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If you don't find it here, - forget it!

How band got their names
Steely Dan: A dildo in the William Burroughs novel "Naked Lunch".

Lyrics World
Like to sing in the shower, but can't quite remember the words?

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Misheard Lyrics Archive
Hilarious! " 'scuse me, while I kiss this guy"

Museum of Bad Album Covers
What where they thinkin'??!!

Al Jarreau

Roy Ayers

Jan Akkerman: s/t (Atlantic 1977)
Produced by: Richard DeBois
Jan Akkerman went solo in 1977 after years as guitar player in Dutch prog-rock band Focus. His self titled 1977 all instrumental debut album is maybe more jazz-rock than jazz-funk, but nevertheless an album worth checking out. Especially the track "Streetwalker". Excellent musicianship. Great sound. Reissued on CD by Strange Days Rec. Japan 2007

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Roy Ayers: Best Of (Polydor 1997)
Produced by: Roy Ayers and Wayne Henderson
Among all the "Best of Roy Ayers" that's been released, the 15 track Polydor Best Of is one of the best. Featuring Roy's great version of the classic Bobby Caldwell penned "What You Won't Do For Love". Also check out his lost & found recordings on "Virgin Ubiquity - Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981 Volume 1 & 2.

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Roy Ayers & Wayne Henderson: Step In To Our Life (Polydor 1978)
Roy Ayers & Wayne Henderson: Prime Time (Polydor 1980)

Produced by: Roy Ayers and Wayne Henderson
When trombone player Wayne Henderson quit The Crusaders in 1975, they lost a great deal of their originality. Henderson released 3 solo albums in the late 70's; Big Daddy's Place (1977), Living On A Dream (1978) and Emphasized (1979). None have been reissued on CD. He also launched his At Home Productions label and went on to feature the artists L.A. Boppers, David Oliver, Ronnie Laws, Bobby Lyle, Side Effect, Pleasure, Gabor Szabo, Arthur Adams, Michael White, Hilary, Smoke, Chico Hamilton, Ramsey Lewis, Allspice and Narada Michael Walden. He also managed to record two albums with Roy Ayers which are now finally avail. on a two disc set from Cherry Red Records UK.

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Banda Black Rio: Maria Fumaca (WEA Brazil 1976)
Banda Black Rio: Gafiera Universal (WEA Brazil 1978)
Banda Black Rio: Saci Perere (WEA Brazil 1980)
Banda Black Rio: Rebirth (Mr. Bongo Records 2002)

Great jazz/funk from Brazil, mixing smooth jazz funk, soulful vocals, and great production, into a sound that rivalled any of America's best mainstream funk acts of the 70s! Filled with tight jazzy groovers, great rhythms and tight instrumentation, never noticing the fact that the lyrics aren't in English! The 1980 Saci Pere also grooves like a Brazilian version of EW&F, mixing together bubbling basslines, smooth keyboards, and funky horn riffs, plus regional twists, like work on cuica and percussion to spice up the funky mix a bit.

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George Benson: Breezin' (Warner Bros. 1976)
George Benson: In Flight (Warner Bros. 1977)

Produced by: Tommy LiPuma
Two highly recommended jazz/funk albums from this jazz/fusion guitarist extraordinary. "Breezin'" is now also available in multichannel DVD Audio format including 2 bonus tracks. "In Flight" features a great 9:47 mins. version of the War classic "The World is a Ghetto" plus "Nature Boy" and Donny Hathaway's "Valdez in the Country".

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Blackbyrds: Flying Start (Fantasy 1974)
Blackbyrds: City Life (Fantasy 1975)
Blackbyrds: Action (Fantasy 1977)

Produced by: Donald Byrd
Assembled by Donald Byrd in 1974, the group's original members were from Howard University's music department, where the doctor and jazz legend Donald Byrd was an instructor. During the Blackbyrds' nearly decade-long existence, the group cut a handful of LPs with "Walking in Rhythm," "Rock Creek Park," and "Happy Music" are their three best-known cuts; they have remained underground club classics, and they have been kept alive, in part, through sampling.

