Archive for the ‘Podcasts’ Category

Another Guest Mix!

October 15, 2009

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A very cool poster made up by the guys at Soul:Good…


UPDATE: Download an MP3 of the entire show here…

Set List:

Curly Moore & The Kool Ones – Funky Yeah (House of the Fox)
AB Skhyy – Camel Back (MGM)
Bill Sha Rae – Let’s Do It Again (Triple B)
Funkadelic – Super Stupid (Westbound)
Dramatics – Get Up and Get Down (Volt)
Sod – Too Loose To Get Tight Pt 1 (Decca)
Buena Vistas – Kick Back (Marquee)
Johnny Griffiths – Do It (Triple B)
War – Me and Baby Brothers (UA)
ST-4 – Funky (Scepter)
Marvin Holmes & the Uptights – Ride Your Mule (Revue)
Rex Garvin & the Mighty Cravers – Raw Funky (Tower)
Marva Whitney – Things Got To Get Better (King)
Cymande – Fug (Janus)
Donald Austin – Crazy Legs (Eastbound)
Woody Guenther & Cheaters – Bang Dangin’ Time (Shout

Greetings all.
The end of the week has arrived, and so has another patented Funky16Corners guest mix.
A while back the good folks at Soul:Good over in the ex-USSR wrote and asked if I’d be interested in doing a mix for their radio show.
Naturally, I was psyched about spreading the funk 45 word over in the hinterlands, so I said yes.
The mix in question – which will drop Friday afternoon (around 1PM EST) – is on the heavy side, with some rock breaks, acid-funk and the like, all guaranteed to set your hair on end, get your ass off the sofa and set the volume to LOUD.
You can follow these links to check out the Soul:Good web presence and check out a short interview I did with them. After the show airs I’ll make sure to post an MP3 download link.

http://www.myspace.com/soulgoood
http://www.urbansoul.ru/staytuned/45rpm
http://lebowskisays.wordpress.com
http://vkontakte.ru/club5892799

You probably already get this, but it behooves me to warn you that a lot of the above is in Russian…

In other Funky16Corners news, the fifth (yes, FIVE years) anniversary of the Funky16Corners blog will be here in a few weeks. I’m planning a special two part mix, so make sure you drop by to check out the festivities.
I hope you dig the guest mix, and I’ll be back on Monday.

Peace

Larry

Example

Check out the Funky16Corners Store at Cafe Press

PS Head over to Iron Leg for some jangly garage folk

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

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Funky16Corners Radio v.72 – The Pulse aka the ‘Marvin’ Mix

August 2, 2009

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Funky16Corners Radio v.72 – The Pulse aka the ‘Marvin’ Mix

Playlist

Titanic – Sultana (CBS)
Santana – Jin-Go-La-Ba (CBS)
Simon Kenyatta Troupe – Soul Makossa (Avco)
Curtis Mayfield – Future Shock (Curtom)
Cymande – Bra (Janus)
Eddie Kendricks – Date With the Rain (Tamla)
Cold Blood – Valdez In the Country (WB)
Rufus – Half Moon (MCA)
Dexter Wansel – Life On Mars Part 1 (Philly Intl)
Hank Ballard & the Midnighters – Freak Your Boom Boom (LeJoint)
Kool & the Gang – More Funky Stuff (Dee Lite)
Disko Band – Pick Up the Pieces (Pickwick)
Gene Faith – Lowdown Melody (Virtue)
Barrett Strong – Stand Up and Cheer For the Preacher (Epic)
Gladys Knight & the Pips – Who Is She (And What Is She To You) (Motown)
Heatwave – Grooveline (Epic)
KC & the Sunshine Band – Get Down Tonight (LP Edit) (TK)
Sylvester – You Make Me Feel Mighty Real (Fantasy)

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

I’m back from DC, and though I’m tired as hell (I feel like I was dragged home behind a truck belching oily smoke) I’d be a liar if I said that I had less than an absolutely amazing time in our nation’s capitol.
First and foremost I have to offer thanks to my gracious hosts DJ Birdman and his lovely wife, who gave me a comfortable bed in which to sleep in addition to all manner of great hospitality.
I spent the better part of Wednesday afternoon in the Funky16Corners-mobile, making extraordinarily good time and arriving in DC a little on the early side. Naturally I took advantage of the hole in my schedule to fall by Som Records on 14th St to say hi to my man DJ Neville C and pick up some fresh vinyl for the upcoming gigs. If you’re in DC and you need a vinyl fix make sure you stop by and tell the man behind the counter that Funky16Corners sent you.
After that it was a quick turnaround to drop off my stuff and head back out with Birdman for the Jazz Corner of the World 5th anniversary party at Cafe St Ex.
I have to take a moment to say that I have been extremely lucky in my DJ travels this year. All of the venues have been next level, and St Ex and Marvin (the places I spun at this week) were no exception. Wonderful spaces, great staff (outstanding cuisine) and all around chill environments made for great experiences.
The Jazz Corner party was a subdued spin on off-the-hook-ness, giving me a chance to DJ alongside Birdman, DC Digga, Fatback, Neville C and a the rest of the crew. The sounds included everything from old school New Orleans jazz, right on through to hard bop and jazz funk (breaks included, natch).
We headed out on Thursday for some Virginia digging, ending up in Richmond where I scored some very cool 45s.
Friday morning we were out digging again where I scored some cool stuff that I ended up taking with me to Marvin that night.
If you make it down to DC, you absolutely MUST make it over to Marvin. I had been to Marvin once before to see DJ Birdman spin but split for my own gig early on. This time out Birdman and I split the night (one hour on/one hour off from 6PM to 3AM), keeping it jazzy and mellow for the first half and then turning up the heat around 10. My first heavy set was mostly funk and breaks, with the later set including a healthy selection of disco.
I got to spin Sylvester’s ‘You Make Me Feel Mighty Real’ over of a club sound system for the first time and it was a transcendent experience. As stated in this space before it is a positively explosive record, and quite frankly, if you aren’t digging Sylvester you need to get your ass out of the club.
Other highlights of the evening were the sister who lost her mind (she reached into the booth, grabbed me and then screamed!) when I dropped ‘Hot Pants’ by James Brown, everyone who danced (and there WAS dancing!) and the cute girl who asked if there was any chance I would play some Vanilla Ice, to which I responded politely:

No.
Never, under any circumstances.

I was actually able to fulfill a couple of requests (it helps when people request cool songs) and had an absolute blast. Big ups to Sheldon, who runs an absolutely incredible place.
Saturday Birdman took me to some more digging spots and It turned up some excellent stuff, including a couple of soul 45s that I’ve been chasing for a long time.
In honor of the folks at Marvin, I’m dropping this edition of Funky16Corners Radio that includes some of the stuff I played on Friday, some new finds and a couple of old faves. There’s over an hour of funk, disco, funky disco and disco-y funk. I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back later in the week with some breaks and what not.

Peace

Larry

PS You can check out some pics from Marvin over at the Funky16Corners Facebook Group

PPS – Make sure to fall by Iron Leg for some sunshine pop

PPPS Make sure to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

Grand Opening of the Funky16Corners Guest Mix Archive

July 1, 2009

 

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Photo by Eilon Paz

The Funky16Corners Guest Mix Archive

Greetings all.

I wasn’t expecting to be back mid-week, but I accidentally lit a fire (figurative, of course) under my own ass and took care of a piece of business that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

That bit of undone work is the creation of the <a href="To hear this mix, head on over to the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast Archive
” target=”_blank”>Funky16Corners Guest Mix Archive
, assembling the mixes I’ve done for other sites over the last few years. Some of these are faves of mine, so if you weren’t around when they first dropped, or missed them the first time around, do yourself a favor and take a listen.

