Groove On 9
It’s Groove On Episode 9, where we’ll be getting to back to basics with groovy, and mostly vintage, music. Join us!
Setting the pace for this episode is Roy Budd with his excellent film theme ‘Get Carter’. From darkest England, we travel to Hawaii for ‘Hunk Of Heaven’ by Lemuria, a fine piece of late seventies funk. We stay with the funk for ‘House Of The Rising Funk’ by Afrique, featuring a big dose of wah-wah guitar and a ton of brass. It’s followed by even more funk with ‘Greedy G’ by the Brentford All-Stars. More or less the house band for Jamaica’s Studio One record label, this track is not your every day piece of funk. Similarly, ‘Space Shuttle’ by Buddy Rich is not your every day piece of jazz, featuring some squealing brass and Rich’s death-defying drumming.
We move into more modern times with another jazz track, ‘Work It!’ by Cinematic Orchestra. It’s from their 2002 album Man With The Movie Camera, a soundtrack they composed for a re-release the groundbreaking 1929 documentary film of the same name. Another electronic piece follows in the shape of Goldfrapp’s ‘Lovely 2 C U’, that shows off certain late disco influences, leading nicely into another electronic track, the fiercely disco-influenced, ‘(I Need The) Disco Doctor’ by Space Raiders, a late period big beat tune from 1999.
Next up is ‘Bongolia’ by Michael Viner’s Incredible Bongo Band, a track from their heavily-sampled album Bongo Rock from 1972. Even funkier is ‘Are You Man Enough?’ by The Four Tops, a great piece of blaxploitation soul from the film Shaft In Africa.
Three cover versions in a row come next, beginning with Mongo Santamaria’s latin jazz take on ‘The Letter’, originally performed by The Box Tops. It’s followed by garage rock legends The Sonics and their version of Barrett Strong’s ‘Money’, written by Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jr. Last of the three is Creedence Clearwater Revival with their swamp rock take on Wilson Picket’s ‘99½ (Won’t Do)’, which was co-written with Steve Cropper.
On the subject of Steve Cropper, next up is ‘Hip Hug-Her’ by Booker T. & The MGs, the Stax Records house band he co-founded. Then we kick back with something more relaxed, in the shape of ‘Executive Party’ by André Previn, a nice bit of synth-led, laid back funk from the film Rollerball.
Staying in the laid back vibe, we have ‘Chase The Devil’ by roots reggae singer Max Romeo, recorded and produced by Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, who at one time worked at Studio One records. The vibe continues with something blue and soulful, ‘Drownin’ On Dry Land’ by jazz organist Jimmy McGriff and blues singer Junior Parker. Brother Jack McDuff, another jazz organist, is up next with ‘Hunk O’ Funk’, possibly the funkiest song recorded on Blue Note Records.
Even deeper and more soulful is unquestionably the best track ever recorded by unquestionably the best guitarist ever: ’Machine Gun’ by Jimi Hendrix, a stunningly powerful anti-war statement from his Band of Gypsys live album.
We close this episode with a song made popular by Elvis. This original version of ‘One Night’ by Smiley Lewis is, however, far less polite.