Archive for November, 2011

Matti Oiling - Happy jazz band

November 29th, 2011

Matti Oiling - Happy Jazz BandMATTI OILING

  • Happy jazz band
  • Finnlevy
  • 1970
  • Finland

Happy jazz band was the debut album of Matti Oiling’s band Oiling Boiling. Well, at this point they still called themselves Happy Jazz Band. Although the album is credited to Matti Oiling, it’s clearly an Oiling Boiling album. It’s very similar to their second album Oiling Boiling but somehow more raw and primitive. In a good way of course. In 1971 they did one soundtrack 45 to a movie called Saatanan radikaalit under the name Matti Oiling’s Happy jazz band. Right before they changed their name to Oiling Boiling. The line-up is pretty much the same as in Oiling boiling, although there was some changes and some additional musicians playing at the latter album. There’s a tight small combo playing in this one. Matti Bergström on Fender bass, Paroni Paakkunainen on saxophones, flute and African finger piano, Nono Söderberg on guitar, Tuomo Tanska on organ and Matti Oiling on drums and percussions.

Here are the sleeve notes from the album

Can you imagine a lathe-hand who does lathing in his time off? Or a brick-layer who lays bricks for relaxation after his day’s work? Hard to picture, isn’t it? But I do know a number of professional musicians who relax by making music after a hard and sometimes quite exhausting session at the studio. But the difference lies in what you play in your leisure time. The musicians performing on this record have found a musical form that brings satisfaction and variation and gives them the chance to experiment and to create something new and still untried. That’s real work therapy.

Matti Oiling - a first-class drummer - has gathered around him a number of fellow musicians whose vision and musical comprehension are harmonious and whose ways of thinking run parallel. They are all musicians of the young generation, to whom pop music and jazz music are equally close and whose artistic resources provide them with an opportunity of blending these musical elements. And when they want to make music, the music they make is pervaded by a sense of cheerfulness and humour. You’ll really enjoy this LP. Matti Oiling’s solo - something he cooked up himself - is called “Oiling Boiling”. The recipe, with spices, is provided by Matti himself. The “sound” idea is produced on a Lesley accessory. Paroni Paakkunainen’s soaring imagination is a triumph. His musical skill, uninhibited and humour-imbued, is full of surprises and a wicked Mephistophelean laughter pops up in his performances. Among his many instruments is the Bengal flute - featured in the piece by that same name. He has an impressive range of musical color. Matti Bergström - apart from his Fender bass - introduces his Bascello, which lends its very “different” sound to the item entitled “Stratosphere Inspiration”. Nono Söderberg performs his solo “3/8 Of Nono” on his 1-Watt guitar amplifier - not to save the ears of the rest of the group but just to produce the right instrumental color. Tuomo Tanska - organist, pianist and arranger - also appears on this disc as a composer. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (Setä Tuomon tupa) is his musical vision of a classic work. Thanks to this record I have spent a very rewarding forty-five minutes - and listening to it, one can only feel a gluttonous delight in its surprising and revitalizing musical ideas. Pop and jazz fans will find something that distinguishes this LP record from other LPs - a terrific dose of happy music.
- Ossi Runne, Conductor, Finnish Broadcasting Company TV1

