BBE Music announces the first repress of the classic Roy Ayers albums ‘Virgin Ubiquity’ 1 and 2 since 2006, on luxurious 180g vinyl with brand new sleeve notes written by Sean P. The music on ‘Virgin Ubiquity’ was selected and mixed down from previously unreleased multi-tracks recorded between 1976 & 1981, which Roy had in storage. It’s all unmistakably Ayers, but is diverse and fresh enough to be more than a mere adjunct to one of his most productive and popular periods – testament to his and his musicians’ creative abilities, as much of most revered Ayers output stems from this time. These discoveries take their place beside some illustrious company in a timeline bookended by ‘Everybody Loves The Sunshine’ and ‘Africa, Center Of The World’, several solo and Ubiquity albums, collaborations with Wayne Henderson & Fela Kuti, as well as guesting on LPs by Buster Williams and Herbie Mann. Out of print on vinyl and CD for over a decade now, BBE is delighted to re- present these groundbreaking Roy Ayers titles, neatly coinciding with the 45th anniversary of his classic album ‘Mystic Voyage’ and a UK tour to commemorate it during April 2020.
BBE Music announces the first repress of the classic Roy Ayers albums ‘Virgin Ubiquity’ 1 and 2 since 2006, on luxurious 180g vinyl with brand new sleeve notes written by Sean P. The music on ‘Virgin Ubiquity’ was selected and mixed down from previously unreleased multi-tracks recorded between 1976 & 1981, which Roy had in storage. It’s all unmistakably Ayers, but is diverse and fresh enough to be more than a mere adjunct to one of his most productive and popular periods – testament to his and his musicians’ creative abilities, as much of most revered Ayers output stems from this time. These discoveries take their place beside some illustrious company in a timeline bookended by ‘Everybody Loves The Sunshine’ and ‘Africa, Center Of The World’, several solo and Ubiquity albums, collaborations with Wayne Henderson & Fela Kuti, as well as guesting on LPs by Buster Williams and Herbie Mann.
BBE Music presents the sixth release in its acclaimed J Jazz Masterclass Series: ‘Stop Over’ by Hideto Sasaki – Toshiyuki Sekine Quartet +1.
Released at the height of the electric fusion era, ‘Stop Over’ is an all-acoustic hard bop killer, sounding like the Jazz Messengers on speed. When it was originally issued on the private Smile label in 1976, only 100 copies were pressed, making ‘Stop Over’ one of the most sought after and rare LPs in the J Jazz canon.
Trumpeter Hideto Sasaki tears it up as if he’s Kenny Dorham on a classic late 50s Blue Note session. He also provides the breakneck title track to the album, the one stunning original that sits next to solid covers including Bobby Hutcherson’s modal classic ‘Little B’s Poem’ and Denny Zeitlin’s ‘Carole’s Garden’. Pianist Toshiyuki Sekine is also on top form with his deft touch and fluid keyboard runs, playing Horace Silver to Sasaki’s Dorham. If you dig that late 50s/early 60s breathless hard bop sound, you’ll love this.
Licensed and released with the approval of Toshiyuki Sekine himself, ‘Stop Over’ will be available for download and streaming, as a CD and double vinyl LP, the first vinyl reissue of this amazing album since originally slipping out to family and friends in 1976. With a deluxe packaging and translated sleeve notes, there will also be new notes and an interview with Toshiyuki Sekine.
The BBE J Jazz Masterclass Series is personally curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden and is dedicated to presenting the very finest in Japanese modern jazz. The series features rare material presented in the highest quality reproductions of the original releases, fully licensed and authorised.
First ever reissue for one of the rarest and most sought after releases in the Japanese Jazz canon. USA press conducted by Scorepress.
Revolution (Live Disco Show In New York City) is the fourth and final BBE reissue of Sidiku Buari’s unique and sought-after body of African Disco albums.
Side 1 is (possibly!) ‘live’ throughout, from a 1979 show at the (possibly mythical!) La Cheer Nightclub, NYC, but very well recorded for a ‘live’ album with clean, bright top notes, sharp percussion and heavy bass-lines. Keep The Rhythm Going segues into Ofey Karambani reminiscent of the Kongos’ massive Loft Club floorfiller Anikana-O, whilst This Is Music and Disco Soccer keep up the 120-140bpm pace to complete a side that rocks enough for the lazier DJ to play from start to finish without lifting the needle!
