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Archive for January, 2011

The original tropicana steel band - The original tropicana steel band

January 30th, 2011

Original Tropicana Steel Band - Original Tropicana Steel BandTHE ORIGINAL TROPICANA STEEL BAND

  • The original tropicana steel band
  • Peters International
  • 1976
  • USA

I must admit that I don’t know anything about this band, except the two albums they released. The producer behind their albums is Gordon Gray, the same guy who also produced Alan Hawkshaw’s Non stop Hammond hits album. And that does not tell anything either. Whatever the story is behind them, they did pretty funky job with this one. Of course not everything is funky down here. There’s nice mellow numbers like the covers of Johnny Nash’s “I can see clearly now”, Syreeta’s “Your kiss is Sweet” or Kris Kristofferson’s “Help me make it through the night”. There’s groovy but a little cheesy cover of Love unlimited orchestra’s “Love’s theme”. And then there’s funk. “Funky Abbey road” with its fast pace sounds like it’s taken straight out of a blaxploitation chase scene and there’s also kind of a break at the end too. The really funky version of “Yellow bird” is an outstanding track too. It was originally a 19th century Haitian song with lyrics from a poem by Oswald Durand and it was then rewritten with English lyrics in the 20th century. The best track in this album however is the bboy anthem “Calypso rock” that starts with a long banging break backed by steel drums and continues with some nice guitar work. There’s also another version of this same album named Tropicana with a cover of a woman lying in a beach of some tropical island. In my opinion The original tropicana steel band is one of the funkiest steel albums of all times along the first album by the Dutch rhythm, steel and show band.


Love’s theme


Yellow bird


Funky Abbey road


Calypso rock

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under caribbean, funk, north america | 2 Comments »

Billy Martin - Strawberry soul

January 28th, 2011

Billy Martin - Strawberry SoulBILLY MARTIN

  • Strawberry soul
  • Trans-World
  • 1970
  • Canada

Billy Martin was an American trumpeter immigrated in Canada (not to be confused with percussionist Billy Martin of the Medeski, Martin & Wood fame). He was kind of a star in Canadian r&b scene, but vanished without a trace after three released albums. This one, supposingly his third album, Strawberry soul, was released in 1970 on a Montreal based Trans-World label. It’s an all instrumental funk album with a lot of brass, wah wah and jazzy feelings. Songs on the album vary from laid back funk tracks to uptempo funk groovers. Good example of downtempo funkiness are tracks like “Egg roll”, “It’s your life” and “Funky feelin’”, which was a minor hit and can be found from his other album I turn you on aswell. There’s also a nice uptempo version of Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon man” and two other dancefloor fillers “Phillie dog” and “Stax”. Overall Strawberry soul is a very strong funk album. The original is really hard to find, but it has been reissued few times.


Funky feelin’


Egg roll


It’s your life


Watermelon man


Phillie dog


Stax

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 16.43, filed under funk, north america | No Comments »

Jean-Paul & Angélique - Jean-Paul & Angélique

January 26th, 2011

Jean-Paul & Angelique - Jean-Paul & AngeliqueJEAN-PAUL & ANGÉLIQUE

  • Jean-Paul & Angélique
  • Charter Line
  • 1975
  • Italy

Charter Line was an Italian label that released their pressings of various range of artists from Dionne Warwick and Herbie Mann to Arlo Guthrie and Todd Rundgren. They also released this mysterious Jean-Paul & Angélique album, from which you don’t seem to have any info at all except that there is this Charter Line pressing. Either it was never officially pressed before this or it had so limited quantities that there’s only few existing. The songs on this one sound like they are taken straight from those mid 1970s Italian library records made by Piero Umiliani or Alessandro Alessandroni. Songs vary from sensuos rare groove tracks like “Latte saldo” and the over 8 minute “Flute’s wind” to uptempo flute funk breakbeat groovers “Saucy san”, “Mooning” and the magnificent “Africa sound”. Really beautiful album, no fillers at all.


