James Brown and the most amazing backup band in the world tear up two of his classic hits.
Lynn Williams may not be someone you have heard of but her pedigree is strong. Her father was Hank Ballard (of King and James Brown Fame) and her mother was 60s Miami Radio Personality and dance group leader Vanilla ”Miss Boom Boom” Williams. Lynn cut 5 Excellent 7”s for various Henry Stone owned Miami labels in the 70s here we present her two most collectable. The first ‘It Takes Two’ is a smokey deepfunk killer that would cost you £1000 any day of the week for good reason. On the flip “Don’t be Surprised” is one of Miami’s best ever deep soul records period, a dark serious ballad pulled off with amazing emotion considering her young years at the time of recording.
If Ginger Johnson is a source of inspiration to Afrobeat legend Tony Allen, you know this single is going to be good, and Ginger does not disappoint. This is raw proto-Afrobeat from around 1967, full of percussive power. From the Bandcamp site:
In 2015, Freestyle Records re-issued the groundbreaking ‘African Party’ album by the somewhat mysterious figure of Ginger (George Folunsho) Johnson. Recorded in 1967, nearly 20 years after he first arrived in post war London and immediately began performing and recording with London jazz stalwarts Ronnie Scott and Pete King.
Credited by those in the know (including Giles Peterson, Louie Vega, Fela Kuti’s drummer Tony Allen & writer David Toop) as the godfather of Afrobeat, Ginger and his group, The African Messengers enjoyed a varied career as the go to afro-cuban percussion group for recording sessions in the UK, working with Georgie Fame, Osibisa, Madeleine Bell and Quincy Jones – as well as acting us mentor to a young Fela Kuti and members of Cymande who cut their teeth as members of his ensemble. They also performed at The Royal Variety Performance, Ginger’s music featured in the James Bond film ‘Live & Let Die’ and Ginger himself appears on screen drumming in the Hammer Films cult classic ‘She’, and famously performed with The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park in 1969.
Aside from ‘African Party’, and several Hi Life singles released on the Melodisc label in the 50’s, it was thought that there were no further recordings by this hugely influential musician . Eventually, prompted by the attention afforded the Freestyle re-issues – Ginger’s son Dennis Dee Mac Johnson was contacted by was contacted by Uchenna Ikonne, a renowned African music collector, who told him he had discovered one rather battered original copy of a 45 single, released in the mid 70’s on the short lived ‘Afrodesia’ label,
For Record Store Day 2019, Freestyle are proud to release the 2 tracks on a fresh vinyl 45. ‘Witchdoctor’ is not the track of the same name on African Party, but it and ‘Nawa’ (written by Dizzy Gillespie cohort Chano Pozo) demonstrate a musical progression as funk had stamped it’s indelible footprint on Ginger’s music along with afro-cuban rhythms and jazz.
Thanks to Claudio Passavanti at Doctor Mix Studios in London, who has done quite an amazing restoration and re-mastering job on this long lost music.
Watch ‘The Story Of Ginger Johnson’ mini documentary by clicking HERE!
Though I’m enthralled with library music at the moment, thanks to my friend Chris, who has served as a bit of a guru for me, I’m disappointed to see that there isn’t much in the way of literature documenting how these classic discs came to be. Thankfully, through the work of labels like BBE Music, we’re being treated to some remarkable compilations, giving a synopsis of the brilliant music we managed to miss out on.
From the Bandcamp site:
Join two of BBE’s most prolific artists and compilers, Mr Thing & Chris Read on a voyage into the mysterious, strange and wonderful world of Library Music, courtesy of Cavendish Music. Founded in 1937 and originally known as Boosey & Hawkes Recorded Music Library, Cavendish Music is the largest independent Library Music publisher in the UK and also represents a host of music catalogues across the globe.
During the Library Music heyday of the 60s and 70s, thousands of original instrumental tracks were produced across a broad range of genres for companies like Cavendish, who then created vinyl and tape collections, often arranged by theme or mood, for their customers in radio, television and film. Cult British TV shows such as The Sweeney and The Professionals as well as documentaries and feature films relied heavily on these catalogues, and companies like KPM, De Wolfe and Boosey & Hawkes went a long way toward defining the sound of British popular culture at the time.
Never commercially available, music created for these libraries that never made it to the promised land of TV or Radio was destined to languish in Cavendish Music’s vast London vault; only recently unearthed by a new generation of DJs and producers searching for rare gems or a perfect sample.
Mr Thing & Chris Read were first invited to examine the contents of the Cavendish Music archive in 2014 as part of WhoSampled’s ‘Samplethon’ event in which producers created new tracks against the clock using sample material mined from the catalogue. Whilst digging through box upon box of records and tapes looking for interesting sounds, the pair also discovered a host of 70s library music which has not only stood the test of time, but deserves to be heard in its original form.
From dramatic big band numbers reminiscent of Lalo Schifrin’s film scores to atmospheric proto-hip hop instrumentals produced before the genre’s existence, right through to fairly straightforward jazz and funk cuts; this amazing collection of music is sure to inspire and delight DJs and beatmakers the world over.
Black Pearl deserves high praise for releasing this retrospective series on some of the wildest funk, psychedelic, beat and jazz records to come out of Turkey. The names aren’t famous, but damn it, they should be.
From Black Pearl’s Bandcamp site:
A wide selection of rare Turkish funk, jazz, beat and psychedelic music from the 1970s.
This is the 3rd issue of the groundbreaking Bosporus Bridges compilation series, started in 2005 with Vol. 1 and continued in 2011 with Vol. 2.
Why did it take so long for the release of Vol. 3? Because deep digging, deep selecting and our wish to serve you Turkish pop music of the highest order, simply takes its time. And it is worth doing so. According to the aspiration of the Bosporus Bridges series you will get extraordinary music, opening your mind and remapping your knowledge of Turkish music.
As Turkish pop music is a hybrid of Western and Eastern elements, it’s not just funk, jazz, beat and psychedelic music but each time a specific Turkish approach to a hybrid pop music. This incorporates Turkish language, instruments, melodies etc., all mixed with electric instruments, drums and sound effects of Western pop music.
Exclusively on vinyl we feature 3 tracks, that will be not available digitally of Figen Han with “Pisi Pisi”, Dönüşüm with “Taek-Won-Do” and Burhan Tonguç with “Du-Bi-Ba”.
Enjoy deep Turkish funk by Seyyal Taner, Süheyl Denizci, Cengiz Coskuner and Erkut Taçkın, Turkish jazz by the Burhan Tonguç Ritm Grubu and Figen Han, Turkish beat by Lili Ivanova, Ajda Pekkan and Fatoş Balkır, Turkish psychedelic by Semra Sine, Serter Bağcan and Harout Pamboukjian, and Turkish-Asian rock by Dönüşüm & Halit Kakınç.
High-Quality LP vinyl pressing with restored and remastered audio material of the original records. Comes in a wonderful, authentic and special seventies old-fashioned cover.
Alemayehu Eshete has been considered the golden voice of Ethiopia for nearly sixty years. Thanks to Germany’s Philophon Records, we will be hearing more of his music. This is a old track which was re-done with Philophon’s house band, maintaining the spirit of the original but updating the sound quite a bit.