Black Grooves
December 8, 2018 12:17 PM   Subscribe

Black Grooves is a monthly online music magazine highlighting the latest releases - often reissues of classic, underground, lost or simply underrated albums - by black musicians. It is edited by the staff at Indiana University's Archives of African American Music and Culture (AAAMC).

Some highlights to get you started:

Dust-to-Digital Releases Voices of Mississippi & Early Films of William Ferris
"Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by William Ferris is an important addition to the documentation of Southern folklife, culture, and history. The box set includes a CD of blues field recordings, another CD of gospel field recordings, a disc of interviews and oral histories, a DVD with seven short documentary films (1972-1980), and a 120-page hardcover book edited by Ferris that includes transcriptions and annotations for all of the film and album recordings. A recently released companion DVD, The Early Films of William Ferris, 1968-1975, features rare footage of B.B. King and James “Son” Thomas."

Baba Commandant and the Mandingo Band – Siri Ba Kele
"Baba Commandant and the Mandingo Band’s sophomore album, Siri Ba Kele, features the Bukinabe funk sound and the fusion of the mandingue guitar style by the band’s guitarist, Issouf Diabate. Band leader Mamadou Sanou sings with a “riveting growl” while also playing his main instrument, the doso n’goni, which is in the chordophone/ harp family and akin to the kora. The Burkina Faso based group is quoted as featuring the 'searing sounds of Sahelian compositions of complex funk and cosmic guitar explosion.'"

Various Artists – Eccentric Soul: The Saru Label
"The set opens in 1969 with the first single by the Out of Sights, a band assembled from local talent that released the label’s first eight sides, seven of which are included here. All are respectable efforts, but none really took hold. Shortly thereafter everything changed when the O’Jays found themselves without a record deal. The group recorded “Shattered Man” and “Now He’s Home” for Saru, just before their new deal with Philly International kicked in. At the time many mistakenly believed the O’Jays had started Saru as their own personal label, and this was likely reinforced on the next release, an O’Jay’s-penned song, “Got to Get My Broom Out,” recorded by local artist David Peoples. But perhaps the zenith was reached in 1971 when Massey and Simon participated on the Funkadelic-inspired single by Sir Stanley, “I Believe” and “Are You Man Enough,” which features some blazing psychedelic guitar licks."

Jonestown – Winston Jarrett and The Righteous Flames
"Classic Reggae can never truly fall under into “out of sight, out of mind” category, but just in case we need a refresher, Omnivore Records has reissued one of the best offerings, Jonestown. Originally released by Nighthawk Records, Jonestown is the work of prolific reggae artists Winston Jarrett and Eggar Gordon (Baby Gee). ... After nearly 30 years, the album is being reissued along with new liner notes from Pierson and featuring previously unseen photos."

Prof. Harold Boggs – Lord Give Me Strength: Early Recordings 1952-1964
"On this new compilation from Per Notini’s Gospel Friend label, gospel historian Opal Nations recounts the story of Prof. Harold Boggs. Born in Port Clinton, Ohio in 1928, Boggs displayed a rare musical talent as a young boy, both as a singer and pianist. Since he also suffered from an irreversible form of glaucoma, his mother insisted that part of his special tutoring include formal music training. This education gave Boggs the skills to also excel as an arranger, composer, and choir director. ... The majority of this set features Boggs’ own compositions, recorded as singles. In 1955 he moved over to the Nashboro label, releasing his infectious uptempo song “When the Spirit of the Lord Comes” and the slow burner “Help Me Jesus” with his newly formed group, the Boggs Specials."

Imamu Amiri Baraka – It’s Nation Time – African Visionary Music
"At the beginning of the Black Power Era, Motown Records joined other labels in producing politically oriented albums that addressed issues of critical concern to Black America. Motown established a subsidiary label for this project in 1970, and released a total of eight albums and one single on their new Black Forum label. The rarest of these Black Forum albums—virtually unavailable for the past 46 years—is Amiri Baraka’s It’s Nation Time – African Visionary Music, released in 1972. In a surprise move with little fanfare, the album has now been reissued on vinyl."
posted by nightrecordings (4 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
This is legit.

Also, appropriate for the month we're in. New Holiday Albums: The Best of 2018
posted by Fizz at 12:28 PM on December 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oh, nightrecordings, this is so cool! Thank you!

They Spotify playlists so you can get an idea of what the album sounds like.

Looks like there's a nice bunch of entries about jazz, including recent releases on ECM.
posted by kristi at 1:13 PM on December 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I am 100% sure that the AAAMC didn't decide to produce a magazine specifically targetted at me, but they might as well have. Thanks for posting this, seriously.
posted by Ipsifendus at 5:46 PM on December 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh cool, that takes care of my Christmas shopping.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 11:03 PM on December 8, 2018

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