Monday, 31 August 2009

Bill Doggett - Lionel Hampton presents: Bill Doggett

Lionel Hampton Presents Bill Doggett


256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from Who's Who In Jazz WWLP21002

Dig The Thing

Charlie's Alley

Here's a little-known funk-flavoured set by one of the architects of Rock 'n' Roll, Bill Doggett. Famous for penning Honky Tonk, one of the first (and most influential) R'n'R instrumentals from the formative years when R&B and jump blues were morphing into rock, he worked that sucker to death the rest of his career and churned out a new version every couple of years to update it in the current pop musical idiom. One of the earliest proponents of the organ as well, a legion of articles on the man already exist but I'll direct you to excellent write-ups via the Be Bop Wino and bravo juju links below as well as the ever-insightful Funky16Corners.

According to the IAJO, this one might be a reissue of an album from the Tobacco Road label called I Wish You Love since it has the exact same line up - or vice versa. Lionel Hampton has 3 or 4 issues of a record by that name as well but couldn't find much reference to the LP under Doggett's name elsewhere, so I've left it off the discography until the claim is corroborated.

Hampton was big on using unknown cats throughout his career (probably due to the way he got his first big break back in the day) so the rhythm section here is composed of players with little bio info available. The exception is Sam Turner, who played conga for Hamp and other giants over a 30 year span. The horn players are familiar names, especially to readers of this blog who'll recognise Charles Williams due to his LPs on Mainstream records which have appeared at our sister site, the shad shack.

Bill Doggett - Organ, Piano

Lionel Hampton - Vibes

Larry Troit - Bass
Howard Overton - Drums
Sam Turner - Conga, Drums
Larry Luger - Guitar
Norris Turney - Alto Sax
Charles Williams - Alto Sax
David Brooks - Tenor Sax

1 Bill's Honky Tonk
2 Pots A Cookin'
3 I Wish You Love
4 Dig The Thing
5 Dug's Pad
6 Midnight Sun
7 Flying Home
8 Charlie's Alley

Bonus Tracks in DL:
Honky Tonk/Honky Tonk Popcorn 7" on James Browns' People c/o 45digs
The Way You Make Me Honky Tonk mash-up of Doggett and MJ c/o Voicedude


1955 Christmas Songs
at A Christmas Yuleblog
1955 His Organ and Combo
1955 His Organ and Combo, Vol. 2
1956 Dame Dreaming at EasyMusic
1956 Everybody Dance to the Honky Tonk
1956 Sentimentally Your's
1957 The Doggett Beat For Dancing Feet at Be Bop Wino
1957 Hot Doggett at Be Bop Wino
1957 Moondust
1958 A Salute to Ellington
1958 As You Desire Me
1958 Candle Glow
1958 Dance Awhile With Doggett at Be Bop Wino
1959 Big City Dance Party
1959 12 Songs of Christmas at A Christmas Yuleblog
1959 For Reminiscent Lovers, Romantic Songs
1959 High and Wide
1959 Hold It
1959 On Tour
1959 Swingin' Easy
1960 3,046 People Danced 'til 4 A.M. at thehookandsling
1960 Back Again with More Bill Doggett
1960 Bonanaza of 24 Songs
1961 Band with the Beat
1961 The Many Moods of Bill Doggett at Schadenfreudian Therapy
1962 Bill Doggett Swings
1962 Oops!
1962 Prelude To The Blues
1963 Fingertips
1963 Impressions
1963 Plays American Songs in the Bossa Nova Style
1963 Prelude to the Blues
1965 Wow! at bravo juju
1966 Honky Tonk a la Mod
1967 Honky Tonk Harmony
1969 Honky Tonk Popcorn
1970 The Nearness of You
1977 Lionel Hampton Presents Bill Doggett at Soundological
1978 Midnight Slows Vol 9
1978 Midnight Slows Vol 10
1980 Mister Honky Tonk
1991 The Right Choice After Hours
1994 I Don't Know Much About Love
1995 Bluesiana Hurricane


Gon' Doggett
The EP Collection at Be Bop Wino
Honky Tonk! The King & Federal R&B Instrumentals at rockabilly ranch

Discographical info thanks to AMG, Discogs, International Archives For The Jazz Organ & Wikipedia.

