Jackson 5

The Jackson 5 was an American soul-pop act from Gary, Ind., comprising five brothers of the Jackson musical clan: Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael Jackson. They formed in 1964 when the boys were between six and thirteen years old. After winning talent competitions and cutting one local single, they signed to Motown and released […]

Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes (Aug. 20, 1942 – Aug. 10, 2008) was an American R&B musician, vocalist, composer, producer, and actor who was musically active from the early 1960s on up through the 21st century. The lavish orchestration and elongated arrangements of his second album, Hot Buttered Soul (1969), spearheaded the transformation of soul music into maximalist […]

Hodges, James & Smith

Hodges, James & Smith were an American vocal trio from Detroit. The nameplate was briefly suffixed with a fourth surname, Crawford, to account for vocalist Carolyn Crawford, who recorded two singles with the group circa 1971/72. Members: Pat Hodges, Denita James, Jessica Smith, Carolyn Crawford (1971—72) Discography: “Somewhere a Valley” / “Ain’t That Right” (1969) […]

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes were an American soul group from Philadelphia, formed in 1954 as The Blue Notes. Members: Harold Melvin (lead vocals), Roosevelt Brodie (1954-72), Jesse Gillis, Jr. (1954-72), Franklin Peaker (1954-72), Bernard Williams (1954-65), John Atkins (1965-70), Teddy Pendergrass (lead vocals, drums, 1970-76), Bernie Wilson (1972-77), Larry Brown (1972-1975), Lloyd Parks […]

Four Tops

The Four Tops were an American soul group from Detroit, formed in 1953. Members: Abdul “Duke” Fakir (first tenor vocals), Renaldo “Obie” Benson (baritone, bass vocals, 1953-2005), Levi Stubbs (lead vocals, 1953-2000), Lawrence Payton (second tenor vocals, lead vocals, 1953-97) The Four Tops assembled in 1953 Detroit when two students at Pershing High, Levi Stubbs […]

Evelyn “Champagne” King

Evelyn “Champagne” King (born July 1, 1960) is an American soul-funk singer from the Bronx. Discography: Smooth Talk (1977) Music Box (1979) Call on Me (1980) I’m in Love (1981) Get Loose (1982) Face to Face (1983) So Romantic (1984) A Long Time Coming (A Change Is Gonna Come) (1985) Flirt (1988) The Girl Next […]

Eddie Russ

Eddie Russ is an American jazz-funk keyboardist from Pittsburgh who released the album Fresh Out on Jazz Masters in 1974, followed by two further titles on Monument between 1976 and 1978. While under contract with that second label, he adopted the pseudonym Gaff Dunsun to participate in the singular album by Latin/jazz-funk sextet Mixed Bag, […]

Deniece Williams

Deniece Williams is an American soul singer and songwriter with a musical career that dates back to the early 1970s. Between 1976 and 1984, she released seven albums on Columbia/CBS. Distinguished by her high-octave quiver, she scored international hits with “Free,” “It’s Gonna Take a Miracle,” and “Let’s Hear It for the Boy.” Williams was […]

Blue Magic

Blue Magic were an American soul group from Philadelphia that released five albums on ATCO between 1974 and 1978, followed by an album apiece on Capitol and Omni during the early 1980s. Members: Keith “Duke” Beaton (tenor vocals), Ted “The Wizard” Mills (lead vocals, 1972-90, 2012-present), Wendell Sawyer (baritone vocals, tenor vocals, lead vocals, 1972-77, […]

Bloodstone

Bloodstone was an American soul-psych group from Kansas City, Mo., that released eight albums on Decca/London between 1972 and 1976, followed by a ninth on Motown and two more on the Isley‘s T-Neck label. Members: Harry Williams, Jr. (vocals, keyboards), Charles Love (vocals, guitar, 1962–2014), Willis Draffen (vocals, guitar, 1962-2002), Charles E. McCormick (vocals, bass, […]

Barry White

Barry White (Sept. 12, 1944 — July 4, 2003) was an American soul singer, composer, conductor, and producer from Galveston, Tex. White was born Barrence Eugene Carter on September 12, 1944, in Galveston, Tex., the second of two children born to Melvin A. White and Sadie Marie Carter. His parents never married, so his mother […]

Ashford & Simpson

Ashford & Simpson were an American soul-pop duo from N.Y.C. comprising the husband-and-wife musical team of Nickolas Ashford (May 4, 1941 – Aug. 22, 2011) and Valerie Simpson (b. Aug. 26, 1946). The pair debuted with a standalone single in 1964, followed by a half-decade behind the scenes as staff writers for Motown. The couple […]

Al Jarreau

Al Jarreau (April 12, 1940 — Feb. 12, 2017) was an American soul and jazz singer from Milwaukee. Al was born Alwyn Lopez Jarreau on April 12, 1940, in Milwaukee, Wisc., the fifth of six children. Their father was a Seventh-day Adventist Church minister and their mother played church piano. The family sang together at […]

