November 22, 1980: Kanu Sukalagwun – “Have you ever been had?”

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

CHRIS HILL’S Venue gig ended after two weeks due to incompatible attitudes, but at least it gave us a nice night out on the opening . . . Don Ghostey’s brother Tony Hodges has a charity alldayer for Age Concern at Chesham Gatsbys next Sunday (30) starring a host of unpaid jocks and guest PA’s, £3 advance tickets from Tony (cheques/POs payable to Charity Soul 80) at 12 Gilbert House, Green Street, High Wycombe, Bucks . . . Gibson Brothers ‘Latin America’ now appears to be on 12in flipped by ‘West Indies’, the 7in having an instrumental B-side, while Change ‘Glow Of Love’ remix is still only on 7in at time of writing, and Heatwave ‘Gangsters Of The Groove’ is on US 12in now . . . Gary Allan (Liverpool McMlllans) sent me a cassette of the two ‘Bits & Pieces’ US disco mixers, the flashier ‘Bits & Pieces 2 – 80’s Medley‘ (Energy 12in) being expertly done in choppy, short segments while the more laid-back ‘Bits & Pieces‘ (Disco Mixer JGL 3711) is less exciting if more satisfying . . . Devon Air broadcasts a ‘Dance To The Music’ soul show Saturdays 6-8pm, and on Radio Norfolk next Wednesday (28) sometime between 2-4pm Wally Webb & Charles J do a disco spot . . . Thames Valley DJA meets on Sunday (23) at noon in Chez Skinners on the Henley-Maidenhead Road at Remenham Hill, non-members welcome . . . Steve Maxted, stuntman personality jock extraordinaire, now flies to America regularly to check out the music and is doing increasingly more soul nights (like Fridays at Strood Micawbers) as he finds it so rewarding filling the floor with terrific non-chart music – welcome to the club, Steve! . . . George ‘Mug Push’ Spence – Ivan ‘Natty’ Freeman funk Liverpool Timepiece now every weekend, with a Real Thing PA at next Saturday’s all-niter (29) . . . Chelmsford Saracen’s Head live jazz Fridays have finished so once again Bob Jones (Chelmslord 62924 evenings) wants a regular Friday gig . . . Brian Cardno, mobile around Berwick and at Seahouses Dolphin Club on Sundays, sent in a great newscutting from Scotland’s Sunday Post, headlined “Dangerous New Dance At The Disco” – you guessed, they’ve just discovered people rowing to the Gap Band, and getting pulled muscles or stomach cramps! . . . Paul Sexton’s piece on Linx in last week’s RM was nicely articulate – dldja read it, or do you only open the paper at the back? . . . Nick Davies (Watford New Penny) complains about the low volume cut of Stevie Wonder and other LPs, and, while I agree, I find conversely that some LPs like Seawind or Rick James are cut less harshly than their respective 12in releases . . . Parliament ‘Tear The Roof Off The Sucker (Give Up The Funk)’, at 106 – 109bpm and People’s Choice ‘Do It Any Way You Wanna’ at 111 – 112bpm are two oldies proving useful for me at the moment . . . Jerome ‘If You Walk Out That Door’ is naggingly like Edwin Starr’s old ‘War’ . . . Delegation ‘Heartache No. 9’ is a killer mix out of Geraldine Hunt’s break . . .


WELL KANU?

KANU SUKALAGWUN’S long run on Japanese import has proved its point and sorted out the men from the boys, but the time has come to clarify what it was all about, as a record dealer has somewhat unscrupulously been cashing in on a demand for a record which in actual fact does not, nor ever did, exist – outside of the fevered imaginations of Chris Hill, City Sound’s Johnny Wright, and myself . . . plus a lot of mafiosi and other fun-lovers in the know! Of those not in the know, and totally taken in by my review in October 18th’s RM, Chris Dinnis of Exeter Boxes still maintains that his copy of the non-existent LP was found by a friend on holiday in Paris at a hip soul-jazz store off the Champs Elysees. Thanks for your charts, Chris, but I can’t really take them very seriously. Not since the late ’60s demand created by a record shop for a fictitious LP by ‘Heavy Jelly’ has a non-existent record been so successful. Chris Hill previously launched a non-existent Northern Soul hit, Luke Warm ‘Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am’, which showed up in a few DJ charts too, while similarly the non-existent Essex clubs Candles and Dimlos a few years back resulted in “DJ Wally” being added to three record mailing lists! As in the ’60s when two separate Heavy Jelly LPs subsequently appeared to satisfy the demand, a Japanese LP actually by Zerosen (Zero Fighters) has been over stickered to make it look like a Kanu Sukalagwun album. Thls it is not, and in fact as Chris, Johnny and I between us own the artist’s name, you can expect an official Kanu Sukalagwun release in the new year. Until then, keep sucking! (In case the penny’s just dropped, Johnny Wright’s favourite expression once he’s had a few is “can you suck a large one?” – now go back and re-read that original review!) Have you ever been had?


IMPORTS

PATRICE RUSHEN: ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ (LP ‘Posh’ US Elektra 6E-302).
Typically sparkling set, the killer being this jauntily strutting Emotions-type lightly smacking 117 – 116bpm swinger (try synching the EWF ‘And Love Goes On’ intro through it. ‘The Funk Won’t Let You Down‘ being a marathon solidly smacking ever-building purposeful then skipping 113 (intro) – 115 – 117 – 118 – 116 – 119 – 116bpm bumper in several sections with an instrumental emphasis, ‘Don’t Blame Me‘ a squeakily sung steadily snapping jittery little 105bpm jogger with jazzy-piano tension, while the 7in-issued ‘Look Up!’ is an insubstantial hurried 130bpm staccato racer, ‘Time Will Tell’ a brassy 133bpm clicker and ‘I Need Your Love’ a lush 51bpm slowie.

FLOYD BECK: ‘Party Is The Solution’ (US Precision 4Z8-9804).
Deceptively strong powerfully thudding smoothly rolling 111 – 110 (break) – 112 – 111 (outro) bpm 12in heavy funk smacker sounds really good out on the floor and mixes like a bitch with some Sweat Band tracks.

