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The Bigroup - Big Hammer

June 19th, 2012

The Bigroup - Big hammerTHE BIGROUP

  • Big hammer
  • Peer International Library Limited
  • 1971
  • UK

Peer International Library Limited was a London based production music library company that was established in the late 1960s by Dennis Berry (aka Peter Dennis). It was closely affiliated with the other library company Southern, - which was also run by Dennis Berry. They often shared releases and that’s why certain titles appear on both Peer and Southern catalogue. This album here, called Big hammer, was credited to a band called The Bigroup, but without a doubt it was some studio musicians group with a made up name for the album. And it was also released on Southern.

The opening track “Big hammer” starts the album strongly. It’s a banging midtempo psych funk track with a hint of oriental vibe every now and then. A stronger oriental vibe comes with the next one, a downtempo sitar and flute driven mellow groover “Anna purna”. I’m not exactly sure if it actually is a sitar but sounds a lot of it. After the dramatic “Devil’s stronghold”, comes “Rolling”. It starts promisingly with a nice break, but then turns into a melancholic midtempo groover. Next up are two quite heavy downtempo psych funk tracks called “Beat norm” and “Heavy lift”. After them comes one of the best tracks on the album, “What’s coming”. It’s a strong upbeat track with heavy breakbeat drums and some wailing melodies on top. Then there’s again two mellow but psych heavy tracks called “Blow-suck blues” and “Gentle swell” before we get to the last track, “Bombilation”. “Bombilation” is a great midtempo organ driven psych funk groover with some electric guitar work (I’m still not a fan of those) and banging beats. All the songs are relatively long for a library record, all the tracks except one are over three minutes what makes it a more pleasant one to listen.


Big hammer


Anna purna


Devil’s stronghold


Rolling


Beat norm


Heavy lift


What’s coming


Blow-suck blues


Gentle swell


Bombilation

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

Nico Gomez and his Afro Percussion Inc. - Ritual

June 16th, 2012

Nico Gomez and his Afro Percussion Inc - RitualNICO GOMEZ AND HIS AFRO PERCUSSION INC.

  • Ritual
  • Omega International
  • 1971
  • Netherlands

Joseph Van Het Groenewoud was born in Amsterdam in the mid 1920s. In 1947, in the aftermath of the World War II he moved to Belgium to avoid the military service in Dutch East Indies (nowadays Indonesia). He had already started to play violin and bass during his time in Amsterdam and his musical career started in Brussels ballroom orchestra almost immediately after he moved to Belgium. He also changed his name to Nico Ooms, Propably to confuse the Dutch authorities or something. In the late 1950s he was also involved with the forming of the famous Belgian latin influenced group The Chakachas. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s Ooms was quite active in the latin music scene of Belgium. At some point - possibly in the late 1960s - he changed his name again, this time to Nico Gomez. And that name he bore till his death in 1992. At that time he also started to record albums with his own bands. In 1971 he released an album with his new group, The Afro Percussion Inc. The album was called Ritual. In the late 1960s and early 1970s there were only very few studios in Brussels, so it was obvious that the same studio musicians were used in different projects. The same musicians that were involved with Ritual, were also responsible for most of the other funky releases that came out from Belgium in the 1970s - El Chicles, Chakachas, Chicken Curry, Super Funky Discotheque, SSO, Black Blood, The Sumos etc. The list is very long and it explains the quality of certain recordings from Belgium that time.

What comes to the music, Ritual is quite different compared to his previous albums. While the previous recordings were more or less big band performed latin music with an easy listening feel, Ritual has some serious funk, afro-cuban and even chicano rock influences. The album starts wth the raw latin funk take of Perez Prado song “Caballo negro”. It’s an uptempo, a little messy but really funky song with a short break in the end. Next one is a midtempo latin track “Naci para bailar”, which is really groovy but a little lazy. There’s also some nice organ work. Then comes “Cuba libre”, again a very funky latin groover with a very dominating guitar sound and a catchy hook “te quiero, cuba libre..”. After that comes a very groovy version of “Samba de una note so” (better known as “One note samba”) followed by another banging uptempo latin funker “Baila chibiquiban”, with a nice break in the middle. Then comes a song that always reminds of a certain local beer comercial no matter who’s version it is that I hear. Nico Gomez‘ version of “El condor pasa” with a quite heavy downtempo beats is however one of the best I’ve heard so far. Next up is the first standout track of this overall great album called “Lupita”, originally by the king of mambo Perez Prado. With funky and banging latin beats and a quite massive and long break makes it a bboy friendly banger. It’s followed by another heavy downtempo latin funk track “Pa! pa! pa! pa!”. Then comes another bboy friendly standout track, “Ritual”, with banging breakbeat drums, nice breaks and som fuzz guitar works. Last track of the album is mellow but heavy and banging version “Eso es el amor” (the original was Belgian #1 hit in 1958 as performed by The Chakachas), that is mostly quite downtempo but fastens the pace every now and then. The original pressing of this album is really rare and pricy - last time I saw it, was at Utrecht record fair few years ago, and it was 800 euros. Well 800 is way too much in any circumstances, but one can always ask… There’s however few different later pressings around, although they seem to be quite scarce too.


