Archive for the ‘Latin Funk’ Category

Funky16Corners Radio v.78 – Forbidden City Funk

December 27, 2009

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Funky16Corners Radio v.78 – Forbidden City Funk!

Playlist

Parliaments – Good Ole Music (Revilot)
Marlena Shaw – California Soul (Cadet)
Soulful Strings – Zambezi (Cadet)
Mystic Moods – Cosmic Sea (WB)
Bobby Byrd – I Know You Got Soul (King)
Willie Smith – I Got a New Thing (Genuine)
Louie Ramirez – Do It Any Way You Wanna (Cotique)
Willie Tell & The Overtures – Kick-Back (Chess)
Hoctor – Gold Coast (Hoctor)
La May – Free the Soul Man (SPQR)
Incredible Bongo Band – Apache (Mr Bongo reissue)
Melting Pot – Kool and the Gang (Ampex)
Danny Delaney – Stop and Think (Palmetto)
Cymande – Fug (Janus)
Chuck Carbo – Can I Be Your Squeeze (Canyon)
Louis Chachere – The Hen Pt1 (Paula)
David Batiste & the Gladiators – Funky Soul Pt1 (Instant)
Nanette Workman – Lady Marmalade (Pasha)
Laura Lee – Crumbs Off the Table (Hot Wax)
James Brown – Hot Pants Pt1 (People)
Lyn Collins – Think (About It) (People)
Roger & the Gypsies – Pass the Hatchet Pt1 (Seven B)


To hear this mix, head on over to the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast Archive

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The view from behind the decks at Forbidden City

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Getting ready to pull the trigger on Hoctor’s ‘Gold Coast’.

Greetings all.

The end of another year is at hand, and I thought I’d try something different this year. The fam and I are hitting the road for some relative-related visitation, so this will be it until the New Year.
Last Wednesday I had the honor of sharing the decks with my Asbury Park 45 Sessions cohort DJ Bluewater at his new Master Groove night at Forbidden City in Manhattan (the evening’s other guest selector was none other than the mighty M-Fasis). Forbidden City is a chill venue with some very cool people, and despite the holiday traffic and huge heaps of snow in the street I had a great time.
A couple of folks (specifically members of the Funky16Corners group on Facebook) requested a set list for the night, and while I was recovering from the Christmas festivities I thought it might be a cool idea to record the evening’s selections in a new edition of the Funky16Corners Radio podcast. The only real difference between this and any other edition of  F16C Radio, is that the tracks herein were selected on the fly, as I DJ’d. Certainly there was a level of selection inherent in what went into my DJ box (which holds about 75 singles) but the set itself was assembled on the spot at Forbidden City.
What you’ll be listening to is just over an hour of hot funk 45s (many breaks within) including a couple of new arrivals that will most certainly be blogged about separately in the coming months.
The evening was marked by an interesting (thought certainly not unprecedented) incident toward the end of my set. While the bar wasn’t packed, there was a crowd, including a particularly lively group of young ladies who came in right before I started spinning and proceeded to whoop it up with several rounds of drinks. Nothing out of control, but they were clearly deep in the holiday spirit(s).
About 45 minutes into the proceedings, one young lass approached me and informed me that she had come from an entire table of flamenco dancers (I was worried for a minute that she was going to request actual flamenco music, a genre that I rarely carry with me). She then asked me – right in the middle of a set of tight, slamming funk (see above list for confirmation of same) if I might “play something dancey”?
Now, in situations like this, I always try to maintain my icy veneer of cool. I’m certainly not averse to taking requests, as long as they are – how do you say – of an ‘appropriate’ nature. I’ve seen some weird ones, i.e. a kid requesting anything by KISS during a set of Northern Soul, and I’ve also dealt (as almost any DJ has) with surly, drunken booth-monkeys who seem to feel that it’s OK to crawl on/into the DJ booth, bumping/placing their drink on the turntables, causing the tone arm to jump as they demand something specific (which I immediately counter with a demand that they remove themselves from my immediate vicinity with the greatest possible haste).
This particular girl was polite, but I couldn’t help but recoil slightly at the idea that a self-proclaimed dancer could not find it in themselves to move to any or all of the records listed above.
I mean, honest to god, funk is, by definition, funky, a state of being that gets its name by its ability to cause people to move in a rhythmic fashion, often described by observers as “dancing”. Not everyone who feels compelled to move by these records is a good dancer, but they are all dancing. Even those wallflowers who are prevented – by timidity, inebriation or physical infirmity (or a combination of any or all of the above) – from dancing usually react to the power of the music by some seated version of the dance, with the foot-tap, the head-bob, the seated-shimmy or something else along those lines. Anyone confronted by a 45 like Bobby Byrd’s ‘I Know You Got Soul’ who doesn’t move at all, should be checked for a pulse.
That said, I was in a festive mood, so I dipped into my DJ box and pulled out my number one slice of guaranteed Becky-bait, Nanette Workman’s French language version of LaBelle’s ‘Lady Marmalade’, which gives them all the easily recognizable Top 40 vibe they can handle while simultaneously allowing me to save face by offering quality funk to those in the know. I followed this with some James Brown (‘Hot Pants’), Lyn Collins (‘Think About It’) and since my time was just about up, I whipped a little Roger & the Gypsies on the assembled masses, figuring if that wasn’t “dancey” enough, there was nothing anyone of my powers could do, and HO HO HO, and what the fuck, and “Good evening ladies and gents!” and what not.
Happily, after I sort of/kind of answered her request, these people actually got up and danced, to four 45s that were in essence EXACTLY the same as the sixteen others that preceded them, proving once again that human nature is a funny thing, and sometime giving the people what they want is exactly the same as giving them what they need, and everyone walks away from a night at the pub with a wobble in their step and more importantly, a smile on their face.
It is in that spirit that I wish you all a Happy New Year, and the best of all things in Twenty-Oh-Ten (man, who saw that coming???).

