Thursday, March 24, 2011

Baaad Jazz - Gary Bartz

I hang around a lot of new music folks on the net, many of whom just can't take the plunge into jazz....especially anything after 1965 or so. Why is that?

If there were ipods back in the 60's and 70's, a majority of pro basketball players would've been listening to jazz. Why has that changed to hip hop?

Up until the 70's, you could find a large network of jazz clubs in cities large and small...Indianapolis, Newark, Baltimore, Houston, St. Louis, and more, all had bustling scenes that just aren't there today. Why is that?

Some might say Rock and Roll is to blame, others might fault the academy for creating a certain narrative about the music that was not inclusive (ie. "America's Classical Music"), others might point to the splintering of post bop into a myriad of styles that we're incomprehensible to the average fan, still others would point to record labels and excessive commercialization. Then there's the huge decreases in funding for music programs in public schools creating fewer musicians.The list of woes and explanations is long and there's no doubt that the factors above all contributed to a lower profile for jazz as a popular music.

I'm sure you're asking what all this has to do with alto (mainly) saxman, Gary Bartz?

Well, Mr. Bartz was right in the thick of this era of change, arriving in New York from Baltimore to attend Julliard in 1958. He followed the path of many young,talented jazz musicians, jamming with young lions and apprenticing with old masters.

"It was a very good time for the music in New York, at the end of what had been the be-bop era," says Bartz. "Charlie Parker had passed away three years previously but Miles' group was in its heyday, Monk was down at the Five Spot, and Ornette Coleman was just coming to town. Things were fresh."-Gary Bartz

Bartz was part of Mingus' Workshop, Blakey's Jazz Messengers, the Max Roach/ Abbey Lincoln Group, as well as appearing on McCoy Tyner records (a relationship that continues to this day). In a short few years he had connected to the legacy of Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, two of his most important influences.

His first records as a leader, Another Earth and Home were acoustic efforts, leaning in a Coltrane-esque, spiritual/space direction. Around this time he was also gigging in Miles Davis' electric outfreakages, appearing on Live-Evil and touring the world with the trumpeter.

Right after the Miles' tour, Bartz began putting all his influences together and stamping his own mark with his own ensemble, NTU Troop. (NTU is Bantu for "unity in all things, time and space, living and dead, seen and unseen".

Harlem Bush Music (Taifa/Uhuru) Lineup (70-71)
Bass - Juni Booth
Bass- Ron Carter
Drums - Harold White
Percussion - Nat Bettis
Saxophone [Soprano, Alto],Vocals,Piano - Gary Bartz
Vocals - Andy Bey
Go get Harlem Bush Music

These first two NTU Troop records are political (in spots), steeped in afro-centric themes, calling for revolution, exhorting movement.  They are definitely of their time, but also harken back to Congo Square (music and dance are part of the same cultural package).  Somewhat dismissed or misunderstood in the critical canon (perhaps because of the vocals), these records remain vital in my canon.

Mr.Bartz continued working on other folks records during the making of the first two NTU Troop offerings and reconvened his ensemble in California (Harlem Bush Music was recorded in New York) with only Andy Bey remaining from the initial sessions, for an October '72 date that yielded tracks for Juju Street Songs and Follow, The Medicine Man.

Alto Sax, Soprano Sax, Sopranino, Voice, Electric Piano, Percussion - Gary Bartz
Bass, Electric Bass, Voice, Percussion - Stafford James
Drums, Voice, Percussion - Howard King
Vocals, Electric Piano, Percussion - Andy Bey
Additional musicians (New York) were added to finish Follow...
Guitar - Hector Centeno and Electric Piano - Hubert Eaves

The new cats were needed because Andy Bey left the band (Bey would release Experience and Judgment within a year). Mr. Bartz would go on to release one more NTU Troop Record, Singerella:A Ghetto Fairytale, that hinted at the smoother rhythms that would emerge in his later work with Larry and Fonce Mizell. The Mizell records were probably the most popular of Bartz career, but for my money (and I'll always lay down for Larry and Fonce), The NTU Troop records are grittier and funkier, full of experimentation and joy. Talkin' loud and sayin' something .

