Originally released in 1971 on CjR Recorded December, 1970 Superior Viaduct Reissue (2019) Style: Free Funk, Free Jazz, Abstract Groove … More
“There is a heightened and sustained sense of intuition running through this recording whose sonic palette is so wide it captures – through soundscaping, invocation, lament, impressionistic vocal weaving – not only the transient and hybridised nature of life in Johannesburg, but also the heaviness of the air at the time of its recording. More ambient, controlled swirl of rhythm and experimental mixing than incessant groove, the album is an outpouring of a range of expressions that exist between the supposed binaries of indigenous forms of music and the electronic experimentation Johannesburg is known globally for.” (from Bandcamp)
Style: Abstract Funk, Jazz Fusion, Spiritual Jazz
Lineup: Eddie Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Bennie Maupin, Lenny White, Billy Hart, Buster Williams, Pat Gleeson
Vibe: Cosmic, Exploratory, Groovy, Atmospheric, Spacey, Spiritual
Musical Attributes: Collective Improvisation, Polyrhythmic, Odd Time Signatures, Studio-as-an-Instrument
Fontanelle’s Vitamin F feels heavily indebted to the dense, psychedelic grooves of Bitches Brew and the Mwandishi albums, and while it doesn’t quite reach the majestic heights of those legendary records, it’s definitely a worthwhile slab of wax for fans of polyrhythmic funk, winding improvisations, and spacey keyboard atmospheres.
Released in 2007 on Stones Throw Records Format: LPx2
Innovative guitarist and producer Dave Harrington (Darkside) uses his latest record to explore the outer reaches of improvisation and compositional post-production. Pure Imagination, No Country is jazz-rock fusion stripped of its retro connotations—fusing hard grooves, free flights of collective improvisation, and futuristic ambience to create something that is at turns atmospheric and in your face.
Recommended for fans of Bill Frisell, Terje Rypdal, or Jaga Jazzist
Released in 1971 on Warner Bros. Format: LP, white label promo
Released in 1998 on Warp Records Format: LP
Released in 2018 on Jagjaguwar Format: LP
Over the past decade, Josh Abrams has been using his guimbri to create music inspired by the ceremonial music of the Gnawa in North Africa, infusing it with a wide variety of influences from kosmische to minimalism to the avant-garde jazz of his local scene in Chicago. On this album, the focus is on “pure motion” driven by double drummers hypnotically interlocking with guimbri, guitar, keys and harmonium. Each individual plays unique rhythmic figures that push and pull against each other like polyrhythmic tectonic plates, creating constantly changing, yet circular grooves.
Recorded August 19-21, 1969 Originally released in 1970 on Columbia Records 2008 Legacy Pressing Format: LPx2
This fantastic compilation album consists of 2 hours of unreleased recording sessions ranging from 1970 to 1974. Despite some incohesiveness, this release contains some of the most exciting, creative and uncategorizable music of Miles’ career.
I highly recommend this album to fans of the innovative and exploratory period of jazz fusion of the early 70’s, where electric instrumentation, funk rhythms, experimental production techniques, and spacey synthesizers met the improvisation, freedom, and uplifting soul of the spiritual jazz of the 60’s. Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi trilogy, Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew, Weather Report’s first LP are good touchstones, but this album truly offers something unique.
Released in 1973 on CBS/Columbia Format: LP