Right now there are eleven a dozen thirteen(Mike from This is Tomorrow reminded me about another) mixes in the Archive, and as I do new “outside” mixes, I’ll add them to the page, and you can always fall by and click on the link in the sidebar.

I’ll be back on Friday with something cool.

 

Peace

Larry

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg .

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

Funky16Corners 2009 Pledge Drive b/w Funky16Corners Radio v.70

May 31, 2009

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Example

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

Funky16Corners Radio v.70 – Daddy Rollin’ Stone
Gentleman June Gardner – It’s Gonna Rain (Emarcy)
Turtles – Buzz Saw (White Whale)
Promenade Hits Band – She’s Looking Good (Promenade)
Albert Collins – Don’t Lose Your Cool ( TCF/Hall)
Derek Martin – Daddy Rollin’ Stone (Crackerjack)
Alvin Cash & the Crawlers – The Barracuda (Mar V Lus)
Frank Frost – My Back Scratcher (Jewel)
Nat Kendrick & the Swans – Dish Rag (Dade)
Sam & Dave – I Said I Wasn’t Gonna Hurt Nobody (Stax)
Billy Lamont – Sweet Thang (20th Century)
Billy Preston – Let the Music Play (Capitol)
Bobby Powell & Jackie Johnson – Done Got Over (Whit)
Willie Mitchell – Respect (Hi)
Carl Holmes & the Commanders – I Want My Ya Ya (Parkway)
David Rockingham Trio – Soulful Chant (Josie)
Emperors – Got To Find My Baby (Mala)
Johnny Copeland – Wake Up Little Suzy (Wand)
Harvey Scales & the Seven Sounds – The Get Down (Magic Touch)
Mickey Murray – Hit Record (SSS Intl)
Lewis Clark – Dog (Ain’t a Man’s Best Friend) (Brent)
Scatman Crothers – Golly Zonk! It’s Scatman (HBR)
Don Gardner – People Sure Act Funny (Red Top)
Earl King – Trick Bag (Imperial)
Little Joe Curtis – Your Miniskirt (Alshire)

Greetings all.

I’d like to welcome one and all to the 2009 edition of the Funky16Corners Blog Pledge Drive.
This is the third year that I come to you, asking for donations to help keep the Funky16Corners Blog (and family of associated blogs) and webzine up and running (at least as far as interwebs based storage in concerned).
As it stands, in addition to all the standard graphics and individual sound files, there are now 79 mixes in the Funky16Corners Podcast Archive (more to come as I gather and post all the non-Funky16 mixes I’ve done for other sites) and another 25 in the Iron Leg Digital Trip Archive. As has always been the case, I pay for dedicated server space where I store all these files, and as has always been the case, this costs a little bit of money. Back in the olden days I was able to depend on free space, but thanks to some hot linkage back in ought-six the blog underwent a sudden and sustained increase in traffic that necessitated moving into paid digs.
If you’ve been following the blog with any frequency you’ll know that this year the situation is a little more critical since yours truly is no longer gainfully employed. This is not to say that I’m not working, since I resigned my position so that I could remain home to care for my two sons, but aside from the fringe benefit of spending lots of quality time with the kids, the pay is – how do you say? – non-existent.
That said, the blogs will continue unabated, since this is what I do. If you count the Funky16Corners web zine, I’ve been at this since 2001. The Funky16Corners Blog will celebrate its 5th anniversary on the interwebs this November (Iron Leg will be two years old at the end of June).
If you dig what we do here, and have the means and the will to throw a couple of bucks into the operating budget (as it is), you need only click on the Paypal links below and do so (special thanks to those of you that contributed between the drives) . If you don’t want to, or can’t afford to, that’s cool too. Times are (really) tough all over, and if the music that I post here makes you happy, or soothes your soul in any way at all, pass it on to a friend and spread the good vibes.

Example

Click Here To Donate via Paypal

NOTE: If you’ve been having any trouble going through the donation process at Paypal, make sure to click on the blue “update total” button to complete the process. – LG