Go get Ju Ju Street Songs (includes follow and juju)

From the 80's til now Gary Bartz has continued to release quality records, mostly mining a more traditional (post bop) jazz vein, he's continued to tour, and he's also a jazz educator-currently the Visiting Professor of Jazz Saxophone at Oberlin.  You can't really go wrong in any part of Gary Bartz's 30 albums as a leader, but from the funk side this fertile period in the 70's should not be missed.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Decoding The Hip Hop Genome- Ultimate Breaks And Beats

You'll see me quote the website The- quite a bit. The site has tons of information about who sampled what, in what song, the name of the sampled artist, the album the sampled artist's sampled track comes from,etc,etc. All very searchable and cross-referenced and just generally a boon to my existence. I got into sampling because I got into hip hop and DJ's from the first time I saw the Sugar Hill Gang on TV (plus before this time my mom dated a radio DJ, and I was fascinated by all those records).

If you didn't live in New York, Hip Hop was incredibly mysterious in the early days..the records that were out (that you could find), were made with live instruments by house bands, playing music of club hits for folks to rap over. This really only hinted at how real hip hop was made: 2 turntables and a microphone..

With a little persistence I began to find evidence of "real hip hop"..mixtapes of radio shows, films of break dancing, and the legendary Busy Bee and friends X-Mas party tape showed how the DJ's got the crowd moving by extending the instrumental breaks of songs. By having two copies of a record, playing the break on one turntable, then cuing the break on the second table, then starting the break again on the second turntable, when the snippet ended on the first..over and over til the dancers were tired and eventually until a revolution was born.

The records the DJ's spun for their break beats were highly guarded secrets until Lenny Roberts, a cat from the Bronx with an incredible knowledge of 60's and 70's music single-handedly decoded the genome of Hip Hop with his 25 LP series, Ultimate Breaks and Beats (re-issued on a 3 disc-2 CD mp3,1 dvd aiff)..Just about any hip hop record made after 1985 uses a break from records included in this series. Some of the records have been edited from their original form to extend the breaks. Some of the records are awful as a whole, but contain breaks that have launched thousands of Hip Hop tunes. Like it or not, these are the most influential bootleg records ever ,as well as being one of the first DJ tools.
Not only did Lenny chronicle the DJ side of the hip hop movement, he also added tunes to the series that had never been sampled before, that would became standards in the DJ/producer world. On a personal note, these records started me on a crate digging fetish that will prolly end only with my passing. A very eclectic mix..w/many never on legit CD songs. 174 tunes. The DNA of hip hop. See the complete track list at wiki.

Here are a few cuts from the series that you'll probably recognize, followed by a partial list of some of the hip hop artists who used the cuts as samples...

Hector-Village Callers
Beastie Boys - "The Blue Nun"
Cypress Hill - "The Funky Cypress Hill Shit"
Cypress Hill - "The Phuncky Feel One"
De la Soul - "The Mack Daddy on the Left"
Ice Cube - "Jackin' for Beats"
King Bee - "Havin a Good Time"
Redman - "Redman Meets Reggie Noble"
Wreckx-N-Effect - "New Jack Swing"

Heaven & Hell- 20th Century Steel Band
3rd Bass - "Soul in the Hole"
Anonymous ft Eminem - "Green & Gold"
Black Eyed Peas - "Say Goodbye"
Blade - "Mind of an Ordinary Citizen"
Blahzay ft. Uncle Murda - "Make A Livin"
Chubb Rock - "Keep it Street"
Doug E Fresh - "Back in the Days"
Dream Warriors - "Voyage Through the Multiverse"
Jennifer Lopez - "Jenny from the Block"
Jungle Brothers - "Jungle Brother (True Blue)"
Kenny Dope - "Makin' a Living"
Masta Ace - "Go Where I Send Thee"
Positive K - "Ain't No Crime"
Salt-N-Pepa - "Heaven and Hell"
Soul II Soul - "Dance"
Spoonie Gee - "Hit Man"
Stop the Violence Movement - "Self-Destruction"
Whoridas - "Triple Beam Threat"
Xzibit - "LA Times"

