Monk Higgins - Extra Soul Perception LPReal Gone Music
Sax session man on records by Bobby "Blue" Bland, Barbara Acklin, the 5 Dutones, Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band, Alvin Cash, Otis Clay, and just about any soul artist who cut for Chess in the mid-'60s, Milt Bland a.k.a. Monk Higgins is not what you would call a household name, but hip hop crate diggers know him well; his catalog's been sampled about 250 times! Higgins recorded as a bandleader for the Dunhill, United Artists, and Buddah labels, but without a doubt the most hotly sought after album he ever made was Extra Soul Perception, the one-off record he cut in 1968 for the Solid State label, the United Artists jazz imprint started by jazz arranger Manny Albam, producer Sonny Lester, and legendary engineer Phil Ramone. Backed by a crack band consisting of guitarist Arthur Adams and drummer John Guerin (probably best known for his work on Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark) among other accomplished session cats, Higgins' warm, earthy tenor tackles a mixture of originals and funk-infused covers of songs like "Little Green Apples" and "Canadian Sunset," deftly threading the needle between commercial and uncompromising throughout. The result: a soul jazz classic that trades for as much as $90 on the used vinyl market. For its first-ever vinyl repress, we have preserved the unusual "unipak" design of the original LP, and have pressed up 1000 copies in limited edition translucent blue vinyl; and for its CD debut, we've added liner notes by Skip Heller that place Higgins and this album in the broader context of '60s and '70s jazz and R&B. Remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision, and released on our co-branded Real Gone Music/Dusty Groove imprint, this is some of the tastiest stuff we've ever reissued!