Do you know what’s cool? When your band backs a great performer who brings back the heart of 1960s vinyl soul in a fresh way and then your arrangements and backing are so inspirational that you release the backing tracks as an instrumental album in their own right!Continue reading Cold Diamond and Mink: Here Today Gone Tomorrow
Category Archives: Funk/ R&B/ Hip Hop
Art of the Album: Pedro Bell
Pedro Bell, the artistic talent behind Funkadelic’s wild urban psychedelic album cover art, died on August 27, 2019 in Evergreen Park, IL. NDIM presents this retrospective and tribute to Bell.Continue reading Art of the Album: Pedro Bell
Return to Forever
They bridged the gap between fusion and prog rock bands
Return to Forever had a pretty long run with a few different lineups, but in their most classic incarnation, they moved jazz fusion and the largely instrumental progressive rock bands like Brand X and Mahavishnu Orchestra closer together.
Read ‘Chick Corea’s Musical UniverseContinue reading Return to Forever
The Dawn of Hip-Hop DJs
From Brooklyn Disco to the Bronx Playground
Continue reading The Dawn of Hip-Hop DJs
“The idea of a d.j. making something new out of other people’s music might seem preposterous. But there’s no question that a real d.j. can shape a night of music with his personality, style, and spirit, magically turning a string of records into a spontaneous symphony.”–Vince Aletti– The Disco Files 1973-1978 —
Parliament: Mothership Connection
1976’s Mothership Connection is one of the best albums George Clinton released under the Parliament banner in the five years between 1975 and 1980. During that period the group released an incredible nine records (no greatest hits or live sets, either) and toured relentlessly. When not busy with Parliament, Clinton was busy supervising recording by his other group, Funkadelic, or the P-Funk All Stars, Bootsy Collins, The Brides of Funkenstein, Bernie Worrell, or Zapp. What is incredible is the high quality of all this music. To say, then, that Mothership Connection stands out among the work of this period is high praise indeed.Continue reading Parliament: Mothership Connection
David Axelrod/The Edge: David Axelrod at Capitol Records 1966–1970
Read David Axelrod: Soul on the Edge
David Axelrod stands as one of a handful of record producers who created a sound that, regardless of the artist with whom he was working, was recognizable as an Axelrod production. Phil Spector possessed a similar ability, as did Willie Mitchell. But Axelrod specialized in a gritty yet elegant sound that owed a great deal to the black urban experience.
The Edge: David Axelrod at Capitol DRecords 1966–1970 collects some of Axelrod’s production work as well as a selection of tracks from his own albums. Although you’ll have to hit the crates to find a number of Axelrod’s releases, this is a decent introductory CD.Continue reading David Axelrod/The Edge: David Axelrod at Capitol Records 1966–1970
David Axelrod: Soul on The Edge
by Marshall Bowden
Read about the compilation David Axelrod/The Edge
David Axelrod’s first work as a producer was on tenor saxophonist Harold Land’s The Fox, an album that demonstrated what a marvelous musician Land was as well as putting the world on notice that West coast jazz musicians could play hard-edged bop with the best of the East.Continue reading David Axelrod: Soul on The Edge
Tony Joe White Lived It and Wrote It
by Marshall Bowden
Tony Joe White passed away on October 24, 2018. He died suddenly at home of a heart attack only weeks after the release of his album Bad Mouthin’. The following piece is adapted from a review of White’s album The Heroines with additional observations on his collaborations with Shelby Lynne.
Tony Joe White’s music is generally described as swamp rock, and it is true that he was one of the first performers to have a hit record with that sound. Back in 1969, when “Polk Salad Annie” became a hit record, there were a few other performers, mostly black, playing a swampy cocktail of sounds from the southern United States, but the mainstream public had never really heard most of them.Continue reading Tony Joe White Lived It and Wrote It
How the paths of Ramsey Lewis and Maurice White led to the recording of this quiet storm classic
by Marshall Bowden
Ramsey Lewis was one of the more popular jazz musicians of the 1950s and 1960s, bridging the gap between gospel, blues, soul, and jazz. The Lewis of this period is best known for his gospel and blues-inflected pop tunes with a heavy backbeat, such as “The ‘In’ Crowd”, “A Hard Day’s Night”, and “Hang On Sloopy”.Continue reading Sun Goddess
Aretha Arriving: Young, Gifted and Black
Aretha Franklin, great American singer, songwriter and pianist, passed away on August 16th. As a tribute, New Directions In Music takes a look at her landmark 1972 recording Young, Gifted and Black and Ms. Franklin’s place in the movement for black equality in America.
by Marshall Bowden
Aretha Franklin had already had a long career by 1972. She had recorded a number of records for Columbia Records in styles that were largely jazz and cabaret singer settings, with only smatterings of R&B and soul, with tepid results. Her move to Atlantic Records put her into the orbit of Jerry Wexler, Arif Martin, and Tom Down and Aretha’s subsequent Atlantic releases were largely R&B and soul affairs with pop covers and the occasional look back at an earlier style