Friday, June 11, 2004

Round 4

Codek: Me, Me, Me b/w Demo (MCA ) - Pretty dope Euro new wave disco 12". B-side kills it the flanged drums and OMD-esque vocals.

Sweet Apple: S/T (CBS 197?) - Call this a rock/jazz/blues/soul effort. Some of it is Sly Stone-derivative ("I Can't Find My Way" for example) but the jammy jam is "Sweet Apple Jam," which doesn't sound like anything else off the album and instead, comes off like the best Prestige soul-jazz song never recorded on that label.

Los Mitos - S/T (Hispa Vox, 196?) - Decent, vaguely psych-y Mexican rock album that includes an English language cover of the Turtles' Eleanor" and a Spanish version of "Mony Mony."

Undisputed Truth: Cosmic Truth (Motown 1975) - Quality post-P-funkalage. Rhythm section is rubberband tight on this whole LP, especially on "Spaced Out," "1990," and "Earthquake Shake." Add in some incisive politicizing ("1990") and a good cover ("Down By the River").

Mel Brown: Blues For We (Flying Dutchman 197?) - While not Brown's illest funky blues album, it does have a good cover of "Son of a Preacher Man," cooks up a lil something with "Freaky Zeke," and does a passable job with "Twist and Shout." Decent but not essential.

Joyride OST (UA 1977) - Apart from a few decent ELO songs ("Telephone Line" is my fave), it also boasts a loopy, strange instrumental number by Jimmie Haskell ("The Getaway") that sounds like something you'd hear on a Dusty Fingers comp.

The Butts Band: S/T (Blue Thumb 1973) - Truly unfortunately titled band but I really dig their two albums. This is the lesser of the two but it's still boasts some quality tunes that would be best described as funky country ska pop rock with some jazz and Afro-Cuban influences. The songwriting is forgettable but the players are solid, especially with the loping funk touches on "Love Your Brother."

Breakout: Nol (Muza 197?) - Well known Polish prog rock outfit (well, as well known as Polish prog rock outfits get) with one of their better albums - lots of cool little breaks and unannoying organ. Props to Andrezej Tylec who holds down the perjusja on this bad boy with quality stick work.

Chuck Vincent & Shuffle: Here and Now (Smoke House 1979) - Not nearly as good as an album that boasts Wah Wah Watson and Pee Wee Ellis should be but has a couple decent later era funk tunes. Best is the Afro-Latin flavored "Easy."

Larry Coryell: Coryell (Vanguard 1969) - Hmm...Larry Coryell backed up by Bernard Purdie, Ron Carter, Chuck Rainey and Mike Mandel? This is a like some prog jazz rock, something that Axelrod should have gotten onto and make that much better but I'm not complaining. I mean, Coryell lets Purdie do his thing on a few tracks which is already a bonus but "Elementary Guitar Solo #5" is just a butter composition which has some really nice acoustic piano touches by Mandel on it (uh yeah, it's not really a guitar solo after the first minute).

The Coasters: On Broadway (King 1973) - This may shock you but this Coasters LP regularly sells for around $100 which blows my mind since, you know, it's the Coasters. Yakkety Yak and all that. But hey, they hook up on King and drop some funky soul science laced with their classic doo wop stylings. "Down Home Girl," is the best known song off of here though "Soul Pad" is nice as are their covers of "Mustang Sally" and especially "Love Potion #9."

Michael Naura: Vanessa (ECM 1975) - This German jazz fusion album sounds like something Bobby Lytle might have recorded for MPS. Lots of warm electric piano tones by Naura but Wolfgnag Schluter's vibraphone is even more prominent. Best cut is the funky "Listen to Me" followed by "Black Pigeon." This album looks cheap but the music is worth a listen.

Les McCann Ltd.: Buckeet O' Grease (Limelight 196?) - Another good Latin jazz album by McCann though this one isn't quite as nicely produced as "McCanna." Most covers here, including Joe Cuba's "Bang Bang," the Beatles' "Yesterday," and Jimmy Castor's "Hey Leroy, Your Mama's Callin' You." Playful tunes all around.

Albert Collins: Love Can Be Found ANywhere, Even In A Guitar (Imperial 197?) - Decent funky blues album feat. "Do the Sissy" and "Let's Get It Together Again."

Phil Upchurch: Upchurch (Cadet 1969) - One of Upchurch's harder to find titles. Jazz fusion album produced by Cadet legend Charles Stephney. Features sublime, soulful ballad "You Couldn't, You Wouldn't Be True." Also has some funky rock-influenced moments like "Cross Town Traffic," "Spinning Wheel," and a cover of Hendrix's "Chili Voodoo."

