Monday, September 29, 2008

Brooklyn Record Riot! Set list - Sept. 28, 2008

Brooklyn Record Riot Set List:
The Ventures - "Swingin' Creeper" (Dolton Records cat. No. 306)
Leo Valentino Trio - "Behind The Out House" (Camelia Records of Richness)
Eddie Chamblee - Dayton Selby on Organ - "Honeybee" (Prestige cat. PR 45-302)
Tommy Wills Man With A Horn - "K.C. Drive" (Juke cat. JB 2025)
Jimmy McGriff - "The Worm" (Solid State cat. SD 2524)
Rusty Bryant - "Fire Eater" (Prestige cat. PRT-750)
Vocal: Jimmy Jones, Soul Brother No. 2 Henry DeMeo & Orch - "Say, Amen, Brother" (Jody Records cat. 9014)
Victory Travelers - "I Know I've Been Changed" (Courtin' cat. 1003)
The Blues Groove - "Makin' It" (Verve cat. VK-10417)
Bobby Quesada - "Bataola Boogaloo" (Fania cat. 464)
Willie Colon - "Jazzy" (Fania Records cat. 444)
Monguito Santamaria - "Hey Sister" (Fania cat. 481)
Gate Wesley & Band - "(Zap! Pow!) Do The Batman" (Atlantic cat. 45-2319)
Lorenzo Holden - "The Wig" (Cee-Jam Records)
Lester Young and his California Playboys - "Wobble Time" (Chase Record Co. cat. 1200)
The Voxpoppers - "The Last Drag" (Mercury cat. 71282X45)
The Shades - "Skip It" (Joey Records Inc. cat. J-6206)
The Arrows featuring Davie Allen - "Moon Dawg '65)
Soul Continentals - "Bowlegs" (Sound Stage 7 cat. 45-2609)
Frankie Newsome - "Don't Mess With My Lovemaker (Part II)" (Savern cat. SN-104)
Curtis Davis - "Your Love And My Money" (Bev-Mar Records cat. BM 1001)
Dotti Wright - "Eclipse Of A Lover" (F - M Records cat. 471)
Mary Lou Williams - "The Credo" (Mary Records cat. MA-6)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Primitive Sound System at the Brooklyn Record Riot - Sun Sept 28th

Hello Y'all,
If there is one truth in this world and it is simple... "YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH VINYL RECORDS!" To prove this, people who already own thousands of records make up excuses for buying more and rationalize every purchase. So start thinking you collector geeks because this Sunday is the second Iris Records' Brooklyn Record Riot at The Warsaw. There is quite a line-up of DJ's and last time I picked up some great records. I meant to say, "I got ONLY records I had been looking for forever and spent WAY under what they were worth." Please join us for some great music, food and of course crates of records that you r e a l l y need. In honor of these heated political times I will spin at the pleasure of all those present.

- pat.

Primitive Sound System
"Audio Visual Triumphs and Disasters" -

Brooklyn Record Riot!
Sunday September 28th - 11AM - 8PM
The Warsaw
261 Driggs Ave., Brooklyn

The rest of the year visit them at their shop...
Iris Records
114 Brunswick St.
Jersey City, NJ

Line-up of DJ's:

11:00 AM : Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus
12:00 PM : Pat. James Longo - The Primitive Sound System
1:00 PM : DJ Crazeology, the Frequency Hopper
2:00 PM : Ira the K (of Yo La Tango)
3:00 PM : Miriam Linna (of Norton Records)
4:00 PM : Josh Styles (of Smashed! Blocked!)
5:00 PM : DJ Kaneta (of Facing Facts, Tokyo)
6:00 PM : DJ Sandman
7:00 PM : Alex Ferguson

Some records that I will not sell you... so don't ask:

Victory Travelers - "I Know I've Been Changed"
Sweet Jesus those are divine drums that intro this Gospel groover. Typical to many Gospel tunes the title is repeated many times throughout by both the lead and the background singers. The recording and the performance are raw and tough. The The drums pound and the bass is heavy as hell, oops sorry... I mean, powerful enough to shake the walls of Jericho. I love the raspy lead vocal. It sounds as if he may stop the song at any moment and clear his throat but he soldiers on and sounds amazing right to his last passionate shout. Please, don't change a thing.

