Monday, 31 August 2009

2006-2009/Three Years Of MFS©: It takes a million to hold us back. McFadden & Whitehead ''Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now'' 12''

McFadden & Whitehead

''Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now'' 12''
( 12'' Disco Single, Philadelphia International Records, 1979 )
Catalog # 2Z8 3675

A Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now (12'' Disco Version) (10:45)
B Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now ( JP Disco Remix) (11:25)

Arranged By - Jack Faith (tracks: A)
Producer - Jerry Cohen, John Whitehead, Gene McFadden
Written-By - J. Cohen, J. Whitehead - G. McFadden

Special Disco Version From The PIR LP: "McFadden & Whitehead" JZ 35800
Recorded at Sigma Sound Studios, Phila., Pa.
Mastered at Frankford/Wayne Recording Labs, Phila, Pa.
(P) 1979 CBS Inc.
Format:Vinyl, 12", 33 1/3 RPM, Single

2006-2009:Three Years Of MFS©

Ain't no stoppin' us now...

it takes a million to hold us back.

P.S.: Ever alive & well!

By Pier, Celo, Rob & Andy

GQ ''Disco Nights (Rock-Freak) / Boogie Oogie Oogie'' 12''


''Disco Nights (Rock-Freak) / Boogie Oogie Oogie'' 12''
( 12'' Disco Single, Arista Records, 1979 )
Catalog # SP 38

A - Disco Nights (Rock-Freak) 12'' Special Disco Version (7:59)
Written-By - E. Raheim LeBlanc
B - Boogie Oogie Oogie (LP Version) (4:12)
Written-By - J. Johnson, P. Kibble
C - Disco Nights (Rock-Freak) 12'' Disco Remix (6:33)

Executive Producer - Larkin Arnold
Producer - Beau Ray Fleming, Jimmy Simpson
Remix - Jimmy Simpson

Format:Vinyl, 12", 33 1/3 RPM

By Pier

GQ ''Face To Face''


''Face To Face''
( LP Arista Records, 1981 )
Catalog # AL 9547

A1 Shake (5:02)
A2 You Put Some Love In My Life (3:47)
A3 Shy Baby (4:04)
A4 Sad Girl (3:05)
A5 I Love (The Skin You're In) (4:47)
B1 Boogie Shoogie Feelin' (5:28)
B2 Dark Side Of The Sun (5:04)
B3 Face To Face (4:43)
B4 You've Got The Floor (5:10)

Format:Vinyl, LP

By Pier

GQ ''GQ Two''


''GQ Two''
( LP Arista Records, 1980 )
Catalog # AL 9511

A1 Standing Ovation (5:32)
A2 Is It Cool (4:05)
A3 Someday (In Your Life) (4:56)
A4 Lies (5:19)
B1 GQ Down (3:56)
B2 Don't Stop This Feeling (4:59)
B3 Reason For The Season (3:41)
B4 Sitting In The Park (3:18)
Written-By - Billy Stewart
B5 It's Like That (4:17)

Personnel & Credits:
Artwork By [Art Direction] - Donn Davenport
Artwork By [Logo Design] - Gerard Huerta
Bass, Vocals - Keith "Sabu" Crier
Drums, Vocals - Paul Service
Engineer [Assistant] - Karla Bandini, Craig Michaels,
Doug Grinbergs, John Potoker, Matthew Weiner
Engineer [Recording, Mixing] - Michael Hutchinson
Engineer [Recording] - Steve Toos
Executive Producer - Larkin Arnold
Guitar [Lead, Rhythm], Lead Vocals - Emmanuel Rahiem LeBlanc
Keyboards, Vocals - Herb Lane
Mastered By - Stewart Romaine
Other [Hair] - Webster McKnight
Other [Studio Coordinator] - Barbara Tiesi
Other [Stylist] - Lisa Daurio
Photography - John Ford
Producer, Mixed By - Jimmy Simpson
Written-By - Emmanuel Rahiem LeBlanc (tracks: A1 to B3, B5),
Herb Lane (tracks: A1 to B3, B5),
Keith "Sabu" Crier (tracks: A1 to B3, B5),
Paul Service (tracks: A1 to B3, B5)

Produced for Tony Productions
Recorded and Mixed at Sigma Sound Studio, New York City
Mastered at Columbia Recording Studios, New York City
1980 Arista Records, Inc.
Format:Vinyl, LP, Album
Original vinyl record, not the cd reissue.

With the success of "Disco Nights" taken from their debut album, GQ followed with another upbeat number, "Standing Ovation." Not as groovin' as its predecessor, nonetheless it manages to stand in at number 12 after 15 weeks on the Billboard R&B charts. The quartet followed with the re-make of a song that Billy Stewart made popular among R&B lovers, "Sitting in the Park." The patient rhythms of the track provide a humble foundation for Emmanuel Raheim LeBlanc to dislpay his appealing vocals. After 16 weeks, the single maxed out at number nine.
This review cannot conclude without taking notice of "Don't Stop This Feeling." With a combination of R&B and smooth jazz, this composition maintains a steady rhythm seasoned with LeBlanc's placid articulation of each lyric and improvising guitar solo. Though this number was not a release, it has become popular on the play lists of many quiet storm formats.
By Craig Lytle (AMG)

By Pier

GQ ''Disco Nights''


''Disco Nights''
( LP Arista Records, 1979 )
Catalog # AB 4225

A1 Disco Nights (Rock Freak) (5:51)
A2 Make My Dream A Reality (6:12)
A3 It's Your Love (4:14)
A4 Spirit (3:46)
B1 This Happy Feeling (5:22)
Percussion - Sammy Figueroa
B2 Wonderful (5:08)
B3 Boogie Oogie Oogie (4:14)
Written-By - Janice Johnson, Perry Kibble
B4 I Do Love You (4:45)
Written-By - Billy Stewart

Personnel & Credits:
Arranged By - GQ
Arranged By [Horns] - Ray Chew
Bass, Vocals, Written-By - Keith "Sabu" Crier
Drums, Vocals, Written-By - Paul Service
Executive Producer - Larkin Arnold
Guitar [Lead, Rhythm], Lead Vocals, Written-by - Emmanuel Rahiem LeBlanc
Keyboards, Vocals, Written-By - Herb Lane
Mixed By, Recorded By - Andy Abrams
Producer - Beau Ray Fleming
Producer [Assistant] - Vernon Gibbs
Producer, Mixed By - Jimmy Simpson
Recorded By - Randy Bean , Robin Martinez

Recorded at Sound Palace & Sigma Sound
Special thanks to Miss Roberta Flack who inspired us to hang in there.
We dedicate this album to the legendary Billy Stewart.
Format:Vinyl, LP, Album
Original vinyl record, not the cd reissue.

The four members of GQ -- Emmanuel Rahiem LeBlanc, Keith "Sabu" Crier, Herb Lane, and Paul Service -- first recorded as the Rhythm Makers for Vigor Records. Their smash "Disco Nights (Rock Freak)" was first recorded on Vigor as "Soul on Your Side"; the track is identical, but a new title and lyrics were added to cash in on the disco craze. "Disco Nights" topped the R&B charts for two weeks in 1970. LeBlanc first recorded at the tender age of 13 with a group he formed called Sons of Darkness. GQ was self-contained and wrote most of the material on this LP, except for A Taste of Honey's "Boogie Oogie Oogie" and Billy Stewart's classic "I Do Love You," which nearly went to number one also. "It's Your Love" is a beautiful, airy-sounding ballad that is uniquely arranged; the enthusiastic, positive message of "Make My Dream a Reality" will have you disco dancing to its lively beats and urgent, pleading vocals.
By Andrew Hamilton (AMG)

A Bronx group that effectively mixed East Coast disco and Chicago soul covers in the late '70s and early '80s, GQ began as Sabu & the Survivors in 1968. Lead vocalist Emanuel Rahiem Leblanc, Keith Crier, Herb Lane, and Paul Service were original members, but by 1980 GQ was a trio following Service's departure. They had two Top 10 R&B and Top 20 pop hits, as well as a number one R&B single in 1979, with "Disco Nights (Rock-Freak)" also peaking at #12 pop; the single also won GQ an American Music Award. Their remakes of the Billy Stewart classics "I Do Love You" and "Sitting in the Park" were number five and number nine R&B singles in 1979 and 1980 respectively, with "I Do Love You" also reaching number 20 pop. They enjoyed one other Top 30 R&B single in 1981, "Shake." All their hits were on Arista from 1979 to 1982.
By Ron Wynn (AMG)

By Pier

Giants ”Giants”


