gloria lynne – the jazz in you
the stylistics – people make the world go round (instrumental)
the nite-liters – damn
winfield parker – shake that thing
the meters – ease back
professor & the efficiency experts – gotta stand for something
jimmy mcgriff – blue juice
bobby womack – harlem clavinette
mickey & the soul generation – iron leg
clarence wheeler & the enforcers – right on
southside movement – funk talk
jimmy jones – live and let live
lonnie smith – people sure act funny
la carnival – blind man (cut chemist edit)
funk inc – kool is back
don julian & the larks – shorty the pimp
booker t & the mg’s – over easy
war – all day music
the undisputed truth – big john is my name
barbara mason – you got what it takes
reuben wilson – inner city blues
the bar-kays – sang & dance
fuzzy haskins – the fuz & the boog
first choice – love having you around
brenda & the tabulations – a little bit of love
bobby womack – i can understand it
gloria spencer – i got it
titanic – sultana
bonnie bramlett – crazy ‘bout my baby
nina simone – save me



I spent the early Spring focused on a lot of new house music and getting my Twitch streaming sets all perfect n shit. After that seemed to go well, I found myself digging around for more late 60s early 70s soul and funk. Sometimes you just want some music with some STANK on it, you feel me?. Loose. Grimey. Unpolished. Acid rock guitars. Gospel organs. Latin backbeats. Hammond organs. Obscure groups that call themselves BLANK and the BLANKS. So this is a bunch of that stuff, and it’s been getting me over the hump lately.

The Jazz In You – This is the kind of song that really only belongs at the beginning of a mix. Beautifully clear. Crazy swagger. Straight up beguiling. Feels like a real moment in time, captured perfectly on wax. Gloria Lynne came up in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Harlem, and won Amateur Night at The Apollo in 1943 when she was just 15. She signed to the Everest label in the early 60s and released a ton of singles and albums. She shared the stage with Ella, Ray Charles, Billy Eckstine, Johnny Mathis and Harry Belafonte, and recorded right up to her death in 2013. Like so many artists of he era, she died penniless – another victim of the crooked record industry.

People Make The World Go Round – The raw instrumental from The Stylistics 1972 debut. It just sounds SO damn good that you can’t help but picture yourself, pimped down, walking into a pool hall and just running the table. Lenny Pakula from MFSB on keys and Norman Harris on guitar – sparring off each other, something lovely – and both just KILLING it.

Damn – The Nite-Liters were surely one of the baddest soul outfit in Louisville Kentucky when they got going in 1963. The recorded 5 albums and eventually morphed into The New Birth. This is from their 5th and final 1973 LP, “A-Nal-Y-Sis” – whose trippy cover illustration I borrowed for this mix. You’ll recognize the Chronic-era Dre sample I threw in over the break, to jog your memory about where you may have first heard this groove.

Shake That ThingWinfield Parker was born in Cooksville, Maryland, about 30 miles west of Baltimore. He got his start as a saxophone player for bands like The Vee-Jays and Sammy Fitzhugh & the Moroccans, and even spent a few years touring with Little Richard. When he got back to Baltimore he formed The Imperial Thrillers, graduating to center stage as a singer. He caught the eye of Otis Redding, who actually gave him “Sweet Soul Music” to record before Arthur Conley, but he messed up and caught a train to Cincinnati instead of Memphis (we’ve all been there), and the rest is history. I copped this track from the very comprehensive “Cooler Than Ice: The Arctic Records Story” box set, which lays the ground work for the Philly sound of the 1970s via early recordings from Barbara Mason, Kenny Gamble, and Harold Melvin.

Ease Back – Side B Track 2 of The Meters flawless 1969 Eponymous debut. Their early stuff has such crazy, slow-mo swing to me – like, the weird push and pull of a 4-piece just completely and effortlessly in the pocket. You kinda can’t help but measure any and every funk band against this raw perfection.

Gotta Stand For Something – With a name like Professor & the Efficiency Experts, you better come correct. Not much out there about this group. It’s one of those rare 45s that weirdo funk 45 crate diggers DJs obsess over, and in this case, it’s kinda warranted. This shit slaps. Written and arranged by Stanson label head Sonny Craver, who came up as a singer, actor and nightclub owner in Columbus Ohio in the 50s.