Dizzy Gillespie: The Source (America 1973) - Paris-recorded Dizzy Gillespie album with the funkiest version of "Manteca" I've ever heard. Reissued in the US on Prestige's double-LP "The Giant."

Pucho and the Latin Soul Brothers: Heat! (Prestige 196?) - One of the best titles by this Latin soul crew. Compositions very but the title track is as good as its title and "Psychedelic Pucho" is ridiculously good, one of Pucho's all time dancefloor smashes.

Jan Jankeje: Mlada Muzika Sokol (Jazz Point 1979) - Obscure German fusion jazz album. Has good funky moments on the title track and "Elsa Marie" but the stand-out is the too-short "South Indian Line," some exotica-meets-ill-library style funkitude.

The Glass House: Inside the Glass House (Invictus 197?) - Holland-Dozier-Holland produced soul album. Most of the cuts are just ok, but there's a smoking version of "Crumbs Off the Table" (of Laura Lee's fame) on here that smokes.

The Overton Berry Trio: At Seattle's Doubletree Inn - T.O.B.E. only had two albums but they're both digger favorites. This is the lesser of the two but it does feature a really nice, slow, funky version of "Hey Jude" (one of the better instrumental versions of the song I know). "Guacamole Shuffle" is a pleasant straight ahead tune but avoid their cover of "Aquarius."

Janko Nilovic: Supra Pop Impressions 16 (Montparnasse 2000, 197?) - One of Nilovic's funkier library outings. Solid breakbeats on "Roses and Revolvers" and "Funky Stage" is well-named but the vocal cut "Tapatapa" is the real treat.

Lani Hall: Sun Down Lady (A&M 1972) - Two words: "Love Song." Hall's version is a spacey, funky and haunting. You can find this cheap - worth picking up.

Heath Bros.: In Motion (CBS 1979) - A common dollar bin LP, this jazz record might seem kind of quiet stormy to folks but I like the mellow vibe, especially on "The Voice of a Saxophone."

Richard "Groove" Holmes: Workin' On a Groovy Thing (World Pacific Jazz 197?) - This sucks less than most of Holmes' over-vamped B3 albums. Has a solid cover of Eddie Harris' "Listen Here."

Jackie Mittoo: Reggae Magic! (CTL 1972) - I wouldn't say this is his greatest album - MIttoo can get kind of muzacky at times here but other times, he's totally soulful and funky. Sick breakbeat on "Too Late to Turn Back Now" (and for such a cheesy song, Mittoo's cover is actually totally listenable).
He's also very solid on the title cut and "WIntergreen."

The Persuaders: S/T (ATCO 1973) - Debut sweet soul album by this quartet. One of the better production/arrangements is on "Trying Girls Out."

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Round 2

Henryk Debich: String Beat (Muza 1975) - Arguably the Holy Grail of Muza albums, this Polish jazz LP is filled with tasty breaks and basslines. Act like you knew.

Galt MacDermot: First Natural Hair Band (UA 1970) - Excellent instrumentals from one of the masters. It's not like this LP is slept-on or anything but I'd put it up against the best of Lalo Schifrin (though not quite Axelrodian in its sublimity).

Les McCann Ltd.: McCanna (Pacific Jazz: 196?) - Surprisingly hard-to-find Les McCann album with a few quality Latin-influenced pieces including the fantastic title cut. This is a great, underrated Latin jazz LP.

Clare Fischer: Manteca! (Pacific Jazz 196?) - Speaking of good Latin jazz LPs, here's another one. Features the debut of Fischer's original composition, "Morning," which would be improved upon by Cal Tjader who covered the song twice.

Pete Terrace: King of the Boogaloo (A/S 1967) - The boogaloos aren't necessarily super innovative on here but it's a solid collection and features the very funky "Do the Boogaloo."

Tito Rodriguez: Tito Tito Tito (UA Latino 1968) - Excellent Latin dance album with two standouts, "Descarga Malnga" and especially the slick groovin "Descarga Cachao."

Hidden Strength: S/T (UA 1975) - Decent mid-70s funk outfit. "Hustle On Up" is a solid dance/disco cut (this is back when disco was good, dig?).

The Globetrotters: S/T (Kirshner 1970) - Mostly a novelty soul album featuring the b-ballers - it has one decent cut, "Globetrottin" on it.

The No License Required Music Library Vol. 11 (NLRInc. 1984) - Mostly cheesy mid-80s library album with two good, funky instrumental pieces, "Bu Bu" and "Mambo Tambo".

Sandra Alexandra: The Intimate Side Of (UA 197?) - Interesting soul vocal album with some truly strange covers. The good: the Isley Bros.' "I Turned You On" and "It's Your Thing". The strange, Elvis' "In the Ghetto". The ugly: "Aquarius" (there are very few good covers of this song though).