The Tri-Ems - "Tea Box" (Maurci cat. M-112)
The Rhythm Ace and The Rhythm King are easily two of the coolest pieces of equipment ever invented to make music. When you combine them in just the right way with live instrumentation you get the magic that is "Tea Box." Of course this is the same beauty that was cut by Simtec Simmons also for Maurci. This version is a bit less loungey than Mr. Simmons brilliant version and also is recorded with a bit more punch. The guitar is free flowing and keeps everything from getting too samey. The beat is sped up and the Rhythm Ace/King takes the back seat to a very aggressive organ. I also love the way it just drops off so, so will I and start it right back up.

The Venture - "The Swingin Creeper" (Dolton cat. No 306)
I love The Ventures. I have about twenty LPs of their music and about five 7-inches. This is without a doubt one of my favorites. It has everything I could ask for and more. Steady, driving beat, swinging organ, fuzzed out guitar and thumping bass. This moves along like a spy theme but has enough going on to be the whole soundtrack. Swingin, creeping, spooky and fun. The drums never once break from their driving groove as the guitar takes an amazing fuzzy run, things drop of a bit to allow the organ to slide out of the darkness and create an even more deep, moody space. This would have fit nicely on The Ventures In Space LP but sounds right at home on The Ventures A Go Go!

The Arrows - "Moon Dawg '65" (Tower cat. 133)
WOOOOHOOO! A big drum roll and speeding guitar burst off the line and don't let up until the finish line. There are a few yelps and yells heard echoing down the track but this is all about the guitar and beat. I definitely don't have enough Davie Allen records and every time I listen to this I wish I had boxes of them. The double guitar sound here is so sharp and moving. As the rhythm keeps everything in line the high pitch chords and notes dance around it almost teasing it. I think Davie Allen made about a thousand records so I may have to borrow some money.

Miles Davis - "Right Off Part II" (Columbia cat. 4-45350)
I play the Jack Johnson LP quite often. It is hard to choose when reaching for the Miles but this LP hits the deck more often than not. It usually comes down to this and In A Silent Way. I knew there was a 7-inch out there from the session and it took a minute to track one down. No youngins, this aint no tribute to the barefoot hippy singer song writer but a cut from the proposed soundtrack for a documentary about one of the best boxers to step into the ring. Johnson's fight against Jim Jeffries dubbed "The Fight of The Century" caused riots after he easily defeated Jeffries. Johnson lived his life above the racism of his time breaking many barriers and sadly died the year before Jackie Robinson brought about an end to segregation in sports. "Part II" opens right in the heart of the groove and drops suddenly into a long held organ note that leaps into what can only be the sounds of lefts and rights finding the mark. The beat Billy Cobham lays down isn't necessarily funky but it would be impossible to describe it as anything else. John McLaughlin is masterful in his choices of notes and sounds and obviously the same is true for the rest of the band. Herbie Hancock beats the Frafisa picking apart the melody and breaking up the rhythm. Hancock and McLaughlin are joined together by Miles he seems content walking through and only adding "words" and action when necessary. I wish the 7-inch ended with the Brock Peters reading then this is just 2:49 of a 27 minute long track.

Willie Colon - "Jazzy" (Fania Records cat. 444)
Sometimes the title can be just as misleading as the cover. Willie Colon calls this burning Boo-ga-loo - "Jazzy." Although the piano is certainly swinging the rest of this is nothing short of Boogaloo madness. Colon's band is one of the tightest to ever step in the studio and that goes for Jazz or Boogaloo. Blasting horns open this up before letting the rest of the band hit the dance floor and keep ever moving. Heads are nodding and shoulders are shaking as the drums and percussion push this into feverish territory. The bones come back for a little solo action before the band jumps back in with a little tribute to the Madness of Joe Cuba.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Higgins - zs

Higgins write songs. Higgins compose music. Higgins are performers. Higgins is a band.