I was just ruminating the other day on the idea that blogging (at least on my end) has really changed the way that I listen to music. Digging out and exploring individual tracks in depth, especially on headphones, which creates a kind of closed loop wherein one can really get inside of a record, moving around the back alleys of an arrangement, finding all manner of hidden wonders that are overlooked in a casual/passive listening environment. This is probably true for anyone who consumes the majority of their music via headphones, in my case through the almighty iPod. One of the reasons I started doing the Funky16Corners Radio mixes was – aside from a compulsion to gather and frame music in a thematic fashion, which goes back to the earliest days of mix-tapes – so that I could sit down and dig into a group of songs.
As has been stated in this space several times in the past, I make these mixes as much for myself as I do for you folks. The Funky16Corners Radio playlist has verily burned a hole in my iPod, providing the lions share of my listening when I was chained to a desk, and almost as much when I find the time during the day. That someone besides me gets some enjoyment out of the enterprise is a (very) happy by product.
Since the inception of the Funky16Corners Radio thing back in 2006, there have been all kinds of mixes, many themed geographically (i.e. New Orleans and Philadelphia), a number of Hammond organ mixes (you know how I roll), lots of general soul and funk mixes and in the last two years a bunch of jazzy collections (which are some of my faves) (over 1,000 tracks in the mixes alone).
Since this is the 70th edition of Funky16Corners Radio, I thought that the time was right for a return to the roots with a collection of straight ahead soul. There’s some R&B, and a touch of the funk here and there, but by and large what you get in Funky16Corners Radio v.70 is a soundtrack for what has been referred to here in the past as your next ripple and potato chip party. Get your friends together with a large quantity of alcohol (or the intoxicant of your choice), slap this one on an MP3 delivery device, sit back and watch things get out of hand. By the end of the (nearly an) hour, the floor is going to be littered with cans, bottles, articles of clothing, someone’s going to have locked themselves in the restroom (doing God knows what) and that guy from the office will be out on the deck wondering how he burned off his eyebrows with the barbecue grill.
I slapped on my miners helmet and descended into the darkest corners of the Funky16Corners warehouse, fireproof gloves and tongs in hand, to bring back a selection of rough and ready bangers. A couple of these numbers may be familiar to long time visitors of the blog, but reframed properly, in a new and exciting context, the old and familiar will soon reveal hidden charms.
So, things get underway with what is probably my all time favorite New Orleans instrumental, Gentleman June Gardner’s ‘It’s Gonna Rain’. Believe it or not this is a cover of a Sonny & Cher song (the flipside of ‘I Got You Babe’).
Keeping things on the incongruous Sunset Strip 1960s tip, I bring you the Turtles (?!?!?) with ‘Buzz Saw’. Known far and wide to crate digger types and Hammond aficionados, ‘Buzz Saw’, which is unlike anything else the Turtles ever recorded, is a positively slamming and extremely greasy organ workout. My suspicion has always been that the organist on ‘Buzz Saw’ was someone outside of the band, but if anyone knows different, drop me a line.
The next track is a cover of Rodger Collins’ ‘She’s Looking Good’ as performed by the wholly anonymous Promenade Records band (they’re not actually given any name at all on the record). This originated on a two-EP set (with a cool picture sleeve) composed of covers of then contemporary tune (rock and soul) that I found at a record show. Going by the Newark, NJ address, my assumption is that this is related somehow to the Peter Pan childrens record company, which released a couple of non-kids exploito cash-in collections over the years. Whoever the singer is, he does a pretty nice job.
Albert Collins is a huge personal fave of mine. Though he is most often associated with the blues, mainly due to his later career when he recorded for the Alligator label, Collins spent most of the 60s recording a series of genre-bending 45s for a variety of labels. The sounds he made touched on soul, garage, surf and pure rock’n’roll, even getting funky when he signed up with Imperial in the late 60s. ‘Don’t Lose Your Cool’ is one of his TFC/Hall 45s and swings like 60 from the git go.
The cut that gives this mix its name, ‘Daddy Rollin’ Stone’ by Derek Martin is indisputably one of the great soul records of the 60s. Need I say more?
‘The Barracuda’ is yet another in a long line of similarly burning, lo-fi and blazing numbers laid down by Chitown wonders Alvin Cash and the Crawlers. Like the mighty Jerry-O, Alvin and his pals managed to take a formula, work it to death but doing so in a way that keeps you coming back.
Speaking of good and greasy, when you’re working in the sonic universe things just don’t get any moreso than when Frank Frost plugged in his git-box and kicked up some juke joint dust with the mighty ‘My Back Scratcher’, wherein Slim Harpo and Mongo Santamaria fall under the wheels of a speeding bus, get scraped up off the road, tossed in a blender, served over ice with a twist of Dixie Peach. Try not moving to this one.
I don’t know much about Nat Kendrick and the Swans, other than the fact that they recorded for Henry Stone’s Florida-based Dade imprint, and that there is a distinct possibility that this is in fact an extra-contractual James Brown-related side. How does one do the dish rag???
Sam and Dave said they weren’t going to hurt nobody. They LIED!!!! This track is a killer.
Billy Lamont was an R&B/soul journeyman when he went into the studio in the mid-60s, with a freaky young cat by the name of James Marshall Hendrix and recorded the brutal ‘Sweet Thang’. Heavy stuff indeed, though not as heavy as Jimi would get a year or so down the pike.
Though Billy Preston would spend the 70s as a major recording star, he spent much of the previous decade playing the organ behind other performers like Little Richard and Ray Charles. He also got a couple of opportunities to record under his own name, for a variety of labels (including Derby, Vee Jay and Capitol) many of which are stellar. The finest of these – at least in my opinion – is ‘Let the Music Play’ in which Mr. Preston is assisted ably by a young Sylvester Stewart, soon to change his name to Sly Stone. Do yourself a favor and slap on the headphones for this one and dig the stereo panning with the screams in the chorus. Very groovy indeed!
Louisiana-based singer Bobby Powell was featured here not long ago with a solid cover of the Staple Singer’s ‘Why Am I Treated So Bad’. The tune I bring you in this mix is a rollicking duet with singer Jackie Johnson (about whom I know nothing) entitled ‘Done Got Over’.
While I was prowling around in the crates compiling this mix I happened upon one of the many Willie Mitchell LPs I have and grabbed this groovy little cover of ‘Respect’. Give it a listen and I think you’ll dig it.
Another band from the list of folks that worked with (but sadly did not record with) Jimi Hendrix before he hit it big is Philadelphia’s own Carl Holmes and the Commanders. Holmes recorded consistently through the 60s for Parkway, Atlantic and other labels, laying down R&B, soul and a couple of slices of slamming funk. The Commanders ‘I Want My Ya Ya’ is one of their earlier sides, from the days when they were playing up and down the East Coast, and serving (according to Animal House writer Chris Miller) as one of the models for Otis Day and the Knights in ‘Animal House’.
The David Rockingham Trio are a serious presence in the Funky16Corners Hammond crates. ‘Soulful Chant’ is by far my fave number by the band.
The Emperors – who hailed from the Harrisburg area but recorded in Philadelphia – laid down some very hot soul sides for Mala and Brunswick. In addition to their smoking version of Don Gardner’s ‘My Baby Likes To Boogaloo’, they also recorded the killer ‘Got To Find My Baby’.
Johnny Copeland is another one of the great rocking bluesmen. I happened upon his version of ‘Wake Up Little Susie’, which stomps all over the original, sounding like Johnny and Huey P Meaux had the Everlys tied up and locked in the trunk of a car. It is without doubt the wildest version you’ll ever hear of this particular song.
If you were ever tempted to doubt the soulful pedigree of the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, you might want to take a second and investigate the discography of Mr Harvey Scales and his Seven Sounds, who, it must me said, kick ass. A fine example of this ass-kicking power is the mighty – and appropriately titled – ‘The Get Down’, during which Harvey and the boys do indeed (get down).
Mickey Murray is best known for his wailing version of ‘Shout Bamalama’, but the funkier ‘Hit Record’ manages to be soulful and of instructional value at the same time.
I know nothing about Lewis Clark, aside from the undeniable fact that ‘Dog (Ain’t a Man’s Best Friend)’ is high quality, even higher octane soul. Clark recored for the Brent label, which also released some excellent garage punk 45s.
If you didn’t hear Scatman Crothers wailing when I first posted ‘Golly Zonk! It’s Scatman’ a while back, then open your ears and dig, because in addition to his Coolsville Hall of Fame turn as the voice of Hong Kong Phooey, Scatman absolutely BURNS on this one, on the HBR label, home to much wailing garage punk.
I mentioned Don Gardner earlier (in relation to the essential ‘My Baby Likes To Boogaloo’). Go back a few years before that and dig his smoking, Ray Charles-esque take on Titus Turner’s ‘People Sure Act Funny’. Gardner’s frequent partner Dee Dee Ford is mentioned on the label, but I don’t hear her in the mix.
We head back down to New Orleans for a certified classic by the great Earl King. King recorded a wide variety of bluesy sounds under his own name, as well as writing several classic tunes and performing on other people’s records, including providing the voice and whistling (and composition) on Professor Longhair’s ‘Big Chief’. ‘Trick Bag’ brings us a lyrical taste of the New Orleans voodoo culture, along with a great vocal by King.
Things close out with another odd bit of soul, this time by Little Joe Curtis. Taken from a compilation on the exploito Alshire label (where it appeared alongside some psyche by the Animated Egg and a couple of easy listening cuts), ‘Your Miniskirt’ borrows liberally from the Fantastic Johnny C’s ‘Boogaloo Down Broadway’.
I hope you dig this edition of Funky16Corners Radio and if you can afford it, toss something into the tip cup as you pass by. I’ll be back next week with more soulful goodness.

Peace

Larry

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PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg to check out my favorite mix from the Iron Leg Digital Trip Podcast Archive.

NOTE: Don’t forget to check out the Funky16Corners feature over at the Dust and Grooves blog.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

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Funky16Corners Radio v.69 – Jazz Trance

May 12, 2009

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Funky16Corners Radio v.69 – Jazz Trance

Playlist

Kool and the Gang – North East South West (Dee Lite)
Wes Montgomery – Up and At It (A&M)
Woody Herman – Light My Fire (Cadet)
Jay Jackson and the Heads of Our Time – Listen Here (Mr G)
Dorothy Ashby – Little Sunflower (Cadet)
Montreal – Summertime (Stormy Forest)
Junior Mance – Thank You Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin (Atlantic)
Peddlers – Impressions Pt1 (Philips)
Brother Jack McDuff – Mystic John (Blue Note)
Sonny Stitt – Heads or Tails (Enterprise)
Gabor Szabo – Fred and Betty (Blue Thumb)
Lonnie Smith – People Sure Act Funny (Blue Note)
Ramsey Lewis – Collage (CBS)
Doc Severinson – In the Court of the Crimson King (Command)
 
To hear this mix, head on over to the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast Archive

Greetings all.

