Groove On 5
Vol 5 of Bella’s Radio show for the Corona time brought to you by Stewart Bremner.
Welcome to Episode 5 of Groove on, your musical excursion away from the difficulties of reality. It kicks off with ‘Kaneda’ by Geinoh Yamashirogumi, the opening piece of music from the soundtrack to the 1988 film Akira.
On this episode we’ll be exploring a wider range of styles than previously, making this a bit less funky and maybe a bit weirder. We continue to do that with ‘He’s A Superstar’ by Sofa Surfers Meets Roy Ayers, a 1999 remix of the 1972 vibraphone-led jazz funk original. It’s followed by that certain special strange something that The Doors had with ’Not To Touch The Earth’, a standout track from their third album.
Another turn into something different follows with ‘Donation’ by indie pop band The Wonder Stuff, from Never Loved Elvis – also from their third album – and continues with one more soundtrack number, this time ‘Violet Beauregarde’ by Danny Elfman from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. A funky little piece, the oddities of this song mark it as a composition by Elfman, who is better known his work on Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice and The Simpsons.
We stick loosely with funk for ’Skull Session’ by Oliver Nelson, a synth-led jazz funk/jazz fusion piece from an otherwise forgettable album. However we get back to the contrasts with ‘Vendetta’ by Fantômas. Something of a metal supergroup, this piece is from the excellent Director’s Cut, which features their unique takes on a collection of thriller and horror film themes.
More oddness follows with another cover, a sitar-led version of the Rolling Stones ’Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ by Ananda Shankar. It’s taken his 1970 self-titled debut that is thought to be the first album in the rock format by an Indian performer.
Over next to something that really swings, with ’Just A Gigolo / I Ain’t Got Nobody’ by Louis Prima & His New Orleans Gang, a medley that in part is a joyous celebration of being on your own and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. That’s followed with more funk, this time by none other than Lulu! She recorded ‘Feeling Alright’ at the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in 1969.
The funk continues with the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, performing ’Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose’ with The J.B.’s (sic). You can find this on the essential James Brown compilation In A Jungle Groove, that highlights the best of Brown’s work at his peak in the late sixties and early seventies. And keep on your dancing shoes for the following track, a cover of Sam & Dave’s soul classic ’Hold On, I’m Comin’’ by hammond jazzer Reuben Wilson.
After that, it’s time to take things down a notch. ’Hang On In There Baby’ is a smooth seventies soul number by Motown composer and producer Johnny Bristol. We then continue the laid back vibe with ‘Hardtimes’ by Jamaican-born British roots reggae singer Pablo Gad. Ravers might recognise the portion of this song was sampled by The Prodigy.
Next, if you’ve ever wondered what hard bop jazz and traditional Greek music would sound like in a blender – and who hasn’t? – then wonder no more and marvel at ’Nica’ by Phil Woods. From there, it’s over to straightforward jazz with the magnificent ‘The Kid From Red Bank’ by Count Basie & His Orchestra. You can find this on his landmark 1957 album The Atomic Mr Basie.
The final track on this episode of Groove On does not go quietly into the night. It is the phenomenal ’Shoot Speed/Kill Light’, the last track on Primal Scream’s mighty Xtmntr.
Until next time…