Thursday, June 29, 2006


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Here's a recently purchased 45 that has really gotten under my skin, Joe Bataan's "Uptown" on Fania. It's unlike the feel-good uptempo boogaloo 45s I usually buy on the label. Sure, it has the same rhythms underneath, but this is a moody affair, owing as much to Bataan's delivery as to the clavinet (I may be wrong about the instrument here...any help?). He's backed by a chorus that seems to be singing "Uptown, shooby-dobby, Uptown, Pow!", which adds a bit of swing and lightness to the subject matter. Don't forget those fat horns, either. It's the most soulful performance by Bataan that I've heard, telling a tale of an 'uptown' life, and when he slows everything down to say that 'his life is like a pearl, always in the dark', and then a moment later declares 'It's gonna be my time!', very nice. Swingin' yet soulful, a very nice combination. More Fania sounds, please.


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