Blue Juice – When it’s 1988 and you’re a fresh-faced, young DJ and you start digging back into bargain bin Jazz records looking for the source of this thing we called Hip Hop, you invariably arrive at late 60s recordings by organist extraordinaire Jimmy McGriff. This came out in 1968, when Jimmy already had 15 albums or so Soul/Jazz albums under his belt. Jimmy grew up a musical virtuoso, mastering vibes, sax, drums and bass when he was still a teenager. He served in Korea and briefly on the Philly Police force. His organ style borrowed heavily from his childhood friend Jimmy Smith and his mentor Richard “Groove” Holmes, whom he first heard okaying at his sister’s wedding. You might recall this break from Black Sheep’s “Pass The 40”.

Iron Leg – San Antonio Texas funk from 1969 and good God is this funky. These guys started out in a Late Soul band called The Royal Tokens, eventually evolving into Mickey & The Soul Generation. They toured with The Supremes, Sam & Dave, Kool & the Gang, and Faith, Hope & Charity. Folks like me first heard them being sampled by DJ Shadow, who later reissued their stuff on the Cali-tex label.

Right On – Some joyful 1970 noise from Clarence Wheeler & The Enforcers, a Chicago soul group with Cissy Houston, Judy Clay and Jackie Verdell on backup vocals, and Sonny Burke setting the studio on fire with his organ. They recorded just two instrumental albums in the early 70s and one last go ‘round in 1980.

Funk Talk – More Chi-town sounds, this time from Southside Movement, who got their start as the backing band for Simtec & Wylie, who were sort of Chicago’s answer to Sam & Dave, and not in a particularly good way. This is from their 3rd album “Moving South”, from 1975 – and it sounds a bit like early Kool & The Gang.

Live And Let Live – Even more windy city grooves, from Jimmy Jones, a studio cat who released just 6 singles between 1970 and 1976. He is probably best known for co-writing Syl Johnson’s incredible “Is it Because I’m Black”, sampled by errydamnbody, including Moodymann on Amp Fidler’s “I’m Doin’ Fine”.

People Sure Act Funny – Until quite recently, I falsely believed Lonnie Smith and Lonnie Liston Smith were one and the the same 70s Jazz keyboard wizard, but no. This is a completely different dude. This is from his second LP on Blue Note, “Turning Point”, released in 1969. Lee Morgan on trumpet. Melvin Sparks on Guitar. Idris Muhammad on drums. I mean, talk about a room full of future legends!

Blind Man – Yes, for a hot second, Omaha, Nebraska was down too, with a group inexplicably called L.A. Carnival, who released a single 45 in 1969. Peanut Butter Wolf was kind enough to get their whole catalogue re-issued and he even released instrumentals and acapellas of this track. He’s a good egg.

Kool Is Back – A staple of every Hip Hop DJ who ever owned a Gemini scratch-master, this Side A, Track 1 legendary cut still holds up. The highly orthodox left/right panning makes is a bit of a mind warp in headphones, but you’ll adjust quickly. I always suspected Indianapolis’ Funk Inc wanted to be The Meters of the midwest, but their albums just aren’t quite as banging from beginning to end. Nevertheless, when they hit it, the HIT it.

Shorty The Pimp – A soundtrack cut for a self-produced movie starring Don Julian & The Larks that never really came out. Don Julian got his start in Los Angeles in the 50s, playing with instrumental soul groups. He did score one real Blaxploitation movie, the Roger Corman-produced “Savage”, set in the Philippines. This came out in 1973, which you can tell pretty much immediately by the lyrics.

Over Easy – Side A track 5 from Booker T & The MG’s 1968 LP “Soul Limbo”. There’s a quick piano riff in here that’s reminiscent of Dee Dee Warwick’s “You’re No Good” (1963), made famous by Linda Ronstadt.

All Day MusicWar has so many great songs to dig for, it’s easy to overlook the ones you’ve always known. But if you approach this song with fresh ears, it really is beautiful, and captures the mood of a lazy summer day better than the cuckold Will Smith could ever dream of. From their 1971 LP of the same name, which was their first LP after officially parting ways with Eric Burdon.

Big John Is My Name – This 1974 Undisputed Truth track is a slightly more pop version of a groovy southern tune by Rare Earth that came out the previous year. Like the Family Stone, employing multiple vocalists is cool, but also kinda borders on a music theater vibe – which was clearly popular in those days.

