Noteworthy Kozmigroov Compilations
Jazz Satellites - Volumn 1: Electrification (Virgin)
The grandaddy of all kozmigroov comps, covering both "classic" and "modern" kozmigroov tunes. A groundbreaking 2-disc set featuring the more "out" side of kozmigroov from both well-known and lesser-known artists, covering time from the late 60's through the mid 90's.
[out of print]
Deep Jazz Trip (pHo Records)
"You will enjoy being musically pushed by daring rhythms and creative improvisation. This is what _Deep Jazz Trip_ is all about. A musical journey for your mind and body." Focusing on deep trippy jazz from the mid-70's, this comp smokes from start to finish.
Red Hot On Impulse (Impulse)
Many of the Impulse label's classic modal, spiritual, and kozmigroov masterpieces all on one disc. Its a good place to start if you are just getting into modal, spiritual, or kozmic jazz.
Stargazer - Cosmic Fusion & Intersteller Jazz (Harmless)
"Cosmic jazz galore -- a superb collection of drawn-out funky tracks from the 70s, the kind of groundbreaking jazz fusion tunes that have influenced countless generations of musicians, including the cream of the crop of today's underground! The album goes way past the easy hits, to feature the longer album tracks that still make digging through the crates worthwhile -- even for bigger name artists on major labels! Beautifully presented -- like an extended trip through the sky on a spaceship built out of Fender Rhodes, fuzzy bass, miked-up drums, and dreamy reed solos."
The Best of Black Jazz Records (Universal Sounds)
"13 tracks pulled from one of the greatest soul jazz labels of the 70s -- the boldly titled Black Jazz, a company who put out some tremendous music! Black Jazz was similar to Strata East and Tribe -- 2 other great independents of the time -- in that it really allowed the musicians a creative freedom that they didn't always get on bigger and more mainstream labels. The result was a sublime blend of righteous jazz tunes that were some of the most cutting edge jazz funk of the time -- a wealth of great numbers that mixed light electric work with really solid jazz soloing, and which occasionally used vocals to serve up the message even more strongly! The set's all-great, all the way through."
Message From the Tribe (Universal Sound)
"An incredible look at one of the greatest independent jazz labels of the 70s - Detroit's legendary Tribe Records, home to some of the hippest spiritual jazz of the decade! Tribe was a really unique little imprint - not just a place where creative musicians were allowed to freely express themselves, but also a key cultural force on the local scene - one that's wonderfully documented by Soul Jazz for this set! The music is a great bridge of 70s styles - kind of a link between the free-thinking ideas of the AACM in Chicago, the loft scene in New York, and some of the more ambitious artists of the Strata East scene - and although the package features work recorded under the names of a few different leaders, there's a really unified feel to the music, given that many of the groups share a few players."
Strata-East (Soul Jazz)
"A now-legendary collection - one of the first later generation efforts to bring back the righteous sound of the Strata East label! The cuts here are all the stuff of legend - some of the most soulful, spiritual jazz cuts from the 70s - virtually genre-defining music, as we've seen from so many folks' use of the term "Strata East" to refer to a certain kind of jazz from the 70s! The tunes all have a long-flowing, and totally organic feel - searching, soaring jazz in the best post-Coltrane modes - filled with experimental energy, yet never going outside enough to be considered avant - a balance that's kept the Strata groove special for so many years. There's a great array of classics in the double-length set"
Universal Sounds of Amercia (Soul Jazz)
"This is Soul Jazz's masterpiece suite of US independent soul jazz stuff from the seventies. This thing's a monster, and is almost a seventy minute non-stop ride through the heady side of American jazz by great artists like Sun Ra ("Space Is The Place"), Art Ensemble of Chicago ("Theme De Yoyo"), Steve Reid ("Lions of Judah"), and Marcus Belgrave ("Space Odyssey"). A compilation as legendary as the artists it includes."
Bridge Into The New Age (BGP)
"Beautifully spiritual jazz from the post-Coltrane generation - a wealth of righteous grooves from the early 70s - brought together in one mighty collection! If you dig the work of Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane, and other giants on Impulse Records, this is a great way to dig even deeper - and hear the way their late 60s legacy inspired other musicians to new heights in their own music - sounds that hit a new level of freedom in jazz, yet which are still filled with enough swing and soul to avoid some of the more avant modes of the free jazz scene! If that description sounds a bit obtuse, then just plug into the collection, and let the music do its thing - as it's got a very powerful vibe throughout - the kind of inspirational, socially conscious work that flourished best during the 70s - and which is finally getting its due all these many years later. The package is new territory for Ace/BGP, but they've done a great job as usual - picking key tracks from the era, and coming up with detailed notes on each of the long tracks. Titles include "Free Angela" by Bayete, "Bridge Into The New Age" by Azar Lawrence, "Tress Cun De O La" by Joe Henderson, "Ebony Queen" by McCoy Tyner, "Peace" by Idris Muhammad, "Mother Of The Future" by Norman Connors, "Brown Warm & Wintry" by Jack DeJohnette, "I've Known Rivers" by Gary Bartz, and "Fire" by Joe Henderson & Alice Coltrane."
