Tonio Rubio: Bass In Action No. 1 + Latin Leitmotif
From Rhythms (Tele Music, 1973)

I didn’t include this in my year-end wrap-up because, technically, it wasn’t a discover; I’ve known about it for years, it just took until now to finally track down a copy. As I’ve written in the past, I’m not a heavy library collector by any means but there are a few titles that I’ve chased throughout the years, none more so than this Tele Music title from Tonio Rubio. In terms of sheer bang-for-buck, I’d rank this as high as any library LP out there though for me personally, this is primary a 2.5 tracker.1

“Bass In Action No. 1” is on the short list of “songs that sounded like a hip-hop beat 15-20 years ahead of time.” I mean…c’mon: the slow, lumbering bass line, the drifting electric piano, the way the breakbeat patiently waits to pop in around the one minute mark. It’s straight up proto-trip-hop.

Edit: James Burgos made a great observation: “That track reminds me of [Cannonball Adderley’s] “Hummin‘.” The Rhodes seems like it even quotes some of the horn phrasing.” I think he’s 100% correct; this sounds like a riff on “Hummin.'”

“Latin Leitmotif” is equally delicious, least of all for its phasing effects and that killer montuno that’s played on…actually, I’m not sure what the hell it’s played on. Piano and bass in tandem? (My wife describes it as “a dirty piano” and that works for me). This track is so fun and funky, it makes you wonder what the hell Rubio and the Tele Music crew were thinking (or smoking) when they sat down to tape it.

Like I said, took me years to track down a copy but all good things to those who…

  1. The half track is for “Bass In Action No. 2” which is very similar to “No. 1” except for the added scat singing.


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Mike Vickers: Superman (KPM, 1972, Brass Plus Moog)

British library album. Produced by Mike Vickers.

Picked this up at the Groove Merchant over the holidays and it dawned on me that this is the first KPM title I ever picked up. That’s not totally surprising insofar as I never went out of the way to collect library titles but I still would have thought, at some point, I would have copped a KPM record. Never too late.

I’m guessing this is more of a second tier KPM title; it’s no Big Beat or one of the Jazz Convention volumes but I thought Vickers did a fantastic job here. I could have easily pulled out at least one of four or five tracks to share. Ultimately, “Superman” had the best build-up and captured the whole “brass meets moog” theme well.



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Cecil Leuter: Electro Theme No. 3 (Chappell, 1973, TVMusic 104)

French library album. A-side produced by Cecil Leuter, B-side produced by Georges Teperino.

Most people want this LP because of the (justifiably mental) drum break cut by Teperino on the b-side but while that’s fire, I love that this also has Leuter basically doing a mooged-out version of the “Cruella De Vil” theme.