Soul / Funk

“Genius Black Musicâ„¢”

Banana Brothers – And Their Bunch

I have no information about this record whatsoever. The cover is just a generic blank white cardboard sleeve with the sticker of a bunch of bananas slapped on the front centre. The label is just as unhelpful, I can say it was released on TAB records as TAB7801, but that is it. It is basically […]

VA: Wilderness America

Local NorCal save the wilderness benefit comp that ranges from symphonic overtures, and new age, to sensitive singer/songwriter wannabe James Taylor shit. I honestly don’t even know why I picked this up originally based on it’s looks… oh yeah, I think Iasos the “Finger Listener” dude is on it. Anyhow, the real standout track has […]

Teddy & George – The Condor

Teddy Brown & George Hamilton were two refugees from Detroit who trekked to San Francisco in the early 60s. They started singing together in clubs in 1961 & recorded this live album on the Mammoth label in 1963. The show was recorded at the Condor, a nightclub that sat on the corner of Broadway & […]

Aura: S/T

Rare bay area funk-rock lp that, while highly regarded by some, does not do a lot for me personally. It’s definitely more juiced up than your average Cold Blood/Tower Of Power fare, so I can understand why this might appeal to fans of raw/self-produced funkiness, but it really is lacking in any real depth of […]

Odean Pope – Almost Like Me

Snap your fingers, slap your bass, blow your horn, Odean’s in the place. Recorded in 1982 in (cold war) West Germany. “Mwalimu” is the tune out of this eighty-ish sort of hard bop delivery. Odean Pope – Mwalimu.mp3

Pair Extaordinaire – Recorded Live

I don’t know all that much about these guys or this record (so I hope it’s not super common in the US) but I do know that it is friggin’ cool. It’s essentially a musical comedy routine captured live performing versions of a number of pop hits of the day as well as some more […]

Twilight: Still Loving You

‘Nuther stock covered local lp I picked up recently – which turned out to be quite a bit rarer and better than I’d hoped for. I’m normally not big on late 70’s/early 80’s sounding soul, but the songs here are extremely well written and have an almost singer/songwriter quality to them – or, as it […]

Lisa: No Lo Sabes Todavia

As near as I can tell by trying to read the notes on the back of this lp with my non-existant understanding of Spanish, “Lisa” is from Cuba via Florida. I guess Lisa is either a very uncommon name where she comes from, or she was a Madonna-like mega-star who achieved single name recognition. Anyhow, […]

Frank Cardona y sus Alegres Tejanos

This is an oddball Tejano band on Diamante Records, featuring a dubious vocalist known only as “Mario”. They play a cool variety of styles, from ballads to hard organ driven cumbias, and loud clangy ranchera. Then definitly have some afro-mex rythms working in a few tracks, and they do a pretty rippin “Funky Nassau” cover, […]

U.S. Atlantic Fleet Navy Show Band – Hand Clappin’ Music

Banda Unitas ’78 – Simiiar to the “Port Authority” group in concept & execution but they try harder. Released for Puerto Rican recruitement, it was not distributed as widely as other US armed forces groups. Groovy song selection includes Negro Jose, Opener (Hand Clappin’ Music), Oye Mama, synthed out Theme From Rocky and Star Wars […]

Various: African Dances

I’m a complete novice when it comes to this type of stuff, but this along with a small handful of other things I’ve been lucky enough to pick up lately has really sparked an interest. This one is simply titled “African Dances” on a (very budget looking) label called “Authentic”. It appears to be an […]

Pin Points – No Dressing

Stock cover, late 70’s, DIY looking from Southeast Washington DC, the song titles stood out, looking mostly gospel, with “It’s Got To Be That Dope” raising curiosity. The sounds impressed, gospel, modern soul, drum and rap. With further research i discovered their web site, Pin Points is an activist inner city theatre group that works […]

Hailu Mergia and the Walias – Tche Belew

I picked this up in Springfield, MO on a recent Ozark vacation. A great little store called “Stick it in Your Ear” had this staring at me from the $1.98 piles near the front. I didn’t even notice that Mulatu was a sideman on it until i got home. Great all the way through, but […]

US Import – No Nukes / Nuclear Fusion

I believe blame should always be heaped upon the parents. I have 2 sons at ages 7 and 11, both precociously adolescent and surly though not yet teenage. Every time I try and sell my boys the notion that I am workin’ ant-like hard for them, amassing a dynamite wax inheritance (yesterday’s case in point: […]

Lee Gagnon – Jeremie

Jeremie was a Quebecois ballet scored by Lee Gagnon. It is a known and sought-after jazz-funk album with plenty of wha-wha and breaks (nobody ever seems to mention the nice mellow folk parts on the album though). However, I’m not here to talk about this record (even though it is, in itself, kind of interesting). […]

The Battle Of The Bands: 1970 (Custom Fidelity)

Here’s a recording of an 11th annual concert hosted by the Hollywood Bowl to showcase teenage musicians and singers. The participants are either independent or associated with high schools. There’s your standard horn heavy stage band numbers from Montebello, Dorsey and Pico Rivera High Schools, as well as contributions from folk duos, such as Two […]

Mel-Vonne: Be Still (Celesta)

Absolutely stunning! Really it’s the only words that I can come up with for this record. Released in 84 it’s a Modern Soul Gospel burner that is quite unfuckwithable in my opinion. Melvin & Yvonne (Mel-Vonne get it?), handle the vocals, the writing of the tunes, and the producing duties. Great backing band too with […]

Misty Moore – This Girl’s In Love With You (Pzazz)

On the small Los Angeles label, Pzazz, this is a Petula Clark soundalike with soulful instrumentation which gets funky in places. Her voice doesn’t really gel with the musical backing, in my opinion. That’s a seductive picture of her, though. Listen

Philippe Nicaud – Erotico…Nicaud

With an artwork by the famous painter “Aslan”, this one is my french Holy Grail. The music is as good as the cover. Philippe Nicaud is a french comedian from the sixties who acted in wack parisian plays. The music go from bossa to jerk or funk orchestra. Nicaud doesn’t sing he speaks, the lyrics are […]

Rhythm & Blues All-Stars – Live At No. 5

The Rhythm & Blues All-Stars were a R&B/Soul cover band from Vancouver, Canada. This album, obviously live, features nice covers of Soul Man and In The Midnight Hour, and has a great 8 minute outro. However, the real gem on this album aren’t the songs but this “Guido” character they got to do a comedic […]

Cilka & The Second Generation (Sidro)

Cecilia Valencic and her group from Cleveland, Ohio created this obscure LP to demostrate their ability to fuse polka with the “now sounds” of rock, funk and soul. The standout is “He Left Me Behind” which has a “Tighten Up” groove and a trombone solo. Check out the cover which features a chalk drawing of […]

Sound Unlimited S/T (Valley)

This is from a teenage musical department based in Las Vegas from Valley High School. The front, which contains a red-white-and-blue silhouette motif of the band and the back, a list of all list of personnel with a flattering foreward by the director are both copied pieces of paper hand pasted on the jacket. The […]

Sakura Teng: S/T

Sakura was a popular multilingual female singer in the Singaporean go-go/rock scene during the 60s and 70s. On this particular LP, she covers James Brown’s “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”, which is dominated by a loud fuzz guitar. The Thai surf group, The Quests, provided the rhythm on Mrs. Teng’s songs for many years […]