Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jorge Ben - Oba La Vem Ela

Jorge is easily the godfather of Brazilian music in my eyes. And, judging from world wide respect he's endeared very highly amongst heads both high and low. I have a funny story about a Jorge record that I had at one time and somehow let go. After that I vowed never to sell a single record in my collection unless I had a double. It was the LP with the famous soccer song he did called Umbabarauma. Which is also known as Ponta de Lança Africano (Umbabarauma). It might seem insane now, but at the dysfunctional age of 15 or 16 I hadn't a clue. World music was light years out of my reach. I think even at the time I didn't know if the group was called Africa Brazil or what. I remember thinking it was kinda funky and 'kinda' cool, but not enough to keep it. Honestly I cant remember at the moment what I did with it, whether I sold it, trashed it, or handed it over to someone else. There is also a chance it's still buried somewhere in the poorly organized and shite filled collection. Trust me I have a load of garbage records too. Much too many. But, several years after 'misplacing' it brought be great sorrow to know I had let it slip through my fingers. As I became more and more interested in Latin, Brazilian, and rare groove of all sorts, I realized what a mistake I had made. It was this constant reminder the deeper I went into collecting what a giant flub I had made. It was always in the back of my mind as the one record I faintly remember really wanting, but as times could even muster who the heck the artist even was. Of course finding this notorious LP (if only to me) later in life was straight euphoria, it naturally turned out to be dope on dope throughout the album. As we all know now.
I was haunted by a chorus to a world groove song (or so I thought) that had some faint distant chant like Xica da Silva.

This is the album that I discarded and then haunted me for years

Many years later of course I went through a huge Jorge Ben phase and got re-introduced to Jorge and many other fantastic Brazilian artists. But, Jorge for me was always this mystical and elegantly dreamy artist that especially peaked my interests. His music really transported me somewhere else. The song we're featuring today is from an earlier LP than Africa Brasil but, a prime example of his extraordinary talent. Even more importantly a sample of how his music can be a lush and psychedelic dreamscape. Enter into 'Oba La Vem Ela' and you're floating atop the jungle and whisking through it on some magic carpet mushroom ride. Of course i can't stop there and have to include the masterful 'O Telephone' song from this same incredible 'Forca Bruta' album as well. Such a crazy mix of pop and folk. Strings and African instruments. Deep and introspective sounds like a sick emo indie kid wining and crying, yet one who's dancing on balconies and strutting through town at Carnaval at the same time. I 'still' don't know what Jorge or any of these fine Brazilian artists are actually singing about, but it's almost more fantastic to imagine it on your own.
So, I gotta post both of these...Its just too tempting to not do it. Even if if does yield another copyright complaint against us. Two of the best Brazilian songs on the planet. But, fortunately there's worlds more.

Jorge Ben - Oba La Vem Ela
Jorge Ben - O Telefone Tocou Novamente

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Madeline Bell - That's What Friends Are For

Copped this the other day and was surprised I had never had an original of it before. I'd had the Glucklich comped version and of course nabbed the Jazzman re-issue, but somehow never picked up this LP. It reminds me of the broader kind of 'world' inspired rare groove stuff I used to play, and in fact I'm retreading over some more territory in the Brazilian area lately. This jam is light and fluffy and reminiscent of carnival. Madeline holds it all down with a beautiful sophistication and exquisite class. The rhythms and melodies are Latin, Brazilian, Cuban and African. If it's a 'world' sounding groove, then fine. But, it is indeed a groove of 'world class' brilliance.

Madeline is originally from Newark, New Jersey. Like many soul singers she started in the church. She went on to great prominence in gospel with The Glovertones and Alex Bradford Singers. She was a center piece in the notorious rock/pop group Blue Mink. Blue Mink was an incredible diverse group musically with a racially mixed front force of two singers that might have been inspired by groups like Chicago.

Her solo LP's are highly sought after, and of the snippets I've heard, the early ones are particularly amazing. Although, I still haven't tracked them down yet either. She had the chance to record with the esteemed Wadsworth and Mansfield team. She churned out some monster soul tunes and a few northern floor burners. Just leaves more room for us to spotlight her career for future posts. What an incredible voice! SIDENOTE: I hope you'll enjoy our new 'old magazine' style layout...peep the club picture in this above YouTube'll also see the ad from an old Blues and Soul Magazine for 'The Cats Whiskers' club.

