Archive for the ‘Jazz’ Category

Brick – Sister Twister [1976]
April 13, 2012

Cracking funk marathon from Brick, taken from their very first album “Good High”. Nothing but huge amounts of bassline, horns and twangy lead guitar business, seriously monstrous funk business.

From Wikipedia
Brick was formed in Atlanta, Georgia in 1972 from members of two bands – one disco and the other jazz. They coined their own term for disco-jazz, “dazz”. They released their first single “Music Matic” on Main Street Records in 1976, before signing to the independently distributed Bang Records. Their next single, “Dazz”, (#3 Pop, #1 R&B) was released in 1976. The band continued to record for Bang records until 1982. Other hits followed: “That’s What It’s All About” (R&B #48) and “Dusic” (#18 Pop, #2 R&B) in 1977, and “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody” (#92 Pop, #7 R&B) in 1978. Their last Top Ten R&B hit was “Sweat (Til You Get Wet)” in 1981.

Earl Grey – The Lick [1995]
February 14, 2012

What a corker this track is. I had it on “Future Funk” (Its still in the Garage Dad!) a bloody excellent album of DnB and downtempo classics amongst other things. This is most definitely one of the stand out tracks on there, one of a core few really top shelf jazzy “Intelligent” Drum & Bass tunes. The track didnt really see a whole lot of club play, I think I heard it a few times in the chill out lounge at Goodbye Cruel World but for the most part, this is a track for the car or your lounge at 1am. The bass is pure and the break is clean and absence of any over the top synth work just make this a minimalist classic for me. Fantastic, The Lick indeed!

Earl Grey – Oblivion Express [1996]
January 6, 2012

Another cracking release from Earl Grey on a heavy Jazzy DnB tip. Crisp breaks, crafty rolling basslines and truckloads of jazzy piano. Nothing not to love here, crank it up, make sure you bass is warm and you have a beer in hand. A tune to kick back with for sure.

From Discogs
This release came from Rugged at a time when it was building a reputation within the Jazzy Drum and Bass field. It represents a real summertime roller from the man like Earl Grey typical of the classic 1996 period! Both tracks are on a similar tip driven by lively Alex Reece style grooves, waves of string synths and punctuated with jazzy piano keys throughout! Fairly light tracks admittedly, and weren’t really breaking any new ground at the time but they are clean and well produced taking you on a really good trip back to a golden era which should bring a smile to any Drum and Bass aficionado’s face!

Gil Scott Heron – Spaceshuttle [1990]
December 5, 2011

A ridiculously upbeat track considering the subject matter. Its a cracking almost “Lounge House” or perhaps “Acid Jazz House” sounding tune with one of the most cutting and raw social commentaries from Gil Scott Heron. Not restraining himself to big gov’t but taking shots at all of humanity and for good reason. Strangely, while the track itself may be considered fairly dated, the lyrical content of this track is as relevant today as its always been. Full respect to Gil Scott for that, truly a visionary.

From Discogs
The B side “Deep Club Dub” mix of “Space Shuttle” samples Mr Fingers “Can You Feel It” and is a gem of a track. A political song from Gil and still totally apt regarding global warming. Gil was going on about this years ago and those of use tuned in were well aware of it before the recent media hype. This record is totally undervalued at current market prices and is a gem any House or Funk fan should get a hold of.

Smoove – The Revolution Will Be Televised [2003]
September 21, 2011

What a track from Smoove! Taking the identical format of Gil Scott Heron’s seminal The Revolution Will Not Be Televised and turning it into an ironic social commentary was a stroke of complete genius. Whereas the original was a rallye call to everyone to stop being sedate and to race to action against the forces of oppression under the guise of Democracy in the late seventies, Smoove instead adopts a very British approach. In holding up a mirror to all the crap we all get fed day to day its a complete paradigm shift from the original. Gil Scott wanted you to stand up for what you believe, fight against the homogenisation of society, Smoove is simply showing that society hasnt moved anywhere. If not moved backwards with rampant commodification of everything including a societal revolution.

Of course, I could be reading into this too far, it could just be a track taking the piss out of the original. Regardless, the track is a blasting example of classic Acid Jazz production with a fantastic bassline and rocking break. Instant classic.

Blue Mitchell – Good Humour Man [1968]
June 15, 2011

Of course, without Blue, UMC wouldnt have had a track. Taken from the album “Heads Up!”, Good Humor Man is a Jazz/Soul beast of a tune. One of the best tracks to outline a journey from start to finish, its a track you can cruise too but you want this on your ipod, walking through busy streets. Its one of my go-to tracks when im feeling the fury with humanity, cause one listen of this and your gonna be so laid back after five mins, you’ll be grinning ear to ear.

Mitchell was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He began playing trumpet in high school where he acquired his nickname, Blue.[1]

After high school he played in the rhythm and blues ensembles of Paul Williams, Earl Bostic, and Chuck Willis. After returning to Miami he was noticed by Cannonball Adderley, with whom he recorded for Riverside Records in New York in 1958.

He then joined the Horace Silver Quintet playing with tenor saxophonist Junior Cook, bassist Gene Taylor and drummer Roy Brooks. Mitchell stayed with Silver’s group until the band’s break-up in 1964. After the Silver quintet disbanded, Mitchell formed a group with members from the Silver quintet substituting the young pianist Chick Corea for Silver and replacing Brooks, who had fallen ill, with drummer Al Foster. This group produced a number of records for Blue Note disbanding in 1969, after which Mitchell joined and toured with Ray Charles till 1971.

