Saturday, October 04, 2008

Melvyn Price Rhythm & Blues Wax Poetics CD

Melvyn Price Rhythm & Blues Snippets
Wax Poetics dig deep again into the vaults and come out with an essential release by Melvyn Price.
Here's the Wax Poetics press blurb:

The late ’60s were an explosive time in America. Flower power was blooming, civil rights were in full swing, and while American soldiers were fighting in Vietnam, American musicians were creating several brands of rebellious music back home. One such musician, a trombonist/conga player from Pontiac, Michigan, had grown weary of his nation’s volatile political climate. While evading the draft, Price traveled a well-worn path overseas where he toured Europe with a set of congas on his back. Eventually, he befriended a young Swedish girl with whom he would return to the States. Their stay, however, would be brief. With the birth of Melvyn’s first child on the horizon and social tensions mounting, the two longed to return to a country more befitting for a young family.

In the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, Price set sail for Sweden where he immediately began gigging with Scandinavia’s jet-set jazz musicians. Although Price had cut his teeth in Motown, the folk explosion of the mid-’60s and Afro-Cuban music’s increasing visibility were both making major impacts on Price’s musical leanings. In 1974, after a pair of primarily percussive albums intended to aid dance instruction, Price composed and recorded his masterpiece, Rhythm and Blues, released on his own Meldor label. The music was simple, yet inspiring, pairing Sweden’s disciplined session players with imported Latin-American percussionists. Rhythm and Blues was never widely distributed abroad, and has, in recent years, fetched top dollar at auction.

This reissue is the fourth release by Wax Poetics Records, who, like their sister publication, is quickly becoming the authority on soul music’s unsung heroes. This unique album, available on CD and 180-gram vinyl, includes the original artwork, as well as in-depth liner notes and rare photos exclusive to this release. As an incentive to the record-buying public, every vinyl purchase will include a free download of Price’s "The Subway" from his impressive 1971 release, Rytmer II.
You can pick up this lost classic from Dusty Groove:
A lost bit of 70s soul jazz and global funk percussion from conguero & trombonist Melvyn Price -- an incredible set of heavily rhythmic grooves recorded in Stockholm in 1974 -- originally a private press effort, and the most impressive rediscovery yet from Wax Poetics Records! Melvyn grew up outside of Detroit, and he cut his teeth with the freeform Afrikan Folk Ensemble before relocating to Sweden in the 60s, where he thrived in the country's healthy and creative jazz scene. He's joined by a great group of international players who bring diverse flavors to the overall sound, with Latin and African styles of percussion from Price, Jon Dill and Luis Agudo, drums by Gunnar Nyberg and Fredrik Noren, piano by Bjorn Wolff, fluidly jazzy tenor sax from Ed Epstein, and bass by Guy Roellinger, who's work here often sounds like the stuff of funky 70s soundtracks. If we can't quite peg the bluesy bits promised by the title, the rhythms are absolutely impeccable -- with the conga and percussion as the driving force of the sound! Titles include "Voodoo Love Dance", "Toward Brazil", "Behind Kungstradgarden", "Happiness Is. . .", "Five O'Clock Traffic" and "Last Train".

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