I hope the middle of the week finds you well, and in the mood to open your ears to some downtempo grooves on a jazzy – and funky – tip.
I was going to drop this mix on Monday, but the 12” extended remix of post-op recovery got in the way, and was in a continuous loop (rocking doubles as it were). I don’t know how many among you have endured the wonders of anaesthesia and surgery (I just went through it for the sixth time in my life), but aside from the blissful ignorance of the operative pain (while the operation is happening, hopefully) the emergence from the experience takes a little while. That, and it always seems to take me a few days (often the better part of a week) to come out of the haze fully.
Good thing then that this is such a smooth, nighttime, get your head together as slowly as you like kind of mix. Aside from the banging soul party thing (prepare yourself for a killer coming soon) this might be my favorite kind of mix to put together, and yes, listen to.
Funky16Corners Radio v.69 is a counterpoint of sorts to v.68, with it’s downtempo yang grooving next to the uptempo yin of its predecessor. This is not to say that they should be listened to in sequence or anything like that, but rather a notification of sorts that they sprung from the same place in my fevered brain (and record collection).
Things get off to a moody start indeed with the electric piano, and sinuous groove of New Jersey’s own Kool and the Gang with ‘North, East, South, West’, sampled by none other than Quasimoto.
Next up is a track from an LP that I found when I was down in DC. I dig pretty much everything Wes Montgomery ever did. I love his guitar, but especially so in the many classy settings in which he played it during the 60s and early 70s. ‘Up and At It’ from his 1968 LP “Down Here On the Ground’ is a mellow killer, with a great arrangement by Eumir Deodato.
Woody Herman
has appeared in many a Funky16Corners Radio mix, due in large part to the excellence of the two LPs he recorded for Cadet in the late 60s. Herman was an authentic jazz master who did what he could to keep his band together during the lean times of the 60s. Though many a jazzy tried to stay contemporary, Herman excelled, with the help of Richard Evans. His choice of material was excellent (check out his take on Sly Stone’s ‘Sex Machine’), and the execution thereof as well. His take on the Doors’ ‘Light My Fire’ features excellent sax, trumpet and trombone solos.
I had never heard of Jay Jackson and the Heads of Our Time before I grabbed a copy of their 45 while I was down in Richmond, VA. Once I got it home I was glad I did, since both sides of the disc sport excellent cover versions. It turns out that the band on this 45 is the same group that recorded a couple of in demand funk/soul LPs under the name the Majestics. The hailed from Canada, and oddly enough, the group’s namesake, Jackson, was also its vocalist and does not appear on this most excellent version of the Eddie Harris soul jazz chestnut ‘Listen Here’.
The name Dorothy Ashby should be a familiar one to those who travel the back alleys of the universe searching  for grooves. The jazz harpist, whose Cadet albums are lost classics and worth every cent of their high prices (thanks in large part to the arrangements and production by the mighty Richard Evans), made some truly beautiful music in her day. One of my fave tracks by her is a cover of Freddie Hubbard’s ‘Little Sunflower’. Covered countless times by artists like Milt Jackson, Kenny Burrell and Hank Crawford, it has a breezy feel and a beautiful melody.
Montreal were (big surprise) a Canadian group that recorded one album in 1969 for Richie Havens’ Stormy Forest label. Coveted by crate diggers for its folk-psych goodness, the album also has a jazzy side. The finest example of this is their version of George Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’. If the flute sounds familiar, it’s because it was played by none other than Jeremy Steig (Buzzy Linhart and Havens himself also guest on the album).
I’d heard of pianist Junior Mance before, but never actually heard any of his music before I scored the 45 with his version of ‘Thank You (Felettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)’. Not only does it start with a sweet little breakbeat (courtesy of Billy Cobham) but there’s some wild, fuzzed out guitar, and of course Junior’s piano rolling through the whole affair.
We follow Mr. Mance with another taste of the mighty Peddlers, with yet another segment of the tune ‘Impressions’ from their ‘Suite London’ LP. Nice drums, and especially groovy electric piano on this one. Short but sweet.
You know I ride for Brother Jack McDuff, exalted master of the Hammond groove, but even he has b-sides that I hadn’t investigated thoroughly. Case in point, ‘Mystic John’, which resides on the reverse of one of the greatest of all breakbeats ‘Hunk of Funk’. Here we get to hear Brother Jack work it out on both piano and organ, with a taste of harp in the beginning, adding to the spiritual vibe of the tune. Things pick up a little, but the overall vibe is contemplative.
Sonny Stitt is one of the really interesting cases of a serious jazz head who was forced to go the pop route to keep his head above water. He started out playing blazing alto sax in a Charlie Parker stylee, but then came the 1960s, when very few jazzers were making real coin. Stitt tried to rework his sound in a variety of settings, including recording sax solos over existing tracks for a couple of Wingate 45s (‘Agent 00 Soul’ and ‘Marrs Groove’), and recording a wide range of pop material. Until I found his cover of Booker T and the MGs ‘Heads or Tails’ I had no idea that he had recorded for Stax’s Enterprise subsidiary. It sounds like Sonny’s working it out on the Varitone sax (he used it a lot in the late 60s), and while the recording’s not earth shattering, it’s a great song and he does it justice.
Anyone hip to the jazz grooves of the 60s already has an armload of Gabor Szabo albums on labels like Impulse and Skye. However, Szabo did at least one, very nice LP for the Blue Thumb imprint. I’ve already featured the break from his cover of Charles Lloyd’s ‘Sombrero Sam’, but dig (if you will) the mellow sounds of the tune ‘Fred and Betty’.
Back in the day, when Lonnie Smith was not yet bearing the honorarium of doctor, and without his signature turban, he was still a formidable wrangler of the mighty Hammond organ. He recorded some very tasty stuff, including a version of a tune featured here a short while ago, Titus Turner’s ‘People Sure Act Funny’. It is of course an instrumental, and quite the little head nodder.
‘Collage’ is the closing track from Ramsey Lewis’ fantastic ‘Upendo ni Pamoja’ LP, one from which we’ve drawn before. While not as incendiary as ‘Slipping Into Darkness’, ‘Collage’ rolls along at a nice, relaxed groove, and seriously, I could listen to Ramsey work that Rhodes all day long.
This edition of the Funky16Corners Radio podcast closes out with something a little bit over the top, bot of course every bit essential. I speak of Doc Severinson’s epic treatment of the King Crimson’s ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’. Doc manages to remove the song from it’s super heavy, glue sniffing prog bombast, and refit it with a snappy new set of threads, making it a lot less “arena full of stoned grad students”, and a lot more “slightly cheesy version of the Concierto di Aranjuez”. When I say slightly cheesy, I only do so because there’s a certain loss of, how do they say “authenticity” when the leader of the Tonight Show band decides to try on this kind of material. That said, it’s very groovy in an LA 1970 studio jazz kind of way, which isn’t surprising when you take a look at the serious players on the session. I’ve been picking up Doc’s late 60’s/early 70’s stuff when I find it, and I have to say that most of the records have something cool to offer.
Remember, if you haven’t yet checked out the Funky16Corners feature at Dust and Grooves, please do so. Also, the Funky16Corners Radio Show at Viva Internet Radio will return once again this Thursday evening at 9PM.
I hope you dig the mix, and I’ll be back on Monday with something cool.

Peace

Larry

PS – Make sure to fall by Iron Leg

PSS Make sure to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

Funky16Corners Radio v.68 – A New Note

April 12, 2009

Example

Funky16Corners Radio v.68 – A New Note

Playlist

Blackbyrds – Spaced Out (Fantasy)
1972 Verona High School Jazz Ensemble – Synthesis (edit)
Woody Herman – Smiling Phases (Cadet)
Doc Severinson – Footprints of the Giant (edit) (Command)
Lou Donaldson – Caterpillar (Blue Note)
Grant Green – California Green (Blue Note)
Backyard Heavies – Soul Junction (Scepter)
Gene Harris – Don’t Call Me N*gger Whitey (Blue Note)
1970 Ohio State University Jazz Ensemble – Far West Suite Pt1
Ernie Wilkins Big Band – Big Foot Blues (Mainstream)
The Peddlers – Working Again (Philips)
Lou Donaldson – (Don’t Worry) If There’s a Hell Below We’re All Going to Go (Blue Note)

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

Greetings all.

