Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Cymande vs James Mason Pt.2

Jazz-funk fans, believe the hype:

James Mason's Rhythm of Life is every bit the overlooked classic its small but fanatical cult following has built it up to be. Smoothly soulful (but not slick) and spiritually uplifting throughout, the album's blend of funky fusion and progressive R&B is hardly the stuff purist dreams are made of, but anyone who loves the deep grooves of Donald Byrd or Mason's former employer, Roy Ayers, will immediately understand why this is considered a masterpiece in acid jazz circles. Breezy ballads and ferocious up-tempo groovers alike benefit from Mason's sure sense of songcraft and his knack for full-bodied arrangements. Mason plays all the guitars and loads of vintage synths (two different ARPs and Fender Rhodes electric piano among them), so he's largely responsible for the instrumental meat of every track. And though he's a strong soloist when he chooses, his focus is more on creating luxurious textures and working the grooves. And work them he does -- the faster tracks are amazingly driving for the jazz-funk genre, taken at tempos that would be fast even for R&B or rock, with lots of frantically slapped bass from Gene Torres. Clarice Taylor's vocals are far more soulful than the charmingly amateurish jazz-funk norm; what's more, the songs -- all but one co-written by Ninoska Escobar -- aren't just perfunctory groove vehicles, but feel more substantially structured than is typical for the genre. At least four -- "Sweet Power Your Embrace," "Free," "Funny Girl," and "Slick City" -- have become rare-groove club standards, and the title cut is an absolute monster. Records like Rhythm of Life -- catchy, funky, richly textured, and utterly joyous -- are a huge reason the acid jazz movement came into being; since their virtues aren't as prized by hardcore jazzers, they might otherwise be consigned to oblivion. Thankfully, this one was rescued.

"Sweet power your embrace" Is my second all time favorite Jazz-Funk track, with "Turn off the lights" Larry Youngs Fuel being first of course (See earlier posts...)

Cymande vs James Mason Pt.1

First is Cymande's "The Message"

Cymande (Sah-mahn-day) were an eclectic band who released several albums throughout the early 1970s. The group was formed in 1971 in London, England by musicians from Guyana and Jamaica. The name Cymande is derived from a Calypso word for Dove, which symbolizes peace and love.
The group developed a subtle and complex, deep funk style influenced by calypso rhythms, jazz, African music, American soul and UK rock of the time. Cymande can now be seen as one of the most sophisticated of the funk acts that evolved in the early 1970s. By the mid-70s the band members were going their separate ways and the group was disbanded in 1974. It wasn't until 20 years later that they reaped any financial rewards, as their music became a popular source for samplers. Cymande's original albums are still widely sought-after by DJ's and funk aficionados. Perhaps the band's best known recording is the soulful dancefloor filler called "Bra", which was later sampled by the American hip-hop group De La Soul and used as a breakbeat record by the godfathers of hip-hop Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash.
Cymande was accidentally discovered by English producer John Schroeder in a Soho, London club where they were rehearsing. He was there to see a rock band but the gig had been cancelled, and he stumbled upon this unique collection of West Indian musicians. He soon signed the band and recorded their initial single "The Message." The single was released by Janus Records, a division of Chess Records. The track reached number 20 on the US R&B and Pop charts. This set the stage for Cymande's self titled release in 1972.

Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince "Live at Union Square' 20 minute bootleg version

Video is Dj Jazzy Jeff cutting up "Rock the bells"

After my recent posts of the entire "Breaks and Beats" series, I thought I must post this version of "Live at Union Square" by Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.
Which uses Vol 3 to the max -"Dance to the Drummers beat"-"Apache"-"Got to be real"...
This is not the LP version ,but a rare, unreleased 20 minute version.
A truly phenomenal performance. This was ripped from a bootleg 12".


Monday, 17 November 2008

"Turn off the lights" Larry Youngs Fuel

This video is a cover version by Jamiroquai

b. Khalid Yasin Abdul Aziz, 7th October 1940, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A.

d. 30th March 1978, New York, New York State, U.S.A.

