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For the second time, VMP is partnering with Jazz Dispensary, Concord’s spaced-out jazz label imprint, to present a new collection of highly potent strains of sound. Four cosmically mind-expanding records — Idris Muhammad’s Peach and Rhythm, Melvin Sparks’ Spark Plug, Bayeté’s Worlds Around the Sun and Gary Bartz’s The Shadow Do — are available in the VMP store now. All four titles are pressed on 180g 1LP colored vinyl at RTI, mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio with AAA lacquers cut from the original analog tapes.
Read below for details on each featured Jazz Dispensary record, and shop the collection here.
Peace and Rhythm, the 1971 sophomore album from the jazz drumming legend Idris Muhammad, is available on vinyl now for the first time since its original release. This VMP exclusive edition is pressed on 180g 1LP Believer Gold & Black Swirl vinyl at RTI.
Smoother and silkier than his debut LP released the same year, Peace and Rhythm is a blending of Muhammad’s Eastern influences and opulence-dripping funk, a ride on a cloud headed to space at no particular speed. Feel inner peace as the waterbed grooves of Muhammad and his ace band — Ron Carter is here on bass — wash over you.
“It was important to have a thread between our two collections with Jazz Dispensary, and Idris Muhammad felt like the perfect thread; he’s the only artist featured in both collections, because his music speaks to the Jazz Dispensary ethos as much as any artist. It’s all vibes, it’s all some of the funkiest jazz you’ve ever heard,” said VMP Music Director Andrew Winistorfer. “I’m stoked that we get to do our second reissue from this titan’s discography.”
Another 1971 sophomore album, the second featured title from Jazz Dispensary is Melvin Sparks’ Spark Plug, reissued on vinyl for the first time in three decades. Our exclusive edition is on 180g 1LP “Purple Plug” colored vinyl, pressed at RTI.
Electric guitar wiz Melvin Sparks’ LPs are like scores for Blaxploitation movies that don’t exist; every groove elicits colorful clothes, feathers, someone getting a boot upside their head. Alongside an ice cold band featuring Idris Muhammad on the skins, Leon Spencer on the keys for a track, Grover Washington Jr. on sax, with Rudy Van Gelder behind the boards, Spark Plug can jump start any party, and provide the engine for any night spent rolling it up.
With a radical beating heart — it’s most known song being an ode to the imprisoned Angela Davis — and drum breaks that would serve as fodder for everyone from De La Soul to Kendrick Lamar, Bayeté’s Worlds Around the Sun is a fist in the air, a vibrant and elastic work of tremendous power. Expansive, wild, and boundary pushing, finding footing on the Worlds Around the Sun is challenging, but worth the adventure.
Back on vinyl for the first time since its release in 1972, the VMP exclusive edition of Worlds Around the Sun — post-bop funk-jazz from composer Todd Cochran — is here on 180g 1LP Sun Swirl vinyl pressed at RTI.
“The Bayeté record is one of my favorite ‘discoveries’ of the last year for me personally; the way that this album predicted so much of my favorite modern music — Shabaka Hutchings, SAULT — has been mind-blowing,” Winistorfer said. “I can’t wait for more people to get hip to this, and realize how much of this music they’ve already heard thanks to its samples in hip-hop.”
The final featured record is The Shadow Do, the 1975 interstellar release from jazz-funk saxophonist Gary Bartz. Our edition, the first-ever reissue of the record, is pressed on 180g 1LP “Love Tones Gold” color vinyl at RTI.
If you desire, as the philosopher Timothy Leary once posited, to turn on, tune in and drop out, that option is available to you in album form: Gary Bartz’s hyperspace voyaging bubble funk-jazz classic The Shadow Do is here for you. Featuring groundbreaking synth work from the Mizell brothers, and more grooves than entire box sets of funk, The Shadow Do provides the answer for the heady question posed on its back cover: “Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men?” Listen to find out.