Senor Soul : Make The Funk Jump and The Mouse
taken from the album “It’s Your Thing” on Doube Shot (1969)
Larry Young : Turn Off The Lights
taken from the album “Larry Young’s Fuel” on Arista (1975)
Gloster Williams and The King James Version : There’s Not A Friend
taken from the album “Together” on Gospel Roots (1977)
People are always asking me how I find out about all this music. I usually tell them the short and simple truth: I spend a lot of time looking. The thing is, no matter how many flea markets I scour, record stores I plunder, and e-bay auctions I dominate, I wouldn’t really be hip to a lot of my favorite finds if it weren’t for the help and guidance of local dealers. Not too long ago I was determined only to buy from the bargain bins. I loved the cheap price of records almost as much as I loved the music. But my stingy ways were shattered when I first started to hang with the big dog dealer cats who make a living off providing amazing tunes to fiending freaks like myself.
Sitting in a living room with 12″ stacks to the cieling, the dealer casually pulls something from a nearby pile. You might not even be talking about music yet, just blah-blahing about the weather when the needle drops. Immediate anticipatory silence makes space for the crisp crackle at the top ot the record. And then… school’s in session. Sounds that comprise your dreams are revealed, the mysterious puzzle pieces that fit just about perfectly into the void of your ever-longing curiosity come into physical form between your fingertips as you flip the record cover over and over again- equally mystified by the genius of the album art and the unknown personell listing on the back. You’ve just been hit by a veritable vinyl bomb, and now you want to take it home. Problem is, the record costs more that your monthly rent. Doh!
Lucky for you, the dealer man knows your limits, or learns them quickly from your astounded reaction; pulling next a piece that is a bit more realistic for a young blood like yourself. A couple light scuffs, a bit of water damage to the cover, maybe a split seam or two, and now this rare gem of a record is within reach even to a broke-ass joker such as yourself. Fine by me. The upshot of course, is that with cordial relations, these dealers might feel generous enough to throw in a copy of, say, Gloster Williams and The King James Version, for good measure- just ’cause you seem like a nice dude.
Today’s funkiness comes from records that I heard and aquired, for reasonable rates mind you (can’t complain with free), from my local dealers. The Senor Soul (there’s supposed to be an “en-yay” not an “n”) album sounds like a fusion between The Meters and War, filled with California sunshine, tight drum breaks and a little bit of latin seasoning. The title track is a solid funky cover of the Isley’s tune. If you see this one, snag it. The Gloster Williams lp is one of those super-indy gospel records that used disco and soul to bring the teachings of the bible to the dancefloor. Sounds a bit like Madlib noodling on the keys at the beginning of “There’s Not A Firend”. And “Turn Off The Lights” from Larry Young is everything funky about foreplay. Vocals from Laura “Tequila” Logan make the mood right.
Many thanks to my dealers for the teachings and for keeping me strung out on the high grade goodness.