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Friday, October 21, 2011

Looking Back (Something Else! for 10.20.11 on Wtnr

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Earlier this week a friend of mine posted a video on Facebook of "throwback" funk from the 80s, "Sugar Free" by Juicy.  Being the kind of person I am (i.e., DJ & music geek--kind of redundant, i know) I posted a video of a similar track, "Curious" by Midnight Star and thought it might be cool to make a mix of tunes like that.  In lieu of that mix, the show this week is heavily influenced by older music that I still dig.  Most of it is stuff I used to rock "back in the day," but some of it is actually new to me.  There's also a couple of new tracks slipped in there as well (hard to resist!)  Although more upbeat than the two songs on video, "A Touch Of Jazz (Playin Kinda Ruff Pt 2)" by Roger definitely fits in with the spirit.  Many of the younger listeners will recognize the sound of Roger (Troutman) from his work on the massive hiphop hit "California Love" by Dr. Dre & Tupac Shakur.  In the next few weeks, I will probably slip in some of his work from the groups Zapp and Human Body in which he was prominently featured, along with a few of his fellow Troutman brothers.  "Mr. Collins, Mr. Collins" by Albert Collins is a tune that an old friend turned me onto many years ago.  I've never been the biggest blues fan, but some tracks really stick with me and after probably 15 years or so I hunted this one down again.  Usually the stuff I tend to like in blues is fused with other musical styles--in this case funk.  Speaking of fusions, "Capitao do Asfalto" by Bahia Black features the work of Carlinhos Brown, one of my favorite "newer" Brazilian artists (as opposed to classic artists like Caetano Veloso, Sergio Mendes or even Djavan from the 80s.)  The next tune is from Bristol and is named for the classic Ramp tune that it's built around, "Daylight" by DJ Krust.  If the name DJ Krust seems familiar, but you can't quite place it, it's probably because he was part of the Bristol Drum & Bass supergroup Reprazent--the other original members are Roni Size, DJ Die, DJ Suv, Onalee, Clive Deamer, Dynamite MC & Si John.  In this time of economic uncertainty for many, it's sad how the lyrics of "Bourgie Bourgie" still are relevant.  Originally written and performed by Ashford & Simpson, this version is by The John Davis Orchestra and a few years later it was a hit for Gladys Knight & The Pips.  From disco, we move on to jazz-funk with "Step N' Thru" by Grover Washington Jr. from Live At The Bijou.  "Kumatilanye (Los Chicos Altos Remix)" by LumbalĂș and "Del Ray" by Sola Rosa are two of the new tracks I alluded to earlier.  The remix of LumbalĂș is available for free download on Soundcloud.  I've recently been combing through classic works from the "jazz fusion" giants of the 70s and I was reminded how much I liked "Renaissance" by electric violinist Jean-Luc Ponty.  An iconic group from that period was John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra, which over the years featured a "who's who" of electric-jazz musicians--including Jan Hammer, Billy Cobham, Narada Michael Walden, Gayle Moran (later member of Return To Forever and Chick Corea's wife,) Bill Evans (saxophonist,) Danny Gottleib (original drummer of Pat Metheny Group,) Ralphe Armstrong and even Jean-Luc Ponty!  The cut I've chosen to feature in this show is from the debut album, The Inner Mounting Flame and has been sampled by Massive Attack.  Enjoy "You Know, You Know" by Mahavishnu Orchestra.  While the closer isn't new, I wouldn't feel comfortable calling it a classic, as yet.  However, I think it's a great closer due to its beauty and mellow mood...  "The Girl" by Swell Session vs Jimpster feat Elsa Esmerelda.  See you next time!

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