Peace

Larry

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Louie Ramirez – Do It Any Way You Wanna

November 24, 2009

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Louie Ramirez

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Listen/Download -Louie Ramirez – Do It Any Way You Wanna

Greetings all.
This will be the last post this week.
The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us, and the fam and I have some visiting, and then some chilling to do.
At least as an adult, Thanksgiving has always been the holiday that meant the most to me, especially since I got married and had kids. Aside from the gustatory orgy that the holiday is best known for, it really has become for me a time of serious reflection, in which despite whatever petty annoyance is getting its hooks into me, I try to turn inward and realize all that I have to be thankful for.
First and foremost come family and friends. A distant but important second is the fact that I have the blogs as a creative outlet. No matter how much real world action you have on your plate, it wouldn’t be tolerable without something to wrap your head (and ears) around, music being the food of love and all that (so sayeth Willie the Shake).
That said, I figured that if the blogging week were to be truncated, then it behooved me to pony up something extra heavy that you might carry with you into the festive holiday weekend.
Today’s selection first hit me back in the spring when my man Tony C included it in a mix he did for the Hook and Sling blog. The tune in question opened the mix and grabbed me from its opening notes. The song (though not the version) was oddly familiar, so I set to Google-ing and discovered that the number in question was a cover of the 1975 People’s Choice hit (their biggest) ‘Do It Any Way You Wanna’, a record I hadn’t heard since it was first on the radio.
The version in the Tony C mix was by latin jazz vibraphonist/percussionist Louie Ramirez, and came from his 1976 LP ‘A Different Shade of Black’.
I set out in search of my own copy, and for a while wasn’t even sure if it had come out on a 45. It was only recently, while searching for something else entirely that I happened upon a very nice copy of said 45 at an equally nice price, apprehending and appending it to the Funky16Corners crates.
Ramirez spent the 60s and early 70s as an important supporting player on the boogaloo and salsa scenes, working with Joe Loco, Charlie Palmieri, Joe Cuba and Tito Rodriguez. His version of ‘Do It Any Way You Wanna’ passes the original version and leaves it in the dust. The Ramirez take on the tune has a much more aggressive tempo and an absolutely dynamic arrangement. The opening shock of strings, giving way to the drum breakdown, then on to the familiar riff really grabs your ears in a way that the People’s Choice version never really achieves. It’s really mind blowing when you place the versions side by side, that the Louie Ramirez record, with its amazing blend of latin, funk and disco wasn’t a hit.
The record is a killer, and hopefully it’ll hold you all until Monday.
Have a great holiday and I’ll see you next week.

Peace

Larry

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