( LP MCA Records, 1978 )
Catalog # MCA 3188

A1 Attitude (3:25)
Written-By – D. Rauch, G. Errico, M. Carabello
A2 They Change It (3:29)
Written-By – Bianca Thornton, G. Errico
A3 Kilimanjaro – A. The Village (4:30)
Written-By – G. Errico
A4 Kilimanjaro – B. The Summit (4:38)
Written-By – G. Errico, L. Oskar
B1 Pancho Villa (5:11)
Written-By – C. Areas, M. Carabello
B2 Fried Neckbones And Home Fries (6:32)
Written-By – M. Lastie, W. Bobo
B3 In Your Heart (5:40)
Written-By – D. Rauch, G. Errico, M. Carabello, N. Schon, W. Haas

Personnel & Credits:
Bass – Doug Rauch
Bass [Fuzz] – Robert Vega
Congas – Victor Pantoja
Drums, Synthesizer, Producer – Greg Errico
Engineer [Recording Engineer] – Glen Kolotkin , Ken Hopkins
Engineer [Recording Engineer], Remix – Chris Huston
Executive Producer – Jerry Goldstein
Guitar – Carlos Santana, Doug Rodriguez, Neal Schon
Harmonica – Lee Oskar
Organ – Greg Rollie
Organ, Congas – Mike Carabello
Percussion – Chepito Areas, Rico Reyes
Piano – Herbie Hancock
Piano, Vocals – Wendy Haas
Vibraphone – Mike Garcia
Vocals – Bianca Thornton-Oden, Coke Escovedo, Freddie Pool,
Gene Washington, Jody Moreing, Linda Tillery

Produced by Greg Errico for Far Out Productions, in association with Mike Carabello.
Recorded at Columbia Studios, S.F., Wally Helder, S.F. and Far Out Studio, L.A.
Remixed at Sound City.
Format: Vinyl, LP
Country: US

Pier’s Note:
Disco fantastico, usatissimo nei circuiti afro (romagnoli ma non solo, anche veneti ahahaha) con ”Kilimanjaro”, che fra l’altro vede la collaborazione di Carlos Santana e Herbie Hancock (che nomi eh?) fra gli altri musicisti di questa big-band.
Consiglio l’ascolto di ”They Change It”, un bellissimo funky vocale con una battuta un po’ ‘’sporca” che fa venire la pelle d’oca.
Ringrazio il nostro amicone One-Red per avermelo fatto ricordare…ma come ho fatto a dimenticare un disco così?
Da non perdere.

By Pier

Lee Oskar ”My Road Our Road”

Lee Oskar

My Road Our Road
( LP Elektra Records, 1981 )
Catalog # X5E-526

A1 My Road (5:21)
A2 Our Road (9:14)
B1 Up All Night (5:39)
B2 Song For My Son (6:00)
B3 Children Song’s (3:53)
B4 Yes, I’m Singing (5:25)

Executive Producer – Jerry Goldstein
Leader [Directed By], Music By – Lee Oskar
Producer – Greg Errico

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: Canada
Released: 1981

It came as no surprise when Avenue reissued most of War’s ’70s albums in the ’90s — many of those albums had been gold and platinum sellers as LPs, and the market for reissues of classic soul and funk was a healthy one. But because Lee Oskar’s solo albums of 1976-1980 were far from the huge sellers that War’s albums were, it came as a pleasant surprise when Avenue started reissuing them in the ’90s. First released on vinyl in 1980 and reissued in 1995, My Road, Our Road was Oskar’s third solo album. The highlights of this mostly instrumental pop-jazz/R&B date include the mellow “Up All Night” and the good-natured “Song for My Son” as well as the evocative “My Road” and the moody “Our Road,” which features jazz saxophonist Pat Rizzo as well as Brazilian jazz singer Flora Purim. It’s safe to say that the vast majority of War fans didn’t buy this album; however, it’s an enjoyable outing that did receive some attention in the quiet storm market.
By Alex Henderson (AMG)

By Pier

The Mohawks ”The Champ”

The Mohawks

The Champ
( LP Pama Records, 1968 )
Catalog # PMLP 5

1. The Champ
2. Hip Juggler
3. Sweet Soul Music
4. Dr Jekyll and Hyde Park
5. Señor Thump
6. Landscape
7. Baby Hold On
8. Funky Broadway
9. Rocky Mountain Roundabout
10. Sound of the Witchdoctors
11. Beat Me Til I’m Blue
12. Can You Hear Me?
Bonus: Studio 69
Bonus: Pepsi

Credits & Notes:
Producer – Palmer Brothers
Format: Vinyl, LP
Country: UK
Released: 1968

More info here.

By Pier

The J.B.’s ”Food For Thought”

The J.B.’s

Food For Thought
( LP People Records, 1972 )
Catalog # PE 5601

A1 Pass The Peas (3:30)
Written-By – Charles Bobbit, John Starks
A2 Gimme Some More (3:05)
Written-By – Charles Bobbit
A3 To My Brother (2:32)
A4 Wine Spot (3:29)
Written-By – Charles Bobbit
Written-By, Arranged By – Fred Wesley
A5 Hot Pants Road (2:45)
Written-By – Charles Bobbit, St-Clair Pickney
A6 The Grunt (2:45)
Written-By – William Collins, Phelps Collins, Clayton Gunnells, Clyde Stubblefield,
Darryl Hassan Jamison , Frank Waddy, Johnny Griggs, Robert McCullough
B1 Blessed Blackness (3:44)
Written-By – Charles Bobbit
Written-By, Arranged By – Fred Wesley
B2 Escape-ism (Part 1) (3:16)
Written-By – Dave Matthews (3)
B3 Escape-ism (Part 2) (4:04)
Written-By – Dave Matthews (3)
B4 Theme From King Heroin (3:08)
Written-By – Charles Bobbit , Dave Matthews
B5 These Are The JB’s (3:01)
Written-By – William Collins, Phelps Collins, Clayton Gunnells,
Darryl Hassan Jamison, Frank Waddy, John Starks, Johnny Griggs,
Robert McCullough, St-Clair Pickney

Producer, Arranged By, Written-By – The Godfather Of Soul, The Hit Man,
The Soul Brother #1, The Internationally Known: James Brown.

Format: Vinyl, LP
Country: USA & Canada
Released: Jun 1972

James Brown’s very own band in the People/Starday King/Polydor days.
Lineup changed prominently over time and recording session.
But the main force where:
Bobby Byrd (Organ, Vocals)
St.Clair Pinckney a.k.a ‘Pink’ (Alto-Saxophone)
Fred Wesley (Trombone, Horns)
Maceo Parker (Saxophone)
Fred Thomas (Bass)
John ‘Jabo’ Starks (Drums)
From Discogs

