PRESTIGE WEEK, DAY FIVE

Charles Kynard: Winter’s Child

From Wa-Tu-Wa-Zui (Prestige, 1971)

I first discovered keyboardist Charles Kynard through his trio of albums on Mainstream – slick n’ funky tunes all around. I gradually moved backwards and then began to listen to his Prestige titles. Which is better is subjective…there’s not a huge difference between the two – though his very first Prestige titles, recorded in the mid/late ’60s are more straight-ahead than soul-jazzy.

Labels aside though, “Winter’s Child” is my favorite Kynard song off of any album by him. He’s playing, I believe, a Wurlitzer electric piano […]

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PRESTIGE WEEK, DAY FOUR

Sonny Stitt: Turn It On

From Turn It On (Prestige, 1971). Also on Legends of Acid Jazz

Stitt is a Prestige veteran since Day One – having recorded almost a dozen albums for them during the label’s first years. He then took a decade off and return to Prestige in the early 1960s and began recording for them regularly after that point.

This 1971 date features Idris Muhammed on drums which explains why the rhythm section is so firmly in the pocket. Compared to yesterday’s Billy Butler cut, “Turn It On” isn’t quite as […]

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PRESTIGE WEEK, DAY THREE

Billy Butler: Blow For the Crossing

From Guitar Soul (Prestige, 1969)

I’ve featured Billy Butler before on Soul Sides – taking a cut from one of his other Prestige albums, This Is Billy Butler. He recorded a total of four albums with the label but played on many others, including with King Curtis, Gene Ammons and especially Houston Person.

“A Blow For The Crossing,” catches your attention the instant it opens with Butler’s distinctive guitar licks and then it shifts into Specs Powell’s building drum break. The song moves with grace and patience, building […]

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PRESTIGE WEEK, DAY TWO

Pucho and the Latin Soul Brothers: Heat!

From Heat! (Prestige, 1968)

In the 1960s, Prestige also dabbled into the growing Latin jazz scene. They weren’t major players per se – not as prolific as Fantasy which had Cal Tjader and Mongo Santamaria on their roster – but Prestige’s secret weapon was Pucho and His Latin Soul Brothers. Regarded as one of the most important Latin/soul/jazz/funk fusionists of his time, Pucho recorded seven albums for Prestige from the mid-to-late ’70s, Heat! being one of the best in the bunch.

What I love about the title […]

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PRESTIGE WEEK, DAY ONE

Bobby Timmons: Tom Thumb

From Soul Man (Prestige, 1966)

n. widely recognized prominence, distinction, or importance

Begun in 1949, Bob Weinstock’s Prestige Records would become one of the most influential independent jazz labels of the next 20+ years. Especially in the 1950s and ’60s, Prestige was seen as more adventurous than Blue Note, more high-spirited than Verve and many major artists, from John Coltrane to Miles Davis to Sonny Rollins recorded significant work for Prestige before moving on to become even bigger icons.

This is all lovingly compiled onto the 4-CD Prestige Records Story anthology […]

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