Groove On 3
Vol 3 of Bella’s Radio show for the Corona time brought to you by Stewart Bremner.
We begin with ‘Club Gabardino’ by the Langorns. Ostensibly surf music, this track from the Swedish group’s second album, released in 1999, moves outside the confines of that genre to include some lounge and exotica influences.
Staying with the slightly exotic, the next track is ‘Twisting With James’ by Monty Norman from the first James Bond film, Dr. No. It’s typical of a soundtrack that is not your usual James Bond fare, featuring some Jamaican influences, as well as some twisty jazz.
There’s more twisty jazz next with ‘Frankie Mc’ by Don Patterson, from his 1963 album Going Down Home. A pretty nice piece of swinging, hammond-led jazz, this was released on legendary Blues label Chess Records’ subsidiary Cadet.
We stay in Chicago but move from jazz to soul for ‘Mighty Mighty (Spade And Whitey)’ by The Impressions. A classic vocal soul group, the leader of the band was Curtis Mayfield, who went on to have a successful solo career in the seventies, particularly with his deeply funky soundtrack to the film Superfly.
There’s a deeply funky soundtrack next with ‘Quiller’ by Quiller. A band that really never existed, this is probably a piece of bought-in library music that was used as the theme tune to a programme called Quiller and was released as a 45 on BBC Records in 1975.
More of the same follows, with ‘Moneyrunner’ by Quincy Jones from the soundtrack to the film $. While the film is mostly forgotten, Quincy Jones is most definitely not. A musician, composer, producer and a legend in his own lifetime, Jones’ achievements include producing and composing for Frank Sinatra, producing Michael Jackson’s Thriller and, of course, the Fresh Price of Bel-Air.
A change of direction, next, with ‘Stay Away Joe’ by Elvis. It’s from an album called Almost In Love, a compilation of songs from Elvis’ sixties films. While most of the songs from Elvis’ sixties films were as bad as the films themselves, this song and album are actually pretty good.
Back to the funk next, with ‘Hit The Wall’ by The Future Shock, a 45 from 1995.
Up next is ‘Ode To Billy Joe’ by Doc Severinsen & His Sweetheart Band. These guys were the house band for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in the seventies. The track is a flat-out funky rip through a Bobbie Gentry song that has been covered countless times, although maybe never as well as here. The trumpet, in particular, is on fire.
From the seventies, we travel a decade back for two of the swingingest sixties tunes you will ever hear. First is ‘Indian Ropeman’ by Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity, a ridiculously good cover of a Richie Havens song. It’s followed by the hard-driving ‘I’m A Man’ by the Spencer Davis Group.
Calming down after that intense blast, we take a moment to enjoy ‘Sabrosa’ by The Beastie Boys. A lovely, laid back bit of funk from their landmark 1994 album Ill Communication.
We stay in that relaxed mood for a chilled and soulful piece of electronica called ‘Moving Together’ by Noiseshaper. It’s followed by some equally chilled hip hop, ‘The Truth’ by Handsome Boy Modelling School – a track from a project put together by producers Prince Paul and Dan the Automator with a wide variety of guests. This track features Róisín Murphy of Moloko.
There’s even more laid back electronic next with ‘Tippy Tippy Toe’ by Crackpot, a 45 from Tummy Touch records in 2001.
Next up is ‘Catchfire’ by The Jesus And Mary Chain from Honey’s Dead, their 1992 album that has more of a dancier feeling than their earlier, guitar-apocalyptic work.
We stay with the darkness on the next track, with ‘Red Right Hand’ by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. A favourite among long-time Cave fans, this track has a great bass line and one of the best uses of a tubular bell in popular music.
This episode of Groove On ends with two tracks that are hard to define. First is ‘You Goin’ Miss Your Candyman’ by Terry Callier. Is it folk, is it blues or is it soul? It’s hard to say. It’s followed by ‘Dry The Rain’ by The Beta Band. Is it folk, is it rock or is it electronica? Who can tell. In their own way, these are two beautiful tracks. Enjoy!