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Willie Bobo: Hell Of An Act To Follow (Columbia 1978)
Produced by: Wayne Henderson
Willie Bobo: Bobo (Columbia 1979)
Produced by: Willie Bobo & Stan Silverberg
Willie Bobo (real name William Correa) was one of the great Latin percussionists of his time. He died from cancer in 1983 aged 49. Hell Of An Act To Follow was produced by Wayne Henderson and feat. some great musicians including Bobby Lyle and conga/latin percussionist Victor Pantoja. Henderson gave Bobo a more sophisticated production style and the album has become a jazz/funk classic. It features a great and possibly definitive version of Ronnie Laws classic "Always There". The CD reissue also incl. the even better remix promo 12" version as a bonus cut. Bobo from 1979 was produced by Willie along with Stan Silverberg and is more of a vocal album feat. Errol Knowles on the popular 2 stepper Comin' Over Me.

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Brick: Good High (Bang 1977)
Produced by: Robert E. Lee
Led by the flute-playing Jimmi Brown, Brick "created" the so-called Dazz sound [Disco Jazz] also adapted by Kinsman Dazz, which later became The Dazz Band. Good High is a killer debut and Brick quickly became one of the biggest acts to come out of the up-and-coming Atlanta scene. Incl. the classic "Dazz" and the excellent instrumental "Brick City". The complete Brick back catalogue is now available on CD.

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Donald Byrd: Stepping Into Tomorrow (Blue Note 1974)
Donald Byrd: Places & Spaces (Blue Note 1975)

Produced by: Larry Mizell, Donald Byrd
Donald Byrd was considered one of the finest hard bop trumpeters and recorded as both a leader and sideman in the 50's and 60s, most often for Blue Note. He then became fascinated with Miles Davis' move into fusion, and started recording his own forays into the field. In the early 70s, with the help of brothers Larry and Fonce Mizell, Byrd perfected a bright, breezy, commercially take on fusion that was distinct from Davis, incorporating tighter arrangements and more of a smooth soul influence. On both Stepping Into Tomorrow and Places & Spaces he explores contemporary soul and funk, and adds elements of Marvin Gaye and Earth Wind & Fire, which makes the album both a bit funkier and more soulful than most fusion albums at the time.

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Stanley Clarke: 1,2 To The Bass (Sony 2003)
Produced by: Stanley Clarke
Although a bit watered down and more radio friendly than some of his earlier jazz/funk fusion offerings, I find this very good and it proves Clarke still to be the king of the lower frequencies!

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Norman Connors: Best Of (BMG/Buddah 2001)
Produced by: Norman Connors
Drummer and composer Norman Connors started out as a jazz improviser, but he's probably best known for his R&B hits. This 14 track compilation is actually more R&B than jazz and covers the period between 1976 and 1978, his peak years at Buddah Records. Including vocals by Phyllis Hyman, Jean Carn and Michael Henderson. 

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Crusaders: Southern Comfort (MCA 1974)
Crusaders: Those Southern Knights (MCA 1975)
Crusaders: Free as the Wind (MCA 1977)
Crusaders: Street Life (MCA 1979)

Produced by: Wilton Felder, Joe Sample & Stix Hooper
Street Life is a classic jazz/funk album that introduced the group to a wider audience and did the same for Randy Crawford who handles the excellent vocals on the 11 minute title track. Wilton Felder's horn work is equally great and together they make this one of the best jazz/funk albums of the era. Also check out Wilton Felder's 1980 solo album "Inherit the Wind". (Jap. rel. only)

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Paulinho DaCosta: Happy People (Pausa 1979)
Paulinho DaCosta: Sunrise (Pausa 1984)

Produced by: Paulinho DaCosta
As one of the world's greatest percussionists, his name can is found on hundreds of album covers as a session player. Both albums are great jazz/funk with a Brazilian flavour including guest vocals by Philip Bailey (EW&F) and Bill Champlin.

