musicology #592

Flow #11

(Kool & The Gang – This Is You, This Is Me)

Tried to lay this one down yesterday but my service provider wasn’t responding to my calls for internet freedom so was stuck behind the bullshit. Circumnavigated it though so here it is…prime slice of 1973 funk from Kool and The Gangs top ranking LP ‘Wild And Peaceful’. Some BIG tunes on the album and this is one of them.

Special mention goes out to Tony Blue who, (along with Stevie Marriott), had to make a quick exit from a New York club in the early 80’s with members of Kool & The Gang on the warpath sporting weapons of mass destruction..(Shotgun). Every time I hear their music it reminds me of it.

musicology #590

Flow #9

Gil Scott Heron – Shut Um Down

Werner Herzog is quoted to have said: “The poet must not avert his eyes” and this mod/ern/ist poet has continued to tell it like it is regardless of whether Cats and Kittens want to hear it or not…today’s piece was one of a few delivered in response to the 3 Mile Island Nucleur Energy disaster in America in 1979. This cut is borrowed from his ‘1980’ Set…Gil Scott Heron step up and ‘speak’

“Did you feel that rumble? did you hear that sound,
Well It wasn’t no earthquake but it shook the ground,
Made me think about power like it or not,
Got to work for Earth for what it’s worth,
Cause it’s the only Earth we’ve got,

Shut ’em down
if that’s the only way to keep them from melting down,
Shut ’em down
if that’s the only way to keep them from melting down,

I heard a lot about safety and human error,
A few dials and gauges is just a wing and a prayer,
If you need perfection and that’s what it takes,
Then you don’t need people, can’t use people,
You know people make mistakes,

Shut ’em down
if that’s the only way to keep them from melting down,
Shut ’em down
if that’s the only way to keep them from melting down

Did you feel that rumble? did you hear that sound,
Well It wasn’t no earthquake but it shook the ground,
Made me think about power like it or not,
Got to work for Earth for what it’s worth,
Cause it’s the only Earth we’ve got,

Shut ’em down
if that’s the only way to keep them from melting down,
Shut ’em down
if that’s the only way to keep them from melting down..”

musicology #578

mOareESSENTIALS #1

(Al Green – All Because)


Back in themusicologist saddle after attending and playing at the mOare music festival over the weekend. Quality music, good crowd, excellent hosts. Met some quality people..Hamish, Claire, Cath, Paul, Owen, Ashley, (to name a few)…musical highlight had to be Hamish and his daughter Emma performing together on stage. Brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye. Can only imagine how proud he was to share a stage with her.

What did I play? ESSENTIALS. Mainly Soul and Funk but I managed to slip some Studio 1 in there too !! Festivals can be a bit tricky for the DJ as he/she is not who the crowd come to hear but I really enjoyed this one so in honour of the event I’m going to lay a weeks worth of the cuts I spun..

The first song I played was this superb slice of Funk by ‘the Reverend’ Al Green. Released, (on Capitol), in 1971..produced by urban musicologist Willie Mitchell and almost certainly featuring one of the greatest drummers to have graced the stoll the legendary Al Jackson Jr….

Listen Tune..

musicology #577

Essential Cuts #7

(Fela Kuti – Kalakuta Show)

Today’s ESSENTIAL cut comes courtesy of, (for me), one of the ALL time greats none other than Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Genuine Virtuoso and giant of a man who stood for Freedom utilising the Universal language to highlight the injustice of politricks. Hold this 1976 cut..14 minutes of the hardest hitting musicology ever recorded that surely holds the power to wake the dead. Special mention must go out to MASTER Tony Allen…drummer supreme.

Listen Tuuuuuuune

musicology #576

Essential Cuts #6

(New Mastersounds Feat Dionne Charles – I Mean It So)

Small dilemma..not sure whether to revisit the preceeding 3 years of musicology and repost all the cuts or start again? hmmmm.

