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February Chart

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  • February Chart

    Here's a collection of my February reviews:

    45 REVIEWS:

    Gypsy/Reggae My Way (20th Century 73)
    Who woulda thought, Chubby “Let’s Do The Twist” Checker could’ve produced something as nasty sounding as Gypsy. Not only that, but it was the B-side to a cheesy mix of Reggae and “Love Is Strange” called Reggae My Way. I originally heard this tune on a mix from a Vinyl Vulture and quickly went out looking for a copy of my own. Gypsy starts off with some loud “Gaa-Gaa” sounds before a funky ass drum break followed by some organ lead into the chorus with just the drums and Checker singing about how he’s a gypsy and he doesn’t give a damn! Well alright Mr. Twist! The song reaches a crescendo with some Rock tinged guitar before another very short drum break leads back into the chorus. A great tune and something worthwhile to track down as it’s not very expensive.

    Sock It To Me Part I & II (Shama)
    Sock It To Me is a great grooving instrumental by the Deacons. It’s something that would surely move a crowd with its swinging beat, organ work, and accents. Part II features some background singing by the Sequins.

    We Gave The Drummer Some/Specks Blues (Jax)
    The title alone of this 45 will probably explain why I was interested in a copy. Despite the name though, We Gave The Drummer Some is a guitar-based form of bluesy Soul-Jazz, which does start off with a nice drum break. Likewise, Specks Blues is deceiving because it’s actually a pretty straightforward Jazz guitar piece.

    Headman/You Don’t Love Me (Philips)
    Headman is the main treat on this 45 with its pounding bass and drums, and twangy guitar licks. Wilson’s singing is the perfect compliment to the music, and there’s even a little breakdown in the middle. You Don’t Love Me is a real nice upbeat Soul number to compliment the funky A-side.


    Nothin But Blues (JA)
    Jamey Aebersold released a series of instructional albums for aspiring musicians to play along and learn with. This is the second of his releases I picked up. The tune to check is the funky Soul-Jazz of Mr. Super Hip that opens up the album. The song is stripped down with just a drummer, bassist and electric keyboard. Oddly enough, Aebersold didn’t even play on his own records. Rather he was just the producer and sound engineer. The jazzy 6 8 Modal Blues, Long Meter Jazz/Rock and Home Stretch are also worth a listen, as the rest of the record, despite “Blues” in the title, is mostly a lesson in Jazz.

    There’s Gotta Be A Change (Tumbleweed 71)
    There’s Gotta Be A Change sees Albert Collins sticking to an electric guitar northern Blues sound on tunes like the upbeat There’s Gotta Be A Change and the slower In Love Wit’cha. The best moment, however, comes during the fast paced and funky Stickin with a little James Brownesque bridge in the middle. Plus you gotta love the cover that features Collins holding a fifth of whiskey flipping off the camera.

    Arabian Fantasy (EMI 76)
    David Fanshawe released a series of “exotic” themed LPs such as this, Arabian Fantasy. In the liner notes it says the record is suppose to be a Fusion of traditional Arabian Folk and Western music. You would be hard pressed to find that theme on the opening Sirocco – The Desert Wind and the closing Sirocco Finale that start off with drum and percussion breaks before going into funky big band numbers, or on Arabian Fantasy, which is mostly a fast paced soundtrack type piece. You don’t really hear any of that Middle Eastern influence until the beginning of Prelude and Blues with its zither. It gets better when the other instruments join in for a nice mood piece. Likewise, Tribute And Dawn begins like a big dramatic Big Band soundtrack before mellowing out with a Zummara wind bagpipe.

    Third Cup (Cadet 69)
    I first heard of Fisher through his Next Generation LP, and didn’t find out about Third Cup until much later. The album starts off with some traditional guitar Jazz pieces such as Scorched Earth and A Dude Called Zeke. Third Cup doesn’t really hit its mark until the laid back, yet effective title cut. The Soul-Jazz of Two By Two, which starts with a very short drum break, is also worth a listen. In the end, if I had a choice, I’d take Fisher’s Next Generation album over this one.