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Raul DeSouza: Don't Ask My Neighbors (Capitol 1978)
Produced by: George Duke
Raul DeSouza: 'Till Tomorrow Comes (Capitol 1979)

Produced by: Arthur Wright
Raul De Souza is a renowned Brazillian trombonist who has recorded with SÚrgio Mendes, Flora Purim, Milton Nascimento, Sonny Rollins, Cal Tjader and the jazz/fusion band Caldera. Both Don't Ask My Neighbors and 'Till Tomorrow Comes contains top L.A. studio session musicians and have the slick Latin jazz/funk/disco sound of the late 70s. If you like George Duke/Wayne Henderson, check out De Souza.

  Don't Ask My Neighbors (Capitol 1978)'Till Tomorrow Comes (Capitol 1979)  
Deodato: First Cuckoo (MCA 1975)
Depodato: Love Island (Warner Bros. 1978)
Deodato: Knights of Fantasy (Warner Bros. 1979)
Dedaoto: Night Cruiser (Warner Bros. 1980)
Deodato: The Crossing (Expansion 2010)

Produced by: Deodato
Brazil born Eumir Deodato De Almeida moved to USA in 1967. His successes as an original artist (keyboards) occurred mainly in the 1970s with Brazilian/Latin symphonic Jazz/Funk. Since then, he has produced or arranged music in more than 500 albums for acts ranging from Kool & The Gang to Bj÷rk, Christophe and k.d. lang. His 2010 album The Crossing is great and feat. Al Jarreau among others.

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George Duke: Follow the Rainbow (Epic 1978)
George Duke: Master of the Game (Epic 1979)
George Duke: Night After Night (Elektra 1989)
George Duke: Illusions (Warner Bros. 1995 )
George Duke: Is Love Enough (Warner Bros. 1997)
George Duke: After Hours (Warner Bros. 1998)

Produced by: George Duke
After years of producing more pop than jazz, the above are very good fusion albums from this jazz/funk keyboard maestro. Strong melodies and excellent production. Among all the featured vocalists are Jeffrey Osborne, Howard Hewett and James Ingram. Be sure to also check out his 1979 "Brazilian Love Affair". If you want more, go for the 2004 Epic/Legacy 33 track 2 disc set "The Essential".

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Wilton Felder - Inherit the Wind (MCA 1980)
Produced by: Crusaders
With Inherit the Wind, Wilton Felder has delivered one of the best Crusaders-related solo projects ever! Co-produced with his fellow Crusaders with traces of Latin, funk, and soul bubbling through a warm jazzy mix. The blueprint for a zillion other fusion records -- none of which ever sounded this good! Incl. vocals by Bobby Womack.

Michael Franks: Burchfield Nines (Warner Bros. 1978)
Produced by: Tommy LiPuma
Michael Franks: One Bad Habit (Warner Bros. 1980)
Produced by: Tommy LiPuma/Al Schmitt
Michael Franks: Blue Pacific (Warner Bros. 1990)
Produced by: Tommy LiPuma/Al Schmitt/Jeff Lorber
Michael Franks: Dragonfly Summer (Warner Bros. 1993)
Produced by: Yellowjackets/Jeff Lorber/Ben Sidran
Michael Franks: Abandoned Garden (Warner Bros. 1995)
Produced by: Russel Ferrante/Matt Pierson/Michael Colina
Michael Franks: Rendezvous in Rio (Koch 2006)
Michael Franks: Time Together (Shanachie 2011)

Produced by: Various
Regardless of trends or airplay, Michael Franks always delivers what he does best; ultra smooth crossover jazz. As a former literature student at UCLA his lyrics are always superb. Among his almost 20 releases since 1973, I find these 6 especially good. Great melodies and excellent production. Included are a who's-who list  of superb studio musicians: Larry Carlton, Joe Sample, Walter Becker, Buzz Feiten, Paul Jackson Jr., Kirk Whalum and so on... Also check out his 2004 x-mas album Watching The Snow on Rhino Records.

