NUBIAN SMACKERS

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Roy Meriwether: Nubian Lady
From Nubian Lady/Live at the Magic Carpet (Stinger, 1973)

Just read the other day that Nature Sounds is reissuing Roy Meriwether’s 1973 private press jazz LP, Nubian Lady. I assumed I probably posted about this at some point but as it turns out…nope.

Nubian Lady sits somewhere in the pantheon of soul-jazz recordings alongside Nathan Davis’s If and The Overton Berry Ensemble’s live album. I have a very soft spot for acoustic soul-jazz – which it a slight breed apart from […]

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45 King/Take 6: Spread Love
From white label 12″ (198?). Also on The Bezo Meko EP

We had a good run with Beat Week, no? Alas, all good things come to an end so here it is – the final installment. It just seemed wrong to have something called “beat week” and not offer some hip-hop in the mix and if there was ever a beat worthy of praise, it’s Mark the 45 King and one of his most infamous bootlegs: “Spread Love.” The King […]

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BEAT WEEK BONUS: DOUBLE UP

A bizarre avant garde drum composition named after, well, a vegetable. And not one of my favorite vegetables at that. It appears on Mills College’s label which often embraced experimental and avant garde work. From what I can figure out, the drummer recorded this smashing break and then looped it and then, he replayed them side by side but slightly out of speed-synch with each other so that gradually, as the song unfolds, the beats fall out of phase and begin to clash and create interesting sets of polyrhythms. […]

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BEAT WEEK: HEART AND SOUL

Ebony Rhythm Band: Soul Heart Transplant & Light My Fire
From Soul Heart Transplant: The LAMP Sessions (Stonesthrow, 2004)

ED: I posted this a few weeks back and was about to take the link down but I realized it was perfectly apt for Beat Week so I’m bringing it back as a bonus post. Hope you enjoy. And seriously: Buy this album. It kicks major ass.

Step 1: Buy this album.

Step 2: Listen to drummer Matthew “Phatback” Watson.

Step 3: Get mind blown.

The first time I heard Indianapolis’ Ebony Rhythm […]

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BEAT WEEK: POLE POSITION

Czerwone Gitary: Bylas Mej Pamieci Wierszem
From Rytm Ziemi (Muza, 1974)

In our last Beat Week post, we visited the Danes – this time, it’s the Polish. I’ve always found it amazing that despite being behind the Iron Curtain for the better part of the 1960s and ’70s, the output of Polish jazz and rock, especially on the labels Muza and Polskie, was downright stunning.

Muza, in particular, was a wealth of innovative music (hint: potential future theme week) and there is no shortage of interesting music […]

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BEAT WEEK: GREAT DANES

Bjarne Rosvold & Perry Knudsen: Magonde

Available on Copenhagen Dancefloor Classics II

European jazz and soul have been a fascination of mine – when the Groove Merchant’s Cool Chris first suggested to me that this might be the next big collector’s craze, my initial reaction was, “European funk? C’mon – you’re kidding right” but in those young, naive days of mine (ok, this was in 2000), I just didn’t realize how massively deep the European scene goes. After all, it is, ya know, a continent. One with quite excellent taste in American music […]

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BEAT WEEK: DOWN AND DIRTY

Wayne McGhie and the Sounds of Joy: Dirty Funk
From Wayne McGhie & The Sounds of J oy (Birchmount/Light in the Attic, 1970/2004)

Day Four of Beat Week: We take a trip up north to highlight some obscure Toronto funk (is that redundant?), recently resurfacing on Seattle’s Light in the Attic imprint. “Dirty Funk” sounds like an A-list Meters cut but from southern Canada rather than the American south.

The rumored backstory on this song and the album it’s from is that most copies of the LP […]

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BEAT WEEK: SOUL SEEKER

Jake Wade and the Soul Searchers: Searching For Soul
From 7″ (Mutt, 196/7?)

Day Three of Beat Week: A trip to Motown’s Mutt Records imprint and “Searching for Soul” by Jake Wade and the Soul Searchers.

When someone talks about “heavy drums” and you’re unsure what they mean, just listen to this 7″. The kick and snare on this slow and powerful funk bomb couldn’t be any heavier if the drummer was using lead sticks. Why these dudes searching for soul – they found it!

BEAT WEEK: ‘ROUND MIDNIGHT

Manzel: Midnight Theme (Dopebrother 7″ remix)
From 7″ and Midnight Theme (Dope Brother, 2004)

Day Two of Beat Week brings us one of the more famed breakbeats out there: Manzel’s “Midnight Theme.”

Calling someone’s drums “crisp” is a total cliche but seriously, listen to this and tell me what other word fits as well? The Kenny Dope remix of this obscure disco single extends the intro drum break and engineers it to such perfection you’d swear the drummer was sitting behind you. And yeah, the drums are crisp! Take your style guides […]

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BEAT WEEK: HERE COME THE DRUMS


Eugene Blacknell and the New Breed: Gettin’ Down
From 7″ (Seaside, 196?)

It’s Beat Week here at Soul Sides, where every day for the next seven, we’ll be posting up a song that’s all about smacking you in the head with a percussive blast that rips through your frame and leaves you panting for just one more (snare) hit. In honor of the fact that Soul Sides is probably about to get a ton of traffic courtesy Rolling Stone, I figured I might as well do something […]

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