Tag Archive for 'funky'

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“Afro-Strut” by the Nite-Liters

nite.jpgThis one’s a bit of a dissonant squealer with a great mid-tempo beat and a sweet wah-wah breakdown. The Nite Liters put outa bunch of records in the early 70s, but eventually spun off into New Birth Inc., and had up to 17 members.
The Nite-Liters, “Afro-Strut” from the RCA/Victor 45 (197?)

You can find a best-of compilation at Amazon and some vinyl at Dusty Groove.
They also rocked K-JEE:

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Interestingly, Steve Keith, who seems to have played in another band called the Nite Liters, chimed in on a post over on Flea Market Funk. It’s cool to see the original artists getting into the fray on the mp3 blogs… it even happens here sometimes!

“Lean Meat,” by Lonnie Smith

lonnie.jpgSuspenseful near-disco funk number with almost no resolution. A great tranistional track, I’ve always thought.

Not to be confused with Lonnie Liston Smith (of “with the Cosmic Echoes” fame), this track comes from jazz organist Dr. Lonnie Smith. So many Lonnie Smiths, so little time.

This was released in 1976, but didn’t appear on an album until 1980′s When the Night Is Right, one of Lonnie’s many awesomely named albums. Many of these items are still in print and for sale, and all of them are funky, as far as I know. Please purchase some. From both Lonnies.

Lonnie Smith’s website says it all, so I won’t waste any more of your time. DO NOT SKIP INTRO.

Lonnie Smith, “Lean Meat,” from the Groove Merchant 45 (1976)

“Dr. Follow’s Dance,” by Gary Bartz & NTU Troop

bartz.jpgAnother jazzy funk number posted mostly for Sam. I love the bassline on this one.

It’s great music for standing in line, and gives even the most mundane event a nice little exciting soundtrack. A little short, though.

Gary Bartz & NTU Troop, “Dr. Follow’s Dance,” from the Prestige 45 (1973)

Lots of information on Gary Bartz at his website (wot no myspace?), & another great track (w/ vocals) posted at Groove Provider.

“Funky Snakefoot,” by Alphonse Mouzon

snake.jpgTrippy, uptempo police-chase jazz-disco on Blue Note. A great beat, but I I kind of get the feeling the only thing that can dance over this is some film credits shooting in from either side of the frame, and then, on a freeze frame on the grille of some 70s American car:

THE FUNKY SNAKEFOOT
©MCMLXXIV

Mouzon is the drummer, if you couldn’t tell from the lead in. There’s a lot going on here, and I really like the delay on the saxophone and the little bass stabs.

Alphonse Mouzon, “Funky Snakefoot” from the Blue Note 45 (1974)

“We Don’t Need No Carpet Baggers,” by C.U.B.S.

cubs1.jpgThis has to be one of my favorite songs, and it always gets people looking around. I bought this disc from Vinyl Ink before its beloved owner George passed away in 2002. I always made the trip out to Silver Spring when I was in the DC area, and when I moved up to NYC, I was a constant mailorder customer of the store.

I wish I still had the little description sticker he so thoughtfully put on every disc– I’m sure it was full of adjectives and namechecked A Certain Ration or PiL. Anyway, this is another group about which I know next to nothing. Mutant Noise recently posted one of their singles, but details seem to be few and far between. Any details would be appreciated. This track, the opener, is my favorite one on the album, but all are worth a studied listen. I’ll post more Music+Noise releases soon.

C.U.B.S., “We Don’t Need No Carpet Baggers,” from the Maroi Bwana Oi LP on Music+Noise (1983)

“What I Got, I Got (Ain’t Gonna Lose It)”, by Maurice

maurice.jpgGreat fuzzy funk vocal track from 1971. On “My” records. Notice how me-centric that label is… they want you to sign your name on the actual record so everyone knows it’s yours.

I don’t know anything about this record apart from what’s on the label. It looks like Maurice may be “Maurice Rice,” who has the writing credit, by googling is poweless to learn anything.