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Gonzales: s/t (EMI 1974)
Gonzalez: Our Only Weapon Is Our Music (EMI 1975)
Produced by: Neil Harrison
Gonzalez were a 70s UK jazz/funk/disco band well known as a backing band for touring funk and soul stars at the time. Their self titled 1974 debut album is probably their best overall effort. Excellent jazz/funk with a slight Latin twist reminding me of War. The following 3 albums;  Shipwrecked (1977) --  which was reissued in 1979 as Haven't Stopped Dancin' with a slightly different tracklist -- Move It To The Music (1979) and Watch Your Step (1980) are all a bit weaker, but still has some nice tracks.

Dave Grusin: 3 Days of the Condor (Capitol 1975)
Produced by: Dave Grusin
Sydney Pollack's 1975 spy thriller starring Robert Redford has an  incredible soundtrack! Dave Grusin really outdid himself with this one. A great mix of of electric piano, basslines, and muted trumpets over strings. Most movie soundtracks doesn't work well by themselves, but this one sure does! The CD was released in 1997 by Intermezzo Japan, but is now deleted.

Gene Harris: Tone Tantrum  (Blue Note 1977)
Produced by: Gene Harris
Super slick dance-floor-friendly jazz-funk and maybe one of Blue Notes most commercial offerings. The lush melodies are beautifully produced full of symphonic strings and soft backing vocals. Together, Gene Harris' smooth jamminĺ keyboards and Donald Byrd's slick horn work, makes this  one heck of a killer rare-groove album.

Hiroshima: Ongaku (Compilation) (Arista 1986)
Produced by: Wayne Henderson
Japanese group sounding something between R&B, pop, world music, and jazz has integrated traditional Japanese instruments into their musical blend. Hiroshima's founding members are keyboardist Dan Kuramoto (who also played shakuhachi), June Okida Kuramoto on koto (a key part of the group's sound), Johnny Mori on taiko drums, and Danny Yamamoto on drums, percussion and taiko. Hiroshima has recorded a series of best-selling albums for Arista, Epic and Qwest. This compilation is from their "Hiroshima" debut in 1979 and "Odori" 1980.

Hi-Tension: Hi-Tension (Island 1978)
Produced by: Kofi Ayivor/Alex Sadkin
Only and quite successful (in the UK anyway) album release from this British jazz/funk/disco group. Excellent stuff and finally re-issued on CD in Feb. 2012 by Cherry Red Records UK. CD incl. 3 bonus tracks "Girl I Betcha" and 7" versions of "British Hustle" and" Hi-Tension".

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Bobbi Humphrey - Blacks & Blues (Blue Note 1974)
Produced by: Larry Mizell
Featuring some  stellar production work by the great Larry Mizell, very much in the same vein as that which he used on classic sessions by Gary Bartz and Donald Byrd! This album also includes all the Humphrey cuts you're looking for -- like "Chicago, Damn", "Harlem River Drive", and "Jasper Country Man". Every track is great, and the album's a total delight!

Incognito: Blue Moods (Compilation) (Phonogram UK  1997)
Incognito: Adventures in black Sunshine (Dome 2004)
Incognito: Transatlantic RPM (Dome 2010)

Produced by: Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick
Blue Moods is a great Acid Jazz compilation with deep roots in the 70's jazz/funk/fusion world. This contains mostly instrumental tracks. You could also go for the 2000 release "Best of". This is more soul/funk oriented and features vocals by Maysa and Jocelyn Brown. If you want more, check out Adventures In Black Sunshine (2004) and the Transatlantic RPM (2010). Both great Soul/Funk/Jazz (or Acid Jazz if you prefer) releases.

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Bob James: One (CTI 1974)
Bob James: Two (CTI 1975)
Bob James: Three (CTI 1976)
Bob James: BJ4 (CTI 1976)

Produced by: Bob James
Keyboardist, singer, songwriter, producer and arranger, Bob James played a major part in establishing the smooth jazz genre in the 1970s. "Angela", the instrumental theme from the sitcom Taxi, is probably Bob James' most well-known work to date.

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Kem: Kemistry (Motown 2003)
Kem: Album II (Motown 2005)
Kem: Intimacy - Album III (Motown 2010)

Produced by: Kem
Having a 4 octave range, Kem Owens sounds much like Al Jarreau, delivering a mature cross of R&B and Jazz. Stylistically not far from from what you'd hear late at night on a soul station in the late '70s or early '80s. All 3 albums are equally excellent.