Soundological hopes you're diggin' Doggett HERE or HERE.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Various - Soul Superbowl (Kent 060)

Soul Superbowl

256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from Kent 060

Claudia Green - Skate A While Baby

Lifestyle - Katrina

What better day for a Superbowl than Sunday? Calling in the special teams from Kent's bench, this comp is a bit of a twist on the normal Northern Soul sounds you're used to from the Ace imprint. While the first half keeps the faith, this time one side is devoted to 70s soul sounds and leans heavily on disco, even including some boogie from the tail end of the decade. Bein' a 70s baby, I might be a bit biased but my bet's on that decade to win. I blame it on the boogie!

1 Clyde McPhatter - Please Give Me One More Chance vid
2 The Trends - Thanks For A Little Lovin' vid
3 Buster Jones - Baby Boy
4 The Hesitations - She Won't Come Back
5 Claudia Green - Skate A While Baby
6 Arthur Alexander - Keep Her Guessin' vid
7 The Commands - Hey It's Love vid
8 Romance Watson - Where Does That Leave Me? vid
9 Lifestyle - Katrina
10 Little Anthony - Love's The Only Way To Survive
11 Anacostia - What Kind Of Love
12 Al Hudson - Spread Love vid
13 Lenny Williams - Look Up With Your Mind vid
14 Carl Carlton - You Can't Stop A Man In Love vid
15 Alicia Myers - I Fooled You This Time vid

Tackle two decades of soul with Soundological HERE or HERE.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Various - NYC Soul (Kent 043)

New York City Soul


256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from Kent 043

The Megatons - Detroit Sound

Bobby Hebb - Proud Soul Heritage

Continuing with Kent, here's another assortment of NYC soul to accompany the Big City Soul collection posted a couple weeks ago. Not as strong an assortment, there's still some killers on here - as always. Personal fave here is the dope Detroit Sound by The Megatons, who bashed their bomb out in a bathroom, giving it a lo-fi sound that software just can't simulate. An oddity here is the anachronistic Proud Soul Heritage performed by Bobby Hebb, the man who The Beatles brought from the penthouse to the outhouse in a few scant days of opening his US tour. This updated version of PSH was actually the 7" b-side to a discofied version of his massive hit Sunny.

Speaking of which, this past week I picked up Hebb's Sunny LP in a lot of 500 albums I scooped up for $400. Although it was mainly a collection of 60s pop, psych, blues rock and country there were a few dozen nice little nuggets of doo wop, soul and jazz of which more than a few will likely find their way to Soundological. In the meantime, you Kent go wrong with another comp from Croasdell's ace imprint!

1 Brenda Lee Jones - You're The Love Of My Life vid
2 The Chiffons - Keep The Boy Happy vid
3 Billy Sha-rea - I'm Gone vid
4 Hoagy Lands - Friends And Lovers Don't Go Together vid
5 Hoagy Lands - The Next In Line vid
6 The Dynamics - Yes I Love You Baby vid
7 Johnny Gibson Trio - Beachcomber vid
8 Dean Parish - I'm On My Way vid
9 Carl Spencer - Cover Girl vid
10 The Jackson Brothers - I've Gotta Hear It From You
11 Lilly Fields & Hoagy Lands - Beautiful Music
12 The Megatons - Detroit Sounds
13 The Casualeers - When I'm In Your Arms
14 Johnny Law Four - Call On Me
15 Dean & Jean - Silly Little Girl vid
16 Bobby Hebb - Proud Soul Heritage

Soundological grapples with the Big Apple HERE or HERE.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Various - Soul Serenade (Kent 041)

Soul Serenade


256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from Kent 041

The Diplomats - Can't Get You Out Of My Mind

Brooks O'Dell - Soul Serenade

Still on the succinct side of things, here's another comp from our fave Northern Soul slingers. Maybe not my favourite Kent, but definitely holds some of my all-time favourite tracks to be found on any of their (or any other soul-diggin' outfit for that matter) compilations I've heard. Case in point: The Sheppards' Your Love Has Got A Hole In It, for my money it's hands-down one of the best conscious soul tracks to ever grace wax. You'll note that, as with most of the tracks listed, it's linked to a vid on YouTube so you don't have to wait for the whole LP to download if you wanna call BS on that claim.
It's hard to believe it was collecting dust for almost 20 years before the boys plucked from it the void of the vault.

