Listen/Download -Tomorrow’s Children – Sister Big Stuff
I hope everyone – those with kids and without – pulled down the ones and zeros and gave this week’s Funky16Corners Radio podcast a listen.
The tune I bring you today is a recent find (though a longtime fave).
If you follow the Funky16Corners blog you’ll already be aware that I am a fan of Jamaican music. While I am by no means an expert, I dig me some ska and rock steady, reggae and dub and I get especially jazzed when the sounds of the island intersect with American funk and soul.
Today’s selection is just such a stylistic blend.
If you haven’t checked out either of the Trojan ‘Funky Kingston’ comps, do yourself a favor and track them down (though both volumes appear to be out of print). They featured a grip of heavy Jamaican funk, mostly covers of US and UK bands like the Meters, Kool and the Gang and Cymande, but with the occasional storming original like Zap Pow’s ‘Soul Revival’. The OG 45s are hard to come by (I’ve only ever found one other that appeared on these comps) but I grab them when I can.
The tune I bring you today is not only a fine example of island funk, but also another entry in the ‘Big Stuff’ continuum, in which Jean Knight’s 1971 ‘Mr. Big Stuff’ was covered, versioned, semi-covered, borrowed from and paid tribute to by a variety of artists. Head on over to the Stepfather of Soul for a survey thereof, or check out a few that have appeared previously in this space.
I have to start by warning you that my copy of Tomorrow’s Children’s ‘Sister Big Stuff’ suffers from what sounds like needle burn* for the first minute or so, adding an unwanted layer of static to the proceedings. It’s not impossible to listen to, but it does subtract from the overall experience a little. My prescription would be to play it loud, outside of a ‘headphones’ setting to minimize the discomfort while maximizing the groove.
That said, the record, featuring vocals by reggae vets Pluto Shervington and Ken Lazarus is a kicker, never straying too far (despite flipping the sexual POV from the original) from its roots. It would appear that there may have been an entire LP by Tomorrow’s Children, but I can’t say how much of it was as funky as ‘Sister Big Stuff’.
I hope you dig the song, and I’ll be back on Monday.
*I don’t see the storied “cue burn” going on for more than a few seconds. I suspect a jukebox somewhere is guilty of fouling the merchandise….
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