Review: The colourful obi strip astride the cover of this audiophile reissue boasts that Imani's "Out of The Blue" album is "the ultimate private press jazz holy grail". While that claim is debatable, copies of the Gilles Peterson championed 1983 edition, which the San Francisco based band pressed up themselves, have been known to change hands for four-figure sums. Musically, the four tracks are breezy, sunny and summery. Opener "Just Another Love Song" sets the tone, with soulful group vocals and jazz solos rising above a warm groove, while "Somebody's Love" is a slow jam smothered in spacey synthesizers. "Byrd's House" is a jazz-funk dancefloor number - this time blessed with extended, eyes-closed guitar and piano solos - while "Friendship Cover Charge" is a stomping peak-time workout that should send dancers spinning.
Review: A key accelerant in the early 70s MPB melting pot; decorated sessionist, composer and band leader Salvador's 1971-released album is a fizzing brew of bossa, samba, funk, carioca brought together with energy and a fused rawness that has led to OG copies regularly going for around L200. The range is everything in this fourth album; from the sudden floor filling party flourish of the opener "Uma Vida" to the Beatles-like narrative oddity "O Rio" to the orchestral boogaloo of "Number One", this is Salvador at the peak of his fusionista powers.
Review: Brazilian artist Toni Tornado has led one hell of a life. Before he found fame as a funk and soul fusionist, he had spells pimping in New York, dancing in television shows and working as a teenage shoeshine. He was catapulted to fame - in his native country, at least - by the release of the B.R.3 album in 1971. Here, his sought after '72 masterpiece, Toni, finally gets the reissue treatment courtesy of Portugal's Mad About Records. The set is considered something of a "Black Rio" masterpiece and remains something of a must-have for those interested by the blurry middle ground between U.S soul and funk, big band jazz, Brazilian pop and tropical grooves (one of Tornado's parents was from Guyana). Original pressings are hard to come by, so this should be an essential purchase.