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Neil Larsen: Jungle Fever (A&M 1978)
Neil Larsen: High Gear (A&M 1979)

Produced by: Tommy LiPuma
Two excellent Latin inspired fusion albums from this very talented keyboard player. Very hard to find on CD. The band is awesome with tight rhythm and great bass work! Featuring Buzz Feiten, Steve Gadd, Abe Laboriel and Paulinho DaCosta. Horns by Michael Brecker, Larry Williams and Jerry Hey. Formed his own band with Buzz Feiten simply called Larsen/Feiten Band. Has also worked with people like George Benson and Al Jarreau, and was actually playing keyboards for one of Gamble & Huff's first productions, The Soul Survivors.

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Ramsey Lewis: Sun Goddess (Columbia 1974)
Ramsey Lewis: Electric Collection (Compilation) (Columbia 1991)

Produced by: Maurice White,  & Ramsey Lewis
Featuring the original recording of the classic jazz/funk track "Sun Goddess". Contains most of the Earth Wind & Fire members from that period.
On Electric Collection the material ranging from jazz-funk workouts like "Come Back, Jack," and "The Messenger" to the playful "Blues for the Night Owl." If "Tequila Mockingbird" seems greatly influenced by Earth, Wind & Fire, it's because most of his sidemen on that great track are members of the soul/funk powerhouse.

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Light Of The World: Best of (Ensign 1992)
Produced by: Augie Johnson
Light Of The World: Inner Voices (Arts Network 1999)
Produced by: Wellington, Bull
A very good "best of" CD from this defunkt London based jazz/funk band formed in 1978. [UK CD only]. Their 1999 offering Inner Voices may not contain any classics, but overall it's a very nice jazz/funk album. Also check out Incognito, - a band started by former LOTW member Bluey Maunick.

Alphonse Mouzon: The Man Incognito (Blue Note 1976)
Alphonse Mouzon: By All Means (Pausa 1982)

Produced by: Alphonse Mouzon
Two great jazz/funk albums from a talented drummer whose music stretches from jazz to fusion, rock, funk and pop. He has played with Roy Ayers, Weather Report and in the 70's and George Benson and Al DiMeola in the early 80's. His 1982 effort By All Means feat. Herbie Hancock, Lee Ritenour, Paul Jackson and The Seawind Horns.
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Nite Flyte: Ascension (Instinct 1999)
Nite Flyte: U-Turn (Passion Jazz 2003)

Produced by: Tony Campbell
Led by multi-instrumentalist Tony Campbell, this is ultra smooth and very relaxing guitar based jazz/funk from Britain. The track "Lift Off" is pretty similar to MFSB's "Love Is the Message". Also Check out the latest offering the 2003 "U-Turn" featuring Jean Carne as guest vocalist.

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Pleasure: Get To the Feeling (Fantasy 1978)
Produced by: Wayne Henderson
Pleasure: Best of (Fantasy/BGP UK 1992)

Produced by: Various
Much sampled jazz/funk act from Portland, Oregon. Their 1978 offering Get To The Feeling was finally reissued on CD in 2012 which completes their entire back catalogue on CD. Get To The Feeling is arguably not Pleasure's overall finest album, but it is a Wayne Henderson production and contains the absolutely fantastic mellow "Farewell, Goodbye". One of my all-time favourite tracks! The UK label BGP issued a very good 15 track compilation in 1992. Including Foxy Lady, Glide, Joyous, and Ghettos of the Mind.

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Brenda Russell: Paris Rain (Hidden Beach 2000)
Produced by: Brenda Russell & Stephan Oberhoff
Maybe not real "Jazz/Funk", but Brenda Russell sings mature love songs in a smokey alto over minor-key jazz arrangements played by in-demand session musicians and contemporary jazz guest stars like Kirk Whalum, Dave Koz, and Yellowjackets members Russell Ferrante and Jimmy Haslip. Smooth jazz at it's best. Also check out "The Ultimate Collection".