Maurice, “What I Got, I Got (Ain’t Gonna Lose It”, from the My Records 45 (1971)

“Ain’t That Cold,” by Something Real

aint.jpgI really don’t know much about this track other than that it has the world’s best title. I picked this up for a couple of bucks based on the Mankind 45 label, which I think is the best ever designed. All of the Nashboro Distro labels were good, but the simplicity of this one seems out of place among the rest. I’m sure I’ll post some tracks and images of other Nashboro Group imprints (like ABET and excello), but on to the music.

Not only does this track a tight drum intro, but it all seems a little out-of-time. But, of course, the whining waaah-waaah-waaah horns pull it all together. A nice little uptempo number with a cool undermixed guitar solo. There’s even a scratch on the disc that creates a well-timed skip that is almost unnoticeable.

“Ain’t That Cold,” by Something Real on Mankind 45 (197?).

I haven’t found much of anything online about this act or this record save for a few postings of copies for sale for way too much money. I’ll update the comments if I learn anything.

“Franklin’s Theme,” by Bill Loose

cherryFirst off, this song is way too short. It’s the standout track on the soundtrack to Russ Meyer’s Cherry & Harry, & Raquel, which I haven’t seen. Franklin must be some slick, meandering cat though, if this is his theme.

I put this on a few mixtapes in the late 90s, and everyone who heard it wanted to borrow it to sample. I felt like it deserved to live on its own (and I am usually all about remixing things) because it was so unique. I’ve played this track at all points on my turntable’s pitch sliders, and it always comes out sounding sludgey & fresh.

Bill’s got some pretty impressive composing and music direction credits (including being the uncredited stock music composer for Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead). I bought this record at Papa Jazz in Columbia, SC, about 10 years ago. You see a lot of Russ Meyer soundtracks repackaged and reissued, but I’ve yet to see this one among them. All of the music is worth a listen, though.

Bill Loose,”Franklin’s Theme,” From the Original Soundtrack recording of Cherry & Harry, & Raquel (1970)

Incidentally, I was first pointed to Russ Meyer’s movies by Redd Kross’s first album, Born Innocent, on which they cover “Look On Up From The Bottom,” as played below by Beyond The Valley of the Dolls’ The Carrie Nations. I’m still not sure which version is better.
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Actually, while your at it, check out “In the Long Run” as well:
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& “Find it,” which is a terrific rip off of Shocking Blue’s “Hot Sand”:
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What a great movie.

“Baby Rice,” by Paul Humphreys & Cool Aid Chemists

Funky LA 45Paul Humphreys & Cool Aid Chemists put out a self-titled album in 1969 that contained this track, and the a-side to the Funky LA 45 (on Lizard). I picked this up in a lot of funky 45s a few years back, and found “Baby Rice” to be the standout. I spun this at a wedding once, and the mother of the bride asked me to stop playing circus music and bring back the James Brown. Wounded, I obliged.

Paul Humphreys & Cool Aid Chemists, “Baby Rice” from the Funky LA 45 on Lizard Records (1969)

Buy the reissued import disc at Dusty Groove or Amazon.

Image from FUFUSTEW, a blog you should watch.

“Thank You Mum/Pam’s Moods,” by Kilburn & the High Roads

Kilburn & the High RoadsA proto-Blockheads twofer. My love for all things Dury is not a secret. Just about everything I have that Ian Dury recorded is perfectly funky and wry. There’s one hit-or-miss 12″ from the late 80s where he has a peace symbol shaved into his head, but mostly it’s all golden.

This pair of tracks from the Kilburn & The High Roads are about as early as it gets. This band opened for The Who! The songs on this 10″, in a less scratchy form, are available on Handsome. I bought this in the sad final days of Sound Exchange on Guadalupe in Austin. 30% off!

Kilburn & The High Roads, “Thank You Mum/Pam’s Moods” from the Upminster Kids 10″ (1975)

Incidentally, Ian’s son, Baxter Dury, has recorded two of the best albums since 2000, in my opinion. Buy them.