FROM NOWHERE

Al Hirt: Harlem Hendoo
From Soul in the Horn (RCA, 1967)

De La Soul: Ego Trippin’ Pt. 2
From Buhloone Mindstate (Tommy Boy, 1993) (Also on Tommy Boy 12″)

The Roots: Stay Cool
From The Tipping Point (Geffen, 2004)

“Harlem Hendoo” is one of those songs that appears out of nowhere – no one would really expect Mr. Honey in the Horn Al Hirt to generate such a magical, mystical soul tune but there it is, on his Soul of the Horn (by the way, this album is extraordinarily hard to find for a Hirt LP). It is such a curious composition – playing Hirt’s trumpet off a harpsichord of all things and there’s that tinkling bell that sounds off at key moments. I find this tune absolutely sublime but it might have languished in complete obscurity had it not been for Prince Paul and De La Soul who lifted its beguiling melody for their “Ego Trippin’ Pt. 2”. They speed it up a bit, make the song feel faster but there’s no mistaking the horns and the jangling ‘chord in the background. Most recently, The Roots’ resurrect “Harlem Hendoo” for “Stay Cool” off their upcoming Tipping Point album. Clearly a nod to their De La mentors but also just a sign of good taste as they give a great song some further mileage

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