Mountain - Long Red
A Tribe Called Quest - "Glamour and Glitz"
A Tribe Called Quest - "Jazz (We've Got)"
Artifacts - "The Ultimate"
Capitol Tax - "Can You Dig It"
Cash Money & Marvelous - "Ugly People Be Quiet"
Compton's Most Wanted - "Growin' up in the 'Hood"
Depeche Mode - "Walking in My Shoes"
Double XX Posse - "School of Hard Knocks"
EPMD - "It's My Thing"
EPMD - "Strictly Business"
Eric B and Rakim - "Eric B is President"
Eric B and Rakim - "Put Your Hands Together"
Esham - "666"
Ghostface Killah - "Child's Play"
Ice Cube - "The Birth"
Inspectah Deck - "Trouble Man"
Kanye West - "The Glory"
Kurious - "Walk Like a Duck"
LMNO - "Grin and Bear It"
MadKap - "Beddie-Bye"
MC Shan - "So Fresh"
Nas - "It Ain't Hard to Tell"
NWA - "Real Niggaz Don't Die"
Peanut Butter Wolf - "A Tale of Five Cities"
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - "Ghettos of the Mind"
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - "Good Life"
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - "Return of the Mecca"
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - "Searchin'"
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - "Soul Brother #1"
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - "What's Next on the Menu?"
PMD - "I'll Wait"
Public Enemy - "Louder than a Bomb"
Rakim - "New York (Ya Out There)"
Sixtoo - "Duration Project"
Special Ed - "Walk the Walk"
Tragedy - "Shalom a Leck"
Young Black Teenagers - "Roll with the Flavor"

The Champ-The Mohawks
Aaliyah ft Slick Rick - "Got to Give it Up"
Alan Braxe - "Vertigo"
Bahamadia - "3 tha Hard Way Remix"
Big Daddy Kane - "Smooth Operator"
Chubb Rock - "Keep it Street"
Coldcut - "More Beats and Pieces"
De la Soul - "Keepin' the Faith"
Dilated Peoples - "Strength"
DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince - "Groove"
DJ Shadow - "Entropy"
DOC - "Lend Me an Ear"
Double XX Posse - "On a Mission"
El Meswy - "Nadie"
EPMD - "The Big Payback"
Eric B and Rakim - "Eric B is President"
Erick Sermon - "Stay Real"
Everlast - "Syndicate"
Fu-Schnickens - "La Schmoove"
Guy - "Groove Me"
Hammer - "Pump it Up"
Ini Kamoze - "Here Comes the Hot Stepper"
J-Live - "Vampire Hunter"
J-Live ft Lone Catalysts - "Dynamite"
Keith Murray - "Get Lifted"
King T - "At Your Own Risk"
KRS-One - "Step into a World (Rapture's Delight)"
Live Human - "Quick Eleven"
Looptroop - "Four Elements"
Lord Finesse - "Return of the Funky Man"
Low Profile - "Aladdin's on a Rampage"
Maestro Fresh Wes - "Let Your Backbone Slide"
Main Source - "Large Professor"
MC Don & EZ Ed - "Party Rocker"
Michael Jackson - "2 Bad (Refugee Camp Mix)"
Mistress & DJ Madame E - "Hypergroove"
Nice & Smooth - "No Bones"
Original Concept - "Can U Feel It?"
Prince Paul - "Prince Paul vs. the World"
Redman - "Da Funk"
Steady B - "Believe Me Das Bad"
Stetsasonic - "Miami Bass"
Stop the Violence Movement - "Self-Destruction"
T La Rock - "It's Yours"
TKA - "Maria"
Trey Lewd - "Hoodlums Hoo Ride"
Tymez Up - "Klap Tu Dis"

Cavern - Liquid Liquid
De la Soul - "Ego Trippin' (Pt 2)"
Grandmaster Melle Mel & the Furious Five - "White Lines"
Jungle Brothers - "Beyond this World"
LL Cool J - "Something Like a Phenomenon"
Notorious BIG - "Nasty Boy"
Ursula 1000 - "Gambit"

Bring It Here - Wild Sugar
Beastie Boys - "Brass Monkey"

Planetary Citizen- Mahavishnu Orchestra (with John McLaughlin)
Jaz - "A Nation Divided"
Massive Attack - "Unfinished Symphony"
Schoolly D - "Black Education"
Slick Rick - "Kit (What's the Scoop)"
Stetsasonic - "So Let the Fun Begin"

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pleasure and Pain From The Ohio Players

In the spirit of Funk and exploitive album covers  I offer up, Pain and Pleasure from the Ohio Players. While the bands' history is fairly well kown, many folks don't realize their origins go way back to the late 50's á la George Clinton and the P-Funk mob.

