Various Artists

Stoned Soul Picnic: Illicit Grooves from the Atlantic and Warner Vaults

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Stoned Soul Picnic documents the brief but brilliant union of jazz, funk, and psychedelia that culminated on Atlantic during the late '60s and early '70s, a remarkable fusion of sound and sensibility that left jazz purists aghast but in fact pushed the music into uncharted new territory that sounds even better and more prescient decades after the fact. Informed to varying degrees by the hippie counterculture, radical politics, and African rhythms and spirituality, this music is a cosmic explosion of wah-wah guitars, celestial keyboards, sinuous drums, and deeply propulsive basslines -- it's jazz that pays equal attention to the listener's mind, body, and soul in one fell swoop. Highlights include Roy Ayers' title cut, David Newman's "Pharaoh's Gold," Don Cherry's "Universal Mother," and Cold Blood's "Shop Talk."

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