Eddie Kendricks – The Hit Man (1975) 320kbs & FLAC vinyl rip

Photobucket

Eddie Kendricks has a magic wand, that moves at his command, and he wants to turn you on. Eddie Kendricks just wants to make you happy. He wants to take your frown and turn it upside down. Eddie Kendricks wants you not to be afraid to pleasure yourself. He wants you to get the cream off the top. He wants to hear your body talk. I think you see where Eddie Kendricks is coming from. He wants you to skip work today, and put on this record, and stay home with your lady or your man.

Until recently the last time I had listened to this album in its entirety was a little over six months ago, right before All Hallow´s Eve. And when that star-crossed day came around, I threw a huge party in an abandoned house, quite an event for the rather sleepy and dull city I was living in. The party was somewhat notorious, lasting until dawn. Talk of the town even. But nothing and nobody caught fire, except on the dance floor, and I think the person who fell down the stairs ended up okay.

I was stone cold sober all night but the evening is still a blur. Magick was afoot. We had a few DJs and a bunch of gear crammed into this empty space with paint all over the walls, off from the side room that had the full ceremonial workings for a black mass waiting to happen, and a skull-baby in a coffin-cradle resting in the bathroom. I didn’t get around to taking my turn at the tables until around 1 am.

I played the track “Happy.” It is one of the very distinct memories I have of the evening. The song just sends positive vibrations into the air of any space it is played, making all recipients lucky enough to be present… happy. Just damn happy. The dance floor moved to its mellow groove and I saw enough smiles to believe ever word Eddie whispered in my ear. The last time I fell in love (and this could be the last time, I don’t know) was because of that song, although I wouldn’t know that until later. The woman in question was there at that party, disguised as a burly man, and so officially meeting her didn’t quite count. But that was the beginning. And it was all Eddie Kendrick’s fault. His voice and vibe have the power to make total strangers fall in love from across a crowded room, and not even learn about it until a month or two later. He’s that good.

Damn you Eddie Kendricks.

———————————————————————————–
Bass – James Jamerson
Congas – Eddie “Bongo” Brown
Drums – Earl Palmer , Ed Green* , Harvey Mason , James Gadson
Guitar – Jay Graydon , John McGhee* , Melvin “Wah-Wah” Ragin* , Ray Parker*
Keyboards – Harold Johnson , Leonard Caston
Percussion – Bobbye Hall , Gary Coleman , Gene Estes
Producer – Brian Holland (tracks: A3) , Frank Wilson (tracks: All except A3) , Leonard Caston (tracks: All except A3)

————————————————————————————
Tracklisting:
A1 If Anyone Can (3:22)
Written-By – Kathy Wakefield , Leonard Caston

A2 Happy (5:13)
Written-By – Kathy Wakefield , Leonard Caston

A3 Get The Cream Off The Top (3:04)
Written-By – Brian Holland , Eddie Holland*

A4 Body Talk (6:41)
Written-By – Frank Wilson , Kathy Wakefield

B1 Fortune Teller (3:32)
Written-By – Barrett Strong

B2 Skippin’ Work Today (4:35)
Written-By – J. Christopher Fox

B3 You Loved Me Then (2:30)
Written-By – Kathy Wakefield , Leonard Caston

B4 I’ve Got To Be (7:48)
Written-By – Kathy Wakefield , Leonard Caston

Not a bad song on this one. Except for Fortune Teller. That song is bad. But the rest of it is fantastic. The songwriters, especially Kathy Wakefield and Leonard Caston, really manage to provide a cohesive set of material that makes you forget that Eddie didn’t write anything on the record, it all suits his style so well. Filled with the tight hooks, arrangements, and musicianship you would only expect from Eddie in 1975, when he was really on a roll and could do no wrong.

mmmm links
Eddie Kendricks – The Hit Man (1975) 320kbs

Eddie Kendricks – The Hit Man (1975) FLAC

Syl Johnson – Is It Because I'm Black, 1969-1971 (2006) 320kbs

Photobucket

Photobucket

Syl Johnson – Is It Because I’m Black, 1969-1971 (2006) 320kbs
Featuring the Hi Records crew and arrangements by Donny Hathaway