Other highlights include the eminently sample-worthy Porgy & The Monarchs, upbeat grooviness from The Esquires and a chugger from the latter-day Platters. BTW, on a new day the Diplomats would all of a sudden turn their back on love and be better known as your pimps, the Skull Snaps!

1 Porgy & The Monarchs - That Girl vid
2 The Just Brothers - Carlena vid
3 Chuck Jackson - Good Things Come To Those Who Wait vid
4 Nella Dodds - I Just Gotta Have You vid
5 The Shirelles - Look Away
6 The Platters - Doesn't It Ring A Bell
7 The Diplomats - Can't Get You Out Of My Mind
8 Porgy & The Monarchs - If It's For Real vid
9 The Esquires - My Sweet Baby vid
10 Brooks O'Dell - Soul Serenade
11 The Jive 5 - Crying Like A Baby vid
12 Judy Clay - Haven't Got What It Takes vid
13 Maxine Brown - Gotta Find A Way vid
14 The Sheppards - Your Love Has Got A Hole In It vid
15 Lenny Miles - Don't Believe Him Donna vid
16 Marie Knight - A Little Too Lonely

Let Soundological serenade you HERE or HERE.

PS - A big thanks to the silent benefactor who was kind enough to use my referrer button on the right when they signed up for a RS account!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Various - Cookin' With Kent (Kent 053)

Cookin' With Kent


256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from Kent 053

Z.Z. Hill - What More

Cookin' indeed! It's been crazy hot in this here town the last couple of weeks and I've been pretty pokey in the prepping of some major upcoming posts. In the meantime, I figured featuring a few Kent comps would keep readers occupied and, since they come with their own liner notes (just click on the back cover image), the effort required would be a little more inline with the times. However, I wasn't so lazy that I couldn't add links to some vid clips of tracks for your previewification.

1 Brilliant Corners - Three Lonely Guys
2 Larry Davis - I've Been Hurt So Many Times vid
3 Jimmy Holiday - The New Breed vid
4 Z.Z. Hill - What More
5 Johnny Gilliam - Baby Take Me Back
6 Brenda George - I Can't Stand It (I Can't Take No More) vid
7 Arthur K. Adams - I'm Lonely For You
8 Clay Hammond - My Girl Is Gone Away
9 Mary Love - I've Gotta Get You Back vid
10 The Sweethearts - No More Tears vid
11 The Ikettes - S'been So Long vid
12 Windjammers - All That Shines Is Not Gold
13 The Four Tees - One More Chance vid
14 Universals - New Lease On Life
15 Ike & Tina Turner - It's Crazy Baby
16 Peggy Woods - You Better Be Good To My Baby

Get cookin' with Soundological HERE or HERE.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Olatunji & His Percussion, Brass, Woodwind and Choir - Zungo! Afro-Percussion

Jolly Mensah

Zungo! Afro Percussion


256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from Columbia CS-8434

This one's for ish, the scholar/gentleman from Ile Oxumare and
blog kingpin presiding over Strata-East Fan Club, Magic Purple Sunshine, Nine Sisters and Crap Jazz Covers. He's one of the main inspirations for my entry into blogdom so, when he was generously sharing anecdotes on Chief Bey in the comments of the Guy Warren post and it came to light he was unfamiliar with the second outing by legendary percussionist Olatunji Babatunde, I immediately felt obliged (rather than "obligated") to post this long OOP piece of afrojazz history.

Originally released by Columbia in 1961, they reissued it only once more in 1973 (as ACS-8434). It looks like most of the tracks have appeared on compilations over the years but a lot of those are budget and fly-by-night labels or else borderline bootlegs. When it comes to the album itself, it's fairly easy to find affordable copies ($15-$20 or less) of both the '61 and '73 printings in good condition online. This particular one's been in my possession for plenty years but I've taken pretty good care of it (i.e., rarely played it out) so it's fairly free of snaps, crackles 'n' pops, except for some unavoidable noise near the end of the last track (i.e., the tune that was played out on those rare occasions it found its way into my bag).

