Rusty Bryant and Charles Kynard lead off the new Jazz Dispensary: Top Shelf Series that will include eight remastered titles pressed on 180-gram vinyl in 2017. Kynard's Afro-Disiac and Bryant's Fire Eater are both previously out-of-print titles beloved by record collectors.
Kynard is a midwestern soul and acid jazz organist who moved to Los Angeles in 1963 and released his debut album that same year. Half a dozen albums later, Kynard released Afro-Disiac, a six-song album that included star talent like tenor sax Houston Person (a bandleader for more than 70 albums), Blue Note Records guitarist Grant Green (the Father of Acid Jazz), Jimmy Lewis (Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington) and drummer Bernard Purdie (the dude played on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band). This classic, which includes notable tracks like "Trippin'" and "Sweetheart," was only released on vinyl once, in 1970, when the album debuted. (Trivia: Kynard's band previously included blues guitarist Cal Green, who spent years in a Texas prison for a 1959 conviction for cannabis possession.)
The title track from Bryant's Fire Eater is a classic that most people have heard even if they don't listen to soul-jazz. Many hip-hop artists sampled the song, which appears in Jurassic 5's "Swing Set" (which starts with the sound of a cannabis hit), Aceyalone's "Human Language," Del the Funky Homosapien's "Don't Forget," Casual's "We Got It Like That," DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist's "Brainfreeze" and by electronic artist Aphex Twin twice with "Mt Saint Michel + Saint Michaels Mount" and (under the pseudonym The Tuss) in "Rushup I Bank 12." The song also appears in the original Jazz Dispensary: Cosmic Stash box set released in 2016. The tenor sax star recorded four songs for the 1971 Fire Eater album, which clocks in at around 35 minutes.
The vinyl reissues under the Top Shelf Series umbrella will be limited to 1,000 physical copies each. Upcoming artists in the series include Bernard Purdie, Alice Coltrane and Joe Henderson, Funk, Inc., Gary Bartz's NTU Troop, and more.