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Second Direction - Four Corners and Steps Ahead

(Vinyl 2LP)

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Item: LDS010657

A reissue of the rare jazz, funk and fusion library LP Four Corners by Second Direction. The project of saxophonist/flutist Fritz Münzer, produced in 1976 at Tonstudio Bauer in Ludwigsburg, the new release includes six additional recordings from the band's second unreleased album from 1978, entitled Steps Ahead, recently pulled from the archives of producer and Joy Unlimited founder Klaus R. Nagel. The 2LP-set includes the great jazz funk tracks "Steamer," "Steps Ahead," "Keep Going" plus the Brazilian tinged jazz dancers "Four Corners" and "Flying Carpet Ride." All of the music was transferred and carefully restored from the original master tapes.

Amongst connoisseurs Four Corners is considered one of the really outstanding jazz funk fusion albums from Germany. Münzer is joined by Gerhard Spirka on electric bass, Val Hargreaves on drums, Karl-Heinz Merkel on Fender Rhodes and occasionally Jörg Gebhardt on congas. However, the finished LP did not appear in shops. It was exclusively available to broadcasters and foreign sub-publishers by Nagel's publisher Badenia-Vineta, for use on radio and television. Therefore, background information and visual material regarding Second Direction is missing. There is no band story, band photos or anything, with the exception of an unusual artistic designed front cover by Karl Hans Merkel. His artwork shows four stylized profile views of the musicians.

For a long time, the album remained a secret. Then, in the mid-90s, it was suddenly discovered in alternative German music clubs and discotheques. During the acid jazz revival in the U.K., the dancers at Mojo, Unique and Atomic Café not only moved to electronic music, but also to jazz and funk again. Now the rare grooves of Second Direction were on the playlists. DJ Rainer Trüby curates his internationally successful Glücklich compilations with European, Brazilian and fusion jazz of the 70's and 80's. In 1996 on the second volume, he presents Second Direction's "Flying Carpet Ride." And so begins the hunt for the extremely rare LP. High class fusion and Brazilian beats made in Germany on a level with bands such as Weather Report or Azimuth! The track is frequently played at Trüby's Rootdown parties and you just had to have it! In addition to the high musical quality, it is above all the rarity and obscurity of the record that makes it interesting for DJs and collectors alike around the world today.

In 1978 Münzer wanted to deliver a second LP for Badenia-Vineta. Under the working title Steps Ahead, it was produced at Studio 2000 in Pforzheim, with a new formation of high profile musicians. This time Münzer plays with Toni Rabold on trumpet, Pit Löw on keyboards, Chuck Tscheschner on electric bass and Peter Lübke on drums and percussion. This band also impresses with first class, danceable, fusion jazz. However, to the surprise of everyone, the tapes soon disappeared in Nagel's archives. The second LP was not manufactured and Münzer's project, Second Direction became history after only two years. With the present Sonorama reissue these lost Steps Ahead sessions are released for the first time in 2018, as well as Four Corners produced by Nagel and directly transferred from the master tapes.

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