She's still active today and performing. She made most of her moves in Europe and can't be denied her place in soul history. Even Dusty Springfield sang backing vocals for HER, and became president of her fan club. Word. Madeline Bell part uno. More to come.

Madeline Bell - That's What Friends Are For

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Apostles - Feeling Happy

Heading to a record sale here in a few hours. Looking at the list of sellers, it's gonna be a great show. Lots of breaks, funk and music from all over. Everything from African to Latin to Indian funk should be well represented.
For address and additional info check here....
Huge Record Sale
As record sales seem to get better and better, it's tending to be as a result of being in younger hands. The staunchy old 'oldies' collectors have less and less of what we're really looking for.  The younger cats are taking over. More and more record hustlers are selling quantity and setting up shop on ebay and discogs with quality. It's refreshing to see this many sellers at a swap and even more exciting that it's here in Oakland. It's from 12-4pm and even better that folks don't have to get up at the crack of dawn. I'm still wishing for a PM or nite swap like our folks up north with the Nite-Owl record swap in Portland. But, for now this will do. You'll want to make this if you're in the area.

Onto this heavy piece of Nigerian funk from these fine men known as The Apostles. From the 197? LP entitled 'Wisdom' is this funky tune 'Feeling Happy' on EMI Nigeria. These cats have about five other albums, but I know little about their overall history. Juan played this record for me after his first trip to Africa, and I'm just glad he's returned to the motherland and tracked this one down for me. If only now he'd find the ROB record for me!

Most of these records have gobs of dust and dirt. Condition with these records is always difficult. They usually have years of road dirt and hot sun warpage. It's hard to find anything in mint condition. But, the incredible strength of these artist usually shines through, and sometimes the funk out weighs interference. I often like my funk with a bit of bacon sizzling away in the background anyway.

Apostles - Feeling Happy

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Salma Agha - Come Closer

Ever since I started this blog it's put a considerable fire under my ass. It's taken me out of my normal purchasing habits. I've tracked down and bought specific tunes just for this site. This has induced only a more feverish and compulsive hunt for good music. Something both you the reader and me the collector can benefit from.
Today was 'Independant Record Store Day' and although I didn't visit a single store, you can't get any more 'independant' than buying some tunes from a friend or a private seller. So, that's what I did. I had to pick up a record that was sent from Africa to me by digger extraordinaire Juan Gomez. I've mentioned his site before, but you would be wise to check it out again as I'm sure he's updated the gold from the motherland.
I was also pleasantly surprised with how deep the crates of Arjuna Sayyed were. I had just followed a series of blogs that lead me to the fantastic site of DJ Marsellus Wallace. Check it out here It's an impressive collection of tasty tunes and amazing LP covers. I find it hard to believe the author is truly named Marsellus Wallace, but you won't find me giving this dudes lady a foot massage if you catch my drift.
On the site I stumbled on a few Bollywood clips and one in particular raised an eyebrow. Just so happened that Arjuna had the same record in his crates. He has made two trips to India and put together an excellent article and mix of Bollywood breaks. Peep this article in Wax Poetics online. Great story on adventures in record hunting in India. Grand stories of moldy records, marble sized rat turds and some excellent breakin' by Arjuna on the streets of India.
Anyways, this LP has a lot of charm. Even a cover Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean' that melts into 'Funky Town' and goes on forever. A flurry of insane disco numbers all in a goofy and furious Bollywood manor. Drum machines a plenty, space farts, screams, laser guns, and weirdo electro bits. It's a tasty array of Bollywood dance number madness and the movie itself looks fantastic. I've now got to head to the shops on University Avenue to score the movie on DVD.

This cut is from the soundtrack to the 1984 film 'Kasam Paida Karnewale Ki'. Music is by Bappi Lahiri who was also behind the 'Disco Dancer' soundtrack. I am reminded by all of this that I need to post more Bollywood stuff including this goof-ball masterpiece 'Disco Dancer'... I'll also try to post the record I got from Juan tomorrow. It's a tasty bit of Nigerian funk.

