Thursday, May 28, 2009
Another brilliant 45 from the kings of contemporary Afro-Soul, "Bushwick Lullaby" is a highly syncopated, slow-paced, sinewy 6/8 groove from the Menahan Street Band. Featuring dark, atmospheric horns and a haunting piano countermelody, the track has a unique flavor all its own, and makes me eager for their next full-length LP.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
American Soul and Funk music has always been an important influence on Jamaican Reggae. The beginning of the Jamaican recording industry at the end of the 1950s started with Clement "Coxsone" Dodd (owner of Studio One) and a group of select in-house musicians (originally The Skatalites) recording their own version of American R&B. Playing on the off-beat, this music became Ska. As American R&B progressed through Funk, Soul and Disco, Jamaican music was going through its own musical changes, from Rocksteady to Reggae and Roots music. The house-band at Studio One recorded on a daily basis behind all Studio One vocalists as well as recording instrumentally in their own right.
At the end of the 1960s, as Black and Socially Conscious music became an important part of American Soul music, many Jamaican artists were starting to look to their roots, and indeed, many artists would eventually become involved in Rastafarianism. Senior Soul's version of Syl Johnson's "Is It Because I'm Black" (from 1969's A Scorcha From Studio One) is a prime example of the evolution of both Studio One and Jamaican racial consciousness.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Another heaping batch of 20 dusty nuggets, featuring some classic soul, heavy R&B, deep funk, dancefloor jazz, rare groove, hip-hop, breaks, Afrobeat, and various assorted oddities from the crates that you all have come to love and crave. Don't even try to fight it.
So without further ado, by all means: go ahead and hit it like a whiskey bottle at an Irish wake.
1-Introduction:Basic Hip/Del Close & John Brent
3-Maybe Your Baby/Nazty
4-Survival of the Freshest/Poets of Rhythm
5-Untitled/MRR-ADM Featuring Malcolm Catto
6-Soul Donkey/Sugarman Three
8-BBC Rhythm & Blues Interlude
9-Get My Hands On Some Lovin'/The Artistics
10-No Wires Needed!
11-Yo Traigo Boogaloo/Alfredo Linares Y Su Sonora
12-Dem Niggers Ain't Playing/Watts Prophets
13-Rap It Together & Funky Crawl/Detroit Sex Machines(J. Rocc Edit)
14-Danger Buds/Chris Joss
16-I Can Deal With That/Dee Edwards
17-Welcome to Nigeria...
19-Man The Galley/Blockhead
Running Time: 52 Minutes
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
More raw funk from Finland (some great stuff coming out of that country), featuring the ferocious sounds of Mighty Mo & The Winchester Seven putting a raw, deep funk twist on the classic Grandmaster Flash anthem "The Message."
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
A great 1973 release on the Groove Merchant label, Ramon Morris' Sweet Sister Funk is reminiscent of Donald Byrd's Ethiopian Knights because it has the perfect blend of jazz & funk. The real goodies are: "First Come, First Serve", "Sweet Sister Funk", "Sweat" and "Lord Sideways". The import price is up there, but if you are into jazz/funk or soul-jazz from 1967-1974 then I would say this is not only essential, but a great rare find. Grab it while you can.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Elis Regina Carvalho Costa, known simply as Elis Regina (March 17, 1945 – January 19, 1982) was one of the most accomplished and acclaimed Brazilian singers of her time.
In 1969, she made arguably her best record, Elis Regina in London. The amazing thing about this recording is that English musicians' union regulations required them to perform with Elis singing -- not with her adding her track to theirs. The producers had only met her a few days before, having planned the session after an earlier tour Elis had made to Europe. Elis' skills enabled them to record this album -- orchestra and Elis singing together -- in one day.
The LP features wonderful arrangements conducted by Peter Knight (who also did Moody Blues' "Days of Future Passed"). The fact that she could fly over to London and put together an LP with supremely talented musicians in only one day (two half-day sessions) is proof of their stellar talents.
Below, the classic track "Zazueira" with some brilliant piano work by Antonio Adolfo.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Brazilian composer Walter Branco fuses two classics from Mandrill - "Fence Walk" and "Mango Meat" - to give us a single latin-funk bomb, complete with fat open drum intro. A worthy addition to the Dynamite Soul series and another essential for all funk, soul and break-beat junkies.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
"The Latin funk band Dyna-Might evolved from East L.A.'s Mickey & The Invaders. In 1969, the band was discovered by KHJ Boss Jocks “Humble Harv” Miller (who can be heard as the MC on the Seeds Raw and Alive LP) and Charlie O’Donnell and changed their name to Dyna-Might.
They recorded one single for the Congress label before signing with Uni and recording "Borracho" (that’s Humble Harv saying “Booooorrrachooo!” – Spanish for “drunk” – throughout the tune). The tune, a hard hitting slice of Latin funk, is also a Hammond groover of the first order." (Courtesy Funky16Corners)
Monday, May 11, 2009
The legendary, troubled Parliament/Funkadelic guitarist Eddie Hazel made only a few albums with George Clinton's collective, which makes his 1977 LP Games, Dames, & Guitar Thangs all the more precious. Hazel is joined by the P-Funk rhythm section as well as the singers of the Brides of Funkenstein on a mostly instrumental collection that contains some incendiary soloing, notably on covers of the Mamas & The Papas' "California Dreaming" and the Beatles' "I Want You (She's So Heavy)."
Below, the track "What About It?"
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Chess Records may not have had the grit of Stax or the impact of Motown when it came to soul, but the label certainly had its share of success. Between 1961 and 1971, chart-toppers like Etta James, Fontella Bass, Little Milton, and the Dells kept enough money rolling in to leverage the stronger, but weaker-selling, blues side of Chess.
Although they were one of the more obscure acts on the label, The Kolettes' song "Who's That Guy" still holds up as a killer of 45 of some quintessentially funky, hard hitting, female Chicago soul.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
A classic, rare funk 45 from 1969 by Gus "The Groove" Lewis released on Allen Touissant/Marshall Sehorn's Tousea Label. "Let the Groove Move You" has all the elements of a great Funk 45: heavy drum breaks, punchy horn stabs, dirty guitar, an incredible rhythm section--not to mention Gus' charismatic, soulful vocals.
The groove is still moving us plenty, even 40 years later. Thanks Gus (and your incredible band).
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Bandleader/percussionist (timbales, conga, bongo, maracas, etc) Rafael Cortijo passed away in 1983, but his legacy looms large over the world of Latin music.
In the 50s, with his Combo, he pioneered a modernized brass and saxophone-led danceband form of the Puerto Rican music and dance idioms, bomba and plena. In the mid-50s he recorded his first number "El Bombon de Elena" on the Seeco label with singer Ismael Rivera, then vocalist with Orquesta Panamericana. He eventually switched to the Gema label and released a series of albums. After being imprisoned for a drug offense in 1962, members of his combo, led by pianist Rafael Ithier, split to become El Gran Combo.
In 1966, Rafael organized a new group called Cortijo y su Bonche and eventually debuted with them on the classic LP Sorongo. The album is an amazing blend of Latin soul, Afro-Cuban, Salsa, and Boogaloo styles, and the title track bears witness to that.
(Thanks to the Rafael Cortijo page at Geocities.)