I must say that Happy jazz band is a one truly great album and well worth to get. It’s kind of a mix between 1960s soul jazz, funky drumming, jazzfunk fusion, contemporary jazz sounds and traditional songs with a twist of Slavic melancholy and some weird vocals. And it’s strong from the beginning. The opening track, maybe some kind of a theme song, “Oiling boiling” starts with a banging break with additional tumbas played by Martti Metsäketo. There’s over a minute of drum-tumba breakbeat with some really weird vocals, then a short bridge and then the breakbeat continues again to the full almost two and half minutes length. Great song although it’s still quite unclear to me what are they talking about. As said in the sleeve notes, “Setä Tuomon tupa” (literally “Uncle Tuomo’s cabin”) is a composition of Tuomo Tanska, and you can hear that. It’s almost six minutes long midtempo organ driven r’n'b flavored track with heavy organ improvisation of Tanska that remind me somehow of the works of Jimmy McGriff and Jimmy Smith. “Baron’s beat” is a strong soul jazz track with really nice organs. It’s just too short, only two and half minutes. “Africa” instead is over seven minute jazz track with some great guitarwork of Nono Söderberg and really groovy drumming. The last track, “Pässi ja porkkana” (”A ram and a carrot”) has a quite slow start but turns into a great uptempo jazzfunk track with heavy breakbeat drumming of Oiling, wild guitars of Söderberg and wailing saxes of Paakkunainen. In the middle there’s a sort of a hectic break too. While the original is pretty rare and fetches serious prices around hundred euros, there’s a reissue from 2002 that should be more easily obtained.

Oiling boiling

Setä Tuomon tupa

Baron’s beat


Pässi ja porkkana

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

Geraldo Pino & The Heartbeats - Let’s have a party

November 26th, 2011

Geraldo Pino - Let's Have a PartyGERALDO PINO & THE HEARTBEATS

  • Let’s have a party
  • EMI Nigeria
  • 1970
  • Nigeria

Geraldo Pino was born in Sierra Leone, but moved to Nigeria via Ghana quite early. He was one of the originators of afrobeat in the early 1960s when he was mixing highlife, funk and jazz together in his music. Actually the often credited pioneer of afrobeat and the most famous musician that ever came from Nigeria, Fela Kuti, wasn’t playing afrobeat since day one of his career, but only after he was exposured to Pino’s styles.

This is how afrobeat legend Fela Kuti later recalled the situation

“I was playing highlife jazz when Geraldo Pino came to town in ‘66 or a bit earlier with soul - that’s what upset everything, man. He came to town with James Brown’s music, singing “Hey, hey, I feel all right, ta ta ta ta…” And with such equipment you’ve never seen, man. This man was tearing Lagos to pieces. After seeing this Pino, I knew I had to get my shit together. And quick!”

Throughout the 1960s Pino continued to perform highlife jazz and afrobeat until he slided more and more to afrofunk in the late 1960s. He was also more and more influenced by James Brown in music writing and in his performances. In 1970 was released one of the hardest afrofunk albums out of Nigeria, Let’s have a party by Geraldo Pino and his band The Heartbeats. As it was typical for the afrofunk records, there is only six songs on the album, but quality is what counts. And the length of the songs, which is also typical for the afrobeat and afrofunk songs. Although Pino was eventually overshadowed by Fela and other afrobeat stars, his legacy still lives throughout the few albums he made.

There’s no weak points on this album, not even any decent tracks. All the songs are really tough, uptempo English sung afrofunk with electric piano, organ, heavy percussion and guitar work. There’s even some bad ass breaks included here. I must admit that all the tracks sound quite much alike though. That don’t bother me of course, because I find them all very amusing. “Africans must unite” is the only song that starts as a quite mellow groover but soon turns into an uptempo afrofunk track in a way the rest of the songs are. “Let them talk” and “Power to the people” both have long and tough break in the middle. The original is practically impossible to find and the Soundway reissue from 2005 also fetches some prices, so grab it with no hesitation if you see it somewhere.

Africans must unite

Heavy heavy heavy

Power to the people

Shake hands

Let them talk

Let’s have a party

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

Various - Gapô vol. 1

November 23rd, 2011

VA - Gapo Volume 1VARIOUS

  • Gapô vol. 1
  • Ace records
  • 1978
  • Philippines

The previous post was about some Filipinos hanging out in West Germany and doing music there. Now it’s time to introduce a bunch of Filipinos hanging out in Philippines and doing music there. Although I have almost nothing to say about these bands, this is still one magnificent compilation. And it’s most likely published in 1978. It seems that there has been a quite strong influence from American soul and funk music when it comes to the Pinoy stuff. I think the US troops based there during the Vietnam war were one strong influence in their special genre called Manila sound. Even the names of the bands reflect that. There’s Soul Jugglers, Frictions, Our Daily Bread, Poor Immigrants, Hangmen, Brown Sugar, etc. The music itself is very much western style, half of the songs are some sort of funky disco or disco’ish soul. And the rest are ballads and pop rock.

