1. Jim Sullivan – U.F.O. – Light In The Attic
Long-anticipated reissue of this very rare and obscure rural rock LP. Words fail to describe it accurately – it’s a little bit psychedelic, there’s a folk influence, country vibes, and Sullivan’s yearning voice and mystical songwriting is backed by Earl Palmer and crew, the same band that played sessions for David Axelrod and others at Capitol Records. The result is a sound that’s as professional as it is unorthodox. Sullivan sings of mysterious cities and UFO kidnappings. Fittingly, he drove off to seek his fortunes and disappeared into the ether, leaving his car in the desert and his guitar in a hotel room.
2. Rahni Harris & The Family Love – A Different Drummer – Emprise
Independent label gospel-soul LP out of New Jersey. Shimmering, mellow keyboard-, vibes- and marimba-led ballads and midtempo grooves that recall groups like the Stylistics, or the Sylvers. The messages are spiritual but not so explicit as to turn anyone off. Just a beautiful record, and tough to find.
3. Raw Dope Posse – Listen To My Turbo – Show Jazz
Doc Delay said, “this is everything you like about rap, in one record”. He’s right – a perfect example of hardcore hip-hop. The beat is manic: Mantronix-inspired rapidfire snare programming, some bells, a spliced telephone busy signal, a scratched horn break, and the vocal science is delivered with utmost swagger and precision. If this came out yesterday, it would still sound ahead of its time. Known and sought-after for years, but still a tough pull.
4. George Braith – Musart – Prestige
One of my favorite jazz LPs. Braith started out on the Blue Note label, leading several modal sessions that are all great and worth seeking out. He developed an expertise in playing two horns at the same time, much like Rahsaan Roland Kirk, although he tended to use the technique more melodically than Kirk did. He cut one mediocre record on Prestige, “Laughing Soul”, a somewhat cheesy soul jazz outing, before recording this. But something must have clicked, because this 1966 release takes the beautiful modal horn work of his Blue Note recordings and marries it to a lush, tropical, latin-flavored sound that – though it’s mellow – never crosses into chintzy lounge territory. It sounds like a dream, somewhere between Harlem’s 125th Street and Disney’s The Jungle Book.
5. William Onyeabor – Tomorrow – Wilfilms
A perfect piece of wigged out afro funk. Onyeabor was a successful businessman in Nigeria and built himself his own recording studio, seemingly outfitted with every synth, drum machine, and cutting edge recording device available. He pressed his own records, and allegedly made his own movies. On vinyl, he was extremely prolific – and this LP finds him in my favorite style of his, a spaced out disco vibe that doesn’t quit. Quite desirable and never turns up except in Nigeria – a unique Good Records NYC exclusive.