Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I do like the Warm Weather. I do like a jazzy funky groove too. This Pieces of a Dream classic featuring Barbara Walker combines it just right. Produced by Grover Washington Jr. how could you expect less then smooth?
This Philadelphia based jazz fusion group first broke with the sublime Mt. Airy Groove, 1982.
Mt. Airy is a break dance classic. Combining Jazz, Funk, Electro and Disco it became a track that was sampled often for it's funky breaks.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Johnny Carson's Musical Director and Trumpet Player Doc Severinsen released this White Label Promo 12" on Columbia Records in 1976. I Wanna Be With You remains a solid disco nugget and rather obscure. It got little to no promotion.
The vocals were handled by Leon Thomas a very well regarded session singer. His 1975 release Thank You Baby on Don Records is extremely hard to come by. Here are parts I and II from the 45 rpm single.
In 1998 a Leon Thomas Anthology was released on Soul Brothers U.K. It includes work he's done with Carlos Santana, Pharoah Sanders, and more hard to find Leon.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Herbie Hancock in my eBay store
Jazz keyboardist, pianist and composer Herbie Hancock has had a long career moving in and out of different genres of music. His foray into Disco was extremely successful and made for some very smart dance floor music.
In 1978 his vocoder laiden track I thought it was You was an early mix of Electro, Vocoder and Disco/Funk. 1979 was filled with gems from his Feets Don't Fail me Now l.p. with You Bet Your Love, Honey from the Jar and Ready or Not being pressed onto 12" vinyl.
1980 double A side of Go For It and the sublime Stars in Your Eyes has become his most coveted 12" single. The double A side with Stars in Your Eyes on both sides features the 11:21 version which is in the zip I provided above. I had two copies and I sold them both on Ebay about five years ago for just under $200.00 each. They have since become less coveted with I Thought it Was You often fetching the higher bids of the two. 1980's Monster l.p. was over the top. Gavin Christopher's vocal performance on Stars in Your Eyes, Saturday Night and Don't Hold it In were nothing short of perfection. Gavin had his own best chart showing more then ten years later when the House record Don't Lose the Magic went to #1 on the Billboard dance chart.
a couple Herbie classics
1981 was another hot year for Herbie Hancock with his dabbling in hip hop, Everybody's Broke which seems like it would be just as appropriate in 2009 as it was then. Also the phenomenal collaboration with Sylvester, Magic Number again fusing Funk, Disco, and R&B.
1982's 12" release was Lite Me Up while in 1983 with Electro and breakdance so prominent, Herbie had the biggest hit of his career with RockIt but I chose to stick to the disco era stuff in my zip.
Herbie Hancock is an ultimate chameleon.
Monday, May 4, 2009
In 1978 Ms. Sharon Ridley's Full Moon l.p. was released. Just the fact that Sharon required the Ms. in her name proves that extra attention was deserved. She's been getting it from vinyl collector's and Garage heads ever since.
Clearly there was no official 12" release but the song found it's way onto many important dj playlists especially those who embraced the sleaze, morning music genre such as Larry Levan, Lary Sanders and Robbie Leslie just to name a few.
The dates for the actual 12" presses are unclear. But in 1979 the Canadian label Singles, Ep's and eX-Hits release a 12" backed with the sublime Jean Carne song Was That All it Was. Kinda of a sleaze double whammy.
Then there are these test pressing promo's which don't have any writing on them and a black cover sleeve. Sort of like the one that John Davis Bourgie' Bourgie' white labels had but without writing on the black sleeve.
So some dj's hand wrote the title on the label. My copy was clean and fetched a respectable $181.00 on Ebay. Though there is a vendor who has it slapped up in his store for something like six months now at over $500.00 with clearly no bites. Probably works well for him though cause when you have a hot record in your store it brings in clicks and those people may peruse your wares.
Anyway for some unknown reason CHANGES is inscribed on the outgroove. Some clown on discogs actually went to the effort of making a post for the song calling it incorrectly Changes. Have you ever tried to post on that site? If they could be any more picky you could tear your hair out. But then they post stuff with errors and those stay up.
So then Tabu realizing they had a hot one on their hands that should have been pressed on a 12" in the first place pressed one to their Mixed Masters re-issue series on CBS.
Then in 1984 Hot Tracks had the great taste to do their own take on this sleaze classic.
HOT TRACKS MIX
So now we've got several different pressings and several different lengths. Course you want them all and that's why I've put them in a zip here.
this one was huge at The Paradise Garage
alternate Changin' zip
Finally in 1987 Columbia Records put out the Compilation, Let's Dance! and had the good taste to include Changin' this one a mix by F. Byron Clark running 6:18, probably the shortest version yet.
A Mel Cheron favorite which Larry Levan often played just to please his buddy. In fact Larry was known to simply slip it into a set and dramatically change the tone. But The Paradise Garage was Larry's home and he didn't have to play by the rules
More recently it was brought to the attention of Linda Clifford. Logically Linda flipped over it and it became a release on the newly incarnated West End label in 2001. Given all sorts of mixes by Blaze and even the remix king Tom Moulton it didn't really create that much of a stir. But then again you can't improve perfection. Here below are the Pound Boys (more traditional house) and Tom Moulton's (lavish, dramatic) mixes of Linda Clifford.
Linda Clifford Blaze/Shelter Mix