SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION: JAZZ-FONK

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Spontaneous Combustion: Steppin’ Loose (Spontaneous Combustion, 1979, 7″)

Jazz-funk single out of St. Louis.

I certainly don’t go out of my way to collect jazz-funk records the way I used to back in the late ’90s and early ’00s but I still have a soft spot for the sound. From what I can gather, this is Freddy G. “Boom Boom” Washington’s outfit, back when he was based in St. Louis.

365 Days of Soul, #51

JO JO SMITH: BUST A COMBO

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Jo Jo Smith: Combinations (Hoctor, 197?, Jazz Dance Today)

Jazz dance instructional album.

There’s at least three kinds of collectible Hoctor LPs: the ones where then-current pop songs were being covered, the ones where folks created original songs, and then these: the most “dance instructional” ones where where you have long tracks that don’t function so much as conventional songs as they rhythm tracks for dancers to practice over. And in that regard, this album is one of the best you’ll find by Hoctor. Breaks, piano, […]

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SUPER JAZZ DES JEUNES: HAITIANO/CUBANO JAZZ

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Super Jazz Des Jeunes: Ti Grog Moin (IBO, 1963, 20ème Anniversaire)

Afro-Cuban jazz out of Haiti.

One of Haiti’s big orchestra/jazz outfits, dating back to the 1940s. Supposedly inventors of what became called “Voudou jazz.” I love this track’s combo of slow grooving Cuban rhythms and the big brass section.

18/365

BERLIN TOWNSHIP ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BAND: KID BOP

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Berlin Township Elementary School Stage Band: Salsoul Hustle (private, 1977, A Rhythm Fiesta)

Private press elementary school stage band album out of Camden, New Jersey.

I don’t know about the bands at your elementary school, but these NJ kids were kind of killing it. At this point in the ’70s, stage bands everywhere were playing with funky/fusion tunes but I’m most impressed at the mature sense of polyrhythm this group already had at an early age.

16/365

MELODIYA ENSEMBLE: EASTERN GROOVES

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Melodiya Ensemble: Why Am I Treated So Bad? (Melodiya, 1973)

Soviet jazz album.

Melodiya was the state-run music label in the USSR and the Melodiya Ensemble was made up of musicians taken from across the Soviet empire in that era. Apparently, Cold War tensions weren’t so great to stop these folks from recording any number of Western tunes, including “Aquarius” and this, a cover of the Staple Singers (though I feel like the band was likely more under the sway of the James Brown version).

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