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Ahmad Nawab - Hapuslah airmata mu

October 30th, 2011

Ahmad Nawab - Hapuslah Airmata MuAHMAD NAWAB

  • Hapuslah airmata mu
  • Sabah Film
  • 1976
  • Malaysia

Hapuslah airmata mu is a 1976 Malaysian musical movie starring singer Sharifah Aini. It’s about a countryside girl moving to Kuala Lumpur to start a professional singing career. Because it’s a happy movie, she of course succeeds with her aim and becomes a star, but at the same time forgetting her family and old friends. I’m not personally a big fan of musical movies, but there’s some really funky parts on this one. As proves the soundtrack too. The soundtrack was composed by Ahmad Nawab (officially Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Khan Nawab Khan), a very well know Malaysian composer and saxophonist. Well at least he’s very famous in his homeland. 1933 born Nawab has done over 2000 compositions and produced over 200 albums during his long career and he’s still active today. The vocal performances here are made by Broery Marantika, Deddy M. Borhan, Junainah Amin and the star of the film Sharifah Aini.


Sharifah Aini’s “Yang di tunggu tak tiba” performance from the film

Musically the soundtrack is a mixture of instrumental funk, funky Malaysian pop, folk pop and ballads. And there’s few standout tracks worth to mention. Funky uptempo pop numbers “Yang di tunggu tak tiba” with vocals by Sharifah Aini and “Seiring jalan” with vocals by Broery Marantika along Sharifah Aini. Another uptempo funky track is “Kau di sayang” with really catchy vocals by Junainah Amin. It’s got a really funky beat and even has a break in the beginning. In my opinion the best track is the midtempo instrumental “Regent club” with a lots of wah wah, funky beats and Nawab’s saxophone works. This album was a really positive surprise for me as I didn’t know what to expect when I bought this. I definitely got to get more of Nawab’s albums to my shelf.


Seiring jalan


Kau di sayang


Regent club

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under 1317, asia, funk, soundtrack, world | No Comments »

Osamu Shoji - Star wars

October 27th, 2011

Osamu Shoji - Star WarsOSAMU SHOJI

  • Star wars
  • Warner-Pioneer corporation
  • 1978
  • Japan

Japanese composer, arranger, keyboard player and synthesizer wizard Osamu Shoji (東海林修) has been active player in music business since the early 1960s. He has worked with many well known Japanese artists during his career. Akira Ishikawa, Kenji Sawada, Shigeru Suzuki, Haruomi Hosono and Goro Noguchi to name a few. Shoji has also done a bunch of anime soundtracks, Space Cobra as the most well known. In 1978 he did his first whole synthesizer album called Star wars. It didn’t however include only material from the Star wars soundtrack, there’s also one Shoji’s original compostion icluded on the b-side. Shoji used only polyphonic analog synthesizers in this album, including Korg PS-3300 with PS-3010, Korg MaxiKorg 800DV and Korg Polyphonic Ensemble Orchestra. Korg PS-3300 seems to be one of the rarest analog synths in the world as there’s only 50 pieces manufactured between 1977 and 1981.

A-side naturally starts with the theme song. “Star wars main theme & Imperial attack” is a disco version of the theme song with really amusing, occasionally a little freaked out synth sounds and quite basic disco beat. Next up is “The throne room” that also follows the main theme at first, but then turns to a disco boogie track. It even has a break in the middle. “Cantina band” sound pretty much like the original at first but the Shoji gets on fire with his synths again and the song changes into an analog sound mayhem. Last tracks on side-a, “Princess Leia’s theme” and “The robot auction” and downtempo orchestral pieces filled again with synths. The only original composition, “The space od’yssey” on side b, is a monster 20 minute track combining drama and synthpop. it divides into four different parts and all of them sound like they could’ve been made in the early 1980s Italy or France. The last track “The desert”, is again from the first Star wars soundtrack.


Star wars main theme & Imperial attack


The throne room


Cantina band


The space o’dyssey

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under disco, soundtrack | No Comments »

The spirit of Atlanta - The burning of Atlanta

October 24th, 2011

spirit of atlanta - burning of atlantaTHE SPIRIT OF ATLANTA

  • The burning of Atlanta
  • Buddah records
  • 1973
  • USA

Let’s start with a little history lesson to get the picture what’s with the name and meaning of this album. During the US civil war Atlanta was a very important hub of war supplies for the Confederacy. Therefore it was a main target for the the Union army. In 1864 general William Sherman took over the city after a four month siege and ordered all civilian population to be evacuated. After that he burned the city to ashes saving only churches and hospitals. Atlanta however rose from these ashes and the Phoenix bird has been the official symbol of the city since 1888.

