March 26, 1983: Ingram, Lavias, Transit, Marvin Gaye, Valentine Brothers

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

STREETWAVE’S REMIX of Wish ‘Mr DJ’, due imminently, will incorporate a snippet of the actual Kool & The Gang ‘Ladies Night’ in amongst its similar bass line — which could be a first of its kind, barring bootleg mixers and full-length medleys! . . . Second Image’s limited edition twin-pack 12in sold fast last week — if any are left you’ll find the bonus free single has Pete Wingfield’s vigorously leaping 121-122-121bpm ‘Can’t Keep Holding On ’83‘ remix and the gently drifting 82-84bpm ‘Images‘ . . . Ensign’s first release via Island in a fortnight, Galaxy ‘Dancing Tight‘ has been getting much soul radio play on acetate and is now on white label: it’s a lovely creamily whomping 115½-116bpm swayer with chix-answered classy pent-up Phil Fearon vocal, or a jazzier synth, sax ‘n flute 117bpm instrumental flip . . . Chris Hill and I feel the Ingram whose ‘Smoothin’ Groovin‘ has exploded on import despite also being called James, is unlikely to be the Quincy Jones-produced James Ingram (who would surely weigh in with a vocal ballad rather than a jazz-funk instrumental) — this one must be the Ingram of ‘Mi Sebrina Tequana‘ fame, probably the keyboard/sax/flute-playing Jimmy Ingram of the mid-’70s Ingram Family whose ‘The Ingram Kingdom’ album on US Excello I chanced upon while browsing through my newly shelved record collection . . . US Atlantic are re-releasing the original Patrick Adams Phreek ‘Weekend‘, LP version and a remix, on 12in . . . Polydor look like losing the race here having picked up The System’s original ‘You Are In My System‘ — they should have gone with ‘Sweat‘ . . . Alan Omokhoje Jr’s new Move label is putting out Aural Exciters ‘Chinese Rap‘ (via Pinnacle), bone fide DJs can contact Alan at 70 Gloucester Place, London W1 (01-935 8980) . . . US 12in imports last week also included Omni ‘All For The One‘ (Fountain), Rocket ‘Here Comes My Love‘ (Canadian Quality — the slinky goodie from their album, c.103bpm I seem to remember), Jonzun Crew ‘Space Cowboy‘ (Tommy Boy — dreadful, c.101bpm), while LPs of limited interest include the very cerebral Manhattan Transfer-ish Rare Silk ‘New Weave’ (Polydor — their reading of Richie Cole’s ‘New York Afternoon‘ has specialist jazz jocks jumping), soulful stuff by Blue Magic (Mirage — they revive the Dramatics ‘In The Rain’), and a 4-track set by Blackbyrds drummer Keith Killgo (BWI — he revives Tommy James & The Shondells ‘Crystal Blue Persuasion‘) . . . Lonnie Liston Smith’s other big instrumental track is the bassily snapped then smooth 118bpm ‘Mystic Woman‘, while the O’Bryan slowie with excellent muted trumpet is the (0-)51½/103bpm ‘Soft Touch‘ . . . Patrick Simmons, whose terrific ‘So Wrong‘ mixes sensationally with Nile Rodgers ‘Get Her Crazy‘, turns out to be a Doobie Brother . . . Michael Jackson ‘Billie Jean’ is rumoured to have been remixed by US Hot Tracks but then banned by Epic, making any copies scarcer than hens teeth . . . San Francisco’s hot new gay label Arial has snapped up 250 old “disco” classics, many previously promo-only remixes, for reissue gradually over the next three years — and American DJ pool members are going to have to buy them, as that will obviously be their main market (some UK labels could learn from that) . . . Motown “plan” to release a brand new studio album by Stevie Wonder in April — they wisely don’t specify April 1983, though! . . . Johnnie Wilder stand-in Keith Harrison has reportedly left Heatwave to join the Dazz Band . . . Soul On Sound 014’s preview mix features Sunfire/Lorita Grahame/Shock ‘San Juan’/Tania Maria ‘Come With Me’/Patrick Williams ‘Too Hip For The Room’/Chill Fac-Torr/Rah Band/Wuf Ticket/Chi-Lites/Fatback ‘Is This The Future?’/Whispers ‘Keep On Lovin’ Me’/Omni ‘All For The One’/Electric Smoke/Chaka Khan ‘Best In The West’/Walter Jackson/Harry Ray/Ellie Hope/Earth Wind & Fire/Greg Kihn Band/Imagination ‘Changes’ remix/Charles Earland ‘Street Themes’/C.O.D./Nile Rodgers ‘Get Her Crazy’/Patrick Simmons/Jimmy Young/Lonnie Liston Smith ‘Rainbows Of Love’/Joe Sample ‘Wings Of Fire’ — 27 cuts in less than 21 minutes . . . Paul Lewis has re-established jazz-funk on Thurs/Saturdays at Swindon Brunel Rooms Ampitheatre (Sandy Martin does the Ballroom) . . . Tom Wilson is now full resident at Edinburgh Northumberland Hotel’s Pzazz Nitescene — with a club name like that, does the manager wear flares? . . . Mike Page reports from Telford that due to people saying they’ve nowhere to go during the week, Shifnal’s Nell Gwynn now operates on Monday too . . . Robbie Vincent jazz-souls Peckham Kisses this Saturday (26) — I bet he doesn’t play Forrest! . . . Steve Walsh seems to be cutting back on his residencies, or shall we say rescheduling his appearances? . . . Rush Release’s Nick Titchener, who plays Nightclub music with Pete Tong at Dartford Flicks on Thursdays, thoroughly recommends the Mattel Synsonics electronic “drum kit”, at just £99 or less, run on batteries or mains transformer and really impressive used with a bit of reverb, quoth he . . . Kilburn’s Cafe Lexi, just down from The National Club, is my current tip for apres-gig gorgers — nice food, reasonably priced, open until 6am seven nights a week . . . Easter deadlines mean that chart contributing DJs should get ’em in the mail RIGHT NOW, please! . . . Dave Lewis writes as manager of Bedford’s WH Smith record shop to say that thanks to these pages, his is one chain store that does stock all the hot new dance records (on UK release) and will order any DJ’s request . . . Tricky Dicky Scanes has now moved his entire stock from Disco Music in Mile End to the Record Cellar at 18 Newport Court, near Leicester Square tube station . . . I had raised eyebrows from some import buyers after last week’s mention of £6.99 as the current LP price — that’s what they are in Rayners Lane and at many other up-front stockists, so you may be shopping at the wrong place . . . Dave Phillips & The Hot Rod Gang ‘Tainted Love‘ (Rockhouse SP 8303, via Pinnacle) is a must for mobile jocks — a rockabilly backed but still Marc Almond accented 177bpm boogie! . . . Ellery Phillips (Bury St Edmunds) is desperate for the Canadian mixer (mentioned last summer by someone from the South of France) which “expertly dovetails Beatles rockers with added bass and drums” — any offers (vinyl or tape)? . . . Kevin James, currently based in Denmark at Tordenskjold Kobling, is happy to supply Continental records but warns they’re very expensive (7in £2.50, 12in up to £5) — contact him at Gronnedalen, 168 St m f, 7100 Vejle, Denmark (he also says the Danes reputedly seem to drink more than anyone else in Europe except the Germans, and they all seem to drink it at his club!) . . . Coggy (Lincoln) — no Khemistry didn’t come out here . . . Capital’s assistant librarian and Cruiser DJ ‘Disco John’ Leech, known to some as Leee(ch) John, doesn’t often get radio credits but always jocks the opening 8-9.30pm happy hour of Friday’s ‘Best Disco In Town’ at London’s Lyceum (“everybody go whoa-ho!”) . . . ooh-wee, that’s (UHH) baad, sweet peas, mmm-hmm, YES INDEEDY!


