Monday, April 23, 2007

I'm Getting Hip (To Your Ways & Actions)

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Here's a tasty mid-70s soul tune from Ujima, "I'm Getting Hip (To Your Ways & Actions)" on Epic. A tune I never heard before it was purchased, this record has really gotten under my skin. From the opening notes, where horns build over a bit of wah-wah, Ujima go full throttle, and it is such an enjoyable ride. The singer has a bit of a roughness to his voice which really works with the subject matter, and it contrasts nicely with the backing vocals. In the middle of the tune they take it up a bit and the singer puts it all out there - "I get sick and tired / of that he said, she said jive / I've got to leave you baby". The music is nice and dense, solid rhythm section, an organ with almost a fuzz effect on it, horns and strings moving in the background.

I've become much more of a fan of mid-tempo and slower stuff, but give me more uptempoo stuff like this anyday. Just spectacular. Info on Ujima can be found on the soulwalking website.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Unwed Mother

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One record I was hoping to find at the Allentown record show was Joe Bataan's "Young Gifted and Brown" which I had been plying again and again the days before that Saturday. Well, it just so happened luck was on my side, and I found a copy. But, to sweeten the deal, when I got it home and flipped the record over, I was even more impressed with the tune that resided on the other side, "Unwed Mother".

Joe is particularly soulful on this tune, perhaps the most soulful I've ever heard him. And the whole production - the tempo, the playing, the subject matter just works so well. Instead of blathering on and on about it (which I could do cause this tune just knocks me over), have a listen to the soundclip below. I'm gonna have to look out for the LP this record is off of.

Unwed Mother

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Master Piece

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After a few weeks away, things are settling down around here. The baby is getting into a pattern, although she is never predictable. After trying to catch up on some sleep (I still can't guarantee that I'll make any sense in any upcoming posts), I figured it's time to turn my attention back to the blog. A few weekends back was the 45s and 78s only show in Allentown, PA. I'd been saving my money for this show, and I was not disappointed. There were a couple 45s I was especially happy to find, one of them being this slice of funky soul from Mr. Clarence Reid, "Master Piece".

"Na, Na-Na, Na-Na-Na-Na" over some tough drums is how Mr Reid kicks this tune off. Then right into the chorus - "Your Love is a Master Piece...." - which builds into the verses that are uptempo, straight up soul. And then things are stripped back down to those hard, mid-tempo drums, the bass and some horns for the chorus. There are a few lines in this tune that lead me to believe that the use of "master piece" is a double-entendre....hhhhmmmm.

Have a listen here: Master Piece