The J.B.’s were the legendary supporting cast of musicians behind James Brown, earning a well-deserved reputation as the tightest, best-drilled instrumental ensemble in all of funk. The name J.B.’s is most often associated with three hornmen in particular — saxophonists Maceo Parker and Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis, and trombonist Fred Wesley, all of whom originally joined Brown’s backing band at various points during the ’60s. As a recording entity unto themselves, however, the J.B.’s enjoyed a distinctly defined heyday from 1970-1975, under the musical directorship of Wesley (though Brown, naturally, remained a strong presence). The J.B.’s were billed under a variety of alternate names on their own singles and albums — Fred Wesley and the J.B.’s, Maceo and the Macks, Fred and the New J.B.’s, the James Brown Soul Train, the Last Word, the First Family, and more. The core group of personnel, despite some turnover on the periphery, remained fairly steady from 1971 on, at least until Brown’s creative downturn precipitated several important defections.
The first official version of the J.B.’s was formed in 1970, after the notoriously demanding Brown’s regular band (excepting organist/vocalist Bobby Byrd) walked out on him. Caught in a pinch, Brown recruited a Cincinnati-based R&B band called the Pacemakers, who’d already toured behind Brown favorite Hank Ballard. Brothers Phelps “Catfish” Collins (guitar) and William “Bootsy” Collins (bass) anchored the lineup, as well as the first J.B.’s single, 1970’s “The Grunt.” The Collins brothers, of course, would play a crucial role in Brown’s transition to heavy, groove-centered funk. One by one, some of Brown’s previous bandmembers returned to the fold, including Fred Wesley, who accepted Brown’s offer to become musical director of the J.B.’s in December 1970. However, the lineup splintered with the departure of the Collins brothers just a few months later, leaving Wesley with only guitarist Hearlon “Cheese” Martin, drummer John “Jabo” Starks, and tenor saxman St. Clair Pinckney. This nucleus was quickly fleshed out with bassist Fred Thomas and saxophonist Jimmy Parker (who’d never played alto prior to joining the band); soon, there was also a trumpet section, usually featuring Jerone “Jasaan” Sanford, Russell Crimes, and Isiah “Ike” Oakley.
Brown began to release recordings by the newly constituted J.B.’s on his own People label with some frequency beginning in 1971, and the group scored a couple of Top 40 R&B hits with “Pass the Peas” and “Gimme Some More.” By 1972, previous Brown guitarist Jimmy Nolen had returned alongside Cheese Martin, and conga player Johnny Griggs was back in tow as well. That year saw the release of the first J.B.’s full-length, Food for Thought. Wesley was still the band’s only real soloist, so in early 1973, Brown convinced legendary alto man Maceo Parker to rejoin. His first record back with the group was “Doing It to Death,” a long jam with guest vocals from Brown that topped the R&B charts in edited form; it was also the title track of their second album, and the first single credited to Fred Wesley & the J.B.’s, affirming that Wesley was still without question the leader. Still, the J.B.’s also began to cut sides under the name Maceo & the Macks, including the Top 20 R&B hit “Soul Power ‘74″ and the 1974 album Us!!. Meanwhile, under their original name, the Wesley-led J.B.’s released another successful LP that year in Damn Right I Am Somebody, which spun off three Top 40 R&B hits in “Same Beat,” “If You Don’t Get It the First Time, Back Up and Try It Again, Party,” and the title track. The follow-up album, Breakin’ Bread, issued later that year, was credited to Fred and the New J.B.’s, even though the band’s personnel remained essentially the same (although John Morgan was easing into Starks’ slot as the regular drummer).
By late 1974, however, Brown’s commercial momentum was beginning to slow, and that carried over to the J.B.’s as well. The First Family single “Control (People Go Where We Send You),” which featured Brown, Lyn Collins, and other vocalists, failed to perform up to expectations. By the time of 1975’s Hustle With Speed album, band morale was low, and Wesley was growing frustrated with Brown’s sudden loss of direction. On the Fourth of July, Wesley quit the group to join up with George Clinton, and Maceo Parker soon followed. Bassist Thomas, drummers Starks (who’d joined B.B. King’s band) and Morgan, guitarist Martin, and saxophonist Jimmy Parker all drifted away, leaving Jimmy Nolen and Russell Crimes the only consistent members left on the final J.B.’s single, 1976’s “Everybody Wanna Get Funky One More Time.” Polydor subsequently shut down Brown’s People imprint, effectively ending the myriad side projects he’d managed during the first half of the decade. He continued to tour with differing versions of the J.B.’s, including a late-’70s outfit dubbed the J.B.’s International, but for all intents and purposes, the true J.B.’s no longer existed.
Periodic J.B.’s reunions ensued in the years to come; Wesley, Parker, and Alfred Ellis (who actually only played on a couple of J.B.’s sessions) toured Europe with Bobby Byrd in 1988, and cut a reunion album, Pee Wee, Fred and Maceo, the following year. They continued to tour and record together off and on during the ’90s under the name the JB Horns. A more extensive J.B.’s reunion took place in 2002 on the album Bring the Funk On Down, which also included Bootsy Collins, Bobby Byrd, and Jabo Starks, among others.
By Steve Huey (AMG)

By Pier

Fred Wesley ”House Party”

Fred Wesley

House Party
( LP Back Black Records, Reissue )
Original Record on Curtom/RSO Rec., 1980
Catalog # BB 001

A1 House Party (4:10)
A2 Bop To The Boogie (5:58)
A3 Still On The Loose (4:48)
A4 I Make Music (3:14)
B1 If This Be A Dream (5:12)
B2 Let’s Go Dancing (3:19)
B3 Are You Guilty? (4:53)
B4 Life Is Wonderful (4:53)

Personnel & Credits:
Bass – Lewis Du Priest
Drums – Melvin Webb
Engineer – Jim Shifflett
Guitar – Butch Bonner, Spencer Bean
Keyboards – David Li , Delbert Taylor, Gary Bell, Rudy Copeland
Mastered By – Linda Clay
Percussion – David Li , Delbert Taylor, Melvin Webb, Razz Abu-Nguinea
Producer, Arranged By – Fred Wesley
Saxophone – David Li
Trombone – Fred Wesley
Trumpet – Delbert Taylor
Vocals – Alton McClain, D’Marie Warren, David Li ,
Delbert Taylor, Fannie Dees, Lewis Du Priest, Lyn Collins,
Melvin Webb, Robyrda Stiger, Rudy Copeland, Spencer Bean

Reissue of the promo only 1980 Curtom Records album
“House Party” written by Fred .Wesley
“Bop To The Boogie” written by F.Wesley/R.Copeland/G.Bell/R.Sinclair
“Still On The Loose” written by F.Wesley/L.Dunpriest
“I Make Music” written by F.Wesley
“If This Be A Dream” written by F.Wesley
“Let’s Go Dancing” written by F.Wesley
“Are You Guilty?” written by B.McGee/M.Spradley
“Life Is Wonderful” written by A.Dhanifu/S.Finney
Format:Vinyl, LP
Country: Germany

By Pier

Sugar Loaf ”Soul Strutting”

Sugar Loaf

Soul Strutting
( LP RCA Records, UK, 1970 )
Catalog # RCA INTS 1113

Baby you turn me on
Cleo’s mood
Hard down
If i had a hammer
Papa’s got a brand new bag
Pearl time
Soul clap ‘69
Soul walk
Soulful strut
Time is tight
You can’t sit down

Original UK pressing on the pale green RCA Camden Label (ZGBS 0338) from 1970. Seldom seen UK hammond funk at its very best! Forget all about The Mohawks, KPM Library funk, Rob Franklin etc and check-out some proper British groove rammed with outstanding trax, breaks and beats for DJs and collectors! Before some of you out there get confused, this Sugar Loaf has nothing to do with the US rock / psych outfit OK?!? This is an indemand and very hard to source period piece by an unknown band who (according to the back sleeve) toured American airforce bases and underground clubs in the UK during the late ’60s! In reality, it is mostly a very clever ‘cash-in’ job of ‘discoteque’ hits of the day, funk and soul cover versions, funked-up to the max mashing-up hits by James Brown et al! Even more interesting tho’, their original compositions are just as good, probably better! Nearly every single track features screaming, pumping hammond solos, funky drums, fender bass, clipped guitar, tuff sounding horns / brass section and percussion! To say this Lp is hot is an understatement! Check out: TIME IS TIGHT (with super-funky congas!), PAPA’S GOT A BRAND NEW BAG (a wicked version, way better than the JB original featuring hard hammond solos and heavy brass!), YOU CAN’T SIT DOWN (watch out for the insane drum breaks and solos from the band!), BABY YOU TURN ME ON, SOULFUL STRUT, SOUL WALK, HARD DOWN (yet another massive DJ spin!), SOUL CLAP ‘69, HAMMER, the list goes on! This Lp will blow you all away, a ‘must’ for serious Mod, funk and soul fans!!!

By Pier

Richard ”Groove” Holmes ”Star Wars/Close Encounters”

Richard ”Groove” Holmes

Star Wars/Close Encounters
( LP Unidisc Records, Canada, 1977 )
Catalog # PID 628027

1. Themes from Star Wars/Close Encounters of the Third Kind
2. Carry on Wayward Son
3. You Light Up My Life [From Heroes]
4. Gonna Fly Now [From Rocky]
5. Nobody Does It Better [From the Spy Who Loved Me]

Personnel & Credits:
Phillip Read Mason Percussion
Wayne Morrison Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric)
Charles Stephens Trombone
Doug Wilson Drums, Guest Appearance
Mario E. Sprouse Piano, Fender Rhodes, Cowbell, Arranger, Conductor, Korg Synthesizer
Chuck Stewart Photography
Vic Chirumbo Producer
Karen Joseph Flute, Guest Appearance, Piccolo, Flute (Alto)
John Standish Assistant Engineer
Jim Buffington French Horn
Ray Alonge French Horn
Lollie Bienenfeld Trombone
Earl Gardner Trumpet
Richard “Groove” Holmes Organ, Korg Synthesizer, Guest Appearance
George Klabin Engineer
Lew Soloff Trumpet

