Chester Thompson - Powerhouse
Wowee, Chester Thompson, y’all. We’ve had this record on the back burner since the last Black Jazz record we featured back in March of ‘21. Head roaster Kevin and I played this album all the time in the roastery. Each time I would lament the fact that we didn’t scoop up a giant stack of them when it was originally repressed back in 2020. But as is often the case, everything has worked out real good and here we are 2 years later with enough Chester Thompson to go around - pressed on limited and oh so exclusive to Good Thing members only clear Coke-colored vinyl to boot! Of all the jazz records we’ve sent out this is the first that is led by an organist. And it’s about time. The Hammond organ has not gotten nearly enough love on this subscription. On that I think we can all agree! Powerhouse finds Thompson in the rare position of bandleader. And what an unusual bandleader he is - rarely taking the limelight and letting Rudy Johnson and Al Hall take most of the melodies and solos. Thompson is known mainly for what came next on his musical journey - his years in Tower of Power and then 26 years Santana’s band. Jeez, wait a sec. I just realized that means I probably saw him back in ‘97. Not that I remember much from that show other than being told to eat this little strip of paper in the car on the way there and then of course the sunset. Boy, what a sunset that night.
Kinini Village - Rulindo, Rwanda
An hour drive northward out of the capital Kigali perched on the side of a gentle, verdant slope sits the pristine washing station for Kinini Village coffee in Rulindo. Our friends at Crop to Cup have and continue to invest in the relationship they've cultivated with one of their most prominent producer-partners, and nowhere is the proof more evident than in the coffee quality itself. Their financial investments, paired with a keen interest in the agronomics of coffee production have injected tremendous value and furthered potential in this small producer group, and we love when Rwanda's harvest season rolls around because it means fresh crop Kinini Village coffee. The hallmarks of this particular coffee are always its delicate melon acidity that complements its super sweet dried fruit quality and tea-like complexity.