So, I *believe* that the first 8 tracks of this CD make up what is a stone-soul classic of an album, a lost classic of Chicago soul at that. It really is nothing short of amazing, so forget about Richie Uberbooger’s characterization of “minor soul singer” Syl. Originally released in 1970, this album is long overdue for a deeper critical assessment. It should have made Syl Johnson into a household name. Unfortunately this reissue, put out by the Twilight Label (which, I think, is Syl Johnson’s own) presents the music well enough, but falls short of doing it justice. The “liner notes” tell us nothing about this landmark album, such as who plays on it or where it was recorded. For some odd reason the songs ‘Kiss By Kiss’ and ‘Get Ready’ sound like they were sourced from Mp3s Syl found on the internets (not here, I promise!), or was just mangled by Sonic Solutions No-Noise for No-Good reason, but are sandwiched between ‘Black Balloons’ and ‘Talk bout Freedom’ which sound great. No idea what is going on here but probably somebody dropped a roach on party of the master reels or something along those lines. The CD also contains No Info whatsoever on the TEN (that’s right, TEN) extra tracks appended to the album, which seem to have been recorded at various times and restored from even less-than-stellar sources that the two mentioned above, probably at least a few from worn-out cassettes. The song “Ms. Fine Brown Frame” appears to be the song from an album in 1982, although there is no info here to prove it… What we DO get in the insert is a rambling account of how Johnson has been cheated out of his royalties much like his grandfather was cheated out of his land. Which is all good and well and no doubt true, but he could have had somebody proofread the thing first — It’s poorly written and filled with misspellings and typos. In fact its kind of a disgrace, detracting from the seriousness and high quality of writing of the title song, which has been covered by more people than I can shake my stick at. As much as I’d like to give him my money rather than some label that’s ripping him off, this is a sub-par package for what deserves a memorial edition release.

From what I can tell, Willie Mitchell and the gang at Hi Records had a huge hand in the original album. There are no specific credits besides what is listed in the image below. Songs from his first album (“Dresses Too Short”) are also thrown on here.. All in all, this CD should have been a celebration, instead it’s a mess. In fact, the liner notes almost make me think that old Syl (at 70 years now) may be a bit drug-addled or absent-minded and in need of some cash, because the whole thing is a pretty shoddy product. I’m glad I picked it up, because the music is incredible when the audio fidelity lets it shine through, but I’ll continue my search for the original LP or the old Charly pressing, which usually have pretty amazing mastering in spite of their no-frills presentation.

Review by Richie Unterberger

Johnson’s first album (Dresses Too Short) was fairly innocuous good-time soul, but he’d obviously been doing some thinking about the world around him in the interim between it and his second release. Is It Because I’m Black is characterized by socially conscious songwriting, especially in the seven-and-a-half-minute title track, an elongated, serious statement of black pride with a sad funk-blues groove. It wouldn’t be fair to call Johnson a bandwagon jumper; this was before Sly Stone’s There’s a Riot and Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On had made realistic ghetto songs chic, and it was a fairly gutsy move for a minor soul singer such as Syl to put such material to the forefront. While nothing else here matches that lost mini-classic, there are some good cuts along similar lines in which Johnson pleads for tolerance and justice, including covers of jazzman Oscar Brown’s “Black Balloons,” and Joe South’s “Walk a Mile in My Shoes,” and, less successfully, the Beatles’ “Come Together.” The album was reissued in conjunction with 1968’s Dresses Too Short on a single disc by Kent in 1997.
Tracks

Toni Tornado – Toni Tornado (1972)


Photobucket

Toni Tornado – Toni Tornado (1972) 320kbs
Odeon Records

This album has one major deplorable flaw — it is too damn short! Only 26 minutes of pure bliss may be all some of you can take, but I find myself playing this one twice in a row, and I almost never do that… Oh my what a fine record this is! Toni Tornado is associated with the Black Power movement in Brazil (the English phrase was actually used — even today, someone sporting an Afro here is referred to as having “cabelo Black Power.”) Along with people like Tim Maia, Cassiano, Hyldon, Jorge Ben, Banda Black Rio, *whew* I’m out of breath… Well, all these folks were taking cues from black music in the US, which made them rather polemical at the time, culturally speaking, in a place where the gatekeepers would scream bloody murder about cultural imperialism and “alienation” ever since the Jovem Guarda and “ia ia ia” bands started pulling out electric guitars and copying The Beatles. A variety of cultural nationalism that celebrated the heterogeneous population(s) of Brazil in a way that ironically promoted what in crucial ways was a homogenous image of “The Brazilian People” — this type of stance did not tolerate anybody pulling out claims of a distinct ethnic identity (except for Brazil’s indigenous people, who were not considered citizens until fairly recently.. but that’s another story). For the cultural nationalist, “The Brazilian People,” one and all, were ALL equally African-Indian-Portuguese. Brazilians were supposed to only listen to samba and chorinho and bossa nova. I am simplifying and being droll, as I am wont to do. Hey, it’s my blog.

