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Weldon Irvine, for the uninitiated, was one of the great unsung talents of modern american music. A talented multi-instrumentalist and composer, he had a musical vision that was unerringly soulful, sincere and funky. Liberated Brother was his first album, originally issued on his own Nodlew label in 1972 in extremely limited quantities. A showcase for his writing skills, the extremely rare record includes such future standards as "Mr. Clean," famously claimed by Freddie Hubbard, and "Sister Sanctified," reworked by Stanley Turrentine and notorious as the basis for BDP's "My Philosophy." So you get the idea, the guy had serious jazz chops, but as a longtime resident of Queens got down with the Jamaica funk as well (in fact he tutored Tom Browne, Bernard Wright, Don Blackman, Q-Tip and other funky folks from the Q-boro). Further proof? Dig "Homey," a laid back groove that sounds like Augustus Pablo jamming with Clyde Stubblefield in a bordello. Don't sleep on the title track either, a guiro-led latin strut that Horace Silver murdered on his 27th Man LP for Blue Note. Faithful reproduction of the original cover, first reissue in a while.

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