Side 2 consists of four very varied tracks all recorded at Aire L.A.Studios, the two openers Revolution and Together We Can Rebuild It (Ghana Motherland) being polemics against government and army corruption, and a battle-cry for Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings, who ruled the country for a brief period in 1979 when this recording was made, later serving as Ghana’s President from 1981 to 2001. Then there’s a perennial crowd-pleaser Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Side 2 rounding off with the super-heavy Afrobeat-Disco groover, Happy Birthday.
Originally a national athlete, winning silver and gold medals in the Senegal All Africa Games and West African Games in 1963 and a bronze in the All African in Congo Brazzaville in 1965, Sidiku Buari then moved to America on a music scholarship at The York Institute, obtained as a result of his athletic achievements. When one of York’s music teachers, Irvin Mechanic, heard him singing in the Ga language- he suggested putting a rhythm section behind the songs, recording them, and seeing what the American record buying public thought of them. Four classic albums followed in quick succession, after which Buari’s solo output abruptly ceased.
But it was an ending that held within it the seeds of greater musical achievements to come. In 1990 he was appointed to the board of the Musicians’ Union of Ghana, later becoming its President from 1999 until 2007. In 2019, he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Pan-African Republic Honorary Award Society for ‘meritorious contribution to the development of music and movie industries in Ghana’.
Rare ‘live’ album from Ghanaian Disco legend Sidiku Buari, never before reissued. In-demand from collectors across the world, this is a heavyweight Afro-Disco album. Full global press and radio campaigns.
Tabansi Studio Band – Wakar Alhazai Kano & Mus’En Sofua: four incredible slices of almost- undiscovered late-70s/early 80s Afrobeat magic, but not Fela’s Yoruba/Pidgin Afrobeat.
This is Igbo and Hausa Afrobeat- two very different and rarely heard styles. For the first time anywhere, BBE is proud to reissue back to back two LPs that are so elusive that many Afro heads doubted their very existence until now.
The beats are laid down by the seven legendary Martins Brothers – of ‘Money’ fame- whilst vocals are courtesy of a multi-lingual Igbo legend, Prof. Goddy Ezike, one of the most extraordinary voices out of Africa, up there with Youssou N’Dour and Salif Keita, whose half- century career has, like fine wine, simply improved his voice.
Wakar Alhazai Kano and Lokoci Azumi Ta Wuca (tracks 1 and 2) draw on Northern Hausa music, with its Islamic inflections and skipping 12/8 time signatures more typical of the string and wind-based instrumentation of Kano and the broader sub-Saharan musical palette.
Kama Sofos and Aka Ji Ego Ga Anu Nwam (tracks 3 and 4) are sung in Igbo, with all the percussive wonders that Igbo culture has to offer, filtered through a jazzy Afrobeat improvisational spectrum.
Never before. Never again. New Afrobeats, in old bottles.
BBE Music presents the fourth release in their acclaimed J Jazz Masterclass Series: Topology by Makoto Terashita and Harold Land. Originally released in 1983 on the cult Aketa’s Disk label, Topology captures a surprising yet fascinating and engaging collaboration between a young Japanese jazz pianist and an elder American statesman of jazz.
Reissued by BBE Music for the first time since original release 36 years ago, Topology showcases the extraordinary compositional and playing skill of Makoto Terashita, the young pianist responsible for five of the album’s six tracks, alongside the confident and seasoned tones of Harold Land, respected US veteran sax player and former colleague of some of the leading jazz artists of the 50s, 60s and 70s including Max Roach, Clifford Brown, Gerald Wilson and Bobby Hutcherson.
By the time he came to record with Terashita in 1983, Land was in his mid-50s and had numerous album credits under his belt, including some twelve albums as leader. In contrast, Terashita was in his early 30s with just one album to his name, his stunning 1978 debut Great Harvest. Notwithstanding the apparent disparity in experience, the creative relationship they fostered is audibly evident in the wonderful music that was captured during the recording session.
