Geraldo Pino – Heavy Heavy Heavy

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Geraldo Pino

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Listen – Heavy Heavy Heavy MP3″

Greetings all.

I hope y’all are ready to groove, because the tune that I am about to whip on you today is, quite literally, figuratively and in title, Heavy Heavy Heavy.
But first, a word from our sponsor…

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I had this record all stacked up and ready for blogification when I got the high sign from my man Sascha at the Lucky Cat in Brooklyn, asking me if I was up for a little expeditione du disque on the Thirty First of this very month. Naturally, eager at all times to strap my wax onto my mule and venture out into the wilderness I accepted eagerly. Then I found out that my slot would be opening for the mighty Afro funk powerhouse the Budos Band, and promptly flipped my wig, passing right through excited to psyched.
I assure you all, no matter how much heat I pack in the Funky16Corners porta-crates, the sounds of the Budos Band – emanating from the Daptone stable of stars – are pure heat and if you are within reach of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, you should…nay you MUST, head on out for the last Friday night of the Summer to shake it at the Lucky Cat.
That I had some Afro funk ready to go when this opportunity rolled along is pure, happy coincidence.
When you talk about Afro funk (beat, rock, whatever) the name that first comes to mind is of course that of Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Unless you have a more than passing acquaintance with sounds African, you may not have heard the name Geraldo Pino. Rest assured, though, that in the earliest days of his funkiness, Fela knew Pino – a native of Sierra Leone who was very popular in Nigeria – and his band the Heartbeats as perhaps the funkiest band in all of Africa.
Pino – born Gerald Pine – started out as a devotee of Latin sounds, moving on into American influenced soul and funk via the influence of James Brown. In the words of Fela himself:

“They were great, I must be frank with you. They copied James Brown throughin, throughout every note, every style. And they had the equipment…Before they came into my country, bands only used one microphone, at the time a whole band. But they came in with five microphones, and the sound, it’s deep you know, so nobody wanted to hear anyone but the Heartbeats…they drove everyone out of the market.”

After seeing this Pino I knew I had to get myself together, quick!”*

When you hear today’s selection, ‘Heavy Heavy Heavy’, which was recorded in the late 60’s and released clear on the other side of the continent in Kenya on the Suzumi label, it’s immediately obvious why Fela dug these sounds so much.
There are clear parallels to the sounds of Fela – especially to the ’69 sessions with Koola Lobitos – but Pino’s sound is even more Westernized, compacting the funk into smaller, harder portions. A record like ‘Heavy Heavy Heavy’ is like Fela concentrate, taking the epic scope of an Africa 70 sidelong opus, running it through a Sex Machine and coming out the other end ready to set the dance floor on fire.
‘Heavy Heavy Heavy’ has a groove that’s positively unfuckwithable, with Pino jiving over a seriously propulsive organ line and some pounding drums. If you aren’t shaking your ass halfway through this burner, you need to check for a pulse.
So, download the ones and zeros, begin shaking, continue shaking and drag that ass out to Lucky Cat this Friday.

I hope to see you there.
Peace
Larry

*Quote taken from the excellent book, Fela: The Life of an African Musical Icon

Buy Geraldo Pino – Heavy Heavy Heavy – at Amazon.com

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9 Responses to “Geraldo Pino – Heavy Heavy Heavy”

  1. Sport Casual Says:

    HEAVY. Super cool label design as well.

  2. jon Says:

    Wow! You’ve got to admire anyone who could impress Fela like that. Love the fake ending in “Heavy Heavy Heavy”.

    Question about the Budos Band: are they the same musicians who were in the Daktaris?

  3. Sport Casual Says:

    Re: Budos – no they are younger and more spritely. But there are Dap-kings and Antibalas connections.

  4. Tim Says:

    Just saw Budos last Wed. night in Boston, and they were excellent! Been diggin’ the new album, too.

    I bought the Pino disc a few months ago, and while I think it’s pretty good, it just seems a bit — polite? restrained? — in comparison to Fela. Just my personal preference, I guess.

    Good luck on the gig, Larry!

    Tim

  5. Tim Says:

    Hi, I know this is shameful advertising, but I just wanted to let you lot know about:

    http://www.ethiopiques.info

    It’s a fansite set up to celebrate the release of a 2CD pack of classic Ethiopian groove.

    Best wishes

  6. Jon Says:

    Cool! A bit too American for my tastes in African Funk but wicked stuff. I like a bit more Africa showing through ;-) whatever that means. A bit Bohannon like as well.
    Jon

  7. Vincent Says:

    Great tune and album for sure! The Afro Rock Vol. 1 comp has this one as well, available at eMusic. Plenty of great Afrobeat tunes to be had.
    You and Pres have to jump on board for the Thanksgiving blog party. I’ll email you both on Tuesday when I return fom Deleware. Enjoy the holiday festivities my friend..

    Peace and blessings.

  8. Dubbs Says:

    Larry’s right about the Budos Band. I’ll be more blunt. If you live within 30 miles of this show and you don’t go, you’re a fool. I’ve seen the Budos live and they bring some serious, SERIOUS nasty. And, not to kiss ass, but with our man Larry warming up the dancers before Budos hits the stage, the show will be a frenzy. Alas, I live in Pittsburgh….

  9. JJ Money Says:

    Geraldo Pino is now one of my favorites. Thanks Larry.

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