Archive for the ‘Christmas Music’ Category

Funky16Corners Christmas – Lenox Ave. – Little Drummer Boy

December 22, 2009

Example

Chuck Rainey

Example

Listen/Download -Lenox Avenue – Little Drummer Boy

Greetings all.

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…)

Peace

Larry

NOTE: I recently did a short interview about the role of the guitar in classic funk. Check it out over at Jemsite.

Example

Check out the Funky16Corners Store at Cafe Press

PS Head over to Iron Leg for some Christmas pop.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

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Funky16Corners Christmas Flashback #2 – Soulful Strings

December 20, 2009

Greetings all.
Welcome to the second “flashback” edition of the Funky16Corners Christmas thing.
This post, originally published in December of 2007 features two sublime tracks by one of my all-time favorite musical acts, the Soulful Strings.
Both tunes are amazing (for different reasons) and they should hold you over until Wednesday when I’ll drop something new for the season.
I hope you dig it, and I’ll see you soon.
Peace
Larry

NOTE: I just got word that I’ll be joining DJ Bluewater this Wednesday night (12/23) at his new Master Groove night at Forbidden City in NYC. The whole shebang gets started around 10PM, so fall by for some tasty 45s.

Originally posted 12/2007

Example

The Magic of Christmas

Example

Richard Evans
Example

Miss Doroth Ashby

Listen – Soulful Strings – Jingle Bells”
Listen – Soulful Strings – Merry Christmas Baby”

Greetings all .
It’s time for the third annual* Funky16Corners Christmas post.
Christmas is nearing rapidly, and I couldn’t very well let it go by without dropping some soulful goodness of a holiday variety.
If you’re a regular reader of the blog you’re familiar with my ongoing trials and tribulations (some would say too much so, but that’s just the way things are around here).
Two thousand and ought seven has been a real yin yang of a year, with the duality of trouble and good fortune engaged in a perpetual tug of war. All thing considered, however, I’ve got it pretty good.
On the personal side I have a wonderful wife and two incredible children. I took a long time to get started on the family thing, but it’s worth every bit of time and energy one might invest in it. That, in the end, is what it’s all about.
Things here at Funky16Corners – as well as over at Iron Leg, the blog I started this summer – have never been better. I couldn’t ask for a better creative outlet, and special thanks go out to all of you that stop by here on the reg and engage in the conversation. I couldn’t do it without you.
As I’ve stated repeatedly in the past, I’ve never been much of a holiday music collector. However, once in a while a personal obsession of mine also happens to have a Christmas record. In the case of Richard Evans and the Soulful Strings, their 1968 LP ‘The Magic of Christmas’ is a real gem.
The first tune I selected was the obvious choice (at least for me) because I can’t think of another version of ‘Jingle Bells’ that opens up with an honest to goodness drum break. I’m not sure who’s laying it down here (though it sounds like the same drummer that Evans used on Marlena Shaw’s ‘California Soul’, which I’ll be blogging in the next few weeks).
The second selection is a lush, sublime reading of Charles Brown’s classic ‘Merry Christmas Baby’ which features the brilliant Dorothy Ashby on harp. If you aren’t familiar with Ashby – I included her ‘Soul Vibrations’ on my collab with DJ Prestige ‘Beat Combination Pt2’ (check out the Flea Market Funk Mixes page)– she was one of the few harpists who could actually play jazz on the instrument, and the three albums she recorded for Cadet between 1968 and 1970 (in collaboration with Evans) are brilliant.
If your nerves are frayed (like mine) and the consumerist madness of the holiday season has you down, give this version of ‘Merry Christmas Baby’ a listen and all will (at least for a few minutes) be well.
I’ll be taking the next week off to enjoy the holiday with my family and do a little visiting. I will most definitely be back with something for New Years Eve, so hang tight, enjoy your Christmas and I’ll see you all soon.
Peace
Larry

*Though this is the blogs fourth Christmas, for some reason I didn’t do a holiday post in 2004

Example

Check out the Funky16Corners Store at Cafe Press

PS Head over to Iron Leg for some Christmas pop.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

Funky16Corners Christmas Flashback Pt1 – Clarence Carter / George Conedy

December 17, 2009

Greetings all.