You Got What It Takes – Another track from the aforementioned Arctic Records anthology, from the label superstar Barbara Mason, who scored her biggest hit in 1965 with an anthemic plea for a swift sexual education, “Yes I’m Ready

Inner City Blues – A break well known to any Hip Hop head, this came out in 1972 on Reuben Wilson’s “The Sweet Life” LP on the Groove Merchant label, which was founded by Sonny Lester, who produced that Jimmy McGriff track on this same mix. Reuben was born in Mounds, Oklahoma but got his career going in NYC, playing organ with a band called The Wildare Express.

Sang & Dance – A catchy, Otis-redding-like sing along chorus and a fat ass drum break made this 1970 Bar-Kays track a favorite of breakbeat DJs back in the day. Sampled by De La and the cuckold Will Smith, to name a few. That Memphis Stax/Volt sound is pretty impossible to resist, and like the MG’s, they were often the house studio band for a ton of Stax recordings. 4 members of the Bar-Kays were touring with Otis Redding when his plane tragically went down in 1967, so this lineup was pieced together by Trumpeter Ben Cauley, the lone survivor of the crash.

The Fuz & The Boog – The late 70s solo LPs by the various members of Parliament Funkadelic were never really that great IMO, but there’s always a few tunes that will catch your ear. Fuzzy Haskins‘ solo was the first Funkateer LP not produced by George Clinton, which was probably both a blessing and a curse.

Love Having You Around – One of the benefits of constantly searching for old music that I have yet to uncover is that my life is never not full of surprises. Such was that case with this tune. I’ve had this First Choice album for decades, and only last month did I notice this lovely rendition of Stevie Wonder’s album opener from his 1972 “Music of My Mind”. It really hums along beautifully and, dare I say it, rivals the original. Guess I said it!

NOTE: Like any disco or house DJ worth their weight in vinyl, I have sung the praises of David Mancuso forever. But lest we forget Nicky Siano, who was an equally an equally-eclectic genius musical selector, crucial to the birth of club life as we know it. The SoulJazz compilation which bears his name, a collection of songs he played at The Gallery from 1972-1977, is packed with amazing, once-obscure records now revered by every dance music historian. From where I sit, Nicky’s tastes had a bit more southern funk and soul in them. More gospel roots. Less west coast psychedelic excursions. Anyway, many of the final songs on this mix are all gems that Nicky is credited with championing, and I am not worthy.

A Little Bit of Love – The Gallery compilation closes with this wonderful soul groover from Philly’s Brenda & The Tabulations, capturing the string-laden sound of Philly Soul in all its 1972 glory.

I Can Understand It – Brooklyn DJs like myself are reared on the New Birth version of this song first, and tend to come around to the original Bobby Womack version a bit later in life. What this lacks in the drama and showmanship of the New Brith version, it makes up for in pure soul. And Bobby’s raspy voice is really unrivaled. Both deserve their place in the hall of heroes.

I Got It – Another sample of the Nicky Siano sound. A great gospel stomper from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s 600lb diva ,Gloria Spencer. She recorded only two albums – in 1972 and 1976 – before passing away from heart failure at the age of 39.

Sultana – A pretty straight homage to Santana from a Norwegian acid rock band called Titanic. Not exactly a record you’d expect to hear in a proto-disco gay club in the lower east side in 1972, but that’s exactly why I even know about it. The song is super short, so I basically looped it twice.

Crazy ‘Bout My Baby – Another great Nicky Siano find, at least for me. Bonnie Bramlett got her start singing in churches and clubs in St Louis. She went on to sing backup for Chicago Blues heavies like Albert King & Little Milton. She became the first white Ikette for Ike & Tina. In 1967 she signed with Stax as a husband /wife duo, Delaney & Bonnie. She may be best known as the woman who was supposed to sing backup on the Stones “Gimme Shelter”, but her jealous husband didn’t want her hanging around Mick Jagger, so it went to Merry Clayton and that became a legendary performance for a few reasons I won’t get into here. This came out in 1973, with the Average White Band laying down the rhythm. This a cover of a 1963 Robert Mosely track, but these drums blow it out of the water.

Save Me – This groovy Nina Simone cover of Aretha Franklin was released as the B-side to her Black Power anthem “Young Gifted & Black” in 1969, with Weldon Irvine doing the arrangements. Though Aretha is credited as the songwriter, even her version was basically a cover of Texas Rockabilly hero Ray Sharpe’s “Help Me” (1966)  , which itself sounds a lot like a straight lift of Van Morrison’s “Gloria” (1964).  The plot thickens!

Thanks for listening, get your ass vaccinated, and have a GREAT summer!

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