Loud Minority (BGP)
"A reverent snapshot of the spiritual & soul jazz emanating from the Mainstream label in the early 70s - a well curated set featuring great numbers by Frank Foster, Blue Mitchell, Hadley Caliman, Roy Haynes and other giants of the scene! The material comes from a time in Mainstream label history when it was essentially relaunched as a jazz label, following some the psyche era rock albums of the previous few years. Soulful jazz sounds from a spiritual realm as well as some in a jazz funk mode, and excellent material all the way! 12 great tracks in all: The sprawling opener "The Loud Minority" by Frank Foster, "Mi Hermano" by Blue Mitchell, "Up And Down" by Harold Land, "Watercress" by Hadley Caliman, "Kamili" by Buddy Terry, "Senyah" by Roy Haynes, "EW Beautiful People" by Frank Foster, "Little One" by Hadley Caliman and "Petits Machins" by Johnny Coles."
Fusion With Attitude (Soul Brother)
"Way more than the sort of fusion you may know from the mainstream = not the smoothed-out mellow jazz of recent years, or the too-jamming styles of the jazz-rock crossover era - and instead an excellent batch of funky electric numbers from the 70s, most of them rare tidbits from the righteous years of the soul jazz underground! Many of the names here will be familiar from bigger recordings, but the tracks on the set here are an ultra-hip batch of work done for indie labels that include Prestige, Muse, Groove Merchant, and Strata East - all records that really reached out for new territory back in the 70s, and which still stand as some of the best work from that era! The set list is really wonderful - filled with some of our favorite tracks from long-lost albums, all brought together in a tremendous assortment that's far greater than even the sum of its already-excellent parts! Titles include "Padali" by Chuck Flores, "Force Of Nature" by Azar Lawrence, "First Impressions" by Shamek Farrah, "Tomorrow's End" by Larry Bright, "First Come First Serve" by Ramon Morris, "Soul Turnaround" by Walter Bishop, "K High" by Nat Adderley, "Rise Of Atlantis" by Carter Jefferson, "Out On The Coast" by Larry Willis, "Gazelle" by Joe Henderson, and "Like A Thief In The Night" by Mike Longo."
Spiritual Jazz - Esoteric, Modal, & Deep Jazz From The Underground 1968 to 1977 (Jazzman/Now Agaim)
"The Jazzman label hits a whole new level of brilliance - as they turn their funk-trained crate digging skills to the world of spiritual jazz! The collection's an amazing batch of ultra-rare tunes - tracks that take inspiration from the John Coltrane/Archie Shepp work on Impulse Records in the 60s, then run with those roots in bold new directions - soaring, spiritual aims in jazz that reach for new freedoms, but never lapse into the totally-outside modes of free jazz! Instead, there's a really great balance here between structure and struggle - as many tunes often have a good rhythmic pulse, usually modal and soulful, then let the horn solos stretch out more in their own sounds and directions. The mix is amazing, as is the selection of tunes - rare numbers pulled mostly from American independent jazz releases of the 60s and 70s - most of which are as obscure as the funky 45s we normally get from Jazzman. As with the label's US funk compilations, there's full notes on all the music - a heck of a lot of detail on these artists - and tracks on the set include "Paul's Ark" by Morris Wilson Beau Bailey Quintet, "Ayo Ayo Nene" by Mor Thiam, "Nomusa" by Ndikho Xaba & The Natives, "The Afrikan In Winter" by The Positive Force, "Neveen" by Salah Ragab, "Ja Mil" by Hastings Street Jazz Experience, "Be There" by Leon Gardner, "Psych City" by Ohio Penitentiary 511 Jazz Ensemble, "Introduction" by James Tatum Trio Plus, and "No Jive" by Frank Derrick Total Experience, "All Prasies To Allah (parts 1 & 2 edit)" by Lightmen Plus One, and "Bada Que Bash" by PE Hewitt Jazz Ensemble."
