Friday, February 13, 2009

All I'm Saying is . . . Give Cheese a Chance!

Thanks to DJ Sean Marquand of Brazilian Beat Brooklyn flashed this James Last Orchestra album cover one late night at Black Betty and then months later (two weeks ago) I chanced upon this record for $0.20 at the annual Housing Works vinyl & paperback sale in New York City.

The track of note on this album is the surprisingly authentic Batucada cut called "Happy Brasilia". It kinda blows my mind that this troupe of marginally funky and rhythmically challenged Germans could deliver such a stomping and percussive homage to the Brazilian Samba. But, evidently I've been sleeping on the wonders of James Last as you can see here from the Wax Poetics online content - not funky enough to make the print issue, but funky enough for the internets.

James Last Orchestra - Give Peace a Chance
The other track of note is their sing-along romp through John & Yoko's "Give Peace a Chance." I haven't listened to the original in ages, but I love the funky intro to this chant-along and maybe because I haven't heard this song a million times, this version doesn't offend so much.

James Last Orchestra - Happy Brasilia
Teutonic Samba - dig it!

Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass - Summertime
And now on to the king of Cheese. It's hard to completely hate Herb because he gave us three great things: 1) A&M records, 2) The song "Rise" which most of you will recognize from the samplage in the Biggie tune "Hypnotize", and 3) Lani Hall, his wife the solo artist and former singer in Sergio Mendes & Brazil '66.

This version of "Summertime" has an arrangement that is just different enough that I can get down to it. The credits from the back of the record suggests that Herb was inspired by Ahmad Jamal's version of the song.


Simon666 said...

Glad I gave these a chance, killer tracks, thanks!
You might enjoy a funky 70s version of 'Summertime' by Ahmad Jamal that I posted here

the ambassador said...

Hey Simon, Cheese tastes good sometimes doesn't it? The link you left here is for the Walter Bishop Jr., not Ahmad Jamal . . . do you have his version of Summertime elsewhere? Though I am digging the one you did link to. Thanks for checking in. - Allen

Simon666 said...

ooops I meant to say Walter Bishop :)
Well I'm not sure about the Ahmad Jamal, but here's about a hundred versions (keep scrolling down).
all the best,