If you need to brush up on the bio of Babatunde then I suggest starting with his wiki page, AllAboutJazz and a more-informative-than-usual piece on since they also offer multiple links for further reading. There's also a good post over at the excellent The Basement Rug blog with Drums of Passion and a couple other Olatunji LPs.

Slipcue review:
Although there's some nice, powerful drumming on here, the overall feel of this album may seem a bit top-heavy and monochromatic... It's that "...his percussion, brass, woodwinds, and choir" subheader on the album jacket that'll tip you off. Olatunji and his Nigerian percussion ensemble plays host to a cast of thousands that includes jazzmen such as Ray Barretto, Yusef Lateef and Clark Terry -- great players all, though their contributions are largely buried in the mix. Not a bad album, by any means, though is doesn't quite match the intensity of the earlier Drums Of Passion album. Worth checking out, though... it's very mellow, meditative, easy on the ears and entrancing.

Dusty Groove review:
One of Olatunji's best LPs, and a record that breaks out of his usual straight hard percussion stuff by adding some jazz players like Yusef Lateef, Clark Terry, and George Duvivier. There's also some singers augmenting the ensemble, but they drop out in parts, and the percussion and jazz take over. Olatunji's joined by Ray Barretto and Montego Joe on congas, and the whole thing grooves like one of Art Blakey's jazz/percussion experiments. 7 tracks: "Masque Dance", "Zungo", "Ajua", "Esum Buku Wa-Ya", "Gelewenwe", "Jolly Mensah" and "Philistine".

Babatunde Olatunji - Vocals, Drums [African]
Yusef Lateef - Winds
Clark Terry - Trumpet
Edward Bailey - Trumpet
James Nottingham - Trumpet
George Duvivier - Bass
Will Lee - Bass
Al Schackman - Guitar
Rudy Collins - Drums [Trap]
Beans Whitley - Drums [African]
James "Chief" Bey - Drums [African]
Montigo Joe - Drums [African]
Taiwo Duval - Drums [African]
Ray Barretto - Congas, Timbales

Adele Potter
Adunni Pearson
Afuavi Derby
Aquasiba Derby
Babalola Jones
Chinyelu Ajuluchuku
Christine Chapman
Oyinka Parker
Ernie Truesdale
Helena Walquer
Mario Timmons
Melvin Edwards
Popoola Moore

1 Masque Dance
2 Zungo
3 Ajua
4 Esum Buku Wa-Ya
5 Gelewenwe
6 Jolly Mensah
7 Philistine

Your Olatunji opportunity at Soundological can be found HERE or HERE.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Pavement - Pavement (1969)

Nobody's Gonna Sleep Tonight

Double Decker Of A Man


256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from Crystal CRY 3000

There's been a few rarities posted here in the past but this is the first time SI's dropping a record whose mere existence was in question. Apparently the work of this two-tone troupe is an elusive and much sought-after slice of UK mod and ska history but besides a review in the recently published Galactic Ramble (which I haven't read) it's not often found in the landslide of record collector guides devoted to that time & place.

Outside of catalogue # and track listings, I could only find three other solid, "informative" references (a pic of the cover quickly became the acid test): a current
eBay listing (buy it now for 100€), a terse description courtesy Psychedelic Storm records ("Rumoured not to exist album. Flip-back cover.") and a bit better blurb from Berlin's Ubupopland on what 130€ buys you:
Impossible rare and obscure UK white and black group from the late 60s. Play two killer tracks in Funky Soul Mod dancer way, listen to "She wrote me a letter" and also to "Shockproof ". Inclu other cool ska and reggae numbers.
There you have it, the sum total of information available for the inaugural album of short-lived Crystal records. Details are so scant on this release that after two weeks of trawling through hundreds of pages of search results trying to source the players based on their first name, it was obviously a lost cause. Even the tried-and-true methods of investigating the label's house band/preferred session men or touring outfits of the vocalists led to nameless dead ends since the rest of the label's output featured low-rent pop-oriented crooners who were probably uninterested in sharing the spotlight.

