Our friends at Real Gone Music have a few jazz and funk reissues on the way, beginning this Friday, December 3. The label is concluding its series of Black Jazz album reissues with sets from Calvin Keys and Doug Carn and also bringing back into print the only solo album from Funkadelic's guitarist Eddie Hazel.
First up is guitarist Calvin Keys' Proceed with Caution! from 1974. It was Keys' second album for Black Jazz after 1971's Shawn-Neeq, his debut as a leader. In the 1960s, Keys backed organists such as Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Jack McDuff, and Richard "Groove" Holmes. Moving to Black Jazz gave him the opportunity to be the frontman. For his sophomore LP, Keys offered up more complex music with increased instrumentation after studying at the Los Angeles School of Music. The album featured six songs, three written by Keys. The group for Proceed included drummer Leon 'Ndugu' Chancler, fellow Black Jazz mainstays Henry Franklin on bass and Kirk Lightsey on keyboards, and Charles Owens (Horace Tapscott, Buddy Rich, Terry Callier, John Mayall) on sax and flute. After this record, Keys' next turn as a leader was for a pair of albums on Olive Branch Records in the 1980s. His last album was 2013's Electric Keys for Wide Hive.
Also from 1974 is Doug Carn's Adam's Apple. Keyboardist Carn was the most prolific artist on Black Jazz, recording four albums for the label. This would be his final one and the first not to feature Jean Carn, his former wife and vocalist. Here the vocals were provided by Carn himself joined by John Conner and Joyce Green. The band included Gerald Brown (acoustic bass), Darrel Clayborn (bass), Dan "Big Black" Ray (percussion), Harold Mason (drums), Ronnie Laws (saxophone), Thurman Green (trombone), and guitarists Nathan Page and Calvin Keys. Apple found Carn going in a direction featuring more electronic instrumentation and included original songs with the exceptions being the opening "Chant" and a cover of Earth, Wind, and Fire's "Mighty Mighty." Carn would soon depart Black Jazz, convert to Islam, and change his name to Adbul Rahim Ibrahim prior to launching his own label in 1977. Deciding to focus on being a sideman, he would not return to solo work until 1990 (where he went back to being billed as Doug Carn). He released an album last year, Jazz is Dead 5, with Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad.
These two Black Jazz reissues will be available in both LP and CD formats; the LPs arrive this Friday, December 3, while the CDs hit stores on December 17. Each features liner notes by Pat Thomas (both including quotes from the artists) and remastering by Mike Milchner at SonicVision. Both are produced by Real Gone's Gordon Anderson. The LPs come on black vinyl at general retail but Real Gone also has 750-unit limited editions of each on orange with black streaks vinyl available from independent record stores.
The third Real Gone release for December is a reissue of the only solo album from legendary funk guitarist Eddie Hazel, Game, Dames, and Guitar Thangs from 1977. Hazel, who grew up in New Jersey, became part of George Clinton's Parliament/Funkadelic family in 1967 at only 17 years old when he joined as part of the touring band. Within a couple of years, Hazel was a lead force in the group and contributed a ten-minute guitar for the song "Maggot Brain" from the 1971 album of the same name which has been hailed as one of the best ever. Hazel would quit Funkadelic that same year over financial disputes and begin to work with the Temptations but he would return to the group over the next few years, even co-writing all of the songs on 1974's Standing on the Verge of Getting It On. Legal troubles would curtail his work with the group even further.
In 1977, Hazel would release his one and only solo album: Game, Dames and Guitar Thangs. He was joined by members of the Parliament/Funkadelic family with George Clinton co-writing all four of the album's original songs together with co-writing contributions from Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, Gary Cooper, Garry Shider, and Hazel himself. The LP was rounded out by covers of The Beatles' "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" and The Mama & The Papas' "California Dreamin'" (which was released as a single). The Brides of Funkenstein also contributed vocals. However, Games did not have a long shelf life and was soon taken out of print, becoming a collector's item over the years. Eddie Hazel would never release another solo project in his lifetime. He continued to work as a guitarist on albums including George Clinton's Computer Games in 1982 before passing away in 1992.
Game, Dame and Guitar Thangs has been reissued a few times in the past. There was a Rhino Handmade CD edition in 2004, a Collector's Choice CD in 2006, and a Real Gone CD in 2012. A couple of LP reissues have been released too, but all are long out of print. Real Gone is now bringing the album back in both formats with a CD featuring notes by Tom Vickers, former Minister of Information for P-Funk, and in electric-blue colored vinyl.
If you are interested in any of these three titles, all due on December 3 (vinyl) and December 17 (CD), we've got the full tracklistings and pre-order links below.
Calvin Keys, Proceed with Caution! (Originally released on Black Jazz Records LP BJQD/18, 1974 - reissued Real Gone Music, 2021)
- Proceed with Caution
- Aunt Lovey
- Night Cry
Doug Carn, Adam's Apple (Originally released on Black Jazz Records LP BJQD/21, 1974 - reissued Real Gone Music, 2021)
- Higher Ground
- Sweet Season
- Mighty Mighty
- The Messenger
- Adam's Apple
- To A Wild Rose
- Western Sunrise
Eddie Hazel, Game, Dames, and Guitar Thangs (Originally released on Warner Brothers Records LP BS 3058, 1977 - reissued Real Gone Music, 2021)
- California Dreamin'
- Frantic Moment
- So Goes the Story
- I Want You (She's So Heavy)
- Physical Love
- What About It?
- California Dreamin' (Reprise)