So, embracing black music from North America was one way of shaking up this attitude and asserting a black identity in a place where people had always tended to aspire towards the ideal of whiteness, which is where and how social mobility happened. But all of what I have written here thus far is just cultural critique and interpretation, in very important ways it MISSES THE WHOLE POINT of great music like this, the kinetic energy, the movement.. Although you will hear a few yelps of “good gawd” ala James Brown on this record, songs clearly influenced by sixties and seventies US soul, by blues music, by more James Brown, and Toni Tornado looks remarkably like Al Green on the cover of this album — you won’t just be hearing imitation of music from the US, but innovation. This musical community, like others in West Africa and elsewhere, was building an aesthetic of its own, embraced and celebrated by the DJs of the big ‘funk’ parties of the favelas — as featured memorably in the film Cidade de Deus (City of God), this was Brazilian funk before its bundalização in the last few decades.*

What makes Toni Tornado stand out from his contemporaries is that his music is wilder, maybe even unhinged at times, more raw. This album, issued on CD in 2002, is already out of print again. Treat yourself, get twisting and do the Tornado!

*The term “bundalização” is a translation of the term “assification”, a neologism coined by The Frankfurt School in a treatise on cultural production titled “The Commodity Fetish and The Crappification of Everything.”

mp3 icon

in FLAC

password: vibes

Isaac Hayes – Groove-a-thon (1976) 320 kbs

Photobucket


ISAAC HAYES – GROOV-A-THON – 320 kbs
Released 1976 on HBS Records

An unjustly neglected item in Mr. Hayes catalog, at least by me. The second release on his own HBS (Hot Buttered Soul) imprint, I like this better than Chocolate Chip (the first on HBS, which I should have posted anyway but will now wait until 2010). Or at least, that’s what I am saying now. This was actually the first album of his I ever bought, and maybe it didn’t do much for me at the time or I was just too blown away with his earlier Enterprise recordings once I discovered them to pay this title too much attention. But this is high-quality Isaac Hayes.
The title track has disco aspirations but without neglecting the funky soulfulness that you would come to expect from an ten-minute Ike track. It even ends with a low-key guitar solo. The second tune is just gorgeous, an earnest and articulate ballad about two people in a love affair who are committed to someone else. It’s the kind of confessional story that fills many an Isaac Hayes tune, but he never fails to make me believe that, in the moment I am listening, this is the first time he has ever told it to anyone. Rock Me Easy Baby is just a warm slab of funk, with some flute riffs that I am pretty sure have been sampled a million times. Hayes was famous for his innovative covers of other peoples songs and for making them entirely his own (That Loving Feeling; Something; Ain’t No Sunshine and others) — and his interpretation of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ is no exception, opening up the album’s second side in triumphant fashion. The album does not quite end with the same momentum it begins with, but by this time I’ve enjoyed myself so much I am not keen on complaining. A very strong effort from the second half of the 1970s for Isaac Hayes (may he rest in peace always!).

A1 Groove-A-Thon (9:48) Guitar [Solo] – Anthony Shinault
A2 Your Loving Is Much Too Strong (5:39)
A3 Rock Me Easy Baby (8:17)
B1 We’ve Got A Whole Lot Of Love (5:42)
B2 Wish You Were Here (You Ought To Be Here) (5:53) Guitar – Charles Pitts*
B3 Make A Little Love To Me (6:24) Guitar [Solo] – Anthony Shinault

Credits: Arranged By – Isaac Hayes , Lester Snell Artwork By [Album Design] – Martin Donald Artwork By [Art Direction] – Tom Wilkes Artwork By [Lettering] – Joe Garnett , Ron Criss Backing

Vocals – Hot Buttered Soul Unlimited* , Isaac Hayes
Bass – Erroll Thomas*
Congas – Jimmy Thompson*
Drums, Tambourine – Willie Cole , Willie Hall
Engineer – Henry Bush , Roosevelt Green Engineer [Re-mix] – Isaac Hayes , Roosevelt Green French Horn – Bryant Munch , Richard Dolph
Guitar – Michael Toles , William Vaughn
Keyboards – Isaac Hayes , Lester Snell , Sidney Kirk
Mastered By – Lanky Linstrot
Photography – Jeff Dunas
Producer – Isaac Hayes
Saxophone [Alto] – Bill Easley , Emerson Able
Saxophone [Baritone] – Floyd Newman
Saxophone [Tenor] – Darnell Smith , Lewis Collins (2) , Tommy Williams (4)
Trombone – Jackie Thomas , Bill Flores*
Trombone [Bass] – Gary Russell
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Ben Cauley , Edgar Matthews , Johnny Davis , William Taylor (2)
Written-By – Isaac Hayes

All selections recorded at Hot Buttered Soul Recording Studios 247 Chelsea Avenue Memphis, Tennessee 38107 Mastered at ABC Recording Studios, Inc.