Jack Price at the controls

Along with Dominant Music and Crystal Publishing, Crystal Records was formed in 1968 by Jack Price and Jean Domminney. It had a small run of albums and singles, cementing its spot in studio boffin history by being the first label in London to release material recorded using 8 track. Not so surprising since Price was a forward-thinking fellow and one of the first Brits to recognise and jump on the ska/rocksteady/reggay bandwagon. Of course, Jack's happy to tell you about it his own words (and his own CAPSLOCK) on his own website, but here's the edited version of the happenings in 68-70:
DOMINANT MUSIC [signed a] sub-publishing deal with SPARTA/FLORIDA for several copyrights, including the Rock Steady hit SWAN LAKE by THE CATS (a big hit on the continent and made the national charts in the UK).

Swan Lake by The Cats, reputed to
be moonlighting members of
the BBC orchestra ca. '68

[Price] became Label Manager and P.A. to EMILE SHALLET, the Managing Director of MELODISC RECORDS, London (Bluebeat and FAB label) thus gaining considerable experience in the Rock Steady and Reggae scene from the very company that initiated the Reggae industry in Europe... This company had massive national chart successes and large record sales with PRINCE BUSTER on the BB label.

It's the future.
We're living in real gangster times.
We need to take one step beyond.

[Price] produced albums for PHILIPS, MERCURY, FONTANA REDIFFUSION, PYE RECORDS, PRESIDENT RECORDS (JAYBOY LABEL), FLAMINGO MUSIC, SAGA RECORDS, as well as for his own labels, SIOUX RECORDS and CRYSTAL RECORDS. These included rock and roll, folk R&B and Reggae music... Also at this time issued a Reggae album on the CRYSTAL LABEL for NOEL GAY MUSIC PUBLISHERS...

By introducing the Reggae scene to Philips, Pye and Decca Records, he has been accredited to be the first person to make the music available nationwide to all record outlets instead of the limited distribution network which existed at the time
As good as Price might be at accepting the credit he deserves, either he or NGP weren't nearly so generous at giving it on the Pavement liner notes. Hype, on the other hand, there's plenty of. One would expect nothing less since it was the go juice of the a-go-go era and this was the first release on a new label being propelled by a high-powered entertainment corporation currently firing on all cylinders, after all. But would dropping a few family names into the mix be that hard? Who were these guys? Oh wait, maybe that's why this record plummeted into the deepest recesses of obscurity.

It's also telling how Price differentiates the Pavement album as specifically being made for the Noel Gay Organisation, as if to distance himself from the affair. What's up with that? Maybe there's so few copies floating around because they're all sitting in a forgotten Noel Gay warehouse or the record bombed so badly that copies not lucky enough to be among the few sold were destroyed. The copy posted here does have a pinhole bin hole in the bottom corner, so the latter scenario seems a little more likely.

Noel Gay was the stage name of Reginald Armitage who, starting in the late 30s, parlayed his showbiz savvy into an entertainment empire that eventually included Noel Gay Productions. There's a dearth of data on that specific corporate entity but it seemed to serve as the unit of the conglomerate that was responsible for creating product to showcase clients of the Noel Gay Artists management division performing material from the catalogue of Noel Gay Music. Strategically shifting focus to television in the 70s, the Noel Gay Organisation is still running strong. Here's a snippet from the history section of their website:
During the 1960s Noel Gay Artists was a principal agent for a huge number of musical and pop acts including Russ Conway , Peter & Gordon , The Scaffold, Geoff Love, Manuel and His Music of the Mountains , Paul Jones etc. As a music publisher, Noel Gay provided a string of hits for Bernard Cribbins including Hole In the Ground, Right Said Fred and Gossip Calypso . The company also represented the young David Frost (who has remained with the agency ever since) and John Cleese.
While there's ample info circulating on Crystal and Noel Gay, Hubert Pattison is a horse of a different colour altogether. As a songwriter, he may not have burned up the charts but he didn't do so poorly either. Setting aside a few sporadic and indistinct singles under his own name, he saw some small scale success throughout the last half of the swingin' 60s penning songs for other performers on labels like Columbia, Deram, Parlophone, Pye and Fontana. Some of (well, actually most of) the artists who recorded his material include Billie Davis & The LeRoys, Simon Scott, The Attack, The Syn (where two future members of Yes first worked together) and Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers.

