On The Turntable: T.J. Hustler November 01 2017

T.J. Hustler Metaphysical Synthesized Orchestra is the work of one Tim Jones, a Bay Area soul and funk scene veteran who had previously released two 45s in the early '70s as part of the group Dawn And Sunset and an LP in 1975 as leader of The Mysterious Minds. Though Jones plays a keyboard instrument of his own creation (The Brass Orchestra Cabinet) on The Mysterious Minds LP, none of his previous work could possibly predict the visionary brilliance that is 1979's Age Of Individualism. A concept album performed entirely by Jones and his ventriloquist dummy partner, the titular T.J. Hustler. Age of Individualism is part party record, part philosophical manifesto, part self-actualization workshop, part comedy routine.

Originally released as a double 12" (one at 33 rpm, one at 45) Age Of Individualism is 4 side long tracks of lo-fi synthesizer and drum machine funk that rival anything on the now legendary Personal Space compilation of electronic soul. We're hesitant to label T.J. Hustler as outsider music because, while the record is extremely personal in its creation and vision, Jones performed regularly with his ventriloquist dummy in a traveling show at the time, and continues to perform live bookings to this day. The original packaging of Age Of Individualism was two cardboard covers bound together by a length of yarn, the idea being that this was the first volume of his personal statement and there would be many more volumes released which you would be able to house in the same package by loosening the yarn and widening the spine. While Jones only released this lone document on vinyl, he has continued making music under the Preacherman moniker and has released keyboard instructional videos, all of which is highly recommended. On Preacherman's CD Baby page it says "Recommended if you like: Fairytale Rap, Philosophy Funk, Sun Ra Dianetics" and that sounds about right to us.

Age Of Individualism has been lovingly reissued by our friends at Companion Records, so you know that the utmost care has been put into the sound quality and packaging. Released in a limited edition of 500 copies, this probably won't last long.

Get it here