George Semmper: Makin' Waves (Imperial 196?) - Good funk organ instrumentals though the standout cut is his cover of "Get Out of My Life Woman." (Note: Semper has two versions of this song, another on 45 that is NOT the same as what's on this LP. BOTH are very good though, just not identical).

Sir Edward: The Power of Feeling (Encounter 1973) - Another one of the handful of albums recorded for Bernard Purdie's own Encounter label. Looks more promising than it turns out to be but it does have a good cover of "People Make the World Go Round," and a decent original, "Peace, K.D."

Jorge Ben: Tropical (Island 1976) - Looks questionable (the cover art is wack) but this is actually a really good, disco era Brazilian album that finds Ben covering some of his better known compositions including excellent versions of "Chove Chuva" and "Mas Que Nada."

Czerwone Gitary: Rytm Ziemi (Muza 197?) - Breakbeats galore on this Polish rock album (3 diff. songs to be exact). Quality percussive blasts.

Cosa Nostra: S/T (Raff 197?) - Kick ass Mexican rock album that includes everything from a funked up boogaloo (Pete Rodriguez's "I Like It Like That") to a hellacious cover of CCR's "Proud Mary," to bombastic original tracks: "Get Down and Do It" and "Squeeze It Tight." They have another album which is also good but this cannot be topped.

Walter Bishop, Jr.'s 4th Cycle: Keeper Of My Soul (Black Jazz 1973) - One of my favorite Black Jazz titles. "Sweet Rosa" is a good original composition but the money cut is his cover of "Summertime." Very soulful, very funky, probably the funkiest version of the song I know.

Shirley Scott: Superstition (Cadet 1973) - Lots of good funky covers here including "Lady Madonna," "Last Tango In Paris," "Superstition," and "People Make the World Go Round." Not kick ass but worth keeping if you find it (not one of her more common titles though).

Paul Jackson: Black Octopus (Direct Disk/East World 1978) - Rare funk album by Bay Area musician Paul Jackson, recorded in Japan. The sound is definitely post-P-funk influenced but not sloppy at all. One of the few albums whose rareness is matched by its quality.

Cannonball Adderley: Soul of the Bible (Capitol 1972) - The Holy Grail of Cannonball/Nat Adderley albums. It's not that it's uber-funky - for that, their team-up on "Love, Sex and the Zodiac" is actually far superior. This is just really ambitious jazz concept album about spirituality that has some great compositions on it, funky or otherwise.

Weldon Irvine: Spirt Man (RCA 1975) - One of Irvine's best known albums, namely for "We Gettin' Down." Not as good as "Sinbad," but essential, nonetheless.

Weldon Irvine: The Sisters (Nodlew 1980) - Personally, I couldn't find anything on here that I could really get into and I love Irvine's work. Rather syrupy compositions and vocals. Reissued in 1998 on Saucerman.

Jeremy Storch: From a Naked Window (RCA 1970) - Moody, folksy psych rock album. The cut to check is "I Feel a New Shadow."

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Round 1

Skorpio: Kelj Fel! (Pepita 1977) - The infamous Sarolta Zalatnay's backing band - Hungarian hard rock for dat azz. Solid shit if you like some loud, vaguely funky cock rock with one track in particular that struts with a fierce stomp. I've heard several of their LPs and this is the best one I've hit upon yet.

Piramas: Pyramid (Pepita 1977) - Another decent Hungarian hard rock LP. Not quite as tasty as the Skorpio but good enough to keep.

Kenguru: OST (Pepita 1976) - Funky rock soundtrack. It's no "Pound" or anything but again, it has its moments. Probably more of a "producer's LP" - I wouldn't play this out at a club, but I might on my radio show.

Illes: Human Rights (Pepita 197?) - Hungarian rock album dedicated to Angela Davis. Dope ass concept but the execution feels conventional to me.

David Bromberg: Demon In Disguise (CBS 1972) - Folksy country rock record with a decent break on the song, "Sharon."

Swing to Fitness (Melody House 197?) - One of the better Melody House LPs in terms of breakbeats. (And that's about it)

Yokohama, California: S/T (Bamboo 1977) Obscure Asian American folk album out of Los Gatos, CA. Mostly folk-style tunes with one uneven attempt at Last Poets-esque spoken word ("Vegetables").

Emilio Santiago: S/T (CID, 197?) Solid Brazilian funk/soul LP feat. "Bananeira," "Brother," and a few other quality tunes. Recommended.

John Cadman Trio: On the Harbour (Mix 197?) - Filipino Austrialian album by a lounge act. Features a surprising cover of the Bar-Kays' "Humpin." More than a novelty LP but not exactly 5-alarm blazing either.