The time has come for Funky16Corners to get back into the Christmas groove. We are doing so by re-upping Christmas posts from years past, soon to be followed by a new Christmas track next week. I’m slacking a little on new material since I suffered through a root canal this morning.

I hope you dig these tunes and I’ll see you all on Monday with some more holiday heat.

Peace

Larry

Originally Posted December 2006

Example

Clarence Carter

Example

Example

Listen – Clarence Carter – Back Door Santa ”

Listen – George Conedy – El Nino del Tambor”

Greetings all (and Ho Ho Ho).
It’s time for the second annual* Funky16Corners Christmas post.
As I’ve gone over a few different times, I’ve never been a big collector of (any) holiday themed funk and soul. I may pick up a piece here and there – when it turns up – but I don’t generally seek it out. This is the main reason it may take a decade or so before you see me post a Christmas edition of Funky16Corners Radio. I just don’t have the raw material at my disposal.
That is not to say that I would ever let the time of year go by unnoticed, and this time out I have a couple of excellent funky yule logs for ye, one you may have heard, and another that you almost certainly haven’t.
The former may very well be my all time favorite funk/soul Christmas record, by one of the truly great voices of 60’s and 70’s soul. The singer, Mr. Clarence Carter, the song, ‘Back Door Santa’.
First off, I suspect that someone, somewhere in the funky blog-o-sphere will be dropping this chestnut, and I don’t care, on account of I love this record, and you should too, and much like spinach and yams, more than one serving will only serve to improve your overall well being.
That said, Clarence rips it up here, whipping every last bit of funk they had hidden at Fame studios on you (as well as jingle bells and egg nog), with all the good Santa-related double (hardly) entendres money can buy. Get this on thy-Pod post haste, so that over the weekend, when some wet blanket tries to throw ‘Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer’ (or, God forbid that thing where the dogs bark out ‘Jingle Bells’) on at the Christmas gathering, you can parry (and thrust) with this big, jangling set of Christmas balls and really get the party started.
I mean, seriously…how can your ears suck up this groovy gravy, and your butt fail to respond– in the words of the great Lee Dorsey (without whom everything you do can’t be funky) – with the make-a-shake-a-make-a-hula, or however it is you likes to shake it (but don’t break it).
By the way, if some youngster starts tugging on your scarf when this starts playing, it’s because he heard this songs very essence sampled by none other than Run DMC (It’s Christmas in Hollis Queens! Etc etc).
On the flippity flop, I bring you the result of a happy accident (referring not to the recording of the record, but rather the circumstances by which it landed in my Crate du Hammonde).
The record in question popped up a while back on the sale list of a pal of mine, who’s taste in music I hold in very high regard (howdy Agent 45…).
So, on this list I see a record with the brief (but wholly sufficient description of “funky Hammond version”), directly adjacent to a very reasonable price, which was at the end of a line that began with a Spanish song title (which I didn’t bother to translate). So, I pay my money, some time elapses and the record in question pops through the mail slot at Funky16Corners headquarters. I whipped it on the turntable, and in a few short seconds (about as long as I suspect it will take you) it became apparent that the title was in fact ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ en Espanol.
I have to say that even as a tike, when they still showed the animated special of the same title, this was far from my favorite Christmas tune, certainly not the kind of thing I thought capable of funk-a-fi-zation. Little did I know that sometime in the late 60’s or early 70’s an organist named George Conedy laid down an LP of Christmas tunes for the gospel subsidiary of the Kent label, which I am assuming was the source of the music on this very 45**.

All I have to say is that George took an overly solemn carol and turned it into a slow, funky jam that sounds like it dropped out of the long lost (so long lost as to never have existed..) Santa-sploitation classic “Superfly Santa the Hard Way” aka “Hell Up in the North Pole”, in which our hero, Saint Nicky, wearing a red (of course) velvet suit, and driving a red and white Caddy brings Christmas joy to all the poor kids (and a few of the better looking women) on his route.
I’ve gone a-Googling, and as far as I can tell Mr. Conedy has vanished into the ether.
Well, wherever you be I say Huzzah! And Merry Christmas to you George!

