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Archive for January, 2006

I’m Always Dancin’ To The Music
Benny Golson
I’m Always Dancin’ To The Music, 1978

Benny Golson is an old school jazz cat. Old school, like, first name on the caption of the “A Great Day In Harlem” photo, played with Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers all during the 50′s, putting out albums as a leader since ’57 – old school.

Allmusic.com describes his other album for Columbia (the one immediately before this one) as “an unfortunate commercial effort” in contrast to his other “consistently rewarding” albums. I would assume they would lump this one into that statement if it was widely available. For the most part I would agree with them, although De La Soul even put some of the more saccharine material from this LP (see “High On Sunshine”) to good use.

This song is so good (don’t be thrown by the first 15 seconds) that it’s confusing in its original context. The weird thing about it is that the artist is the only person listed as a writer. If he’s able to write syncopated off-tempo (91 BPM) disco this well, why is the rest of the album so bad? Of course, I don’t want to know…I’m just happy that this slipped through somehow.

[Correction: Monk One caught me sleeping on my own record collection and the sample above is actually from the original Commodores version of "High On Sunshine."]

>> songs are available for two weeks [8.7 MB]

Come check me out on my new night!

riga-the 1:2:3:4 karuan remix
Langoth
12″ Single, 2003

This is a gem I found in the abandoned promo crate at Giant Step during my first month working there. I don’t know a thing about it…and I sort of don’t want to. The record jacket seems purposely slim on information and it wasn’t until just now, as I was preparing to write this post that I realized that “Sunshine Enterprises,” the label that put it out, actually does have a website, listed in very fine print below the bar code on the back of the sleeve. Below that it says, “let the sunshine in…the club and music network, straight out of vienna.” They have apparently put out about 45 12″s, although…they are not listed in numeric order on their site, half of them are not listed, and there is no reference to this one.

I’m sure the perceived mystery of the origin of this song is better than its actual story. It’s a cinematic, dark, lonely, late night, moody masterpiece and I’m sure a large part of it was made by some guy in Vienna sitting in front of his laptop…not that there’s anything wrong with that, as that is pretty much what I’m doing right now, minus the space-and-time transcendent results.

>> songs are available for two weeks [8.3 MB]

Do What You Gotta Do
Roberta Flack
Chapter Two, 1970

I don’t know what the other 9 songs are in my top ten favorite songs, but this is the one I do know. It’s so subtle that I missed it the first few times around the turntable. It follows a rousing rendition of Eugene McDaniel’s “Reverend Lee,” a song about a “tall… black… strong… sexy… black… southern……… baptist minister” who is tempted by “satan’s daughter.” It includes the good Rev. saying “Lord don’t test me…not down where she touched me. My mind’s so hazy, my body is hungry.” The song builds to an orgasmic end and you wouldn’t be surprised why the subtle straight-forwardness of this song might be lost following the showmanship of that song.

“Do What You Gotta Do” has been performed by all manner of artists that I am loathe to mention here but Nina Simone did an earlier version that seems to be the version that brought the song to prominence; although, she didn’t write it. It was written by Jimmy Webb (more on that later).

Not to be morbid but I want this song played at my funeral. It’s a love song but its really about staying true to what you want no matter how it looks to everyone else, unselfishly wanting other people to be happy and being able to say goodbye because you loved fully and I hope my life has something to do with those things.

The funny thing about this song is that after being pleasantly surprised at how much more empowering this female perspective on a breakup was than the usual “you did me wrong” songs that I am used to, I realized it was written by a man. But after being initially disappointed, I realized that a lot of the disempowering “you did me wrong but what I’ma do without you?” songs are written by men too…so, I still count this one as a victory.

::: ::: ::: :::

Man I can understand
How it might be
Kinda hard
For you to love a girl like me
I don’t blame you much for wanting to be free
I just wanted you to know
That I loved you better that your own kin did
From the very start
It’s my own fault
What happens to my heart
I’ve always known you’d go and do
Do what you gotta do

My wild sweet love
Though it may mean
That I’ll never kiss those sweet lips again
Pay that no mind
Find that dappled dream of yours
Come on back and see me when you can

Now I know
I know if makes you feel sad
I know it makes you feel so bad
They say you don’t treat me me like you should
They got ways to make you feel no good
They got no way to know
I had my eyes wide open
From the very start
You never lied to me
The part of you that they’ll never see
Is the part you’ve shown to me

Go on and do
Do what you what you gotta do
My wild sweet love
Though it may mean
That I’ll never kiss those sweet lips again
Pay that no mind
Find that dappled dream of yours
Come on back and see me when you can

::: ::: ::: :::

>> songs are available for two weeks [5.7 MB]

Follow Me
Red Astaire
12″ Single, 2003

Some might be inclined to call this “Left and Right (Red Astaire Remix)” and list the artist as D’Angelo but that doesn’t fit with the mystique and dubious legality of GAMM Records. I’m a little late to the party but GAMM Records from Sweden has been putting out all manner of quality American R&B rehashings for a few years now, of which I have caught a couple. This appears to be the first (at least it is listed as GAMM001). I’m guessing they all say “Promo Not For Sale” like this one does (like a lot of 12″s do that you’ll find…for sale in record stores) – just an attempt to cover a$$e$ when selling music that’s not cleared.

This track was covered by the Quantic Soul Orchestra with Alice Russell on vocals and released this past August by Rebtuz. A Bristol UK cover of a Swedish bootleg remix of track from a Virginia man who doesn’t seem to be able to find a way to put out records very often. I guess they’re carrying the torch for him.

>> songs are available for two weeks [6.5 MB]

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