SWEAT BAND: ‘Freak To Freak’ (LP ‘Sweat Band’ US Uncle Jam JZ 36857).
The new label’s name could refer to James Brown as his ex-sidemen Bootsy Collins, Fred Wesley & Maceo Parker combine for another “zappy” set of heavy P’funk gems (they’d be better with more bass cut into the LP – adjust your tone controls) this at 110bpm and the 111bpm ‘We Do It All Day Long‘ mixing superbly with appropriately BPM-ed bits of Floyd Beck, while ‘Body Shop‘ and the instrumental ‘Hyper Space‘ both at 106bpm work with Zapp/’Oops!’/etc, ‘Love Munch’ being a jazzy 76bpm samba and ‘Jamaica’ a complex convoluted 126bpm fast burbler.  Continue reading “November 22, 1980: Kanu Sukalagwun – “Have you ever been had?””

November 15, 1980: Glen Adams Affair, Frankie Smith, Seawind, Symba, Shirley Brown

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

GREG EDWARDS – sorry, Egg Edwards – is learning to live with the yolk – er joke! . . . LOTW’s next 12in will couple a longer ‘Sheriff’ with ‘Painted Ladies’ though the 7in will feature the promo 12in-issued ‘A New Soft Song’ as flip – and their LP is finally on full release now . . . RCA are doing a 4-track 12in promo of Banda Black Rio ‘Miss Cheryl’ / ‘Melissa’ / ‘Subindo O Morro’ / ‘Amor Natural’ . . . Charles Earland’s review last week omitted ‘Zee Funkin’ Space‘, a ponderous jittery 107 – 109bpm thudder . . . BT Express ‘Stretch‘ on 12in acetate for the lucky few is an excellent uncluttered bass thudded 112 – 113bpm heavy funk jiggler, while the remixed ‘Do It (Till You’re Satisfied)’ should be their LP’s other killer . . . Solar’s “live’ promo 12in has Dynasty ‘I’ve Just Begun To Love You’ at 119 – 120bpm and Shalamar ‘I Owe You One’ at 120 (intro) – 123 – 124 – 125 – 126bpm . . . DJM/Champagne are revamping their mailing list so send genuine DJ credentials to Dave McAleer at James House, 5 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8SE . . . Morrissey / Mullen have signed to EMI / Groove . . . MCPs are banning import of Heatwave’s LP . . . London’s Venue has superb US-style lighting over the dancefloor but of course punters prefer shuffling on the carpet in the dark – so when will someone design a jazz-funk club with carpeted dark dancefloor and brightly lit corners? . . . Chris Hill (who like me loves LAX ‘Possessed‘) wonders where the punters went . . . Ray Stevens now jocks for Funktion on Fridays at the Penthouse featuring his “Trad-ish” jazz spot while Tony Perkins – sorry Jenkins – does the Embassy on Sundays . . . Paul Stewart plays regular disco but is angling for a jazz-funk night at Belfast’s first restaurant/cocktail bar/nightclub, the Ritzy . . . Ron Tisbritch, thinly disguised as Chris Britton, seems to know something sinister about Don Ghostey – is he the phantom phonecaller? . . . Steve Walsh re-christened Stevie would make an anagram of White Slaves (or indeed Weevils Shat!) . . . Shakatak’s Les McCutcheon is promoting an all-dayer this Sunday (16) at Nottingham Palais featuring the first live appearance of Level 42, plus lotsa PA’s, Colin Curtis etc . . . Young & Co were last week’s highest new entry at 17 in the Capital-broadcast London sales chart . . . Richard Witcombe (Shepton Mallet YC) says that the sleeve of ‘Not The Nine O’Clock News’ spells PRT as PRAT with the A crossed out) . . . WRVR’s switch from jazz to country has caused several other New York area radio stations (plus others around the USA) to boost their jazz output, so all is not lost, while the Citizens For Jazz On WRVR action group recently raised over 15,000 more dollars at another concert starring the Brecker Bros, Hubert Laws, Bob James, David Sanborn, Lenny White, Eddie Daniels & Dave Valentin . . . Only In America, huh, gang? . . . KEEP IT GOOD!


UK NEWIES

GLEN ADAMS AFFAIR: ‘Just A Groove (Remix)’ (Excaliber EXCL 502).
Morgan Khan’s latest hit import acquisition is another shopgirl-aimed Young & Co-like monotonous mindless chix-chanted thudder with Slave ‘Just A Touch Of Love’-style hookline set to a Chic beat now in remixed more repetitive 117bpm 12in form, the roomier rolling 116bpm original US version being flip here.

FRANKIE SMITH: ‘Double Dutch’ (WMOT WMTL 102).
Import smash great jauntily jumping bass boomed 118 – 120 – 119bpm 12in funk thumper based on schoolkids’ playground chants, taunts and dares, flipped now by a less bassy 120bpm instrumental remix that’s exclusive to Britain.

SEAWIND: ‘What Cha Doin” (A&M Disco AMSX 7575).
Excellent sparse staccato strutting 117bpm 12in bass smacker sung in Michael Jackson / Teena Marie style by pretty Pauline Wilson slots sensationally between the Reddings ‘Funkin’ On The One’ and Prince ‘Head’.  Continue reading “November 15, 1980: Glen Adams Affair, Frankie Smith, Seawind, Symba, Shirley Brown”

November 8, 1980: Cloud, Edit Point, Reality Band, Herbie Hancock, Charles Earland

