Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Arabian

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This is one of the more interesting 45s I've found in the last month or so, "The Arabian" by the Johnny Frigo Sextet (and oddly enough 2 weeks later I found another 45 by them, "El Negro", which was featured on the excellent Office Naps blog). From Office Naps and other sources, it seems that the Orion label released tunes by Johnny Frigo that were written for Giordano's dance classes. If ever I could make a video request: a dance class practicing to "The Arabian". Who has this in their archives?

"El Arabian" is heavy on the percussion, fueled by an unrelenting bongo and a drummer playing the top of the cymbal. There's some nice interplay between a saxophone and a trumpet. Then there's the drum bit where everyone steps back, except for the everpresent bongos. They continue to propel the tune along even as the drummer is doing his own thing. The overall feel is a like a speeding through a dark night on a winding road - the lights never shine on where you are until you get around that next bend. Quality stuff.

This track is featured on a collection of the Johnny Frigo Sextet, which has been released by Ubiquity Records.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

How Come My Bull Dog Don't Bark

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I can't believe a month has passed since my last entry. Time certainly seems to move right along these days. And there's not much time for finding records or, more importantly, sleep! Anyway, tonight, I'm having a bit of a trip down memory lane. Back when you would trade cassettes of 45s and LP tracks with your friends. That's where I first heard Howard Tate's "How Come My Bull Dog Don't Bark". A friend made me a tape of soul, r'n'b, jazz 45s. And it was quite an eye(ear?)-opening experience. Well, last month I was able to upgrade my copy, and also had the pleasure to remember what a great record this is. I must have played it 15 times the first night.

"How Come My Bull Dog Don't Bark" is a straight-ahead slice of r'n'b. Built on a strong, steady drum beat, there's some tasteful guitar and plenty of organ bubbling up. After the first chorus, the sax and horns come in, and then we really got a tune that makes you wanna dance. Even though the tune is about his woman possibly cheating on him, this tune always makes me feel good and puts a smile on my face. Apologies Mr. Tate.

You can check this tune out (as well as other soul tunes) at Soulclub.