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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


Scintilla


Catch fire


Bottle blue


Black Jack


Hop toad

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under Uncategorized, asia, europe, funk, soul | 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 »

Houseband - De Houseband

March 13th, 2011

Houseband De HousebandHOUSEBAND

  • De Houseband
  • VPRO
  • 1976
  • Holland

Houseband started their career literally as a houseband. They started out in 1973 as the in-house orchestra at Amsterdam’s legendary club Paradiso, and they were one of the first funk outfits from the whole country. The very same year the first appearance of multi-instrumentalist Peter Smid, and guitarists Frank Sutherland and Harry Hart occurred for the VPRO show Monday night, the radio show by Wim Noordhoek. Noordhoek invited the guys to play there more frequently. Together with some other members that were involved also in the Paradiso sessions, they started out as the house band for the VPRO. The VPRO (originally an acronym for Vrijzinnig Protestantse Radio Omroep, meaning Liberal Protestant Radio Broadcasting Company) is a Dutch broadcasting organization that started out in 1926 and is still active today.

In 1976 VPRO launched the Zeldzaam & zonderling -series (meaning Strange and rare) and the first volume was studio recordings by the Houseband called simply De houseband. The following volumes were mostly spoken word, comedy and other vocal material. Overall it’s very uninteresting series except this first release. The records were given out as a promo and as far as I know, they were never for sale anywhere. As a radio show studio orchestra, the Houseband played really wide variety of music, although their touch was very soul and funk oriented. The debut album contains all kinds of stuff from pop to blues and beyond. What makes this one interesting, is the cover versions of the JB’s hit “(Givin’ up) food for funk”, the Meters medley “looka-pye-pye / Cissy strut” with a nice break and one original composition, “Baby funk” as written by Frank Sutherland. Obscure record with some good funk for all funky music enthusiasts. Houseband released three more albums in the 1970s and all these are worth mentioning later. All the volumes of Zeldzaam &n zonderling -series have the same cover and only the small sticker on the bottom left corner indicates what’s inside, so don’t be mislead by the cover.


Baby funk


(Givin’ up) food for funk


Looka-pye-pye / Cissy strut

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

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 »
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