Latte caldo


Flute’s wind


Saucy san


Mooning


Computer man


Africa sound

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 23.08, filed under europe, rare groove | No Comments »

Ken Munson - Super flute

January 24th, 2011

Ken Munson - Super FluteKEN MUNSON

  • Super flute
  • Paramount
  • 1973
  • USA

Super flute may sound a little cheesy album title and it reminds me of those cheap Italian, German or British cover albums that were released by the dozens in the 1970s. But as you know, one should never judge the record by it’s title - or cover. Ken Munson plays his flute like the greats Herbie Mann or Moe Koffman, but instead of jazziness, he does it more soulful way. The title track “Super flute” is a great uptempo funky track with breaks and all. And there’s more groovers as well. Uptempo flute funk tracks “Scramble” and “Papa was a rolling stone” with midtempo “Rocks in my bed”, “Back stabbers” and “Ode to Billy Joe” are enough for a reason to buy this one. Although little is known of Kenneth “Ken” Munson, I must admit that Super flute is really a magnificent album. It always gets you to a good mood no matter what.


Super flute


Scramble


Rocks in my bed


Papa was a rolling stone


Ode to Billy Joe


Back stabbers

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 19.11, filed under funk, north america | 1 Comment »

Enrique Lynch y su conjunto - Bomba tropical

January 21st, 2011

Enrique Lynch - Bomba tropicalENRIQUE LYNCH Y SU CONJUNTO

  • Bomba tropical
  • Sono Radio
  • 1971
  • Peru

It’s almost impossible to find any reasonable info of this mysterious Peruvian bandleader Enrique Lynch, who was apparently quite famous in his own country however. And he was really productive too. Huge number different releases pop up every here and there when trying to find anything of him. Seems that he did a lot of local music and a lot of international covers. And (too) many of the songs he released were medleys. Seems also that Peru was very innovative place for music throughout the 1970s. This album was pointed out to me by my friend Dj Dee from the Redhill Records store and I ended up buying this from him. And I haven’t regretted it.

I don’t have that much knowledge on different musical styles of the Latin America or the Caribbean, but seems that this music Lynch was playing o this album is called either salsa, guaguancó or cumbia in different occasions. The album title Bomba tropical instead is clearly referring to one of the folk music styles of Puerto Rico. For me however, there’s only one song that’s over the top. Or should I say one medley of two songs. The last track, “Safari salvaje / K-jee” is a cover of two pretty well known songs. “Safari salvaje” or as we know it better “Wild safari”, was an international hit of the Spanish latin rock group Barrabas written by their drummer/bandleader Fernando Arbex. It was released in 1971 as a single and an album of the same name. “K-Jee” was a major hit by the US instrumental funk group The Nite-liters that was first released as a b-side cut of their single “Tanga boo gonk”. Besides this one great track, the cover of Bomba tropical is one of the greatest covers I’ve ever seen coming from Latin America.


Safari Salvaje / K-jee

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under funk, latin, south america | 3 Comments »

Alan Hawkshaw / Alan Parker - The rock machine

January 19th, 2011

Alan Hawkshaw / Alan Parker - The Rock MachineALAN HAWKSHAW / ALAN PARKER

  • The rock machine
  • Themes International Music
  • 1973
  • UK

Alan Parker and Alan Hawkshaw both did a long and prestigious career as library music session musicians, composers and arrangers for numerous labels. They were also both playing in various bands. Alan Parker in Blue Mink, CCS, Philamonics and Ugly Custard, and Alan Hawkshaw in Shadows and most notably in the legendary British funk band The Mohawks to name a few.