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

CHRIS HILL’S Venue debut last Thursday packed the place with more fellow jocks and record company people than either of the past DJ forums held there, making it a party not to be missed and an extremely influential gathering . . . Linx ‘Rise And Shine’ white labels are imminent . . . Change ‘Glow Of Love’ 12ín will be an extended remix . . . UK 12in releases now due include Frankie Smith ‘Double Dutch’, Randy Crawford ‘Tender Falls The Rain’ / ‘I Stand Accused’ / ‘Endlessly’, Fatback ‘Let’s Do It Again’ / ‘ Chillin’ Out’ / ‘Hot Box’, Pointer Sisters ‘Save This Night For Love’, LaToya Jackson ‘If You Feel The Funk’, Peaches & Herb ‘Funtime’ . . . RCA have done a promo-only 12ín from the Solar “Live” set pairing Dynasty ‘I’ve Just Begun To Love You’ / Shalamar ‘I Owe You One’ . . . Caister’s highlight evidently was when someone threw an egg at Greg Edwards, who thought it was a ping-pong ball and headed it! . . . Funktion have switched from Bennett to the Embassy Club as their jazz-funk venue every Sunday, and start this Saturday (8) at the Barracuda in Baker Street . . . Ray Edwards started a weekly Saturday 6pm soul show on Reading’s Radio 210 last week – his catchphrase on Capital when known as Raymondo was “Sorry, ‘baht that!” . . . Froggy’s “Kenwood” ‘mix on Robbie Vincent’s show evidently caused last week’s chart rise for Gayle Adams ‘Stretch’in Out’ with other jocks attempting to emulate him all over London! . . . Robbie Vincent incidentally interviewed HRH Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace recently, and while walking through got handed several dedications – one from “the Funky Footman”! . . . Steve Wiggins has been guesting this and last Sunday on CBC’s ‘Souled Out And Roots Rockers’ show (7 – 9pm), and Nlki Peck guests on Dave Brown’s BBC Radio Medway soul show this Friday (7pm) . . . Dave McAleer’s Champagne label won Billy Frazier, but unfortunately the record seems to be one of those that DJs love and dancers don’t as it’s bombing badly for many . . . Donna Summer’s album too is reputedly bombin’ with disgruntled customers complaining they’d expected disco and not rock from her – yup, it’s only in America that disco is dead! . . . Tony Hodges’ record boxes full of white labels and rarities got nicked from his car boot in White City car park last Friday (obviously by someone in the know), contact him at Record Shack with info for a reward . . . Tony Monson at Disc Empire has been flogging a Japanese Victor LP by Zerosen, with all labels copy printed in Japanese hieroglyphs, over stickered as being by Kanu Sukalagwun – which it ain’t, so beware! . . . Heavy Jelly, anyone? . . . Andy Hunter of Brixton’s Solar Records shop is sick of folks phoning up to ask for Dick Griffey! . . . Ray Clark (Birmingham), Anthony Williams (London) & Paul Mulligan (Edinburgh) all want repeat info about the ‘Disco Hits Of 1979’ US Disco Mixer 12in, while Larry Foster (Ilford Room At The Top) & Gary Allan (Liverpool McMlllans) say there’s a new 1980 medley now called ‘Bits & Pieces Part 2′: the best US source for these is Downstairs Records, 55 West 42nd Street, New York City, NY 10036, USA (ask for price and postage details on 0101-212-354 4684 or 221 8989) – but since I last gave this address I rather think that Record Shack have been importing them, which could be easier for you . . . London’s LODJ Assn meets this Sunday (9) early afternoon at Oxford Street Spats (just down from Tottenham Court Road tube station) . . . Sutton Scamps was suddenly closed last week being ruled structurally unsafe so Marc Damon now does Mon/Thursdays at Croydon Scamps . . . Dave Rawlings has a Northern Soul session at Reading Rebecca’s every Wednesday spinning the fans’ own records between 8.30-10pm . . . Rob Harknett (Roydon 027979-2329) needs a jock to cover a club for him on New Year’s Eve . . . Neil Coad stoutly defends Weymouth, where some shops maybe don’t deal in them but Austins of Weymouth Esplanade do have a 12in stock and order all that they’re asked for . . . KEEP IT UP!


UK NEWIES

CLOUD: ‘All Night Long’ (Flashback FLASH 001).
Swindon-originated good 121 – 122 – 123 – 124 – 128 (break) – 125bpm bass-pumped white label 12in instrumental with scratching tighten-up guitar and screeching jazzy sax before a long rhythm break (which mixes into Incognito) and electric piano outro.

EDIT POINT: ‘Help Yourself’ (Earthshaker ETS 001).
UK-recorded pleasantly loping jazzy piano and synth clapping 116 – 117 (vocal on) – 116 (bass) – 115bpm 12ín instrumental, mixing neatly between ‘Love X Love’ and Mouzon’s ‘I Still Love You’, due for later full-scale release with vocal remix but already on the flip in another 115½ – 116½ (vocal on) 117 – 116bpm version with no bass break.

REALITY BAND: ‘Step Into My Life’ (Galactic GALD 004).
Pleasantly insidious meandering 121 – 122bpm 12in jazz-soul swayer with effete squeaky fellas taking over from mellow brass while bass burbles away, all of which is irrelevant as some people will mainly be attracted as it’s still on white label. Dummies.  Continue reading “November 8, 1980: Cloud, Edit Point, Reality Band, Herbie Hancock, Charles Earland”

November 1, 1980: Mouzon’s Electric Band, Fatback, Chocolate Milk, Light Of The World, Eddy Grant

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

DIANA ROSS ‘I’m Coming Out’ is due this week on UK 12in, others soon are Level 42 ‘(Flying On The) Wings Of Love’ (coupling two different mixes), Michel Urbaniak ‘Nanava’, Sadao Watanabe ‘No Problem’, Seawind ‘What Cha Doin’ . . . Blondie’s Boney M-like 97bpm ‘The Tide Is High’ (Chrysalis CHS 2465) was a late ’60s reggae hit by the Paragons . . . Young & Company on UK 12in turns out to be 120bpm . . . Incognito’s non-white label 12in was pressed in France and is the first injection moulded 12in I’ve seen . . . UK newies last week were again in the wrong order, and should have started with Kool, EWF LP – yes, EWF, two hours to BPM and not even printed! . . . Glenn J Simpson has left PEEL to form his own Airplay plugging company and needs more rock jocks for his ever-open mailing list – write him at Airplay, 32 Sovereign Street, Leeds LS1 4BJ (0532- 445102) . . . Dougall DJ has started an independent Promo-Scot! radio/TV/press/disco promotion service for record companies to cover Scotland in various combinations and packages, details (this is not a DJ mailing list) from 13 Burnbrae, Twechar, Kilsyth, Strathclyde, G65 9QY (0236-821120) . . . Andy Martin runs his Yarnton-based Midnight Hour mobile around the Oxford area doing weddings, parties, student gigs and the odd funk slot, and needs someone enthusiastic and versatile enough to run his second unit – apply on Kidlington (08675-3269) . . . Gonzalez blew up a storm at Mayfair Gullivers last week, one of the best bands ever there . . . I wonder where on earth in Exeter it was that Chris Dinnis bought a copy of Kanu Sukalagwun? . . . Paul Davison (Sawston Black Bull) says George Benson ‘On Broadway‘ is evidently a big Northern hit at Wigan Casino, etc . . . Dave Else’s Guildford Wooden Bridge venue must be one of the most-plugged currently, even if it is only to warn motorists about the road- works outside it on Capital Radio’s traffic news! . . . Kool ‘Love Festival’ is the most sensational synched long running mix out of Deodato ‘Night Cruiser’ – you can keep ’em going for ages as they’ve the same bass line! – my other killer megamix being Instant Funk ‘Everybody’, synch Prince ‘Head’, chop (minus guffaw) Tom Browne ‘Thighs High’, synch Kool ‘Celebration’, chop (minus intro) Wax ‘Got To Be’, chop Stevie Wonder ‘Did I Hear You Say You Love Me’, chop (minus intro) Jacksons ‘Lovely One’ LP version, while less spectacular but quite neatly synching are Wilton Felder ‘Insight’ / Slave ‘Feel My Love’ / Lenny White ‘It’s Music It’s Magic’ . . . Andy Greg (Loughton), Roy Gould (London Serpentine Restaurant) and James ‘Fish’ Heron (Stranraer) wonder why I segregate general pop hits from the disco chart, well, I reckon that people look to the disco chart for what is now a well defined type of music, that radio-plugged pop gets enough help elsewhere, and, to judge from the charts we get, that our contributors agree with this – however, whenever one of the DORC pop hits which might normally have been expected to feature in the disco chart finally gets enough “black-orientated” support to make the disco top 50 then I cross it over, the DORC being comprised of material that hit the pop Top 75 without any prior disco action . . . KEEP IT CLEAN!


