Review: By the time he recorded Right On Brother in 1970, soul-jazz guitarist "Boogaloo" Joe Jones was at the peak of his powers. The album's enduring appeal is based, in part at least, in its thrillingly heavy fusion of elements of jazz, funk, soul, blues and psychedelic rock. Jones is naturally in fine form throughout, laying down a mixture of jazzy licks, wild solos and crunchy riffs, but is given more than ample support from a backing ensemble including organist Charles Earland (a star in his own right), saxophonist Rusty Bryant and, perhaps most impressively of all, legendary drummer Bernard Purdie. With such talent on display, it's unsurprising that Right on Brother is still held in such high esteem.
Review: Recorded at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California in 1974, Azar Lawrence's debut album Bridge Into The New Age has long been considered a cornerstone of spiritual jazz-fusion by collectors. The album contained a notable supporting cast, including a pre-Philadelphia International Jean Carn (whose superb vocals can be heard on a number of album cuts, most notably the superb title track) and Miles Davis' percussionist, James Mtume. The album's genius lies in its breezy combination of psychedelic-era West Coast positivity, Sun Ra style spirituality and the loose-and-improvised ethos of free jazz. Lawrence's soprano and tenor saxophone work is superb throughout, as you'd expect. On this timely reissue, the album has been re-mastered and pressed in audiophile-friendly 180g vinyl.