For the latter, Pattison wrote
"The Hand Don't Fit The Glove," the first single released with the vocals of one of my all-time favourite rock iconoclasts, Terry Reid. An exceptionally talented and fascinating figure, he's infamous for turning down an offer from Jimmy Page which would then then be extended to Robert Plant. Reid was also best bud/roommate to Brian Wilson at the height of his unhinged head trip in the mid-70s and if you happen to see re-runs of Wilson's fish-out-of-water performance on SNL in '76, you'll catch a glimpse of Terry on backing vocals. Thanks to the collaboration of Graham Nash, David Lindley, James Gadson, Plas Johnson, Blue Mitchell, Tim Weisberg and Fred Wesley in that same year, Seed of Memory is one my Desert Island Discs: Rock Edition. For what it's worth, seeing the video of his 1971 performance of "Dean" at Glastonbury was an outright rock 'n' roll revelation.

Four reasons to back up and check that link.

But I digress.

Of minor interest to the library hunters out there, Pattison has a couple KPM connections. A song he wrote for novelty act The Barron Knights was produced in 1967 by Syd Dale (with Landsdowne's Studio's Denis Preston) and he shares songwriter credit
with Alan Hawkshaw that same year for a couple tracks recorded by somewhat obscure British Invasion critical darlings The Tremoloes; "Happy Song" and "Norman Stanley James St Claire" which can both be found on the twofer collection Suddenly You Love Me/Chip, Dale, Alan, Rick.

According to those in the know at the Pama Forum, the obscure reggae singer Horatio Soul was actually a pseudonym used by Pattison. Considering that Horatio's signature track was Pattison's "Nobody's Gonna Sleep Tonight" (issued as a single on Crystal and included on Sioux's Unchained compilation a few years later and included as a bonus in the download), it's hard not to believe they were one and the same. No activity detected from "Horatio Soul" after that but
previously he had released a 7" on the nascent Island label in '67 - the general consensus seems to be it has value only to completist collectors of Blackwell's imprint.

Kneeling Nude Reflection with Fan
by Hubert Pattison (1974)

Besides his dozen or so songwriting and production credits, gathering biographical info on Pattison was like trying to nail down a certain popular brand-name gelatinous foodstuff. A few signs point to an art career in the 70s but that presumption is primarily based on the relative uniqueness of his name. Plug it into the Google and you'll get songwriting credits from mid-to-late 60s London, auctions of early-to-mid 70s paintings by a London artist with that name (the piece above was on UK eBay recently) and then finally a handful of spotty genealogy search results from nowhere near the UK - and from decades, or even centuries, prior to the 60s. Did I mean Pattinson? NO DAMMIT!

Finally, there's this citation from the July 5th, 1976 edition of The New Yorker magazine:
GENESIS. 41 E. 57th St.: Drawings, paintings, and sculptures by contemporary British artists, including works by Hubert Pattison, whose colored drawing of a red-eyed crying young woman stands out, and John Howard, who paints the élite at their cocktails Through Sept. 11. (Open Saturdays and Monday, July 5.)
Although the Genesis art gallery is long gone, the same East Village building continues to be used for the same purpose some 30 years later, most recently housing the Bonni Benrubi and Zabriskie galleries. Unlike that piece of New York real estate, the band did not withstand the test of time. Then again, thanks to vinyl and the blog of a dedicated music lover, in a way, it did.

Dexter - ?
Pat - ?
John - ?
Tony - ?
Geoff - ?
Mick - ?

1 Nobody's Gonna Sleep Tonight
2 Boomba Man
3 Saffron
4 Carnival Joe
5 Lela
6 Double Decker Of A Man
7 She Wrote Me A Letter
8 Rhythm Of Life
9 Oh My Head
10 Turn Around Baby
11 Shockproof
12 She'll Always Love Me

Coincidentally, I scooped this one up in the very same dollar bin where I found the Guy Warren album posted here just over a year ago. Without knowing it at the time, I got change back from a fiver for joints worth over $300 in the collectors' market! Get out there and dig kids! BTW, speaking of über rarities and Guy Warren, it's highly recommended you head over to the new Fat Toro blog for Warren's legendary Afro Jazz album and other jaw-dropping rarities! Seriously, don't sleep.