Salma Agha - Come Closer

Friday, April 15, 2011

Leo – Fee Fi Fo Fum

One of the best electro rarities that I've heard. I also have a sneaking suspicion that this could be the sample base for something I've heard recently although I can't place it. Perhaps something outta the Stones Throw/Dam Funk/Tony Cook camp, but not sure. If it isn't, it's certainly right in the same vein. Or, perhaps I'll dust off the sampler and get to producing my daughter's new LP. Laugh out loud. This one doesn't seem to turn up too often and doesn't make the usual rounds in the electro circles. Could be that this was only on 45, and as most electro records were released on 12 inch to the DJ communities back in the day, this particular jammie flew right under the radar. I'm only posting the vocal version, but the instrumental is a complete monster as well, so you should seek it out. Few folks know about this one, so if you search now, perhaps you'll find a copy before the price escalates. If this is your cup of tea that is.

This post marks our 66th post so far this year. We've already exceeded our quota for the year. We're not even half the way through the year, yet we've matched the amount of posts we've done for the previous years. We're well on our way to double what we've done previously. So, we're doing good. And, if you agree, we haven't been slipping on the quality either.

There's no sign I'll be letting up anytime soon. So, it's gonna continue to be a fruitful year. Happy Spring to you. ENJOY!

Leo – Fee Fi Fo Fum

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ann Alford - Got To Get Me A Job

This is Ann's sole record release but it is a slammin' deep funk 45 heater. It may be her only record, but it's well loved and enjoyed. Originally from Shreveport, Louisiana this sister cut these two sides and vanished as far as we know. The flip is incredible as well, a true ballad in a tear stained James Brown fashion. I think Hy Sign was a subsidiary of the Murco label.

I noticed the other day that BGP has just released this same song this year coupled with Alvin Cash's 'Twine Time' on a new 45. Interesting to see that BGP and ACE are still keeping up with the Joneses. Perhaps they are attempting to cash in on the endless times that this tune has been comped, booted and re-issued. Nice to know you can get this great tune for a cheap price. They've started out well for 2011 and I'm curious to see what's next. In that respect I probably paid way too much for it, but you get to reap the benefits again. Here I present my rip of this great sister funk 45 for you to enjoy.

Ann Alford - Got To Get Me A Job

Friday, April 8, 2011

Edward Fisher - I Feel Good

Speaking of slow 'burners', this one comes to us from Edward Fisher who is also known as Eddie Fisher. My record collecting first lead me to Eddie and his LP 'Eddie Fisher And The Next One Hundred Years'. With songs like 'East St. Louis Blues' and 'Jeremiah Pucket' I had found my crown prince of funky groove. It was exactly what I was looking for at that time. Heavy drum tracks, incredible arrangements and masterful musicianship. Not to mention it was a sample filled and a head nodders dream. It's an incredible jazz funk LP rooted in some heavy band of gypsies trip. So, that was the beginning and a introductory chapter into a great relatively unknown guitarists amazing career. I like all of Fisher's LP's and his work spreads throughout a huge time span of different sounds and influences. This post is from his 'Promise' LP made in 1985. Just so happens that the 'hundred years' LP was the first I heard by Mr. Eddie Fisher.

There were others before it, and it was a few years later that I picked up the rest of his LP's. He started out as The Eddie Fisher Quintet with the 'Third Cup' album. It was a debut album for Chess records and demonstrated his prowess on the guitar and is a formidable acid jazz and soul jazz work. It set the pace for most of his early work. Very funk and groove based but, always with a tinge of psychedelia and general spaced out feel. Always reaching out for more and something deeper it seemed. It's no wonder he was on the Chess label as he had some previous history being the bandleader for Albert King.

Next up was the 'Hundred Years' LP and only further expanded his acid laced funk sound. This record is mental. I think he must have inspired a great deal of jazz funkers at that time. He certainly did for me and others when we re-discovered it. It seems that Chess records was being quite contemporary at that time pushing more funky and commercial records with the Cadet subsidiary. For Stang records he then gave us 'Hot Lunch' which expanded things with more commercial appeal. Use of synthesisers, and branching out from the usual instrumental jazz funk with the use of vocals. Like the very Larry Graham and Sly Stone inspired 'Gimme, Lend Me, Loan Me' and the Marvin Gaye influenced 'It's That Music', it only further illustrated that Eddie was ever evolving.