HOT VINYL

INGRAM: ‘Smoothin’ Groovin’ (US Mirage 0-99920)
Unlikely to crossover in a big way but immediately huge with “hard toon” lovers, this superb sophisticated gently flowing and pulsating 116(intro)-114-113-114-114½-114-114½-116½bpm 12in jazz-funk semi-instrumental shuffler packs a surprise punch out on the floor and sounds like a future classic, the more sombre jiggly monotonous 108½bpm ‘DJ’s Delight‘ making a good if less crucial flip. See ‘Odds ‘n’ Bods’ for an enquiry into Ingram’s identity.

LAVIAS: ‘Do You Wanna Dance’ (US Golden Pyramid GP 1208)
Lavias appears to conceal the identity of Mike T. teamed again with saxist Joe Thomas on a killer hard driving 123bpm 12in jazz-funk instrumental groove, breaking halfway for a nice mush-mouthed mellow rap which then picks up and kicks up the beat (terrific between Transit and Kabbala) — all this relating to the far hotter flip, as the nice enough vocal A-side lacks the sax.

TRANSIT: ‘Dance Groove’ (US Storm ST-519)
Out a while with (as I can testify!) proven grow-on-you appeal, this Gene Redd-produced (he’s Sharon’s brother) infectiously bounding 120-119-120-119½bpm 12in leaper starts excitingly with happy chaps and stabbing brass before exploding into a dynamite jittery but fluid bass break that then motivates most of the record. Continue reading “March 26, 1983: Ingram, Lavias, Transit, Marvin Gaye, Valentine Brothers”

March 19, 1983: Lonnie Liston Smith, Charles Earland, Man Parrish, Fatback, Patrick Simons

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

DAVID JOSEPH has been remixed for US Mango 12in (MLPS 7804), but the result is slower (c.115bpm), more percussive and less bright, with a similarly remixed instrumental flip, unlikely to cause a stampede here (in fact, shades of the US version of ‘Hi-Tension’?) . . . Kashif, Change, Champaign, Muscle Shoals Horns all have new import LPs, which you may want to fork out £6.99 for but I don’t . . . Epic have already issued the Tyrone Brunson ‘Sticky Situation’ LP (EPC 25291), very uninteresting and only with the vocal, no instrumental, of the title track . . . C.O.D. ‘In The Bottle’ has been snapped up here by Morgan Khan for Streetwave . . . Chill Fac-Torr is now coming through strongly on the dancefloors, following increased familiarity and radio plays — could it herald another Twist revival? . . . South Eastern Discotheque Association hold their seventh well organised equipment exhibition, SEDA 83 Spring Disco Fair, on Sunday April 17 at the Great Danes Hotel near Maidstone, followed by a dinner and cabaret — call Dave Pullen for details of stand space on 022779 2041 . . . Sunday 1st May (Bank Holiday weekend) sees the promised marathon ‘Ritz Revival’ alldayer at Manchester’s Rotters with living legends Ian Levine, Colin Curtis & Richard Searling spinning ’70s soul before at midnight switching into an allniter situation with the addition of Northern Soul pioneers Tony Jebb, Les Cokell, Kev Roberts & Simon Soussan plus two as yet unspecified US acts (veterans of the Mirwood label looking likely) — now that is one that I’ll definitely try to get to! . . . Ian Levine is currently donning suit and tie and lugging all his records across town to do “up market semi-gay” Sundays at Kensington High Street’s Gardens, kinda like New York’s Studio 54 before it became ultra-commercial, sez he . . . Tonie Walsh reports from Dublin that Flikkers is the only gay disco in the city although pubs and other venues abound . . . Duncan ‘Funky Dunk’ Finlayson of Birmingham’s Top Ten shop in Bristol Road, Selly Oak (where they sell the music), is organising a one-off night of Boys Town Disco music on Sunday April 10 at the Powerhouse . . . Chris Lucas (Earls Court Copacabana) says Azul y Negro and New Order once synched stay together on the beat for ages . . . Friday at Mayfair’s Gullivers the headphones weren’t working but even so, just by matching the LED cueing lights I amazed myself by getting two copies of Forrest perfectly synched so the percussion break phased all the way through (something easy to do with cans — but without, a sheer fluke!) . . . Graham Hardy, hitting Basildon at Raquels on Fridays and Sweeneys on Saturdays, has for his own use run off a computer read out listing of an odd assortment of old BPMs from this page . . . T. Evans (Sunbury-on-Thames), mobile