Caballo negro


Naci para bailar


Cuba libre


Samba de una nota so


Baila chibiquiban


El condor pasa


Lupita


Pa! pa! pa! pa!


Ritual


Eso es el amor

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

Esko Linnavallin Orkesteri - Joulusoitto

December 20th, 2011

Esko Linnavallin Orkesteri - JoulusoittoESKO LINNAVALLIN ORKESTERI

  • Joulusoitto
  • Scandia
  • 1971
  • Finland

First of all, a brief history of the man himself. Esko Linnavalli was a talented orchestra leader, arranger, composer and especially a very good pianist and organist. He started his career as a classic jazz pianist, but soon in the mid 1960s he started his job as an arranger and conductor at Scandia records. Later in the 1970s Linnavalli moved to RCA for a production manager vacancy. As an organist, Esko Linnavalli is clearly one of my favorites in Finnish music history and he is also behind some of the great Finnish jazz records. On the rocks (together with Esa Katajavuori), Finnish design, A good time was had by all to name a few. He was also involved with UMO jazz orchestra and Day is Over. And of course he and his band backed numerous Finnish artists throughout the years - Kirka, Danny, Carola, Lasse Mårtenson, Vesa-Matti Loiri, Kari Jalkanen (Kari Tapio) and so on… Esko Linnavalli died relatively young in 1991. He was only 50 years old.

In 1971 Esko Linnavallin Orkesteri (Esko Linnavalli Orchestra) released a Christmas album called Joulusoitto (Christmas play in English). With sublime arrangements of mr. Linnavalli, it’s one of the grooviest “traditional” Christmas albums I’ve ever heard. And if that’s not enough to convince you, there’s more. There’s pretty impressive line up with some of the key players of Finnish jazz scene; Christian Schwindt, Esa Katajavuori, Esa Pethman, Esko Rosnell, Heikki Laurila, Ilpo Kallio, Jörgen Petersen, Ossi Runne, Rauno Lehtinen, Reino Laine and more. The tracks are all instrumentals (except the scat vocals on one track) and mostly covers of the well known Christmas carols. There’s two original compositions of Linnavalli too. First up is “Rekiretki” (”Sleigh ride”, originally by Leroy Anderson), a latin influenced midtempo groover. Next up is Linnavalli’s own composition, “Joulusoitto” (Christmas play), a downtempo track with a slight easy listening feel. “Valkea Joulu” (”White Christmas” by Berlin Irving), “”Kello, joka ei soinut” (”The bell that couldn’t jingle” by Bobby Winton and Burt Bacharach) and “Sataa lunta” (”Let it snow” by Jule Styne) are all jazzy takes of the Christmas classics. Next up ar two really groovy ones. “Joulupukki matkaan käy” (”Santa Claus is coming to town by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie) is a funky version of this standard with great arrangements and even a break at the start. “Kuuraparta” (”Frosty the snowman by Walter “Jack” Rollins and Steve Nelson) is also a very good version of the standard with some funky drums and great synth works of Esko Linnavalli. “Joululaulu” (”The Christmas song by Mel Tormé) is a groovy downtempo one with a nice tender feeling. The last track is funky “Joulupukin aatto-ilta” (Santa Claus’ Christmas eve) by Esko Linnavalli. It’s a very nice ending to a very nice album. I just can’t praise this album enough, it’s that good.