And the same to all of you readers.

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, go out and suck up some of that Christmas cheer. It’s good for the soul.
I may not post until the middle of next week (days off, visiting with the family and all that) but I promise you some excellent pre-New Years grooves.

*Though this is the blogs third Christmas, for some reason I didn’t do a holiday post in 2004

**For some strange reason the flip side of the Conedy 45 is a recording of Billie Holiday singing ‘God Bless the Child’. I get the thematic connection, just not why thelong deceased BH ended up on the b-side of a George Conedy 45.

Home For Christmas…

December 24, 2008

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Otis

Example

Listen – Otis Redding – White Christmas – MP3″

Listen – Otis Redding – Merry Christmas Baby – MP3″

Greetings all.

Like the hero of some lame TV movie, I have been sprung from my hospital bed just in time for Christmas.
This’ll be quick, since I’m pretty tired, but the deal is this….
I was feeling sick for a couple of weeks after passing a positively titanic kidney stone (the latest in a long line of the same spread out over the last ten years or so). By late Saturday night, things came to a head and a I figured that as soon as Sunday morning arrived, I’d make a trip to the local Emergency Room.
Good thing I did, because after a few tests it was apparent that my kidneys were not functioning correctly, and after a CT scan it was revealed that one of my kidneys was not functioning at all and probably hadn’t been for quite some time (I believe the experts refer to it as acute renal failure).
The doctor said that if I’d waited a little bit longer I would have ended up on dialysis. As is, I spent four days in the hospital, getting probed, tested and drained, and as a result my one “good” kidney appears to be up and running again (though I will have to go back in to have another rather large stone removed in a few weeks).
Like I said before, I’ve been dealing with kidney stones for a long time, and had come to the point where I kind of figured it was my lot to suffer through them as they appeared, and move on with my life.
BIG MISTAKE…
If you are unfortunate enough to experience kidney stones, get thee to a urologist post haste and find out why (they are occurring). If I’d done that, I might still have two kidneys to work with, instead of one, which I will now have to handle with kid gloves for the rest of my life.
No matter though, because although I’m tired, I’m not really in any pain and nothing is more satisfying than being home to spend Christmas Eve with my wife and sons, and Christmas with the rest of my family.
That said…I only return to you this evening because I had already digi-ma-tized and uploaded these selections specifically for Christmas, and they ought not go to waste.
I’d like to thank everyone that stopped by in the previous thread to send your good wishes. It really warmed my heart (which as far as I can tell is still healthy) to see those sentiments (read via my cell phone*) while I was trapped in a hospital bed, watching stupid reality TV and eating lame hospital grub.
The tunes I bring you today are of course by the man that I consider to be the greatest soul singer of all time, Otis Redding. These two amazing performances – one melancholy, one upbeat – both happed to have appeared on opposite sides of one very good 45.
I hope you dig the tunes, and (though I’ll be running from doctor to doctor next week) I’ll probably be posting something for New Years.

Peace, Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah!

Larry

*I didn’t actually make that last post from the hospital. I dictated it to my lovely wife and walked her through posting it over the phone.
PS I’m not sure if the Christmas show I did for Viva Internet Radio is going to be on tomorrow night. It wasn’t completed when I went into the hospital, and I may have missed the deadline…

Funky16Corners Christmas 2007

December 21, 2007

Example

The Magic of Christmas

Example

Richard Evans
Example

Miss Doroth Ashby

Listen – Soulful Strings – Jingle Bells”
Listen – Soulful Strings – Merry Christmas Baby”