I hope all is well on your end.
If things have gone as planned, as you’re reading this I’m up in Maine, hunting lobsters and vinyl, with my wife joining me on the former and diverging on the latter in search of her own obsession, that being things yarn and yarn-related.
Despite the current life situation changing the digging situation (careful distribution of funds related), I have managed in the last few months to get some nice stuff. This had a lot to do with taking my DJ earnings and rolling them back into the crates (always groovy) combined with a couple of inexpensive finds.
When I was down in DC, my man DJ Birdman was kind enough to hep DJ Prestige and I to a couple of cool digging spots, and then we get to Richmond and our host Troy just happened to have a nice stack of 45s that he was willing to part with. In addition to a great couple of nights behind the turntables, we both came home with lots of new records.
The mixes that I will be bringing you today (and again in a couple of weeks) are two sides of that haul, both jazzy. The first you see before you leans a little on the heavier side, the second on the mellower tip.
Things get started with a great DC area (all members hailed from Howard University) band, the Blackbyrds. ‘Spaced Out’ is one of the funkier cuts from ‘Flying Start’, the album that featured their biggest hit ‘Walking In Rhythm’.
The next cut was from an NJ find. The crate diggers of the world are always on the lookout for high school/college band records (i.e. bands from their music programs), since in a certain era they often contain funky sounds. The cut ‘Synthesis’ is from the Verona, NJ High School Jazz Ensemble, which actually traveled to Montreaux in 1972 and recorded their performance. The tune starts off with a weird, avant garde interlude, before descending into something that sounds like it belongs on a Lalo Schifrin soundtrack.
Woody Herman’s work for Cadet records has appeared in this space before. Herman led one of the truly great big bands in jazz history. The 1960s were not a good time to keep a large band going, but Herman managed it, in part by staying current. The two albums he recorded for Cadet (with the help of Richard Evans among others) feature some very cool versions of contemporary material, including the track included here, a wailing, uptempo take on Traffic’s psychedelic tune ‘Smiling Phases’.
To paraphrase Robert Plant, “Does anybody remember Doc Severinson?” If you’re old enough, and remember the Tonight Show back in 70s, Doc was the trumpeter, and bandleader on the Tonight Show, as famous for his garish wardrobe as he was for his talents as a Maynard Ferguson-esque high-note artist. His 1970 album ‘Doc Severinson’s Closet’ – the cover of which features several of the aforementioned suits – features a great band, including many Tonight Show bandmates, as well as the mighty Ray Barretto. This excerpt from ‘Footprints of the Giant’ moves along at a brisk pace, with some wild Varitone sax solos and a fantastic percussion breakdown.
Lou Donaldson’s 1971 ‘Cosmos’ LP includes covers of both Bread and Curtis Mayfield (more on that later). The album includes a hot band, with Idris Muhammad, Melvin Sparks and Leon Spencer, and a number of tunes with vocals. The best of those is the extremely funky ‘Caterpillar’.
Grant Green’s 1971 ‘Shades of Green’ session sees him in the middle of his ‘funky’ period, covering (and re-covering) a lot of contemporary material with a band that included several members of the Crusaders. ‘California Green’ is a great slice of funky soul jazz, with lots of Green soloing and some grooving clavinet by Emmanuel Riggins.
You can read more about the Backyard Heavies here, but suffice to say, they weren’t exactly a jazz group. That said, ‘Soul Junction’ would not be out of place on a Brother Jack McDuff album from the same period, with its laid back groove, and organ lead.
Gene Harris is best known as the pianist with the Three Sounds. Though he recorded under that name into the mid-70s, he also released some albums under his own name, including 1974s ‘Astral Signals’. The album features a number of excellent tracks (including an unusual cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Green River’), but the best (and the funkiest, natch) is a P-Funk-ish take on Sly & the Family Stone’s ‘Don’t Call Me N*gger Whitey’.
Speaking of college jazz bands, the last time I was digging in Upstate NY, I grabbed an LP by the 1970 Ohio State University Jazz Band. ‘Far West Suite Pt1’ is yet another cut that sounds like it was lifted from a funky early-70s detective movie soundtrack.
Ernie Wilkins was a sax player and arranger who worked with a number of bands (mainly Count Basie) through the 50s and 60s. He also recorded under his own name, and the finest of those dates is the LP ‘Hard Mother Blues’, one of the funkiest big band dates on the Mainstream label. ‘Big Foot Blues’ features a blazing horn arrangement, as well as some very funky guitar.
We dip once again into the catalogue of the mighty Peddlers with a cut from their 1970 ‘Three For All’ LP. ‘Working Again’ is a kind of a jazz take on the storied “road song”, with a solid vocal by Roy Philips who also brings the Hammond heat.
Lou Donaldson is back to close out this edition of Funky16Corners Radio, with a cover of Curtis Mayfield’s epic ‘(Don’t Worry) If There’s a Hell Below We’re All Going To Go’. This time, in addition to his duties on the sax, Lou falls by with some vocals.
I hope you dig the mix. I won’t be back until next Monday, but if you get bored you can always bore into the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast Archive and see what you dig.
Until then, stay groovy and I’ll see you when I see you.

Peace

Larry

PS – Make sure to fall by Iron Leg for a swinging 60s mix.

PSS Make sure to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

Eddie Bo 1930-2009: Funky16Corners Radio v.67 – Eddie Bo In Soulville

March 25, 2009

Example

Funky16Corners Radio v.67 – Eddie Bo in Soulville

Playlist

Barbara George – Satisfied With Your Love (Seven B)
Eddie Bo – Just Like a Monkey (Cinderella)
Eddie Bo – Let’s Let It Roll (Chess)
Mary Jane Hooper – That’s How Strong My Love Is (World Pacific)
Eddie Bo – What You Gonna Do (Seven B)
Eddie Bo – Fallin’ In Love Again (Seven B)
Rainbows – Good Thing Goin’ (Instant)
Rainbows – Key To My Heart (Instant)
Eddie Bo – Fence of Love (Seven B)
Eddie Bo – Skate It Out (Seven B)
Eddie Bo – All I Ask Of You (Seven B)
Skip Easterling – Keep the Fire Burning (Alon)
Skip Easterling – The Grass Looks Greener (Alon)
Skip Easterling – Just One More Time (Alon)
Eddie Bo – S.G.B. (Seven B)
Eddie Bo – A Solid Foundation (Seven B)

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

Greetings all.

