The first time I came into contact with CTI Records, was when I picked up Idris Muhammad's 1977 album Turn This Mutha Out which features the disco gem "Could Heaven Ever Be Like This". That record was originally released off of Kudu, a sub-label to CTI. Since then, I have kept my eye out for many of CTI and Kudo's releases as they tend to have an overall funky jazz sound to them.
This fall, Sony is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the founding of CTI Records with a number of reissues that highlight some of the label's most notable releases including Antonio Carlos Jobim's Stone Flower, Freddie Hubbard's Red Clay, and Stanley Turrentine's Sugar among many others. Also to help pay tribute, Wax Poetics Japan has released a three part compilation series highlighting many of the labels standout tracks from artists like Idris Muhammad, Deodato, David Matthews, Johnny Hammond, and others. The tracks featured in the series have been divided up and placed into one of the three compilations: Dance Classics, Breakbeats & Samples, and Soulful Vocals. I find myself, of course, gravitating more towards the Dance Classics, which is the material from this label that I tend to enjoy the most. Each compilation series comes with a well crafted 32-page booklet that discusses the history of CTI and the music featured on the compilations. Overall, Sony and Wax Poetics Japan have both done their part in helping to pay tribute to one of the most groundbreaking and unique jazz labels. Here is a one of the tracks featured on the Dance Classics compilation in Ron Carter's 1976 funky gem "Barreta's Theme (Keep Your Eye On The Sparrow)". Enjoy!
Ron Carter - Barreta's Theme (Keep Your Eye On The Sparrow)