Wednesday, March 17, 2010

American Gypsy

American Gypsy were a funk jazz outfit with deep mutating grooves and were slightly progressive and experimental. I was first hip to them in my endless quest for samples, and as usual stumbled on their drum sounds. And, as usual I was turned onto a richer sound that drew me into the entire LP and eventually a whole 'nuther style of music. Throaty big and lush vocals, much like Gil Scot-Heron, and tracks that totaled a vast array of influences. American Gypsy were in fact, American, but spent much time abroad. They spent a great deal of time in the Netherlands and released two Lp's there, one in the mid 70's and another in the early 80's. Sandwiched between the two is this excellent American release on the chess label. "Inside Out" starts as a classical music prelude number, and erupts into one the sickest drum and bass breaks I've ever put my ears on. The song changes yet again into a slower misty eyed groove, amazing! "Stuck on you" is a little more common fare disco style, but still a good indication of how capable American Gypsy were at transcending scenes. One could say they were well ahead of their time. They were indeed quite popular among other US musicians and had quite a period of notoriety for their live gigs. I suppose they found more appreciation overseas, but now they are well loved and appreciated here as well.

American Gypsy - Inside Out

American Gypsy - Stuck On You

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