A Sense Of Purpose: Larry Young - "Unity"

A Sense Of Purpose: Larry Young - "Unity"

On Unity Larry Young showed the world he was no longer simply a Jimmy Smith clone, but instead revealed that his creative spirit was more aligned with the adventurous post bop and avant garde leanings that were emerging in jazz in the mid-1960s. Joined by Joe Henderson, Elvin Jones and a young Woody Shaw, Unity is a truly adventurous classic from the latter stages of the Blue Note catalog.

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Doing His Thing: Woody Shaw - "United"

Doing His Thing: Woody Shaw - "United"

Woody Shaw's last album for Columbia is a wonderful straight-ahead jazz session, with his quintet of talented players being joined by Gary Bartz on two tracks. As usual, Shaw was forging ahead with inventive ideas at a time when very few others in the commercial jazz world were following his lead.

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Back To The Future: Dexter Gordon - "Homecoming"

Back To The Future: Dexter Gordon - "Homecoming"

By 1976 Dexter Gordon had all but become a forgotten figure in the mainstream jazz world. His style of jazz had fallen out of fashion, pushed to the fringe as the more commercial leanings of fusion and smooth jazz became the flavors of the day. His successful return to the United States - after years in a self-imposed exile -was wonderfully documented on the double-LP Homecoming an album made even better with the presence of Woody Shaw blowing his tail off on the trumpet.

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A Spiritual Journey: Pharoah Sanders - "Summun Bukmun Umyun (Deaf Dumb Blind)"

A Spiritual Journey: Pharoah Sanders - "Summun Bukmun Umyun (Deaf Dumb Blind)"

In 1969 Sanders released Karma, a highly accesible album that brought him widespread praise and commercial success. This was in no small part helped along by the presence of vocalist Leon Thomas, who certainly helped the recording find an audience with the hippie culture of the late 1960's who were accustomed to lyrical content in their music. Summun Bukmun Umyun (Deaf Dumb Blind) was not nearly as accessible to non-jazz fans - even many jazz fans must have been puzzled by it - and as such it is not nearly as well known.

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A Woody Shaw Bonanza

A Woody Shaw Bonanza

While perusing eBay for Woody Shaw LPs that were missing from my collection, I came across an auction for a vintage copy of Song Of Songs, a record that I have long been keen to acquire, but it's one that doesn't come up often and when it does it is often an overpriced OJC reissue. This particular auction had less than a day left and remained at it's $25 starting price with no bids, plus the seller was offering free shipping. All of that peaked my interest...

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