Whilst working with UK guitarist John McLaughlin in 1969, Larry Young met Jimi Hendrix with whom he played organ on a few sessions.

He also played with John Coltrane (although these sessions were never recorded).

Larry was one of the great innovators of the mid to late '60's.

After playing with various R & B bands in the 1950's, and being featured as a sideman with tenor saxman Jimmy Forrest in 1960, Young debuted as a leader that year with 'Testifying', which, like his subsequent soul-jazz efforts for Prestige, 'Young Blues' (1960), and 'Groove Street', (1962), left no doubt that Smith was his primary inspiration.

But when Young went to Blue Note in 1964, he was well on his way to becoming a major innovator.

John Coltrane's post-bop influence asserted itself more and more in Young's playing and composing, and his work grew much more cerebral and exploratory.

'Unity', recorded in 1965, remains his best-known album.

Quick to embrace fusion, Young played with Miles Davis in 1969, John McLaughlin in 1970, and Tony Williams' groundbreaking 'Lifetime' in the early '70's.

From here he recorded two solo albums for Arista, 'Larry Young's Fuel' (1975), including 'Turn Off The Lights', and 'Spaceball' (1976), both highly collectable 'rare grooves' among UK funk, soul and jazz fans.

Young was only 38 when, in 1978, he checked into hospital suffering from stomach pains, and died from untreated pneumonia.


Saturday, 15 November 2008

Mike Pickering/Graeme Park-Hacienda 1989

1. Gino Latino 'No Sorry'
2. K-Os 'Definition of Love'
3. Inner City 'Do You Love What You Feel' (Power 41 In Control Remix)
4. Inner City 'Do You Love What You Feel' (Power 41 Remix)
5. Royal House 'Get Funky'
6. Raven Maize 'Forever Together'
7. White Knight 'Keep It Movin' ('Cause The Crowd Says So)' (Insane Mix)
8. Sound Factory 'Cuban Gigolo'
9. Dionne 'Come Get My Lovin''
10. 28th Street Crew 'I Need A Rhythm' (Vocal Club Mix)
11. Adeva 'Warning'
12. The Bass Boyz 'Lost In The Bass' (Mike 'Hitman' Wilson Mix)
13. Julian 'Jumpin' Perez & Kool Rock Steady 'Aint We Funky Now'
14. Monie Love 'Grandpa's Party' (Love II Love Mix)
15. Tony Scott 'That's How I'm Living'
16. Chubb Rock 'Ya Bad Chubbs' (Crib Mix)
17. Akasa 'One Night in My Life'
18. Kid 'N' Play '2 Hype' (House Inst.)
19. Kenny 'Jammin' Jason & Fast Eddie 'Can U Dance'
20. Jungle Crew 'Elektric Dance'
21. NWA 'Express Yourself'
22. Big Daddy Kane 'Warm It Up, Kane'
23. Queen Latifah 'Dance 4 Me' (Ultimatum Mix - Vocal)
24. MC's Logik 'Get Involved' (In It To Win It Mix)
25. Reese 'Rock to the Beat' (Mike Wilsons Hitman Mix)
26. Rhythim is Rhythim 'Strings of Life' (Unreleased Remix)
27. R-Tyme 'R-Theme'
28. Doug Lazy 'Let it Roll'
29. Frankie Bones 'We Call It Techno'
30. Seduction 'You're My One & Only True Love' (C & C New York House Mix 1)
31. Sandee 'Notice Me'
32. Forgemasters 'Track With No Name'
33. Diskonexion 'Love Rush' (Put On Mix)
34. Black Box 'Ride On Time'
35. Sterling Void 'Runaway Girl'
36. Annette 'Dream 17'
37. Phase II 'Reachin''
38. T-R-P - Let There Be House 'Untitled'
39. Orange Lemon 'Dreams of Santa Anna'
40. Shannon 'Let the Music Play' (1989 European Remix)
\Film Clip Sample poss from Donna Rouge 'Sad Song' 12"\
41. Carly Simon 'Why' \ Donna Rouge 'Sad Song' (Accapella)
\Martin Luther King "I Have A Dream" Speech Excerpt\
42. Imagination 'Just An Illusion' (Park & Pickering Mix)
43. Company 2 'Tell it As it Is'
44. Roberta Flack 'Uh Uh Ooh Ooh Look Out (Here it Comes)' (Steve 'Silk' Hurley Mix)
45. 2 in a Room 'Somebody in the House Say Yeah'
46. T-R-P - Let There Be House 'Untitled'
47. Richie Rich 'Salsa House'
48. Redhead Kingpin & the FBI 'Do the Right Thing' (Happiness Remix)
49. Digital Underground 'Doowutchalike' (Playhowyalike Mix)
50. Kariya 'Let Me Love You For Tonight'
51. Nocera 'Summertime Summertime' (House '89)
52. Lil Louis 'French Kiss' / Sylvester 'You Make me Feel (Mighty Real)' (Acca)
53. 808 State 'Pacific'
54. Sueno Latino 'Sueno Latino'
55. Dynamic Duo 'In The Pocket' (Hip House Dub)
56. Da Posse 'It's My Life' (Aluh Mix)
57. Technotronic 'Pump Up the Jam'
58. ???
59. Mix N’ Tel 'Feel The Beat' (Pierre's Mix)
60. Gary Jackmaster Wallace 'House Has Taken Over Me' (The House Every Night Oh Yeah Mix)

