In 1978, famed Latin Jazz percussionist Willie Bobo released a promo-only 12” single featuring a “Special Disco Version” of “Always There”, a cut from his most recent album Hell of An Act To Follow. Pressed in extremely limited quantities and never available commercially, this 12” quickly became a highly sought-after rarity for DJs and collectors. Now, this lost treasure is back in print while supplies last, complete with an exclusive a new multitrack edit of “Always There” from DJ / crate-digger extraordinaire Kon (BBE / Soul Clap) on the B-side. Released in partnership with the Bobo family, this official pressing revisits a dancefloor-ready masterpiece.
After more than three decades as a lost classic, the debut album by Washington DC soul/gospel outfit Enlightment is finally receiving a proper release. Founded by ordained bishop Larry H. Jordan and his brother-in-law Frank Tinsley in the early 1980s, Enlightment was among the first groups to fuse modern R&B production with gospel themes. Unfortunately, the independent release of their 1984 debut album Faith Is The Key was torpedoed when both their distributor and pressing plant went out of business. “We knew we were getting airplay across the country, but we couldn’t get the product in the stores at the time”, explains Tinsley of the missed opportunity. Only a handful of Faith Is the Key LPs ever made it into the public’s hands. As a result, the record became a holy grail for collectors. It was rediscovered around the year 2000, when copies started selling online for over $2000. While disappointed in the record’s lack of immediate impact, the group’s founders are not surprised by its recent revival. “It’s just good music with a spiritual message, that’s why it stood the test of time,” says Tinsley. “We made sure we had very crystal clear production,” adds Jordan. “We knew we had a gospel beat, but we wanted to be dynamic and innovate.” Thanks to an official vinyl rerelease via Nature Sounds with worldwide distribution, listeners can now experience that innovation first-hand.
Experienced crate diggers are no doubt familiar with New Birth, the 17-piece funk ensemble sampled on classic hip-hop records by Wu-Tang Clan, De La Soul, Junior M.A.F.I.A., Black Sheep, Lil Wayne, Ice Cube, and many more. The genesis of New Birth can be traced back to The Nite-Liters, a Louisville-based instrumental outfit. Founded in 1963 by Motown songwriter/producer Harvey Fuqua and saxophonist Tony Churchill, The Nite-Liters released a handful of albums in the early 70s, scoring a few minor hits and perfecting the sound that would power New Birth to further success as the decade progressed. While much of the The Nite Liters’ early material has been overlooked, their self-titled debut album is worth revisiting. Originally released on RCA Records in 1970, The Nite Liters is a raw, soulful masterpiece that has been sampled by KMD, Ghostface Killah and others. This historic release is now back on print on limited-edition “Nite Lite” colored vinyl. Order now while supplies last.
Official Reissue of the 1973 album recorded live at The Magic Carpet, Dayton, Ohio. In 1973, a young Ohio pianist named Roy Meriwether prepared a trio that laid down some of the most compelling soulful Jazz ever recorded live to tape. Recorded live at “The Magic Carpet” in the heart of downtown Dayton, Ohio, Nubian Lady united the talented trio of Bill Conway (double bass), Billy Jackson (drums) and Roy Meriwether (piano). Released on tiny indie label Singer Productions, Nubian Lady never got the proper push it deserved, and remained a extremely rare (and expensive) treasure for decades. After being re-discovered by DJs and sample hunters, the album has taken on almost mythical status among collectors of jazz, soul, and funk.Now, more than 40 years after it’s original release, Nubian Lady is finally back in print on limited-edition vinyl, complete with never-before-seen photos, new liner notes, and a bonus LP containing another rare Meriwether recording, 1975’s Roy Meriwether Live. Reflecting on the triad’s time together, Billy Jackson recalls knowing it was special. “We all got along real well, it was an adventure working with Roy, then we started to click. The more we played together, the better we played, we began to think alike, and had a very good group together”. These recordings are in a groove, it’s “live”, it’s that experience that you need to participate in. Meriwether summed it up best: “It doesn’t stop, it goes all the way through to the end, it doesn’t break up. Even the drum solo, and the bass solo, being as out as it is, it’s still in the realm of the rhythm!"
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