Wednesday, September 24, 2008


On the 2000 LP "Broasted or Fried: Latin Breakbeats, Basslines, and Boogoloo", compiler James Maycock dug out a fantastic selection of Latin tunes recorded between 1968 and 1975 that were specifically influenced by black music such as Roberto Roena's "Canta Una Simple", a direct cover version of Sly and The Family Stone's "Sing A Simple Song". Many of the songs here were recorded in New York at a time when the Hispanic and black communities were undergoing similar pressures and could easily find common ground. Stars like Bobby Valentin ("Use It Before You Lose It"), The Latinaires ("Creation"), Tito Puente (whose track "Black Brothers" illustrates his long-standing connections with black music and culture), Herbie Mann ("Jungle Fantasy") and Monguito Santamaria ("Groovetime") all draw on funk and soul and combine them with Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian and other Latin styles to create powerful, floor-friendly records.

Below, an MP3 of The St. Vincent Latinaires covering Willie Bobo's "Broasted or Fried," with a massively nasty drum break at the head.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Rusty Bryant (1929-1991) was one of the funkier saxophonists of the late 1960s/early ’70s when electronic soul-jazz was at the height of its popularity. He was equally skilled on tenor and alto, also utilizing the Varitone sax on a couple of his albums during his peak years.

1970's "Soul Liberation" reconvenes the players from Earland's classic 1969 release "Black Talk!", with Bryant taking over the tenor spot from "Black Talk!"'s Houston Person. Earland does a superb job of building tension and driving dynamics into the mix. Teamed with Muhammad, he unleashes an irresistible juggernaut of jackhammering syncopation. Sparks, always a welcome presence, contributes his earthy yet sophisticated rhythm and bop.

Below, "Cold Duck Time."