CAISTER

SHOWSTOPPERS’ SECOND autumn 1980 Caister Soul Weekender starting this Friday stars Froggy, Greg Edwards and Jeff Young with, getting major mafia billing for the first time, Brother Louie, Martin Collins, Pete Tong, Mick Clark, Bob Jones, Les Knott and Eric Hearn (don’t forget to ask Eric about the Westwood Grange!). Going on past experience, the following comprises a Caister Survival Kit for any innocent first-timers: loo paper, soap, towel, matches for the cooker rings (instant central heating!), electric heater if you’re in caravan blocks below G, radio with FM waveband (very important!), several dry changes of clothing (water pistols get confiscated), and plenty of food unless you like mushy peas and chips. The mafia’s recommended eating place in nearby Gt Yarmouth is the Anglian Lodge at 69 Regent Road, just off the roundabout at the start of the main seafront about two miles from the camp (book on 3985 if eating after 1 am), where we normally gorge on lobsters and ginormous steaks for very reasonable money. Have fun, and if you can’t be good, be careful!


IMPORTS

MOUZON’S ELECTRIC BAND: ‘I Still Love You’ (US Vanguard Disco SPV 36).
Infectious steadily cantering 116 – 115 – 114bpm 12in lurching swinger with squawking jazzy sax and title line-chanting squeaky chaps, thrown away as flip but far more effective than the ‘Everybody Get Down‘ fast bounding 131 – 130 – 129bpm “disco” A-side.

FATBACK: ‘Concrete Jungle’ (LP ’14 Karat’ US Spring SP-1-6729).
Unusual almost afro-type rattling 121 – 122 – 123bpm mainly instrumental chanter with moody synth tones over percussion that synchs superbly out of the Linx ‘Family Mix’, ‘Let’s Do It Again‘ being a boring monotonous 111 – 112 – 111 – 112bpm funk plodder and ‘Chillin’ Out‘ a samba-type jazzy 56/112 – 113bpm instrumental swayer. The UK album will also include ‘Backstrokin” and ‘Gotta Get My Hands On Some (Money)’.

CHOCOLATE MILK: ‘Hey Lover’ (US RCA PD-12031).
Always my own fave off the New Orleans-based band’s LP, this heavily thudding 105bpm stolid funk clomper is now on beefed-up 12in and should be a useful mixer (it used to go with ‘Oops’).  Continue reading “November 1, 1980: Mouzon’s Electric Band, Fatback, Chocolate Milk, Light Of The World, Eddy Grant”

October 25, 1980: Billy Frazier & Friends, Cameo, Prince, Rollercoaster, Geraldine Hunt