for 15 years and mixing since before it was called that, warns fellow mobile jocks that at most gigs their own fave funk raves are unlikely to be appreciated (too true!): “your record purchases should be regarded like angler’s bait — you won’t get far playing the latest hip album track to Aunt Maud at a wedding just because it’s your only gig of the week” . . . Lawrence E.A. Flowers said it himself last week — he’s got 39 pages in which to read about the Eurythmics, Malcolm McLaren and similar pop stuff (the most danceable of which shows up in our Nightclub chart), as well as Radio One on which to hear it whenever he chooses, so he shouldn’t begrudge soul fans their bit of space (after all, where would the Eurythmics be without Grace Jones, or McLaren without the World’s Famous Supreme Team Show — and come to think of it, where indeed is ‘Soweto‘ without the latter?!) . . . Barry ‘Bazza’ Neale & Richard Searling host an ‘Upfront American Soul Session’ every Thursday at Manchester’s luxuriously equipped Sandpiper in Wilbraham Road . . . Martin Collins, Joe Field & Ralph Tee jazz-soul Hemel Hempstead’s Dacorum College tonight (Thursday 17), Joe Field & Mike Allin moving across town to the Whip & Collar pub for soul oldies on Sunday (20) . . . Adrian Thomas (0248 723054) has managed to establish Friday for jazz-funk-soul at Minnies in the Min-Y-Don Hotel at Red Wharf Bay way out on Anglesey, where he reckons a record company promotion night would help really put it on the map (gotta lotta Gallup chart shops on Anglesey, then?) . . . Paul Travis (90 Queensway, Moss Bank, St Helens WA11 7BY) has taken on promoting party nights on Thursdays at Wigan Pier, where he’d welcome some celebrity PAs to go with the various drinks company sponsored themes . . . Dave Rawlings this week adds Fridays as well as Saturdays at Basingstoke’s hula-hooping Martines (do they hula to Chill Fac-Torr yet?) . . . Graham Hunter (Basingstoke 771 238 evenings) is looking for a mid-week residency between weekend mobile gigs — he has a large varied record collection but prefers disco-jazz-funk . . . ‘Big’ Phil Etgart now does Saturdays, Brian ‘Bazzer’ Mason Fridays, at South Harrow’s Bobby McGees, early evening being most upfront soul-wise . . . Rose Royce play Watford Baileys for the week from Monday (21) . . . Pez (Wallasey), updating his home sound system with vari-speed Technics 1200 decks for possible use at a new venue later, reports Chris Currie is now similarly equipped at New Brighton’s Chelsea Reach . . . Tandy hi-fi shops have a vari-speed Realistic deck in their current sale at £79.95, but whether it’s any good for disco use I don’t know. . . Sandy Martin (Swindon Brunel Rooms) is having fun experimenting with a £75 ‘Rhythm Box’ which keeps the beat forever (he reckons more expensive models offer even greater potential), and now hankers after a hand ‘drum kit’ played with the fingers, at around £320 . . . I finally got all my British Standard Steel shelving up in a marathon session aided by my father last week, which means my vast record collection will soon be propertly sorted and housed, but also means the next Soul On Sound preview mix will either be rather short or else reach you late again . . . Phonogram staff have inside info that their John Waller is in line for ‘Ghandi II’! . . . Luther Vandross on video looks not unlike the young Jimmy James (of Vagabonds fame), while certain shots of King Kong in a remake (recently reviewed on video) remind me of a certain lady hit maker on Prelude (especially her current 12in sleeve!) . . . Robert Perono, late of the defunct Shock dance troupe, appears briefly in ‘Extro’ — he’s killed off in the first reel . . . Prelude incidentally have really gone off the boil, to judge from most of the label’s current releases . . . WEA press officer Barbara Charone sent me a 12in of Modern Romance ‘Cherry Pink’, lickety spit — many thanks! . . . Mark Herstell’s “that’s life, c’est la vie, mon cheri” song query was in fact Gina X ‘No G.D.M.‘ info courtesy of Ann Ovenden (Northolt), Stewart Swan (Sheffield), Russell Davies (Worthing 0903 35904 — looking for jocking jobs in Sussex), Anthony Godden (23 Redcliffe Square, London SW10 — he volunteers to track down almost any oldie given time) . . . ooh-wee, that’s baad, sweet peas, mmm-hmm. YES INDEEDY!


