[ Gunnar Homdrum, Marbella, Spain © 2004 - 2005 ]

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Recommended smooth and mellow soul CDs
Recommended Gamble & Huff CDs
Recommended funk and disco CDs
Blue-Eyed Soul POP/SOUL
Recommended blue-eyed soul CDs
Chill Out Electronica ELECTRONICA
Recommended chill out electronica CDs
West Coast Soft Rock WEST COAST
Recommended west coast soft rock CDs
CD want list CD WANT LIST
Care to help me track down some much sought-after CDs?

Ayers, Roy

Benson, George
Jazz-funk guitarist extraordinary.

Caldwell, Bobby 
My own tribute to smooth jazz singer/songwriter extraordinary.

Da Costa, Paulinho
Percussionist veteran.

Downing, Will

Duke, George
Jazz/fusion keyboard maestro

Earth, Wind & Fire
My own tribute to jazz/soul/funk’s finest. A 300 pages surfers guide!

Franks, Michael
Smooth jazz.

Britain’s finest jazz/funk.

Isley Brothers
Still have "Work To Do" after more than 40 years.

Jarreau, Al
A unique vocalist.

Jones, Quincy
Truly the dude.

Level 42
Enjoyed the "Love Games".

Lewis, Ramsey
Sun God(dess).

Matsui, Kazu & Keiko
Jap. smooth jazz.

Miller, Marcus
Bass extravaganza

Russell, Brenda
"Piano (player) In The Dark".

Never As Good As The First Time".

Cool UK piano based dance/jazz/funk.

Spyro Gyra
Jazz/fusion veterans.

Steely Dan
Turn that jungle music down. Just until we’re out of town".

Swing Out Sister
Burt Bacharach, move over!

Vannelli, Gino
The ultimate music experience!

White, Peter
Al Stewart’s excellent guitar player.

sophisticated coffee-table soul and smooth jazz.

Al Jarreau

Chaka Khan

All Music Guide
If you don’t find it here, – forget it!

Blues & Soul
UK-based Soul mag with trading section

Famous Name Changes
Wonder what their real name is?

How band got their names
Steely Dan: A dildo in the William Burroughs novel "Naked Lunch".

Lyrics World
Like to sing in the shower, but can’t quite remember the words?

Ultimate Band List
More info, sound samples and links

…and yes, – just what you were looking for!
Misheard Lyrics Archive
Hilarious! " ‘scuse me, while I kiss this guy"

Roy Ayers: The Best Of – 1997
Label: Polydor
Produced by: Roy Ayers and Wayne Henderson
Among all the "Best of Roy Ayers" that’s been released, this 15 track collection is definitely the best. Featuring Roy’s great version of the classic Bobby Caldwell penned "What You Won’t Do For Love" .
Buy it at amazon.com
George Benson: Breezin’ – 1976
George Benson: In Flight – 1977

Label: Warner Bros.
Produced by: Tommy LiPuma
Two highly recommended jazz/funk albums from this jazz/fusion guitarist extraordinary. "Breezin’" is now also available in multichannel DVD Audio format including 2 bonus tracks. "In Flight" features a great 9:47 mins. version of the War classic "The World is a Ghetto"George Benson: The World Is A Ghetto plus "Nature Boy" and Donny Hathaway’s "Valdez in the Country".
Buy it at amazon.com
Blackbyrds: Best of – 1988
Label: Fantasy
Produced by: Donald Byrd & George Duke
R&B/fusion instrumental crew of students formed by jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd in the early 70’s. This compilation contains 15 tracks including "Rock Creek Park", and was released by UK Ace Records in 1988.
Buy it at amazon.com
Stanley Clarke: 1,2 To The Bass – 2003
Label: Sony
Produced by: Stanley Clarke
Although a bit watered down and more radio friendly than some of his earlier jazz/funk fusion offerings, I find this very good and it proves Clarke still to be the king of the lower frequencies.
Norman Connors: Best Of – 2001
Label: BMG/Buddah
Produced by: Norman Connors
Drummer and composer Norman Connors started out as a jazz improviser, but he’s probably best known for his R&B hits. This 14 track compilation is actually more R&B than jazz and covers the period between 1976 and 1978, his peak years at Buddah. Including vocals by Phyllis Hyman, Jean Carn and Michael Henderson. 
Crusaders: Street Life- 1979
Label: MCA
Produced by: Wilton Felder, Joe Sample & Stix Hooper
Classic jazz/funk album that introduced the group to a wider audience and did the same for Randy Crawford who handles the excellent vocals on the 11 minute title track. Wilton Felder’s horn work is equally great and together they make this one of the best jazz/funk albums of the era. Also check out Wilton Felder’s 1980 solo album "Inherit the Wind". (Jap. rel. only)
Buy it at amazon.com
Paulinho DaCosta: Happy People- 1979
Label: Pablo Records
Produced by: Paulinho DaCosta
As one of the world’s greatest percussionists, his name can is found on hundreds of album covers as a session player. "Happy People" is great jazz/funk with a Brazilian flavor including guest vocals by Philip Bailey (EW&F) and Bill Champlin.
Buy it at amazon.com
D’Sound: Spice of Life – 1996
Label: Polygram Norway
Produced by: D’Sound
Very good debut jazz/funk fusion album from the Norwegian trio D’Sound. Strong melodies and an excellent production. Stay clear of the 3 albums that followed. More on www.dsound.com 
George Duke: Night After Night- 1989
Label: Elektra
George Duke: Illusions – 1995
George Duke: Is Love Enough – 1997
George Duke: After Hours – 1998
Label: Warner Bros.
Produced by: George Duke
After years of producing more pop than jazz, here are four very good fusion albums from this jazz/fusion keyboard maestro. Strong melodies and excellent production. Among all the featured vocalists are Jeffrey Osborne, Howard Hewett and James Ingram. Be sure to also check out his 1979 "Brazilian Love Affair".
Buy it at amazon.com
Michael Franks: Blue Pacific – 1990
Produced by: Tommy LiPuma/Al Schmitt/Jeff Lorber
Michael Franks: Dragonfly Summer – 1993
Produced by: Yellowjackets/Jeff Lorber/Ben Sidran
Michael Franks: Abandoned Garden – 1995