In 1973 actor Ed Waller dropped by Lance-Arnold Recording Studios (owned by Herb Lance and Calvin Arnold) to see producer Tommy Stewart (of “Bump and hustle music” fame) who was at the moment producing several r’n'b and funk artists. With Waller was a gentlemen by the name of Bill Stokes. He was carrying a hand-sketched script of a proposed movie and he needed Stewart to write the musical score for his upcoming “The Burning of Atlanta Movie”. The movie would’ve been about the Atlanta underworld during the rise of the city after the 1864 burning. Stewart started to write the score right away and in May of 1973 and they premiered the musical score at the new Atlanta International Hotel with G.C. Coleman’s band - the band was renamed The Spirit of Atlanta before the premiere. G.C. Coleman is by the way the drummer behind the most sampled drum break in the history of music - the Amen break.

So there it was, a fresh panoramic scope of a classic blaxploitation soundtrack full of great tracks. But for a reason or another, the movie were never released. The supposed-to-be soundtrack was however released on Buddah records by the name The burning of Atlanta. As said, the music is very strong blaxploitation material that reminds me very much of the great Superfly soundtrack by Curtis Mayfield. There’s even an answer song to that soundtrack - intentional or unintentional, that I don’t know - called “Freddie’s alive and well”. You all remember “Freddie’s dead”, right? “Freddie’s alive and well” is an uptempo blaxploitation funk track with lots of wah wah, catchy vocals and a long drum break with some percussions. One of my all time favorite songs I should say. Another uptempo track, “Messin’ around”, is quite similar but instrumental funky groover. Then there’s “Hunter street”, another uptempo blaxploitation track with a strong chase feeling. Maybe it was intended to be placed on the movie’s chase sequence. Tommy Stwewart used to work part-time at Johnson’s Music Store on Hunter Street and that’s where he supposingly got the name for the track. Hunter Street was later named Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Clarence Carter was also involved with the album. He sung the vocals in “Buttermilk bottom”, a very funky soul tune with a strong classic blaxploitation feel in it. Buttermilk bottom was a crime ridden neighborhood considered by the city leaders as a slum. They decided that the entire neighborhood needed to go and it was torn down to make way for the Atlanta Civic Center, opened in 1968. Another mellow funky soul track is “Peachtree street”, and that street is the main street of the city of Atlanta. “Auburn avenue” instead is a midtempo funky soul track - again with a very strong blaxploitation feel. Auburn avenue in Atlanta include Sweet Auburn, a historic African-American neighborhood. Last two tracks on the album are “Vine city”, an instrumental downtempo funk groover and “Down underground”, a midtempo instrumental with catchy horns. I reckon this album among the best funk albums ever made, that’s how great it really is.


Buttermilk bottom


Auburn avenue


Down underground


Hunter street


Messin’ around


Freddie’s alive and well

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

Sugar Loaf - Soul strutting

October 21st, 2011

Sugar Loaf - Soul StruttingSUGAR LOAF

  • Soul strutting
  • RCA International Camden
  • 1970
  • UK

Sugar Loaf was a small, tight funk outfit from UK. It’s sound was quite close to those great UK hammond funk acts like Mohawks, Ugly Custard or The Power Pack and of course the sound of the funky British library companies like KPM, Themes, De Wolfe and Boosey & Hawkes for example. According to the sleeve notes, they played mostly at the American air force bases to entertain the US troops located in UK during the 1960s and 1970s.

Tracks vary from downtempo, gritty Memphis-funk to uptempo Brit-funk á la Alan Hawkshaw. Songs are mostly tough and funky covers of contemporary funk and soul songs and then there’s few original compositions by the Sugar Loaf headman Tony Evans. Especially “Hard down” (written by Evans) is a top class uptempo organ driven breakbeat track. Very similar is the organ driven cover of James Brown classic “Papa’s got a brand new bag”, a very funky version too. Third one to mention is the track called “Black”. It’s credited to be made by “Jackson” and “Love“, although I have no slightest idea who they are. Maybe members of the band or something. Last example song is the instrumental version of Barbara Acklin’s “Am I the same girl” called “Soulful strut” (originally recorded with that name by The Young-Holt Unlimited) that gets here a very nice treatment. I have to say this album is a really good one from the beginning to the end. Especially if you’re a fan of British hammond funk like me.


