Sunnyland Slim (1977) She Got That Jive (LP) Airway Records 4275

Sunnyland Slim

She Got That Jive 


Airway Records 4275

*** Noteworthy

While he’d headed north to Memphis in the late 1920s, when he was in his early 20s and settled in Chicago in the late 1930s (Dahl), this 1977 outing is still soaked in the Mississippi mud of his rural birthplace.  It’s just dripping with it.

While he played with on countless classic Chicago blues dates and played alongside nearly every Chicago blues legend, and had in fact released plenty of his own sides, he never really became a household name for the casual listener.  Eventually he set up his own label, Airway, which released this set.  Likely they didn’t have all the latest studio technology and that just helps give this recording some nice basement sound that fits the blues like an old piano in the corner.

Mostly Slim and the band stick with slow and mid tempo numbers but get the thing chugging along like a fast train on the instrumental “Station Break.”  Along with the piano, Slim offers vocals on most of the cuts, Bonnie Lee lending her pipes to “Standing on the Corner.”  Fans of electric Chicago blues will likely find plenty to enjoy on this set.

— winch (author of )

Dahl, Bill.  “Sunnyland Slim.”  AMG to the Blues. 2nd Edition. 1999.

Silvetti (1977) The Sensuous Sound of Silvetti: Spring Rain (LP) Salsoul (SZS 5516)


The Sensuous Sound of Silvetti: Spring Rain

Salsoul (SZS 5516)

Arranged and Conducted by Bebu Silvetti

Produced by Rafael Trabucchelli

Tom Moulton Mix

*** noteworthy

Argentine pianist/producer Bebu Silvetti had time on his side with disco in full swing and before the disco-sucks movement had had much time to gather their thoughts, and Silvetti found success right from the beginning with the disco instrumental “Spring Rain,”a cut featured both on his debut LP and this second set.  The version for this set is likely a remix or a re-recorded offering.  This is followed by the equally compelling “Primitive Man,” where the group sinks a little deeper into the groove.  Much of the rest of this instrumental set is designed for when the lights are turned down low, either on the dancefloor, the waterbed, or in the rear quarters of your custom van.


While nothing quite matches the first two cuts, it’s a consistent set and obviously a notch or two above most of the disco competition, Silvetti’s style clearly not from the United States or Europe.  While this may be too restrained from some, most fans of disco should at the very least give this long player a drive around the block.


— winch

author of Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s



 link to seller:

Kiki Gyan (1977) Afro Reggae (LP) P.V.P. 7777

Kiki Gyan
Afro Reggae
P.V.P. 7777 (Holland pressing) 
rating: *** (noteworthy)

African keyboardist Gyan joined Osibisa as a teenager, released this rare solo debut a few years later.  (Apparently, he’d never kick the drug addiction that started here.  It would end up killing him.)  This is African DISCO with some reggae and funk elements but fans of funk or reggae might be disappointed.  He offers some variety and some of the cuts are quite unique, but contrary to some sellers’ brags, this is not really funk but rather a disco-funk sound.  He creates a groove on some of the cuts but often loses the groove or floats over the groove in signature disco style.  He has one horn (soprano sax) and cool African percussion on some cuts, and his synthesizer often sounds very dated—which some listeners might find charming.  

The set is somewhat typical of bands led by keyboardists—typically not a good sign— but he keeps it playful and doesn’t waste much time showing off his chops.  The best cut is “Doing My Thing,” but other selections have some charm as well.  For fans of rare disco or African 70s music, this is a worthwhile listen.

Kiki Gyan (fender rhodes, piano, synthesizer, organ, bass, lead vocals, production), Jake Sollo(guitars), Richard Bailey (drums), Ray Allen (sax), Kofi Ayivor (percussion), Liza Strike, Helen Chappelle & Joan Stone (backing vocals).  Recorded in London.

— winch

Crass (1977 – 1984) Best Before (LP) Crass Records 5 (1984)

Best Before
Crass Records (5)
Material: 1977 – 1984
Recorded 1977 – 1984, released July 1984 (UK only)

This double LP collects singles and unreleased material, a nice gesture, saving fans from having to collect all the singles, and packaging the material with killer artwork.  While this might have been better served up as a more concise two-sider, it certainly provides an overview of their history, moving from fairly straight-forward punk to abrasive avant garde. 

For fans, this is essential.  It also serves as a good intro.

— winch



Don Pullen (LP) Tomorrow’s Promises (1977) Atlantic 1699

Don Pullen
Tomorrow’s Promises
Atlantic 1699
Produced by Ilhan Mimaroglu

Rating:**** (Recommended)

Offering healthy doses of the avant garde but grounded in a blend of hard bop and R&B (60s groove and 70s funk), this set opens with a hard-driving 10+ minute Pullen original called “Big Alice,” George Adams on alto, Michael Urbaniak on electric violin, Randy Brecker on trumpet, Pullen on piano, each getting time for solos as the rhythm section (bass plus three percussionists) keeps the sound powering along, a fairly funky freight train bouncing down the line.  After the reflective post bop of “Autumn Song,” the side picks up the pace again, closing with “Poodie Pie” (Pullen, Morgan Burton, Sterling ” Satan” Magee), Mr. Satan’s guitar work more pronounced and helping carve out the groove, the cut featuring Pullen on clavinet, producer Mimaroglu with electronic tracks. While the groove moves through various tempos and moods, it never completely forgets where it started.

The second side opens with another stand-out Pullen original called “Kadji,” this number featuring an almost hip-shaking tempo but sounding like it owes something to Coltrane’s explorations of the African continent.  After a free-form duet with Pullen and Adams, the set closes with a vocal cut, a reflective message song called “Let’s Be Friends” featuring the pipes of Rita DaCosta.  While this set doesn’t end as strong as it opens, it remains interesting and enjoyable, moving through moods and tempos to create a totality of effect.  There’s certainly enough solid material to make this recommended listening.

— winch

David Moss / Baird Hersey (LP) Coessential (1977) Bent Records BRS 2

David Moss / Baird Hersey
Bent Records BRS 2
recorded in Maine, April 4-5, 1977

Rating:**** (Recommended)

Avant garde with elements of jazz and rock, tribal percussion and the sounds of the natural world, Moss on 28 instruments and Hersey on electric guitar.

On part of the first cut, Hersey offers a sound perhaps influenced by the late-60s fusion of Larry Coryell, the 1970s work of Terje Rypdal, and Electric Ladyland-era Jimi Hendrix, but for the most part, Hersey focuses on feedback, bowing, scratches and such, returning to a Rypdal style for the final cut, meanwhile Moss mostly offering frantic fits of percussion throughout the set, the pair conversing with improvisation, pushing and pulling at each other like two animals battling for territory, backing up and charging forward into each other, rolling the animals together, Moss sometimes going semi-reflective to fuse his sounds with the electric musings of Hersey.

This is one of the more successful outings in the avant garde category.  Fans of experimental head rock should also enjoy at least some of the cuts

— winch