Though Eddie Bo has been featured prominently in several editions of the Funky16Corners Radio podcast, as well as the mix I reran on Sunday, the news of his passing made me dig a little bit deeper.
I’ve featured something from just about every stage of Eddie Bo’s career over the years, but the main focus has always been on what I consider to be his greatest work, i.e. the 1967-1973 funk sides. Despite the undeniable greatness of his entire catalogue my belief is that he hit his artistic zenith with the funk 45s he created under his own name, several pseudonyms and for other artists.
However… in the years running up to that period (and crossing over in 1967/8) Bo was also making great, pure soul music. During this period Bo’s triumphs were (in my opinion) greatest as composer and performer. None of the records in this mix could be fairly described as falling on the wrong side of the style vs substance equation. This is not to say that his funk records did, but rather that pure funk is much more of style driven sound, less know for it’s songs per se and more for it’s grooves (and Bo crafted some of the finest ever heard in the funk genre).
Of course there are those among you who might disagree where I’ve drawn a line here, but that’s kind of the way it always is on the soul/funk divide, i.e. is it more soul, funky or all the way over into funk? Ultimately it doesn’t matter, because between the previous mix, the individual tracks I’m posting this week and the previous New Orleans funk mixes in the Funky16Corners Podcast Archive, the bases have all pretty much been covered (and of not completely, enough to get anyone going).
That said, this is not by any means a comprehensive mix. The earlier things get in the Eddie Bo discography, the more I discover that there are tons of records (mostly things he did with other artists) that I haven’t dug up, or even heard yet. So, if there’s a favorite missing, know that the search always continues, and a record not included as of yet may very well appear sometime in the future.
Things get going with a record that I long considered the lost treasure of the mid-period Bo discography. Barbara George had had one of the biggest New Orleans hits with 1962’s ‘I Know (You Don’t Love Me No More)’. She recorded for AFO and Sue in 1962 and 1963 and then dropped out of sight for a time, only to return to recording briefly in 1967 with none other than Eddie Bo. The tune he recorded with George (and wrote, under the pseudonym ‘Joan Parker’) , ‘Satisfied With Your Love’ is one of those great “shoulda been a hit” numbers. It’s the perfect combination of singer and song, with a sophisticated arrangement. George would not return to the studio until the 70s, and then would promptly vanish from vinyl once again.
‘Just Like a Monkey’, one of Bo’s sides for the Cinderella label is an energetic bit of dance craze boilerplate, mixing a modified Bo Diddley beat (one step removed from the Miracles’ ‘Mickey’s Monkey’) with a repetitive horn riff, and Bo trading vocals with a female backing group.
‘Let’s Let It Roll’ from 1964 sees Bo borrowing liberally from Curtis Mayfield, though all of the Impressions polish is gone, with the familiar sounding tune given a nice, rough Crescent City reading. It’s also a great Bo vocal.
Mary Jane Hooper should be a familiar name to followers of all things Bo. She recorded a few 45s for Bo’s Power/Power-Pac label, including the mighty ‘I’ve Got Reasons’, and the selection in this mix ‘That’s How Strong My Love Is’. This tune was issued locally, and later picked up for national distribution by World Pacific. It has a great, driving beat with a dynamite vocal by Hooper and backing from Eddie in the chorus.
Interestingly enough, the 45 with ‘What You Gonna Do’ and ‘Fallin’ In Love Again’ was the very next single released on Seven B after ‘Pass the Hatchet’. Both sides are energetic soul with great guitar, vocals by Bo and horn backing.
The next two tracks were from Bo’s brief period providing tracks for the Instant label. I’ve never been able to find out anything about the Rainbows. Both sides of their 45 (‘Good Thing Goin’ and ‘Key To My Heart’) were Bo compositions, and it sounds like he provided the arrangements (and backing vocals) on the 45. ‘Good Thing Goin’ is a mid-tempo shuffler with the guitar placed oddly high in the mix (and the organ oddly low). ‘Key To My Heart’ is a ballad with another odd mix.
Bo’s ‘Fence of Love’ is one of my favorite from his time with Seven B. It’s simply a great song, his piano rides high in the mix and his vocal is outstanding. I really dig the way the tempo picks up ever so slightly toward the chorus, as well as the drum/piano breakdown in the middle of the song.
Aside from the Barbara George side, ‘Skate It Out’ sounds to me like the hit that got away. It’s one of the few cuts here that isn’t in any way idiosyncratically ‘New Orleans’, treading on more traditional soul/pop grounds, working a dance craze vibe with Bo on the organ and a great blaring horn section that builds toward the end.
The flipside of ‘Skate It Out’, ‘All I Ask of You’ is a great bit of waltz-inflected southern soul, with an outstanding vocal performance by Bo, and a great arrangement.
The next three tracks are from Bo’s collaboration with blue-eyed soul singer Skip Easterling. Easterling, who later made some excellent funky sides for Instant had the opportunity to work with both Bo and Allen Toussaint, and for my money his Bo sides are his best. The finest of these is ‘Keep the Fire Burning’. A record with a Northern Soul following ‘Keep the Fire Burning’ is a relentless, pounding side with a wild vocal by Easterling that at times sounds like he was following a guide vocal from Bo himself.
The flip of that record, ‘The Grass Looks Greener’ is a wonderful southern soul ballad, as is ‘Just One More Time’.
The last two tracks in this mix are both sides of the second to last 45 that Bo would record under his own name for the Seven B label. The last would be ‘Lover and a Friend’, which in this case can serve as the dividing line/jumping off point into the funk years. ‘S.G.B.’ (or stone graveyard business) is really the soulful side of Bo edging up into proto-funk territory, with a breakdown that borrows from James Brown’s ‘Out of Sight’ and an opening line played by what sounds like a soprano saxophone.
The flipside, ‘A Solid Foundation’ is a kinder/gentler Bo, with a mellower soul sound and one of the more sophisticated arrangements from this period. The horn section is tasteful and subdued, the female backing vocals are excellent and Bo’s piano gets lots of space to shine through.
Hopefully this mix will give the listener a good jumping off point for the mid-period sounds of Bo. Unfortunately, no quality reissue company has stepped forward to give Bo’s work the attention it deserves. As I said earlier, no matter how much Bo I bring you here, I can guarantee you that there’s a lot more out there that I haven’t been able to get my hands on. The time is long since past for someone like Sundazed to head down to New Orleans, sort out the rights and present the music of Eddie Bo to a modern audience with the proper sound quality and annotation it deserves.
I hope you dig the mix, and I’ll be back on Friday with one more record.

Peace

Larry

PS –  Make sure to fall by Red Kelly’s ‘B-Side’ blog for a nice piece on Eddie Bo’s Chess sides

Eddie Bo 1930-2009: Eddie & His Heavy Friends

March 22, 2009

NOTE: This mix, featuring the wide range of work Eddie Bo did with other artists (as writer, producer, arranger and often all of the above) was originally featured here in May of 2008. It’s not complete but it does give a pretty good overview of this side of Eddie’s career.
As the week goes on I plan on featuring a few more individual tracks, as well as a new “odds and sods” mix featuring some of Eddies earlier work and a couple of tunes by others that didn’t make it into this mix.
I hope you dig it.
Peace
Larry

Example

Funky16Corners Radio v.49 – Eddie Bo Gets It Together Behind His Many Heavy Friends

Playlist

Roger & the Gypsies – Pass the Hatchet Pts 1&2 (Seven B)
Art Neville – Hook Line and Sinker (Instant)
Candy Phillips – Timber Pt1 (Atlantic)
Chris Kenner – All Night Rambler (Instant)
Eddie Lang – Something Within Me (Seven B)
Little Buck – Little Boy Blue (Seven B)
Mary Jane Hooper – I’ve Got Reasons (Power Pac)
Oliver Morgan – Roll Call (Seven B)
Chuck Carbo – Can I Be Your Squeeze (Canyon)
Bobby Williams Group – Boogaloo Mardi Gras Pts 1&2 (Capitol)
Curley Moore & the Kool Ones – Shelley’s Rubber Band (House of the Fox)
Roy Ward – Horse With a Freeze Pt1 (Seven B)
Curly Moore & the Kool Ones – Funky Yeah (House of the Fox)
Oliver Morgan – The La La Man (Seven B)
Sonny Jones – Sissy Walk Pt1 (Scram)
The Explosions – Hip Drop Pt1 (Gold Cup)
James K Nine – Live It Up (Federal)
Doug Anderson – Hey Mama Here Comes the Preacher (Janus)

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

Greetings all.

