Review: David Axelrod's 1969 album Songs of Experience - the now legendary follow-up to 1668's similarly acclaimed Songs of Innocence - has long been regarded as something of a classic, not to mention a constant source of samples for hip-hop producers such as DJ Shadow, Pete Rock, Madlib and KRS-One. As this reissue proves, it remains a peerless release. While it was inspired by the poems of William Blake, the album's tracks brilliantly fuse elements of jazz, European classical music, jazz-funk, rock, pop and traditional British and Irish folk music. It's a stunning set of instrumental tracks, all told - a kind of imaginary soundtrack to the best film never made.
Review: Co-produced by none other than James Brown and featuring a band led by fellow funk/soul legend Dave Matthews, The Grodeck Whipperjenny's sole album has long been considered something of a must-have by heavy funk fans. Original copies have tended to be hard to come by, so this Record Store Day reissue from Now Again Records, which comes complete with a booklet telling the story of the 1970 set, should be an essential purchase. It's a curiously psychedelic affair, with string-laden, near symphonic moments (see the almost entirely beat-free "Conclusions" being joined by cuts that explore spiraling funk-rock ("Sitting Here On A Tongue") and acid-fired psychedelic rock ("Why Can't I Go Back").