Rekiretki


Kello, joka ei soinut


Sataa lunta


Joulupukki matkaan käy


Kuuraparta


Joululaulu


Joulupukin aatto-ilta

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

Oiling boiling - Oiling boiling

September 8th, 2011

Oiling Boiling - Oiling BoilingOILING BOILING

  • Oiling boiling
  • Ufo
  • 1971
  • Finland

Drummer Matti Oiling (RIP) is one of the legends in the history of Finnish funky music. 1942 born Oiling started his musical career at the end on 1950s. During the 1960s Oiling played “rautalanka”-music in Sweden with The Telstars and was forming the first Finnish supergroup The Jormas. He also played a short period in The Boys (backing band for Eero and Jussi Raittinen). Oiling’s own band Oiling boiling was formed in 1969 - at that time it was called Happy jazz band. Their self-titled debut Happy jazz band was released in 1970 on Finnlevy label. In 1971 the band released their second album on Ufo, Finnlevy’s small sublabel that released only 4 albums with really small quantities. In 1971 their name was already settled to Oiling boiling and therefore this second album was also a self-titled one.

There’s pretty strong line-up on this album. Matti Bergström on Fender bass, Martti Metsäketo on saxophone and flute, Pentti Lasanen on saxophone, trumpet and flute, Kaj Backlund on trumpet, Tuomo Tanska on piano and organ, Kalle Lae on guitar and Matti Oiling himself on drums and percussion. Like their first album, this one also mixes jazz with strong influences of rock and funk. Along the funky drumming and breaks there’s a strong funky feel even on those jazzier tracks. “Simple pimple” and “Soul rock” are both quality soul-jazz tracks, where latter has some serious guitar working too. Funky midtempo “Boom bang basch” has a quite long percussion breakdown in the middle. Besides those, there’s two standout tracks that are both nice bboy friendly uptempo funk-groovers. “Polar carneval” starts with a banging beat and later some strange slightly sitar-a-like horn sounds follow. The whole song is a continuous latin-esque breakdown with occasional whistles. “Beka” has slightly less tempo but is still a great one. It starts with a nice break and continues as a horn driven jazzy funk track. Like all the Ufo label releases, this is really tough to find and pricy album, but it’s been reissued as a cd and is also rumored to be reissued as a vinyl too. Luckily the two best tracks “Polar carnival” and “Beka” are released as a double side groover 45 (Ufo S 201) that is a little easier to find and could be found with a reasonable price.


Soul rock


Simple pimple


Boom bang basch


Polar carnival


Beka

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 12.08, filed under europe, funk, souljazz | No Comments »

Bobby Boyd congress - Bobby Boyd congress

March 21st, 2011

Bobby Boyd Congress - Bobby Boyd CongressBOBBY BOYD CONGRESS

  • Bobby Boyd congress
  • Okapi
  • 1971
  • France

Bobby Boyd congress was formed on Long Island, NY. Deciding America was already overloaded with funk acts, they moved to France in 1971 and recorded this one album. The self titled Bobby Boyd congress album was originally pressed with really small amounts of 300 or so. When their frontman Bobby Boyd returned to the States, guitarist Larry Jones, bassist Lafayette Hudson, keyboardist Frank Abel, horn players Ronnie James Buttacavoli and Arthur Young, drummer Ernest “Donny” Donable and percussionists Keno Speller and Arthur Young renamed the band as Ice. After the success of Ice’s debut album in 1973 their producer Pierre Jaubert changed the group’s name to the Lafayette afro rock band and the rest is history.

This album, Bobby Boyd congress, is truly a great album. Their sound is a mixture of funk and soul with a hint of rock. A combination of funky guitars, brass, organ and tight drums. The sound is clearly a foretaste of what’s coming later in their career with Ice and Lafayette afro rock band. There’s no fillers in this album. Songs vary from mellow ballads like “I’m undecided” to midtempo funky soul tracks like “In this strange strange land”. There’s several highlights on this great album. “In a toy garden” starts with a 1:40 intro and suddenly turns into a psychedelic funk jam with nice funky drums and a lot of electric guitar. And the guitars still disturb me a little. “Straight ahead” is a rough midtempo funk track with a break in the middle. Uptempo “Train” is also a good one. The best track however is “It’s good to see your face again” that starts a little mellow’ish, but turns into a frantic funk monster. There’s even a huge break in the middle. Bobby Boyd congress was reissued by Vadim music in 2011 with limited quantities, so finally it was possible to get this album without paying over 800 euros.


In this strange strange land


Straight ahead


Train


In a toy garden


It’s good to see your face again

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

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 »

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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