Walter Bishop - Soul Village

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Walter Bishop, Jr. grew up in Harlem and was teenage friends with Sonny Rollins, and Art Taylor. He played in bands led by Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and others from the late’40’s onwards. He led his own bands from the early 60’s and recorded two good albums for the Black Jazz label in the early 70’s. After a spell teaching in Los Angeles, he returned to New York and signed with Muse records and recorded this iconic jazz fusion album ‘Soul Village’ in 1977. It includes the classic ‘Soul Turnaround’, a track he had previously recorded for Black Jazz and Freddie Hubbard had covered it on Atlantic, but this is the definitive version featuring Randy Brecker, Steve Khan and other notable fusion musicians and ‘Bish’ on Fender Rhodes. The full album gained notoriety through thye late 70s and early 80s, part of the soundtrack to the jazz funk and soul movement of the period, championed by DJ Robbie Vincent  on his BBC Radio show where many of the tracks were featured. Walter died in 1998 aged 70, performing until the end, including at London’s Bass Clef a few years before he died.



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