Ace Spectrum

Ace Spectrum was an American soul group from N.Y.C. that released three albums on Atlantic between 1974 and 1976. Members: Henry “Red” Zant [aka Edward “Easy” Zant] (vocals), Aubrey “Troy” Johnson (vocals), Elliot Isaac (vocals), Rudy Gay (vocals), Frederick G. Duff (vocals), Lawrence “Dee” Coley (vocals) Ace Spectrum was formed in 1966 by singers Rudy […]

The 9th Creation

The 9th Creation were an American soul-funk band from Stockton, Calif., that released three albums on Ritetrack, Prelude, and Hilltak between 1975 and 1979. In 1980, the band recorded a fourth album that was ultimately released by archivists Prelude in 2019. Members: A.D. Burrise (bass, backing vocals), J.D. Burrise (vocals, percussion), Henry Anadon (saxophone, keyboards), […]

Ripple

Ripple were an American funk band that released a self-titled album on GRC in 1973, followed by Sons of the Gods on Salsoul in 1977. Members: Brian Sherrer, Curtis Reynolds, Dave Ferguson, Keith Samuels, Simon Kenneth Carter, Walter Carter, William Hull Discography: Ripple (1973) Sons of the Gods (1977)

Art Webb

Art Webb is an American flautist primarily active as a jazz-funk sessionist during the 1970s and 1980s. Under his own name he released two albums in 1977. Appearing first on back-to-back albums by Norman Connors — Dance of Magic (1972) and Dark of Light (1973) — Webb’s talents were soon heard on the recordings of […]

Milton Wright

Milton Wright is an American soul-funk musician, songwriter, and producer who released two albums on Atlantic-subsidiary Alston between 1975 and 1977. He is the brother of soul singer Betty Wright. Discography: Friends and Buddies (1975) “I Belong to You” / “The Gallop” (1976 • Milton Wright & The Terra Shirma Strings) “Ooh, Ooh, Ooh I […]

Julian Priester

Julian Priester — aka Pepo Mtoto (June 29, 1935) — is an American trombonist from Chicago, Ill. Discography: Keep Swingin’ (1960) Spiritsville (1960) Love, Love (1974 • Julian Priester Pepo Mtoto) Polarization (1977 • Julian Priester and Marine Intrusion) Koputai (1990 • Ralph Towner, Charlie Haden, Jerry Granelli, Julian Priester, Robben Ford, Denny Goodhew & […]

Weather Report

Weather Report was a multinational jazz-funk/fusion ensemble that released 14 studio albums on Columbia between 1971 and 1986. Throughout its existence, the band was co-led by American saxophonist Wayne Shorter and Austrian keyboardist Joe Zawinul. Numerous rhythm players did stints with the band during its 15-year history, most notably drummers Alphonse Mouzon and Narada Michael […]

Wayne Shorter

Wayne Shorter (Aug. 25, 1933 — March 2, 2003) was an American saxophonist from Newark, N.J., who co-led the jazz-funk supergroup Weather Report with Austrian keyboardist Joe Zawinul between 1971 and 1985. Discography: Introducing Wayne Shorter (1960) Wayning Moments (1962) Night Dreamer (1964) Juju (1965) Speak No Evil (1966) The All Seeing Eye (1966) Adam’s […]

The Mysterious Flying Orchestra

The Mysterious Flying Orchestra were an American jazz-funk big band that recorded a self-titled album for RCA in 1977. Members: Bob Thiele (conductor, composition, percussion), Phil Bodner (tenor saxophone, English horn), Babe Clarke (baritone saxophone), Eddie Daniels (flute, tenor saxophone), Steve Marcus (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone), Charlie Mariano (soprano saxophone), Bob Mintzer (tenor saxophone), Donald […]

Tip of the Iceberg

Tip of the Iceberg were an American jazz-funk big band that released a self-titled album on Project 3 Records in 1975. Members: Derek Smith (electric piano, clavinet), Albie Berk (drums), Russel George (bass), Tony Mottola (electric guitar, guitar), Don Albano (electric guitar, vocals), Sue Evans (percussion), Phil Kraus (percussion), George Young (tenor saxophone, flute, fife, […]

The Eleventh House

The Eleventh House was an American jazz-funk-rock supergroup led by guitarist Larry Coryell. They issued a self-titled album on Vanguard in 1974, followed by the 1975–1976 Arista albums Level One and Aspects. Noted participants included drummer Alphonse Mouzon, keyboardist Mike Mandel, and trumpeters Randy Brecker and Terumasa Hino. Members: Larry Coryell (guitar), Randy Brecker (trumpet, […]

The Crusaders

The Crusaders were an American jazz-funk band from Los Angeles that was known throughout its first decade as The Jazz Crusaders, which issued a string of post-bop albums on Pacific Jazz during the 1960s. In 1971, they shortened their name to The Crusaders and issued a string of jazz-funk/R&B albums on Blue Thumb. They scored […]

