Hand picked records important to the history of Soul Strut.
Ranked #72 in the Soul Strut 200
Here is yet another fellow who has been plucked from obscurity and enjoyed a career revival thanks to the discerning taste and archaeological drive of some crate diggers and hip hop producers.
In the 1970s, Cassell was a struggling Bay area musician/songwriter who subscribed to a then rare DIY approach. He self financed a couple records of soulful jazzy pop a la Steely Dan that faded away into obscurity later to be rediscovered by vinyl crate diggers looking for interesting music that never made it on to major labels.
Pieces has become one of the most sought after rare vinyl records of the past couple years thanks to a featured spot on Kon and Amir's Kings of Digging comp and Madlib's sample of "Heaven" for a Madvillian track. The album very smooth sounding, maybe tepid to some, but it's really a record you can put on in the background and not notice it's even playing. It's very pleasing to the ears, yet there are some tracks that demand your attention namely, "In My life" that segways into a break beat treat, the Rhodes riddled, upbeat jazz disco tune "Heaven", the Spanish-tinged "Another Day Gone," and much more.
Stonesthrow records has gotten with the program and reissued Cassell's work, packaged in a complete retrospective conveniently available on iTunes.