ODDS ‘N’ BODS
‘BITTER SUITE’, the £5.99 CBS double album of jazz-funk classics has finally hit the streets (CBS 22082), full review next week . . . Heatwave’s Keith Wilder just bumped into me eating breakfast at a certain London hotel in the middle of writing this page, and amongst other things tells me that Johnnie is whizzing about in a special computerised wheelchair (with built-in stereo), which he handles like a motorbike using just his chin and neck muscles – look out for it on BBC TV’s ‘Tomorrow’s World’ . . . Mayfair Gullivers is accessible for Johnnie all on street level, so what with Rose Royce hanging out there last week and Heatwave this, its just like old times! . . . Arista’s imminent LP influx by such as Harvey Mason, Raydio, Phyllis Hyman appears to have been held back on import to coincide with UK release . . . Record Shack’s as yet unheard ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us’ disco mixer is evidently made up of legal cover-versions and is not a bootleg . . . SEDA’s Spring Disco Fair is between noon and 7pm this Sunday (29) at the Great Danes Hotel just off the M20 near Maidstone, with many name exhibitors . . . East Anglian DJ Assn members are largely of a mind to fragment the association into separate ones of more manageable size, and will decide on this at their annual general meeting on Sunday, April 12th at 3pm in Thetford’s Breckland Sports Centre . . . Carol Jiani ‘Hit ‘N’ Run Lover’ is not necessarily going to be on Champagne, despite early announcements . . . London’s Capital Radio lunchtime show could be getting more interesting again soon, say no more! . . . Honey Bee Benson (busy as a bee) now with stupendous success is partnering TISWAS’s equally lovely Sally James in the Sally James Roadshow, complete with Phantom Flan Flinger – book ’em but quick on 01-434 1861/2 from MPC’s Ronnie Ball! . . . Holly House Publications of 2 Holly Road, St Mary’s Bay, Romney Marsh, Kent TN29 OXB (030382 2983), have now produced a blank identity card for filling in by the DJ to make his roadcrew or similar look more official in their dealings with third parties (you could probably make one yourself for less than the 60p each/four for £2 cost) . . . Froggy has now moved on Thursdays to Hackney Marshes Flamingo’s . . . Van Martin, ex-Brighton Mr K’s/Rustington Smugglers Roost, is now resident at Blackpool Adam & Eve with Thursday his jazz-funk night – and the best crumpet in the North-West, he says! . . . Tom Holland, who with Miss Blue Note will be jazz-funking London’s notorious Venue on Sundays from April 26th, tips the up-coming Claudia Fontaine ‘Natural High‘ (JB 12in) reggaefication of Bloodstone’s oldie as a future hit . . . Tony Jenkins, no longer actively involved with Funktion, returns to the idea that started it all when he starts importing jazz-funk punters to Harrow Weald’s lavishly appointed Middlesex & Herts Country Club every Monday from April 27th . . . Mark Stuart (Southall Barberrettas) follows Greg Edwards in reviving Jeffree ‘Love’s Gonna Last‘ (US MCA LP) . . . Martin Platts (Blackburn), some of whose valuable comments would be more intelligible if I knew what he was talking about, like me uses the ’60s-reviving Euromedley oldie, Laurent Voulzy ‘Rockollection‘ (French RCA 12in) . . . Keith Black (Warwick) is in Kenya for a couple of weeks – don’t let the lions get ya! . . . Lindon T of Edgware’s Scorpion Sounds Roadshow, shops exclusively at Groove . . . Liz Bailey (Leicester) is upset by her current chart’s content, saying I’ll hate it, as it’s so mixed due to prevailing bad nightclub conditions – but I don’t know why, because even the pop stuff she’s included is at least GOOD pop stuff, and that’s all one can hope for . . . Nigel Porter however, recently moved from Reading to work in Leicester’s HMV Shop, finds that city has a glut of clubs all with exactly the same format and safe chart-orientated music policy, attracting very few punters mid-week yet unwilling to try anything different – in fact, says Nigel, the best disco is at Leicester Polytechnic, where all kinds of music are played, with no dress restrictions and a distinct lack of hostility (do you mean it’s a futurist club by any chance?!) . . . Steve Boley (Weston-Super-Mare Mr B’s) reckons Radio One is largely to blame for punters’ stagnant taste at the moment, as only the same very few disco records ever get played, so that on the odd occasion now that people do go out, the only tunes they know are these plus of course oldies – making new material difficult to break when the only chance it gets is probably one shot . . . I know what I like – I like what I know . . . KEEP IT GOOD!
DAVID GRANT and Sketch of Linx have every reason to look chuffed (as well as cool), ‘cos ‘You’re Lying’ is climbing the US Soul chart while back home here ‘Intuition’ is proving that “Plan B” really can work for some people! Between rehearsing for a UK tour next month and hitting every club in town every night (or so it seems), they even managed a quick flying visit to the States to help their hit there. It’s the first of the new breed Brit-Funk sides to score Stateside, which should bode well for their excellent album’s chances in the market there too. Light Of The World, look to your laurels!
SUGAR MINOTT: ‘Good Thing Going’ (RCA RCAT 58).
Finally shaping up as the biggest reggae crossover in ages now it’s on a major label, this fabulously infectious simple little jiggly 0-79bpm 12” revival of an obscure Michael Jackson oldie is a Capital Radio smash request and interestingly was introduced to RCA by Rusty Egan.
BURUNDI BLACK: ‘Burundi Black’ (Barclay BAX 1).
As 25 Ingoma Drums from the Burundi region of Central Africa are pounding away with all their ethnic power, the 1971 addition of Mike Stephenson’s keyboard chords and now Rusty Egan’s ponderous electronic beat seems unnecessary – but thankfully the 167bpm 12in flip is just the drums on their own and is the side to use especially if mixing into the exactly similar Adam & The Ants ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’! I’ve been using this side for ten years now.
ISLEY BROTHERS: ‘Tonight Is The Night’ (Epic EPC A1122).
Absolutely gorgeous gently pulsating 48bpm edited 7in smoocher sung with beautiful vocal interplay and a lovely mellow sense of pent-up sleazy rhythm, the best track on their import album, flipped by the ultra-jittery smacking c.128bpm ‘Who Said?‘. Continue reading “March 28, 1981: Sugar Minott, Burundi Black, Isley Brothers, Webster Lewis, Quincy Jones”