Corny and gimmicky as hell but still a strange charmer in its own right is this “soundtrack” set of funky movie music and pop tunes from Richard “Groove” Holmes. Recorded in 1977, Holmes is accompanied by a studio orchestra hosting a six-piece brass section (which includes trumpeter Lew Soloff), a flutist, a rhythm section that features sundry percussion, and Mario E. Sprouse on Rhodes and piano. Beginning with a medley of themes from Star Wars and Close Encounters, the orchestra all but blazes over Holmes, but he does manage a sweet little solo and some hip fills. “Carry on My Wayward Son” (yeah, the Kansas tune) is simply surreal with its staggered French horns and trombones with flute and B3 interludes. But it gets even cheesier with a faux classical intro to a nearly ten-minute “You Light Up My Life” that makes no sense at all here except for kitsch value. Yeah. Whoa. But the long tunes don’t stop there, as Holmes and band sprint through a sprightly yet lengthy (over ten minutes!) light funk read of “Gonna Fly Now” from the Rocky soundtrack that is the finest track on the set, with Holmes digging into his solo with gritty verve. It closes with the Carole Bayer Sager and Marvin Hamlisch tune “Nobody Does It Better” (a hit for Carly Simon) which sounds like an elevator music version. Whatever Groove Holmes was thinking when he made this should have made him think again. Strange, campy, bad in all the right places — this one is for collectors and novelty freaks only.
By Thom Jurek (AMG)

By Pier

Richard “Groove” Holmes ”Timeless Richard “Groove” Holmes”

Richard “Groove” Holmes

Timeless Richard “Groove” Holmes
( Savoy Jazz, 2003 )
Catalog # SVY 17213

1 Cheeka’s Dance (5:00)
Written-By – Cecil Bridgewater
2 Slo Booze (5:28)
Written-By – Richard “Groove” Holmes
3 Moon River (6:26)
Written-By – Henry Mancini , Johnny Mercer
4 Everything Must Change (6:09)
Written-By – Bernard Ighner
5 Groove’s Groove (4:49)
Written-By – Richard “Groove” Holmes
6 Minor Inconvenience (5:12)
Written-By – David Braham
7 Ode To Larry Young (5:33)
Written-By – Richard “Groove” Holmes
8 Katherine (6:40)
Written-By – Richard “Groove” Holmes
9 Plenty, Plenty Blues (5:59)
Written-By – Richard “Groove” Holmes

Personnel & Credits:
Compilation Producer [Series Producer] – Steve Backer
Congas, Percussion – Ralph Dorsey
Drums – Bobby Ward (tracks: 3, 4, 7 to 9) , Cecil Brooks III (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 6)
Engineer [Reissue], Mastered By – Paul Reid III
Executive Producer – Steve Vining
Guitar – Gerald Smith (tracks: 3, 4, 7 to 9) , Jimmy Ponder (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 6)
Producer [Original Sessions] – Houston Person
Recorded By – Rudy Van Gelder
Saxophone [Tenor] – Houston Person
Trumpet – Cecil Bridgewater (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 6)

24 Bit Digital Mastering, manufactured in the USA
Country: US
Released: 2003

This edition of Savoy’s Timeless series delves into cuts taken from Richard “Groove” Holmes’ albums Blues All Day Long and Broadway, originally recorded for the Muse label. These nine tracks have been remastered using 24-bit digital transfers from the original acetates and tape masters. Hearing these tracks freshened up is a pleasure and should satisfy even the picky audiophile.
By Al Campbell (AMG)

By Pier

Mother’s Finest ”Another Mother Further”

Mother’s Finest

Another Mother Further
( LP Epic Records, 1977 )
Catalog # EPC 82037

A1 Mickey’s Monkey (4:42)
A2 Baby Love (4:25)
A3 Thank You For The Love (5:05)
A4 Piece Of The Rock (3:25)
B1 Truth’ll Set You Free (4:26)
B2 Burning Love (4:13)
B3 Dis Go Dis Way, Dis Go Dat Way (4:16)
B4 Hard Rock Lover (2:43)
Plus Bonus: Dis Go Dis Way, Dis Go Dat Way 12” Version (6:34)

Mixed By – Milan Bogdan , Tony Reale
Producer – Mother’s Finest , Tom Werman

Georgia funk rock band Mother’s Finest might appear to be only a blip on the radar screen of rock history, but not to any of the headlining bands they’ve stolen shows from — or any of the audiences who saw it happen. Following in the footsteps of the racially-mixed Sly & the Family Stone, Mother’s Finest blended white guitarist Moses Mo and drummer B.B. “Queen” Borden with black vocalists Joyce Kennedy and Glenn Murdock, bassist Wyzard, and keyboardist Mike, for its 1976 self-titled debut album. Tracks like “Rain” and the slightly controversial “Niggazz Can’t Sing Rock & Roll” made enough of a ripple to get the band out of Georgia clubs and into regional touring. The follow-up album Another Mother Further lived up to its title. The opening track was a cover of the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team’s “Mickey’s Monkey,” made popular by Smokey Robinson. But the guitar riff was a blatant copy of Jimmy Page’s from the Led Zeppelin song “Custard Pie,” released two years earlier. Perhaps because the song was a cover, or the fact that they stole from blues legends early in their career, Led Zeppelin never sued and the track (along with others like “Piece of the Rock” and “Hard Rock Lover”) helped make Another Mother Further the group’s springboard.
For the remainder of the 1970s, Mother’s Finest became the most dangerous opening act in rock, blowing away headliners like Aerosmith, Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush, and Ted Nugent. A subpar third album, 1978’s Mother Factor, took nothing away from the band’s live performances, as vocalists Murdock — and particularly the powerful Kennedy — enthralled audiences over the funk rock backline of Mo, Wizzard, Borden, and Mike. The 1979 album Mother’s Finest Live featured not only original staples like “Watch My Stylin’” and “Give You All the Love,” but also Kennedy singing a stunning cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love” and the musicians shining on a rearranged version of Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride.” It would prove a last hurrah, for Mother’s Finest didn’t translate well into the 1980s and never achieved its due in the largely-white world of rock. Mo, Mike, and Borden would leave the band, the latter to go polar-opposite by joining Southern rockers Molly Hatchet, but Kennedy, Murdock and Wizzard fought on. After dabbling in dance music with several different lineups in the 1980s, the trio formed an all-African-American band in the early ’90s by recruiting guitarist John Hayes and drummer Dion Derek. The angry, rocking result was the 1992 CD Black Radio Won’t Play This Record, which proved prophetic despite being the band’s best since its 1979 live album (yet white radio wouldn’t play it either). It’s now in the cut-out bins; ignored or forgotten — much like Mother’s Finest — by all except a select few. Still active, the group’s latest CD is called Not Yer Mother’s Funk — The Very Best of Mother’s Finest, and features mostly material from the first two albums.
By Bill Meredith (AMG)

By Pier

Billy Paul ”War Of The Gods”

Billy Paul

War Of The Gods
( LP Philadelphia International Records (US), 1973 )
Catalog # KZ 32409

A1 I See The Light (6:13)
Written-By – B. Sigler
A2 War Of The Gods (10:07)
B1 The Whole Town’s Talking (4:46)
B2 I Was Married (7:19)
Written-By – C. Gilbert, J. Arc
B3 Thanks For Saving My Life (2:58)
B4 Peace Holy Peace (6:53)

Credits & Personnel:
Arranged By – Bobby Martin (tracks: A2 to B3),
Lenny Pakula (tracks: A1, B4)
Bass – Anthony Jackson
Drums – Norman Farrington
Engineer – Joe Tarsia
Music By – MFSB
Piano – Eddie Green
Producer, Written-By – Gamble – Huff

Billy Paul got reasonably good mileage out of this album, which never had any huge hits but remained on both the pop and R&B charts for several weeks and got good album cut radio airplay. It was well sung, done in stylish and soulful fashion, and had one good message song in "Am I Black Enough For You." It was Paul's second R&B hit and a good followup to "Me & Mrs. Jones."
By Ron Wynn (AMG)

By Pier

Billy Paul ”When Love Is New”

Billy Paul

When Love Is New
( LP Philadelphia International Records, 1975-’76 )
Catalog # 33843
(US Catalog # PZ 33843)

A1 People Power (4:18)
A2 America (We Need The Light) (5:20)
A3 Let The Dollar Circulate (4:58)
A4 Malorie (3:46)
B1 When Love Is New (5:28)
B2 I Want ‘Cha Baby (6:18)
B3 Let’s Make A Baby (7:11)

Producer – Gamble & Huff

Format: Vinyl, LP
Country: Brazil
Released: 1975
Original vinyl rip & remastered by JP

Billy Paul had a good run in the ’70s as an R&B vocalist, though he’d been recording since the ’50s, when he debuted on Jubilee. Paul was featured on radio broadcasts in Philadelphia at age 11 and had an extensive jazz background. He worked with Dinah Washington, Miles Davis, and Roberta Flack, as well as Charlie Parker, before forming a trio and recording for Jubilee. His original 1959 recording of “Ebony Woman” for New Dawn was later re-recorded for Neptune as the title of his 1970 LP. He signed the next year with Philadelphia International and scored his biggest hit with “Me & Mrs. Jones” in 1972, topping both the R&B and pop charts. Paul had one other Top Ten R&B single, “Thanks for Saving My Life,” in 1974. He remained on Philadelphia International until the mid-’80s. Paul recorded one LP for Total Experience in 1985, Lately, and another for Ichiban before announcing his retirement in 1989 in London. But he’s since done several club dates, both in America and overseas.
By Ron Wynn (AMG)

