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Melvin Sparks


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


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Mike Mele: Guitarist, Composer and Educator

Read "Mike Mele: Guitarist, Composer and Educator" reviewed by Doug Hall

On this show, we chat with guitarist Mike Mele, a graduate from Berklee College of Music in 1990 (Cum Laude). Mele is a prominent educator, and has taught guitar lessons through The Music Emporium in Lexington, Massachusetts for over twenty-five years. He has also taught at Berklee College of Music, Tufts University, Sharon Music Academy, Bentley ...


News: Music Industry

Jazz Dispensary And Vinyl Me, Please Announce A Second Collection Of Reissues

Jazz Dispensary And Vinyl Me, Please Announce A Second Collection Of Reissues

Jazz Dispensary is thrilled to partner with Vinyl Me, Please for a second installment of album reissues, following our inaugural collaboration, in 2020. This latest bundle continues our sonic journey with four cosmically funky catalog gems from the early to mid-’70s. The reissues include Bayeté’s boundary-pushing debut, Worlds Around the Sun; Gary Bartz’s uplifting The Shadow ...


Article: Album Review

Atis Andersons Organ Trio: Organic City

Read "Organic City" reviewed by Mark Corroto

With Hammond organ trios in the 21st century, everything old is new again, except in Latvia where Atis Andersons presents the very first Latvian Hammond organ trio recording in that country's history. Kudos to Andersons, guitarist Āris Ozols, and drummer Andris Buiķis, because Organic City fits perfectly into the traditions of soul, funk, and rock. Their ...


Article: Take Five With...

Take Five with Ron Jackson

Read "Take Five with Ron Jackson" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Meet Ron Jackson: World-renowned, Seven String Jazz Guitarist, composer, and arranger, Ron Jackson has performed, recorded, and taught music in over 30 countries. Jackson is likely the only African American seven-string jazz guitarist alive. His goal is to bring awareness to the instrument through education, music, and events. As a musician, Jackson has been ...

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 ...


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


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 ...


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 ...


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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