    Farther Than Imagination (Malaco 79)
    This was one of the earliest records on my want list. I’d forgotten about it over the years however, until I picked up the 12” single from the LP, which renewed my interest in finding the entire album. Freedom was a Funk-Dance band out of Mississippi I believe, who were a hit with both the Disco and early Hip Hop DJs, such as Grandmaster Flash. Overall, Farther Than Imagination is really a one tracker, but that one track is ooh sooo good! Get Up And Dance is a scorcher from the kazoos at the beginning to the chorus and pounding backbeat. Most will immediately recognize it from UBB or its use as a sample. The only other song to check is the upbeat Dance Sing Along, which is like the stepchild to Get Up And Dance as it has almost the exact same feel to it. Nonetheless, it still makes for a good listen.

    Magic Theater (London 75)
    Magic Theater by keyboardist Barry Miles gets off to a nice start with the funky Fusion-Dance track Rebate with vocals by Tasha Thomas and Debbie Byrd. The instrumental Down To Mirth starts off very nicely as a mid-tempo groover, but then goes off the proverbial Fusion deep end half way through as it picks up the pace and Miles gets a little carried away with his keyboards. That’s what the rest of the album sounds like as well.

    Hot Fun In the Summertime (Liberty 68)
    Guitarist Freddy Robinson’s album caught my attention for three reasons when I saw it in a Chicago record store. First, was the title track, a cover of the Sly Stone hit, second, it was produced by Monk Higgins, and third, I have three other record from Robinson from this time period, all of which I like. Good covers, good producers, and good musicians, usually produce good records so I took the LP home with me. Robinson got his start in the Blues scene playing with Little Walter for Chess, later hooking up with Monk Higgins in the late 60s. He began playing a mix of Blues, Soul and Jazz when he signed with World Pacific Jazz around that same time, and carried on that sound with Stax’s Enterprise label. Hot Fun In The Summertime gets off to a fine start with the upbeat and funky Caprice’s Green Grass backed by some nice horn work. Robinson is even able to pull off a decent cover of the Beatles’ I Want To Hold Your Hand that has new arrangements at the beginning and middle to give it his own original twist. The best moment however, comes during the closing The Creeper with its thumping bass line, funky drumming, and more strong horn playing.

    S.C.R.A. (Southern Contemporary Rock Assembly)
    The Ship Album (Atlantic 72)
    The Southern Contemporary Rock Assembly weren’t from the American South, but rather the South Pacific in Australia. There are two different pressings of their Ship Album, this being the Atlantic version. The group lays down eight cuts of Rock with a little Soul thrown with the best being Our Ship and 23 Skadoo.

    Black Feeling! (Prestige 70)
    It seemed like it took me forever to find a copy of this record in a store, but then I turned around and found it, plus Smith’s Soul Talk, the same day in two separate shops on a trip to Chicago a little over a year ago. Johnny “Hammond” Smith, was one of the many Smith’s to man the organ. Black Feeling! was recorded with the likes of Rusty Bryant, Jimmy Lewis and Bernard Purdie. It has what you would expect from a Prestige recording from this time, a solid rhythm section and a nice mix of Soul and Jazz on tracks such as the opening title cut and Dig On It, which both feature great, funky drum and bass intros, Soul Talk – 1970 that starts off with a fine drum break by Purdie, and the faster paced Johnny Hammond Boogaloo. The other cuts are easy-going Jazz numbers.

    Soul Talk (Prestige 69)
    Soul Talk again finds organist Johnny “Hammond” Smith recording with Rusty Bryant and Bernard Purdie, along with Wally Richardson and Bob Bushnell. Where the group really puts everything together are on the mellow, yet grooving Purty Dirty, and the nine and a half minute monster title cut. All feature strong drumming by Purdie and some fine soloing over Soul-Jazz rhythms.