They started as the Ohio Untouchables in Dayton,OH  and featured guitar hero (of mine) Robert Ward., later evolving into the Ohio Players, cutting records for Capitol, and then singing to Westbound Records in 1972, where they were labelmates with Funkadelic. Like Funkadelic records on Westbound, The Players offerings were full of experimentation, jazz,funk,soul, and most importantly...Freedom.

By the time they reached their zenith in '76, the Players were, as or more popular than P-Funk for a minute, but the weirdness was gone. Even the album covers, which were exploitive and dangerous (at least the man gets a whipping on the Pain cover), became just plain exploitive, and Hooters©-esque; in line with the disco age that brought the players fame, but also killed them by association.
 Feel Pain

Pride and Vanity

 Players in The Ohio Players:
Cornelius Johnson
Walter "Junie" Morrison
Leroy Bonner
Marshall Jones
Robert "Rumba" Jones
Billy Beck
Wes Boatman
Mervin Pierce
Ralph "Pee Wee" Middlebrooks
Jimmy Sampson
Vincent Thomas
James "Diamond" Williams
Clarence Willis
Greg Webster
Bruce Napier
Andrew Noland
Clarence "Satch" Satchell
Bobby Lee Fears
Dutch Robinson
Get Pleasure

Friday, March 11, 2011

(Pre) Funky Friday- Doo Wop Skeletons In Clinton's Closet-The Parliaments

Name two artists who came into music via their love of doo wop, exploded into the popular consciousness in the 70's, operated with a deep contempt of the music business, put together ultra talented bands, presented (still present) legendary live shows, used humor to make much larger points, and always seemed to be just a little bit ahead of their time.

My answer is George Clinton and Frank Zappa. Sure, some of their methods were different, but their career arcs have many similarities, including loyal worldwide fan bases and massive revisionist critical acclaim. The world just needed time to catch up with what they were doing.

 The key similarity, though, is their doo wop roots. Most folks in the 70's would've pegged Funkadelic or the Mothers of Invention as "acid rock", probably because that was the surface look, feel, and sound of their bands and the music they played. But group vocals styles were always a part of their music, from Zappa's tribute/satire to Doo Wop, Crusin' With Rueben and The Jets or P-Funk's constant reinvention of their early doo wop material in songs like , The Goose, I Wanna Testify,or All Your Goodies Are Gone, which became funkier as later versions emerged.

George Clinton and Frank Zappa used "the forms and clichés of their era and perverted them" (The Real Frank Zappa Book). Did one influence the other? If anything, it was probably Zappa that influenced Clinton..although George's genius was the sheer amount of synthesis that went into P-Funk music; nothing short of a primer of rock and roll era music from doo wop to hip hop. In the end both Frank and George used whatever freedom their outsider status conveyed on them to make some timely and timeless records, that repay repeated listens with new revelations. Long lost brothers? Maybe not.

The transitional records made by the Parliaments from their doo wop days to their Funkadelic days have been readily available, and most folks with some knowledge of the history assume the Parliament's 1968 top 20 R&B (Motown inspired, but clearly headed in a new direction) hit , I Wanna Testify, was the beginning of the P-Funk story. Truth is, George and his crew had been paying dues for more than 10 years. So, before the madness of Parliament's Osmium (1970) and Funkadelic's self titled debut (1970), there were these stabs at doo wop stardom, put together by some friends who met at a Plainfield,NJ barbershop.

1958 7" Poor Willie /Party Boys -APT 45-25036
A Side:

B Side:

1959 7" Lonely Island/(You Made Me Wanna) Cry -Flipp FL-45-100/101
A Side:

B Side:

I pulled these off the (I think) bootleg CD I Wanna Testify (go get testify), which includes all the prehistoric P-Funk in one place on CD for the first time.