HOT VINYL

LONNIE LISTON SMITH: ‘Never Too Late’ (LP ‘Dreams Of Tomorrow’ US Doctor Jazz FW38447)
Bob Thiele’s independent label returns to vinyl the jazz-funk keyboardist whose following is probably greater here than in the States. Co-produced, mostly penned and played on by bassist Marcus Miller (whose one solo LP is due on import), Lonnie’s set features his vocalist brother Donald on this lovely Luther Vandross-ish 120½(intro)-121-121½-120½bpm soul swayer, his other likely vocal being the slow jogging 89½bpm ‘A Lonely Way To Be‘, the monster specialist jazz instrumental being the busily backed but fluidly bouncing 124bpm ‘Rainbows Of Love‘.

CHARLES EARLAND: ‘Street Themes’ (LP ‘Earland’s Street Themes’ US Columbia FC 38457)
Another fave jazz-funk keyboardist returns with a good Dunn Pearson Jr-produced set, featuring a lot of vocals (fuller review next week), the immediate standouts being this Ramsey Lewis-ish pattering 115bpm piano instrumental which breaks from an early flow into piercing percussion for a while, and the 7in-issued gently pent-up purposeful jiggling 105-107-108bpm ‘Be My Lady (Tonight)‘ vocal.

MAN PARRISH: ‘Hip Hop Be Bop (Don’t Stop)’ (Polydor POSPX 575)
Better late than never, this terrific flutter flanging Tyrone Brunson/Extra T’s-type 115bpm 12in electrophonic phunk instrumental is long established as one of the best of the bunch — in fact right up there with the two already mentioned. Continue reading “March 19, 1983: Lonnie Liston Smith, Charles Earland, Man Parrish, Fatback, Patrick Simons”