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

INSTANT FUNK ‘Everybody’ has been remixed by Larry Levan for upcoming 12in . . . Willie ‘Beaver’ Hale’s 12in is evidently edited at the end . . . Narada’s single will be ‘I Want You’ here, Lenny White’s will be ‘Kid Stuff’, and Change are forced into recoupling ‘Glow Of Love’ with ‘It’s A Girl’s Affair’ . . . Linx have a new acetate – hang on, of a new song! – called ‘Rise And Shine’, featuring Mick Clark & Bananas on handclaps and party noises . . . Mike Mandel ‘Utopia Parkway’ (US Vanguard VSD 79437) and Spyro Gyra ‘Carnaval’ (US MCA 5149), new import LPs, are both “fuzac” sets although the latter’s title track is cheerful enough . . . Grover Washington Jr ‘Sausalito’ is 54/108 – 109 – 111 – 110bpm, omitted last week in the general rush to meet my new deadline – and somehow the UK Newies were all in the wrong order again (Ovaltineys and Young & Co were lead reviews) . . . DJM’s Dave McAleer on asking Japanese JVC for Kanu Sukalagwun was told that they’d send him the tapes – true! . . . Kanu, if you hadn’t guessed, plays Yamaha organ . . . Dartford Flicks is featuring live jazz bands on Jeff Young’s members-only Sunday jazz sessions from next week (Nov 2), and invites sufficiently capable bands who’d like a gig to contact Tony Collins or Colin Hudd at the club on Sunday evenings (Dartford 22423) . . . Froggy, generally considered the hottest jock at Caister, started a monthly “megamix” segue spot on Robbie Vincent’s Radio London soul show last Saturday morning (don’t forget whose nickname is Megamix, Frog!) – but was Sean French taking notes? . . . Thames Valley DJ Assn meet at noon on Sunday (26) at Ashford (Middlesex) District Arms in Woodthorpe Road for fireworks from LeMaitre, non-members welcome . . . Ray Taylor of locally celebrated Shades Of Ray Roadshows now manages the revamped Discopower 1980 showroom in Newport (Gwent), at 3 Livingstone Place, Maindee . . . Barry James, after writing off his roadshow on the M1, is now resident at Bristol Scamps . . . Pat Martin’s Midlands mafia will be pushing BBRA ‘Rockaboogiebabyboppa’ (TMO 12in) with PA’s by Tex and the other ex-JALN boys in the band . . . Ralph Tee’s Groove Weekly now runs to eight glossy pages of actual print and costs for the first time 15p – or ten issues for £2.50 from 136 The Drive, Rickmansworth, Herts . . . Martin Collins, whose Thursday jazz nights at London’s Venue are a well kept secret, has a great new modest badge slogan: “Lead a wild life with Martin Collins”! . . . Janet Street-Porter’s TV team have a paranoid sense of their self-importance . . . Sue Judson, Dartford Flicks’ resident “dancing fool”, has been getting about a bit lately . . . Fatman rightly points out the similarities between Larry Graham ‘One In A Million You’ and parts of ‘Behind Closed Doors’ and ‘Mr Bojangles’ . . . Philadelphia International next month in the States start a new gospel label, Salvation . . . TISWAS’s Lenny Henry has been trying his hand at mixing at Poulton-Le-Fylde Illawalla Country Club . . . Nick Davies (Watford New Penny) sez Kurtis Blow mixes great out of the Jimmy ‘Bo’ Horne break – the UK version of Kurtis, doubtless, because as Bernie Lyons (Dublin) reminds Phonogram, “If we want US singles speeded up we’ll do it ourselves” . . . Dave Higgins (Shepton Mallet YC) was told by a record shop in Weymouth that they don’t stock 12in singles as they find no demand for them there – this could be true . . . Wine Bar charts are not exactly flooding in, but at least there’s been a noticeable drop in the fringe “fuzac” titles from the regular charts . . . White Lable seems to be becoming a musical style of its own too – nondescript mediocrity – and it seems suspiciously as if several record shop charts feature some odd titles purely to shift stock that isn’t otherwise selling . . . Dave Else (Guildford Bridge) wonders if the so-called Mod bands realize that they are no better than Showaddywaddy, re-hashing old specialist hits for an audience who dress up in old fashions . . . ‘The Blues Brothers’ movie, don’t forget, is a must for genuine ’60s soul fans and would-be Mods . . . Tom Wilson (Edinburgh Oscars) wonders if there’s something wrong with him, as he hates Donna Summer, Kelly Marie, Lipps Inc, Sheena Easton & Roxy Music – and yet he’s a Scot! . . . Tony Perkins (London Funktion) was referred to by an Arab chick at the Playboy Club as a “disc joker” . . . Ilford Room At The Top closes after next weekend (Nov 1) for three weeks to redecorate . . . Nick Rogers (Manchester Universal) would like a ‘Back Numbers’ feature for the BPMs of old classics – anyone else of a like mind . . . Marshall King (Sunderland Mayfair Suite) and other new chart contributors, please note, we need ’em in by Wednesday every week, thank you! . . . Melody Maker must be really in touch – according to their current radio ads they think that disco is dead . . . KEEP IT GOOD!


FACES

STEVE DENNIS managed in general to keep a firm hold of his 1980 DJ Convention al Birmingham’s Faces last Sunday and prevented it from being another Stevenage Bo Shambles, and while maybe it did not achieve a lot as a forum, it was (as they all are) an ideal occasion for meeting other jocks and having fun with one’s chums. The fact that it over-ran by two hours and the otherwise well appointed venue amazingly lacked lights for the stage didn’t matter much. At times it seemed to be mainly for the benefit of Mr Canter, the London contingent as usual being the most vociferous. BRMB’s Bob Hopton interestingly had the least audible microphone technique of all those addressing the crowd with pertinent talks, the question and answer sessions that followed (or interrupted) each talk being steered quite strictly where possible by Steve away from the cliches – although of course mailing lists and the like did crop up. BBRA, UK Players. Bunny Mack and Shakatak did PA’s, Paul Anthony’s 7 – year – old son Duncan did a disco dancing display. Don Ghostey flogged records. Somehow Birmingham seemed uncannily like Watford, only bigger! Oh yes – Steve Dennis, who’d vowed to eat a copy of ‘Masterblaster!’ if it failed to top the chart, has actually eaten one, ground up fine and mixed into a mousse … where it tasted like eating sand, sez Steve!


IMPORTS

BILLY FRAZIER & FRIENDS: ‘Billy Who?’ (US Biljuma 001).
Absolute killer heavily throbbing bass chugger (watch your meters!) sorta retreads the old Hamilton Bohannon ‘Disco Stomp’ idea on 112 (intro) – 114 – 112 (bass/outro) bpm 12in with different instruments coming to the fore and percussion chinking as it grooves along through panting chix and a querying chap’s “who is that guy?”, getting stronger all the time. Several UK labels want it already and it should be huge.

CAMEO: ‘Throw It Down’ (LP ‘Feel Me’ US Chocolate City CCLP 2016).
Deceptively strong buzzing and tumbling busy 117bpm choppy funk churner cuts through really well with great mixing potential and has been an immediate floor-filler for me every time. ‘Your Love Takes Me Out’ being a staccato jittery 119bpm smacker, ‘Keep It Hot‘ (the US 7in) a bumpy monotonous 104bpm lurcher, ‘Roller Skates‘ a jittery low-impact 104bpm funker, smoochers being the 34bpm ‘Feel Me’ and 31bpm ‘Better Days’.

