quarta-feira, agosto 26, 2009

1076. James Brown - 70's Funk Classics

I mention Respectables a lot on here, but there was another great bar in the downtown WPB area (the only other one as a matter of fact), owned by the same guy called Lost Weekends. I'd go a lot with Rob, get pitchers of beer and play pool. I was meant to go there, the first girl I dated, Melanie, snuck me in, her room mate was the bouncer, I was 19 I think. Since then I always made it in no problem. They had 8 or so pool tables and arcades - they also had a hell of a jukebox and Rob always played James Brown. So I had to run out and get something, being broke I got this cheap compilation - but it's still good because it's the godfather.

8 out of 10

1075. James Brown - Soul on Top

On vinyl I have a few James Brown LPs and I have yet to hear a bad one. On CD I just have this and a greatest hits and this album is a POWERHOUSE!!! JB is in full force with such energy, strength in his voice - he's backed with a thick, funky band and full orchestra, tackling both soul and big band classics. They're will for sure never be another like him.

10 out of 10

1074. Curtis Mayfield - Curtis/Live!

It's a shame I missed the whole classic new york live music scene. Sure I've seen some amazing bands in the city and in brooklyn over the years - mainly indie stuff, but man it must have been great to see coltrane at the village vanguard, or odetta at town hall, and Curtis Mayfield, at the bitter end! I've been by there a billion times, and the place doesn't have anybody of that stature playing there - most manhattan live clubs have either closed or been forced to book cover bands or bar band types especially since the once creative, cultural nabes in the les and west village are now ridden with tourists and nyc transports who are importing their favorite brand of bland.

But onto the disc - curtis sings and plays like a soulful slinky, roaming around in any formation down any note creating a sound that is only his and sounds completely fluid and natural - pulling you in from the opening note. A live classic.

8.7 out of 10

quinta-feira, agosto 20, 2009

1073. Bill Withers - Live at Carnegie Hall

Shit. Bill Withers is the man. He has funk, soul, attitude and grace. He's the real deal. I'm in awe.

8.9 out of 10

quarta-feira, agosto 12, 2009

1072. Baby Huey - The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend

Not sure what the Baby Huey story is but he is definitely a legend. Mixing live cuts and studio tracks this compilation of sorts gives a glimpse into Huey - a funky, talented performer and composer who wore his heart on his sleeve. Great stuff.

7.9 out of 10

1071. Shuggie Otis - Inspiration Information

This was my first proper introduction to Shuggie (thank you Mr. Byrne), and although I recognized a few tracks I was still blown away by how great he was and how little I knew of him. Aht Uh Mi Hed, Not Available, Inspiration Information, Strawberry Letter 23 and Sweet Thang are fanfuckingtastic. Since, I've gone back and picked up a few of his records on vinyl and those are true gems...

8.4 out of 10

1070. Antony & The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now

I love soul. I love all kinds of soul - the only off shoot I often struggle with is neo soul. All the new stuff always feels too polished, too shallow and not authentic. Many of you may feel like this album isn't soul - and maybe it isn't technically - but underneath that wavering voice lies what I love about soul: happiness, sadness, hope and warmth.

8.3 out of 10

terça-feira, agosto 11, 2009

1069. Maxwell - MTV Unplugged

I saw this on tv back in the day and was floored by his cover of Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" - outside of that I had never heard of him before. As far as neo soul goes, Maxwell is the real deal. His cover/reinterpretation of "Closer" by NIN is pretty inspired.

8 out of 10

terça-feira, agosto 04, 2009

1068. Terry Callier - Alive

Terry Callier is probably the artist that every artist would like to be - the man is an instrument from which sounds are made, instruments are played and emotions dealt. He can light up a room by himself and a guitar - even without the guitar - he's just transcendental. Seriously.

8.4 out of 10