By Pier

Billy Paul ”Let ‘Em In”

Billy Paul

Let ‘Em In
( LP Philadelphia International Records, 1976 )
Catalog # 34389
and 81695 (US)

A1 Let ‘Em In
A2 We All Got A Mission
A3 How Good Is Your Game
A4 Love Won’t Come Easy
B1 Without You
B2 Word Sure Gets Around
B3 I Trust You
B4 I Think I’ll Stay Home Today

Producer – Gamble & Huff

Format: Vinyl, LP
Country: Brazil
Released: 1976
Original vinyl rip by JP

A very antiseptic release. Yet, these eight songs keep getting reissued by various companies on two-fer-one compilations, and many always seem to find spots on his greatest-hits collections. Originally released in 1976 on Philadelphia International Records (PIR), there’s not much to crow about; “How Good Is Your Game” stiffed as a single, and it’s one of the strongest cuts. Still, Paul’s vocalizing is so unique that you can’t go wrong purchasing anything by him on PIR. Avoid his post-Philly endeavors, they’re for fanatics only.
By Andrew Hamilton (AMG)

By Pier

Billy Paul ”Only The Strong Survive”

Billy Paul

Only The Strong Survive
( LP Philadelphia International Records, 1977 )
Catalog # PZ 34923

A1 Only The Strong Survive (5:38)
Arranged By – Jack Faith
Producer, Backing Vocals – Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff
Written-By – K. Gamble, L. Huff, J. Butler
A2 Takin’ It To The Streets (4:52)
Bass – C. J. Clark
Producer, Arranged By – Jack Faith
Written-By – M. McDonald
A3 Sooner Or Later (5:36)
Arranged By – Dexter Wansel
Producer – Sherman Marshall
Written-By – S. Marshall, V. Gray
A4 One Man’s Junk (3:17)
Arranged By – Bobby Martin
Producer – Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff
Written-By – K. Gamble, L. Huff
B1 Everybody’s Breakin’ Up (5:05)
Arranged By – Jack Faith
Producer – Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff
Written-By – K. Gamble, L. Huff
B2 The Times Of Our Lives (5:04)
Arranged By – Jack Faith
Producer – Dexter Wansel
Written-By – D. Wansel
B3 Don’t Give Up On Us (5:38)
Arranged By – Roland Chambers
Producer – Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff
Written-By – T. Macaulay
B4 Where I Belong (4:07)
Producer, Arranged By – Dexter Wansel
Written-By – C. Biggs, D. Wansel

Personnel & Credits:
Backing Vocals – Barbara Ingram, Carla Benson, Evette Benton
Bass – Derek Graves, Michael “Sugarbear” Foreman
Congas – David Cruse, Larry Washington
Drums – Billy Johnson, Charles Collins
Engineer – Carl Paruolo, Jay Mark, Jim Gallagher, Joe Tarsia
Engineer [Assistant] – Dirk Devlin, Ken Present, Peter Humphreys
Guitar – Dennis Harris, Herb Smith, Roland Chambers
Keyboards – Dexter Wansel, Leon Huff, Steve Gold
Strings, Horns – Don Renaldo , MFSB

Recorded at Sigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia, PA.
Also contains no AL 34923, this may be a second cat no.
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1977

Billy Paul had a good run in the ’70s as an R&B vocalist, though he’d been recording since the ’50s, when he debuted on Jubilee. Paul was featured on radio broadcasts in Philadelphia at age 11 and had an extensive jazz background. He worked with Dinah Washington, Miles Davis, and Roberta Flack, as well as Charlie Parker, before forming a trio and recording for Jubilee. His original 1959 recording of “Ebony Woman” for New Dawn was later re-recorded for Neptune as the title of his 1970 LP. He signed the next year with Philadelphia International and scored his biggest hit with “Me & Mrs. Jones” in 1972, topping both the R&B and pop charts. Paul had one other Top Ten R&B single, “Thanks for Saving My Life,” in 1974. He remained on Philadelphia International until the mid-’80s. Paul recorded one LP for Total Experience in 1985, Lately, and another for Ichiban before announcing his retirement in 1989 in London. But he’s since done several club dates, both in America and overseas.
By Ron Wynn (AMG)

By Pier

Ronnie Dyson ”If The Shoe Fits”

Ronnie Dyson

If The Shoe Fits
( LP Columbia Records, 1979 )
Catalog # JC 36029

A1 If The Shoe Fits (Dance In It)
A2 So In Love With You
A3 Couples Only
B1 Hide Behind Music
B2 Familiar Strangers
B3 Everything You Need
B4 Long Distance Lover

Executive Producer – Jerry Love
Producer, Arranged By, Conductor – Michael Zager

“A Product Of Love”
Format: Vinyl, LP
Country: US
Released: 1979

Washington, D.C., vocalist Ronnie Dyson enjoyed both stage and R&B success. He was the lead actor in the Broadway production of the musical Hair, and his initial hit was a song from the off-Broadway musical Salvation. “(If You Let Me Make Love to You Then) Why Can’t I Touch You” was both Top Ten R&B and pop in 1970, and “I Don’t Wanna Cry” was also Top Ten R&B that same year. Dyson kept recording for Columbia until 1978, scoring one more hit in 1976 with a very different type of song, “The More You Do It (The More I Like It Done to Me),” a marked departure from the vulnerable, anguished numbers that had characterized his approach in the past. He moved to Cotillion in the ’80s, but didn’t have much success there. Dyson also was in the film Putney Swope. His final recording was “See the Clown” in 1990. He died that year of a heart attack.
By Ron Wynn (AMG)

By Pier

Ronnie Dyson ”Love In All Flavors”

Ronnie Dyson

Love In All Flavors
( LP Columbia Records, 1977 )
Catalog # PC 34866

A1 I Want To Be Where You Are (3:28)
Composed By – Chuck Jackson , Marvin Yancy
A2 Ain’t Nothing Wrong (4:11)
Composed By – Chuck Jackson , Marvin Yancy
A3 Don’t Be Afraid (3:36)
Composed By – Chuck Jackson , Marvin Yancy
A4 I Just Want To Be There (3:22)
Composed By – Chuck Jackson , Marvin Yancy
A5 No Way (4:21)
Composed By – Chuck Jackson , Marvin Yancy
B1 Sara Smile (5:03)
Composed By – John Oates
B2 Just As You Are (3:25)
Composed By – Chuck Jackson , Marvin Yancy
B3 I Can’t Believe That (3:23)
Composed By – Chuck Jackson , Marvin Yancy
B4 You’re Number One (3:38)
Composed By – Alice Sanderson , Keith Echols

Arranged By – Gene Barge (tracks: A1, A5, B1),
Gene Page (tracks: A2, A3, A4, B2, B3, B4),
Larry Ball (tracks: B1),
Richard Evans (tracks: A2, A3, A4, B2, B3, B4)
Engineer – Paul Serrano , Scott Rowley
Engineer [Remixing] – Barney Perkins
Producer – Chuck Jackson , Marvin Yancy

Format: Vinyl, LP
Country: US
Released: 1977

Though never classified as such, Ronnie Dyson had a cabaret voice — classy but not too stiff with an underlying permeating quality appreciated by R&B and pop fans alike. But other than a few hits, he never got his just dues and will be remembered for “(If You Let Me Make Love to You Then) Why Can’t I Touch You” and little else. Love in All Flavors was Dyson’s next-to-last album for Columbia Records. Like a previous effort, Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancy produced it in Chicago. This is a fine set, but with no hits to push it it dropped from sight without fanfare. The best of the nine includes updates of “Sara Smile” and “I Want to Be Where You Are,” the bouncy “Don’t Be Afraid,” and “Ain’t Nothing Wrong”.
By Andrew Hamilton (AMG)

By Pier

Reuben Wilson ”On Broadway”

Reuben Wilson

On Broadway
( LP Blue Note Records, 1968 )
Catalog # BST 84295

Baby I Love You
On Broadway
Ain’t That Peculiar
Ronnie’s Bonnie

Personnel & Notes:
Trevor Lawrence (ts)
Reuben Wilson (org)
Malcolm Riddick (g)
Tommy Derrick (d)
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio,
Englewood Cliffs, NJ, October 4, 1968

Review (1):
”On Broadway”, Wilson’s first album for Blue Note, was a quartet session featuring his old bandmate Derrick and was recorded in October of 1968.