There are several tracks to mention, so this is definitely not a one track album. Funky midtempo pop tune “Sabi-sabi, haka-haka” by Brown Sugar is one. Midtempo disco funk track “Hanggang magdamag” by Soul Jugglers is another. It’s a very nice groover in a strong BT Express or Kool & The Gang way. Downtempo funk track “Happening sa gapô” by We Inc is also a really nice one. Last ones to mention are strong disco funk track “Let’s boogie now” by The Hangmen and the funky pop rock track “Perwisyo sa lipunan” by Frictions. Latter has a break in the beginning, some electric guitar work and even a short harmonica solo in the middle. All the mentioned are vocal numbers and needless to say they’re all sung in Filipino.

Brown Sugar - Sabi-sabi, haka-haka

Soul Jugglers - Hanggang magdamag

We Inc - Happening sa gapô

The Hangmen - Let’s boogie now

Frictions - Perwisyo sa lipunan

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

Please - Manila thriller

November 20th, 2011

Please - Manila ThrillerPLEASE

  • Manila thriller
  • Telefunken
  • 1976
  • West Germany

Please was a band that consisted of bunch of Filipinos located in West Germany during the 1970s. The fellows Roy David (trumpet), Carlos David Jr. (guitar), Lito Cruz (trumpet and percussion), Manuel Santa Maria (trombone and percussion), Mariano Santa Maria (drums) and Roberto Vilegges (bass) formed this band that released two albums and several 45’s on German Telefunken label before vanishing into obscurity. The story does not tell how and why they were in Germany, but at least they did pretty good job when it comes to funky music.

Manila thriller was the second album of Please and it was released in 1976. I’m pretty sure the title refers to the legendary “Thrilla in Manila”, the heavyweight boxing championship fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier that took place at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Manila on October 1, 1975. The cover of the album also supports that, otherwise it would’ve been quite weird and disturbing. Although the main focus of the album seems to be on sweet soulful music, there’s some discoid funk business too. There’s midtempo funky soul such as “I’m gonna take care of business” and “Good stuff”, uptempo disco’ish soul like “Flaming lady” and then there’s also uptempo disco funk tracks like “Please yourself” and “Ego trippin’”, the latter having a nice break in the beginning and in the end.

Good stuff

I’m gonna take care of business

Please yourself

Flaming lady

Ego trippin’

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

Erkin Koray - Elektronik türküler

November 17th, 2011

Erkin Koray - Elekronik TürkülerERKIN KORAY

  • Elektronik türküler
  • Doğan Plakcılık
  • 1974
  • Turkey

Türkü, literally “of the Turk”, is a name given to Turkish folk songs as opposed to şarkı. In contemporary usage, the meanings of the words türkü and şarkı have shifted: Türkü refers to folk songs originated from music traditions within Turkey whereas şarkı refers to all other songs, including foreign music.
- Wikipedia

1941 born Erkin Koray is a very well-known figure in the Turkish music. Actually there’s no one like him in the history of Turkey’s rock scene and he is widely recognised as the first musician ever to play a rock n’ roll concert in Turkey. That happened in 1957 by the way, when his high school band played covers of Elvis Presley and Fats Domino. He was also one of Turkey’s very first electric guitarists, recording what is generally recognised as being the first rock’n’roll record ever released in Turkey. And, he is also acknowledged to be one of the inventors of the so called anatolian rock, a genre mixing traditional Turkish sounds with western rock and funk music. Therefore he has well earned his nickname Baba Erkin - that means of course Father Erkin - as the godfather of Turkish rock.

Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s he released a whole bunch of 7″ singles, but his first long play was released as late as 1973. And it wasn’t even a pure LP on it’s true meaning, but kind of a compilation of his single recordings from 1967 to 1973. In 1974 Koray changed label from Istanbul Records to Doğan Records and then he was finally able to present his true self in music. In a form that was contemporary, under his control and unrestricted by the short durations of singles. And what he brought up is widely considered to be his best album - the second LP called Elektronik türküler (Electric folk songs). On the album, there’s three original compositions of Koray, and as the title recounts, the remaining five tracks are contemporary versions of Anatolian folk songs from the past. And on this album Koray have his tight combo on fire. Along Baba Erkin himself on guitars, bağlama, piano and organ, there’s Ahmet Güvenç on bass and Sedat Avcı on drums and percussion. The additional session musicians Faruk Tekbilek on bağlama and kalem and Eyüp Duran on bongos rounded out the trio.

The album starts with a traditional Anatolian ballad “Karli daglar” (Snowy mountains), a midtempo groover with catchy vocals, nice funky rhythms and the hypnotic bağlama work of Faruk Teklebik. Next up is an instrumental written by Koray, called “Sir”. It starts with a telephone ringing before turning into a belly dance’ish track. In the middle Koray let’s loose his psychedelic guitar on a solo and then the track comes back in. Then comes an acoustic rework of a 17th century folk song called “Hele ya” (Especially), a six and half minute track with a strong Anatolian feel. A really short (one and half minutes) instrumental track “Korkulu rüya” (Nightmare) is a really haunting drumless track with mean organs and weird panting in the end. Last on on side A is “Yalnızlar rıhtımı” (Waterfront of the lonely ones), a very western sounding groover with a really tight rhythm, some nice guitar work in the middle, very hypnotic vocals and Koray’s guitar solo in the end.

The first one on side B is an acoustic guitar driven ballad, “Cemalim” (My Cemal), written by the early 20th century folk composer Urguplu Refik Basaran. It’s a nice little groover based on Koray’s acoustic guitar work, with some fuzz guitar overdubbed in places and Ayzer Danga on drums. There’s a psychedelic guitar solo in the middle too. In their live performances they didn’t act as wild as you can imagine. They seem rather being quite stoned as it’s shown in their live video on “Cemalim”…

Next one is a strong fuzz guitar driven proto-metal instrumental “Inat” (obstinacy) that starts really promising but never seem to really start before it fades away after two minutes. The last one - and my personal favorite on this album - is the nine minute psychedelic monster simply called “Türkü” featuring the lyrics based on the poems of the well known early 20th century poet Nâzım Hikmet. With the main theme played with bağlama by Erkin Koray, the snake charming licks of Ahmet Tekbilek’s kalem (a double reed Turkish wind instrument) and the stoned sounding drumming of Sedat Avcı makes it one helluva song. Great album indeed as a whole.

Karli daglar


Yalnızlar rıhtımı



Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under anatolian rock, asia, europe | No Comments »

Ravi Harris & The Prophets - Funky Sitar Man

November 14th, 2011

Ravi Harris & The Prophets -Funky Sitar ManRAVI HARRIS & THE PROPHETS

  • Funky sitar man
  • BBE
  • 1997
  • USA

Bill Harris was a mystical character from California who got interested in sitar playing during his teens and was also very interested in funk music in general. Or that’s how the story goes. In real life Bill “Ravi” Harris was a pseudonym of the Desco and Daptone Records founder Gabriel Roth (aka Bosco Mann). In 1996 he recorded two singles and one album of sitar funk together with his band The Prophets. Two singles was released on Desco Records subsidiary Gemini, but the album was released on BBE Records in 1997. In this album Ravi Harris (let’s use the pseudonym) played sitar and did also the guitar overdubbing. Along him there was Mike Wagner on bass and on drums the Desco co-founder Philippe Lehman, who later went to form Soul Fire and Truth & Soul records. With this line-up it’s not that hard to guess what you gonna get. Pure sitar funk with some really tight covers. There’s “Soul Makossa” from Manu DiBango, “Cissy Strut” and “Look a py py” from Meters, and then there’s several from the James Brown / The JB’s repetoire. There’s “Same beat”, “Escapism” and two medleys, “Gimme some more / Hot pants” and “Pass the peas / Sex machine”. And then there’s some tight original compositions too. Such as “Path of the blazing sarong”, “Ravi’s thing” and “Funky sitar man”. So don’t just stare at a little cheap looking cover, but listen to it and make your own judgment.