Topology kicks off with ‘Dragon Dance’, an epic spiritual jazz tour de force elegantly ushered in by an extended solo piano introduction from Terashita. This track was chosen to open volume 2 of BBE’s universally praised ‘J Jazz’ compilation. The energy and impact of tracks like ‘Dragon Dance’ and the powerful bop of ‘Crossing’- both Terashitsa-penned numbers – is balanced by more nuanced and reflective tracks like Land’s own composition ‘World Peace’. In total, Topology presents the listener with a complete experience of two musicians from different generations and countries united in musical spirit.
A long out of print rarity known only to a handful of Japanese jazz collectors, Topology is now available once more, reissued for the first time as a 45rpm double 180g LP, featuring exact reproductions of the original artwork, obi strip and insert. It also comes with the original notes fully translated plus a new extended 3700 word essay by Tony Higgins. Topology is also available as a CD and across digital formats.
The J Jazz Masterclass Series is personally curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden and is dedicated to presenting the very finest in Japanese jazz. The series features rare and unreleased material presented in the highest quality reproductions of the original releases, fully licensed and authorised.
Part of BBE Music’s ‘Tabansi Gold’ African reissue series, Eric Kol’s rare boogie / disco album Today epitomises Nigeria on the musical move in the early 80s. With the slow but relentless shrinkage of old-school musical talent and withdrawal of international record company financing following the Biafran war as well as changing tastes, both in Yoruba as well as Igbo and other communities, consumers wanted a home-grown version of what they could hear on American and European airwaves. Enter seasoned soulful vocalist Eric Kol, multi-instrumentalist and all-round arranging talent Jake Sollo (ex Funkees, Osibisa, etc.) and Lagos studio pioneer Chief Tabansi, plus crew. Jake Sollo’s synth-boogie magic can be heard to best effect on Rain In My Heart and You’re My Solution (a big local radio hit back then). Meanwhile, the ‘strings’n’things’ disco vibe is resplendent in ‘the opener Let Your love Rule My World, whilst I’ll Sing A Song deepens the tempo with a soulful ballad arrangement. This is the first fully authorised vinyl reissue of a boogie classic that almost never appears for sale, even on eBay, but takes pride of place on every seasoned Nigerian vinyl junkie’s ‘want’ lists.
Rare African music, remastered and reissued as part of BBE’s Tabansi Gold Series. Nigerian disco / boogie by soulful vocalist Eric Kol, with multi-instrumentalist and all-round arranging talent Jake Sollo.
The fifth release in the BBE Music J Jazz Masterclass Series has the perfect combination of rarity and exceptional musicality that inspires seasoned collectors to break out in a sweat. Animals Garden by Miyasaka + 5 was originally issued in 1979 on the cult private Japanese label ALM and is reissued for the first time on LP and CD.
Animals Garden was a one-off project led by master drummer Takashi ‘Bear’ Miyasaka and features a powerful and progressive jazz group including saxophonist Kōichi Matsukaze, whose Earth Mother album has also been reissued by BBE Music. The four extended tracks on Animals Garden exemplify the high standard of playing and arranging that was a characteristic of jazz composed and recorded in Japan during the late 1970s. All four numbers were composed by Miyasaka and the album spans a range of styles, from febrile post-bop and head nodding modal, to deep funky blues and elegiac balladry. The title track was included on J Jazz Volume 2, but the three remaining cuts are equally enchanting.
As ever, Animals Garden is issued with an exact reproduction of the original artwork, translated original notes plus brand new sleeve notes. The vinyl album is presented in a deluxe thick card gatefold sleeve with reproduction obi strip, spread across two LPs cut at 45rpm for superb sound quality.
BBE Music’s J Jazz Masterclass Series is curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden and is dedicated to presenting the very finest in modern jazz recorded in Japan from a ‘golden period’, the late 1960s to the mid-1980s.
UK jazz dance hero Paul Murphy teams up with BBE Music to deliver his first compilation on the label: a blazing selection of up-tempo jazz titled ‘The Jazz Room’.
