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Friday, November 11, 2011

Lee Fields -- Wanna Dance

Get the album here.
Ready for some Lee Fields? He's always good for a surprise or two ... And his 1979 album  Let's Talk It Over (Angle 3)  is such a surprise. With titles ranging from sweet and deep soul to serious Funk, this album seems to lack in consistency -- at least when you first listen to it. But the more you listen, the better the music gets.
There's a remastered CD available with almost as many "bonus" tracks as original tracks ... Well, I don't know. I love the original eight tracks and think they paint a vivid picture of Lee's versatility.
Please check out Lee Field's other releases -- he has some very good music out there. His 2009 album My World will convince you of his talent.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bobby Blue Bland -- Help Me Through The Day

Bobby "Blue" Bland owns a warm and cozy corner of my heart. (He lives right next door to Percy Sledge, so to speak.) His voice will forever be associated with a pivotal era of my life. Bobby sang the blues while the foundation for a future with my husband was laid ...  In case you're wondering -- I'm in a reminiscent mood because our wedding anniversary is just around the corner.
Today's pick is from his 1973 California album, Bobby's first album for the ABC-Dunhill label. It is definitely an outstanding production. There's not a single mediocre song on the entire album. It could easily be mistaken for a "Best of" release -- it's an album with excellent musicians, background vocals, and of course, Bobby's unique voice in its prime.
Get the album here!
I chose Help Me Through The Day for the simple reason that some of Bobby's songs are almost played to death, while other equally good songs don't get any air time at all.  Help Me Through The Day is one of the latter songs.
The strings and the guitars are absolutely fantastic. Okay, turn up the volume and listen to the man now ...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Aretha Franklin and King Curtis Live at the Fillmore West: I Stand Accused

Just in case you have a few dollars to spare you can get the album here.
Today's song is from the legendary 1971 live  recordings of Aretha Franklin's performance with King Curtis at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. Jerry Wexler, who had added Aretha to Atlantic Records, had the glorious idea to have her perform with another band than her own show band -- and at a relatively small venue. The concert turned out to become legendary.
Not only did the audience get treated to the incomparable Aretha Franklin but also to such musicians as Billy Preston and The Memphis Horns. Can you imagine?  And for drummer groupies like me, the drums are in the hands of Bernard Purdie.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Full Force -- We've Come A Long Way

This is a compilation of lost gems. You need to get this album, if you appreciate Old School soul with melodious arrangements, stunning background harmonizing -- all paced just right to put you into a dreamy mood and has you reminisce those days when music was made it easy to get closer to the object of your admiration. There's not a single disappointing title on this album, although some of the songs definitely suffer from poor sound quality.
This is the perfect companion for a candle light dinner, some smooth red wine, and those telling looks across the table ...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Reggae Monday

Augustus Pablo -- Reggae In The Fields
Winston Jarrett -- Do You Hear I
Witty's All Stars -- Just Like A Sea (version)
Senseations -- Lonely Lover

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Willie Small — Say You Will

I don’t know what happened, but last week was packed with activities not favorable to blogging. The new week will be less busy, I hope.
Starting off with a Deep Soul gem by Willie Small of whom I couldn’t find any useable info — unfortunately. Today’s pick is from yet another priceless Lost Deep Soul Treasures compilation. Volume 1 of this collection features such greats as Otis Clay, Sam Dees, and Clay Hammond as well as lesser known artists. Those little known artists deserve as much attention and recognition as their more famous counterparts, however.
Willie Small, without doubt, has a ton of talent: flawless singing and measured intensity  combined with a perfect horn section make for this classic deepie.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Paul Gayten — Ain’t Nothing Happening

Here’s  a fine piece of jump blues by Paul Gayten, the nephew of Little Brother Montgomery, a blues pianist. Paul followed in his uncle’s footsteps and began playing the piano. Still in his teens, he performed with local bands and, on the side, established his own band Gayten’s Sizzling Six. 
Gayten tried his hand at various branches of the music business including being a bandleader, a label owner, songwriter, and a record producer.
The war years he spent leading the Army band in Biloxi, Mississippi. Once back in New Orleans, created a new trio which became a resident band at the renowned  Club Robin Hood. Two of the first New Orleans R’n B era hits, True and Since I Fell For You, were recorded by Gayten’s trio in 1947. 
Two years later, his trio had grown into a nine-piece band and, having signed up with Regal Records, he wrote For You My Love which hit # 1 on the R’nB charts with Larry Darnell. His band was in high demand and for a while appeared with such greats as Dizzy Gillespy and Charlie Parker. 
In 1952, Gayten joined Okeh Records, but only a year later he gave up touring to join Chess Records.  At Chess, he applied his talent to song writing, promoting, and talent scouting for the label — still recording and being a part time musician. He discovered Clarence Frogman Henry, for example, whose first hit, Ain’t Got No Home, was produced by Gayten.
After a multifaceted career as singer, song writer, producer, and band leader Paul Gayten and his wife moved to Los Angeles in 1960 where he ran the West Coast Chess Record enterprise. In 1968, finally, he established his very own label, Pzazz. (For a Pzazz discography, please go here.)
Paul Gayten died March 26, 1991 in Los Angeles. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Don Covay and The Goodtimers — Now, That I Need You

Today’s pick is not quite as uplifting as yesterday’s session. It is, however, a very fine tune by one of my favorite singers, Don Covay. For the longest time , the only song by him I knew was I Was checking Out … Admittedly, that song deserved its fame; but after I got acquainted with more of his material, I realized how versatile this artist actually was.
Here’s a nice Doo-Wop  title by Don and The Goodtimers. This will be a joy for everyone who appreciates some fine harmonizing.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Energy Boosting Instrumentals


Spunky -- Johnny Jenkins (Handle With Care, The Orchard, 2001)
Soul Train parts 1 & 2 -- The Ramrods (The Soultrain 45, Rampage, 196?)
The Swag -- Link Wray (Best of Link Wray, Rhino, 1993)
A Woman, A Lover, A Friend -- Booker T and The MG's (Green Onions, Atlantic, 1962)
His Girl -- The Budos Band (The Budos Band, Daptone, 2005)
Hung Over -- The Martinis (Bar Records ?)