a Journey into the Dawn (temposphere)
"A lost batch of soulful jazz from a massively overlooked source -- the mighty Theresa Records, home to some really great recordings at the end of the 70s! Theresa was a tiny company formed in Oakland, CA at the end of the 70s -- a spiritual heir to the sound of Impulse, Flying Dutchman, and other 70s powerhouse soul jazz labels -- with a sound that was directly encapsulated in the label's own recordings of Pharoah Sanders at the time! After a few years of inactivity on the recording scene after his seminal sides for Impulse, Pharoah made a strong re-emergence on Theresa -- working in a sweet style of soul jazz that was also picked up by some of the label's other strong artists. This excellent set was compiled in collaboration with Gilles Peterson -- and features some of the hippest, most soulful tracks to come out on Theresa -- work that takes off from the sound of Pharoah's earlier albums, into a whole new realm of expression!"
Move to Groove: The Best of 1970's Juzz-Funk (Verve)
An excellent 2-disc set of some of the best non-mainstream jazz-funk around! Very well put together with some rare hard to find tracks and some previously unreleased tracks, all with excellent liner notes. If jazz-funk is your thang, this comp is a must have.
This comp is more funk & jazz than "afro" but its great all the same. A motherload of great heavy jamming groove jazz all with a more electric bent. Heavy drums, electric keyboards, rumbling bass, and choppy guitar work.
Pulp Fusion (Harmless)
An excellent set of compilations from Harmless Records. Classic funk, jazz, and soul that's sort of an "essential groove" set of jazzy funk cuts from the early 70's, and which includes a lot of stuff that you might have on rare originals, but which sounds pretty great together in this format.
Groove Jammy (32 Jazz)
Despite the lame title, this is a very high quality comp focusing on the more deep cosmic and grooving 70's tunes from the Muse label. For a mere 6 or 7 bucks, you can buy this album, a compilation of tracks that originally appeared on the Muse label in the 1970's, edited and sequenced by Mocean Worker to expand on the funk and textures inherent in the original recordings. And what results is a picture of fusion that is simultaneously melodic and funky, spacey but arranged, and almost never easy.
Heavy Flute (32 Jazz/M Label)
"A great collection of funky flute tracks from the Atlantic label -- probably the one record company that did the most for getting the flute into the funky jazz mainstream, thanks to work by its giants like Herbie Mann, Hubert Laws, and Roland Kirk."
Strange Games and Funky Things (BBE)
There are 3 comps in this series but the 2nd and 3rd ones are the best of the bunch. "One of the greatest soul compilation series ever! Kenny Dope put together the 3rd volume, and we might be tempted to say that it's the best one of the 3! Strange Games has a deceptively simple approach -- but the compilation features the kind of grooves that will keep you coming back and back again, and which will play well with both fans of older soul and modern beat-heads alike. Nearly every track has been sampled at some point over the past 10 years -- so you'll recognize many of the beats and riffs -- but the tracks are also totally excellent, and hold up extremely well on their own as smooth modern soul classics."
Between or Beyond the Black Forest (MPS)
"An excellent set of funky jazz tracks from the legendary MPS label! The folks at Crippled Dick have outdone themselves this time -- and have even surpassed their previous set of MPS grooves by collecting a totally excellent batch of cuts, most of which haven't ever been reissued before! If you pay attention to jazz funk at all, you'll know that the German-based MPS label is one of the world's best sources for incredible grooves -- and the label had a 20 year tradition of mixing musics from many different sources, and for delivering some of the most groundbreaking funk of the 20th century! -- and it's all great, and packaged beautifully with great notes, photos, and album cover reproductions."
Africa Funk (Harmless)
"An outstanding compilation that should do for African funk what the Nu Yorica set did for Latin grooves. Harmless have put together a double-length set of 13 rare hard cuts from the 70's, including many classics that you might know, but which sound superb in this tight setting."
Club Africa (Strut)
Strut's version of the above mentioned _Africa Funk_ but with more of a focus on club-oriented afro-jazz-funk-beat. "killer rhythms, monstrous basslines, heavy horn sections, and driving grooves, essential music for the head and feet". "This compilation is a fine introduction to the funk movement that swept West Africa in the 1970s. Raw, gutsy dance music with those unmistakable funky backbeats, this stuff makes you move! The guitar playing, horns and keyboards are sometimes rough, but that's part of the sound and the bass and drums crank out those rhythms that started in the tribelands and can now be found as the base of today's R&B and hip hop. Be sure to get Volume 2 also, which is even better than the first one!"