Ravi’s thing

Path of the blazing sarong

Funky sitar man

Cissy strut

Soul Makossa

Gimme some more / Hot pants medley

Pass the peas / Sex machine medley

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

The Rob Franken Organization - Ob-la-di ob-la-da

November 11th, 2011

Rob Franken Organization - Ob-la-di Ob-la-daTHE ROB FRANKEN ORGANIZATION

  • Ob-la-di ob-la-da
  • RCA Camden
  • 1969
  • Netherlands

1941 born Rob Franken was one of the key figures of all European organ players in the 1960s and 1970s. He was the first European to master the Fender Rhodes electric piano and among the first to handle the Hammond B3 organ. Although he was mostly obsessed with the Fender Rhodes throughout the late 1960s, the Hammond was the instrument he was best remembered for. Rob Franken started his career with the folk duo Esther & Abi Ofarim, then he moved to play with Klaus Weiss Trio in the mid 1960s. Soon after he formed his legendary own small combo, The Rob Franken Organization. The Organization released two albums - ‘Pon my soul in 1967 and Ob-la-di ob-la-da in 1969. He also played as a pianist of Toots Thielemans and a permanent organist / keyboard played for Peter Herbolzheimer Rhythm Combination and Brass. During his relatively short career, Franken played in over 400 records and was a very much liked person among session musicians. His sudden and unexpected death due to an internal hemorrhage at the age of 42 in 1983 ended his glorious career - only three days after his last recording session with the Rhythm Combination and Brass.

This second album by The Rob Franken Organization was fully an instrumental album. And it consisted of both covers and of original material. It’s mostly Hammond driven uptempo breakbeat funk in a strong Mohawks manner. During this second album the line-up was the following: Rob Franken on organ, Piet Hein Veening on bass, Joop Scholten on guitar and Louis Deby on drums. Let’s start with the title track “Ob-la-di ob-la-da”. It’s a very funky uptempo version of this well known Beatles track, although that song always reminds me of that tv-series called Life goes on. Other uptempo funkers include titles like “Black jack”, “Bottle blue”, “Catch fire”, “Hunky dory”, “Lucky strike” and “Scintilla. The only midtempo track is the rough funk cut “Hop toad”. Few downtempo soul instrumentals are also included. Overall this is one of the tightest albums ever released in the Continental Europe.

Ob-la-di ob-la-da


Catch fire

Bottle blue

Black Jack

Hop toad

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

Traks - Long train runnin’

November 8th, 2011

Traks - Long Train RunningTRAKS

  • Long train runnin’
  • Mercury
  • 1982
  • Italy

The story of the Italian disco group Traks goes back in the early 1970s when Aax Donnell (born Aurelio Donninelli) and brothers Paul and Peter Micioni were all working as disc jockeys. In 1974 Aax and Paul met in the town of Alba Adriatica and immediately became friends. Meanwhile few years later brothers Micioni had their first recording experiences with the group Easy Going - a brainchild of Giancarlo Meo and Claudio Simonetti. In the early 1980s Aax Donnell started to plan a more dancefloor friendly remake of a regular piece of all of their dj sets, a Doobie Brothers hit “Long train running”. On this project along with vocalist Aax Donnell there was drummer Marian Savati, bassist Pino Santamaria and the former Goblin drummer Walter Martino on percussion. When the track officially released as a part of their Long train runnin’ album the ‘official’ Traks was a little different with it’s line-up - Aax Donnell still on vocals, Paul Micioni on guitar, Peter Micioni on bass and Marian Savati on drums. The band was active only few years releasing two albums and a couple of singles before they broke up.

