Monday, 27 October 2008

Back to the funk: funk you should buy...

When I ripped Beefheart's Decals album I also ripped my vinyl copies of RAMP's Come Into Knowledge (at the time only available new on vinyl), WAR's Younglood OST (from a cassette!), and Grover Washington's Mister Magic (vinyl). All to 192 kbps MP3. I'd love to post those entire rips, but ethics prevent me: I said I'd only put up out of print or otherwise unavailable material, so I'll stick to that principle. However, if I can't put up the whole albums, I will at least try and find a legal way of putting up taster tracks:

RAMP's fabulous album has oft been visited by compilers, particularly for the two super mellow nuggets 'Daylight' and 'Everybody Loves The Sunshine', admittedly the two best tracks on the album. There are lots more goodies on display here tho', like the title track, and 'Try, Try, Try'. RAMP have even enjoyed something of a renaissance thanks to the interests of global crate diggers and funk freaks, playing London's Jazz Café recently. In addition to the aforementioned delights of this album, if you feel you need more reasons to be tempted to shell out for it, then check try and get a listen to 'American Promise'. It's the other end of the sonic spectrum from the aforementioned tracks: a hard grooving single riff from start to finish. Assuming you can track it down, then turn it up loud and enjoy the grease of this hard fonkin' groove! Buy the Blue Thumb Originals CD reissue from Amazon (UK) here. Ramp were (and possibly still are): Landy Shores (Can that possibly be a real name? It's fabulous! Somehow I suspect it might be a contractually requisite pseudonym.) on guitar, Nate White on bass, John Manuel drums, and Sharon Matthews and Sibel Thrasher singing. It's gotta be Roy Ayers who's pitching in, uncredited, on keys. The horns aren't credited either. There's a good article on the band at

'Flying Machine' is my favourite track from WAR's Youngblood OST, with an almost Afrobeat/Samba rhythm, reminiscent of Tony Allen's mega-funky grooves for Fela Kuti, served up by drummer Harold Brown. He cooks up a beat so tasty my mouth waters just thinking about it! Lonnie Jordan's keys work is fabulous, mixing a Latino vibe in with his funky soulful jam-band feel, and Charles Miller's flute solo really cooks. You can buy the album new, and very cheap, from Amazon (UK) here. Other cool tunes include 'This Funky Music Makes You Feel Good', which lives up to the promise of the title, the cool walking bass jazz groovin' of 'Superdude', complete with film dialogue, the super-mellow sounds of 'Youngblood and Cybil', and another feel good gem 'Sing A Happy Song' which has a fantastic broken up minimal groove in the verses.

Grover looks so, ummm, cool on this cover! So cool that Ty has gone and ripped off the idea for album Closer... Hmmm!? But neither of these covers can match the bonkers Provisao Do Tempo by Brazilian genius Marcos Valle, where the one time bossa wunderkind has transformed into a sub-aqua bearded hippy freak... Now that really is cool! Title track 'Mister Magic' really is the nuts: you just gotta love it! Eric Gale's super funky/bluesy guitar is wonderful. I just love his style and feel, and what a soulful solo! And Harvey Mason on tubs... it doesn't get any better than when the Harv' is laying it down! 'Earth Tones' gets pretty damn cosmic too. Get it cheap, on a shiny new CD, from Amazon (UK) here.


cheeba said...

Whole-heartedly agree with your recommendations Mr Goat! Very nice rundown of some classic sides!

RunawayTrane said...

Thanks for that Youngblood. Never heard that one beforew. At least, don't remember