Another one from Shooms (Cheers mate) over at Pirate Revival.
Absolutely Fabulous...So many classics so little time.

Miriam Makeba R.I.P (1932-2008)

South African singing legend Miriam Makeba dies at 76

Miriam Makeba, the singer who became the musical symbol of the black struggle against apartheid, has died after collapsing at a concert in Italy. She was 76.
Makeba, nicknamed "Mama Africa" by a worldwide legion of fans and famed for hits such as "Pata Pata", "The Click Song", died of a heart attack in a Naples hospital after she collapsed as she left the stage at a benefit concert in Castel Volturno on Sunday.
"One of the greatest songstresses of our time Miriam Makeba has ceased to sing," said South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in a statement.
The singer "died performing what she did best -- an ability to, communicate a positive message through the art of singing".
Born in Johannesburg on March 4, 1932, Makeba became one of Africa's best known singers and while Nelson Mandela was in prison took up the battle against apartheid through her music.
South Africa revoked her citizenship in 1960 and even refused to let her return for her mother's funeral. Makeba spent more than three decades in exile, living in the United States, Guinea and Europe.
She saw her music outlawed in her homeland after she appeared in an anti-apartheid film. But she was an international success, winning a Grammy award for Best Folk Recording with US singer Harry Belafonte in 1965 for the album "An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba".
"I kept my culture. I kept the music of my roots," she said in her biography. "Through my music I became this voice and image of Africa, and the people, without even realising."
But she also met controversy abroad. Her marriage to civil rights activist and Black Panthers leader Stokely Carmichael in 1968 caused controversy in the United States and some of her concerts were cancelled.
Makeba performed for half an hour Sunday at a concert near Naples on behalf of an Italian writer, Roberto Saviano, who has received death threats after writing an expose of the Italian mafia.
"She had been the last one to go on stage, after the performances of other singers," said Carlo Hermann, an AFP photographer who covered the concert and witnessed fellow singers rush to her aid when she collapsed.
"There were calls for an encore and at that moment someone asked if there was a doctor in the house. Miriam Makeba had fainted and was lying on the floor."
Makeba was the daughter of a Swazi mother and Xhosa father.
She captured international attention as a vocalist for a South African group, The Manhattan Brothers, when they toured the United States in 1959. Her citizenship was taken away the following year.
She was briefly married to trumpeter Hugh Masekela, another famous South African artist who also spent long years in exile under apartheid.
Makeba had her biggest hit in 1967 with "Pata Pata" -- Xhosa for "Touch Touch", describing a township dance -- but unwittingly had signed away all royalties on the song.
She was often short of money and could not afford to buy a coffin when her only daughter, Bondi, died aged 36 in 1985. She buried her alone, barring a handful of journalists from covering the funeral.
According to her biography, she also battled with cervical cancer and a string of unhappy relationships. It said rumours of her alcoholism were unfounded.
While she was still in enforced exile, she performed with Paul Simon in the US singer's 1987 Graceland concert in Zimbabwe, neighbouring South Africa.
She finally returned to her homeland in the 1990s after Nelson Mandela was released from prison as the apartheid system they had both fought for so long began to be dismantled.
But it took her six years to find someone in the South African recording industry to produce a record with her. She entitled it "Homeland". 