Black


Hard down


Papa’s got a brand new bag


Soulful strut

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

Devils - 2 집

October 18th, 2011

Devils - 2DEVILS

  • 2 집
  • 아세아 (Asia records)
  • 1974
  • South Korea

founded in 1969, Devils was a six piece South Korean soul and rock band that released four albums between 1971 and 1977. Their second album 2 집 (Vol. 2) was released in 1974 and the band had already really strong orientation for funk and especially soul. The album was also known with the name 철창 (Behind bars), which the cover also reflects. During the times of this second album, the lineup was following: 홍필주 (Hong, Pil-Joo) on trumpet, 최성근 (Choe, Seong-Geun) on keyboards and tenor saxophone, 채완식 (Chae, Wan-Sik) on bass, 김명길 (Kim, Myeong-Gil) on guitar, 박문 (Bak, Mun) on tenor saxophone and 유기원 (Yoo, Gee-Won) on drums. Devils was sort of a trailblazer on the early 1970s soul boom in South Korea. You can hear that on their music. It’s very soulful with clear influences of the American soul and funk music. And it’s sung in Korean.

Among the soulful ballads there’s several midtempo groovers. Like “몰라요 몰라” (Mollayo Molla) - meaning “I don’t know, I don’t know” - with it’s horn stabs, funky soul beat and catchy lyrics is a very nice soul track. Another midtempo soul track with funky soul beat is “별들에게” (Byeoldeul-Ege). My favorite of these midtempo soul groovers is “괜찮아” (Gwaenchanh-a) - meaning “Fine” - with a quite strict beat, horns and some guitarwork at the end. There’s even a short break included. The album is of course not only about soul, there’s some funk too. “태양을 향하여” (Taeyang-Eul Hyanghayeo) - “Towards the sun” in English - is a cover of Kool & The Gang’s “Kool’s back again” from their 1969 debut album. Vol. 2 is in many ways a very marvellous album. With it’s Korean singing ja groovy ways of music, it’s also a very sympathetic one. It’s one of my favorite Asian records of all times.


Mollayo molla


Byeoldeul-ege


Gwaenchanh-a


Taeyang-eul hyanghayeo

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under asia, funk, soul | No Comments »

Osaka Monaurail - What it is… what it was

October 15th, 2011

Osaka Monaurail - What It IsOSAKA MONAURAIL

  • What it is.. what it was
  • RD records
  • 2000
  • Japan

Originally from Osaka and named after the famous monorail of the city, Osaka Monaurail was formed in 1992 as a college jazz orchestra. Since day one they have been in the forefront of the Japanese funk scene and during the years they have established themselves as a number one funk outfit from Japan. The outfit is pretty much the same what it has been past 19 years, nine funky cats out of Osaka prefecture: two trumpets, tenor sax, trombone, two guitars, bass, drums, lead by the singer and organ player Ryo Nakata. Their first appear on record was however as late as in 2000 when they appeared in the album of the Japanese hip hop group Buddha Brand, where they performed the “Super heavy funk intro”. Soon they also released their first own release, What it is… what it was EP. They have always been considered as The JB’s of Japan and they are so good that the funky diva herself, Marva Whitney chose them as her backing band when she returned to the studio in 2006 - 37 years after her previous album.

There’s actually only two songs in the What it is… what it was EP, The title track “What it is… what it was (parts 1 & 2)” and “ABC TVシリーズ 『The Men』 のテーマ” (”Theme from the ABC TV series The Men”). “What it is… what it was (parts 1 & 2)” is a tight, midtempo six minutes of pure funkiness. Borrowing riffs from The JB’s and James Brown, it’s very very similar to the sound of the original funk bosses, The JB’s, at their best. On the b-side there is also “part 3″ and the instrumental “Original tambourine mix” of the title track. The other track, originally a 45 release from Isaac Hayes, “Theme from The Men”, is pretty much what it sounds to be like. An uptempo blaxploitation theme full of pace and chase funk drums. It’s quite similar to the original, just a little updated version with Monaurail’ish arrangements. Even the cover art is made in the spirit of those 1970s blaxploitation soundtracks.