Anyway…while I’m pondering hold this ESSENTIAL mod/ern/ist Funk cut courtesy of The New Master Sounds, (Eddie Roberts, Pete Shand, Simon Allen, Joe Tatton), featuring Dionne Charles on the M.I.C

2008 release from their Plug & Play set.

musicology #568

Down The Road A Piece #4

(Leroy Hutson – Love The Feeling)

Saturday night at Vintage was B.I.G. The Soul Casino was rocking..Andy Weatherall threw down at the ‘Warehouse’ and the company kept was SUPERB. I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to make it through to see Leroy Hutson on Sunday night? but it was one of the main reasons for attending so I thought that if I stumbled around the festival into the early evening then I had a chance…

Why is Leroy such a legend?, (other than his musical genius), for those of us who had the pleasure to be ‘on the, (Rare Groove), scene’ back in the day (85-87), Leroy Hutson was one of the primary artists. His ‘Hutson II’ LP was IN DEMAND to say the least. If you were there you know what I’m talking about and to hear him perform today’s slice of the musicology pie Live and Direct was an experience never to be forgotten.

The legend wasn’t due on until 9pm so it was touch and go but I managed it, (due in part to Craig Charles who was on fire for the two and a half hours leading up to Leroy coming on). As soon as he walked on though I was buzzing and immediately found my second wind. The man proceeded to tear it up and wove his magic leaving the crowd screaming for more especially when he enticed a call and response session on today’s slice the Rare Groove classic ‘Love The Feeling’ getting the Kittens to sing “Love I Love I Love” and the Cats to sing “The way you make me feel” was as good as it gets and anyone who was there knows what I’m talking about. For me it will always be a cherished memory..Recorded for and released on Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom label in 1976.

musicology #489

SoulBoy #8

(Lee Fields & The Expressions – Do You Love Me Like You Say You Do)

Have to be quick on this one as I’m heading out the door to see these Cats perform live and direct at the Bloomsbury Ballrooms in my hometown…the first metropolis and greatest city in the world…London. REALLY looking forward to it and if anyone out there needs convincing to make the effort to get down there this should be enough…Soul of the HIGHEST order. Released last year on the Truth and Soul label..Featuring Lee Fields, Charles Bradley, Leon Michels, Toby Pazner, Tom Brenneck, Dave Guy, Mike Deller, Nick Movshon, Homer Steinweiss.

musicology #483

SoulBoy#2

(Curtis Mayfield – Billy Jack)

So…after yesterday’s introduction to the musicology of Soul it’s time to turn up the heat with a cut from the 70’s..not to say that yesterday’s piece from the Miracles wasn’t ‘hotter than ten fire side’ as, for me, it most certainly is but as is often the case at the dawn of things, (the birth of Soul in this instance), it’s not always as accessible until the context is expanded and the horizon widened…

Significantly it was today’s artist that first touched both my conscious and unconscious in equal amounts beginning an appreciation for the man and his ‘language’ that started from babe in arms due, in part, to my dad who is a BIG Curtis Mayfiled, (and the Impressions), fan. One of the first LP’s that I can remember in fine detail is Curtis Live, (and it’s counterpart ‘Curtis’ you know the one with the man himself on the cover in them flared strides looking of into the sunset. I have featured and wrote about Curtis many times over the past three years so excuse me if I don’t repeat what I have already written for the sake of ‘information’.

Simply put….for me Curtis is Soul personified and his message has inspired me MANY, MANY times along the ‘way’…

Highlighted from his eponymous and hard hitting 1975 social commentary set ‘There’s No Place Like America Today’…..

Just out Monday
Run into a friend
Down the street, down the street
Where I live
Ahh ahh sad things begin
I could feel from within
From the message
From the message
He had to give

‘Bout a buddy of mine
Running out of time
His life run out of time
Somebody past noon
Shot across the room
And now the man no longer lives

Too bad about him
Too sad about him
Don’t get me wrong
The man is gone
But it’s a wonder he lived this so long

Up in the city they called him Boss Jack
But down home he was a alley cat
Ah! didn’t care nothing about being black
Ah! Billy Jack

Ahh can’t be no fun, can’t be no fun
To be shot, shot with a hand gun
Body sprawled out, you without a doubt
Running people out, there on the floor

Ah, ah bad bloody mess
Shot all up in his chest
Shot in the chest
One sided duel, gun and a fool
What a way to go

Up in the city they called him Boss Jack
But down home he was a alley cat
Ah Didn’t care nothin’ bout being black
Ah Billy Jack

musicology #441

Fragments #7

(Gil Scott Heron – Inner City Blues)

“Four vital functions as basic as the four elements: Sexuality, sociality, ideation and glory. Or: pleasure, speech, thought and prestige.
Being deprived of any of the four leads to stupor and death.”