Finally, here's I Wanna Testify, the first paydirt for George Clinton, and probably the only reason the mothership ever had a chance to leave this planet. Testify's success enabled George and his crew, to tour, to get sued for using the name Parliaments (precipitating the need to invent the name Funkadelic), and most importantly, to relocate to Detroit and psychedelicize into a unit capable of funkatizing entire galaxies.

Cheers to George, for 50 years of survival and subversion..and cheers to Frank for his incredible output of sonic genius and unrelenting truth telling.

(I Wanna) Testify/I Can Feel The Ice Melting- Revilot-207
A side:

B Side:

P.S.-The first song at my second wedding was I Can Feel The Ice Melting.
P.P.S.- To Explain my title pun check out the title cut from this '86 George Clinton solo record
R&B Skeletons In The Closet

Go Get R & B Skeletons In The Closet

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mardi Gras Funk - The Wild Magnolias

New Orleans Music is a year round obsession here at Funk or Die, so the fact that Fat Tuesday has passed, and the necklaces and vomit have been cleaned up, doesn't mean a thing to me. The bon temps continue to roullez.

Mostly because, New Orleans is the well that America draws its music legacy from, and the depth of NOLA's contribution to American music is more than just lives and breathes. The city has music coursing through it today, and if you are from there or have visited, you know this. A few weeks of focus on the music of New Orleans once a year is simply not enough.  Mardi Gras, of course, is an important part of NOLA culture. Mardi Gras is all about parades, many parades. One of the long time participants in these colorful affairs are the Mardi Gras "indian" tribes.

The first Wild Magnolias record ▲...Go get It
Smoke My Peacepipe (Smoke It Right)

(I watched HBO's Treme with great interest, especially the story thread on keeping the "Indian" Tradition alive)

I'm not gonna go into the cultural and historical significance of the tribes, but if you would like to, I suggest picking up the Wild Magnolia's package that was reissued a few years back. It is about the funkiest history lesson you'll ever get. In person, at the parades, you'll see these incredibly costumed social clubs marching, banging on numerous percussion intruments, and chanting generations old Mardi Gras tunes.

In the 70's a French producer who absolutely fell in love with these songs decided he wanted to get the music out to the world. He felt that in order to gain acceptance, he'd have to pair the chants with modern musical stylings. To my (and I'm guessing many funk/NOLA fans) great joy, the fusion here is with funk. Not just any old funk either..Willie Tee (Leader of the Meters-esque instrumental outfit, The Gaturs) Funk. The 2 albums Phillipe Rault and Willie Tee (Wilson Turbinton)cut with The Wild Magnolias and Chief Bo Bollis were re-issued in absolutely deluxe fashion by my new best friends at Sunnyside Records. Not only are these ultra funky albums sounding better than ever, the second CD also features a downloadable 62 page book! If you are into New Orleans and/Or Mardi Gras in any way the book alone is worth the price of admission. Essential Stuff.
New Suit

The second Magnolias record...Go Get It
I stuffed that booklet pdf in this file.

Finally ,for now,  and just for completeness sake (although there are many other Wild Magnolias records you can get of more recent vintage), here's a Funky Delicassies re-issue of some Gaturs singles under the title Wasted..

Go get Wasted

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fun(k) Facts: So...Is It Arlester or Dyke?

Happily the answer is both. When he was born in Buffalo,NY in '43, it seems like Arlester Christian's parents had him pegged as a future British bon vivant and chat show presenter,not a funk originator. Luckily the toddler had other ideas. By the early 60's he was in Buffalo's baddest band, The Blazers, and his childhood nickname (received for the way he pronounced dice when he was a pup)Dyke, was firmly ensconced. The Blazers were tapped to be the back up band for the O'Jays and Dyke hit the road. Unfortunetly, by the time the tour reached Phoenix the O'Jays were out of dough and The Blazers had to leave the bus. Resorceful as ever, Dyke and the boys stayed in the desert and made history. They cut one of Dyke's tunes for a local label, a little thing called Funky Broadway, that was the first ever record with funk on the label. JB might have found the funk sound, but Dyke named it. Dyke was cut down by street fight gun fire in '71, but his hard funk will live on.
(For an alternate take on the origin of funk see Smokey Johnson..)