In the meantime, Soundological offers you the unique opportunity to relish this skadelic relic HERE or HERE.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Various - Big City Soul Sounds (Kent 061)

The Tangiers
- This Empty Place

Big City Soul Sounds: NYC Soul of the 60's

256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from Kent 061

Another Kent request came my way the other day and it's one I'm more than pleased to fill since it's in a dead heat with Shoes as my favourite Kent comp and at minimum a medalist on the podium. Although it features more than a few then-previously-unreleased rarities, my love for this comp is largely due to the bluesy ballads, brimming with intensely emotional sentiment as delivered by some of the finest soul and R&B vocalists the big apple had to offer in the 60s.

While most of the names below are fairly well-known in soul afficiando circles, especially of the Northern persuasion, Billy Byers' bio is as much a mystery now as when Harbro Horace wrote the liner notes. This Byers is not the multi-instrumentalist/arranger who also worked as Q. Jones' assistant at Mercury and, some 25 years on, it seems as if still no one really knows squat about this cat. In retrospect, that added historical dimension kinda gives this lost soul's plaintive moans on "Remind My Baby Of Me" an almost eerily spectral quality.

A special shout out to gentle Roosevelt "Rosey" Grier who was still an LA Rams football player when he belted out "In My Tenement" (he retired the following year). He deserves honourable mention for being a cousin of the lovely and talented Pam Grier who is a big fave here at Soundological - in case you hadn't placed it prior to now, that's her green and purple silhouette gracing our banner above.

This selection has seen considerable spins on the home hi-fi system in the last 15+ years and continues to win its fair share of time on the turntable. There are a few joints that are jumpin' but the majority of the collection is on the slow jam to mid-tempo tip. Some folks may find it a little sappy at points, what with all the strings to which Sceptre was so partial but hey, sometimes I'm a sucker for 'em. What can I say?

Although this specific album is long out of print, many of the tracks found their way onto assorted revamped comps Kent put out on CD in the late 90s, particularly New York Soul Serenade. In his review of same, AMG's Richie Unterberger puts it this way:
The Scepter and Musicor discs were characterized by grand, melodramatic songs and production, and while these are not lost classics, they do boast some good tunes and arrangements. This is recommended above most of Kent's other soul rarities collections for that reason: there's a good deal of variety and range of emotion, not just the standard uptempo happy music so beloved on Northern soul dance floors.
IMHO it's a perfect aural picture of the downtown sound on a hot summer night taken through a 60s lens. It would optimally be heard after dusk, coming in through the window from a nearby neighbour's kitchen as the AM waves spread out of their transistor radio, bounce off the linoleum tiles and the ceramic and stainless steel surfaces, then escape to ride the soft breeze wafted up by cooling sidewalks and the sluggish traffic six storeys below.

1 Chuck Jackson - Castanets
2 Tommy Hunt - New Neighbourhood
3 Sammy Ambrose - Welcome To Dreamsville vid
4 Roosevelt Grier - In My Tenement vid
5 Junior Lewis - The Man Who Had Everything
6 The Tangiers - This Empty Place
7 Billy Byers - Remind My Baby Of Me vid
8 Jackie Wilson - No Pity (In The Naked City)
9 Bessie Banks - Do It Now
10 Big Maybelle - If I Had You
11 The Shirelles - I'm Yours
12 Judy Clay - Turn Back Time
13 Theola Kilgore - This Is My Prayer vid
14 Baby Washington - The Time vid
15 Maxine Brown - Love That Man
16 Marie Knight - Say It Again

By special request, Big City Soul is broadcasting from Soundological HERE or HERE.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Roy Head - The Same People

Same People (That You Meet Going Up, You Meet Coming Down)

She's About A Mover

The Same People

256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from Dunhill DS-50080

Not much to add to the reviews below since the truth lies somewhere between the two. The players are pretty much a complete mystery and the fact that the album was produced by the Crazy Cajun, Huey P. Meaux, at Houston's hit factory, Gold Star/Sugar Hill studio, and recorded in May of 1970 doesn't help much at all. Heck, these guys seem to have brokered quite the deal just by getting their first names and pics attached to the product, since most times Meaux paid struggling session musicians a flat fee and sent them on their way after recording was complete. However, Meaux gave his records to the University of Texas at Austin, including detailed lists of payments through that period, so the answer ostensibly sits there awaiting some intrepid soul to sift through the stacks of documents donated.