My, how Higgins have grown. No really. What used to be two has now grown to six. You would think there should be the obvious signs of growing pains or the usual good and bad traits exhibited by most large families. Higgins have somehow escaped the expected and as always never do the obvious. In this day and age of studio trickery the possibilities are endless when it comes to recording sounds to tape. In most cases the magic of the ones and zeros in the digital realm expands those options to the ends of the Universe. Not so for Higgins. The band is home in the studio and the musicians interact as friends and family would. There is a mutual respect and admiration amongst the musicians and this is no better represented then by simply listening to Zs. A typical Higgins composition is complex and deep with similarities to such greats as David Axelrod, Brian Wilson, Richard Evans, and the like. Higgins get the most out of each musician because they would not have it any other way. Live they are raw and real. Raw like an exposed nerve and not like a drunken Punk band. On stage the band performs as a well oiled machine. Their performances have enough loose moments to separate studio from club. The connection the musicians have to the music and to one another is awe inspiring and is sure to send a chill down your spine. These are performances that as a musician you can only hope to one day be a part of and as a fan you know years later you will proudly detail how, you were there.

Making comparisons of one sound to another or one band to another is only useful if the listener, reader or audience know the points of reference. To make obvious comparisons to Higgins seems unfair. There is something in their sound that harks to a more professional time in the world of music. A time when all musicians were musicians and schooled or rehearsed as such. This and this alone does not make a great band. Look to the rawest and best of Punk and Garage bands and you will know that professionalism is not even last on their list of priorities but not on the list at all. No, I am talking about music performed by true artists and craftsmen who are just as concerned with the notes as they are with the arrangements. To say their music is wise beyond their years is only appropriate because we don't expect this level of quality from the pedestrian performances and complacency with levels of mediocrity that are praised now-a-days by fans and sadly critics alike. Higgins stand above all in the studio and the music halls both of which seem to long for great sounds. This is not to say that Higgins don't know what it means to be primitive. They know that raw is no more powerful than polish and can embrace the two qualities with equal understanding and finesse. A typical Higgins song is layered with sounds, instruments and vocals all of which blend together like a chef preparing a signature dish. If Higgins were painters they would be Impressionists. If they were a movie they would be Film Noir.

Zs is a journey. Zs is an expression. Zs is music and it deserves to be heard.


"There He Is"
Brian Kantor-Drums/Tambo/Shaker
Kevin Fish- Vocals/Guitar/Piano/Organ
Josh Kaufman-Guitars
Andrew Fuller Condon-Bass

There is always something sweetly familiar about a Higgins song. Maybe it is the perfectly placed aggression reminiscent of bands like The Faces against the warmly laid down harmonies of so many late 60's and early 70's masters from the Raspberries to Badfinger. Maybe it is just their ability to interpret these sounds and make them their own. Many bands claim this, but fall deeply into the pit of good intentions and poor imitations. "There He Is" never loses itself in clichés and Pop trappings. Perfectly short the way a great Pop song should be and lastingly memorable.

"Always Something"
Brian Kantor-Drums/Tambo
Kevin Fish-Vocals/Guitars/Piano/Wurlitzer
Josh Kaufman-Guitar Solos
Andrew Fuller Condon-Bass
Eric Jackson-Guitar Solos
Annie Nero-Cellos/First Bass Coach
Karen Waltuch-Violas
Travis Harrison-Mouse Gong

Kevin Fish can do more with his voice than most bands can with an orchestral backing. Sublime and wise beyond his years like Peter Sellers in "Being There." His words and delivery float through the compositions as a true storyteller and not just a singer songwriter (a title which is tragically thrown around and handed out far too easily). You can feel his presence around you as he walks through his life, and yours, as both observer and participant. The chorus, "There is always something to keep someone from loving me" is turned a few times to even include, " keep someone from mugging me." Our hero comes to his realization not sadly, but with full understanding that he has only himself to blame.

"Wall Of Dumb"
Brian Kantor-Drums/Tambo
Kevin Fish-Vocals/Acoustic Guitar/Piano/Wurlitzer
Josh Kaufman-Classical(30something)Guitar/Electric Guitar/Banjo
Andrew Fuller Condon-Bass
Eric Jackson-Electric Guitar
Jordan Crowell-Shakers/Muted Triangle/Awesomeness

The piano intro to "Wall Of Dumb" sounds so similar to something you know that as it pulls off into unfamiliar territory your stomach drops like a ride up and down rolling hills. The rolling hills continue and so does the breeze as Mr. Fish's voice stretches to reach the top of each peak and then happily glides to the bottom as his sorts the meaning of life. Maybe not the big meaning, meant to answer all of our insecurities, but just enough to get him through another day. The band rattles along like an old car, cranked up just enough to carry him from one revelation to the next but not simply as a vehicle but also fellow passengers on this journey. To great effect the Guitars, banjos and keyboards pluck and bounce along with the broken beat of the drums and tastefully placed percussion never allowing things to become settled.