Greetings all .
It’s time for the third annual* Funky16Corners Christmas post.
Christmas is nearing rapidly, and I couldn’t very well let it go by without dropping some soulful goodness of a holiday variety.
If you’re a regular reader of the blog you’re familiar with my ongoing trials and tribulations (some would say too much so, but that’s just the way things are around here).
Two thousand and ought seven has been a real yin yang of a year, with the duality of trouble and good fortune engaged in a perpetual tug of war. All thing considered, however, I’ve got it pretty good.
On the personal side I have a wonderful wife and two incredible children. I took a long time to get started on the family thing, but it’s worth every bit of time and energy one might invest in it. That, in the end, is what it’s all about.
On the creative side things have been banging. I’ve had the opportunity to work on the Asbury Park 45 Sessions alongside a great bunch of people (shout outs to Connie T Empress and Bob Shannon, Jack the Ripper, DJ Prime, MFasis, DJ Bluewater, Vincent the Soul Chef, Devil Dick and all the other guest selectors that have spun in the past year), with special thanks going out to my man DJ Prestige, who started it all and has been a good friend and an inspiration. His blog – Flea Market Funk – has grown into one of the best funk and soul blogs out there and if you haven’t checked it out, you ought to do so post haste. I’ll be joining him tomorrow night (12/21) at the World Famous Asbury Lanes for a new night, the 4th and Kingsley Soul Club, which with the addition of live bands (this time out it’s the mighty Budos Band, straight outta Shaolin!) to the mix should be a gas.
Keep in mind that the 4th and Kingsley Soul Club DJ sets will also be broadcast live on the interwebs over at JamNow, so if you can’t join us in person, you can dig the sounds at home (starting just after 8PM).

Example

Things here at Funky16Corners – as well as over at Iron Leg, the blog I started this summer – have never been better. I couldn’t ask for a better creative outlet, and special thanks go out to all of you that stop by here on the reg and engage in the conversation. I couldn’t do it without you.
As I’ve stated repeatedly in the past, I’ve never been much of a holiday music collector. However, once in a while a personal obsession of mine also happens to have a Christmas record. In the case of Richard Evans and the Soulful Strings, their 1968 LP ‘The Magic of Christmas’ is a real gem.
The first tune I selected was the obvious choice (at least for me) because I can’t think of another version of ‘Jingle Bells’ that opens up with an honest to goodness drum break. I’m not sure who’s laying it down here (though it sounds like the same drummer that Evans used on Marlena Shaw’s ‘California Soul’, which I’ll be blogging in the next few weeks).
The second selection is a lush, sublime reading of Charles Brown’s classic ‘Merry Christmas Baby’ which features the brilliant Dorothy Ashby on harp. If you aren’t familiar with Ashby – I included her ‘Soul Vibrations’ on my collab with DJ Prestige ‘Beat Combination Pt2’ (check out the Flea Market Funk Mixes page)– she was one of the few harpists who could actually play jazz on the instrument, and the three albums she recorded for Cadet between 1968 and 1970 (in collaboration with Evans) are brilliant.
If your nerves are frayed (like mine) and the consumerist madness of the holiday season has you down, give this version of ‘Merry Christmas Baby’ a listen and all will (at least for a few minutes) be well.
I’ll be taking the next week off to enjoy the holiday with my family and do a little visiting. I will most definitely be back with something for New Years Eve, so hang tight, enjoy your Christmas and I’ll see you all soon.
Peace
Larry

*Though this is the blogs fouth Christmas, for some reason I didn’t do a holiday post in 2004

PS Head over to Iron Leg for some Christmas garage action.

Funky16Corners Christmas (Redux) Pt1

December 19, 2007

Greetings one and all.
I hope you’re all digging the mix.
I found out that the most excellent ‘I’m Learning To Share’ blog has the entire George Conedy Christmas LP up for the download, so I figured in anticipation of the all new, all fabulous Funky16Corners Christmas post I have planned for the end of the week that I’d repost the tunes from last Christmas to tide you all over.
So, head on over to ‘I’m Learning To Share’, and I’ll be back later in the week with some cool, freshly digi-ma-tized grooves for your delectation.
Peace
Larry

PS I just realized that I forgot to include the Funky16Corners 45 Beats Mix in the Podcast Archive, so I just added it. How’s that for service?

