Saturday, June 25, 2005

Jazz 45 finale: Up Above The Rock

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I couldn't forget to represent the Chess family of labels during jazz 45 week. Just saving some of the best for last. Originally I had chosen Odell Brown & The Organizers "The Weight", which is a great (one of the best, actually) jazz funker. I changed my mind this morning when I played a reference CD of 45s I had found last year. Ray Bryant's "Up Above the Rock" grabbed me immediately. It was actually quite an elusive 45. I eventually ordered it from a UK dealer only to find a second copy for $2 at a flea market a few months later......

"Up Above the Rock" is sought after because it starts with a drum break, but if that is the only reason someone bought this 45, they're missing out. I really get into piano over a funky drumbeat, and this tune has the added bonus of stellar horns throughout. When the horns come in, they start off subdued and bring up the theme. The horns disband after the second "chorus" part, and a piercing trumpet nearly drowns out everyone else. The drummer fights to be heard, banging the hell out of his kit. The piano accents are steady. This part of the tune is simply amazing. It all simmers down again, returning to the original piano lines and drumbeat - albeit heightened - to finish out the piece. And a nice way to finish out the week.


Blogger Benjamin Franklin Gates said...

Go on

2:45 PM  
Blogger Stuart Shea said...

Odell Brown! Gotta say I love his version of "Mas Que Nada."

9:03 PM  
Blogger jwhitfield said...

If you're in any way interested, this tune was the backbone of one of the best English Hip Hop tracks from the early 90's- A tune called "negative forces" by Son of noise. Its a bit unusual in that it lets Mr bryant play out with the whole end segment. Doubt he got paid for it though!

8:13 AM  
Blogger jwhitfield said...

ps- this is one of my favourite tracks! Can you give me any heads up for similar stuff? I always call it "handclap jazz"... don't know where to look!

8:21 AM  
Blogger Steven said...

One of my favourites too, would love more recommendations of funky beats with piano over the top

Thanks for th epost

1:55 PM  

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