The mix I bring you today – Funky16Corners Radio v.49 – is one that I’ve been thinking about since I started doing these podcasts two years ago. If you stop by here on the reg you already know that I ride for New Orleans legend Eddie Bo in a big way.

Bo, who’s career stretches from the late 40’s up until the present day made many a fine record under his own name (the biggest hit he was ever associated with was his own ‘Hook and Sling’, an R&B Top 10 hit in 1969) it is perhaps fair to say that his biggest mark was made behind the scenes. As composer, producer and arranger, Eddie Bo worked on some of the finest soul and funk records to come out of the Crescent City in the 60’s and 70’s.

Bo had the good fortune (and the smarts) to work with many a fantastic vocalist and perhaps the greatest of all the great New Orleans drummers, James Black.

Back in 2000 when I started the Funky16Corners web zine, I made the music of Eddie Bo a regular feature. When I moved into the blog-o-mos-phere four years later, I continued to salute the man and his work via write ups on individual tracks and inclusion of many of these records in New Orleans funk and soul mixes.

My discovery of Bo’s side projects has been itself a work in progress, digging up new records all the time. Through the years I’ve always wanted to put together a mix of these records that would show the breadth of Eddie Bo’s talents as a discoverer of talent, crafter of records and writer of great songs.

This past weekend, I was thinking about how I was going to lead up to Funky16Corners Radio v.50, which I plan on dropping during this year’s pledge drive, inspirado struck and I decided that in the spirit of keeping the funk flag flying, and the maintenance of forward motion, the time to collect these songs was nigh.

Though many of the records in this mix have appeared on the blog over the years, there are a few killers here that I’ve never shared. I won’t go into great detail, only because I have before, so if you have any specific questions (that can’t be answered via a “Funky16Corners _____________” Google search) ask them in the comments and I’ll do what I can to answer them.

One final note, in the spirit of full disclosure, the recording of ‘Little Boy Blue’ by Little Buck (which employs the same backing track as Eddie Bo & Inez Cheatham’s ‘Lover and a Friend’ is lifted from a tape made for me years ago by a reader of the web zine. I’ve never been able to score a copy of my own, but it’s such a great record I couldn’t put this mix together without it.

That said, I hope you dig the sounds and I’ll be back later in the week with some new discoveries.

.Peace
Larry

Funky16Corners Radio v.66 – Make It Funky

March 15, 2009

Example

Funky16Corners Radio v.66 – Make It Funky

Playlist

James Brown – Make It Funky Pt1 (polydor)
Brothers and Sisters – Yeah You Right (Uni)
The Establishment – House of Jack (King)
JD Bryant – Get It Come and Get It (Enjoy)
Bar Kays – Give Everybody Some (Volt)
Buddy McKnight – Everytime Pt1 (Renfro)
Chet Poison Ivey and his Fabulous Avengers – Shake a Poo Poo (TRC)
James Brown – Make It Funky Pt2 (Polydor)
Memphis Soul Band – Who’s Making Love (Minit)
OD Williams – Funky Belly (Bar-Bare)
Radiants – Another Mule Is Kicking In Your Stall (Chess)
Lyn Collins – Things Got To Get Better (People)
Wilson Pickett – Born To Be Wild (Atlantic)
Fabulous Emotions – Number One Fool (Tamboo)
Soul Tornados – Bobby’s Mood (Westwood)
Syl Johnson – Let Them Hang High (Twinight)
Rickey Calloway – Paying My Dues Pt1 (Super)
James Brown – Make It Funky Pt3 (Polydor)

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

Greetings all.

Welcome to another chapter of the ongoing saga know as the passage of time, year number 2009, month number three, week number three, day number one (figure out the hour and minute according to your own physical position on the globe).
I find myself mostly adjusted after a week of DST, sleeping relatively well (or as well as one sleeps with two children), once again attuned to the vinyl mountain down the hall, especially the newly formed strata thereon that came home with me from my trip down south.
I’ve been digi-ma-tizing records at a fairly brisk pace. Setting aside individual tracks for presentation on the blog, as well as stockpiling things thematically for use in future mixes. Some of these folders are full and ready to roll, while others gather material gradually as I find it/dig it out. A few weeks ago I took a deliberate step outside of that process because I felt that the time was long since past for a good old mix of funk (and funky) 45s, so I hit the crates, pulled a stack of records and got to work.
The mix you see before you features a bunch of killers, a couple of b-sides of tunes that hit the blog individually and a few things that I picked up just last week.
What they all have in common is a certain gritty texture that connoisseurs of all things funky will find pleasing to the palate, blended together in a New Jersey soul stew of sorts, wrapped in the Godfather, seasoned with a soupcon of Hammond, a couple of cover versions and just a hint of Sister Funk.
The odd thing is, that the whole thing is bracketed by a record that I am thoroughly embarrassed to admit that I did not own on 45 until last weekend, James Brown’s ‘Make it Funky Pts 1&2’ (I picked up Pt3 on a Euro LP comp last weekend as well). There’s no denying the power of this one, no matter how long James keeps the gang in the studio, stretching and kneading the groove like a hunk of taffy.
The Brothers and Sisters bring us a little bit of Louisiana funk (one of their two 45s on Uni) with the totally NOLA sentiment of ‘Yeah You Right’.
I can’t tell you anything about the Establishment, other than if the tune ‘House of Jack’ rings a bell it’s on account of it’s a vocal version of Keith Mansfield’s ‘Soul Thing’.
JD Bryant’s ‘Get It (Come and Get It)’is the OG, proto-funky version of a tune later worked up by Bennie Gordon and the Soul Brothers.
The Bar Kays
cut was a surprise (and a pleasant one at that) when I dug it out and spun it for the first time last week. I can’t say that I’d ever heard much past ‘Soul Finger’, and ‘Give Everybody Some’ is most definitely a funky thing.
‘Everytime’ by Buddy McKnight is the vocal version of a tune that was included on the mighty ‘Organ Donors’ comp years ago. This is one of those great example of a tune that has something different to offer as both and instro and a vocal.
There’s not much that needs to be said about Chet ‘Poison’ Ivey and the Fabulous Avengers’ ‘Shake a Poo Poo’, other than the obvious question as to what exactly they mean by ‘Poo Poo’, and that one hopes (prays) that it isn’t some twisted ode to dookie, or the most literal interpretation of “scat” singing ever.
The Memphis Soul Band, with their hot version of Johnny Taylor’s ‘Who’s Making Love’ is in fact none other than Ingfried Hoffman, aka Memphis Black.
I don’t know who O.D. Williams is/was, but I have always wondered if (aside from the Warren Lee and Larry Foster tunes) there are any other ‘Funky Belly’ records out there. Both Williams and Foster recorded for Mississippi labels (Lee was out of New Orleans), so it might have been a regional thing, but if it was a dance (which is the logical assumption) you have to wonder if it involved exposure of the gut, or what?
We all know the Radiants for their classic, smooth Northern Soul like ‘Baby You’ve Got It’ and ‘Voice Your Choice’, so imagine my surprise when I pulled ‘Another Mule Is Kicking In Your Stall’ and gave it a spin. This is most definitely a funkier side of the group.
I’m a huge fan of Vicki Anderson’s ‘Things Got To Get Better’, so I was happy when I picked up an LP by Lyn Collins and discovered that she had done a version of the tune as well. I think you’ll dig it too.
Moving on, we cross paths with the one – Wilson Pickett – digging in, with considerable gusto to Steppenwolf’s ‘Born To Be Wild’. As much as I love Pickett, I can’t say that I love all of his cover versions, but this one is a perfect match between material and style.
The Fabulous Emotions ‘Number One Fool’ is one of the two vocal versions of the song that also appeared as ‘The Funky Chicken’, and also under the group name The NY Jets. More on the subject here (scroll down)…
‘Bobby’s Mood’ by the Soul Tornados is the equally funky b-side of the tune ‘Crazy Legs’ which appeared in this very space a short while ago.
It was also during last week’s dig that I finally scored a copy of ‘Is It Because I’m Black’ by the mighty Syl Johnson. While I was road testing the records I figured I’d flip it over, and I’m glad I did, since ‘Let The Hang High’ was burning up the b-side.
Thanks go out to DJ Prestige for passing on a copy of Rickey Calloway’s ‘Paying My Dues Pt1’. The tune was recorded in the late 70s, then pressed (but not issued) in the early 80s. Mr Calloway himself passed a couple of these rare gems to my man Pres, who sent one my way (and now I send it to you).
As always, I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back later in the week with something groovy.