Photobucket

Music Hall MMF.5 Turntable with Goldring 1012GX cartridge, Gyger II diamond stylus, and MK II XLR Ringmat –> Projekt Speedbox II -> Parasound Z Phono Preamp -> Marantz PMD 661 digital recorder at 24/96khz

Declicked on very light settings with Click Repair -> DC Offset and track splitting in Adobe Audition 2.0
Dithering using Mbit via iZotope RX Advanced
Converted to FLAC and mp3 with DbPoweramp

Ripped by Flabbergast

Freddie Hubbard – Keep Your Soul Together (1973) 320kbs

Track List:
Brigitte
Keep Your Soul Together
Spirits of Trane
Destiny’s Children

Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard’s CTI recordings have long been underrated and a bit
downgraded by writers who get them confused with his much commercial output for
Columbia. For this LP (not yet reissued on CD) Hubbard is heard in fine form on
four of his originals (highlighted by “Spirits of Trane”) with a septet that
includes tenor-saxophonist Junior Cook, keyboardist George Cables, guitarist
Aurell Ray, either Kent Brinkley or Ron Carter on bass, drummer Ralph Penland
and Juno Lewis on percussion. The music is sometimes funky but definitely
creative jazz with Hubbard heard during his prime period.
– Scott Yanow, All
Music Guide

VINYL RIP – Technical SpecsMusic Hall MMF.5 Turntable with Goldring 1012GX cartridge, Gyger II diamond stylus, and MK II XLR Ringmat –> Projekt Speedbox II -> Parasound Z Phono Preamp -> Marantz PMD 661 digital recorder at 24/96khzDeclicked on very light settings with Click Repair -> DC Offset and track splitting in Adobe Audition 2.0 Dithering to 16-bit using iXotope Mbit
Converted to FLAC and mp3 with DbPoweramp

Bobby Hutcherson & Harold Land – San Francisco (1970) 320kbs

Photobucket

01 – Goin’ down south (7:05) (Sample)
02 – Prints Tie (7:24) (Hutcherson)
03 – Jazz (5:18) (Sample)
04 – Ummh (7:42) (Hutcherson)
05 – Procession (5:40) (Hutcherson)
06 – A Night In Barcelona (7:20) (Land)

LINK HERE!

Bobby Hutcherson – Vibes, Marimba, Percussion
Harold Land – Tenor Sax, Flute, Oboe
Joe Sample – Acoustic & Electric Pianos
John Williams – Acoustic & Electric Basses
Mickey Roker – Drums

Produced by Duke Pearson at UA Studios LA
Recording Date: July 15 1970

Review by Steve Huey

Bobby Hutcherson’s late-’60s partnership with tenor saxophonist Harold Land had always produced soulful results, but not until San Francisco did that translate into a literal flirtation with funk and rock. After watching several advanced post-bop sessions gather dust in the vaults, Hutcherson decided to experiment with his sound a bit, but San Francisco still doesn’t wind up the commercial jazz-funk extravaganza that purists might fear. Instead, Hutcherson and Land stake out a warm and engaging middle ground between muscular funk and Coltrane-style modality; in other words, they have their cake and eat it too. Joined by pianist/keyboardist Joe Sample (also of the Jazz Crusaders), acoustic/electric bassist John Williams, and drummer Mickey Roker, Hutcherson and Land cook up a series of spacious, breezy grooves that sound unlike any other record in the vibist’s discography (even his more commercial fusion sessions). The selections — all group-member originals — often skirt the edges of fusion, but rarely play it as expected; they might float some spare tradeoffs over a loping, heavy bass groove, throw in an oboe solo by Land, or — as on the slowest piece — keep time only with intermittently spaced piano chords. It’s all done with enough imagination and harmonic sophistication to achieve the rare feat of holding appeal for traditional jazz and rare-groove fans alike. It’s a shame Hutcherson didn’t explore this direction more, because San Francisco is not only one of his best albums, but also one of his most appealing and accessible. [Note: The song descriptions in the liner notes often match up with different titles on the CD reissue, suggesting that the tracks may have been scrambled to a startling degree. If the liners are correct, the actual CD running order is “A Night in Barcelona,” “Goin’ Down South,” “Procession,” “Ummh,” “Jazz,” and “Prints Tie.”]