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


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!


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!


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


‘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!


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!)


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


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.


‘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?


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”

October 4, 1980: David Matthews & The Electric Birds, Peaches & Herb, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, Deodato, Tom Browne


CAISTER WILL not now be filmed but the following Friday (17) at Southgate Royalty a “Back from Caister” party will be, for showing by LWT on January 4th . . . ‘Urban Cowboy’s’ bucking bull will be at Caister, for which last minute cancellations mean that about 50 tickets are still available – quick! . . . Kool & The Gang ‘Celebration LP & 12in (with Coffee backing) are due here next week, as are Roy Ayers’ LP & 12in . . . Frankie Smith ‘Double Dutch’ will be on UK 12ín in a fortnight with instrumental flip . . . BT Express’s imminent LP features remixes of their early hits plus four newies . . . Morgan Khan and City Sounds will have a few promo only 4-track 12in remixes of Judy Roberts ‘Never Was Love’ / ‘Fantasy’ / ‘The Other World’ / ‘Last Tango In Paris’ . . . Sadao Watanabe ‘Nice Shot’ LP and Terumasa Hino will be on cheaper Inner City US label via City Sounds soon . . . Ronnie Scott ‘Roller-Coaster’ LP doing jazz versions of Stevie Wonder hits will be on Pye, in case you were looking . . . GQ ‘Disco Nights’ remix will be on an Arista 4-track 12in soon . . . Pointer Sisters ‘Save This Night For Love’ will be on UK 12in, as will Zapp and Ernie Watts, while Minnie Riperton gets a 3-tracker with ‘Island In The Sun’ / ‘Light My Fire’ / ‘Lover And Friend’ . . . Roger Squire’s shops are doing Christmas party packs full of silly novelties and complete Santa Claus outfits (minus the sack though!), both at £9.99 . . . David See’s ‘How To Be A Disc Jockey‘ (Hamlyn, £2.99) is priced, designed and packaged in glossy hardback for the Christmas present market (“ooh, that’ll do for little Johnny”), and although containing straightforward information seems like so many publications aimed at down-market DJs, while at the same time encouraging them to invest in the expensive ‘Disco Beats’ US BPM directory instead of recommending the more relevant and cheaper Record Mirror . . . I had a great gig in Norfolk on Saturday (one of my upper class weddings where DJ talk is taboo), mixing until 6:30 in the morning everything from heavy rock to polkas and thunderstorm sound effects, didn’t play a single jazz-funk record and probably made more than any other DJ that night apart from Chris Hill! . . . East Anglian DJ Assn has a marathon 25 hour disco with 24 member mobiles playing in rotation at Peterborough Wirrina from 9pm Friday (3) to 10pm Saturday, in aid of Cambridge Hospital’s cancer scanner . . . Funktion makes it ‘Pink Monday’ at the Embassy when the moveable jazz-funk club opens there with a wear-something-pink party this Monday (6), another possible future venue now being Stringfellows, while Alex Anders had settled in at Penthouse on Fridays and Tony Jenkins does Bennett on Sundays . . . Mayfair Gullivers has had mirror mosaic put on all the walls but nobody noticed for a good two hours! . . . Steve Walsh of eyeliner fame has had a perm . . . Mark Clark now has a ‘Black Trax’ soul show Saturdays 6-7 pm on Radio 210 Thames Valley, carrying the soul/jazz theme into the 9pm – 1am late show too, and recommends a listen to AFN (870Khz) between 1 – 3am week nights for funk . . . Richard Witcombe (Shepton Mallet YC) adds that ‘Spiderman’ by Peter Griffin (his spelling) was on French Discodisc and popular in the spring, the German label quoted last week being of course EMI . . . Liz Bailey of 17 Redhouse Road, Glen Parva, Leicester, needs another copy of her closedown theme, St Andrews Chorale ‘Cloud 99’ (Decca) . . . Trevor Fung, jazzing Covent Garden Rumours wine bar every Saturday, has a Benny Golsen ‘Killer Joe’ 7in for the highest bidder on 01-640 6968 . . . Chris Klopper (Tunbridge Wells) sez Charing Cross Road’s Surplus Records is selling Ramsey Lewis cut-outs at 50p . . . Froggy, following some 12in-knocking comments by Dougall DJ, worriedly wonders how much the 12in and LP mean to other DJs – quite a lot I should think Frog, considering nothing ever really moves until a long version comes out . . . ‘Shame & Scandal’: all those Pye remixes like El Coco, BT Express, Cameo, turn out to have been done in London by Morgan Khan with overdub assistance from Alan ‘Windsurfer’ Jewel! . . . Chris Palmer has been asked if he’d produce Morrissey / Mullen . . . Young of Young & Co ain’t young Jeff, it’s Young of Young Holt! . . . Scott Austin, of Hospital Radio Stonehouse / Radio Law, when at Bellshill YMCA near Glasgow gets the kids writing Steve Ovett-style with their fingers in the air, the title line of Ottawan ‘D.I.S.C.O’ . . . Paul Stewart (Belfast Glenmachen) pulls punters on the strength of the music as nowhere else in Northern Ireland is jazz-funk exposed . . . Steve Allen says Peterborough has been into S.O.U.P. for years as the soul scene there has always been underground (if not literally) in small venues . . . Covent Garden’s ever-busier Rock Garden last weekend saw apres-gig gorgers Tom Holland, Jeanneane Cesvette, Tony Jenkins, Dean Hume, Mark Woods, Alan Jewel, Morgan Khan, myself and a crowd from Hell . . . Miss Bluenote’s new reggae biggie is Delroy Wilson ‘What’s Going On‘ (J&L 12in) . . . George Benson at number one still drops jocks but nothing yet overtakes it – boring! . . . Scottish jocks significantly support Queen, Shalamar, Gladys Knight, Dynasty, Ottawan, Nick Straker, Taste Of Honey, Diana Ross ‘I’m Coming Out’ and – er – Kelly Marie . . . KEEP IT GOOD!