From 1971 to 1973 Mitchell performed with John Mayall on Jazz Blues Fusion. From the mid-70s he recorded and worked as a session man in the genres noted previously, performed with the big band leaders Louie Bellson, Bill Holman and Bill Berry and was principal soloist for Tony Bennett and Lena Horne. Other band leaders Mitchell recorded with include Lou Donaldson, Grant Green, Philly Joe Jones, Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley, Johnny Griffin, Al Cohn, Dexter Gordon and Jimmy Smith. Blue Mitchell kept his hard-bop playing going with the Harold Land quintet up until his death from cancer on May 21, 1979 in Los Angeles, California at the age of 49.

Roy Ayers Ubiquity – He’s A Superstar [1972]
May 25, 2011

First off, religious connotations can be left at the door because Roy Ayers Ubiquity has a composition here that should be mandatory listening for people wanting to participate in the human race. Jesus gets mentioned, what, twice? The rest of the track is a Jazz Funk behemoth of epic proportions. How many riffs do you recognise? How many breaks to you recognise? Its a total, understated classic.

From Wiki
About Roy Ayers
Roy Ayers (born September 10, 1940, Los Angeles) is a funk, soul and jazz vibraphone player. Ayers began his career as a jazz player, releasing several albums with Arista Records before his tenure at Polydor Records, during which he progressed a new R&B style, slowly molding the new Disco genre. Ayers grew up in a musical family. At the age of five, Lionel Hampton gave him his first pair of mallets, which led to the vibraphone being his trademark sound for decades. The area of Los Angeles that Ayers grew up in, now known as “South Central”, but then known as “South Park”, was the epicenter of the Southern California Black Music Scene. The schools Roy attended (Wadsworth Elementary, Nevins Middle School, and Thomas Jefferson High School) were all close to the famed Central Avenue, Los Angeles’ equivalent of Harlem’s Lenox Avenue and Chicago’s State Street. On any given day, Roy would have been likely to be exposed to music as it not only emanated from the many nightclubs and bars in the area, but also poured out of many of the homes where the musicians who kept the scene alive lived in and around Central. Thomas Jefferson High School, from which Ayers graduated, gave to the music and jazz worlds some of its brightest stars, such as Dexter Gordon.Ayers was responsible for the highly regarded soundtrack to Jack Hill’s 1973 blaxploitation film Coffy, which starred Pam Grier. He later moved from a jazz-funk sound to R&B, as seen on Mystic Voyage and especially the title track from his 1976 album Everybody Loves the Sunshine. Other notable songs by Ayers include “Running Away”, “Searching”, and “Sensitize” (co-written by Ayers protegé Wayne K. Garfield).In 1977 Ayers produced an album by the group RAMP, Come Into Knowledge, commonly and mistakenly thought to stand for “Roy Ayers Music Project”.In 1980 Ayers released Music Of Many Colors with the Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti.In 1981 Ayers produced an by the singer Sylvia Striplin, Give Me Your Love (Uno Melodic Records 1981).

Jestofunk feat Ce Ce Rodgers – The Ghetto [1996]
April 4, 2011

The fantastic Ce Ce Rodgers lends his monstrous vocal talent to this Acid Jazz banger from Jestofunk. Its only found on the B-Side of The Ghetto 96 remixes and the original Acid Jazz Records Volume 1 album. Which in my opinion is a CRIME as its a bloody incredible modern funk number that easily trounces the middle of the road House Remix by JFK. Its got great horn work, infectious baseline and driving almost tribal percussion, all bundled together with Rodger’s incredible vocals. Absolutely mint.

US3 – Cantaloop [1992]
April 4, 2011

Dedicated to my good mate Moiz who’s leaving for pastures new, heading to Germany today. He dropped this classic on me a couple of weeks ago, i’d forgotten all about it too which is criminal as I used to cane the shit out of this track. Taking a massive chunk of Herbie Handcock’s “Cantaloupe Island” and sticking a quality rhyme section over the top makes this one of my all time favourite Acid Jazz tunes. Yep, I said it, Acid Jazz. Remember that? Before Jamiroquai took it all for himself and corporatized the whole genre, we had classic Jazz tracks being remixed with funky hip hop Rhythms and modern synth work? Quality stuff.

From Discogs
One heck of an amazing Acid Jazz track this is. With the fusion of hip-hop beats and trumpets, it really packs a punch to listen to. Definitely a song to listen when in any mood; the upbeat has been able to calm me down in my most difficult times. This is one heck of a great track from US3.

Jackie Mittoo – Hang ’em High [1969]
March 21, 2011

Basslines like only the Jamaicans can, Jackie Mittoo released this as part of his “Keep On Dancing” album back in ’69. Absolutely crackin’ funk number that was sampled pretty much in its entirety for The Freestylers’ “Hard To Stay” on the “Adventures in Freestyle Album”.

From Wikipedia
Jackie Mittoo (3 March 1948 — 16 December 1990) was a Jamaican keyboardist, songwriter and musical director. He was a founding member of The Skatalites and was a mentor to many younger performers, primarily through his work as musical director for the Studio One record label. He was born Donat Roy Mittoo in Browns Town, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica, and began learning to play the piano when he was four under the tutelage of his grandmother.

In the 1960s he was a member of The Skatalites, The Rivals, The Sheiks, The Soul Brothers and The Soul Vendors. Among Mittoo’s contributions in the mid to late 1960s were “Darker Shade of Black” (the basis for Frankie Paul’s “Pass the Tu Sheng Peng”), Freddie McGregor’s “Bobby Babylon”, Alton Ellis’ “I’m Still in Love with You”, The Cables’ rocksteady anthem “Baby Why” and Marcia Griffiths’ first hit, “Feel Like Jumping”. He played for Lloyd “Matador” Daley in 1968 and 1969.