Review (2):
On Broadway, Reuben Wilson’s debut for Blue Note, is a little undistinguished, but it remains an enjoyable exercise in late-’60s soul-jazz. Like many of his peers on Blue Note, Wilson’s soul-jazz displayed a familiarity with contemporary soul and R&B styles. Not only does he cover R&B hits like “On Broadway,” “Baby I Love You” and “Ain’t That Peculiar,” but the interplay between Wilson, guitarist Malcolm Riddick and Tommy Derrick occasionally recalls Stax, Motown and uptown soul. The combo, which also features tenor saxophonist Trevor Lawrence, remains rooted in jazz, with the organist demonstrating a Jimmy Smith influence, but the jazz feeling is tempered by a desire to work a groove instead of improvising or attempting to reach new sonic territory. And On Broadway is a successful groove record, but in comparison to the two albums that followed, it’s a little uneven.
By Stephen Thomas Erlewine (AMG)

Also on Smooth’s My Jazz World blog.

By Pier

The Duke Jordan Trio ”Jor-Du”

The Duke Jordan Trio

( Live In Nagoya, Japan )
( Trio/Kenwood Jazz Masterpiece, Reissue )
Catalog # ABCJ-511

1. Tea for Two (Vincent Youmans)
2. Stardust (Hoagy Carmichael)
3. My Funny Valentine (Richard Rodgers)
4. Jor-Du (Duke Jordan)
5. Kiss of Spain (Duke Jordan)
6. All the Things You Are (Jerome Kern)
7. Solitude (Duke Ellington)

Duke Jordan (p)
Jesper Lundgaard (b)
Aage Tanggaard (ds)

Recorded Live at “So Nice”, Nagoya, Japan, June 16, 1982

Duke Jordan’s excellent live recording with his regular trio with bassist Jesper Lundgaard and drummer Aage Tanggaard.
Duke Jordan was one of the most popular and well respected jazz pianists in Japan, and this is one of the most memorable recordings he made in the country of the rising sun. An expat and resident of Copenhagen, Denmark, he brought his regular trio with bassist Jesper Lundgaard and drummer Aage Tanggaard.
This live set, recorded at a club in Nagoya, opens with two solo piano performances of “Tea For Two” and “Stardust” which showcase Jordan’s pianistic virtuosity. This album may not be widely known outside of Japan, but that would be a shame. A must-own item for fans of Duke Jordan!
From Eastwindimport

By Pier

Clifford Brown “Jazz Immortal”

Clifford Brown

Jazz Immortal
( LP Pacific Jazz Records, 1954 )
Catalog # PJ 3
Also issued on Pacific Jazz, Cat.# CDP 7243 8 32142-2

01 Daahoud
02 Finders Keepers
03 Joy Spring
04 Gone With the Wind
05 Bones for Jones
06 Blueberry Hill
07 Tiny Capers
08 Tiny Capers [Alternate Take]*
09 Gone With the Wind [Alternate Take]*

Clifford Brown, Trumpet
Stu Williamson, Trumpet, Trombone (Valve)
Zoot Sims, Sax (Tenor)
Bob Gordon, Sax (Baritone)
Russ Freeman, Piano
Shelly Manne, Drums
Joe Mondragon, Bass (#1 – 3)
Carson Smith, Bass (#4 – 9)
Jack Montrose, Arranger

Recorded at Capitol Studios,
Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, August 13, 1954

Sextet. This album includes some takes and Brown material unavailable elsewhere.
By Ron Wynn (AMG)

It was in 1954 while in Los Angeles that Clifford Brown and Max Roach finalized the personnel for their famous quartet, getting Harold Land for the tenor chair and Richie Powell for piano. Meanwhile Brownie made this date for Pacific Jazz in July and August. West Coasters Stu Williamson, Bob Gordon, Russ Freeman, Joe Mondragon, and Shelly Manne were on the date, and Zoot Sims, free-lancing in LA at the time, played tenor. Brownie is in good form. He would play more inspired trumpet with Max later on, but these sides are excellent. Some tunes (Dahoud” and “Joy Spring”) received their first airing on this date, and it’s interesting to compare them with the later EmArcy recordings. Recommended.
By Bomojaz (Amazon)

By Rob

Info: Richard ''Groove'' Holmes Albums

Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes29 Albums

Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes, (May 2, 1931 – June 29, 1991) was a jazz organist who performed in the hard bop and soul jazz genre. He is best known for his uptempo recording of ‘Misty’, from the album ‘Soul Message’.

One of the top jazz organists to emerge on the scene after Jimmy Smith’s initial success, Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes had perhaps the best left hand walking bass, and he could create an immense swing and groove, hence his nickname. Listen to the organ trio live recording of ‘Living Soul’ from the album ‘Spicy’ for an example of this.

List of included albums:

1961 Groovin’ With Jug
1961 That Healin’ Feelin’
1962 After Hours
1962 Somethin’ Special
1964 Book Of The Blues Vol. 1
1965 Soul Message
1966 On Basie’s Bandstand
1966 Spicy
1966 A Bowl Of Soul
1967 Super Soul
1967 Get Up And Get It!
1967 Blue Groove
1967 Soul Power
1968 The Groover!
1969 Workin’ On A Groovy Thing
1969 Welcome Home
1970 Come Together
1971 Comin’ On Home
1972 The Best Of
1973 Night Glider
1973 Giants Of The Organ In Concert
1974 Giants Of The Organ Come Together
1974 New Groove
1975 Onsaya Joy
1975 Six Million Dollar Man
1976 I’m In The Mood For Love
1977 Dancing In The Sun
1980 Broadway
1980 Ya Understand Me?

Richard “Groove” Holmes ”Book Of The Blues, Vol. 1”

Richard “Groove” Holmes

Book Of The Blues, Vol. 1
( LP Warner Bros. Records, 1964 )
( Reissue )
Catalog # 1553

See See Rider 3:24
Organ Grinder 2:27
I’d Rather Drink Muddy Water 2:29
Mean Old Frisco Blues 2:45
I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town 3:24
Your Red Wagon 2:37
How Long, How Long Blues 6:13
In the Dark 3:43
Roll ‘Em Pete 5:55

Personnel & Credits:
Nick Venet Director
Lee Hirshberg Engineer
Johnny Mangus Liner Notes
Jim Silke Design, Cover Photo
James Lockert Engineer
Onzy Matthews Arranger, Conductor
Richard “Groove” Holmes Main Performer, Organ

This 1964 date pairs organist Richard “Groove” Holmes with an uncredited studio big band for a set of funky steamers. Onzy Matthews arranged and conducted the band that overdoes it in extremis, making it all sound overly dramatic and cheesy. Holmes, however, was in fine form here and his performance is flawless. Readings of “See See Rider,” “Your Old Wagon,” and “Roll ‘Em Pete,” would have been stellar if the accompaniment had been fitting. This disc is for Holmes completists only.
By Thom Jurek (AMG)


This is a great organ record, with one precaution!

Try to try neglect the other hired studio players doing a day at the office (it’s especially important to try mentally filtering out the session guitarist) and turn a blind ear :-) to the mostly overdone arrangements. And also try filter out the overdone reverb they slapped on the organ.

If you can filter out that and concentrate on just ‘Groove’ Holmes you will find that he is really playing good here!

I have though many times what a classic record this would have been had it been done in a small format, like Jimmy Smith’s trio setting on the record ‘Organ Grinder Swing’.

---Jazz Organ Fan


Richard "Groove" Holmes never attained the same kind of super star status as Hammond legend Jimmy Smith - despite being equally skilled in the keyboard pyrotechnics department. This collection features a grittier, good time approach than Smith's albums for Blue Note and later Verve Records. In the 1970s' Holmes pioneered funk and fusion sounds - often using wah wah pedals and other effects to augment the basic Hammond sound, but here the approach is straight ahead but no less moving.
Recorded around the same time as Jimmy Smiths' first big band recordings, Book of the Blues does very much what it says on tin, as Holmes wanders through the standard mid 60's blues songbook in quartet and big band settings. No matter what the setting, Holmes' soulful organ solos, backed by his own rocksteady pedal bass work, pulse with swing and in-the-pocket timing, surging from understated trills in the upper register to full on intense church style preaching that falls just the right side of overpowering.
The earthy balled "How Long, How Long Blues" showcases this gospel approach magnificently, Holmes' double-handed chord voicings producing some old school but utterly stunning crescendos of sound, juxtaposed by mellow passages as the rhythm section keep the tempo, allowing Holmes to gently groove right around the beat. In stark contrast "Roll Em Pete" is a foot stomping swing number where Holmes gets a chance to display his incredible coordination, asscattershot soloing rides overasteadfast organ bass line- a feat akin to playing two instruments at the same. The unnamed guitarist supplies some fine and fluid soloing as this number roars ahead - it's impossible to remain static under the onslaught until the typically grandiose finale puts a seal on the proceedings.
Groove Holmes remains the jazz organists' organist - and this even this straightahead set hints at the way that organ jazz was to develop over the coming decade; good time, soulful sounds but always with enough 'art' to keep your ears hapilst your foot taps along! --- By Greg Boraman, BBC

