Caesar Frazier: Funk It Down & Sweet Children
From 75 (Westbound, 1975)
As is general policy around here at S.S., I try to avoid doing posts that are purely based on samples but I admit the genesis for today’s songs is directly inspired by sampling. I had been meaning to post up songs off this LP at some point but it was resting on the back burner until I was listening to Common’s new Be and the song, “Real People.” I knew I had heard the music on there somewhere and it was tickling me until I finally figured it out: it was Frazier’s “Sweet Children.”
Frazier was a studio organist back in the ’70s who did work with Prestige, Atlantic, Westbound and Eastbound. His LP on Eastbound is more rare than this one but it’s also, in my opinion, inferior besides an “ok” cover of “Hikky Burr.” 75 on the other hand just has better songs, including “Funk It Down” which has clearly been a favorite of DJ Premier since he’s used two different samples off the same song (and in fact, he also used another song off this LP for an Arrested Development remix he did a while back). It is, of course, all about the bridge on “Funk It Down” though it opens nicely too but you can’t f— with the chorus. Gorgeous.
“Sweet Children” also opens beautifully, especially the first minute or so with that soaring saxophone and the funky horn section plus all those soft keyboard tones melding in. I initially thought Frazier was rocking a Rhodes here but I’m not positive it’s not an organ or synth. The song, to me, gets just a tad noodly a few minutes in but believe me, I’m not mad at it. For some reason, the sound of this song really gives me flashbacks to my childhood in the ’70s – shag carpeting, full mirror bars, the Hustle, you name it.