Themes International was a London based library music label, founded by Alan Parker in 1973. Unlike most of the other library labels, Themes was quite strictly concentrating on music for television and movie scores. It’s also one of the funkiset around. They released around 50 releases between 1973 and 1987. The rock machine was their eleventh release and it’s a mixture of midtempo and uptempo funk. All the tracks are quite heavily guitar driven very similar to Bruton’s Heavy rock. And these rock guitars slightly disturb me. All the tracks are actually good too, there’s no fillers on this one. The funky uptempo breakbeat groovers “Outburst”, “Bulldozer”, “Brainstormer” and “Flashpoint” from Alan Hawkshaw with the midtempo “Monza Straight” and uptempo “Trailblazer” from Alan Parker are the highlights of The rock machine. No breaks but a lot of bboy friendly music and the wailing Hammond B3 of Alan Hawkshaw, that’s what it’s all about.


Alan Hawkshaw - Outburst


Alan Hawkshaw - Bulldozer


Alan Hawkshaw - Flashpoint


Alan Parker - Monza straight


Alan Parker - Trailblazer

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under europe, funk, library | 1 Comment »

Dutch rhythm, steel & show band - Dance, dance, dance!

January 17th, 2011

Dutch rhythm steel & show band - dance dance danceDUTCH RHYTHM, STEEL & SHOW BAND

  • Dance, dance, dance!
  • Negram
  • 1976
  • Holland

Dance, dance, dance! is the second album from the Dutch rhythm, steel & show band. This six piece steel pan orchestra from the Netherlands consists of musicians from Trinidad and Suriname. It was originally founded by ex-members of the Silvertone Steel Orchestra Adolf J. Tevreden and Bernito E. Riley. After the success of this second album and particularly the hit song “January February”, they toured a lot abroad using a name The original Trinidad steel band. Along Tevreden (double tenor pan) and Riley (double second pan) the other musicians on this album were Mitchell Callender (bass), Romano Veldwijk (drums), Benjamin Joseph (double second pan) and Lucien Gorré (guitar).

The music is of course mostly Trinidadian steel pan music and the album is not as funky as their debut. There is however two songs worth mentioning. The funky soul number “I want to get down to you” and the bboy track, cover of Jackson 5’s “Life of the party” called “What you gonna do is dance, dance, dance”. There’s also a German release of this album under a pseudonym Trinidad oil company from 1976. Besides, this original version cover is one of the coolest album covers ever. The band is still active in this day, with few sons of the original members playing along. And as a merit Dutch rhythm steel & show band did the interval act in the Eurovision song contest 1980…


I want to get down to you


What you gonna do is dance dance dance

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under caribbean, europe, soul | No Comments »

Big band Katowice - Music for my friends

January 15th, 2011

Big band Katowice - Music for my friendsBIG BAND KATOWICE

  • Music for my friends
  • Muza
  • 1977
  • Poland

Katowice is a relatively small city in Silesian voivodeship in southern Poland that has stood there since the 16th century. It has a colorful history between the kingdom of Prussia and the Russian federation, but most of all it has been an important effect on the jazz scene in the whole Poland. And of course it has produced one of the best jazz albums in Polish jazz history. This album - Music for my friends - presents Big band Katowice at its peak line-up with a variety of jazz-rock fusion tracks mixed with contemporary mainstream jazz. This line-up consists of students from Katowice Academy of Music and here you can find some of the brightest stars of the Polish jazz movement of the 1970s. After this album members of the band have played in many of the most important groups in Polish jazz, such as Extra ball, Sunship, Novi singers and Swing session. Some of the musicians also appear on various German library music records.

Music for my friends is a fine example of the sound widely known as the “Silesian sound”. It’s a selection from mellow downtempo tracks to grooving uptempo dancefloor fillers. It’s no doubt one of the finest moments in Polish jazz. Standouts in this album are the really funky uptempo jazzfunk number “Hey, man” with a little lazy horn and flute driven drum/percussion breakdown in the middle, the uptempo jazzfunker “Sorcerer” and the insane “Madrox” that starts with a hectic bboy break and continues with pitched up riffs lifted from Meters‘ classic “Cissy Strut”. Not too easy to find with a cheap price but not that rare either.


