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Gittin’ In A (Late) Groove

Longo_cover.jpg Joe_cover.jpg

Michael Longo : Ocean Of His Might
taken from the album “900 Shares Of The Blues” on Curcio (197?)

Joe Thomas : Polarizer
taken from the album “Feelin’s From Within” on T.K. (1977)

Last week’s Cinco De Mayo festivities at Bembe went down PROPER. Big up once again to Busquelo, who (keep your fingers crossed) will hopefully be contributing a lil’ bit to this here collective crate. It was an ole skool Latin throwdown: funk, descargas, boogaloo, and salsa mixed with fresh broken beat tracks and accompanied by live conga mastery from Isabelle. Dancefloor went absolutely buckwild around 2:00 AM. I still feel dehydrated from sweating so much! Later on tonight (Monday) I’ve got Bryan Vargas and members of his group Ya Esta! coming on the radio show. If you’re near a computer (wnyu.org) or you live in NYC and own a radio (89.1 FM) tune in at 8pm EST to hear a live performance and some knowledge being dropped.

In the midst of all this Latin music, it would probabally make more sense for me to put up a couple timbales ‘n cowbell grooves, but I promised myself- no more Spanish numbers for at least a few weeks. Instead, a couple of mellow jazz-funk bombs to nod your head to.

I had heard of Michael Longo, but this is the first record of his that I’ve acquired (courtesy of a dollar dealer at this past weekend’s flea market). The original pressing (’74) of this album, on Groove Merchant, has a much cooler cover and can be purchased as a reissue. My copy is #48 in an Italian series of jazz giant re-issues. The music is the same, so I’m happy. This same album has the uptempo banger “Like A Thief In The Night”, but I’ve seen that on a couple comps and I’m feeling a bit more in the laid back mood right now. That’s Ron Carter on bass, with Joe Farrell and Randy Brecker on horns. Unfortunately, I realized too late that this Longo record needed a good cleaning, so you get the version with crackle and pop- suck it up.

Polarizer, better known to most as “B-Boy Document”, is a pretty nasty piece of work as well. Not as badass as some of Joe’s earlier funk, but nicely chopped syncopation with a darting flute line and a synth solo that kinda makes me laugh. The keyboard solo sounds like a really short guy getting all worked up in an argument- Danny DeVito or Joe Pesci maybe. This album was also originally issued on Groove Merchant in ’76, so there’s the connection for you; two nice Groove Merchant items that came to me through other labels.

Oh yeah, and in case you hadn’t noticed, the Crate takes comments now, so let me know what you think…

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