Brian Kantor-Drums/Extensive Percussion/Bongos in the style of Travis Harrison
Kevin Fish-Vocals/Wurlitzer/Piano/Synth/Wah Wah/Bass
Josh Kaufman-Banjo/Josh and Kevin's sampled voice Keyboard
Eric Jackson-Trombone/I'm Gonna take a Solo.....Guitar
Travis Harrison-Bongo Arranger
The Suffolk County Man Pipes-Group Vocals

Each subsequent track on Zs becomes more layered with sounds. The level of composition goes up and so do the chances the band takes. "Jamy" has one of the coolest intros I have ever heard. There is even a synthesized breeze to make the point more definitively and by all rights should be corny yet feels perfectly genuine. Right before the first chorus passage there is a Guitar, Electric Piano and Drum part that passes in a fraction of a second but one I can get hung up on for a lifetime. It comes again and never loses its affect. Simple, pure and soulful. It is a moment that cannot be spoken, a moment when words are not enough or maybe too much to do it justice. Somehow Banjo manages to come off just as soulful as the more obvious choices of instrumentation but then with the swirling Wurlitzer and spectacular Guitar solo it would be hard to break the mood.

"Roy G. Business"
Brian Kantor-Drums/Percussion
Kevin Fish-Wurlitzer/Vocals/Organ
Josh Kaufman-Drop D Guitar/Piano
Eric Jackson-Guitar
Andrew Fuller Condon-Bass
The Suffolk County Man Pipes-Group Vocals

Somber and zombie like "Roy G. Business" lumbers in with the band. There are moments when you can feel them lose their balance as if the band is playing on the deck of a storm tossed boat. Cymbals crash and tom toms roll like the waves crashing to the deck or at times trying to roll the boat and end the misery. The Suffolk County Man Pipes drunkenly try to save their souls with a sea worthy chant. Hopelessly trying to raise the dead or alert rescuers through the darkness but sadly all is in vein. No one hears, no one is coming; all is lost and the world has gone calm.

"Yes I Know"
*Brian Kantor-Drums
Kevin Fish-Vocals/Guitar/Piano/Glockenspiel/Shakers
Josh Kaufman-Guitars
Andrew Fuller Condon-Bass
Travis Harrison-Tambo

Pure Pop perfection has had its moments and nothing is more pure than "Yes I Know." You can almost hear the crowd singing along with Kevin as he repeats "I found a new way" throughout the song. The band raises the excitement and tosses us around just because they can. The singer remains grounded and determined to make sure that we know he is enjoying a moment. This is a moment of clarity and happiness, a moment of pure bliss. At these moments we are best on our own. We are no longer needy, no longer wanting. We have reached a simple state of being. Egoless. This is what a flower must feel. In typical Higgins style, mere seconds before the song concludes Mr. Kaufman treats us to just enough of a guitar solo that we are both left wanting and satisfied.

"Write It Down"
Brian Kantor-Drums
Kevin Fish-Vocals/Guitars/Bass/Organ/Wurlitzer
Karen Waltuch-Violas/Violins
Josh Kaufman-String arrangement

"Write It Down" is sentimental. Thinking of all the great things you could have said; the perfect sentiment, the timely quote or the humorous finish at the end of a thought. All the things you wish you would have said and sometimes things you should have said. Write it down, it doesn't mean any less. Sometimes it may even mean that much more. Drums drive a sharp string arrangement and lilting keys throughout. At times the voice peaks out of the darkness as if lost in thought, clouded by the possibilities to say the right thing.

Brian Kantor-Drums/Shakers/Guitar Manipulation
Kevin Fish-Vocals/Acoustic & Electric Guitars/Wurlitzer/Synths/Synth Bass & Electric Bass
Eric Jackson-Electric Guitar/Fuzz Box Amp Guitar

Fuzz Guitar threatens to shatter the gentle sounds that open "OK." The mood is mist like and airy. Eric Jackson cuts the atmosphere with layers of feedback exposing the storm that is raging inside. Brian Kantor opens up and attacks his kit as if to prove that sometimes what we think is so delicate and fragile is actually quite stable.

