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John Heartsman and Circles

Music of My Heart

(Jazzman; US: 19 Jan 2010; UK: Import)

It really is unbelievable—the money some people will play for a piece of vinyl. I collect albums as voraciously as any crate digger worth his salt, but I mean, seriously. Original copies of this private press double LP from 1977 by Sacramento blues/soul/jazz badass John Heartsman and his group Circles sold for $5,000 on eBay on two separate occasions. Now I understand there are some seriously funky drum breaks on here, but for five grand? Now unless you are some kind of multi-millionaire collector or bigtime producer whose view of such a large sum of money is as flimsy as a fiver to us working class folk, how could one honestly invest such a giant chunk of change for a record when that money could go to a kid’s college tuition or a new kitchen for the old homestead? Well, those two individuals who blew through half a mint to acquire first run copies of Music of My Heart must have really caught a major case of buyer regret upon the release of this reissue courtesy of Jazzman Records as part of their Holy Grail series. But lucky for us diggers who are on an austerity budget, it is great to know we can pick up this great lost slice of mid-‘70s soul music, which sounds like a small club jam session between Lowell Fulson (for whom Heartsman served as a sideman), Isaac Hayes and Volunteered Slavery-era Rahsaan Roland Kirk, for a far more reasonable price.


Ron Hart is currently enjoying his 11th year as a professional music journalist. In addition to PopMatters, he has also written for such publications as CMJ,,, The Village Voice, Gear, Paper, SHOUT NY,, Blender, Yellow Rat Bastard, Good Times, Paste, and among others. He is also the editor and publisher of the Interboro Rock Tribune, a free NYC music zine now in its 6th year in print. Please give us traffic on our website at

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