Lauded by none other than Gilles Peterson as “the original messenger of jazz who found almost every dancefloor classic”, Paul began DJing in 1970s London. His passion and unique playing style placed him at the epicentre of an emerging jazz-dance scene in the city, popping off in spots like The Horseshoe (aka Jaffas), The Wag, The 100 Club, The Blue Note and The Electric Ballroom, where he founded the now famous ‘Jazz Room’, after which this album is named.
Paul’s influence on UK Jazz culture simply can’t be overstated, from his short-lived but much beloved imprint Paladin Records to his unswerving support of home-grown talents such as Working Week, Morrissey Mullen & Paz.
As a DJ, his musical selections still live large in the memories of those who experienced them. As Coldcut’s Jonathon More put it “Paul Murphy used to play the most frenzied and far out funky jazz at my Meltdown warehouse parties”.
‘The Jazz Room’ nicely encapsulates the reason so many greats feel moved to wax lyrical about Paul Murphy’s ear for dance-floor jazz, which is very clearly undimmed after decades behind the decks. Deftly mixing contemporary sounds with trusted bullets that his 1980s audiences will remember well, these tracks are vibrant and potent, with a couple of fiery live recordings thrown in for extra energy and sweat.
Since the 60s, Congolese guitar combos and orchestras have always been popular across West and Central Africa. But the ‘natural fit’ element between East Nigerian Igbo highlife and Congolese rumba and soukous made for a unique beat: highlife-soukous.
Although eclipsed internationally by Lagos, Yoruba, Fela Kuti and Afrobeat, it was highlife- soukous that you’d hear at parties all over southern Nigeria in the late 70s and early 80s.
Outside Africa, the sound proved a special favourite with Colombia’s Carnival Champeta and Pico Sound system DJs – where, even today, you can hear super-rare Bota International original vinyls booming out over 20-foot-high speaker stacks along Colombia’s Caribbean coast, the records being ‘covered up’ in the style of British Northern Soul 45s, or reggae sound system dubplates, so that competitors can’t discover the name of the tune or band.
Welcome to the mysterious world of highlife-soukous – and Bota Tabansi International.
Basically ‘Tabansi’ is music written by and for Nigerians, or specifically the Yoruba diaspora which nowadays makes up a fifth of the Nigerian population. Juju is distinguished from Highlife, which was written mostly for Western audiences and sung in pidgin English. While slight, the differences are crucial, and essentially Juju of the sort played by Ojo Balingo and his amazing band is the real deal Yoruban music, more often played on local instruments, sung in local tongues, and absolutely full of mesmerising West African percussive voodoo, with some era-appropriate ‘70s funk breaks and psyche Hawaiian guitars to boot.
“Popularised all over the globe by King Sunny Ade in the 1980s, juju music had actually been around for decades before. Resembling highlife music in many ways, juju could be described as a more traditionally African form, mainly played by Yoruba people for Yoruba audiences.Although the original sleeve artwork implies that this is a ‘various artists’ album, it’s pretty clear that it’s the same unnamed juju band throughout, performing two long tracks, one on each side. Side 1 calls forth more traditional juju sounds, whilst the darker Side 2 adds funk breaks galore. Psych-rock Hawaiian guitars, talking drums and political lyrics rub shoulders in this almost-unknown 70s juju rarity. Ojo Balingo, in Yoruba, means ‘rain comes’, or ‘a breeze comes’. And so it does, with this never-before reissued obscure collectors’ vinyl from the vaults of Tabansi Records.”
A genuine ‘under the radar’ album known only to a handful of Japanese jazz collectors, ‘East Plants’ is now available once more, reissued for the first time as a double 180g LP, with exact reproductions of the original artwork, obi strip and insert. It also comes with the original notes fully translated. ‘East Plants’ is also available as CD and digital formats. This reissue is fully endorsed by Takeo Moriyama himself.
Originally released in 1983 on the Japanese VAP label, ‘East Plants’ is an essential album in the J Jazz canon. It’s an album that distils several key characteristics of Moriyama’s music: clearly articulated and inventive rhythms, open yet orderly arrangements, and an accessible groove balanced with a graceful control.
