The Duke of Burlington: Slot Machine
From S/T (Joker, 1970)
Enrique Lynch: Al Ritmo Del Bump Bump
From Bailemos Bump Bump (Sono Radio, 197?)
Paul Guma Quartet: Black Fox
From New Sounds Over New Orleans (Top of the Mart, 197?)
When is a cover not a cover? In the case of these three songs, it’s when they’re uncredited covers, i.e. songs that clearly *cough cough* borrow from better known tunes but don’t go out of their way to actually acknowledge this. In some cases, especially the second and third songs, there’s an argument to be made that they’re not outright cover versions but they’re close enough for most to ID. Note: none of this is meant as a critique – I actually like surprises like this since you can’t always tell what’s on an album simply by reading a tracklisting.
The Duke of Burlington was an Italian outfit that specialized in instrumental tunes – I can’t recall if they recorded any library albums but their music is along those lines. They had two LPs that I know of and this, their self-titled, has the better songs (though their second album wasn’t bad) including “Slot Machine” which is a cover of “Look-a-py-py” by The Meters. I think the organ works better here than the acoustic piano but the song’s not a bad flip on the original.
The Enrique Lynch is an interesting song – I assume it was a minor hit in Peru since I know of at least one other Peruvian artist, Otto De Rojas, who’s recorded the same tune. Either way, the song isn’t quite a note-for-note cover of “Soulful Strut” by Young Holt-Unlimited but it’s too to be a coincidence either. It’s a fun track – I like the festive spirit.
Last up: NOLA guitarist Paul Guma and his quartet from a private press jazz album recorded for the (now defunct) Top of the Mark restaurant in New Orleans. “Black Fox” is my favorite of this trio – a riff on Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” that manages to stray far enough away at times to be its own song though still incorporating some of the chord changes we associated with Withers’ classic. It’s just really well executed, especially with putting Guma’s guitar forward and letting the rest of the quartet create a bed of sound behind him.