BARBARA THOMPSON, long known as a home-grown jazz and jazz-rock-fusion saxist, is now getting jazz-funk acceptance for her 12in of ‘Sunset’ on MCA. Honking on soprano, tenor and baritone sax, she also studied clarinet, flute, piano and composition at the Royal College of Music before joining in 1965 Neil Ardley’s New Jazz Orchestra, whose drummer Jon Hiseman she subsequently married and played with in Colosseum and Paraphernalia, a series of small groups she’s led since 1973. No doubt she’d be more famous by now had she been a singer!


DAVID MATTHEWS & THE ELECTRIC BIRDS: ‘Cosmic City’ LP (Japanese Electric Bird SKS 8016).
Dynamite steadily smacking haunting ‘Rise’ – type (but jauntier) 105bpm jazz instrumental title-track jogger with great David Sanborn sax and Mike Manieri vibes cooking up a groove reminiscent in Chris Hill’s mind of Maceo Parker’s ‘Soul Power 74’, worth however many yen it’ll cost ya!

PEACHES & HERB: ‘Funtime’ (LP ‘Worth The Wait’ US Polydor PD-1-5298).
Quite good densely textured romping solid 120bpm smacker on a well produced if not terribly funky disco set. ‘All-Night Celebration‘ being an equally steady smacking little perky 111bpm swayer, ‘Lovey-Dovey (Girl & Guy)‘ a more stolid sparse jolting 111bpm smacker, ‘Hearsay‘ a fast 124bpm bounder with dated Philly feel, and ‘The Love Stealers‘ a building strange 124bpm almost ‘Searching’-like production number.

EVELYN ‘CHAMPAGNE’ KING: ‘Let’s Get Funky Tonight’ (US RCA PD-12090).
Happily romping zippy little 120 – 123 (break) – 120 – 123 (outro) bpm pop-orientated zinger now on longer 12in with useful long break.  Continue reading “October 4, 1980: David Matthews & The Electric Birds, Peaches & Herb, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, Deodato, Tom Browne”