Produced by: Russel Ferrante/Matt Pierson/Michael Colina
Label: Warner Bros.
Regardless of trends or airplay, Michael Franks always delivers what he does best; ultra smooth crossover jazz. Among his 15 releases since 1973, I find these 3 especially good. Great melodies and excellent production. Included are a who’s-who list  of superb studio musicians: Larry Carlton, Joe Sample, Walter Becker, Buzz Feiten, Paul Jackson Jr., Kirk Whalum and so on…
Hiroshima: Ongaku [Best Of] – 1986
Label: Arista
Produced by: Wayne Henderson
Japanese group sounding something between R&B, pop, world music, and jazz has integrated traditional Japanese instruments into their musical blend. Hiroshima’s founding members are keyboardist Dan Kuramoto (who also played shakuhachi), June Okida Kuramoto on koto (a key part of the group’s sound), Johnny Mori on taiko drums, and Danny Yamamoto on drums, percussion and taiko. Hiroshima has recorded a series of best-selling albums for Arista, Epic and Qwest. This compilation is from their "Hiroshima" debut in 1979 and "Odori" 1980.
Hi-Tension: Hi-Tension – 1978 Hi-Tension: Hi-Tension Hi-Tension: British Hustle Hi-Tension: Unspoken Hi-Tension: Peace On Earth
Label: Island (LP)
Produced by: Alex Sadkin & Kofi Ayivor
Still only available on LP, but rumors has it that Universal Germany is about to reissue this British jazz/funk/disco album somewhat influenced by EW&F. About time! A not so good "Best of" CD including some of vocalist David Joseph’s solo stuff was released in the UK in 1993. Stay clear and wait for the original album I say!
Incognito: Blue Moods [Best of] – 1997
Label: Phonogram UK
Produced by: Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick
Excellent Acid Jazz compilation with deep roots in the 70’s jazz/funk/fusion world. This contains mostly instrumental tracks. You could also go for the 2000 release "Best of". This is more soul/funk oriented and features vocals by Maysa and Jocelyn Brown.
Buy it at amazon.com
Al Jarreau: This Time – 1980
Al Jarreau: Breakin’ Away – 1981
Al Jarreau: Al Jarreau – 1983

Label: Warner Bros.
Produced by: Jay Graydon
3 great soul/jazzfusion albums from Al Jarreau with great production by "westcoast" guitar maestro Jay Graydon. Also check out his two latest releases "Tomorrow Today" and "All I Got" both on GRP Rec. This is back to the early 80’s.
Buy it at amazon.com
Neil Larsen: Jungle Fever – 1978
Neil Larsen: High Gear – 1979

Label: A&M
Produced by: Tommy LiPuma
Two excellent Latin inspired fusion albums from this very talented keyboard player. Very hard to find on CD. The band is awsome with tight rhythm and great bass work! Featuring Buzz Feiten, Steve Gadd, Abe Laboriel and Paulinho DaCosta. Horns by Michael Brecker, Larry Williams and Jerry Hey. Formed his own band with Buzz Feiten simply called Larsen/Feiten Band. Has also worked with people like George Benson and Al Jarreau, and was actually playing keyboards for one of Gamble & Huff’s first productions, The Soul Survivors.
Ramsey Lewis: Sun Goddess – 1974
Label: Columbia
Produced by: Maurice White & Ramsey Lewis
Ramsey Lewis: Electric Collection – 1991
Label: Columbia
Produced by: Maurice White,  & Ramsey Lewis
Featuring the original recording of the classic jazz/funk track "Sun Goddess". Contains most of the Earth Wind & Fire members from that period.
On Electric Collection the material ranging from jazz-funk workouts like "Come Back, Jack," and "The Messenger" to the playful "Blues for the Night Owl." If "Tequila Mockingbird" seems greatly influenced by Earth, Wind & Fire, it’s because most of his sidemen on that great track are members of the soul/funk powerhouse.
Buy it at amazon.com
Buy it at amazon.com
Light Of The World: Best of – 1992
Label: Ensign
Produced by: Augie Johnson
Very good "best of" CD from this defunkt London based jazz/funk band formed in 1978. [UK CD only]. Also check out Incognito, – a band started by former LOTW member Bluey Maunick.
Alphonse Mouzon: By All Means – 1982
Label: Pausa
Produced by: Alphonse Mouzon
Featuring Herbie Hancock, Lee Ritenour, Paul Jackson and The Seawind Horns. A talented drummer whose music stretches from jazz to fusion, rock, funk and pop. He has played with Roy Ayers, Weather Report and in the 70’s and George Benson and Al DiMeola in the early 80’s.
Buy it at amazon.com
Nite Flyte: Ascension – 1999
Label: Instinct Records
Nite Flyte: U-Turn – 2003
Passion Jazz Records