Basically there’s only four different songs on this album. The mentioned “Long train running”, a seven minute straight up disco beat monster with a long percussion break. There’s also a song called “Short train running”, which is basically just a short version of the song. Another train themed track is “Love train”, a downtempo pluck bass eighties funk jam. “Driving here on Broadway” is an uptempo eighties funk track in a strong funkstyles way. Last track to mention is “Drums power”. There’s more uptempo part 1, that is a better one, but only 53 seconds long. Part 2 is four and half minutes but has a slower pace.

Long train running

Love train

Driving here on Broadway

Drums power (part 1)

Drums power (part 2)

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

The Chaplin band – Grandmother’s airpig

November 5th, 2011

Chaplin Band - Grandmother's AirpigTHE CHAPLIN BAND

  • Grandmother’s airpig
  • Papagayo
  • 1979
  • Netherlands

The Chaplin band was formed in 1976 by Maastricht based brothers John and Joe Bartels to respond the growing demands of the Dutch disco fever. Their first single release, “Let’s have a party” was released the same year and was an instant hit. After some line-up changes they released their first album, Grandmother’s airpig in 1979. It was a mix of disco, soul and funk with occasional hints of jazz and even reggae. Despite the occasionally annoying plucking bass it’s actually a pretty decent album.

Most of the tracks are uptempo disco tracks with hints of jazz and soul and a load of funk. Like “How low”, an uptempo vocal disco-funk track with some nice guitarwork, or “I’m gonna start” and “Do it”, soul’ish disco funk numbers with a lot of groove. “Do it” has a nice starting break and almost Cloud One sounding beats. “Funky banana” is an uptempo party-disco track with whistles and weird vocals about a banana with strong accent. There’s “Be my sunshine”, a midtempo jazzy disco-soul track. The title track “Grandmother’s airpig” instead is a nice midtempo pluck bass funk jam, almost eighties sounding. Then there’s a midtempo vocal soul number called “I don’t know why she’s leaving me” and also “I’m gonna start a new life”, a flute driven jazzy vocal number with strong influence of soul. Overall this odd curiosity is a quite nice one when it comes to European disco. Later in the early 1980s they turned their style into more italo disco, but that’s a different story.

Grandmother’s airpig

Disco lights

Do it

How low

Funky banana

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

Eddy Louiss - Histoire sans parole

November 2nd, 2011

Eddy Louiss - Histoire Sans ParoleEDDY LOUISS

  • Histoire sans parole
  • Goss records
  • 1979
  • France

Organist Eddy Louiss (real name Edward Louise) was born in France, 1941. His father was a talented musician of Martiniquan descent and his mother was a French schoolteacher. They both encouraged little Edward to the land of music, and he started his piano lessons at the age of five. Later he continued to study harmony and music theory in conservatory, and also toured with his father on casino summer tours playing piano and singing. Edward quit school at the age of 16 and fully concentrated on music thereafter. His professional career begun in 1961 with one Daniel Humair. Almost two decades later his solo album Histoire sans parole was released on a small Goss label. During his career, Eddy Louiss have been involved with dozens and dozens of recordings, but he did only few straight solo albums.

Histoire sans parole is a quite pure jazzfunk album. With a range of songs from midtempo groovers to uptempo floorfillers, it’s a one truly magnificent record. Uptempo “St. Cyprien” and midtempo “Sagittaire” are both nice jazzfunk groovers, the latter being among my all time favorite French jazzfunk tracks. Last song, the midtempo “Insomnie” is an almost 11 minute monster rare groove jazzfunk track that is very close to “Sagittaire” what comes to its splendor. Three other tracks on this album, “Histoire sans parole”, “Canon” and “Capricorne” aren’t that bad either.

St. Cyprien



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