Fat Tuesday: Drummer / Birther - Smokey Johnson

"A lot of those New Orleans drummers would come through, and I got a lot of stuff from those guys"- John "Jabo' Starks (Drummer-James Brown)

Some might say James Brown invented funk..some (including Earl Palmer himself) would say Earl Palmer was the man who brought the funk first, melding the New Orleans second line into pop tunes for Dave Bartholomew and Fats Domino. Still others look to cat who replaced Earl in Bartholomew's ensemble, Smokey Johnson, as the man who birthed funk. Fact is funk has always been with us, but Smokey might've found it first..(Earl King-Trick Bag '62).

Until recently, I thought it was the Meters Ziggy Modeliste who defined NOLA funk (and therefore funk in general), but a site called Home Of The Groove clued me into the fact that Ziggy (and Idris Muhammed, another funky drummer) were mentored by none other than Smokey Johnson. It's no surprise either, that many of Smokey's laid baid NOLA funk sides were produced by Wardell Quezerque (another highly underrated innovator in the soul funk field.)

Smokey was mostly a session cat, but below you'll find a few of his singles as a leader, including It Ain't My Fault from '64, a tune that might be the first funk tune on record and one that has become a Mardi Gras standard..Also see Funkie Moon for an example of where Ziggy Modeliste might have learned a few of his signature licks..
In the web link above there's a story about how Smokey and a bunch of NOLA cats went up to Motown to audition..they cut a bunch of demos, but it was Smokey who impressed the most and stayed on for two months of production line work in the snakepit. Earl King said," part of the reason why they got in the door was Motown's fascination with Smokey Johnson, who could do more on a trap set by himself than any two of the label's session drummers." I dunno if that's just legend, but if it isn't it makes a lot of sense. From the beginning of recorded music in the US innovation has always spread from NOLA north...

Smokey suffered a stroke in '93 so he no longer plays..he lost his home in Katrina and currently lives in Musicians' Village, a Habitat for Humanity project in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans.
Tuff City has reisuued Smokey's solo work originally recorded for the NOLA label in the 60's on a comp called It Ain't My Fault. Definitely worth a look.
It Ain't My Fault
Funkie Moon

Monday, March 7, 2011

New Genre Bid-Afro Rock: Cymande

Luckily for digital and dusty vinyl crate diggers, the actual rock based (or rock-like) music that is/was made in Africa has become a bit of a cause célèbre on the re-issue circuit. Psych, groove, funk, and many other styles are appearing now on a regular basis. Blogs direct from Africa like Oro or  Brooklyn's always awesome, Awesome Tapes From Africa are just a few of the spots that continue to explore the staggering amount of music that was and is made in Africa. I mean we're talking about 20 or 30 different countries, all with a fully functioning record biz, major and indie. In case you haven't noticed, music has a little bit more cultural importance to folks in Africa. Oh sure, there are impressarios looking to make a buck, but that can't compare to 50,000 years of musical traditions....At any (rant) rate,the reissue explosion keeps groove hunters busy.
The 2002 comp just above is a definite winner for beat junkies,as it was one of the first all-African artist Afro- Rock comps aimed at English speakers. Those listeners may have had their appetite whetted for motherland funk by the 1999 offering below...which has a few African artists, but also includes the bands that make up the foundation of what I call Afro-Rock. Bands like the Lafayette Afro Rock Band and Oneness of Juju were a part of a brief outfreakage in the music biz, where large, mostly black (but not from Africa) ensembles were making music that was more Afro-centric than straight up African. The deep roots of the music might have been African, but this music was all about fusion.
Wil-Dog Abers of Ozomatli: "I first heard Cymande in 1992. Cut Chemist made me a mix tape...When I first heard Dove, I went nuts. I never heard anything like it before. Cymande mixed so many styles and sounds. They laid the path for bands like Ozomatli.."
Cymande-Cymande (1972)




Of all the bands that came out of the Afro Rock (basically the 70's) era, Cymande is far and away my favorite. Formed by West Indian immigrants in late 60's England, these expats incorporated funk, soul,  latin, rock,rasta philosophy, and loads of Nyabinghi percussion on the 3 records they made for Chess subsidiary Janus Records from 72-74.
Cymande-Second Time Around (1973)