March 12, 1983: Patrick Williams, Joe Sample, Whispers, C.O.D., Omni

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

MORGAN KHAN (to continue from last week’s Hot Vinyl) has taken his Streetwave label away from CBS to join StreetSounds being pressed and distributed by PRT, although the Hudsons will stay leased to CBS, his first acquisition given this new full independence of operation being Wish ‘Mr DJ’ — for which your own James Hamilton is creating a special remixed bonus third track . . . DJs Chris Brown & Mike Sefton will soon be circulating moody white labels of ‘We’re All Right Tonight‘ by Pagoda, a Greg Knowles-led splinter group from the Inversions . . . CBS release Visual in a fortnight and could be picking up Steve Shelto, this latter really now having taken off and despite my initial doubtful opinion of it, I too cracked it by mixing in the sequence David Joseph/Jazzy Dee/Jimmy Young/Steve Shelto . . . Polydor passed on C-Brand but Phonogram got it for inclusion on a future 4-track/4 artiste 12in, the C-Brand 116-115½bpm having been misprinted recently (I even used a nice new black typewriter ribbon last week but still didn’t win!) . . . Montana Orchestra is actually 123-122-123-126-124-126-124bpm, after careful consideration, and the Rah Band 97½-97-96½-96bpm — final commercial TMT copies of the Rah Band will contain other remixes either in addition or instead of those already included on Red Label copies . . . I originally thought the Nile Rodgers B-side, ‘Get Her Crazy‘, was too monotonous to be truly a dancer but now the somewhat electronic tempoed 116½bpm repetitive tribal chant jitterer is fast becoming the hot side . . . PRT have followed my suggestion and totally re-edited Disco Connection ‘Rock Your Baby’, the similarly and Belgian recorded original inspiration for Forrest ‘Rock The Boat’ — and Adrian (Bournemouth Adams) makes a back-and-forth medley of the two his current high spot of the evening . . . Island’s Bryan O’Connor has been circulating white labels of a 110½bpm cover version of ‘You Are In My System’ as by the R.P. Band — vocals (better than The System original) quite obviously by Mr R.P. himself, Robert Palmer! . . . Kinsman Dazz, now called Kinsman Dazz Band, have their classic 1979 album reissued on import US Casablanca (810 312-1 M-1) . . . Polydor’s Verve label has reissued the 1967 ‘Get It While You Can’ album by Howard Tate (Verve POLD 5096), who I saw at the Apollo in Harlem at the time when the title track and (included) ‘Look At Granny Run Run‘ were hot soul singles — he was on a bill with Peaches & Herb, The Fascinations, Robert Parker, Oscar Toney Jr, Mighty Sam, Albert King and more, July ’67 . . . Polo Records, up-dating their DJ mailing list, are looking for demo tapes from new artistes — contact their A&R office at 351 Edgware Road, London W2 (01-402 6954) . . . Theo Loyla’s recent DJ survey also revealed that 85 per cent of disco DJs use independent record shops rather than chain stores, the assumption being that as DJs buy mainly new releases they must reckon they get better service from indies (not that this really needed a survey to discover!) . . . Quincy Jones must be chuffed (and rich), his Michael Jackson LP and single are not only top of the LP and singles charts here but also in America, where they top the Black LP, Black singles and Dance/Disco charts too — a stupendous and unique grand slam — and not only that, it was the Quincy-produced Austin/Ingram duet which had been holding Michael from the top US singles slot until last week! . . . Loraine Trent’s assistant at CBS, Caroline Douratsos leaves this Friday with her husband to live on the Greek island of Syros — we’ll miss her muchly (but what a nice holiday destination, hint hint!) . . . Epping Forest Country Club surprised some at Soul On Sound’s alldayer last Sunday by not being a bigger venue, but had nice rooms for withdrawing into (some of the fellahs were even queuing in the Ladies!) — which was just as well as it was full to capacity, making the frequent PAs (by David Joseph, The Biz, Richard Jon Smith, Animal Nightlife and many more) difficult to see unless like the TV camera crew you were on the stairs . . . Manchester jocks Colin Curtis and Kev Edwards had to leave with their coach party at 9pm so the drivers were back within tachometer time, which upset all their punters . . . I celebrated my 20th anniversary as a DJ by playing one of the first records I’d used in March ’63, James Brown ‘Night Train‘, which actually got a round of applause, shortly followed by Tony Jenkins unexpectedly presenting me with a ‘Happy 20th BPMs’ birthday cake — thanks for both! . . . Soul On Sound’s next event could be in either Preston or Glasgow, incidentally . . . Chris Hill, well known Afrika Bambaataa fan, plays captain to a motley “crew” of mafioso at a