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Archive for August, 2006

I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know
Blood Sweat and Tears
Child is Father to the Man, 1968

I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know
Donny Hathaway
Extensions of a Man, 1973

When did Blood Sweat and Tears get such a bad rap? Even “You Make Me So Very Happy” and “Spinning Wheel” are good and very original songs, if overplayed. Ok, I just read part of their bio on allmusic and it seems like they had a flair for dramatic conflict and constant personnel shifts and that they never replicated work as good as this…so I guess that could be part of it.

I revisited the Al Kooper-penned “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know” last week and decided it would be a good song to put up because Donny Hathaway’s version is a revered and oft-covered soul classic but I’m not sure how many people know that its actually a cover itself.

The Blood Sweat and Tears original is very different from Hathaway’s cover and I would expect most people who only know Donny’s version to have a negative first reaction but don’t sleep(!), the original is a thing of beauty.

The horns, strings organ and guitar are stellar throughout but to me, they really shine in the verse that starts at 4:20.

Other differences of note: Donny made a few revisions to the lyrics including changing “I could be president of General Motors!” to “I could be king of everything.” What’s up Donny, you only drive foreign cars?

>> songs are available for two weeks [8.3 MB]
>> songs are available for two weeks [7.7 MB]

Juxtapose Vol. 2

Track Listing
01 – Blackbyrd’s Theme – The Blackbyrds – 1974
02 – Soulpower (Jazzanova Straight Dub Edit) – Marschmellows – 2000
03 – A Little Bit of Jazz – Nick Stracker Band – 1981
04 – It’s Dancing Time – Mr. Scruff & Quantic – 2002
05 – The Pleasure Principle – Janet Jackson – 1986
06 – Sing Sing Sing (RSL Remix) – Anita O’Day – 2005
07 – Now That We Found Love – Third World – 1978
08 – Living Again – Cee – Lo – 2004
09 – Beat The Street – Sharon Redd – 1982
10 – Beep Me 911 – Missy Elliot – 1997
11 – Inside The Dance – Nickodemus & Osiris – 2001
12 – People Make The World Go Round – Angela Bofill – 1979
13 – Live In The Light (Basement Boys Remix) – Fertile Ground – 2003
14 – Our Time Is Coming (Remix) – MAW Feat Roy Ayers – 2003
15 – Spottieottiedopaliscious – OutKast – 1998

How Long Do I Have To Wait For You?
Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, 2005

I went to see Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings at Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem last night (see pic below) and while I’ve heard tons of good reviews about them and their organic funk sound is right up my alley, I was really surprised at how good it actually was.

I’ve known of them for a few years now but have been a little leery ever since a friend told me with a certain tone in his voice that Daptone Records (their label if that’s not obvious) built an all-analog studio in Bushwick (Brooklyn). It was that tone that said that their devotion to analog was bordering on impractical. Between that, the 1967-looking labels on their records and not including the release years, I thought that it all seemed a little too calculated that that there was probably more style than substance. Well, I was wrong. They have substance to spare.

I was standing there taking the concert in, slowly thinking, “ok, the band is tight…ok the balance is crazy, I can hear every instrument really clearly…ok, maybe I was wrong” and then they started playing the song that turned to be “How Long Do I Have To Wait For You?” and things got urgent. About thirty seconds into it, I started moving directly for the merchandise table on the other side of the park, knowing I had a finite amount time to get there and ask which album this song was on before it ended. The last $10 in my pocket were quickly handed over and all was well. My friend Maggie said it best, there is not a note wasted in this song.

If you are moved like I was and have one of those “I like to support independent people doing their thing” streaks you can cop it directly from them on LP or CD.

Also, check out the fiery painting of Jackie Robinson on the inside of the band shell, I love it.

>> songs are available for two weeks [5.6 MB]

The Sun (featuring Raekwon, Slick Rick & The RZA)
Ghostface Killah
Bulletproof Wallets [Advance Album], 2001

This song is not one of those listen-to-it-25-times type of songs but it’s a work of art all the same. This song seems to be in decent circulation but I am pretty sure that it never actually came out; it didn’t make the final version of Bulletproof Wallets and it’s definitely not on any of his later major label albums.

It is exactly what the title would indicate: three great MCs rhyming very matter-of-factly about the sun and I think the only thing that will do it justice is a few choice quotes:

The sun kiss scrumptious, sun is nutritious

Yo, the sun could never be pussy, he always come out
He’ll sit right there, even if you pull your gun out
He can never run out, when the lights go out
It Japan’s turn now, the earth has spun around

The sky’s blue, cause the sun hit the water like bing!
A reflection (uh-huh) and that’s all it is (word)
You can’t stare at him long, cause your face’ll do like this

Check out my nephew…
He always begging me to let him see you
I’m like “probably if you clean up, and read a little”
You make people eyes glow
You got the weather channel bugging and you stubborn when it snow

The way the world look when you around
Prisoners get out, look up, run at you and then kiss the ground

Slick Rick:
Isn’t it cool how it spreads joy, hons lay in it
And it’s hard to go back to work, when your lunch breaks finished

The delivery is also priceless especially the “sunnn!….sun sunnn!!” in the background at 1:29.

>> songs are available for two weeks [4.9 MB]

A Little Bit of Love
Brenda Russell
Brenda Russell, 1979

bio | discography

I’ve been meaning to post this song for so long that I had to check to see if I had already posted it. This is another jewel gleaned from a late night with Monk One at Black Betty but this one is much more hopeful and summery.

Brenda Russell is best known for her smooth-jazz-meets-80s hit “Piano in the Dark” (1988). Sadly, as is so often the case, “Piano” was the format-driven material that followed after the unique, more textured material (like this song) went largely ignored.

This is definitely one of those tracks that I would have loved to be in the room during the recording session. The Doublerock Baptist Junior Choir are singing backup from 2:35 to the end and I love the image I get of them filing into the studio off of the church bus after rehearsing this secular song at the church.

Don’t miss 1998′s biggest sample in the intro.

>> songs are available for two weeks [6.6 MB]

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