Willie's Headache


They got enough traction in the US (Bra and The Message were charting singles) that they toured here with Mandrill (makes sense) and Al Green (not as sure about that pairing), as well as, making an appearance on Soul Train. (youtube did not come through for me)

After their 70's chart run these records lived on in clubs..especially Bra which is an often compiled club classic. All that percussion sounds mighty good on a big room sound system.Check the bonus beats for the classic Danny Krivit edit of Bra)

The hip hop generation has borrowed heavily from these records, with De la Soul, The Fugees, and many more finding great use for the luminous grooves contained herein.
Cymande-Promised Heights (1974)
Brothers On The Slide

Mighty Heavy Load


If you see the first record in a Salvation Army bin, don't hesitate, it is a classic from cover to cover..but any of their first 3 albums (a 1981 piece,Arrival, meant to cash in on their club cache is to be avoided) offer top shelf funk. Steve Scipio's basslines are worth just about any price..then there's some Santana-esque guitar, and then there's all those drums...mmmm good.

Go get Cymande-The Message (Their first 3 Lp's)- Part One    Part Two

 Cymande=Dove Of Peace

* Ray King - Vocals/Percussion
* Steve Scipio - Bass
* Derek Gibbs - Soprano/Alto
* Pablo Gonsales - Congas
* Joey Dee - Vocals/Percussion
* Peter Serreo - Tenor
* Sam Kelly - Drums
* Mike Rose - Alto/Flute/Bongos
* Patrick Patterson - Guitar
* Jimmy Lindsey - Vocals/ Percussion (Promised Heights LP)
 Bonus Beats
Danny Krivit Edit of Bra

The Fugee's sampling Dove for The Score
For completeness only, I'll include 1981's Arrival...beware..
Don't say I didn't warn you...Go get Arrival

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Revolution at 8 Tracks

1. Rumble - Link Wray
2. If 6 Was 9 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience
3. Come In Out Of The Rain - Parliament
4. Bionic Revolution - Urge Overkill
5. The Revolution Starts... - Steve Earle
6. Welcome To The Terrordome - Public Enemy
7. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised - Gil Scott-Heron
8. Coming War-  Ozomatli
9. When The Revolution Comes -  The Last Poets
10. Trans-Europe Express- Kraftwerk
11. Revolution- Bim Sherman
12. Skanking Dub - Augustus Pablo
13. Luv N' Haight -  Sly & The Family Stone
14. Funky President – James Brown
15. Impeach The President - The Honeydrippers
16. Sorrow, Tears & Blood -  Fela Kuti
17. Shoot Out The Lights – Richard & Linda Thompson

Egyptology at 8Tracks

1.       My Egyptian Grammar – The Fiery Furnaces
2.       Freedom Road – The Pharoahs
3.       Egyptian Tomb – Mighty Baby
4.       Cairo Blues – Lightnin’ Hopkins
5.       The Sphinx – Baby Charles
6.       Fire In Cairo – The Cure
7.       Latino In Cairo – Salah Ragab & The Cairo Jazz Band
8.       Raksat El Kheyl – Omar Khorshid
9.       Pharoah Hiding – Junior Byles
10.   Egyptian Reggae – Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers
11.   Egyptian Shumba – The Tammys
12.   Sue Egypt – Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band
13.   Memphis,Egypt – The Mekons
14.   Sphynx – The Brand New Heavies
15.   Nights Over Egypt – The Jones Girls
16.   Egyptian-Ella – Fats Waller
17.    Prince Of Peace – Pharoah Sanders
18.   Egypt – Weldon Irvine
19.   Pyramid – Duke Ellington
20.   I Don’t Intend to Die In Egyptland – Josh White
21.   Pharoah, Let My People Go – Theodore Bikel
22.   Sphinx – Harry Thumann
23.   Egypt,Egypt –Egyptian Lover
24.   King Pharoah Dub – King Tubby
25.   Egyptian Kings – Brainticket
26.   Cairo Rag – Gus Cannon
27.   Cairo Blues – Henry Spaulding
28.   Clear Signal From Cairo – The Fiery Furnaces