Bournemouth Beach Party on Easter Monday in Boscombe’s Academy, promoted by Showstoppers (whose April Caister weekender is totally sold out) . . . Maze return for four nights at Hammersmith Odeon in May, but don’t bother trying to get tickets as amazingly they all sold out in an incredible stampede on Saturday following Robbie Vincent’s announcement of the dates on Radio London — however, Maze also play Manchester Apollo, Nottingham Rock City and Birmingham Odeon for one night each . . . ‘TCOB North Of Watford’ issue number 2 is a much better more substantial read than the first edition of Mike Shaft’s quaintly yclept fanzine . . . ‘Surface Thrills’, the less than startling new import Gordy LP by the Temptations, ought to be retitled ‘Surface Noise’! . . . Rush Release have been passing on (is that the right expression?) an hilarious new ‘Golden Circle’-type chain letter, only this one guarantees within one month to give 35 million people a dose of herpes! . . . Dave Rawlings reports the latest craze at Basingstoke Martines on Saturday nights is a hula-hoop competition, with all the local toy shops scouring the country for stocks to keep the practising punters supplied . . . West Sussex & Hants DJ Assn have an open night and equipment demonstration at Guildford’s Stoke Hall this Monday (14) at 8.15pm . . . Denise Williams stars at Watford Baileys for three nights from Thursday (10), while Viola Wills makes an exclusive London gay club appearance at Mile End Benjys on Sunday (13) . . . Terry Davis, whose monthly soul oldies show co-hosted with Clive Richardson on JFM this Sunday features a New Orleans special, has a ’60s soul ‘Function At The Junction’ on Saturday (12) at Lavender Hill’s The Cornet in Lavender Gardens (get there before 10.45pm) . . . Wigan Tiffanys has a marathon oldies alldayer/niter with a cast of thousands this Friday lunchtime right through until Saturday breakfast, while Friday evening finds yet more Northern jocks having a ‘Rare Soul Fling’ at Wolverhampton Old Vic Hotel’s Cavendish Suite, several of this mob plus others then moving on Saturday for a ‘History Of Northern Soul’ allniter at Burntwood Recreation Centre — d’ya reckon anyone will need artificial stimulation to keep going? . . . Neil Rushton tells me that the parallel ‘Modern Soul’ underground scene up north, for comparison with the south’s soul revivalists, has made a big floor-filler out of the Australian-recorded cover version of ‘I’ll Be Around‘ by Doug Parkinson . . . Pete Haigh & Steve Naylor do an ‘Urban Contemporary Dance Mix’ night on Thursdays at Standish Cassinellis near Wigan (M6 exit 27) . . . I found rather unnerving during my obviously all-mixed set at Epping Forest all the northerners clustered around the DJ booth watching my every move — hey chaps, it’s just a way of making the records flow, it’s no big deal you know . . . Joe ‘Minimix’ Field and Mike Allin have moved their jazz-soul Sundays to Hemel Hempstead’s kinky sounding Whip & Collar pub in Two Waters Road (free admission, and they get a good crowd) . . . Chris Kaye this week (12) adds Saturdays as well as Wednesdays funking the Eagles Nest at Badgers Mount in Kent (what names we’re getting this issue!) . . . Radio Horizon’s Barry Jameson now co-funks Fridays at Hackney Flappers with Mark Summers, who’s started a series of star PAs at the club on Thursdays . . . Steve Day, just engaged to Dawn Westbrook, now joins Larry ‘Daddy’ Foster on Tuesdays funking Stratford Reflections . . . Chris Bangs presents TC’s Latin/Jazz Fusion on Wednesdays at Kingston-on-Thames Jesters in Crown Passage . . . Buddy Lucas, jazz-souling Bermondsey Old Kent Road’s Dun Cow (Wed)/Green Man (Fri/Sat), says from reaction he gets, the nine-or-so months old Gene Chandler ‘I’ll Make The Living If You Make The Loving Worthwhile‘ (US Chi-Sound 12in) should be put out here . . . Lofty Lofthouse (Gateshead), amongst its many critics, says The Band AKA “at the tragic mixing point between ‘Joy’ and ‘Grace’” empties the floor . . . Simon Walsh at Bradford’s Time & Place is still hangin’ in there with the Webboes at number 2 in his chart, and this under-rated electrophonic phunker is showing further signs of life now . . . Ray Edwards (Raymondo of “sorry ‘baht that!” fame on Capital’s old ‘TV On Reggae’ show) has been replaced on Radio City’s weeknight late show by Brian Chalker, who despite his Country & Western background is reported by Cardiff listener Al Dupres to be continuing the slot’s soulful tradition . . . Capital’s Saturday evening soul show, currently presented by ‘The Baad’ Al Mathews (mmm-hmm), this week moves from 5-8pm to just 7-9pm — and it was the news of this curtailed time shift, no matter what else you may have heard, that discomfitted the show’s previous incumbent… Al’s actually calming his act down now . . . YES INDEEDY (MMM-HMM!).


