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The Deep Dozen: Week of April 14, 2003
(Posted April 14, 2003)

Romanthony - Hold On (Roule, 1999)
Crucial inspirational house from one of the iconoclasts of house.  Extra props for Anthony's excellent use of Louis Farrakhan samples to punctuate his message.

Return To Forever - Endless Night (live version) (Columbia, 1979)
Being more in tune with jazz-funk than jazz-rock, I'm not that big of a RTF fan, but this 20-minute opus off their live album takes you on a journey.  When the vocals kick in towards the end, it's heavenly.  And Stanley Clarke is one of the baddest bassists around.

Sine - Just Let Me Do My Thing (Prelude, 1977)
Patrick Adams strikes again!  Sine only made a couple of records, but this deep classic from the early days of Prelude was actually a hit in Britian. His trademark synthesizer gives the song a dreamy, floaty ambiance similar to his work as Cloud One.

Gary Bartz - Carnival De L'Espirit (Capitol, 1977)
From the Music Is My Sanctuary record, another classic Mizell Brothers creation.   Probably the best cut off the LP.

Kyoto Jazz Massive - Deep In Your Mind (Compost, 2002)
One of my favorite cuts towards the end of 2002 was this collaboration between Kyoto Jazz Massive and Victor Davies.  Spacey, jazzy and uplifting at the same time. From the unlikely kings of nu-jazz.

Dennis Ferrer - Reach For Freedom (Nite Grooves, 2002)
A very busy track with a little of everything: afrobeat rhythm, jazz guitar and gospel vocals.  Guaranteed to get you moving. 

Donnie - Our New National Anthem (Giant Step, 2002)
He was a critic's darling for a minute, but now you don't hear a lot about Donnie.   "National Anthem" is designed to make you think, as Donnie is one of the few current soul vocalists to consistently bring social awareness into his music.

Spearhead - Bomb The World (unknown, 2003)
Michael Franti and his group Spearhead have been receiving visits from the FBI for performing this antiwar song. Hear Franti's tales of surveillance in his own words by checking the Democracy Now archive, available here.  As for the tune itself, it's typical Franti conscious vibes, with reggae legends Sly & Robbie in the mix.

Cameo - You're A Winner (Atlanta Artists, 1983)
Off the forgotten LP Style, otherwise known as the album between Alligator Woman and She's Strange. Friends tell me this was a hit, but I don't remember hearing this on the radio.  A laidback, cool-out groove.

Hudson People - Trip To Your Mind (Ensign, 1979)
One of the tracks to kick off the British jazz-funk era, with a horn line that is hard to deny.  Midway through, turns into a jazz freakout before returning to the groove.   Excellent harmony vocals too.

Finis Henderson - Skip To My Lou (Motown, 1983)
Once known as the leader of the forgotten group Weapon Of Peace, Henderson hooked up with Earth, Wind & Fire's Al McKay for this spritely summertime tune.

Focus - Having Your Fun (Versatile, 2002)
Could this be the best record of Phil Asher's long career?  The shuffle swing, grooving bass and soulful vocals make this a track unlike any other, where broken beat meets r&b. 

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