Final piece of the Fragments selection..could have gone on for a while longer but new inspiration is knocking on themusicologist’s door so tomorrow I’m rolling out a new theme…just like to finish the ‘Fragments’ by paying a final tribute to Baudrillard for delivering such profound insights into the age of banality that we find ourselves inhabiting..for me the Cat penetrates some dark corners with illuminating observations.

What better way to wind up this session than with a combination of Marvin Gaye and Gil Scott Heron..I’ll say no more and just leave it up to the two of them to lay it on you.

musicology #434

Butterfly Mind #4

(James Brown – I Got To Move)

BIG tune on London’s rare groove scene back in 1986 when first released. amazingly this cut was previously unissued but Soul Brother Number 1 and full crew, (The Jb’s), had already been tearing up the dancefloors of London’s underground movement for a year or more along with the cream of the soul and funk that came out of America during the late sixties and early 70’s. music which had largely gone unnoticed before it’s London revival. Not suggesting that it was unknown but guess what…it wasn’t called rare groove for nothing and no matter what is said it was in London that it sprung forth and multiplied. themusicologist was there and remembers it well. Great times, cherished memories.

musicology #410

Terry Callier #2

(Terry Callier – Alley Wind Song (Original Demo)

A quote from the man himself:

“People everywhere are searching, searching for a spiritual base to stand on, reach out from and react to. The way I understand it, I’m supposed to put the message out there as clearly as I can. The rest has to take care of itself.”

“And hear some strange magic man work some ju-ju if you can,
Or do you know a spell that’s worth repeating,
Trace your pictures in the sand,
Tell me can you work a mojo hand,
Can you start the drums of Kuru beating,
Beware of the South wind,
The heart and mind and mouth wind
And search the sacred sands for a solution,

And tell me now..is it true if I put faith in you,
Will you lead me to the bridge of bright tomorrows,
And will your grace see me through,
Will incense and candles do,
Will prayer remove me from the reach of sorrow,
Oh beware of the North wind,
A king of worlds comes forth wind,
And blow apoun the land in retribution,

In the land of the free where the huddled masses flee,
From the cold and cruel worlds of wars dominion,
In a dusky mirror that I see,
Dont you know it got a hold back on my jubilee,
If freedom’s just a matter of opinion,
Ah beware of the West wind,
A bitter black suppressive wind,
That leads your children home for revolution,
That leads your children home for revolution,

Listening ones…if I sing,
Will that make you do your thing,
Will the chatting reach your high and lofty places,
And what is this strange gift you bring,
It’s sparkling like a diamond ring,
Will that bright light reveal the prince of faces,
Beware of the East wind,
A god of man and beast wind,
A famine and or feast wind,
And the last but not the least wind,
A threat of silver fleece wind,
A follow great release wind,
Blowin all across the land,
Blowin all across the land,
Where you stand,
Where will you stand,

musicology #398

Sound&Fury #2

(Terry Callier – Darker Than A Shadow)

Slowing down the tempo a piece with this the second cut on the sound&fury courtesy of a Cat who has been a constant feature on themusicologist’s playlists over the past few weeks..poetic lyricologist of the highest order, childhood friend of Curtis Mayfield and one time Cabrini Green resident, Terry Callier.

This majestic slice is borrowed from his 2002 set ‘Speak Your Peace’. Just like to add thas far as I am concerned Terry Callier is an artist who deserves our support. Buy his sets, go to his concerts and let him know that he has some ‘warriors’ by his side.

“Darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,

I was asleep and having dreams,
Awakened by a silent scream,
A raging wind and clouds of steam,
It was..darker than a shadow,

Unprepared for scenes like these,
With heavy air and boiling seas,
Destruction of societies,
It was..darker than a shadow,

What type insanity is this,
Standing on a precipice,
That leads into a deep abyss,
And it is darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,

There was a storm like this before,
Aftermath where angels walked,
Poisoned waters, wasted shores,
And it was..darker than a shadow,

Is this all we have learned my friends,
We’re doing now what they did then,
Repeating great mistakes again,
Darker than a shadow,

What type insanity is this,
We are walking in a scorching mist,
Leads down to a deep abyss,
And it is darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,

And then from out the deepest void,
There came a flaming asteroid,
One third of this world was destroyed,
It was…darker than a shadow

Mankind was in a raging fit,
And thermo-neuclear fires were lit,
We never saw the end of it,
‘Cause it was…darker than a shadow,

What mad insanity is this,
Standing on a precipice,
That leads into a deep abyss,
It is darker than a shadow
What type insanity is this,
Standing on a precipice,
That leads into a deep abyss,
And it is darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow”

musicology #397

Sound&Fury #1

(The Poets Of Rhythm – Guiding Resolution)

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”. – William Shakespere –

I am utilising this quote NOT because that is my belief regarding the journey but because this theme, (unlike some), signifies nothing so my advice, (if needed), is “don’t waste time looking under rocks for scorpions”. There’s nothing deep about this theme other than the music.

First up is a majestic piece of musicology from German born, (and raised), hipsters ‘The Poets Of Rhythm’ who in the 90’s began their journey to redifine the parameters of Authentic ‘Funk’ with their fantasic sound. This cut is from their 2001 set Discern/Define. Anyone who knows, (as well as those who don’t), will, I hope, agree that this groove is as good as ‘it’, (the genre), gets. Soul and Funk was my entry into the world of clubbing and DeeJaying in 1985 on London’s  ‘Rare Groove’ scene and I can assure you that had this been around then it would have been well and truly rinsed..

musicology #363

Ideology&Philosophy #4

(Sun – Conscience)

Out of the Greeks and into the next stage of themusicologist’s ‘development’ with some words of Wisdom from an English Philosopher, Alan Watts. The man who helped me make some kind of sense out of an ideology, (The Tao), that has resonated with me since first coming into contact with it during some of my darkest days.

The music is A QUALITY slice of mid Seventies funk and boogie from a little known group out of Dayton Ohio. Who along with Slave, Faze-O and Zapp, (three of the most respected boogie outfits), put the funk back into ‘Disco’. Recorded and released in 1977 on the Capitol label which for a short period had it’s finger well and truly on the pulse.

musicology #309

Live&Direct #6

(James Brown – There Was A Time Live)

One from the self penned ‘Godfather’..James Brown featuring the band known collectively, (among other names), as the James Brown Band who were to leave Brown’s service a few years later following a pay dispute. Cats like Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley and St Clair Pinckney all left to pursue their own fortunes rejoining in the 70’s after mutaul agreement.

This cut has always been one of my faves by JB but live it shows how great a unit they were. Recorded at the Apollo in 1967. Funk at it’s finest.

p.s it stops abruptly due to it going straight into the next cut ‘I Feel Allright’ which I couldn’t include due to uploading restrictions based on filesize. A shame but ‘them’s the breaks’ I’m afraid. Hope it doesn’t spoil your enjoyment.

musicology #249

birthdaybashsoul&funk #4

(The Equals – Funky Like A Train)

you know what … life is sweet like sugar at the moment and I’m enjoying it to the max. I would even go so far as to say it’s all good. I’ve got my mind right and it’s time for action. Over the past few weeks things and time have been synchronising harmoniously and ‘opportunity’ has been knocking hard on my door.

Iv’e let the kid in, we have sat down and reasoned, allowed our’self’ to let go and moved on, together, to face the dawning of the new day…where the sun is shining.

Today’s cut is courtesy of another London based group, The Equals, whose original members came from as far afield as Jamaica and Guyana but also included two local kids from Holloway and Islington, (hence the name ‘Equals’) . Hooking up in 1965 they tasted success in 1968 with a pop tune ‘Baby Come Back’, (about as far away from today’s cut as could be imagined).

Another BIG tune on the Rare Groove scene that was, for a while, one of the most sought after pieces of the day changing hands for around £50 which was a lot of money 20 odd years ago. themusicologist unearthed a copy of the 7″ in a ‘Junk-Shop’ in London’s ‘salubrious’ New Cross for the princely sum of 10 pence !!! and rinsed it for the next couple of years. Can’t remember if it was ever on a LP and like I said this was LONG before the days of CD’s, Ebay and of course MP3’s so to find a copy was true to the genre’s name, RARE.