PRINCE: ‘Head’ (LP ‘Dirty Mind’ US Warner Bros BSK 3478).
Quite repellently packaged shirtlifter pop set (see it and puke!), brilliantly produced in its way, but with only this one admittedly dynamite track for regular disco use, a sparsely bumping buoyant 118 – 119 – 120bpm funk smacker with subdued dirty lyrics making it unlikely for airplay – but then all are suspect, others with faster gay appeal being the 127 – 124 – 129 – 125 – 127bpm ‘Uptown‘, 129bpm ‘Partyup‘ and 132bpm title trackContinue reading “October 25, 1980: Billy Frazier & Friends, Cameo, Prince, Rollercoaster, Geraldine Hunt”

October 18, 1980: Lenny White, L.A.X., Kanu Sukalagwun, Nite Watch, Patti Austin

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

‘EDGBASTON FACES’ 1980 DJ Convention hosted by Steve ‘Vinyl Chomper’ Dennis on Sunday (19) between 1–5:45pm features talks on DJ topics by Polydor’s Theo Loyla . . . Rush Release’s Nick Titchener, RCA’s Rowdy Yeats, WEA’s Fred Dove, DJF’s Fish Heron & BRMB’s Bob Hopton, new product presentations, PA’s by Jimmy Senyah, Bunny Mack & BBRA tickets being £5 to include turkey luncheon or £2 without food (£2.50 on door), details from Steve on 021-476 2563 or Faces (at Five Ways, Broad Street, Birmingham) on 021-643 9433 . . . Kool ‘Celebration’ 12in (De-Lite KOOL 1012), is due this week, while Wilton Felder’s LP is evidently out (MCA MCG 4013) but his 12in turns out to feature two lengths of ‘Inherit The Wind’ with ‘Until The Morning Comes’ being flip only of the 7in . . . EWF were still in the studio last week so their ‘Faces’ LP is late, and was obviously not launched by the ‘Masterblaster’ masticator as scheduled at Faces . . . Linx have yet another mix out on acetate with – oh gawd! another three also recorded . . . Gayle Adams ‘Life Saver’ either is or isn’t on commercial UK 12in, depending on who you believe at CBS, but in any case the ace Stretch’in Out’ is only on the import . . . Glen Adams Affair ‘Just A Groove’ will be on Excaliber with a nicely flowing remix flip . . . Jimmy ‘Bo’ Horne ‘Is It In’ will be flipped by Scotland’s fave ‘Spank’ on UK 12in next month . . . Rah Band rockets up the chart with heavy mafia support . . . Grace Jones & Jermaine Jackson were not intended as lead UK Newies last week . . . Groove Production looks like becoming EMI’s disco label, renamed EMI/Groove (or similar), first release being Bunny Brown followed by material originating from Chris Palmer, EMI, and US sources (Surface Noise staying with WEA) . . . Madhatters badge / clothing stall at Caister had some great new US T-shirts with a “Jazz Funk”-blowing sax motif printed in flocked felt-style on the pocket (and on some nice peaked caps), plus others with the ‘Blue Note’ record label logo . . . Caister’s jazz room used those new compact Red speakers with built-in amps but as there were four stacks each housing two speakers it was hard to tell how they’d sound on their own . . . Mayfair Gullivers looks more up-market by the minute – now there are huge photo murals on the stair walls . . . Alex Anders amazed all at Funktion’s Embassy opening by playing Police, pop-soul and Motown oldies – how long can he last? . . . Whitehaven’s Whitehouse is getting the builders in to make it bigger and even better . . . Dave Van Seiger (who likes Linx now) and Dennis Brynner start broadcasting their Barbarellas disco chart on Southampton University’s Radio between 6 – 8pm this Sunday . . . “Fuzak” is the term for wine bar jazz coined by the mafia . . . Japan makes more than direct-cut jazz and electronic disco, there’s a black R&B revival going on with specially reissued vintage US ‘50s/60s material and local new Japanese-sung doo-wop hits (Japanese doo-wop I’d like to hear!), one now disbanded group the Channels even featuring guys in blackface . . . New York’s disco/soul WBLS still has top radio ratings in that city, so there’s life in US disco yet . . . Alan Donald (Rothesay Paddle Boat), to celebrate his and wife Liz’s first-born Iain, and Kev Hill (Brentwood 0277-221309 – he wants jazz-funk residencies), to celebrate his birthday, both sent me a quid – so thanks and cheers to each! . . . Steve Wiggins (Barry) when holidaying in Greece got roped into jocking at a local club, and did so well they’ve asked him back professionally next year . . . Paul Mulligan infos Edinburgh’s Other Record Shop has the Zapp US 7in at just 85p for DJs . . . Phonogram have been spending a bit on Kurtis Blow . . . Mike Davidson (Liverpool Hollywood) says he didn’t realise 1500 people went out on a Thursday in the whole of Liverpool, while Gary Allan (who goes gay at McMillans on Wed/Sundays) says that the decreasing Liverpudlian club-goers have such a heavy attitude and bad reputation that they’re actually banned by clubs elsewhere in the North-West . . . Eric Hearn whose Liverpool Cagneys gig has folded too, is being rather coy about his old Westwood Grange residency in the Caister programme . . . Chris Brown’s sexy Sharon calls him Bruno! . . . Sean French is so thin I call him Belsen . . . Ralph Tee of Groove Weekly fanzine fame says it’s lucky his Arabian bosses don’t read English as otherwise they’d know what he’s writing all day . . . Mirage’s recent set at Gullivers, featuring a great ‘You’re A Star’ climaxed with members of Linx, Light Of The World and Osibisa joining in for a sensational long rhythm-rattling jam . . . David & Sketch of Linx are hard to avoid these days, in fact, they seem to be everywhere! . . . Covent Garden’s Rock Garden late-night eaterie has been getting too busy recently so we’re planning a moveable-venue apres-gig dining club to try other places, this idea christened Muncheon (to rhyme with Funktion!) by Alan Jewell – who, at Finchley Road Les Elites mixes from Geraldine Hunt’s break into Candi Staton’s old ‘When You Wake Up Tomorrow’ 12in . . . KEEP IT GOOD!


