Review: Tramp Records' latest vital reissue delves into the back catalogue of the Reggie Saddler Revue, a largely little known funk combo that released a handful of 45s at the start of the 1970s. This double A-side brings together two killer cuts that originally appeared on different 7" singles, both of which are now near impossible to find. A-side "Raggedy Bag" is raw, weighty and impassioned - a scorching slab of deep funk that more than lives up to its high reputation amongst collectors. Over on the flip you'll find "Love Is Just Like A Baseball Game", a sweeter and more loved-up affair blessed with superb vocal harmonies that's nevertheless impressively fuzzy.
Review: Take a trip deep into the spiritual soul and jazz funk sounds of the seventies with these two cuts from Lee Stone. They are taken from an album entitled Praise Poems and bring to mind swing, funk and big band. They tie on well swung grovers, with lush trumpets up top and Stone's vocals adding real heart. "What Is Life" is the upbeat roller that, muses on the sorrow of a love lost and has some fantastic solos, while "Eyes Full Of Starshine" is a more retro affair for the slow motion dancers.
Review: Tramp Records has stayed close to home for this release, reissuing two killer cuts from the 1981 album "Mittwochs In Marl" album by Tyree Glenn Jr. While he is American - his father, Glenn senior, was famously Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong's trombonist - Glenn Jr had moved to Germany (where he still resides) around the time that the album was recorded. Lead cut "Superbad" is a genuinely heavy, full-throttle funk beast, with Glenn Jr doing his best James Brown impression over an insatiable groove and rousing sax solos. "Ma(r)l Sehen", on the other hand, is a much more breezy affair - an instrumental jazz-funk outing rich in dueling sax and electric piano solos.
Review: In 1977, Atlanta fusionists Starfoxx had a big hit in the US Billboard chart with "Disco Rock", a cut that -as the title suggests - added a rock and rhythm & blues edge to the then dominant disco sound. It was something of a novelty, but much of their earlier work is pretty darn hot. "Oh Linda", which first appeared in stores in 1973, could well be the hottest of the lot. Sitting somewhere between the rasping blues-rock of Cream and more extravagant American funk and soul, the track is full to bursting with crunchy Clavinet riffs, throaty vocals and mazy electric piano solos. This reissue from TRAMP contains just the one track (pressed to both sides for some reason), but don't let that put you off: it really is a must-have.
The New Hope Project - "Love In Disguise (Space Love)"
Water Brother - "Oh Brother"
Daybreak - "Que Lavanja"
Edmund Sullivan - "A Blind Man Who Can See"
Review: TRAMP Records' compilations are invariably excellent, with the German imprint often choosing to ignore tried-and-tested tunes in favour of a mixture of sought-after rarities, slept-on gems and unusual, off-kilter recordings. Their latest collection, which focuses on "deep, soulful jazz and funk" from the '70s, keeps up this entertaining and ear-pleasing trend. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the sun-soaked samba-jazz brilliance of Stevens, Scott & Dee's "Brazilica", and the low-slung rhythm and blues shuffle of Jerry Sandifer's "Low Down Soul", to the folksy, Rotary Connection style folk-jazz goodness of "An Empty Wind" by Blackdog and the righteous release of the Kats' Hammond-heavy "Wear Me Out".
Review: TRAMP Records continues to delve into the archives of Tyree Glenn, Jr, a Germany-based American funk and soul stalwart whose musical pedigree is immaculate (his father, Tyree Glenn senior, was Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong's trombonist). This tasty "45" serves up two of the four tracks first featured on the thoroughly obscure "Samba Oh Samba" EP in the early 1980s. A-side "Jealous Love" is a killer chunk of multi-coloured P-funk featuring gnarled electric guitar solos and lead vocals by Georg Hahn and Wayne Bartlett. Glenn, Jr handles lead vocals on flipside "Beautiful Woman", a similarly synth-heavy chunk of 1980s electrofunk that also sports a rather fine - if sleazy - sax solo.
The New Philadelphians - "The Mustang" (part 1 & 2)
The Kats - "Under The Covers"
Ronny Pellers Satin Sound - "Coming Home Baby"
The Lido - "Evil Ways"
Herb Crawford Jazz Ensemble - "Title Town"
The Runningboards - "Louisville Assembly Plant"
Brazada - "El Mexicano"
The Headliners - "Little Sister" (part 1 & 2)
Victoria - "Body Wave"
Maxwell - "Radiation Funk"
Starfoxx - "Oh Linda"
Review: A warm welcome back to TRAMP's flagship compilation series "Movements", a long-running institution that brings together rare finds from the German label's crate-digging chiefs. As with its predecessors, this tenth volume is an eclectic affair that's presented in chronological order (IE oldest tracks first, newest last). There are far too many highlights to mention, though our current favourites include the swinging soul-jazz of Phylis Hendricks' "My Man", the fiery, Mod-style rhythm and blues of "Coming Home Baby" by Ronny Pellers Satin Sound, the dancefloor-focused Latin soul brilliance of The Lido's "Evil Ways" and the superb soul-funk obscurity that is the Headliners "Little Sister (Part 1 & 2)".
Review: The prestigious Movements series, like all its predecessors on Tramp contains rare groove nuggets recorded between the early 1960s and the late 1970s. Over a hundred great unknown songs have been re-released on the first eight volumes in the series, the majority of which can not be found elsewhere and this is is no exception. There are two cover versions: "Fever" by Gee Gee Shinn & The Boogie Kings and "I'm A Woman" by Connie Kaye Trio. Bus Brown, Earl Demus and Chuck Finney remain on the same vibe - their contributions are slightly jazzier. Chick Willis' gut-wrenching "Sometime Soon" and recordings by Australia, J.R. and Joe Akens are beautiful examples of privately produced soul from the 1970s. The latin-soul of "Cho Cho San" by Hummingbird 4 takes the sound in another direction for the next three tunes, highlighted by one more stunning cover version: Oscar Brown Jr.'s "Brother, Where Are You?". The album closes with some pre-disco tracks from the late 1970s: Mel-O-Madnezz' "What You Getting High On" and Hot Cakes' cover of "Harlem Shuffle".