By Pier

DJ Pier (JP) ”Discoteca Il Salotto (Bologna) Live”

DJ Pier (JP)

”Discoteca Il Salotto (Bologna) Live”

Recorded live, approx. nov.1980
(Tape Recording)

Crown Heights Affair ”Sure Shot”

Crown Heights Affair

Sure Shot
( LP De-Lite Records, 1980 )
Catalog # DSR-9517

A1 You Gave Me Love
Written-By – Ida Reid
A2 I Don’t Want To Change You
Written-By – Raymond Rock
A3 Sure Shot
Written-By – Bert Reid, Raymond Reid, William Anderson
B1 You’ve Been Gone
Written-By – Bert Reid , Raymond Reid , William Anderson
B2 I See The Light
Written-By – Phil Thomas , Skip Boardley
B3 Use Your Body & Soul
Written-By – A. Wilson, B. Reid, R. Reid, R. Rock, W. Anderson
B4 Tell Me You Love Me
Written-By – Phil Thomas, Ray Reid, William Anderson

Personnel & Credits:
Arranged By – Crown Heights Affair
Arranged By [Strings] – Bert Decoteaux
Bass, Vocals – “Muki” Wilson
Drums, Vocals – Raymond Rock
Engineer [Assistant] – Ed Garcia, James McNichols
Engineer [Mixing] – Bill Wittman
Engineer [Recording] – Bill Wittman, David Belafonte, Vern Carlon
Guitar, Vocals – William Anderson
Keyboards – Bernard Wright, Michael Wolf, Thomas Bridwell
Lead Vocals – Phil Thomas , Skip Boardley
Percussion – Edward Fletcher
Producer – Bert Decoteaux
Saxophone [Alt] – Darryl Gibbs
Saxophone [Tenor], Vocals – Bert Reid
Trombone, Vocals – Raymond Reid
Trumpet, Vocals – James “Ajax” Baynard
Vocals [Background] – Jann Harrison

Printed in U.S.A.
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1980

Crown Heights Affair had a string of hits beginning with the number five R&B/Top 40 hit “Dreaming a Dream” in the summer of 1975 and also including the Top 20 R&B hits “Every Beat of My Heart,”"Foxy Lady,” — not the Jimi Hendrix classic — and “Dancin.” Though the title track of their 1980 LP Sure Shot managed to chart number 72 in the summer of 1980, it was an album track that garnered the most attention. The radio-aired smooth dance cut “Use Your Body and Soul” embodies both the band’s upbeat sound, elements of Chic, and a get-up-and-dance rap break/interlude.
By Ed Hogan (AMG)

More CHA here:

Crown Heights Affair ”Struck Gold”

By Pier

Crown Heights Affair ”Do It Your Way”

Crown Heights Affair

Do It, Do It Your Way!
( LP De-Lite Records, 1976 )
Catalog # DEP 2022

Tracklisting :
1. Dancin’ (LP Version)
2. Searching For Love
3. Love Me
4. Music Is The World
5. Far Out
6. Sexy Ways
7. French Way
8. Dancin’ (Special 12” Disco Mix)

Personnel & Credits:
Claude Allard Digital Remastering
William Anderson Guitar, Vocals
James Baynard Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Vocals
John Bradley Mixing
Britt Britton Arranger, Conductor, Producer
Haydn Harris Engineer, Mixing Engineer
Tony May Engineer, Mixing Engineer
Freida Nerangis Arranger, Conductor, Producer
Bert Reid Sax (Tenor), Vocals
Raymond Reid Trombone, Vocals
Raymond Rock Percussion, Drums, Vocals
Phillip Thomas Vocals
Muki Wilson Bass, Vocals
Howie Young Keyboards

With one foot in disco and the other in soul/funk, the Crown Heights Affair had a very recognizable sound that effectively combined grit and gloss. The Brooklyn residents could get funky, but it wasn't the type of hardcore, gutbucket funk that Parliament/Funkadelic, Rick James, the Ohio Players, the Bar-Kays and the Gap Band were known for. And while Crown Heights Affair had plenty of disco appeal, it wasn't the type of Euro-disco that Cerrone, the Silver Convention and Donna Summer gave us. One of the band's best albums was Do It Your Way, which boasted the Top 20 R&B hit "Dancin'." While radio favored "Dancin'," clubs weren't about to play the single exclusively -- club DJs considered the entire album fair game, and they knew that infectious album cuts like "Music Is the World," "Love Me" and "Searching for Your Love" could easily bring a dance floor to life. Thankfully, Unidisc reissued Do It Your Way in 1994.
By Alex Henderson (AMG)

By Pier

Crown Heights Affair ”Dance Lady Dance”

Crown Heights Affair

Dance Lady Dance
( LP De-Lite Records, 1979 )
Catalog # DSR-9512

A1 Dance Lady Dance (6:25)
Written-By – Britt Britton , Freda Nerangus
A2 The Rock Is Hot (7:14)
Written-By – Crown Heights Affair
A3 Number One Woman (6:57)
Written-By – Bert Reid , Crown Heights Affair , Skip Boardley
B1 Come Fly With Me (7:27)
Written-By – Crown Heights Affair
B2 You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me (7:03)
Written-By – Bert Reid , Crown Heights Affair
B3 Empty Soul Of Mine (4:59)
Written-By – Britt Britton , Freda Nerangus

Personnel & Credits:
Bass – “Muki” Wilson
Drums, Percussion – Raymond Rock
Engineer – Dennis King
Guitar – William Anderson
Keyboards – Howie Young
Lead Vocals – Philip Thomas, Skip Boardley
Mixed By – Tony Bongiovi
Producer, Arranged By, Conductor – Britt Britton,
Crown Heights Affair, Freda Nerangus
Saxophone [Tenor] – Bert Reid
Trombone – Raymond Reid
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – James “Ajax” Baynard

Recorded at Blank Tape Inc., New York
Also recorded at Bee Jay Recording Studio, Florida
Mixed at Power Station
Mastered at Atlantic Studios, N.Y.C.
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1979

By Pier

The Crown Heights Affair ”Dream World”

The Crown Heights Affair

Dream World
( LP De-Lite Records, 1978 )
Catalog # DSR-9506

A1 Galaxy Of Love (5:48)
A2 I Love You (5:33)
A3 Say A Prayer For Two (6:01)
B1 Dream World (4:46)
B2 Things Are Going To Get Better (4:25)
B3 I’m Gonna Love You Forever (4:29)
B4 Cherry (4:52)

Format: Vinyl, LP
Country: US
Released: 1978

The New York-born disco band Crown Heights Affair is best known for their Top Five R&B/Top 40 pop hit “Dreaming a Dream.” On Dream World,the group combined the optimistic tone of that smash with a slightly heavier funk tone; though their trademark horn sound is still in tact, “Galaxy of Love” is a fun, brassy romp that retains some of the frothy flavor of “Dreaming” and was a Top Five hit in the U.K. The huge club hit “Say a Prayer for Two” has gospel-ish lead vocals, a driving bass similar to Brass Construction’s “Movin,” and charted number 41 R&B in the fall of 1978.
By Ed Hogan (AMG)

By Pier

Crown Heights Affair ”Crown Heights Affair”

Crown Heights Affair

Crown Heights Affair
( LP RCA Records, 1974 )
Catalog # ANLS-2600

1.You Can’t Bend My Super Rod
2. Sex Trip
3. Strangers When We Meet
4. Special Kind Of Woman
5. Leave The Kids Alone
6. Streaking
7. The Love I Found This Time
8. It’s Me Who Loves You
9. Sitting On The Top Of The World
10. Super Rod (Instrumental)

More Info Here.