An inspirational Artist who will be greatly missed....

R.I.P "Mama Africa" 

Pata Pata 1972 (Album)

Cheech and Chong "Up in smoke" OST

This is my second favorite Cheech and Chong movie.(The first being "Next Movie")
But my favorite Soundtrack.

1 "Finkelstein Shit Kid" (dialogue)
2 "Up in Smoke"
3 "Low Rider"
4 "1st Gear, 2nd Gear" (dialogue)
5 "Framed"
6 "Searchin'"
7 "Ajax Lady" (dialogue)
8 "Strawberry's"
9 "Here Come the Mounties to the Rescue"
10 "Sometimes When You Gotta Go, You Can't" (dialogue)
11 "Lost Due to Incompetence" (Theme for a Big Green Van)
12 "Lard Ass" (dialogue)
13 "Rock Fight"
14 "I Didn't Know Your Name Was Alex" (dialogue)
15 "Earache My Eye"
16 "Up in Smoke" Reprise


Friday, 14 November 2008

The first ever 12" single-"I'll Be Holding On " Al Downing

What’s the story of the 12-inch single?

Well, I take the credit for that. It’s a shame because most good things happen by accident. I think most things are created that way. It’s a mistake; a negative that turns into a positive. It’s like the idea of a break. I created the break, because a song modulated [changed key] and I had to make the song longer. The only way to make it longer was to take everything out of it that was music. So I had to break it down to the rhythm, but only because it modulated. Instead of it modulating once, it modulated twice. That was how the break was created.
The 12-inch? José Rodriguez, my mastering engineer, ran out of 7-inch blanks. I used to do work at Media Sound on Fridays – that’s where we did Gloria Gaynor – and I wanted to have the Trammps record cut. This was the first Trammps record on Atlantic, so I asked Dominic, the mastering engineer if he could do it and it was Friday. He said he couldn’t do it. He was going away that weekend. Ask me Monday, he said. I gotta get some refs cut, he said, well, I can’t help you. And I said what about your assistant? He said, you mean the Puerto Rican sweeper? I went crazy.
But I said to José, aren’t you learning to master? Oh yes. Fine, I said. I’ll be the ears, but you make it work. It’s called ‘That’s Where The Happy People Go’. I want you to cut me ref dubs. I liked it so much I said, I’m gonna do you a big favour. I’m gonna put your name on that record. I did it mainly because I was so mad at Dominic for calling him a Puerto Rican sweeper. It was such a lousy thing to say.
But that wasn’t the first 12-inch. I would say that the very first one – ah, I remember now. ‘That’s Where The Happy People Go’ was the second record to have his name on it. The first one was ‘So Much For Love’ by Moment of Truth on Roulette with José’s name on it.
The first 12-inch was ‘I’ll Be Holding On’ by Al Downing. It was never commercially available. The seven-inch blanks, they were out of them. So he had to give me a twelve-inch. And I said, heugh, that’s ridiculous. So they said, I know what we’ll do: we’ll spread the grooves and make it louder. And of course, when I heard it I almost died. And at that time there only about seven or eight disc jockeys around and I used to see them on Fridays and I would give them acetates.

Who did you take it to?

Oh, let’s see. There was Richie Kaczor, David Rodriguez, Steve D’Acquisto, Bobby DJ, Walter Gibbons. A lot of fun back then. And so many of them are dead now. It’s sad. Especially because these guys; they all loved music, they really did. They would rather be admired by their peers than be super-successful.