    Flute Summit (Atlantic 74)
    Flute Summit was recorded live at the Donaueschingen Music Festival in what was then West Germany, featuring three American and one Dutch flutists. Things get started with percussion on the upbeat Fusion track Unity by Chris Hinze. The rest of the album fluctuates between Fusion and light Bop, with the best moments coming during the funky basslines of My Main Sustain and Come With Me.


    Free Your Mind … And Your Ass Will Follow (Westbound 70)
    Free Your Mind was the epitome of Funkadelic’s Rock-Funk vision. It’s by far the most rocked out, guitar soloing, drug induced session they recorded beginning with the sermon on “freeing your mind” and “the kingdom of heaven is within” that leads into the ten minute long title track. I Wanna Know If It’s Good To You? and Friday Night, August 14th are more of the same with a reverbed out drum break that would be perfect for a Drum N Bass tune. The best song however is Funky Dollar Bill with its slow groove and catchy chorus.

    Hardcore Jollies (Warner Brother s76)
    Hardcore Jollies was Funkadelic’s first album for Warner Brothers. By this time the group had perfected their sound with tunes like the upbeat Funk of Coming Round The Mountain with its searing Rock guitar solo in the middle, the slow jam Smokey, and the lighter feel of If You Got Funk, You Got Style, and of course, Cosmic Slop.

    Let’s Take It To The Stage (Westbound 75)
    Let’s Take It To The Stage was one of Funkadelic’s last records for Westbound before they moved on to greener pastures. It also happens to contain my least favorite cover artwork of all their LPs. By this time the band had really perfected their mix of Rock and Funk like on Good To Your Earhole and No Head No Backstage Pass, slow jams as on Be My Beach and the title track where Clinton lets loose with one of his long rambles, to dance tracks like Better By The Pound and Get Off Your Ass And Jam, which makes you do exactly what the title says. Of course, there are some tracks that mix all things in between as on my personal fav, Stuffs & Things.

    Maggot Brain (Westbound 71)
    Maggot Brain was Funkadelic’s 3rd album, and features one of my all time favorite record covers with the screaming woman’s head in the dirt and the skull on the back. Inside there’s a picture of a few of the band members in a rundown lot and a long essay about the Process Church as was a usual on Funkadelic LPs. Maggot Brain is a perfect characterization of the band’s early mix of Rock, Soul and Funk. There’s the ten minute guitar solo by Eddie Hazel that starts things off on the title cut, the straight ahead Soul of Can You Get To That with its male and female group vocals, the Rock of Hit It And Quit It and Super Stupid, the dirty Funk of You And Your Folks, Me And My Folks, and the freak beat of Wars of Amageddon.

  • #2
    Arabian Fantasy (EMI 76)

    Thanks for your reviews Motown - this has been hanging around my local s/h strore and I've been wondering if I should have a pop at it. I think I will now

    Shame the other ones aren't there as well ...
    Back to Neuuuuuuuuuu!


    • #3
      Originally posted by Motown67

      S.C.R.A. (Southern Contemporary Rock Assembly)
      The Ship Album (Atlantic 72)
      The Southern Contemporary Rock Assembly weren’t from the American South, but rather the South Pacific in Australia. There are two different pressings of their Ship Album, this being the Atlantic version. The group lays down eight cuts of Rock with a little Soul thrown with the best being Our Ship and 23 Skadoo.

      Bruce Highway included SCRA's cover of 'CC rider' on his xmas mix - don't think its on that LP tho (?!)


      • #4
        Originally posted by rolex baxter
        Bruce Highway included SCRA's cover of 'CC rider' on his xmas mix - don't think its on that LP tho (?!)
        Yeah, I originally heard their "CC Rider" on another mix by my friend O-Dub, and then again on the Vulture swap mix. The song isn't on this LP however.


        • #5
          yeah, sure i've mentioned Arabian Fantasy before (maybe not tho ) there's at least one play-out-able track for an Easy set... his others are weirder - The Pearl Fishers of Bahrain, for example, is pretty experimental - includes the banging of oil pipelines, and gunshots and things.

          don't miss out on Chubby Checker either - my current fave of his is Karate Monkey, but there's some other good 60s sides on the Cameo Parkway label...