Sofistifunk - Jazzrock Club Classics (IRMA)
"Sweet funky fusion tracks from the 70s -- featuring rare numbers from a variety of American and European sources, all characterized by some heavy riffing, tight grooves, and lots of that choppy funky that you buy 70s fusion for! Many tracks have heavy guitars -- but there's also plenty of sax and trumpet solos, and the requisite keyboard delights!"
Blaxploitation (Global Television)
James Brown is here, as is Isaac Hayes' "Theme from Shaft". Curtis Mayfield chips in with the excellent "Pusherman" and "Superfly". Other artists include Bootsy Collins and Sly Stone. A lot of these songs may sound familiar, including Burt Bacharachs "Look of Love" and Gil Scott-Herons "Home is Where the Hatred is", neither of which is sung by the original artist. As well as other familiar tunes like "If You Want me to Stay" and "I'd Rather Be With You". All in all this album offers you an excellent dose of funk, soul and jazz with over 20 tracks on 2 cd's. Its packed full of energy and passionate rhythm.
Easy Tempo Vol. 1 - A Cinematic Easy Listening Experience (Easy Tempo)
The geniuses at Right Tempo have really outdone themselves this time! Easy Tempo is a fantastic compilation of extremely rare Italian soundtrack music, with a focus on cuts that have a heavy funk or electric jazz feel. There's lots of great work by folks like Piero Piccioni, Riz Ortolani, and Gianni Ferrio, and most of it only initially appeared on records released in Italy. There's lots for everyone here -- fans of lounge, fans of funk, and fans of breakbeats and basslines, which this CD has plenty of!
Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969-1974 (Columbia)
A modern mix translation and reconstruction in sound conceived by producer Bill Laswell. Features newly restored performances and never-before-heard extended themes from 'In A Silent Way', 'On The Corner' and 'Get Up With It', all taken from the original multi-track tapes.
Freedom Jazz Dance (Schema)
"A tremendous collection of modern jazzy groups -- featuring unreleased material by Schema Records legends Nicola Conte and Gerardo Frisina, plus some of the best bits from the European underground! The set does a great job of collecting "bubbling under" tracks that have been floating around on expensive singles for the past few years -- really going for the best of the bunch, and getting past the weak "fake" jazz tracks that too often get in the way! The whole thing's got a true jazzy groove that's up there with the best we've ever heard from Schema -- and it's a mad-riffing modal delight all the way through!"
Now's The Time (Cosmic Sounds)
"One of the most striking albums on the always-striking Cosmic Sounds label -- a rich collection of contemporary jazz tracks, showing the underground spirit of the 70s is alive and well! The tunes on this set are of recent origin, but many of them feel like they could have been lifted off of some of our favorite compilations of older tunes -- mixing jazz and world music influences, like some of the best sets on the Soul Jazz label, or some of the excellent Shibuya Jazz Classics series. The material is compiled by Kevin LeGendre in memory of his similarly titled show on the BBC, which presented work in a similar vein -- and the scope of the music is a bracing reminder of the persistence of creative energy in jazz!"
Cosmic Lounge (BBE)
"Stretched out and cosmic grooves from some of the leading lights of the soul jazz underground in the post-Coltrane years! Most numbers are obscure tracks licensed from smaller indie labels -- brought together beautifully with a sense of depth and darkness"
Psychedelic Jazz (Jazz Club)
"Psychedelic Jazz galore -- a wonderful look at the hip blend of funky grooves and tripped-out production that emerged at the end of the 60s! The sounds here are every bit as amazing now as they were a few decades back -- a genre-busting blend of electric instrumentation, chunky rhythms, and weird techniques -- all mixing up elements from soul, funk, rock, Latin, and other sources into a really unique sort of groove! The work here is both from the US and overseas -- pulled from Universal-owned labels like MPS, Chess, and Philips -- and the package does a great job of mixing key examples of the genre with some other under-reissued gems. 16 tracks in all -- including "The Squire" by Mike Nock, "The Fuzz" by Roy Ayers, "Burning Spear" by Jimmy Smith, "Summertime" by Gabor Szabo, "Zoom" by Volker Kriegel, "Uwiii" by Wolfgang Dauner, "The Moving Finger" by Dorothy Ashby, "Big Family" by Free Orbit, "Love Me" by Johnny Teupen, "Ganges Delta" by Okko, "Misty Purple" by Kuhn Brothers & The Mad Rockers, "Guru-Vin" by Don Sebesky, and "Season Of The Witch" by Julie Driscoll & Brian Auger."
The Urge - the ultimate rare groove experience (Shaoline Music)