Taken from an interview with Tom Moulton.  

Monday, 3 November 2008

Jim Burgess "The last party at the saint" 1988

Jim Burgess was born on July 21, 1952 in Okeechobee, Florida. He trained as a classical tenor and opera singer, and had "an amazing ear". He started as a DJ in Florida in the early-mid 1970s and then "moved on to Limelight, a gay club in Atlanta" where he was "discovered" by Tony Martino and Alan Harris, the owners of the New York club 12 West.
He moved to New York where he played at "all the hottest clubs like 12 West, Infinity, the Saint, Underground, Studio 54, Paradise Garage, as well as playing the Ice Palace in Fire Island".
Burgess had been one of the initial three resident DJs at the Saint along with Alan Dodd and Roy Thode, from its opening on 20 September 1980.
Burgess's popularity was attributed not only to his style and technique, but a love for theatrical effects and elements, which developed from his love of opera. He would frequently create his own "sound scenes" by using the dialogue from well-known film scenes over the break of a record - as well as attentuating the effect through long mixes and sophisticated blending.
Burgess chose to end his career at age 28 with a farewell party at the Saint on 31 January 1981. During the party, he famously walked out at the peak of the night and left the record run out. Nevertheless, he still did subsequent infrequent gigs in New York, and started playing regularly at the Saint again in 1986. His actual last gig according to his partner was at The Ice Palace in 1989.

I must admit this isn't really my cup of tea. But as an historical artifact of the infamous club which inspired "Welcome to the pleasure dome" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
And another of the great disco Djs at work, its worth a listen.
This is an epic 4 hour mix cut into 4 parts
So dust down your Glitterball and...

1. Double Discovery - Can He Find Another One
2. France Joli - Come To Me
3. Teri de Sario - Nothin Gonna Keep Me From You
4. Madleen Kane - Forbidden Love
5. Queen Samantha - Close Your Eyes
6. Amant - If There is Love
7. Ultimate - Love Is The Ultimate
8. Mantus - Love Is A Natural Thing
9. Beagle Music Inc - Daydream
10. interlude
11. Donna Summer - MacArthur Park
12. Fever - The Beat of The Night
13. Abba - Lay All Your Love On Me
14. Beautiful Bend - Make The Feeling Come Again
15. Tavares -Take Away The Music
16. Salsoul Orchestra - Magic Bird Of Fire
17. Diana Ross - Ain't No Mountain High Enough
18. Buddy Miles -Pull Yourself Together
19. Faith Hope & Charity -Don't Pity Me
20. Stevie Wonder - That Girl
21. Melba Moore - Standing Right Here
22. Alton McClain & Destiny - Crazy Love
23. T-Connection- At Midnight
24. Miquel Brown - Close To Perfection
25. Cliff Richard - Some People
26. Cock Robin - When Your Heart Is Weak
27. Rose Laurens -American Love
28. Ray Vista - Don't Let It Go
29. Lipps Inc- How Long
30. Doobie Brothers- What A Fool Believes
31. Alicia Bridges - I Love The Nightlife
32. Jackie Moore -This Time Baby
33. Tavares -Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel
34. James Wells - True Love Is My Destiny
35. Johnny Mathis - Begin The Beguine
36. Yvonne Fair - It Should Have Been Me
37. William DeVaughan- Be Thankful For What You Got
38. Aretha Franklin - Until You Come Back
39. Al Wilson -Show & Tell
40. Loose Change - Darling That's Me
41. Detroit Spinners- Could It Be I'm Falling In Love
42. General Johnson -Don't Walk Away
43. Bill Withers- You Got The Stuff
44. Toto - Georgy Porgy
45. Celi Bee - For The Love Of My Man
46. Phyllis Hyman- Kiss You All Over
47. Claudja Barry - Love For The Sake Of Love
48. Voyage - From East To West
49. Gloria Gaynor- Most Of All
50. Bionic Boogie - Hot Butterfly
51. Gladys Knight -Neither One Of Us

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4