Grooves & Samples is a frequent dive into old dusty crates of jazz, funk, soul and beyond.

For this edition we return to France, in the 1970s that is. Friends Alain Mion and Alain Gandolfi teamed up as Cortex to make a record inspired by the early 70s records of Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul and Herbie Hancock, to name a few. But, as true Frenchmen, with a particularly different flavour.

Alain Mion, who already played with Philly Joe Jones and Hank Mobley, teamed up with a group of fellow musicians, namely Jean Grevet on bass and Mireille Dalbray on vocals/scat. The record prooved to be a true rare groove classic, mixing Headhunter-style funk with Brazilian flavoured jazz and heavy bass.

Sadly, they never topped the first release and the band broke in the early 80s, with only a handful of records in their discography. But luckily the rare groove and acid jazz scene, and later the hip hop scene, rediscovered the Troupeau Bleu record: while the first edition sold 7.000 copies, the reprint now has sold over 10.000 copies. Not bad for a France-only reissue! Mion and Gandolfi are now actively performing again – perhaps partly thanks to the fact that their music has been sampled by MF Doom, Madlib, DJ Cam, Tyler, the Creator, amongst many others. We deliberately left out Bob Sinclar from that list…

So, never pass a French marché aux puces. And keep diggin’.