Produced by: Tony Campbell
Led by multi-instrumentalist Tony Campbell, this is ultra smooth and very relaxing guitar based jazz/funk from Britain. The track "Lift Off" is pretty similar to MFSB’s "Love Is the Message". Also Check out the latest offering the 2003 "U-Turn" featuring Jean Carne as guest vocalist.
Pleasure: Best of – 1992
Label: Fantasy
Produced by: Various
Very good 15 track compilation from this much sampled jazz/funk act from Portland, Oregon. BMG Europe CD release.
Brenda Russell: Paris Rain – 2000
Label: Hidden Beach
Produced by: Brenda Russell & Stephan Oberhoff
Maybe not real "Jazz/Funk", but Brenda Russell sings mature love songs in a smokey alto over minor-key jazz arrangements played by in-demand session musicians and contemporary jazz guest stars like Kirk Whalum, Dave Koz, and Yellowjackets members Russell Ferrante and Jimmy Haslip. Smooth jazz at it’s best. Also check out "The Ultimate Collection".
Shakatak: The Coolest Cuts [Best of] – 1988
Label: Polydor (UK)
Produced by: Nigel Wright
19 track compilation from one of UK’s finest dance/jazz/funk acts. Mostly instrumental piano based tracks from their early/mid 80’s peak period.
Buy it at amazon.com
Lonnie Liston Smith: Exotic Mysteries/Loveland – 1998
Label: Sony UK
Produced by: Lonnie Liston Smith & Bert deCoteaux
The 2 excellent orchestral fusion albums "Exotic Mysteries" and "Loveland", both originally released in 1978, was released on the Sony UK "2 on 1" series in 1998. Be sure to also check out the classic 1974 "Expansions". The title track has been covered by a number of jazz/funk artists over the years.
Spyro Gyra: 1977-1987 [Best of] – 1997
Label: BMG
Produced by: Various
Founded in 1975 by altoist Jay Beckenstein, Spyro Gyra has consistently been one of the commercially successfully pop-jazz groups of the past 20 years. They were originally a studio group, but became a fulltime band in 1979. This compilation was released by BMG Europe.
Buy it at amazon.com
St. Germain: Boulevard – 1996
St. Germain: Tourist – 2000

Produced by: St. Germain
Label: Blue Note
One of the few producers to pursue a real fusion of jazz and house music, Frenchman Ludovic Navarre aka St. Germain, released his first album, Boulevard, in 1996. Featuring trumpeter Pascal Ohse, the album worked as a hybrid of American R&B and jazz with the growing French house scene exemplified by Garnier, La Funk Mob, and Dimitri From Paris. Tourist took the concept further with Navarre working post-production on a fuller complement of musicians, and earned release on Blue Note Records. A step on the way to a perfect blend of jazz and electronic.
Jeff Tyzik: The Farthest Corner of My Mind [Best of] – 1986
Label: Amherst
Produced by: Jeff Tyzik
Like real horns and violins? No synth-strings here. Check out this compilation from this great N.Y. born horn player.
Various: Classic Jazz-Funk Mastercuts Vol.1-7
Label: Beechwood Music (UK)
Produced by: Various
Highly recommended CD compilation series from this UK based label. Including hard-to-find 12" versions if available. Featuring such artists as Roy Ayers, Grover Washington Jr., Ramsey Lewis, Paulinho DaCosta, War, Wilton Felder and Ronnie Laws among others.
Sarah Vaughan: Brazilian Romance – 1987
Label: Columbia
Produced by: Sergio Mendez
Sarah Vaughan started out in the early 40’s (yes, 40’s!) and is ranked with Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday as one of the top female jazz singers ever! The "Brazilian Romance" album is very elegant and sophisticated Brazilian flavored smooth jazz including guests stars like George Duke, Hubert Laws, Tom Scott and Ernie Watts among others. The track "Nothing Will Be As It Was" is one of my personal all-time favorites.

[ Gunnar Homdrum, Marbella, Spain © 2004 -2005 ]