Listen/Download -Lenox Avenue – Little Drummer Boy
Christmas is just about here and things are well underway at the Funky16Corners compound. The menorah has been extinguished and packed away for another year and the Christmas tree has been put in place, lit, and otherwise decorated, awaiting the arrival of jolly St. Nick and a pile of presents for the little Corners.
This has been a challenging but rewarding year, all but two weeks of which were spent as a newly minted stay at home dad. It was a big move leaving the job I worked at for twenty-four years (some good, some ultra-suckworthy), but I haven’t regretted it for a second. I do miss some of the folks I used to see every day, but when I left there I got to spend my days with my two wonderful sons. The stress level at the Funky16Corners crib took a nosedive, and while it’s been a lot of work, it has been the kind of work that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Here at the blog, it has been a most excellent year, with another great year with the Asbury Park 45 Sessions crew (big ups to Prestige, Prime Cuts, Jack the Ripper, Bluewater, M Fasis and all the guest selectors) and couple of fantastic road trips to spin records down in Washington, DC. The inward flow of vinyl has been excellent (if reduced somewhat) and this year’s Funky16Corners Pledge Drive was once again a big success, keeping the blog and the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast Archive up and running for another year.
I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you that stop by here in the reg to partake in the conversation, because you make it all worthwhile.
The Funky16Corners blog celebrated its 5th anniversary this year, and with any luck we’ll keep thing rolling for another five years or more.
The tune I bring you today is something I picked up this year (and oddly enough I can’t remember the circumstances of its arrival in my crates). It’s a funky take on that old holiday chestnut ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ by a group called Lenox Avenue. This, their sole 45 was released on Chess in 1970.
Though I haven’t been able to find any info on the group, the names on the label suggest to me that this may in fact be an early incarnation of the group that recorded an album a few years later under the name the Chuck Rainey Coalition (on the Skye label).
Bassist Rainey and his cohorts – including keyboardist Richard Tee – were major hired hands in the New York (and elsewhere, natch) studio scene, showing up on all kinds of records from the late 60s onward.
Lenox Avenue’s take on ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ is taken a slow, but funky pace with some groovy female backing voices. As I mentioned a while back when I posted the equally cool George Conedy version of the tune, this has never been one of my fave Christmas carols, yet when someone injects it with a dose of funk, I really dig it.
I hope you dig it too, and that those of you that celebrate the holiday have a very groovy Christmas, and those of you that don’t still partake in some of the fellowship of the holiday season (one of the few times of the year people see to go out of their way to be nice).
Have a great rest of the week and I’ll see you all next week.
Peace (and I mean it, man…)
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