Prelude To A Charly"
Brian Kantor-Drums/Bass/Electric and Acoustic Guitars/Piano/4th Drum solo
Travis Harrison-Drums/Special Effects/3rd Drum Solo
Dan Crowell- Drums/Bell Riding/Fire Cracker Fills/2nd Drum Solo
Kevin Fish- 1st Drum Solo

A band is only as good as its drummer. Period. Regardless of genre. Higgins is not a good band. Higgins is a great band. What makes them so is drummer extraordinaire, Brian Kantor. Rarely on a Pop record does the drummer get to express his or her greatness in such an overt way. Not only does "Prelude To Charly" demonstrate his aggression and skill but he invites and arranges three other drummers to pound his point home. "Prelude" whirls and crashes in what can only be described as a moment of Prog Rock brilliance. Big beats coming at you from all sides, Percussion, heavy Bass and Keyboards come together as one and at times separate as if unaware of each other. You are trapped in the vortex as the musicians surround you driving you closer and closer to the edge of insanity. Suddenly the mood shifts lulling you to sleep with rim shot driven rolls and gentle piano. The nightmare or ecstatic moment, depending on your perspective, builds back up before we are dropped hard and shot through the grease.

Brian Kantor-Drums/Percussion
Kevin Fish-Vocals/Guitar Left/Guitarmonies/Flute Organ
Josh Kaufman-Guitar Right
Andrew Fuller Condon-Bass
Eric Jackson-Slide Guitar
Scot Gropper-Hammond Organ

Southern Rock with a boogie base is a very good place to land after the prelude. Kantor continues his brilliant assault and the band seems very revved and ready to join him. Fish comes on like he is ten feet tall and the band have an invincible quality to their sound. The addition of Hammond Organ is a great choice and one that more new bands need to explore as it is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th Century. Grooving with harmonies, several slashing guitars and thunderous bass "Charly" is one bad mother-fucker. The Prog flavor is evident in the vocals but the band is all business up front and you guessed it, you know what's going on in back. The outro shows just how sharp the band can be even in territory that is not necessarily familiar to them. This is like Queen meets Black Oak Arkansas.

"Everybody (Thunder Mountain)"
Brian Kantor-Drumkit Left/Acoustic Guitars
Kevin Fish-Vocals/Acoustic & Electric Guitars/Piano/Harpsiboard
Josh Kaufman-Vocals/Acoustic Guitars/Electric Guitars/Autoharp
Andrew Fuller Condon-Bass
Eric Jackson-Trombones/Electric Guitars
Jordan Crowell-Tambo
Travis Harrison-Drumkit Right
Billy Filo-Acoustic Guitars
Karen Waltuch-Violas
Meryl Joan Lammers-Flutes

Saying goodbye with a mix of what has come before is a nice way for a band to go out. "Everybody (Thunder Mountain)" combines all of what makes Higgins great and is certainly no throw away at the end of side two. By this point the band has grown to ten players all of whom complement each other as well as shine brightly. The rhythm section continues to kick up some dust, strings and flute dart back and forth avoiding the percussion and ducking cymbals while the keys challenge the bass and trombone to be heard. This is an explosive closer but after you catch your breath and begin to process what you just heard you will want to start it all over again from the beginning.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Primitive Sound System, Bill Dolan and Joe Raaen go Back To School - Thurs Sept 4th at D.C.'s Tavern

Hello Y'all,
Back to school days! If there is a more joyless time of year I dare you to name it. Back to school signifies the dead last second of Summer and even if it isn't your favorite time of year no other season's activities and features are missed more. Long days begin to give way to long nights and the weather becomes even less predictable. God I love this time of year! Let's stay inside and listen to records. Speaking of, I picked up a lot of records this Summer for very cheap from a friend selling off some 45's to make room for his 78 collection. Some of these are records I have been looking for, for a long time and others were a complete surprise. Tonight school is back in session with your scantly dressed teachers Bill Dolan, Joe Raaen and my sexy damn self. Please come to class prepared. Requirements for this evenings course are notepad, pencil, a hearty thirst and dollars to stuff in the barkeep's school uniform.