What it is… what it was (parts 1 & 2)


ABC TVシリーズ 『The Men』 のテーマ

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

Armando Peraza - Wild thing

October 12th, 2011

Armando Peraza - Wild ThingARMANDO PERAZA

  • Wild thing
  • Skye
  • 1968
  • USA

Armando Peraza was born in Havana, Cuba, ca. 1924 (due to the circumstances in 1920s Cuba, the birth date is uncertain). He was orphaned by the age of 7 and lived most of his childhood on the streets. As a natural musician, it didn’t take long until he was playing with all the famous conjuntos (small bands) in Havana. In 1948 Peraza left Cuba to join his friend Mongo Santamaria in Mexico. They arrived in New York 1949 and immediately found themselves playing with the famous latin jazz musician Machito. After a while Charlie Parker asked Peraza to join in to a recording session with him, Buddy Rich and some others. After moving to San Francisco in the early 1950s Peraza worked with with Perez Prado, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus and Dexter Gordon to name a few. In 1954 he met Cal Tjader and years later joined his band for six years. Throughout the 1960s Peraza played with various jazz and latin artists before joining the Carlos Santana’s band in 1972. He was a key player for 18 years before retiring from the band at the age of 66. During that period he was playing around the world partnering with other top class percussionists like José Chepito Areas, Mingo Lewis, Raul Rekow and Orestes Vilató.

Although Peraza never wanted to be a bandleader, preferring to be recognized as a featured musician, he released a solo album in 1968. This album, Wild Thing, was released on small Skye label that was co-owned by Cal Tjader, Gary McFarland and Gábor Szabó. Skye was active only few years releasing 21 studio albums before filing a bankcruptcy in 1970. Due to his connections, Peraza got a quite interesting set of musicians to his album. Pianist Chick Corea, flautist Johnny Pacheco, bassist Chuck Rainey, percussionists Cal Tjader and Tommy Lopez, drummer Donald McDonald and saxophonist Sadao Watanabe among some others joined him on this session.

Many of the tracks on this one are covers. First up is a nice latin groove cover of “Wild thing”, originally recorded by a New York band The Wild Ones and later made famous by the UK band The Troggs. In a weird way it reminds me more of “La bamba” than the original. Next one is a midtempo version of “Mony Mony”, originally by Tommy James & the Shondells and later covered by Billy Idol and several others. Another much covered song here is “Funky Broadway”, originally by Dyke & the Blazers. It turns out to be a great midtempo latin funk track. The last song, “Granny’s samba” - originally by Gary McFarland - is a heavy latin jam with a really long tight break in the middle. There’s also original compositions like “Red onions”, which is a really good one. As expected, this album is really percussion heavy with occasional breaks on almost every song and continuous rhythm grooviness throughout the album.


Wild thing


Mony mony


Funky broadway


Granny’s samba

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

Jörgen Petersenin orkesteri - Mukana musiikki

October 9th, 2011

Jörgen Petersenin Orkesteri - Mukana MusiikkiJÖRGEN PETERSENIN ORKESTERI

  • Mukana musiikki
  • Top Voice
  • 1975
  • Finland

Jörgen Petersen (RIP) was born in Randers, Denmark, in 1931. He was a very talented child and started his first band when he was only 12. By the age of 14 he was already making his living by playing trumpet as the youngest professional musician in Denmark. In 1954 he joined the Al Stefano’s orchestra, that was the most famous Latin-American music orchestra in Denmark that time. With them he visited Finland in 1956. The same time he also met his future wife and in 1957 moved to Finland for good. Petersen started to play with various bands and orchestras until he got a vacancy in the trumpet section of Radion Tanssiorkesteri (Radio Dance Orchestra) - which lasted 13 years. In 1959 he also joined the very popular Ronnie Kranckin Orkesteri (Ronnie Kranck’s Orchestra) for eight years. It didn’t take long until Petersen found himself working for PSO - Pohjoismainen Sähkö-Osakeyhtiö (Nordic Electric Ltd.), a major record label in 1960s and 1970s Finland. He was a producer, songwriter, arranger, conductor and a trumpet player - a true jack of all trades. And a very productive one too. During his whole career he participated - as a musician, writer, arranger, conductor or producer - within over 5500 recordings. And that’s really exceptional in a small country like Finland. Petersen was also the first Finn ever to score a song in a Billboard Top 100 list - although he wasn’t actually a Finn that time. It was his breakthrough song “Boulevard of broken dreams” that hit the US charts in 1961. Petersen finally took the Finnish citizenship in 1981 and remained very active character in Finnish music scene until 1987 when his doctor forbad trumpet playing from him and he withdraw himself from the publicity. Petersen passed away in 2009 at the age of 77.