CAISTER

HEAVY METAL gigs have a reputation for being predictably cliched and there had been a danger that the Caister soul weekenders were getting into a rut too, but this last weekend there was a conscious effort not to repeat all the usual rota of rabble rousing anthems. Thus being a bit low-key, it may not have been a vintage Caister but it was still a bloody good Caister, with several innovations that set it apart from the rest. Adjoining the main room was a ‘Jazz Room’ with just that being played continuously as a respite from the Ensign promotion going on next door (well it sounded like that sometimes!) – most requested jazz tracks being Eddie Russ ‘Zaius‘, Willie Bobo ‘Always There‘, Lee Ritenour ‘Fly By Night‘. For technical reasons it was this smaller room that housed the blindingly brilliant Talent Contest, the best silly at a Caister ever. Consider this the Milk Of Magnesia Sisters miming to the Andrews Sisters at the same time as Barry Houdini rolls around trying unsuccessfully to escape from a sack, while behind them a bloke holds up placards prompting two other guys to spin plates, throw knives, juggle . . . and this lot only came second! Brixton’s Front Line did a brilliant piss-take of African tribal chanting to come third, but the winners were crowd-pleasing Nuffin, a tribe whose ‘Old MacDonald’ featured graphically illustrating rams, pullets, snakes, turkeys (gobble gobble here – gobble gobble there) and moo(n)ing cows! Hits of the weekend were the Ovaltineys, Linx (they did a PA with Sketch playing bass to the record), Kool, lots of oldies, several Ensign acetates, while Willie ‘Beaver’ Hale grooved on towards the end of each day. It was good that for once a lot of music actually got played, even if the overall vibe was less high. Julie from Harrow complained that there wasn’t enough mooning and flashing this time (she likes men’s bodies), but while I was visiting with the Liverpool Gnomes from McMillans their neighbouring caravan full of girls – sporting a banner saying “Gang Bang Hut” – became the focus of male peeping attention when it was realised the girls were undressing with curtains open! The Gnomes (Gary Allan, Phil Ford, Joan Flannery, Steve Hughes, Ken Iru) had their newly painted mascot Gnudger Gnome presented on stage (remember the photo in RM a while back) the Backwater Bruces plugged their ‘Outback’ magazine (which wasn’t as funny as the first edition), and in fact just about everyone seemed to be in a tribe (the Hag Spotters being notably ugly themselves!)


IMPORTS

LENNY WHITE: ‘Kid Stuff’ (LP ‘Twennynine With Lenny White’, US Elektra 6E-304).
Beautifully controlled subtle set with silky soft sound disguising its pulsating hidden power, the only out-and-out noisy ones being this great heavy 112bpm P’funk bass clapper exploding with splurging guitar after some too-short jangling piano and the snapping staccato brassy 122 – 123bpm ‘Just Right For Me‘, while more typical of the set are the lazily pushing Steady 0 – 112 – 117bpm ‘It’s Music, It’s Magic’ with burping bass voice and subdued smacking finish, softly sung slinky 112 (intro) – 115 – 116bpm ‘Fancy Dancer‘ jittery duet with ‘Rise’ – like smacks and delicate percussion (a longer version could be a killer), and bubbly swinging 119 – 117 – 118bpm ‘My Melody‘ like a classier ‘My Old Plano’, ‘Slip Away‘ being a swaying gentle 117 – 120 – 122 – 120bpm jogger, ‘Back To You’ a lurching 0 – 33/66bpm smoocher and ‘Love And Be Loved’ a sweet slow 89bpm jolter.

L.A.X.: ‘All My Love’ (US Prelude PRL D 604).
Deceptively simple chugging start becomes an excellent 118bpm 12in clapper with soulfully straining lead chap lending a lot of integrity and Luther Vandross-type appeal while the beat builds up to a searing sax break, and in fact it mixes beautifully out of ‘The Glow Of Love’.

KANU SUKALAGWUN: ‘Stand Up Please’ (LP ‘Soft Blow’ Japanese Flying Dick FLYNN 69).
Hard to get hold of, this ‘Rise’-like little 52 (intro) – 105 – 108 – 109 – 110bpm sax-tickled jazz organ builder keeps popping up on DJs’ lips and is indeed worth grabbing (although, kinda specialist, some say it’s a stiff and others a mother), the gradually growing 62 – 124 – 125 – 126bpm ‘Shaft’ being a brassy revival of Ike’s old biggie and ‘In The Sheath’ a slippery spurting 58/116 – 58/29 – 116/58 – 58/29 – 116 – 58 – 116 – 0bpm steady organ throbber with good vibes and anti-climatic outro. A special 12ín coupling is coming soon.

RODNEY FRANKIN: ‘In The Center’ (US Columbia 1-11371).
Heavily textured busily jittering choppy 110 – 112bpm 7in piano and brass instrumental (actually reviewed off a 12in promo) with background party noises, a ‘Let Me Talk’ feel within the same BPM range and old-style Ramsey Lewis-like approach. Not another ‘Groove’ though good.  Continue reading “October 18, 1980: Lenny White, L.A.X., Kanu Sukalagwun, Nite Watch, Patti Austin”

October 11, 1980: Wilton Felder, Narada Michael Walden, Kool & The Gang, Grace Jones, Jermaine Jackson

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

THIS WEEK’S exceptional surge of strong new imports all vying for DJ attention must make the going tough for anything else released in the near future . . . Gap Band ‘Party Lights’ has been repressed on 12in with ‘Oops’ as flip instead of ‘Baby Baba Boogie’ for the rest of the run . . . Grover Washington Jr ‘Sausalito’ / ‘Mister Magic’ is on Kudu 12in (KUDUX 100) next week! . . . LaToya Jackson ‘If You Feel The Funk’ will be on 12in soon . . . Bbra ‘Rockaboogiebabyboppa’ is now on Revolver 12-REV 1, via Spartan . . . Tom Browne’s title finally seems settled as ‘Thighs High (Grip Your Hips And Move)’, the BPM reconfirmed at 119 – 117 (chix) – 120bpm . . . Michael Henderson’s UK 12in titles reviewed last week should add 1bpm, as should Charles Veal (voltage fluctuation time again!) . . . David Bendeth’s forthcoming Ensign LP has a remade ‘Feel The Real’ and ‘Goldmine’ all about the Canvey club . . . Sister Sledge have dropped Chic to be produced now by Narada Michael Walden (from one formula to another?) – ‘Narada’ incidentally rhyminq with Florida! . . . Brixton’s Front Line and Ilford’s Funk Master Generals are the two tribes chosen for filming by LWT for the Janet Street Porter TV special . . . Chris “The Hell I Will” Hill has some cowboy fun in store for Caister . . . Giles Rankin & John Wischhusen re-start Southampton University’s Bootsies soul club this and every Friday (NUS members and guests, details from Events Dept. 0703-556291) and are looking at the possibilities of forming a “college circuit” for upcoming young jazz bands rather in the style of the sixties when universities were regular bread-and-butter gigs for many groups . . . Joe Sample and other Crusaders came straight down to Gullivers when they landed in London last weekend. Joe remarking that Stix Hooper’s ‘Cordon Bleu’ sold more in the UK than all other countries of the world put together . . . Linx backed Bunny Brown on ‘Strawberry Letter 23’ . . . Groove Production’s Chris Palmer has some amazing developments to announce soon . . . Roger Squire’s stores in addition to the Santa Claus outfits and Xmas novelty packs, have a range of Muppet face masks and low-price flashing party hats . . . so THAT’S what Dong Ghostey looks like! . . . Sean French’s father, in the aerospace biz, is also manufacturing flightcase-style record carrying cases out of metal from Concorde . . . Funktion’s moveable venue jazz-funk club is in danger of losing its founder member funksters to the inevitable copyists that are springing up as publicist Peter Byfield seems more interested in indiscriminate quantity rather than quality of membership . . . Peterborough’s Slickers funk club on Sundays now operates a return bus route for outlying fans (pick-up point details on 0733-69589) . . . Theo Loyla in his Polydor disco plugger capacity got asked in a very untogether way for freebies to service the members of something called the DJ Assn of Great Britain, the proprietor of which Sunil Agarwala, got short shrift and a stiff letter from DJ Federation (GB) chairman, Theo Loyla! . . . Mike Allen’s elevation on Capital Radio to the Sunday lunchtime slot means we’ve lost a ratings-pulling source of late night weekend quality jazz-funk . . . Billy Ocean’s upcoming newie was produced by Nigel Martinez.