- pat.

Primitive Sound System
"Audio Visual Triumphs and Disasters" -

Primitive Sound System, Bill Dolan & Joe Raaen
Thursday September 4th 9PM to Closing
D.C.'s Tavern
505 8th Street
Between Jefferson and Madison
Hoboken, New Jersey
PH: 201-792-5550

What's in my lunch box:
The Voxpoppers - "The Last Drag" (Mercury cat. 71282X45)
With the most time stamped sound from intro to finish The Voxpoppers grind their way through one street racers last race and a blown chance to impress his lady. The talked vocal moves slowly but we are slammed head on into one of the best 50's guitar sounds there is. Both twangy and raw with a big sound that needs no accompaniment to tell its story. Happily this solo goes on longer than the average 50's vocal track making it almost a guitar instrumental. One mile later the pistons blow and sadly not only is the race lost but so is the car and any chance of having a little fun in the back seat.

Dottie Wright - "Eclipse Of A Lover" (F - M Records cat. 471)
Mmmm... this is one of the tastiest 45's I have picked up in a long time. Les McCann's "Compared to What?" has long been one of my favorite songs and a few songs come close to its feel. Dottie Wright not only comes close but this little disc gives me chills. Bright piano and steady drums ride atop a heavy bass line in a perfect combination of Jazz and Soul. Ms. Wright has a very young sounding voice and one that also is reminiscent of the modern ladies of soul like Elizabeth Shepherd, Alice Russell, Dionne Charles, etc. I assume this record is from the late sixties or early seventies and hopefully Ms. Wright is an influence on the aforementioned ladies of Soul.

Dee Dee Sharpe - "You're Just A Fool In Love" (Atco Records cat. 6576)
Holy cow. Early Dee Dee Sharpe has always been a regular spin for me. I have practically worn a groove through her "All The Hits" LP. So while visiting Mr. Fine Wine on his radio show I was amazed to find out that this was Dee Dee Sharpe. This is one funky little groover and it even comes with a nice break. Sharpe's voice is big and soulful here as opposed to her younger cuts like "Party Lights." There is something similar to a Staple Singers side with spectacular guitar, big arrangement and deadly rhythms. Ms. Sharpe whoops and hollers after the choruses giving it a Marva Whitney thing as well. Simply perfect and this is what record collecting and DJing is all about. I hope you enjoy as much as I do.

Bobby Womack - "Arkansas State Prison" (Minit Records cat. 32093)
From one of my favorite Bobby Womack LP's comes this down and dirty tale of imprisonment. Bobby Womack has one of the strongest voice that carries him effortlessly from the quiet moments to the shouts. Musically he provides distinctive guitar riffs and his band his always sharp as a razors edge. Similar to Arthur Alexander, Bobby Womack sits comfortably in the world of Soul as he does in the Rock world. "Arkansas State Prison" is at times bare and sparse and at others lush and and emotional. Tony Joe White minds a similar territory but never so beautifully.

Johnny Hallyday - "MAL "Hush"" (Philips cat. Bf370489b)
Johnny Hallyday tackles Joe South's incredible "Hush" with the same aggression that Deep Purple did but does it in a Mod Soul groove worthy of any dance party. The band never pushes Hallyday aside and lets him shine but they are certainly not taking it easy or sitting back on their heels. Hallyday has had an insanely long career in France both acting and singing and In 1969 he was even backed by the Small Faces on his Rivière... Ouvre ton Lit. LP. His version of "Hush" shows that not all actors suck when the sing.

Mark Murphy - "Daddy Must Be A Man" (Capitol cat. F4021)
Mark Murphy is a pretty great Jazz singer who did some his best work in the 60's. This must be his first recording or at least pretty damn close to it and it is easily one of the oddest records I have ever heard. This is a wolf is sheep's clothing. At first the song comes off like a domestic disturbance where Dad is a feared ruler of the roost. Slowly it unfolds that Mom maybe less than faithful and is able to convince Dad that he is the only one that matters and King of his castle. The song is sung from the perspective of one of the children and is certainly warped as such. The music is a pretty basic 50's early 60's hand-clapping romp with sweet female backing. Somehow this adds up to one insane little ditty that makes me bob back and forth.

