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Musician

Melvin Sparks

Born:

Melvin Sparks is the Essential Guitar Player! He’s The Master Of The Groove! The Acid-Jazz Pioneer! The Originator of Soul Jazz, Old School Acid Jazz & BarbecueFunk(FUNKJAZZ) Over the last thirty years he has played with some of Jazz’s greatest musicians: David "Fathead" Newman, Lou Donaldson, Hank Crawford, Reuben Wilson and John Patton (are amongst the many). During the 1970s, Sparks backed up Lou Donaldson on the Funk-Jazz classics "Everything I Play Is Funky" and "Hot Dog". Sparks recorded seven albums of his own and played on over 100 other albums. As a session man for Blue Note and Prestige Records, Sparks laid his signature guitar work on many other musician’s albums without ever being in spotlight

News: Video / DVD

Melvin Sparks: Sparks!

Melvin Sparks: Sparks!

In the late 1960s and early '70s, Prestige assembled a studio band that specialized in a new form of soul-jazz dominated by organ and horns. To keep everyone in the ensemble happy and to meet the label's production quotas, individual musicians in the band took turns as session leaders. The need for an efficient and prolific ...

Album

Live at Nectar’s

Label: One Note Records
Released: 2017
Track listing: Miss Riverside; Ain't No Woman (Like The One I Got); Fire Eater; Cranberry Sunshine; Breezin'; Whip! Whop!; Thank You; Hot Dog

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Article: Album Review

Melvin Sparks: Live at Nectar’s

Read "Live at Nectar’s" reviewed by Joe Gatto


A cool thing about music is that when you follow a band for a long time, you eventually get turned on to the music that influenced them. You get to hear all kinds of exciting new music, and start digging deep, going down groovy rabbit holes to discover great musicians you might not find on your ...

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News: Recording

Melvin Sparks: Live at Nectar's

Melvin Sparks: Live at Nectar's

Just three months before guitarist Melvin Sparks died on March 15, 2011 at age 64, he recorded at a club in Burlington, Vt., called Nectar's, a club that's still there today (go here). Sparks was backed by members of his working trio—organist Beau Sasser and drummer Bill Carbone. But on this night, he added alto saxophonist ...

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Article: My Blue Note Obsession

Reuben Wilson: Blue Mode – 1969

Read "Reuben Wilson: Blue Mode – 1969" reviewed by Marc Davis


1969 was the grooviest year in a very groovy decade. The Beatles, on the verge of a breakup, urged everyone to get back and come together. The Temptations couldn't get next to you. And Sly Stone took everyone higher at Woodstock. At that very moment, in the waning days of 1969, Reuben Wilson funked ...

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Article: Album Review

Tony Monaco: Furry Slippers

Read "Furry Slippers" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Through nine releases, primarily from his home studio in jny: Columbus, Ohio, Tony Monaco has proved that he's a solid link in the hip Hammond B-3 organ chain that reaches from contemporaries such as Wil Blades and Joey DeFrancesco all the way back to Jimmy Smith and other founders of the Hammond groove. At a recent ...

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Article: From the Inside Out

Checking in from Global Outposts

Read "Checking in from Global Outposts" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Atlas Maior Palindrome Self Produced 2014 Open the package for Atlas Maior's debut CD and here's the first line you read: “Palindrome was completely improvised and recorded live with no overdubs." How you respond to these words will greatly shape how you respond to this music. A ...

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Article: Album Review

Wil Blades: Field Notes

Read "Field Notes" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


It's good to know that no matter how many things change around us, there's still nothing that kicks out the jams like a good old school B-3 organ, guitar and drum trio. Wil Blades provides an excellent case study in groove. Throughout the past fifteen years, this B-3 bombardier has worked with blues and ...

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Article: From the Inside Out

What a Wonderful World (of Music)

Read "What a Wonderful World (of Music)" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Wil Blades Field Notes Royal Potato Family 2014 It's good to know that no matter how many things change around us, there's still nothing that kicks out the jams like a good old school B-3 organ, guitar and drum trio. Wil Blades provides an excellent case study ...


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