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 Far Out with “Dynamo”. There are a few standouts here. One is a version of “Burning Spear” by the Byron Davis Quartet, with its organ, flute and driving jazz groove. Oddly enough, this Byron Davis has no relation to the 80’s electro hip-hop Byron Davis of Fresh Krew fame, who was also from Los Angeles. The another one is the District Of Evolution’s killer version of Dyke and the Blazers’ “We’ve Got More Soul”. What made this one surprising is that I am convinced I went to high school with the drummer’s son, who shares the same name and looks identical to the picture in the gatefold. Chuck, if you’re reading this, your pops tore it up on this one! There’s also the band who took First Place in the Combo Division, The Pete Jacobs Quartet, with “Feud In G Major” and “Little Visitors”, as one very out-there hard bop jazz tune. The concerts wraps up with what I assume was an elaborate stage production. The New Revelation Gospel Choir and Production Band with a couple of dance groups, not heard on the record, from Beverly Hills and Palos Verdes perform a four cover song medley with “Oh, Happy Day” and “God Bless The Child” being the mellow tunes before it picks up with punchy drums on “Let It Be” and “Let The Sunshine In” (again?).