Gilles Peterson, well known for his record label (Brownswood), BBC radio show and deep crates, takes the challenge and pays tribute to one of his favorite labels, Black Jazz Records.
Not merely a “Best Of” the label, Gilles successfully links the disparate corners of a first-class soul/jazz/funk catalog (Black Jazz, 1971-1976) with tracks by Calvin Keys, Doug Carn, Kellee Patterson and label head Gene Russell, while making the listener nearly forget the thread that ties the tracks together. At the apex of the mix, he drops one of the all time great spiritual jazz cuts “Higher Ground”, its hymn-like quality a surprisingly apt lead-in to Cleveland Eaton’s 9+ minute funk chant “All Your Lover, All Day, All Night” a tribute of a different sort – and yet the mood remains constant. The mix could easily incorporate tracks by other early-mid 1970’s like-sounding giants Tony Williams, EWF, Sugarcane Harris, or Funkadelic, but the label’s 5 years of existence more than suffice to provide enough raw material for this devastating jazz/funk journey.
This is part 2 of a 3-disc mix series, coordinated with remastered reissues of the original albums on CD, featuring liner notes by Downbeat writers Frank-John Hadley and John Ephram, and newly discovered photographs and artwork.