During his active years, Petersen released several albums of his own too. Either as himself or with his orchestra. In 1975 he released an album called Mukana musiikki (Including the music in English). It was a typical album for him, full of instrumental covers of contemporary songs and few original compositions - all with a certain easy listening feel of his “golden trumpet”. There’s versions of songs like “Era”, “Jeannie, Jeannie”, Ding-a-dong”, “Let me be the one”, “El Bimbo” and “Emmanuel”. All quite dull easy listening numbers. The stand out songs on this album are the first three on the side b. First up is a song called “Strip-tease”, a song written by Paul Lupano (a pseudonym of song writer and lyricist Martti Piha) that was first recorded by Petersen in 1959 - although it was a pretty different version back then. “Strip-tease” is a very funky uptempo track with a quite heavy drum and percussion beat, but with slightly easy listening feel at times. Almost like the music from Nikke Knatterton series - you all remember those, right? Next up is “Itsehän sen tein” (”I did it myself”), a funky almost downtempo track with a very melancholic trumpet. The third good one is “Yli rajojen” (”Over the borders”), a bboy friendly midtempo funk track with breaks and a quite banging percussive beat. Both of the latter are written by Petersen himself. Of all his albums, Mukana musiikki is clearly the funkiest one.


Strip-tease


Itsehän sen tein


Yli rajojen

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under easy listening, europe, funk | No Comments »

Boris Gardiner - Every nigger is a star

October 6th, 2011

Boris Gardiner - Every Nigger Is a StarBORIS GARDINER

  • Every nigger is a star
  • Leal
  • 1973
  • Jamaica

I have to say that when I first became aware of this record, I thought the name was at least a little bit controversially dubious. And it still is even though the n-word has established as a some kind of a ghetto standard. Every nigger is a star is a soundtrack to a totally forgotten 1973 Jamaican movie starring blaxploitation-smoochie Calvin Lockhart of West-Indian heritage. They propably tried to turn the meaning of the n-word upside down for the black population of Jamaica with this movie to make it more positive term. The film however flopped and sank into obscurity - maybe for good reasons.

Even though the movie more or less disappeared from the earth, the soundtrack didn’t. Handful of copies survived and were the grails of some hardcore collectors until last year, when Jazzman finally reissued the whole soundtrack. West Indian born Boris Gardiner made the whole soundtrack together with his brother Barrington Gardiner. The music is played by Boris’ band The Boris Gardiner Happening. It’s a fine cross-section of 1970s Jamaican music scene. The music varies from smooth soul ballads to sweet reggae songs and from Caribbean jazziness to heavyweight funk. The acoustic title track “Every nigger is a star” is a fine example the smooth side of the Gardiners. Uptempo classic “Ghetto funk” and downtempo “Funky nigger” instead represent the heavy Jamaican funk at it’s best. The great Caribbean jazz-funk track “Negril” is also worth to mention. For further reading, Boris Gardiner talks about the title track in an interview on The Gleaner.


Funky nigger


Ghetto funk


Negril

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under caribbean, disco, funk, jazzfunk, reggae, soul, soundtrack | No Comments »

Goblin - Profondo rosso

October 3rd, 2011

Goblin - Profondo RossoGOBLIN

  • Profondo rosso
  • Cinevox
  • 1975
  • Italy

Inspired by the last weekend’s Goblin gig in Helsinki, I just had to make this post. Although their heavy-prog’ish live sound, the music is really amusing with it’s weird synthesizer sounds and cinematic beats.

After several phases and bands in their early career, Claudio Simonetti and Massimo Morante formed the Goblin band in 1973. During the years they have profiled as one of the top class horror soundtrack scorers in the world. Goblin’s first release was a soundtrack in 1975 to a Dario Argento film called Profondo rosso. Or Deep red as the English title is.

A musician witnesses the murder of a famous psychic, and then teams up with a fiesty reporter to find the killer while evading attempts on their lives by the unseen killer bent on keeping a dark secret buried. (IMDB)

The music in Profondo rosso is clearly divided in two different types. There’s dramatic scoring just perfect for the suspense and horror of the movie. And then there’s jazzy and funky Italian style soundtrack tracks. “Mad puppet” with it’s weird and slightly kaotic start is a little stagnant suspence theme, but rather good one. “Wild session” starts with a long dramatic intro turning to a jazzy cinematic funk track with creeping synths and horns. The title track “Profondo rosso” also starts with some haunting synths and then turns into another cinematic funk meets dramatic soundscapes track. However, in my opinion the best track is the uptempo drum frenzy “Death dies”, although the album version is missing the percussions that appear on the movie version. Profondo rosso sold over million copies within a year and remained in the charts for 52 weeks in a row. So it’s not that hard to find. The single release from the album, “Profondo rosso” / “Death dies” hit #1 on the charts and remained there 16 weeks and that’s a record that is yet to be broken. Overall this is my favorite album from Goblin - along with another great Dario Argento soundtrack, Tenebre.


Profondo rosso


Mad puppet


Wild session


Death dies

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under cinematic funk, drama, europe, jazz, soundtrack | No Comments »
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