HOT VINYL

PATRICK WILLIAMS: ‘Too Hip For The Room’ (LP ‘Dreams And Themes’ US PCM Records PAA-1001)
Already my favourite album of the year purely for listening, this composer/arranger/conductor’s beautiful jazz instrumental set features Tom Scott and all “the men” in subtly voiced brassy rather ’50s big band-type mood (try the lovely slow ‘Times’ for a great example), and I seem to have spent the whole weekend turning people onto it following in turn from Hertfordshire DJ Mike Allin turning me onto this particular featured track, a A fabulous sleazy good-time lurcher which takes off through 95-92-93-97/194-200-95-0bpm with a fast central section making that part ultra-specialist. The opening passage has produced squeals of delight every time I’ve chopped it out of the drum rolls that punctuate Tania Maria’s ‘Come With Me’, and then before the fast bit I chop into Chill Fac-Torr ‘Twist’. However that’s not all, as Williams composed the theme for ‘Lou Grant’ and, sho nuff, here’s the most definitive Tom Scott-played 95bpm ‘Lou’s Blues‘ that one is likely to find (as several readers have subsequently pointed out), while the multi-tempoed ‘Agave‘ is getting specialist Latin action. Give your ears a treat!

JOE SAMPLE: ‘Wings Of Fire’ (LP ‘The Hunter’ US MCA MCA-5397)
It’s a goodie! Totally independent of any fellow Crusaders, jazz pianist Joe’s self-penned instrumental set has returned one’s faith in his abilities at least, this melodic 119-120-121-120-122bpm adrenalin charger being the best dancer although the (0-)115-116-117-118-117-118bpm title track, 113bpm ‘Beauty And The Beast‘ (reminiscent of ‘Many Steps’) and (0-)91bpm ‘Night Flight’ are sure to get some attention too.

WHISPERS: ‘Keep On Lovin’ Me’ (LP ‘Love For Love’ US Solar 60216)
Worth the wait for its sheer quality as a self contained album if not so much as a dance set, their completely down tempo second side has a mellow resonance reminiscent of vintage Flamingos and is dominated by the deep soul 0-71-73bpm ‘Do They Turn You On‘, while the most impressive dancer is this classy 112bpm smooth chugger with nice little adlibs towards the end, the more laid back 0-106bpm title track also being good. The most obviously ”up” tune, on US single-issued A-side, the catchy 114bpm ‘Tonight‘ is in Britain coupled with the older 108bpm ‘Turn Me Out’ as 2-track flip to the slow Lionel Richie-influenced ‘This Time’ on 12in (Solar E 9878T). Surely that should have been the 7in plugside, but ‘Tonight’ would have made more sense alone on 12in A-side? Continue reading “March 12, 1983: Patrick Williams, Joe Sample, Whispers, C.O.D., Omni”

March 5, 1983: Chill Fac-torr, The Band A.K.A., Kashif, Jerry Knight, Glenn Jones