The Brecker Brothers

The Brecker Brothers were an American jazz-funk duo from N.Y.C. comprised of saxophonist Michael Brecker and trumpeter Randy Brecker, who played on numerous recordings together and separately throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Members: Randy Brecker (trumpet), Michael Brecker (saxophone) Discography: The Brecker Bros. (1975) Back to Back (1976) Don’t Stop the Music (1977) Blue Montreux […]

The 360 Degree Music Experience

The 360 Degree Music Experience were an American avant-jazz ensemble that released six albums on assorted labels between 1975 and 1984, including several that give featured status to drummer/bandleader Beaver Harris. Members: Beaver Harris (drums), Grachan Moncur III (trombone), Dave Burrell (piano), Ken McIntyre (saxophone), Cameron Brown (piano), Ron Burton (bass) Discography: From Rag Time […]

Tarika Blue

Tarika Blue were a New York-based, multi-national jazz-funk/soul collective that was active during the late 1970s. Premiering in a strictly instrumental framework, the band incorporated vocals on their second of two albums. Members: Phil Clendennin (keyboards, piano), Ryo Kawasaki (electric guitar), Barry Coleman (bass), Kevin Atkins (drums), Marvin Blackman (tenor saxophone), Bradie Speller (percussion), Justo […]

Stanton Davis’ Ghetto Mysticism

Stanton Davis (born Nov. 10, 1945) is an American trumpeter from New Orleans who led the jazz-funk band Ghetto Mysticism, which issued the album Brighter Days on Outrageous Records Incorporated in 1977. Discography: Brighter Days (1977 • Stanton Davis’ Ghetto Mysticism) Manhattan Melody (1988) Isis Voyage: Unreleased Music & Alternative Mixes From the Brighter Days […]

Starbuck

Starbuck were an American pop/exotica band from Atlanta that released two albums on Private Stock in 1976 and 1977, followed by a third on United Artists in 1978. Members: Bruce Blackman (vocals, keyboards), Ron Norris (guitar, vocals, 1974-76), Tommy Strain (lead guitar, 1974-76), Jimmy Cobb (bass, vocals), Sloan Hayes (keyboards, vocals, 1974-78), Bo Wagner (percussion), […]

Stanley Clarke

Stanley Clarke (born June 30, 1951) is an American jazz-funk bassist from Philadelphia who played in the supergroup Return to Forever between 1972 and 1977. He was born Stanley Marvin Clarke on June 30, 1951 in Philadelphia. His mother, a church choir singer, encouraged him to take up music. He started on accordion, then played […]

Sonny Sharrock

Sonny Sharrock (Aug. 27, 1940 — May 25, 1994) was an American avant-jazz guitarist from Ossining, N.Y. Discography: Black Woman (1969) Monkey-Pockie-Boo (1970) Green Line (1971 • Steve Marcus, Sonny Sharrock, Miroslav Vitous & Daniel Humair) Paradise (1975 • Sonny & Linda Sharrock) Dance With Me Montana (1986 • Sonny Sharrock Trio) Guitar (1986) Seize […]

Rupert Holmes

Rupert Holmes (born Feb. 24, 1947) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, producer, playwright, and screenwriter with a career in entertainment that dates to the late 1960s. Starting as a hit-writer for The Cuff Links and The Buoys, he emerged as a recording artist with a string of production-pop albums during the second half of […]

Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Rahsaan Roland Kirk — aka Ronald Theodore Kirk (Aug. 7, 1935 — Dec. 5, 1977) — was an American woodwind player from Columbus, Ohio. Discography: Triple Threat (1957 • Roland Kirk) Introducing Roland Kirk (1960 • Roland Kirk) Kirk’s Work (1961 • Roland Kirk With Jack McDuff) We Free Kings (1962 • Roland Kirk) Domino […]

Player

Player were an American adult-oriented rock band from Los Angeles. Members: John Friesen (drums, 1977-83), Ronn Moss (bass, vocals, 1977-81, 1995-present), J.C. Crowley (guitar, keyboards, vocals, 1977-80, Peter Beckett (vocals, guitar, 1977-79, 1980-83, 1995-present), Miles Joseph (guitar, vocals, 1980-83), Gabriel Katona (keyboards, 1980-83), Rusty Buchanan (vocals, bass, 1981-83) Discography: Player (1977) Danger Zone (1978) Room […]

Patrice Rushen

Patrice Rushen (born Sept. 30, 1954) is an American musician and composer who began her career as a jazz keyboardist in the mid-1970s, playing on albums by Alphonso Johnson, Azar Lawrence, Donald Byrd, Eddie Henderson, Harvey Mason, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Luis Gasca. She was born Patrice Louise Rushen on September 30, 1954, in Los Angeles. […]

Nathan Davis

Nathan Davis (Feb. 15, 1937 — April 8, 2018) was an American tenor and soprano saxophonist from Kansas City, Mo. Discography: Happy Girl (1965) Peace Treaty (1965 • Nathan Davis Sextet) The Hip Walk (1966) Rules of Freedom (1967) Jazz Concert in a Benedictine Monastery (1969 • Nathan Davis Quartet) Makatuka (1971) 6th Sense in […]