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Gabor Szabo: Night Flight (Mercury 1976)
Produced by: Bunny Sigler
Born in Hungary in 1936, Gabor Szabo relocated to the United States in 1956 and became daringly different in his approach to jazz, combining melodic elements from different continents with his own Gypsylike style. His 1976 album 'Night Flight' was produced by Bunny Sigler at the Sigma Studio in Philly and includes the classic mellow groover "Keep Smilin'" (another version was recorded by Sigler a few years earlier). Also check out the Wayne Henderson produced "Faces" album from 1977. Both albums reissued on CD with bonus tracks in 2014 by UK Vocalion Records.

Shazz: Shazz (Sony France 1998)
Shazz: In The Light (Sony France 2001)

Produced by: Shazz
Two very good albums from one of France's most respected and renowned house (!) producers. A smooth fusion of soul, R&B, house and jazz, with a good balance of vocals and instrumentals creating the perfect home listening soundtrack. Pipe & slippers lounge jazz if you will.

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Lonnie Liston Smith: Expansions (RCA 1974)
Lonnie Liston Smith: Renaissance (RCA 1977)
Lonnie Liston Smith: Loveland (Columbia 1978)
Lonnie Liston Smith: Exotic Mysteries (Columbia 1978)

Produced by: Lonnie Liston Smith
After leaving the Miles Davis band in 1974, Liston Smith released a number of great soulful orchestral jazz/funk albums. The title track from Expansions is a timeless jazz/funk classic and has been covered by a number of artists over the years. If you're a hi-fi freak, check out the 24 bit remastered version reissued by BMG France in 2001. Alternatively you can' go for the "best of" 2 disc set "Explorations: The Columbia Recordings" released by Sony in 2000 but this only covers his 1978-1980 Columbia period.

St. Germain: Boulevard (Blue Note 1996)
St. Germain: Tourist (Blue Note 2000)

Produced by: St. Germain
One of the few producers to pursue a real fusion of jazz and house music, Frenchman Ludovic Navarre aka St. Germain, released his first album, Boulevard, in 1996. Featuring trumpeter Pascal Ohse, the album worked as a hybrid of American R&B and jazz with the growing French house scene exemplified by Garnier, La Funk Mob, and Dimitri From Paris. Tourist took the concept further with Navarre working post-production on a fuller complement of musicians, and earned release on Blue Note Records. A step on the way to a perfect blend of jazz and electronic.

Jeff Tyzik: The Farthest Corner of My Mind (Compilation) (Amherst 1986)
Produced by: Jeff Tyzik
Like real horns and violins? No synth-strings here. Check out this compilation from this great N.Y. born horn player.

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Various: Classic Jazz-Funk Mastercuts Vol.1-7 (Beechwood Music UK)
Produced by: Various
Highly recommended CD compilation series from this UK based label. Including hard-to-find 12" versions if available. Featuring such artists as Roy Ayers, Grover Washington Jr., Ramsey Lewis, Paulinho DaCosta, War, Wilton Felder and Ronnie Laws among others.

Grover Washington Jr.: Mr. Magic (Motown 1974)
Produced by: Grover Washington Jr.
The excellent title track is worth the whole album. 8:40 of pure mellow groove. Classic Jazz/Funk!
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Art Webb: Mr. Flute (Atlantic 1977)
Produced by: Patrick Adams
Art Webb: Love Eyes (Atlantic 1977)
Produced by: Jerry Schoenbaum, John Lee
Flautist Art Webb performed and recorded with top artists through the heyday of jazz fusion and furthermore made his mark on the salsa scene. Mr. Flute and Love Eyes were his only two solo albums, both recorded in 1977 with the contrasting production teams of Patrick Adams and Jerry Schoebaum/John Lee. Patrick brings a soulful disco flavour to the debut Mr. Flute, while former Roy Ayers producer Jerry alongside John Lee bring a sophisticated soul flavour to songs like Arts cover of the Earth Wind & Fire classic "You Can't Hide Love" featuring the vocals of Tawatha. Reissued on CD by Wounded Bird US.
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