‘East Plants’ features no piano, just percussion, bass and reeds. From the luxurious raga-like build of the album’s hypnotic title track and the fierce post-bop workout of ‘Fields’, to the stately modal track ‘Kaze’ ( as featured on the sell-out BBE compilation, ‘J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1968-1984’), the album was, until now, a rarely acknowledged masterpiece. ‘East Plants’ shows Moriyama’s quintet at their most transcendent: delicate layers of percussion by Yoji Sadanari, a warm and pliant bass from Hideki Mochizuki, with colour and texture provided by the eloquent reed work of Shuichi Enomoto and Toshiko Inoue. And, overseeing it all, Moriyama’s discreet yet commanding drumming.
The BBE J Jazz Masterclass Series is curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden and is dedicated to presenting the very finest in Japanese jazz. The series will feature rare, long-lost and unreleased material presented in the highest quality reproductions of the original releases, fully licensed and authorised.
YAN TREGGER REMAINS ONE OF THE MORE CULT-ISH NAMES TO EMERGE FROM THE EXPERIMENTAL FRENCH DISCO SCENE OF THE 1970S. BUT TO A GROWING NUMBER OF OBSESSIVE CRATE DIGGERS, THE TWO LPS RECORDED FOR THE MUSICAL TOUCH SOUND LABEL IN 1978/9 “CATCHY” AND “DUCKS & DRAKES” HAVE BECOME LIKE THE HOLY GRAIL OF RARE DISCO.
Originally released on library music label Musical Touch Sound back in 1979, ‘Ducks & Drakes’ is an instrumental disco LP by pioneering French electronic musician Yan Tregger. Reissued this year by BBE alongside his 1978 album ‘Catchy’, Ducks & Drakes has achieved cult status among crate diggers and DJs, thanks to its ebullient charm and rock-solid leftfield grooves.
Virtually impossible to find on vinyl for many years now, ‘Ducks & Drakes’ found wider allure in 2008 when Alexis Le-Tan selected album track ‘Girls Will Be Girls’ for experimental disco compilation ‘Space Oddities’. UK music hero Frankie Valentine brought these two magical albums to BBE’s attention and curated the project alongside the team.
Amazingly (especially given the era in which it was recorded) the album was almost entirely performed, produced and composed by Tregger himself. Presented with its beautiful original artwork and previously unavailable to all but a lucky few record collectors, we’re excited to share the disco-infused magic of ‘Ducks & Drakes’ with the world.
‘LillyGood Party!’ is the brand new BBE compilation from highly respected Swiss DJ Alex Attias. Taking its name from a party he runs in his native Lausanne, LillyGood has gradually evolved into a radio show and even a label, now on its 4th release. Refecting the music he plays at the clubnight, ‘LillyGood Party!’ is packed with funk, disco, deep house and boogie bullets from across the globe. “The idea is to present not only rare or difcult tracks to fnd, simply good grooves for people to play out, or listen to at home.”
From rare Japanese disco gems, through spiritual jazz, to genre defying sounds from broken-beat cohorts Kaidi Tatham and Dego, LillyGood Party! takes a unique trip inside the musical mind of one of dance music’s true nonconformists.
Alex Attias got his start in back in ’88 playing funk, house, jazz, and disco, as well as producing under various monikers such as Mustang, Freedom Soundz or Beatless. Moving to London in ’97 he started his ‘Visions’ label and found himself at the epicentre of the emerging West London ‘Broken Beat’ scene which grew around his studio at Goya. Releases on People, Planet E, Ubiquity, Neroli, Archive and Compost followed, as well as remixes for Incognito, 4Hero, Ennio Morricone, Sun RA, Art Blakey, Roni Size and Laurent Garnier among others.