Example

Clarence Carter

Example

Example

Listen – Clarence Carter – Back Door Santa ”

Listen – George Conedy – El Nino del Tambor”

Greetings all (and Ho Ho Ho).
It’s time for the second annual* Funky16Corners Christmas post.
As I’ve gone over a few different times, I’ve never been a big collector of (any) holiday themed funk and soul. I may pick up a piece here and there – when it turns up – but I don’t generally seek it out. This is the main reason it may take a decade or so before you see me post a Christmas edition of Funky16Corners Radio. I just don’t have the raw material at my disposal.
That is not to say that I would ever let the time of year go by unnoticed, and this time out I have a couple of excellent funky yule logs for ye, one you may have heard, and another that you almost certainly haven’t.
The former may very well be my all time favorite funk/soul Christmas record, by one of the truly great voices of 60’s and 70’s soul. The singer, Mr. Clarence Carter, the song, ‘Back Door Santa’.
First off, I suspect that someone, somewhere in the funky blog-o-sphere will be dropping this chestnut, and I don’t care, on account of I love this record, and you should too, and much like spinach and yams, more than one serving will only serve to improve your overall well being.
That said, Clarence rips it up here, whipping every last bit of funk they had hidden at Fame studios on you (as well as jingle bells and egg nog), with all the good Santa-related double (hardly) entendres money can buy. Get this on thy-Pod post haste, so that over the weekend, when some wet blanket tries to throw ‘Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer’ (or, God forbid that thing where the dogs bark out ‘Jingle Bells’) on at the Christmas gathering, you can parry (and thrust) with this big, jangling set of Christmas balls and really get the party started.
I mean, seriously…how can your ears suck up this groovy gravy, and your butt fail to respond– in the words of the great Lee Dorsey (without whom everything you do can’t be funky) – with the make-a-shake-a-make-a-hula, or however it is you likes to shake it (but don’t break it).
By the way, if some youngster starts tugging on your scarf when this starts playing, it’s because he heard this songs very essence sampled by none other than Run DMC (It’s Christmas in Hollis Queens! Etc etc).
On the flippity flop, I bring you the result of a happy accident (referring not to the recording of the record, but rather the circumstances by which it landed in my Crate du Hammonde).
The record in question popped up a while back on the sale list of a pal of mine, who’s taste in music I hold in very high regard (howdy Agent 45…).
So, on this list I see a record with the brief (but wholly sufficient description of “funky Hammond version”), directly adjacent to a very reasonable price, which was at the end of a line that began with a Spanish song title (which I didn’t bother to translate). So, I pay my money, some time elapses and the record in question pops through the mail slot at Funky16Corners headquarters. I whipped it on the turntable, and in a few short seconds (about as long as I suspect it will take you) it became apparent that the title was in fact ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ en Espanol.
I have to say that even as a tike, when they still showed the animated special of the same title, this was far from my favorite Christmas tune, certainly not the kind of thing I thought capable of funk-a-fi-zation. Little did I know that sometime in the late 60’s or early 70’s an organist named George Conedy laid down an LP of Christmas tunes for the gospel subsidiary of the Kent label, which I am assuming was the source of the music on this very 45**.

All I have to say is that George took an overly solemn carol and turned it into a slow, funky jam that sounds like it dropped out of the long lost (so long lost as to never have existed..) Santa-sploitation classic “Superfly Santa the Hard Way” aka “Hell Up in the North Pole”, in which our hero, Saint Nicky, wearing a red (of course) velvet suit, and driving a red and white Caddy brings Christmas joy to all the poor kids (and a few of the better looking women) on his route.
I’ve gone a-Googling, and as far as I can tell Mr. Conedy has vanished into the ether.
Well, wherever you be I say Huzzah! And Merry Christmas to you George!

And the same to all of you readers.

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, go out and suck up some of that Christmas cheer. It’s good for the soul.
I may not post until the middle of next week (days off, visiting with the family and all that) but I promise you some excellent pre-New Years grooves.

*Though this is the blogs third Christmas, for some reason I didn’t do a holiday post in 2004

**For some strange reason the flip side of the Conedy 45 is a recording of Billie Holiday singing ‘God Bless the Child’. I get the thematic connection, just not why thelong deceased BH ended up on the b-side of a George Conedy 45.

PS Don’t forget the 4th & Kingsley Soul Club, this Friday 12/21 at the World Famous Asbury Lanes.

Example