Review: Even though it appeared on his fine 1971 album "Headless Heroes Of The Apocalypse" - a suitably dystopian set in which our hero rails against the ills of godless society - "Jagger The Dagger" is not one of Eugene McDaniels better known tracks. Yet as this Japanese seven-inch reissue proves, it remains a superb chunk of bizarre-but-brilliant jazz/rock/soul fusion full of delay-laden country style guitar solos, weirdo backing vocals, sumptuously laidback grooves and vocals that take aim at Mick Jagger and his "devil's dance". Flipside "Cherrystones" is a Vietnam War-era civil rights cry built around good old-fashioned fuzz-toned grooves, Chuck Berry style rock 'n' roll guitar solos and a pretty crazy lead vocal.
Review: Following the success of the first volume which sold out in 2017, Heavenly Sweetness decided with Francis Falceto to give a follow up - in the form of this box set of Ethiopian singles. It's a tribute of sorts to the music producer Ali Tango, who produced most of these EPs across 6 X 7". Falceto plunged into his impressive collection of records and there are great names of the golden age of Ethiopian music such as Mahmoud Ahmed, Alemayehu Eshete, Ali Mohamed Birra, alongside less known artists to be rediscovered such as Muluquen Melesse, Alayew Mesfin and Seyoum Gebreyes. Including original artwork and labels, plus a poster and six stickers of all the covers. Limited edition, 2000 copies.
Review: Curiously, jazz singer turned disco diva Dee Dee Bridgewater's debut album, 1974's "Afro Blue", was only ever released in Japan. It's from this set that these two tracks are taken. A-side "Little B's Poem" is a superb slab of soul-jazz brilliance that sits somewhere between Nina Simone, Billie Holliday and the kind of sun-kissed, life-affirming classic jazz that was once all the rage in underground jazz clubs. Over on side B you'll find Bridgewater's version of "People Make The World Go Round", with her impeccable vocal rising above fluid pianos, brushed drums and snaking trumpet solos.
Journey To The Light (part 1 - DJ Nori edit) (4:13)
Journey To The Light (part 2 - DJ Nori edit) (3:19)
Review: Subject to edits from such luminaries as Ashley Beedle and Danny Krivit, Brainstorm's most iconic cut "Journey To The Light" gets extended to the point of two parts by Brooklyn editor and selector DJ Nori. Part One is all about the Detroit dynamos' ability to hit sizzling high notes on the chorus and drop into swooning jazzy verses while Part Two is more of a groove-based, stripped back version where the instrumentation and backing vocals are brought right into the light. Stunning.
Review: In 1977, Libyan musician Ahmed Fakroun flew to Milan to record some new material. The results were showcased on a pair of 7" singles, the most sought-after of which is being given the reissue treatment by Italy's Groovin label. The real winner here is "Nisyan", an Arabic interpretation of blue-eyed soul that fixes a baggy, sun-kissed sensibility, ear-catching Moog solos and a killer groove. "La Ya-Hob" is, if anything, even baggier and dreamier, with Fakroun delivering touchy-feely vocals over exotic, Middle Eastern synthesizer lines and a rolling, soft touch jazz-funk groove. Both cuts are equally breezy and jaunty, lingering in the memory for hours after each rotation.