazz bassist at heart, but also a musician with a great ear for Eastern instrumentation as well! Ahmed cut a few key records at the end of the 50s and start of the 60s – and this spellbinding set may well be one of his strongest – a set that moves past some of the more gimmicky use of exotic instrumentation on other albums, and focuses on a jazzy core that really shines strongly on the album's long tracks! There's still a nice sense of the East on the record – thanks to Hamza Aldeen's oud – but the set also features great jazz solos from Seldon Powell on flute and tenor, and the great Ray Nance on both cornet and violin. Drummer Walter Perkins plays with a fluid style that's perfect for the date – and pianist Paul Neves has a lyrical approach to piano that works wonders for the groove.