Hey, man


Sorcerer


Madrox

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under europe, jazz | No Comments »

Electric indian - Keem-o-sabe

January 13th, 2011

Electric indian - Keem-o-sabeELECTRIC INDIAN

  • Keem-o-sabe
  • United Artists
  • 1969
  • USA

Ke-mo sah-bee (pronounced /ˌkiːmoʊˈsɑːbiː/; often spelled kemo sabe or kemosabe) is the term of endearment used by the intrepid and ever-faithful fictional Native American character, Tonto, (and sometimes the Lone Ranger himself) in the very successful American radio and television program The Lone Ranger. It is sometimes translated as, “trusty scout” or “faithful friend” in Potawatomi.
(Wikipedia)

Electric indian was a studio group formed from session musicians by producer Len Barry. It’s main purpose was to exploit the popularity of American Indians in the late 1960s media. Neither Barry or Vincent Montana Jr. - who did the arrangements with Jimmy Wisner - didn’t exactly know how the Indian music should sound like, so they imagined it and this was the result. Even though the music wasn’t even close to the native Indian music, the first single cut “Keem-o-sabe” on Marmaduke Records reached the US Top 20 in the Billboard Hot 100. After the success of the first release, United Artists took the group to release an album. And there it was, Keem-o-sabe.

Percussion driven music is what this album is all about. There’s cover songs such as bboy friendly version of Stevie Wonder’s “My cherie amour”, Jerry Butler’s “Only the strong survive”, JR Walker & The all stars‘ “What does it take to win your love”. Then there’s a cover of Blood, Sweat & Tears‘ “Spinning wheel” that usually don’t go wrong in any case. And there’s a magnificent bboy friendly breakbeat version of Marvin Gaye’s “I heard it through the grapevine”. There’s also another tight bboy track, apparently their own composition, “Rain dance” that has been played around a lot. Overall this is at the same time weird and really amusing album,


My cherie amour


Spinning wheel


I heard it through the grapevine


Rain dance

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under funk, north america | No Comments »

T.N.T.H. - Let’s go children of the country

January 11th, 2011

T.N.T.H. - Let's go children of the countryT.N.T.H.

  • Let’s go children of the country
  • Barclay
  • 1971
  • France

Very little is known of this French band called T.N.T.H. except that they did one album in 1971 and few 45’s and that they played really funky latin influenced rock music. The band consisted of Michel Carre (bass), Michel Gouty (drums), Pierre Nacabal (guitar), Didier Gervais (organ), Gerald Russo (percussion) and a horn section formed by Gilbert di Niro, Remi Gauthier and Bernard Buisson. Gouty, Nacabal and di Niro later formed a disco band called Final Offspring and then a rock band called Peter Brain & Brain Trick but of the other guys I know nothing.

This was one of the first records I ever bought from the eBay. I got it for bargain price because it was located in Israel and I think not that many people wanted to risk their money on a record in a country that was very unstable back then.

The best song is the well-known latin funk influenced dancefloor track “Hippopotamus” with really tight breakbeat drums and catchy horn stabs. That’s not all on this one of course. The drummer seems to be on fire almost throughout the whole album and there are no fillers at all. “Everybody listen to my song” is an uptempo funkrock song with a tight percussion/bass breakdown. “Sabbath” is a tight uptempo latin funk track with a slightly disturbing female vocals. “Every day” and “In memory” are both really enjoyable groovy midtempo funkrock tracks aswell as “The beach”. The mellow “Trying to be free” was even sampled by Gnarls Barkley on his The odd couple album. The last track called “T.N.T.H.” is seemingly the theme song of the band. It’s an uptempo latin funk track in a Sapo and Malo manner that is almost as good as “Hippopotamus”. Or even better, I can’t choose. In general Let’s go children of the country is a really tight latin funkrock album. Nuff said.


Every day


In memory


Everybody listen to my song


T.N.T.H.


Hippopotamus (parts I & II)

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under europe, funkrock, latin funk | No Comments »
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