Soul Jazz Records Presents: Chicago Soul (Various Artists) (LP)
Electric Blues, Funk and Soul: The New Sound of Chicago
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New edition of this classic set of funk and soul from Chicago's legendary Chess Records. The 2xLP comes on heavyweight loud vinyl with full accompanying sleevenotes.
Soul Jazz Records latest release features classic and rare electric blues, funk and psychedelic soul music recorded in Chicago in the 1960s.
Chess Records, the infamous soul, blues and jazz powerhouse record company in Chicago was, in the 1960s, one of the main rivals to Motown in neighbouring Detroit and Atlantic Records in New York in its relentless charting of black music in the US charts. Owned by Leonard and Phil Chess, two Polish immigrants, the label brought Chicago’s urban black music to the masses on a huge scale.
Later Leonard’s son Marshall took the label in new directions, first by courting rock artists such as the Rolling Stones to record at the studios and then in the late 60s releasing genre defying radical psychedelic and experimental rock and funk releases by blues legends Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and the progressive Rotary Connection, featuring a young vocalist Minnie Riperton, originally a secretary at the company.
After the closing of Chess in the 1970s, Marshall went on to launch Rolling Stones Records with the legendary group.
The label was recently the subject of two Hollywood films, ‘Who Do You Love’ and 'Cadillac Records', as well as both a BBC4 television documentary and a four-part BBC6 radio documentary celebrating the story of this amazing independent label that took on the mighty giants of soul music in the 1960s.
This edition showcases a stunning selection of the radical funk, psychedelic soul, rock and jazz tracks recorded for Chess mostly under the production of the genius composer arranger Charles Stepney or Richard Evans and the direction of Marshall Chess. Stepney would later become partners with Maurice White producing seminal Earth, Wind and Fire albums in the 1970s. White was both founder of E,W and F and pert of the regular in-house players at Chess in the 1960s (as a drummer).
Other regulars included the crack team of Pete Cosey (who later played with Miles Davis), Louis Saterrsfield (another future E,W and F member) and Phil Upchurch. Chess's position on the south side of Chicago led to many musical connections with the jazz scene of the AACM, a link that continued even though the music released on the label was solidly dance-led throughout.