In the years following the World War Two, Japan developed one of the most insatiable, dynamic and diverse markets for jazz. For a crucial period of little over a decade – from the late 1960s to the early – Japanese jazz culture progressed at an astonishing rate, producing an extraordinary array of artists, recordings and record labels that created some of the most forward thinking and impressive jazz to be committed to tape. This amazing journey is explored on ‘J Jazz’. This compilation from BBE uncovers some of the most sought after and rare material from this period and pulls together key artists who shaped the postwar modern jazz scene in Japan. ‘J Jazz’ includes obscure and sought after rarities
like the bass-driven power jazz of Koichi Matsukaze’s ‘Earth Mother’, the holy grail rarity of Aizawa Tohru Quartet’s ‘Dead Letter’ and the loping majesty of Takeo Moriyama’s ‘North Wind’. This collection takes
the listener into deep spiritual jazz, post-modal impressionism and fierce dance-floor fusion with
material from artists and composers whose names are generally only known to committed collectors of Japanese jazz. Fumio Karashima, Mitsuaki Katayama, Takeo Moriyama and Kiyoshi Sugimoto are among the names featured on an album aiming to åshed a little light on the shadowy world of Japanese jazz clubs, tucked away in the neon backstreets
Rescued from relative obscurity by DJ Amir’s 180 Proof Records, BBE is delighted to present a gem from the tiny yet highly influential catalogue of Strata Records. Preceding New York’s Strata East, Detroit’s original Strata label issued only a handful of underground titles in the early 70’s, making it a ‘holy grail’ imprint among jazz lovers and record collectors the world over.
Released by Strata in 1974, Bert Myrick’s ‘Live ‘n Well’ was originally recorded by Strata founder and former Blue Note artist Kenny Cox at a concert which took place almost a decade previously, at the student union of the University Of Michigan back in 1965. Led by drummer Bert Myrick, the album highlights a quintet of highly talented players at the height of their powers. Featuring Will Austin on bass, Kenny Cox on piano and Ronnie Fields on tenor sax, the performance also stars George Bohanon, a now-legendary player who spent 7 years with Motown Records as lead trombonist before being named “Most Valuable Player”. by the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences.
Probably best known for the iconic 14 minute epic “Scorpio’s Child” (composed by Strata owner Kenny Cox), ‘Live ‘n Well’ captures tour de force performances from a collection of Detroit’s finest musicians, destined to go their separate ways soon after the recording was completed. Legend has it that Bert Myrick was inspired to pursue his passion for the drums by friend and mentor Elvin Jones (the drummer on John Coltrane’s classic ‘A Love Supreme’), who would open windows at his shows so that Bert and his friends could enter without paying. This kind of heavyweight tutelage would certainly explain Myrick’s impeccable, highly expressive playing on ‘Live ‘n Well’. Remembered fondly for his powerful hands and gentle demeanor, Bert Myrick passed away in 2010 at the age of 80.
Resurrected on vinyl some forty-seven years after its original release, Vamonos/Let’s Go is the debut and only offering created by Brooklyn salsa outfit The Orchestra Soledad. Containing quaint hits such as I’ll Make You A Queen and La Puerta Esta, this niche record is one of histories forgotten and hidden gems.
Picking up where they left off on the 2007 compilation ‘Lost & Found – Rockabilly & Jump Blues‘, Keb Darge & Cut Chemist join forces once again, this time to explore the Dark Side of 1960s Garage music. While Rockabilly could be defined as a DIY emulation of the music of Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and others by young American artists, Garage was heavily influenced by British bands of the day like the Beatles, Kinks & Rolling Stones. Simple drum kits, guitars and the occasional organ keep the sound honest and raw, retaining a palpable sense of excitement even to this day. With a multitude of bands springing up all over the USA, many of these wonderful records were released in tiny numbers, making certain titles almost impossible to find.
Catering for the veteran, the dance-floor mover, the radio jock and the young-gun just getting into jazz, If Music’s Jean-Claude returns for a second spellbinding edition of ‘A Journey Into Deep Jazz‘. Going even deeper than volume 1, this triple vinyl pack is one to truly lose yourself in, with several of the tracks running over 12 minutes in length – Sparrow’s ‘Latin Black Funk’ even over 20 minutes!
The obscure gems contained on this compilation have either flown under the radar or remained out-of-print for many years, so there are bound to be fresh treats here for even the most obsessive collector. Dense without being over-challenging, raw yet enchanting, ‘A Journey Into Deep Jazz Volume 2’ is a collection of soul-stirring rarities to nourish the spirit.