2007 - 2020

Groove On 18

Bella’s radio for the lockdown from Stewart Bremner …

Bella Caledonia · Groove On – Episode 18
Episode 18 is bookended by two pieces by Ennio Morricone. The opening one is a delightful, almost whimsical, composition from Once Upon A Time In The West, called ‘Farewell To Cheyenne’. After that we get right into some up tempo numbers and three songs in a row beginning with ‘Honey Hush’ by blues shouter Big Joe Turner, who is best known as the rock & roller who penned and first sang ‘Shake Rattle & Roll’. That’s followed by Willie Mitchell’s ‘Bad Eye’, a soul instrumental in a style similar to Booker T & the MGs, with whom he shared drummer Al Jackson, Jr. Last of the three is ‘Psychotic Reaction’ by Count Five. Recorded in 1966, this came to prominence in 1972 when it was released on the genre-defining garage rock compilation Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968.
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There’s a little more Morricone in the form of extracts from For A Few Dollars More on ‘The Mexican’ by Babe Ruth. This 1972 funk rock recording by the English band became a key sound in early hip hop, being sampled by the likes of Afrika Bambaataa, Funky 4+1 and the Jungle Brothers. Another funky rock number, or rocky funk number, is ‘General Direction’ by Quiller, from 1975. A band that never existed, this was the b-side to a BBC Records 45 that was released from the music used for a cop show called Quiller.
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There’s a brief sojourn into the nineties here, with ‘P.25 London’ by The Black Crowes from their third album, Amorica. Coincidentally, the band are currently on their third reunion. Another band who were fond of borrowing from the past were Led Zeppelin. ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’ from their landmark debut album was written by folk singer Anne Bredon in the fifties, however the notorious band shamefully did not give her credit for it until the eighties.
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‘Hey Rattler / Oh My Lord’ by Dock Reese is an a capella blues piece from an out-of-print album called Great Bluesmen: Recorded Live At The Newport Festivals, Newport, Rhode Island, 1959 to 1965. Released in 1976 by Vanguard Records, this compilation is a stunning record of some of the pioneers of the blues form.
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Clark Terry was a flügelhornist, said to have been an early inspiration of Miles Davis. ‘Electric Mumbles’ is typical of his style of bright and happy jazz and features the mumble vocals for which he was famed.
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Following on from that, there are three more songs in a row that will require you to get your dancing shoes on. First is ‘The Organ Grinder’s Swing’ by Jimmy Smith. Recorded in 1965, this is one of the shortest and hardest swinging organ jazz songs ever. More organ follows, on Ray Charles’ fabulous first hit from 1954, ‘I Got A Woman’. Last of the three is the indispensable ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’ by James Brown, one of the seminal moments in development of funk music.
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A far more laid back funk track is ‘Down Home’ by Nick Ingman, which is utterly crammed full of wah-wah guitar and which can be found on Sound Book Part Two – De Wolfe Music Library & Background Sound. Stranger but still groovy is Lena Horne & Gabor Szabo’s cover of the Beatles ‘Rocky Raccoon’.
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Next we have two songs from 1973. ‘Make Me Believe In You’ is a fabulous seventies soul track by Patti Jo. Written and produced by Curtis Mayfield, this is somehow almost the only song she ever recorded. ‘Do It Fluid’ is by The Blackbyrds, who were so named because they were formed by students of jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd, who performed with them.
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Tenor saxophonist Willis ‘Gator Tail’ Jackson recorded ‘Cryin’’ in 1970, however it is organist Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez who stands out on this number.
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The episode is closed by the second Ennio Morricone piece, ‘The Trio’. From the soundtrack to The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, it is heard here in its full form, which is a little hard to track down. Enjoy!

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