The Aquatones - "She's The One For Me" (Fargo Records cat. LF-B1001)
I love a song that has an intro contrary to the rest of the song and "She's The One..." is one such song. This opens with the lead singer testifying his love of his baby in a pleading tone. As soon as he is certain we understand the band kicks in full tilt and never lets up. I am not sure but it seems that every great song from the 50's / Early 60's has a screaming sax even if it is a brief burst and for me, that is what makes them so great. The group uses their voices in very unique ways changing tone and shape in ways that are almost silly yet work incredibly well in this setting. "She's as sweet as she could be and she gets rid of my misery... she's the one."

Lester Young - "Wobble Time" (Chase Record Co. cat. 1200)
Ahh, now this is just fucking great. Lester Young and band lead us through the Wobble and make sure we never get lost by supplying the dance steps right there in the lyrics. Despite his bands obvious geographical tribute, the California Playboys, there is a New Orleans sound that runs under this. There is nothing like a nice pause and "The Wobble" has some nice "freeze" moments throughout. The recording is insanely clean and loud as hell which is really impressive. Young talks to us as the band tightly walks at a medium pace with bass, drums and piano leading the dance floor and wobbling about. Let's wobble baby.

The Stance Brothers - "Youth Groove" (Ricky Tick Records cat. RT024)
The Stance Brothers, The Stance Brothers, The Stance Brothers! These guys just know how to kick. I am not certain how to even describe this. There is a little Meters in there, maybe some JB's, maybe some Kool and The Gang, oh hell this is ALL Stance Brothers. Beautiful Vibes, sharp Drumming, stabbing and flowing Guitar all leading the horns through the brighter moments of their own brand of Jazz, Soul and Funk. The drums treat us to a very un-typical break and the band gives a shout in approval. I have watched video of these guys they are definitely all about feel and mood. Each member embraces their instrument and unlocks the beauty within and usually they do it funky as hell.

The New Mastersounds feat. Dionne Charles - "All We Can Do" (One Not Records cat. ONR7004)
There is nothing like Dionne Charles and there is certainly nothing like the tight as a duck's ass New Mastersounds. Ms. Charles gives her voice and attitude to this polished and 100% funky groove. This band adheres to the repetitive style of Funk that grabs a groove by the balls and never lets up. Equally as impressive instrumentally as the powerful yell of Ms. Charles the band can at times sound like a tape loop. There is a subtle and moody keyboard solo about three quarters the way in that floats above the never changing base but shakes things up just enough to keep it from getting samey and boring. Hard and heavy.

Trio Valore - "Rehab" (Record Kicks cat. RK45 020)
"Rehab" was an amazing Soul song from the first time you heard it. Amy Winehouse's waste of a life attitude is the only thing that can tarnish it. It has become tiresome to hear one more story about her and if I hear this song played one more time by some idiot who seems to think actual rehab may be a cool I may explode. It is painful. Along comes this giant organ instrumental version to breath life back into it and remind us all how great it really is. Drums kick this wide open and the organ jumps in to state the theme. Please don't sing along, just let it be. The organ is masterfully handled here by Seamus Beaghen who has quite a history wrestling the Hammond. The drum throne is manned by none other than Steve White formerly of the Style Council. Damon Minchella gives the bass its voice and the extra heavy bottom which helps keep this from being too Loungey. Suffice it to say these gentlemen are the cream of the crop and it comes through loud and clear on this fantastic reworking.

Ken Morimura - "Descarga Para Ti" b/w The Soultwisters - "Soulpudding" from Nik Weston Presents The Funky Instrumentals 45 Volume Two (Mukatsuku Records cat. MUKAT 008)
Both sides of this are pretty great but for some reason right now I can't stop listening to "Soulpudding." I have no idea if this is an old or new song. It sounds very modern but who knows, it may be a reissue. The band is quite explosive with pounding drums and blaring horns. There is a very aggressive blowing sax but he is not the only stand out no matter how hard he tries. The guitar makes sure of that with a slightly Southern flavor to a blistering solo. The band knows a good thing when they hear one and they pick up the pace behind him but drop right back in the pocket to state the theme and hand the whole thing back over to the sax. nothing like some friendly competition to get the blood flowing and the bodies moving.