Myrth: S/T (RCA 1969) - This one has been in the back of my stacks for a while and I finally listened to it - wish I had done it a lot sooner. It's an interesting rock album that blends soul, pop, funk and psych influences. I'm really feeling this - really swining compositions and the vocals, though very much specific for the era, sound good to me. Also laces you with a breakbeat on the instrumental "Myrthiolate," though the best song on here is the first one: "Gotta Find a Way." It also has bird sounds in between songs. Go figure. Anyone else know this LP? It's great, right?

The Big Band of Al Cobine: Hate to See You Go (SPR 1975) - Private private Indiana LP of big band funkiness - has a good cover of "Hikky Burr."

Michael Urbaniak Constellation: In Concert (Polskie 1973) - Concert album recorded in Poland by that country's famous jazz vionlist. Pretty spacy, free fusion jazz. Solid production pieces with bits and pieces of sonic weirdness strewn throughout. Lo fi breakbeat on "Seresta." This LP actually sounds better than I remember it.

Klaus Wunderlich: Hammond Fur Millonen (Helion 1973) - Mostly terrible B3 LP with a shining moment on the very funky version of "Summertime." DITC fans know what's up.

Daniel Janin: 12 Super Success No 30 (Les Treateaux 196?) - French exploitation album that has mostly uneven selections but the songs that end both sides are fly funky instrumentals ("Trip For a Trap," and "Fat Fat Fellow")

Joe Cain: Latin Explosion (TIme 196?) - Excellent Latin album by one of the best arranger/producers of the late '60s and early '70s.

Qrquestra Olivieri: A Swingin' Combination (Speed 196?) - Solid boogaloo LP with "Wabble With Boogaloo," and the very, very dope "African Guajira."

Leroy Hutson: Love Oh Love (Curtom 1973) - Excellent '70s soul LP by one of the masters. I know Justin's feeling this kind of vibe. The B-side is KILLING shit especially when it closes with "As Long as There's Long Around."

Freidrich Guilda: As You Like It (MPS 1970) - Decent MPS title with a nice acoustic cover of "Light My Fire" (Klauss Weiss on drums).

Tito Puente: Tito Unlimited (Tico 1974) - Nice, disco-era Latin LP with the equally excellent "Vibe Mambo" and "Margie's Mood." That whole Side B is actually all really good, atypical Latin tunes.

Pete Eye Trio: S/T (Cavern 197?) - Private press jazz album with notable covers of "Cissy Strut," and "Dem Changes." Not essential but I'm not mad having found it for cheap either.

Moonglows: The Return of the Moonglows (RCA 1972) - Doo wop meets '70s soul album with the surprisingly funky "SIncerely" (maybe not that surprising since Harvey Fuqua did produce this LP).

Ju-Par Universal Orchestra: Moods and Grooves (Ju-Par 197?) - Killer soul/funk instrumental album with some Latin influences mixed in too. Trust me, you'll like this.

Pete Moore: Exciting Sounds of Tomorrow (Rediffusion 196?) - British instrumental album with at least one decent groover with "Catwalk."

Love: Reel-to-Real (RSO 1974) - Features an unexpected (and quite good) cover of "Be Thankful For What You Got."

The Little Boy BLues: In the Woodland of Weir (Fontana, 196?) - Wizard woodsy psych rock feat. "Seed of Love," aka Jay-Z's original "PSA" beat. I'm not into the whole album but that one cut is on friggin' fire.

Crystal Mansion: S/T (Capitol 196?) - Folksy pop rock with "And It Takes My Breath Away" - a song so feel good groovy that it justifies purchase of the LP just for that.

The Son Seals Blues Band: S/T (Alligator 1973) - S'okay funky blues album with "Hot Sauce" and "How Could She Leave Me," but not much else to really get down with.

Variations: S/T (Amour 1977) - Oakland funk outfit (decidedly post-P-funk) with Perfect Circle working as one the rhythm section. As the song goes, "Don't give me no Watergate/just give me some funk and I'll be straight."

A Word of Explanation

I have too many records. They're stacked on top of my stove (which I don't use), they're all over the walkways in my house and they are piled in the floor of my main music room. I need to get them off the floor and into my shelves which is where they should go but for me, I have to do something with them first: play them out, record songs to Soul Sides...but listening to them and them filing them away isn't enough.

Someone on Soul Strut called it "the whole catalogue/archive/review and sort impulse y'all collector nuts have" and hey, guilty as charged. But my neuroses (may) be your gain. This Soul Sides addendum blog (and can I just say now - I have too many f#()@ing blogs, I know) is like the pressure release, allowing me to talk about my new arrivals in hopes of turning them into old arrivals, and thus, ready for cataloging into my library and off my goddamn floor.

These are not in alphabetical order. They do not come with sound files or even cover scans. Quick, bare bones and simple but better something than nothing. Ok?

Let's begin...