By Pier

The Crown Heights Affair ”Dreaming A Dream”

The Crown Heights Affair

Dreaming A Dream
( Expanded, With Bonus Tracks )
( LP De-Lite Records, 1975 )
Catalog # DEP 2017

A1 Dreaming A Dream (Disco) (3:45)
A2 Foxy (4:09)
A3 Every Beat Of My Heart (5:25)
A4 Na, Na, Hey, Hey (4:02)
B1 Dreaming A Dream (Vocal) (3:30)
B2 I Am Me (4:39)
B3 Feeling Tall (4:38)
B4 You Smiled (4:02)
( *Plus Bonus Tracks )

Arranged By [Strings] – Meco Monardo (tracks: A3, B3)
Arranged By, Conductor – Crown Heights Affair
Bass – “Muki” Wilson
Drums, Percussion – Raymond Rock
Engineer [Recording, Mixing] – Godfrey Diamond, Harvey Goldberg
Guitar – William Anderson
Lead Vocals – Philip Thomas
Mastered By – Iven Walters , Jose Rodriquez
Organ, Piano, Synthesizer [Moog], Synthesizer [Rmi], Clavinet – Howie Young
Producer, Arranged By, Conductor – Britt Britton, Freida Nerangis
Saxophone [Tenor] – Bert Reid
Trombone – Raymond Reid
Trumpet – Tyrone Demmons
Written-By – Bert Reid (tracks: B2) , Britt Britton (tracks: A1 to B1, B4, B5),
Freida Nerangis (tracks: A1 to B1, B4, B5), William Anderson (tracks: B3)

Produced for Cabrini Productions Corp.
Recorded at Media Sound Studio
1975 DeLite Recorded Sound Corp.
Distributed by P.I.P. Records / A Division of Pickwick International, Inc.
Format: Vinyl, LP
Country: US

“Dreaming A Dream (Goes Dancin)” is a medley of “Dreaming A Dream” segueing into a short version of “Dancin’”.

By Pier

Info: The Crown Heights Affair

The Crown Heights Affair

Like Earth, Wind & Fire and Kool & the Gang before them, Crown Heights Affair artfully bridged the gap between funk and disco, guaranteeing their records new life via sampling by successive generations of rappers and DJs. Originally dubbed New Day Express, the group formed in Brooklyn, NY, in 1967, originally comprising lead vocalist Philip Thomas, guitarist William “Bubba” Anderson, bassist Arnold “Muki” Wilson, keyboardist Stan Johnson, and drummer Raymond “Sugar Ray” Rock. Crown Heights Affair’s roster soon expanded to include saxophonist Darryl Gibbs, trumpeter James Baynard, and trombonist Julius Dilligard, Jr., and in 1973 they signed to RCA, releasing their self-titled debut LP the following year. While a hit in New York, the first single, “Super Rod,” failed to earn attention across the rest of the country, and when the follow-ups “Leave the Kids Alone” and “Special Kind of Woman” met the same fate, the group was left without a label. At that point Johnson, Gibbs, Baynard, and Dilligard all resigned from Crown Heights Affair, with Howie Young joining on keyboards, Tyrone Demmons coming in on trumpet, and siblings Bertram and Raymond Reid playing saxophone and trombone, respectively. This lineup signed to De-Lite, home to kindred spirits Kool & the Gang, and in 1975 Crown Heights Affair issued its sophomore effort, Dreaming a Dream, with an extended disco mix of the title cut cracking the R&B Top Five and the pop Top 50; “Every Beat of My Heart” and “Foxy Lady” soon followed, further establishing the group’s growing reputation among clubgoers. Percussionist Skip Boardley joined the lineup with 1976’s Do It Your Way; although the first single, “Dancin’,” was a rather shameless knockoff of Isaac Hayes’ classic “Theme from ‘Shaft’,” sales were again respectable, even if the LP’s second single, “Do It the French Way,” failed to generate much attention. 1978’s Dream World was buoyed by De-Lite’s new international distribution deal with Polygram. Virtually overnight Crown Heights Affair emerged as major fan favorites in the U.K., with the singles “Galaxy of Love” and “I’m Gonna Love You Forever” both reaching the British pop charts. While the title cut to 1979’s Dance Lady Dance was another British hit, the album flopped stateside, prompting Crown Heights Affair to recruit producer Bert DeCoteaux, known for hits with Sister Sledge; the resulting Sure Shot remains a minor masterpiece, highlighted by the disco classic “You Give Me Love,” a Top Ten U.K. pop hit during the summer of 1980. But the general public’s interest in disco soon took a nosedive, and Crown Heights Affair spent the next two years on hiatus. Minus keyboardist Young, the group resurfaced in 1982 with Think Positive, a failed attempt to update their sound to current tastes. After one final effort, 1983’s Struck Gold, Crown Heights Affair split. Bert Reid went on to enjoy some success as a producer, helming Denroy Morgan’s underground smash “I’d Do Anything for You” as well as sessions for Unlimited Touch (”I Hear Music in the Streets”), Raw Silk (”Do It to the Music”), and Barbara Tucker (”Stay Together”). As vintage Crown Heights Affair grooves found their way onto latter-day hip-hop and R&B records, Reid also collaborated with producer/DJs Little Louie Vega and François Kevorkian. He died in New York City on December 12, 2004.
By Jason Ankeny (AMG)

Pier’s Note:
Bravissimi, eccezionali, ci hanno dato una delle migliori Disco Music dell’epoca.
Gruppo al quale io sono molto affezionato, tanti loro pezzi furono dei miei cavalli di battaglia, sia in discoteca che in radio.
E, per chi si ricorda bene, che viaggione era quella hostess che augurava ”Happy Flight” in ”Galaxy Of Love”!
Ve li raccomandiamo!

Lou Donaldson “The Natural Soul”

Lou Donaldson

The Natural Soul
( LP Blue Note Records, 1962 )
Catalog # BLP 4108
Also issued on Blue Note BST 84108, CDP 7 84108-2

01 Funky Mama [Patton]
02 Spaceman Twist [Donaldson]
03 Love Walked In [Gershwin, Gershwin]
04 Sow Belly Blues [Donaldson]
05 That’s All [Brandt, Haymes]
06 Nice ‘N’ Greasy [Acea]

Tommy Turrentine (tp)
Lou Donaldson (as)
“Big” John Patton (org)
Grant Green (g)
Ben Dixon (d)
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio,
Englewood Cliffs, NJ, May 9, 1962

The Natural Soul finds Lou Donaldson delving deeply into soul-jazz, recording a set of funky, greasy instrumentals with only a few references to hard bop. Donaldson occasionally sounds a little awkward with the relaxed groove of The Natural Soul, as does trumpeter Tommy Turrentine, but the trio of guitarist Grant Green, organist John Patton, and drummer Ben Dixon keep things cooking. Green and Patton’s solos often burn and are always invigorating, and Lou frequently matches their heights. The original compositions — which form the bulk of the album — aren’t much more than blues and soul vamps, but they provide an excellent foundation for the combo to work hot grooves. And, in the end, that’s what The Natural Soul is about — groove. It maintains the high standards Donaldson established with his first soul-jazz foray, Here ‘Tis, and remains one of his best records in that genre.
By Stephen Thomas Erlewine (AMG)

Review by Clifford Allen here. (All About Jazz)

By Rob

Clarence Wheeler & The Enforcers ”Doin’ What We Wanna”

Clarence Wheeler & The Enforcers

Doin’ What We Wanna
( LP Atlantic Records, 1970 )
Catalog # SD 1551

A1 Hey Jude (7:55)
A2 Sham Time (4:39)
A3 Theme From Electric Surfboard (7:29)
B1 Right On (4:39)
Vocals [Background] – Cissy Houston , Jackie Verdell , Judy Clay
B2 Dream Bossa Nova (3:29)
B3 Doin’ What I Wanna (4:04)
B4 C.W. (4:51)

Personnel & Credits:
Artwork By – Haig Adishian
Drums – George Hughes
Engineer – Jerry DeClerque
Organ – Sonny Burke
Photography – Mel Kaspar
Producer – Joel Dorn
Producer [Associate] – Mario Medious
Saxophone [Tenor] – Clarence Wheeler
Trumpet, Cowbell, Tambourine – Sonny Covington

Recorded at Universal Studios,
Chicago, Illinois, November 18, 1969
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1970

A landmark album from this legendary Chicago soul jazz combo — and a record that helped set the tone for changes to come in funky jazz for the 70s! Tenorist Clarence Wheeler heads up the group — and they’ve got an amazing organ/bass sound that’s made them a legend with funk fans for years — a groove that’s filled with complicated riffing and changes, almost the “next level” of soul jazz beyond the already hip Jack McDuff groove of the Prestige years — taken into a lot more righteous territory! The grooves are totally infectious, and they echo with some of the best styles of the group’s contemporaries on the Chicago scene — particularly the electric Eddie Harris combo, or the best work going down over at Cadet Records! The album features a wonderful extended version of “Hey Jude”, with a million jazzy changes and loads of nice riffs (which is probably why it’s been heavily sampled) — plus groovy groovy versions of Eddie Harris’ “Sham Time” and Jack McDuff’s “Theme From The Electric Surfboard”. And all that’s only on side one! Side two’s got even more great stuff — like “Doin What I Wanna”, “Dream Bossa Nova”, and “Right On” — and the whole record’s a gem!
1996-2009, Dusty Groove America

Thanks to Celo for the label’s scans.

By Pier

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