Six years after the Bigroup album, Peer released an album called Hit man. It’s credited to a group called Sound Prospect - without a doubt another made up name for some group of session musicians strictly built for a library record.
Hit man starts with the funky uptempo title track “Hit man”, that sounds like it’s taken straight from some blaxploitation soundtracks. It’s actually just what the title says, a great chase funk track with some serious suspence feel and also the best track of the album. Next one is a midtempo track “Catcher” that sounds better by the name than actually is. After some decent and not so decent tracks comes “Even balance”, a funky midtempo jazz jam with some nice organ work. It’s followed by funky downtempo jazz track “Als blues” and more mellow sounding midtempo “Stevie bee”. Mellow but groovy “Mount calme” is also worth to mention aswell as the last track, “Latin -a go-go”. Hit man isn’t maybe one of the best library albums around but it still has it’s moments.
Bosworth Music is propably the oldest production music library company around. It was established in London in 1892 for sheet music production. In the 1930s Bosworth moved to 78rpm production and finally in 1966 they started to produce 33rpm records. Despite the long period of production their output catalogue was relatively small. And although they were quite a small company, they had some well known musicians in their catalogue; Klaus Doldinger, David Snell, Syd Dale, Geoff Bastow, Johnny Teupen and Paolo Zavallone among others. Better known with his pseudonym El Pasador, Paolo Zavallone was born in Rome, Italy and did a career as a singer and a composer. I have no idea of his commercial doings, but his library stuff is pretty funky. He also did a bunch of soundtracks and some other projects under different names. Among these was a pretty good disco release in 1977, under a moniker Bimbo e i Milionari. Ben Bernard (also known as Benito Bernardo) instead was a pseudonym of soundtrack and library music composer Bernard Ebbinghouse. He was born in Germany but moved to England in 1935 at the age of eight. He did a long career and composed quite a large amount of soundtracks and scores.
This release was a split album quite typical for some library music companies where each group had their own side. A side was appointed to The Ben Bernard Group while The Paolo Zavallone Group got the b side. Ben Bernard starts his side with a midtempo groover called “Mister big”. It’s followed by a downtempo “Rings around Saturn” and uptempo “Slick Chick”, latter being actually a quite decent track. Then comes “Cockney character” and “Ducks ‘n’ drakes” that are both a way too jolly for me. Last one by Ben Bernard is called “Walkin’ easy” and it’s also a quite nice funky track. Paolo Zavallone’s side is clearly the better and more funky side. It starts with a track called “Gambling”. It starts with a nice percussive break and the same funky beat continues throughout the whole four minutes of this uptempo funker. Next up is a mellow piano driven “Patricia” followed by a little heavier cha-cha esque track “Friendly cha-cha”. Then comes the jazzy “Garden party” with a sort of a break in the end. Another good one is the last track “Subway music” that actually reminds me of their better known and compiled track “Yellow fever”. It starts with a nice break and has several other breakdowns throughout the song.
A well known Japanese pop rock group Godiego was formed in 1976. The original line up consisted of the band leader and keyboardist Mickey Yoshino, second keyboardist Yukihide Takekawa, guitarist Takashi Asano, bassist Steve Fox and drummer Tommy Snyder (who replaced the original drummers Hiroomi Harada and Ryoji Asano pretty early). They all handled the vocals too. Godiego did several soundtracks for example to the Galaxy Express 999 and Journey to the West II series. Their key to success was however the theme song for Monkey Magic in 1978, that also gained them name in abroad too. In 1977 they released a soundtrack for the pretty unknown movie called House.
Despite the weird “funny-tracks” and some mellow cheesy numbers, this one is still worth to get. There’s is actually quite a miscellaneous mixture of songs in this soundtrack. There’s one very deep blues track called “Hungry house blues”, an instrumental r’n'b/boogie track with some motorcycle effects called “Buggy boogie”, an uptempo jazz-rock fusion track called “Eat”, a haunting uptempo funky fusion track “Oriental melon man” and then there’s the best track of the album called “Eat eat”. It’s a midtempo funk jam. That’s about all I can say about it, listening tells you more than my hundred words. In my opinion House is worth to get if seen cheap enough.
Hong Kong based Australian composer Noel Quinlan scored a number of Hong Kong movies, and of these, The man from Hong Kong was the first. This Hong Kong-Australia co-production movie was long considered as one of the holy grails of Hong Kong action movies since for long time it was not available outside Australia. It was also the first martial arts movie out of Australia. Starring in the film are Jimmy Wang Yu, legendary Sammo Hung and “the worst Bond ever” George Lazenby. As a soundtrack composer, Quinlan does his job very well. The man from Hong Kong is a very strong action movie soundtrack that rivals even the top blaxploitation soundtracks.
The only track not composed by Noel Quinlan is the theme song “Sky high”, as performed by British pop rock group Jigsaw and composed by the band’s dynamic duo Clive Scott and Des Dyer. It’s a pretty basic late 1970s disco oriented soundtrack song with a hint of pop and even funk. The rest of the album is magnificent work of Quinlan. Midtempo “The carrier from Hong Kong” is one of the best tracks with it’s funky tension feelings and haunting melodies. Similar one is the one and half minute long “Airport”. Synth driven midtempo groover “Kite in the sky” and funky “Roof top” are also great tracks. There’s also three different chase songs. A little odd “The revenge (car chase)”, “Escape” that sounds like British Themes library track within it’s pace and the best one “Foot chase”, that is a acoustic guitar driven funky chase theme á la blaxploitation movies. There’s of course love theme and even some dialogue included in the soundtrack too. Pretty scarce album, but should pop up every now and then.
Istanbul born Barış Manço was one of the most influential Turkish musicians of all times. His musical style combined traditional Turkish folk music, türkü, with western rock and even funk. In 1962 Manço formed his first band after seeing a live performance of another legendary Turkish rock star Erkin Koray. After few own bands in 1960s and brief recordings backed by well known Turkish band Mogollar and reformed Kaygısızlar (his own band from late 60s) he went to form Kurtalan Ekspres in 1972. That band accompanied him until his death in 1999. After a serious car accident in 1967 Manço grew his signature moustache to cover the scars he got.
Sakla samanı gelir zamanı (a Turkish proverb meaning “save hay for a rainy day”) was the third album of Barış Manço after succesful Dünden Bugüne (1972) and 2023 (1975). All these were backed by the legendary Kurtalan Ekspres orchestra. Sakla samanı gelir zamanı wasn’t actually a studio album, but a compilation of singles released by Yavuz between 1972 and 1976. There’s plenty of different types of good tracks in this album. The hypnotic downtempo rare groove number “Gönül dagi” (1973), midtempo funky Anatolian rock number “Kalk gidelim küheylan” (1973) with nice percussion work and very oriental feeling. There’s also midtempo funky “Nazar eyle nazar eyle” (1974) and “Ölum allahin emri” (1972) which after a minute or so intro turns into a nice midtempo oriental funkrock song. “Lambaya püf de!” (1973) is a downtempo mellow song that turns into a nice oriental funk song in the end. The best track no doubt is the uptempo oriental funk song “Ben bilirim ben bilirim” (1975) with nice catchy melody and abreak in the end. There’s also quite hilarious music video of that song where the tempo slightly pitched up. “Ben bilirim” was later released on 20 Sanat yılı disco Manço cassette as a percussion driven disco version. Despite the variety of recording years and musical styles this album is a very strong Anatolian rock album. There is a German reissue of Sakla samanı gelir zamanı from 2008 with different cover and slightly different expanded tracklist.
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.