Mingo Fishtrap – Moving [2014]


“As the great Ben Radutzky recently said, “dude sounds like Jon Cleary had a baby with D’Angelo, and their music sounds like that too””

-Ross Pollack

Nawlin’s funk outa Austin, TX. They’ve released six albums, so if you’ve never heard of them, there’s plenty of digging to do.

Joomanji – Somethin’ Out of Nothin’ (Feat. Saara Maria) [2013]


There’s nothing like stumbling on a legit neo-soul//hip-hop trio…

From Santa Cruz, CA, Jonah Christian (B), Amir Oosman (D), and Robert Finucane (K/P) create a great rhythm section for vocal cats like Saara Maria to strut their stuff. Influenced by the likes of J-Dilla, Flying Lotus, Slum Village and A Tribe Called Quest, these guys have the potential to further the neo-soul and hip-hop game pretty substantially. Check out this whole album on bandcamp, it’s dope.

This song starts off with a pumping, jazzy bass line that’s in 6, and at first you want to get up and dance …then the hip-hop drums and the vocals come in and suddenly this tune hugs you like a comfy blanket, making you want to just settle into it.

Jimmy Smith – Back At The Chicken Shack [1960]


“slow-burning groove” – Dave Hammerschlag

Jimmy Smith redefined the Hammond B-3 organ as a centerpiece of soul-jazz, rather than part of the accompaniment. In all of his work, the soothing growl of the B-3 and vibrating hum of the Leslie speaker are brought to the forefront, demanding a mellow mood, and emanating a soulful “Hammond” quality. Smith’s virtuosity in composition, improvisation, and technical skill brought this Hammond sound to prominence through his Billboard-charting records, and led to a generation of Hammond jazz players mimicking his sound. Jon Lord of Deep Purple and modern Hammond master John Medeski were both heavily influenced by Smith’s style. Later in his career, Jimmy Smith played B-3 on the title track of Michael Jackson’s Bad.

This album and, more specifically, this song is his magnum opus. Backed by the great Stanley Turrentine on tenor sax, this record defined Smith’s blues-based, bebop-influenced, soul jazz style.  Keep in mind, no bass player on this recording; Smith is playing the main musical line with the right hand, and the bassline with the left hand and foot pedals.

As a final note, Smith has some of my favorite album covers in the biz, often vibrant, heavily-saturated photos of mundane life.

- JS