Monday, September 28, 2009

Jerry Butler: Should I Stay or Shoul I Go?

Here are two tracks from a recent acquisition of mine. I'm not a huge Jerry Butler fan, but I generally flip over his records when digging through the stacks, mostly to find that album with the Method Man sample. This is not the one, but while scanning the back cover I saw two other names that I know and adore: Donny Hathaway and Terry Callier. Donny arranged "Sail Away" and Terry wrote "Windy City Soul." By this time in 1971, Donny was already on his way to fame and Terry was just getting started and both were probably honored to be working with Jerry Butler, Chicago soul royalty.

These two songs make for nice bookends as one longs for an escape from one's locale and the other is about a homecoming.

Jerry Butler - Sail Away
Jerry Butler - Windy City Soul

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Trip Around Brasil - A New Brasil Mix

O Embaixador - Viagem Pelo Brasil
Just made this mix last night and it's far from perfect, but I think you might enjoy it. I started out with a few songs I was planning on including, but then it just kinda became a stream of consciousness style mix. Notable on this mix is the three-in-a-row Brasilian tunes by way of A&M records including some promo only Tamba Trio and Sergio Mendes. We also have some funky northeastern tunes, before delivering a dose of samba and then some Brasilian boogie before coming back home to samba. I might be convinced to create a track-list if enough people wanna know what's what. I hope you dig it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Barry Good Music

Barry White is one of those musicians that I never really followed too closely because his music was already so ubiquitous, I assumed that I had already heard it all. Sure, I definitely liked some of his stuff a lot and even got down to some greatest hits CD when I lived in Indonesia and was starved of good music. But it wasn't until lately that I realized what a wealth of music he was responsible for beyond his own records.

I have been rocking the Love Unlimited record below for a couple years now and managed to track down the My Sweet Summer Suite 12" a while back, but honestly I was thinking these tracks were just one-offs. Then, more recently, I came across the Gloria Scott record and then the Jay Dee single (also featured on the $20 Worth of Soul Mix and I realized that there really is something to this Barry White dude beyond the hits.

Gloria Scott - What Am I Gonna Do?
This album is awesome! It's kinda like the first Love Unlimited album, but with a more soulful solo female vocalist. Most of the songs are mid-tempo and really emotionally-charged, but man the arrangements and the hooks are sooo good! This is the first track of the disc, but honestly I coulda picked one of 5 others that are just as good. Pick up the reissue CD or LP at dustygroove.

Love Unlimited - I Can't Let Him Down
This is a later Love Unlimited jam that I absolutely love. The intro is soaring and then the beat just drops and the song is on its way. This song shows Barry in a more rare fast-paced groove.

Love Unlimited Orchestra - My Sweet Summer Suite (12" Version)
I initially liked this one for its tropical, cuica-filled intro, but the groove is just great.

Jay Dee - Strange Funky Games and Things
Another Barry White side-project, Jay Dee is a decent singer but what we have here is really just prime Barry White arrangements and playing from Love Unlimited, Barry's ever-present ensemble. I'm sure there are other individuals responsible for these excellent tunes: the Love Unlimited singers, Jay Dee, arrangers such as the legendary Gene Page and Webster Lewis, but the one thing all these tunes have in common is the larger than life . . . Barry White.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New All-45 Mix: $20 Worth of Soul

The idea behind this mix is to demonstrate what can be accomplished with $20, some patience, record cleaning solution and some elbow grease. Two weekends ago I went down the street for my regular dig at the Alemany Flea Market. I ended up getting records from two different vendors, neither of which specialize in vinyl. I convinced the vendor at the first spot to sell me a stack of 25 sleeveless and dusty 45s and one Stacy Lattislaw LP for $20. The mix you are listening to was constructed from 18 of these 25 45s a day or two after I got'em. You'll notice that there's a bit of surface noise on some of the cuts, but (speaking for myself here) the mix is pretty darn listenable.

A lot of these tracks are songs I have on album, but I was psyched to find them on 45, like the Faze-O, the Johhny "Guitar" Watson and the Rufus cuts. The scores as far as I'm concerned are the Fred Wesley jam and the Jay Dee tune. Not a bad way to spend $20 I would say. I hope you get some value out of it too.

The Ambassador - $20 Worth of Soul
1. Johnny Nash - You Got Soul
2. Gene Chandler - A Song Called Soul
3. The Joneses - Hey Girl, Part 1
4. Jay Dee - Strange Funky Games and Things
5. The Isley Brothers - Work To Do
6. Rufus - You Got the Love
7. Earth, Wind & Fire - Evil
8. Suede - Everybody Must Pay
9. Sly & the Family Stone - Loose Booty
10. Muscle Shoals Horns - Born To Get Down
11. Jimmy "Bo" Horne - Gimme Some
12. Shirley & Company - Shame, Shame, Shame
13. Slave - Just a Touch of Love
14. Fred Wesley - House Party
15. Johnny "Guitar" Watson - Superman Lover
16. Faze-O - Riding High
17. Rance Allen Group - Ain't No Need of Crying
18. Garnet Mimms - A Quiet Place