musicology #569

Down The Road A Piece #5

(Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes – Expansions)

So, down to this the final cut of the ‘Vintage Goodwood’ selection..which I’m laying down first in tribute to Chris Hill, (foundation Selector on the Jazz Funk scene and part of the ‘Soul Patrol’ back in the mid – late 70’s), who played it on Sunday night in the Casino. Secondly to all the original Rare Groove massive. There was NO way I thought I would be able to hold out for his midnight – 2am set considering I had to drive back to the ‘Smoke but it was well worth the wait and I shook and fingerpopped from start to finish…the perfect end to a great weekend.

Today’s cut needs no introduction..absolute classic Jazz Funk/Rare Groove slice from the Legend Lonnie Liston Smith and his band of monumental players Cecil McBee, George Barron, Joe Beck, David Lee, Jr, James Mtume, Sonny Morgan, Badal Roy and Geeta Vashi A.K.A ‘The Cosmic Echoes’. The introduction, (and the cut), NEVER fails to send shivers down my spine. BIG tune going out to ‘The Anthill Mob’. London clubland memories are made of this.

“Expaaaaand your mind…..”


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 #567

Down The Road Apiece #3

(The Filthy Six – Get Carter)

Continuing with the Vintage @ Goodwood story…(can’t believe it was a week ago !!), Saturday morning after a few hours kip, (had the breakfast call at 8:30), I crept back up to the site at around 11am and drifted around on my ‘jacks’ without much purpose until I caught a mesmerising sound floating on the breeze that compelled me to investigate further. The music was so tightly woven together it was almost like one sound…harmony. Not blowing my own trumpet but I have heard a LOT of what I consider to be superb, and I try not to use that, (or any other), word lightly, music over the years and this was no exception. The location was the ‘Soul Stage’, (curated by Eddie Piller), the scene of much of the weekends entertainment as far as I was concerned and, as is often the case I allowed my ears to be my guide….The band on stage were playing what I like to call a blend of ‘Rhythm & Jazz’ in the mould of such luminaries as Grant Green, Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Eddie Harris etc. My initial interest was in the guitar playing and my intention was to just give it a listen and then float off and take in the rest of the festival but the ‘Six were SO good that I couldn’t leave until the end of their set.

Quality music does that for me..once It starts I just can’t walk away until it’s finished.  It was truly inspirational made even better in that I wasn’t expecting it. Basically it set the tone for the rest of the weekend which just got better and better. To finish the story later in the day I caught up with Eddie and raved about what I had just witnessed and found out that he had just released their set on his Acid Jazz Label. I kid you not ‘The Filthy Six’ are Quality with a capital Q. So in memory of my ‘discovery’ I’m laying this one on you which KICKS from start to finish.

The Tune is a rendition of the theme tune from seminal, cult English film ‘Get Carter’ which is particularly serendipitous for me as it was the first film I composed an alternative soundtrack for many moons ago when cutting and pasting film dialogue and combining it with alternative musicology was NOT done on the computer…since then I have composed alternative soundtracks for The Good Bad & The Ugly, Quadrophenia, 12 Angry Man and The Hustler and it’s about time I got another one together…

The Filthy Six are Nick Etwell, Mark Brown, Nigel Price, Pete Whittaker, Dean Drury and Graham Fox and I’m looking forward to catching them at Soul, Soul, Soul a G Spot event next week, (Sep 3rd), at ‘home’ in Soho, (London)

Listen Tune…..

musicology #566

Down The Road A Piece #2

(Johnson, Hawkins, Tatum & Durr – Your Love Keeps Drawing Me Closer)

Allow me tell you a story….

Last weekend I was in East Sussex attending a new and unique festival ‘Vintage’ deep in the, (beautiful), English countryside, (Sussex), having been lucky enough to procure an invitation and wristband from brother Sean Rowley (and of course the angel that is Miss G.T), who was laying down some music on the main stage in between acts. I arrived a bit later than planned on the Friday evening and the weather was awful..’raining cats and dogs’ but not enough to dampen my enthusiasm for the weekend’s activities. After a quick cup of tea and a, (completely impractical), change of attire, (the vintage Gucci loafers took one hell of a beating), at the Bed and Breakfast I jumped into the Vintage Merc’ and made my way to the event. Sean was on the main stage warming up the crowd for the newly reformed ‘Faces’ so I slipped up there and showed mine.

…before I gets to ramblin’ and let too many cats out of the bag let’s just say that it was an excellent night made even better by hooking up with Brothers Cheeba, Deano and Sister Amanda at the Soul Casino to dance the night away along with my afore mentioned compadres. Rolled out of there at the close of play around 2:30 ? and slipped back to the B&B for a well earned kip…Tomorrow was another day….

Today’s cut is in honour of that first night at Vintage..a 60’s Soul cut that although wasn’t played on the night would have fitted the bill perfectly. B side of  the in demand ‘You Can’t Blame Me’ featuring the harmonious talents of Virgil Johnson, Al Dawson, Willie Tatum & Norris Durr. Recorded for and released on Bill Moss’s superb Capsoul label.