Vinyl? Check! #65: Ramsey Lewis – Only When I’m Dreaming

Ramsey Lewis

This album is dope to me for a number of reasons: It's produced by legendary Cadet icon, Charles Stepney and features arrangements from Stepney as well as Birmingham, Alabama bassist Cleve Eaton who provides the low end on the album, plus Earth Wind and Fire's Maurice White is on drums.

Vinyl? Check! #64: David Axelrod – Holy Thursday

I came home and unwound by pulling out this album and lounging out to one of my favorite tunes David Axelrod’s Holy Thursday. Coincidentally today is Thursday so I figured I’d share the track along with some of it’s sample history provided by Refined Hype. This track is the reason I dig!

Vinyl? Check! #62: Ramsey Lewis – Mother Nature’s Son

I ran across this album with the tagline “Orchestra Arranged & Conducted by Charles Stepney,” and I knew it was coming home with me. The project is a cover of tunes from The Beatles, The White Album but reintepreted by the rightfully highly acclaimed Staepney. Just beautiful! If you see this one out, I suggest you grab it

Vinyl? Check! #61: Coke Escovedo – “Coke” (Album)

This is a serious late pass post.  I stumbled across this album while quenching my thirst for some groovy classic funk. You know, the kinda funk that incites that face like you caught a whiff of somethang so rank…  Well, this 1975 release by Coke Escovedo will certainly spark your soul.  “Coke” is a certainly an addictive album that leaves you with a smile.

The feel of the album is one of Soul, Latin Grooves and Funk.  A prime example is “Love Letters”, a conga rich, guitar-licked single that seamlessly goes through 4 movements in less than 3 minutes. Too bad they cut short the percussion solo near the end.

The voices of Calvin & Linda Tillery’s lead vocals warms the heart in songs like  “No One To Depend On””Rebirth” and “Make it Sweet”.  The most familiar song for most of us will be “If I Ever Loose This Heaven” released in 1974 by Quincy Jones and covered by bands of the era including Average White Band and crooners like Will Downing.

You will not be disappointed with this album at all.  It is guaranteed to spark conversations between generations and among music lovers like yourself.  Get yourself some “Coke” by Escovedo, that is.  Here’s “No One To Depend On” recorded from the vinyl.

Vinyl? Check! #60: Third World – You’re Playing Us Too Close (produced, arranged and featuring Stevie Wonder)

I knew that Stevie Wonder wrote the reggae tinged Master Blaster (Jammin’) in 1980 as an homage to Bob Marley, but I had no idea that he got down with Third World too! I found this copy of their 1982 You’ve Got The Power album which features 2 cuts produced and arranged by Stevie. I’m really loving You’re Playing Us Too Close which features Stevie on Fender Rhodes and synthesizer. Enjoy!

Third World – You’re Playing Us Too Close

Vinyl? Check! #59: Donny Hathaway – Valdez (Live at Newport)

Unfortunately I’ll never have the opportunity to hear Donny perform, but thankfully a recent record digging trip helped me to uncover some of his live musical magic. These Songs For You Live has a version of one of my favorite tunes, Valdez in the Country, but this version recorded in New York in 1973 is jazzier and funkier. Enjoy!

Vinyl? Check! #58: Weldon Irvine – I Love You

Two weeks ago I pulled out my Weldon Irvine albums and decided to share this Don Blackman written piece. With both Weldon and Blackman on keys and Don lending his unique voice to the track, I Love You just sounds perfect on a sunny Sunday. Enjoy!

Vinyl? Check! #57: Lionel Hampton – But Beautiful

Still diggin through my Record Show haul and I ran across this aptly named Lionel Hampton gem from his 1959 Golden Vibes album. Perfect for awesome days like today when you can open your window wide and let the sun’s rays parade alongside the soothing sound all around the room. Enjoy!

Lionel Hampton – But Beautiful

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