Head came back into the public view a few years ago when his son, Sundance, was a crowd favourite on American Idol's sixth season. Roy's been soaking up the attention since and has been giving interviews left, right and centre in his outspoken style as well as performing to unlikely crowds at hip events like SXSW a couple years back in addition to golden oldies soul and R&B fests. According to all accounts the attendees are blown away by this soon-to-be septuagenarian's splits, spins and kicks on stage.

An essential side for fans of blue-eyed soul, the history of Texas psych and rock or those that need a reminder on Monday regarding the karma and consequences of climbing the corporate ladder. All tracks were comped in '99 on Edsel's compendium of Head's Crazy Cajun sessions White Texas Soul Shouter but the LP itself has never seen a CD issue.

AMG Review
by Richie Unterberger
Roy Head was one of the best blue-eyed soul singers, and Huey P. Meaux one of the best Texas '60s rock producers. But though Meaux does produce this straightforward blue-eyed soul album, somehow it never catches fire. It's not the fault of Head, who sings well, with the tinge of country (particularly on the ballad "I'm Not a Fool Anymore") that sometimes surfaced in other first-rate blue-eyed soul singers like Lonnie Mack. The production is OK too, embellishing the standard guitar/bass/drums with organ, sax, and trumpet, as well as some female backup vocals.

The shortfall lies mainly in the material, which is somewhat by-the-numbers soul, though with some circa 1969-1970 touches of early funk. In fact, "Let a Woman Be a Woman" is a pretty blatant James Brown takeoff, though it sounds as if Head and his band's heart isn't fully in it. On the whole it seems like some essential ingredients were missing, in keeping with an album in which only the first names are given for all of the musicians save Head.

Ponderosa Stomp Foundation Review
In 1970 he cut his swan song LP for Dunhill, The Same People You Meet Going Up You Meet Coming Down. Produced by Huey P. Meaux, one of the world’s great mysteries is just why this album—replete with great “break beats”—isn’t coveted by the funk/ hip-hop DJ crowd. But don’t ponder, purchase!! It still sells for under ten bucks and is a true cornerstone in any Gulf Coast music collection. For one thing, the backing musicians are completely out of hand: funky drums, out-of-control bass lines, over-the-top fuzz guitars, screeching Ornette-Coleman style saxophone and trumpet and above it all, Roy testifying with every ounce of sweat and soul his body, mind and spirit can muster. Lord, have mercy!!! There’s just no arguing with the best.

The song selection, alas, couldn’t be better. T.K. Hulin’s swamp pop classic “I’m Not A Fool Anymore,” Jimmy Hughes’ “Neighbor, Neighbor,” Jackie Payne’s “Go-Go Train” (masquerading as “Soul Train”) and the BEST version of the Sir Douglas Quintet’s “She’s About A Mover” ever recorded. Yes, perhaps even better than the original, hardly a fair comparison because Roy strips the proceedings down to their rawest funkified core. And speaking of Sir Doug, Head even fronted the Texas Tornadoes for a tour when Freddy Fender couldn’t make the gig, and if he was any more intense back in the ‘60s then he was a few years ago, well, he certainly hasn’t lived up to the title of one of the songs from that aforementioned album, “Don’t Want To Make It Too Funky.” You won’t be able to take your eyes (or ears) off Head when he’s onstage, but just watch out: this man’s antics with a microphone are akin to an electrified boomerang.

Roy Head - Vocals
Ronald ? - Organ
Billy ? - Sax
Bobby ? - Trumpet
Eddie ? - Bass
Sid ? - Drums
David ? - Lead Guitar

1 Same People (That You Meet Going Up, You Meet Coming Down)
2 Trying To Reach My Goal
3 Driving Wheel
4 I'm Not A Fool Anymore
5 I Was Born A Free Man
6 Mama Mama
7 She's About A Mover
8 Neighbor-Neighbor
9 Don't Want To Make It Too Funky (In The Beginning)
10 Double Your Satisfaction
11 Let A Woman Be A Woman
12 Soul Train

If you want a vinyl copy there are stacks of still-sealed original pressings to be found at all the usual spots for anywhere from $10 to $20. Until you pick one up, you can get yourself some Head from Soundological HERE or HERE.