Melvyn Price – Rhythm and Blues

Any of you that know me personally, know that I ride for Wax Poetics magazine. I have been there from day one, where at one time I had about 10 or more copies of issue one, which I traded for records, t-shirts, other issues (even with one time WP employees when copies were scarce), Brazilian mixes and 45’s. For those of you who aren’t familiar with (and it’s hard to conceive you may not be), get familiar, and catch up with as many issues as you can. This group of writers, DJ’s, collectors, and producers are the authority on rare Funk, Soul, Jazz, Reggae, Disco, and the like. Recently, they’ve started a Digital Download service and a record label, which reissued the East of Underground record (Can somebody get me a copy of that, please!). They have some new downloads, one of which is this record today: Melvyn Price, “Rhythm and Blues” on Wax Poetics Records.

Pontiac, Michigan’s Melvyn Price was making music in an explosive time in the United States: the 1960’s. While many people were expressing themselves about the War, about Civil Rights, and about the changing times, Price was doing the same through his rebellious music. The trombonist/ conga player was not happy with the political state of the U.S. He evaded the Draft, and made his way overseas, traveling and playing in Europe with just his Congas on his back. Landing in Sweden and making friends with a Swedish girl, Price soon found himself a father to be, and wanted to return back home to the States. Finding the atmosphere in the US still quite hostile and changing, the couple moved back to Sweden with hopes of a better place to raise their child. Soon after his return to Sweden, he had no problem gigging with the Jazz elite of the country. Drawing on influences such as Motown, Afro-Cuban percussion, and Folk music, while honing his chops and building his unique sound, he put out two dance percussion instruction records. However, his break through came when he released Rhythm and Blues on his own Meldor label. Price imported Latin American percussionists and paired them with top Swedish session players to create this record. It’s a record that was never widely distributed, and up until now has brought in big money for original copies.

“Behind Kungstradgarden”, a track I got to preview, is a great piece of private press Soul Jazz that is filled with plenty of percussion. Price’s choice of studio and out of country musicians (aka the real deal percussionists) is spot on. The organ groove paired with the saxophone throughout is right on point, which makes this a head nodder for sure. It’s amazing that a side like this did not make it further than Sweden, and it’s obvious why the original pressing goes for big bucks. This is the fourth release by Wax Poetics Records, which is available on CD, 180-gram vinyl, and digital download. Every purchase of the vinyl will receive a free download of “The Subway” off of Price’s 1971 release Rytmer II. Now you know I don’t ask you to pay for anything here at FMF. In fact, I give everything away for free, to spread the love around. This music needs to be preserved. Here’s something that 99% of the diggers or collectors out there won’t be able to get their hands on. Wax Poetics is offering this almost impossible to get piece of private press goodness for a great price. Below is a link to purchase it, in any of the aforementioned medias. Wax Poetics is good people, and I back them 100%. I will be keeping you guys abreast of any other great WP releases, in what will hopefully a great working relationship with WP and FMF. Keep Diggin’!

Wax Poetics Records Digital Download Melvyn Price – Rhythm and Blues

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2 responses to “Melvyn Price – Rhythm and Blues

  1. I have Mels original album on his Meldor label….Signed by him.. A personal friend in the
    USA..Anyone still looking for the album?

  2. I also have an original copy, and was a personal friend in Pontiac MI. Mel was very influential on the local jazz scene and, in fact, taught me to play conga, which I still do on occasion to this day.

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