TRAVOLTA THREAT

‘URBAN COWBOY’, as previously noted, really is having ‘Saturday Night Fever’ – type effect in the craze-hungry States, spawning not only hits but a wholesale swing by sheep-like radio stations, discos and roller rinks to a country music format. Being a comfortingly familiar roots music for white Americans (though not exactly exciting listening), country must come as a relief after the often alien-seeming gay excesses of disco, US-style – but how long before the inevitable media overkill kills country too? And, far more seriously for us, how long before country kills jazz? I ask this because, tragically and with far-reaching repercussions, New York City’s only all-jazz radio station WRVR has suddenly overnight, dropped jazz in favour of country. New York has to be the world’s biggest jazz market – not that the market to enormous anywhere – and without WRVR’s promotional outlet the record companies are already bemoaning the fact that they can’t hope to release as much jazz product as before. Further, New York’s many jazz clubs have at a stroke just lost their main advertising medium. It looks black for jazz. That Travolta has more to answer for this time than ever before! One bright glimmer though is that in an effort to cross their product over to the soul radio stations, jazz artists may include many more “fusion” tracks on their albums – so if we’re lucky we could actually end up with even more jazz-funk (as we call jazz-fusion here), although in the meantime it’s likely that the number of US jazz imports will tail off for a while. WRVR’s faithful fans are up in arms, of course, and over 2,500 of them attended a recent protest rally where – along with appearances by Dave Valentin, Noel Pointer, Sonny Fortune, Lenny White, Cedar Walton, Ralph MacDonald, Leon Thomas, and James Moody (singing ‘Moody’s Mood For Love’) – they formed a Citizens To Save Jazz On WRVR action group to challenge the station’s licence renewal early next year. They should be able to come up with a good case. Now, can’t someone put John Travolta in a film with a jazz-funk soundtrack?


IMPORTS

WILTON FELDER: ‘Insight’ (LP ‘Inherit The Wind’ US MCA MCA-5144).
Although hit bound on simultaneously-issued UK 12in (MCAT 646) and voted People’s Choice on Capitol Radio, the superb Bobby Womack-sung lazily pushing 115 – 116 – 117 – 116bpm throbbing title-track floater and its shuffling and romping Latin samba – style 122 – 123 – 122 – 123 – 0bpm ‘Until The Morning Comes’ flip are nevertheless likely to be overshadowed in discos by this dynamic Locksmith – like simple bouncily chugging 0 – 106 – 109 – 110 – 111bpm funky jiggler, which we had to play three times in an hour at Gullys on Saturday! The Crusaders’ saxist gets jazzier on the jogging 106 – 107 – 108bpm ‘LA Light’, the other two cuts being pleasant slowies.

NARADA MICHAEL WALDEN: ‘I Want You’ (LP ‘Victory’ US Atlantic SD 19279).
Extremely strong set but it is awfully similar to the last one, this 116 – 114 – 116 – 114 – 116 – 115 (break) – 116bpm ‘I Shoulda Loved Ya’ clone being best, ‘Tonight I’m Alright’ clones are the 124 – 123 – 124 – 125 – 126 – 124 – 125 – 127bpm ‘The Real Thang‘ and rather rushed 125 – (break) – 126bpm ‘Take It To The Bossman‘, the brash “live”-recorded chunky 123 (intro) – 119 – 118bpm ‘Get Up’ having a bass line that mixes on into Tom Browne ‘Thighs High’, while the lightweight lurching 117 – 116bpm ‘Lucky Fella‘ has rapper-type bass and ‘Alone Without You’ is a pleasant 42/84 – 83bpm slowie. He still can’t keep a constant tempo, damn him! STOP PRESS this is now out here too (Atlantic K 50643).

KOOL & THE GANG: ‘Celebration’ (LP ‘Celebrate!’ US De-Lite DSR 9518).
Withdrawn in the States for repressing as most copies jump, and now not out here until next week as Phonogram’s hit-clogged factory can’t cope, this Deodato-produced set is nevertheless selling on import to the unwary. Due to UK 12in, this semi-title track killer is a hard-hitting 119 (intro) – 122 – 121 – 122bmp thudder with great “wah – hoo” yells and ‘Ladies Night’ influence. ‘Love Festival‘ being an even more ‘LN’-like heavy ponderous 113 – 114 – 115bpm funk thudder, ‘Jones vs Jones‘ a lovely 93bpm jogger like a slower ‘Too Hot’, ‘Take It To The Top‘ a smoothly rolling 117 (intro) – 118bpm thumper, ‘Morning Star‘ a pleasant 117 – 116 – 117 – 118bpm jazzy instrumental, and ‘Night People‘ a shirtlifter-aimed easy 120 – 121 – 122bpm disco swayer.  Continue reading “October 11, 1980: Wilton Felder, Narada Michael Walden, Kool & The Gang, Grace Jones, Jermaine Jackson”