Can’t remember exactly but from memory I think that the year of release was 1976 maybe even 1974.

musicology #248

birthdaybashsoul&funk #3

(Cymande – The Message)

Today’s slice from the ‘birthdaybash’ pie was one of the ‘Rare Groove’ anthems that NEVER failed to shake London’s floors in the mid 80’s. If themusicologist was compiling a top ten of cuts that were the soundtrack to them days this would definately be one. HEAVY funk from a London based collective of West Indian players who blended all the musical flavours of the day to deliver an almost unique sound.

Apparently discovered rehearsing in a Soho club, (there’s that place again!!), by producer John Schroeder who obviously knew quality when he heard it and signed them immediately. This was their first recording, released on the Janus, (Chess), label in 1972.

Players:

Ray King – Vocals/Percussion
Joey Dee – Vocals/Percussion
Steve Scipio – Bass
Sam Kelly – Drums
Derek Gibbs – Soprano/Alto Sax
Pablo Gonsales – Congas
Peter Serreo – Tenor Sax
Mike Rose – Alto/Flute/Bongos
Patrick Patterson – Guitar

musicology #246

birthdaybashsoul&funk #1

(The Meters – Love Slip Apoun Ya)

little run down of a selection of slices served up by themusicologist on saturday night at our joint birthdaybash down at the 3BlindMice. Played two sets one of which was the ‘rare groove’ which, musically, is anything from the late 60’s up to the closing of the seventies. The Rare Groove scene on the other hand sprung up in London sometime in 1985 when the ‘Boogie’ became mainstream and began to lose it’s edge.

Again, Soho was involved in the scene’s birth, (especially the ‘Wag’) but a bigger part was played by large scale ‘Blues’ parties. (unlicensed gatherings), organised in disused commercial properties, (especially in and around Camden and Kings Cross), where serious money could be, (and was), made charging ‘tenners’ on the door. Many a career was launched from the proceeds of such ‘warehouse parties’ as well as it being a hotbed of creativity style and flair. It went on to play a HUGE part in the development of fashion introducing ‘vintage’ as a lifestyle choice rather than ‘second-hand’ as a matter of neccesity.

Anyone who was there knows it’s global legacy both in fashion and music and the next seven, (count ’em), slices were ALL played, regularly, by anyone who was lucky enough to own them, (in the days before CD’s and EBay of course).

The band responsible for this majestic piece are none other than New Orleans musicologists the Legendary Meters, one of the premier funk outfits of all time. The original line up, (formed in 1965),  of Art Neville, Leo Noncentelli, Joseph Modeliste and George Porter Junior, (joined by Art’s brother Cyril in 1975), were responsible for delivering some of the cream of the genre and are second to none in the funk lexicon.

Taken from their album, Fire On The Bayou, produced by the musical genius Allen Toussaint and recorded at his, (and Marshall Seahorn’s), Sea Saint Studio. For me it doesn’t get funkier than this.

musicology #245

soul&boogie #6

(Faze O – Ridin’ High)

Cats…apologies for not completing the ‘soul&boogie’. Been ‘grafting’ since EARLY Saturday Morning and have only just made the time and space to hook up to themusicologist. Decided to continue the theme for this week so it’s straight into this one from Chicago boogie quintet Faze – O who scored with this 1978 cut on the She label. Keyboardist Keith “Chop Chop” Harrison, guitarist Ralph “Love” Aikens, bassist Tyrone “Flye” Crum, drummer Roger “Dodger” Parker, and percussionist Robert “Bip” Neal, Jr combine to deliver a glimpse into the future of funk/soul/boogie at the dawning of a new day.

LISTEN TUNE……

musicology#181

soulsearching #3

(Joe Quarterman & Free Soul – I Got So Much Trouble In My Mind Pt1)

‘rare groove’ funk screamer heard, played and thrown shapes to by themusicologist for more than twenty years. always been one of my personal favourites. being blessed/cursed with a troubled mind this is one of them cuts that often plays in the jukebox of my thoughts in times like these.

a 1972 New York release on the GSF label produced by Bill Tate, Cotter Wells and Cory Pearson.