Ray Alexander Technique: My Special One
I Don’t Bite
From Let’s Talk (Harlem Sound, 1970)
Arguably one of the best independent label soul releases of the early 1970s, the Ray Alexander Technique was lead by guitarist Alexander and despite being a solidly soul/funk album, most of the musicians who played on here seemed to come more from the jazz world including organist Billy Gardner and pianist George Stubbs.
If the credits are to be believed, the vocalist isn’t Alexander but Chris Bartley, formerly of the Ad Libs and someone with a few 7″s to his name prior to rolling with The Technique. Edit: according to musician Ron Mack, who posted in the comments, Alexander also sang lead with Chris Bartley singing backup.
The single off here was “Let’s Talk” which came out on 7″ and the LP features both the vocal and instrumental version but to be honest: it’s just not my bag even though it’s a perfectly serviceable mid-tempo funk cut. Instead, like many, I instantly gravitated to “My Special One” and its luscious opening guitars and piano. It’s very lo-fi which somehow enhances the song, reminding me a little of Guitar Red, albeit without the synths.
Right up there with “My Special One” is the mid-tempo crossover track, “I Don’t Bite” (always a good opening line when kicking game to someone).
Oh, and did I mention how kick ass the album cover art is?