Peace

Larry

PS Make sure to stop by Iron Leg for some sunshiney psyche pop.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider as well

Funky16Corners Radio v.65 – The Return of Secret Agent Super Funky16Corners

February 15, 2009

Example

Funky16Corners Radio v.65 – The Return of Secret Agent Super Funky16Corners

Playlist

Brian Auger & Julie Driscoll – Indian Ropeman (Polydor)
Peddlers – Last Train To Clarksville (Philips)
Joao Donato – Lunar Tune (Blue Thumb)
Louis Prima w/ Sam Butera & the Witnesses – Pick Up the Pieces (Pr1Ma)
Neal Creque – Bacalau (Cobblestone)
Joe Thomas Group – Comin’ Home (Cobblestone)
Richard Groove Holmes – Isole Natale (World Pacific Jazz)
Eddie Jefferson – Freedom Jazz Dance (Muse)
Mongo Santamaria – Night Crawler (Atlantic)
Enoch Light & the Light Brigade – Season of the Witch (Project 3)
New London Rhythm & Blues Band – Soul Man (Vocalion)
Reuben Wilson – Superfly (Groove Merchant)
Don Ellis – Put It Where You Want It (Columbia)
Joe Thomas Group – You Can Bet Your Sweet Bippy (Cobblestone)
Tamba 4 – California Soul (A&M)

Greetings all.

I hope that the beginning of a new week finds you all well, and ready to dig into a big, steaming dish of funky, jazzy and all together groovy.
This is kind of a companion mix/flipside, yin to the yang, of Radio v.64, in which the downtempo vibe was explored. This time around there are a few of the same artists, the tempo is decidedly up, with a similarly jazzy bent.
I actually put a little more work on this mix than usual, working my way through two distinct versions, adding a few tracks here, subtracting a few there until the original vibe I sought was finally there.
The first track is a stone killer, and if it doesn’t get you up out of your seat, in your embroidered djebella, doing that Playboy After Dark uptown hippie frug, then you need to hit the pause button, go fill up on the stimulant of your choice, and then fall back into line for a second helping. ‘Indian Ropeman’ is Brian and Jools taking a Richie Havens tune and gassing it up to the nth degree with the Hammond, the drums and bass and the strobe light (you can hear it if you listen closely), and it is a thing of beauty. Definitely an automatic lead-off track is there ever was one.
We follow it up with a little stick of dynamite from the Monkees catalog. If that sounds a little weird, give the track a listen because only Roy Phillips and the Peddlers can take a bit of pure pop like ‘Last Train to Clarksville’ and apply the bang pow – like the kick of defibrulators – shifting into jazz rock overdrive, also with the groovy Hammond.
Things take a tiny step down with something funky from Joao Donato. ‘Lunar Tune’ (from the LP ‘A Bad Donato’) is more of that groovy Brazilian keyboard action that we’ve come to expect from Mr Donato.
If you were given pause when you saw the name Louis Prima in the playlist, rest easy. I would not steer you wrong, and Mr. Just a Gigolo and his band were recording funky, era-appropriate grooves well into the 70s on his own Pr1ma label. Their take on the Average White Band’s ‘Pick Up the Pieces’ goes into synthesizer overload and features some very snappy drums.
Keyboardist Neal Creque (who appears in this mix as a leader, and as a sideman with Mongo Santamaria) lays down a very nice Rhodes groove with his tune ‘Bacalau’.
Joe Thomas is well known to crate diggers, for his increasingly funky work in the 60s and 70s on the soul jazz tip (if you find a copy of ‘Chitlins and Cuchifritos’ on Today, grab it). His smoking flute-heavy take on Bob Dorough and Ben Tucker’s ‘Comin’ Home’ is a smoker from the get go.
Richard Groove Holmes was one of the great past masters of the Hammond, and should be a very familiar name to followers of Funky16Corners Radio organ mixes. ‘Isole Natale’ is from his uniformly excellent 1969 LP ‘Working On a Groovy Thing’ which also features an interesting cover of David Frishberg’s ‘Oklahoma Toad’.
If you’re not ready to have your mind blown, take a break and come back in a minute. Eddie Jefferson was featured in this space recently, but that track was a mere amuse bouche when compared to the jazz funk buffet of ‘Freedom Jazz Dance’. As close to a modern jazz standard as you can get (written by Eddie Harris, covered by Miles Davis among others), ‘FJD’ is given a fiery vocalese reworking by the legendary Mr. Jefferson.
Layin jazz genius Mongo Santamaria recorded a number of funky albums during his late 60s/early 70s tenure at Atlantic Records. ‘Night Crawler’ is from his ‘Mongo ’70’ LP and is one of the few tracks on the album not written by Neal Creque (it was penned by Charles Williamson).
Next up is an unusual cut from Enoch Light. Known mainly for his “easy” sound LPs for the Project 3/Command labels, crate diggers in the know will tell you that his albums are an untapped source of funky sounds. One such cut is his fuzzed out, drum heavy take on Donovan’s oft-covered ‘Season of the Witch’.
I’ve owned and treasured the New London Rhythm and Blues Band LP for years – real heads do in fact know the deal – and despite mining the intertubes for information I have yet to figure out who’s playing on it. My suspicions have always been that it was UK studio/library heads, but I have yet to receive confirmation in that regard. Their booming, atmospheric take on ‘Soul Man’ is a gas.
Hammond heads will already be hip to the keyboard work of Mr Reuben Wilson, from his early days as part of the Wildare Express, right on through his solo albums for Blue Note and Groove Merchant. Dig his very funky take on Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Superfly’.
Don Ellis was an unusual cat. He had a long career writing and performing experimental jazz, yet by the late 60s his big band was playing rock covers on the stage at the Fillmore West. His cover of the Crusader’s ‘Put It Where You Want It’ is from the band’s last Columbia LP, 1972’s ‘Connection’ which also featured a cover of Yes’s ‘Roundabout’.
We go back to Joe Thomas with another smoking cut from his ‘Comin’ Home’ LP on Cobblestone. ‘You Can Bet Your Sweet Bippy’ is a powerfully swinging number with some shout outs in the breaks that older heads will recognize as references to ‘Laugh In’.
We close out this edition of Funky16Corners Radio with a tune that was featured by itself last year. Tamba 4’s version of ‘California Soul’ is from sessions for an LP that was never issued. ‘California Soul’ was released on a rare, promo-only 45, and is one of my favorite versions of the tune.
That all said, I hope you dig the mix, and I’ll be back later in the week with something soulful.
Peace

Larry

PS Make sure to stop by Iron Leg for some classic, mid-60s folk rock perfection.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider as well