Later on, possibly in the 80's at some point he started his own label Nentu with his wife. There he cut a p-funk scented boogie masterjam 'Gigalo'
on 12 inch and this LP called 'The Promise'. This album is consistently good throughout. As is all of his LP's. But, for me at the moment, my stand out tracks are this one and the very George Duke sounding 'pluck' adapted song called 'The Jam'. When they surface in my collection again, I will post other songs from these other earlier LP's, but for now this came in the mail the other day and completes the Edward aka 'Eddie' Fisher chapter in my collection. This only means more for YOU to enjoy. Cheers.

Edward Fisher - I Feel Good

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Enlightment - Burning Flame

This tune is melting my head away at the moment. Seriously an anthem of mine, this is indeed my shit! This 'burner' is a funky gospel monster. Mellow and extremely soulful. This track came to me by way of Andrew and the fine folks at Earcave and Peoples Potential Unlimited. By the time I discovered it at the site, it was sold. Already I was in love with this shit. Thought I had never heard anything quite so beautiful. It literally sent me to the phone and Internet searching for how I could track down a copy. No luck. Finally I got a hold of this and it's here for you to enjoy. This is 80's gospel boogie at it's finest. The man behind this project, Larry Jordan is a Bishop these days for The Believers Worship Center in Maryland. Although I was not able to track down this LP as of yet, I was able to track down some additional info on this group....

last copy sold on ebay for US $1730! Nuts!!

The line up was Tony Harod on guitar, James Brown on bass, Al Johnson on synth & keys, Harold Young on drums, Joe Gatling on sax, Tim Eyermann... horns, Kim Miller... violins, and the Enlightment singers: Sheila Stubblefield, Rhonda Lathon Holmes, Marilyn Monroe, and Larry H. Jordan. I was able to get this 45 and from what I hear its the best song on the album. Often it seems the name get spell 'shifted' from Enlightment to Enlightenment, which I'm sure will only prove to make it harder to find. Already the last copy of it sold for close to 18 hundred dollars on eBay. Yikes. If that isn't an example of shill bidding I don't know what is.

***UPDATED - not to infringe on the bands copyright we have updated and reposted this with the Youtube video. and, NOT providing a mp3 of the song.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Flight - No More Part Time Lovin'

Much like the previous Frank Alstin post, we know next to nothing about this group. No, wait. I want to correct that, we know absolutely nothing about them. Still that doesn't take away from this obscure gems magic. If this is the sole outing for this group then they represented quite well in 1981 with this jam. This disco boogie grail is trading hands for big money these days and I'm glad to finally have a minty copy. It's been a hard one to track down, and after a listen you'll see why it's in demand among collectors. This is proof of the excellent mixture of both funk and soul in the boogie tunes of this era. It has it all. Tasty synth, nice backing vocals and several enjoyable breakdowns. It's very much a classy and soulful track. I just love those double disco claps. I'm wondering if they are somehow connected to the group 'Future Flight', but that's just a wild guess. If you know anything more about 'Flight' please get in touch with us.

Flight - No More Part Time Lovin'

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Frank Alstin - It Must Be Love This Time

Here's another jam that seems ripe for the summertime. I know very little about Frank Alstin, however he had quite a few tries at this particular jam. This version has a very home spun almost demo tape sound to it. He recorded it again in 1986 with the fabulous Jean Carne. And, in 1992 it was revamped and given a few 'house' remixes and released in the UK. We know close to nothing about the rest of his career, but this little slab of funk boogie soul definitely increases the desire for more of the same caliber. He did pen a few songs for First Choice, Loleatta Holloway, Sandra Phillips and The Jones Girls. Not a bad gang of folks to be associated with!

This earliest version is the best version in my eyes, but it's hard to deny the excellent vocals from Jean Carne. This version lacks those extra female vocals but does have a crisp snappy funk feel and some excellent synth soloing. Although a lot of the versions out there are dated 1983 but, seem to be the later version from 86. I'm happy to share this track as it seems to be the hardest version to come by and doesn't go for cheap these days. I hope you enjoy.

Frank Alstin - It Must Be Love This Time