SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION: JAZZ-FONK

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Spontaneous Combustion: Steppin’ Loose (Spontaneous Combustion, 1979, 7″)

Jazz-funk single out of St. Louis.

I certainly don’t go out of my way to collect jazz-funk records the way I used to back in the late ’90s and early ’00s but I still have a soft spot for the sound. From what I can gather, this is Freddy G. “Boom Boom” Washington’s outfit, back when he was based in St. Louis.

365 Days of Soul, #51

JO JO SMITH: BUST A COMBO

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Jo Jo Smith: Combinations (Hoctor, 197?, Jazz Dance Today)

Jazz dance instructional album.

There’s at least three kinds of collectible Hoctor LPs: the ones where then-current pop songs were being covered, the ones where folks created original songs, and then these: the most “dance instructional” ones where where you have long tracks that don’t function so much as conventional songs as they rhythm tracks for dancers to practice over. And in that regard, this album is one of the best you’ll find by Hoctor. Breaks, piano, […]

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SUPER JAZZ DES JEUNES: HAITIANO/CUBANO JAZZ

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Super Jazz Des Jeunes: Ti Grog Moin (IBO, 1963, 20ème Anniversaire)

Afro-Cuban jazz out of Haiti.

One of Haiti’s big orchestra/jazz outfits, dating back to the 1940s. Supposedly inventors of what became called “Voudou jazz.” I love this track’s combo of slow grooving Cuban rhythms and the big brass section.

18/365

BERLIN TOWNSHIP ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BAND: KID BOP

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Berlin Township Elementary School Stage Band: Salsoul Hustle (private, 1977, A Rhythm Fiesta)

Private press elementary school stage band album out of Camden, New Jersey.

I don’t know about the bands at your elementary school, but these NJ kids were kind of killing it. At this point in the ’70s, stage bands everywhere were playing with funky/fusion tunes but I’m most impressed at the mature sense of polyrhythm this group already had at an early age.

16/365

MELODIYA ENSEMBLE: EASTERN GROOVES

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Melodiya Ensemble: Why Am I Treated So Bad? (Melodiya, 1973)

Soviet jazz album.

Melodiya was the state-run music label in the USSR and the Melodiya Ensemble was made up of musicians taken from across the Soviet empire in that era. Apparently, Cold War tensions weren’t so great to stop these folks from recording any number of Western tunes, including “Aquarius” and this, a cover of the Staple Singers (though I feel like the band was likely more under the sway of the James Brown version).

11/365

GRAB BAG – FEB. 2014

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Dagnabbit, I meant to do one of these for January but then the month up and flew by me and now it’s the end of February. Anyways…for this month’s grab bag, I’m still drawing from some leftovers from 2013 that I’m only now catching up on plus the usual assortments of recent arrivals and the like.

Art Farmer: Soulsides
From Gentle Eyes (Mainstream, 1972)

Ok…so I only just got this album recently despite the fact that it has a song called “Soulsides”. I mean, I’m pretty sure I heard […]

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PRIVATE PILE: SNOW TO RAIN

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BJ Coulson: Squib Cakes + When I’m Kissin’ My Love
From Live at the Elkhorn (Edgar, 197?)

So I was hanging out with my friend Andy last night and he and his partner Lisa spend a lot up of time up in Idaho (long story). Anyways, Andy is a consummate digger, especially with thrift stores and he was saying, “hey, I have this LP for you that I always see in the thrift stores up there. It’s this really bad, private press lounge album.”

(Note: in most cases, all you […]

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GRAB BAG (DEC 2013)

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Earwaves: Young Girls In Mini-Skirts
From S/T (Surrend, 1984)

Earwaves was a short-lived S.F. group that grew out of another short-lived S.F. band: C.P. Salt; I got interested in both because half their personnel was Chinese American including “Hugh Dong” (yeah, I know what you’re thinking). C.P. Salt had more of a boogie feel but as you can hear here, Earwaves had more of a funky new wave style, especially in those crazy synths.

Chano Scotty and His Combo Society: Bossa-a-Go-Go + Consolacion
From The New […]

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REVISITS

Reflections

In my last Shades of Soul show, I included a few records that I’ve been waiting to share for a while. I thought I’d some additional details on a few choice tracks. Here’s the show again:

Shades of Soul EP 1.4 by Oliver Wang on Mixcloud

3:50 Michigan & Smiley: Tom’s Diner
From Reality Must Rule Again (VP, 1991?)

Cool Chris had this one waiting in the wings the last time I was up in the Bay; he […]

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SHADES OF SOUL EP 1.4: THE KITCHEN SINK

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The latest episode of Shades of Soul (broadcast live on Radio Sombra) is dedicated to records that I file under “the kitchen sink,” i.e. the weird and wonderful records whether we’re talking unexpected remixes/mash-ups, quirky covers, or just plain WTF tunes.

Shades of Soul EP 1.4 by Oliver Wang on Mixcloud

To see the playlist, visit our Radio Sombra […]

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