GRAB BAG – FEB. 2014


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 this at some point in the ’90s but before there was “my” Soul Sides (and in any case, as folks should know, the original inspiration for this blog title was the label Sole Sides rather than this song. But yeah, really embarrassing late pass.

The Underachievers: Land of Lords
From Indigoism (2013)

I know: this is a year old now but I didn’t peep much by them until I was listening to my dude Hua’s “best of 2013” playlist and my first thought was “wait, cats are still flipping “MontaraandSynthetic Substitution” in 2013? Word? The Underachievers (Issa Dash and Ak) hail from Flatbush and I can only presume they grew up on Da Beatminerz and other golden era production given their own inclination towards that style (when they’re not rolling with Flying Lotus and his camp). Those collisions of style make for an interesting mixtape, half of which sounds straight throwback-to-93 but the other half being far more in the moment. (At least on this project, I prefer the former but I’m old).

Action Bronson & Party Supplies: Midget Cough
From Blue Chips 2 (2013)

“Heavily derivative” might be an understatement but at this point, I don’t give a f—. I’m not mad at Bronsalini, especially when he’s spitting hot lava over Filipino soul-jazz tracks.

Wendy Alleyne and the Dynamics: He’s So Fine
From 7″ (Dobby’s Music Fair, 196?)

Jamaican cover of “He’s So Fine” that really highlights how much “My Sweet Lord” borrowed from this girl group classic.

Thunder Head: And I Need You
From 7″ (Charm, 196?)

You need more druggy psych slow jams in your life. Start here. So heavy.

Manual B. Holcolm & His Band: I Stayed Away Too Long
From 7″ (Diamond Jim, 1969). Also on Searching For Soul

I’m going to close out with a trio of singles I’ve grabbed from my dude Endo over the last couple of months. First, we have Manual B. Holcolm who does everything you’d want a good funky soul cut to: killer intro, hard, driving drums mixed in well, and set of gutbucket vocals. Flip side is an instrumental version (always fun to find).

Jimmy Nunya: My Sweet Baby
7″ (Salsa Picante, 1980)

Another one I got off of Endo…Nunya is the father one of “Cool” James Todd…he of those that ladies love. Had no idea LL’s dad was a musician and apparently one who was based out in L.A. for a spell since Salsa Picante is a local label out here. “My Sweet Baby” is a solid modern soul ballad – peep all that keyboard work. Nunya does ok but the general vocal effects are more interesting than his voice specifically.

Allen Toussaint: Go Back Home
From 7″ (Alon, 1965).Also on Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky

I’ve been after this one for years but it just doesn’t turn up very often so when I saw a mint copy in Endo’s crates, that sale was automatic. Mid-60s Toussaint..absolutely gorgeous and melancholy. And sure, it doesn’t hurt that Primo merked the flip but truly, the original is a thing of beauty.