Nancy Dupree - Ghetto Reality - James Brown (US, 1970)
Nancy Dupree initially found her elementary school music students in Rochester, NY resistant to participation in class. Once she dropped the standard literature (which asked "Mr. Bear" to "come and play") and began composing music that bore relevancy to contemporary society and to their very tuned-in and grownup interests, she found they immediately took to performing. Her songs addressed, for example, the contributions icons James Brown and Jelly Roll Morton (aka "Docta King") made to society, the intangible assets each child naturally possessed ("What do I have? Guts...heart...and soul") and fighting for civil rights ("I want my freedom; I want it now"). Not only did singing about meaningful issues in real musical styles reveal the immense talents the students had, but it gave all a critical lesson in empowerment.
The above text is taken from the Smithsonian Folkways website. This is an utterly compelling and brilliant album. I have put up 'James Brown' for your listening pleasure, I would urge you to find the whole album and give it a listen.
Raymond Guiot & Guy Pedersen - Musique En Vrac [Telemusic - TM 3017] (1971)
Raymond Guiot & Guy Pedersen - Globe Trotting (France, 1971)
It's quite hard to avoid using the fantastic tracks by library artists due to the fact that most have ended up on a myriad of compilations - especially the absolutely perfect introduction to everything laid back, funky and balls to the wall library that is the 'Blow Up' series.
As far as I'm aware though this funky little gem has never made it to a compilation (that I have anyway), and it's certainly good enough in my humble opinion. Starts with a nice rolling guitar part which gradually builds into a drum pounding and organ grinding classic. Sounds like the sort of track Lemon Jelly might have sampled in their day.
Roger Roger Et Son Orchestre - Chappell Mood Music Vol.24 (CMM 224) (1971)
Roger Roger Et Son Orchestre - Rock Machine No 1 (France, 1971)
Here's one from the often great, sometimes downright beautiful and always slightly strange Roger Roger. I've put up Rock Machine No 1 as it's got just the right measure of psyche sensibilities, library beat and early electronic weirdness. A compelling and brilliant track.
I feel a little cheeky as I've just downloaded the vinyl rip from the Nature Film blogspot (full re-issue can be downloaded there), but the drums are so crisp and it just sounds so much better than any other version I have.
Alan Parker & John Cameron - Swamp Fever (UK, 1973)
Manu Dibango - African Voodoo (1972)
Manu Dibango - Groovy Flute (France, 1972)
I have put up 'Swamp Fever', which is an obvious choice from the KPM 1130 Afro Rock album, which in my humble opinion is one of the most consistent albums of the spectacular KPM 1000 Series. It includes 'Punch Bowl' which is on the fantastic 'The Sound Gallery Vol 1' compilation.
There's just something about the backbeat of 'Swamp Fever' with it's brooding bassline and funky drums that just can't fail to make you sit up and take notice.
And also Manu Dibango - 'Groovy Flute', which although not the best track on an album full of fantastic Afro flavoured beats, bongos and breaks, it still has a certain catchy elegance.
I had to put this up. 'With Bare Fists' is just so good, a stunning mixture of 70's subtle funky backbeat with sweeping strings and a beautifully simple piano line running over the top. If only all soundtrack music was this dramatic and atmospheric. I will also say that the entire album 'A Pugni Nudi ' is a joy from beginning to end - a must have.
This was essentially an unfinished piece of work. As you can tell it uses the drums from Gonul Sabreyle Sabreyle extensively, and has a little loop of the intro to Serge Gainsbourg's 69 Annee Erotique to double up the bassline.
It really was just a jumble of parts that was thrown together at the last minute, we'd recorded some guitar and bass but lacked the direction or inspiration to complete the track at the time. When I was putting together the 'Buffalo Kiosk' instrumentals I went back to Symie to make a filler track. In hindsight, I wish we'd finished it originally.