ODDS ‘N’ BODS

THIS YEAR’S World Disco Dancing Championship, for the first time sponsored by Malibu (coconut flavoured rum), will begin with 82 heats throughout Britain during April-June before culminating with no fewer than eight nationally televised shows on Channel 4 directed by Mike Mansfield, including the internationally shown hour-long World final, all the dancing being to actual records with some heavy involvement by London DJ Steve Walsh — and there are still some venues needed for the preliminary heats, interested club managers/DJs wishing their club to be considered should contact either Steve Walsh or Jon Osborne at Concorde Management on 01-735 8171 . . . Greg Edwards may be in radio limbo at the moment but he certainly left a legacy in Forrest, which he alone broke (and which CBS seemed to have run out of last week!) . . . JFM’s Dave Collins has turned up in the pre-breakfast slot on Capital for a trial run . . . UK acts are breaking so big via video on TV in the States (where the comatose audience must have been waiting for just such a new excitement) that in fact maybe “urban contemporary” radio will soon stop playing them, to make some difference in format from ‘Top 40’ . . . I’ll be interested to see if the new Compact Disc laser-tracked digital audio system will include split-second dubbing and vari speed facilities! . . . Extra T’s ‘E.T. Boogie’ is now belatedly about on somewhat less expensive continental import, in picture sleeve . . . Harry Ray ‘Love Is A Game’ has been remixed for UK 12in . . . Earth Wind & Fire ‘Spread Your Love’ will only be on 7in, although DJs are being mailed the same version on 12in promo . . . Spencer Jones’ undeservedly ignored ‘How High‘ is hitting the US Dance/Disco chart on Next Plateau, while Culture Club ‘Do You Really Want To Hurt Me’ is a Black US hit . . . Soul On Sound’s current issue is running late, as suggested lest week, but should be about by now, my preview mix as promised finally catching up with some of the faster electrophonic stuff (I actually did the last part first this time, to be sure of getting ’em in!), comprising: Fatback/Steve Arrington ‘You Meet My Approval’/Wish/Whispers/Kashif/Salsoul Orch/Visual/C-Brand/Micronawts/The System ‘Sweat’/Aural Exciters/Tyrone (Tystick) Brunson/Attitude ‘We Got The Juice’/ . . . Soulsonic Force/World’s Supreme Team Show/Contact-U/Jonzun Crew ‘Pack Jam’/Coco Du Jour ‘Dancin’ In The Darkness’/Quadrant Six ‘Body Mechanic’/Klein & MBO ‘Wonderful’/Jonzun Crew ‘Space Is The Place’/Reggie Griffin & Technofunk/Orbit/Instant Funk ‘No Stoppin’/Ray Slyy ‘Hey You’/Thrust ‘Can’t Wait To Get To You’/Prince Charles ‘In The Streets’/“D” Train ‘”D” Train Dub’ . . . SOS’s Epping Forest alldayer this Sunday (6) is advance ticket only, no admission at the door, so if in a flap call 01-629 5897(11am-6pm) for details . . . Capital’s four hour long New Year’s Eve party show is still valid as the records were chosen for a timeless, general, appeal . . . Prince Charles’s ‘Gang War (or the Acid Funk Syndrome)’ is fine, it’s side one’s 121 bpm ‘Rise’ and similar 121 bpm ‘Move Your Feet (To The Beat)’ that are less substantial . . . Percy Sledge’s ‘Percy!’ LP is all new, Percy being the ’60s soulster of ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’ fame . . . Stevie ‘CJ’ Craven is the Edinburgh Annabel’s jock, and Tim Arnold the DevonAir soul show host . . . Record Mirror’s soul/funk orientated Disco chart is as up-front as possible bearing in mind the national spread of our DJ contributors, while the Nightclub chart is possibly bogged down by having most contributors of all, but for real upfront reaction you can’t beat the Boys Town Disco listing as that is compiled from only a handful of influential venues, several contacted by phone every weekend and currently including: Charing Cross Heaven, Earls Court Copacabana, Mayfair Napoleons, Mile End Benjys, Haringey Bolts, various Dicks Inns, Manchester Heroes, Liverpool McMillans, Bournemouth Adams . . . Rawle James at Toronto’s Rooneys is a Canadian reader of these pages, but apart from expatriate Brits have we any US-based readers? . . . Carl Kingston, now home in Hull at Mecca’s Peppermint Park, always used our Disco reviews for buying records unheard from Britain while working all over Europe for the IDEA agency, and says “I have never been disappointed” . . . Nicky Holloway, still going strong with guest soul DJs every Monday at Bermondsey’s Swan & Sugarloaf (in Dockhead), asked for some oldies in this column and got ’em the very day the paper came out — “It pays to write to you”, sez Nicky . . . Mark Summers of Hackney’s Flappers (01-590 1825) is after McFadden & Whitehead ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ on 12in, to buy or swap for Peter Brown ‘Can’t Be Love — Do It To Me Anyway’ — this latter he’ll sell for £1.99, and it’s also offered for sale by Anthony Godden of 23 Redcliffe Square, London SW 10 . . . Mile End’s Disco Music has shifted its stock of thousands of soul/disco oldies (12in/7in) to the basement of 18 Newport Court, just off the Charing Cross Road behind Leicester Square tube station, which should be convenient for a rummage even by out-of-town visitors to London . . . Bensons Of Henley is the new name for Wheelers, at Remenhan Hill in Henley On Thames . . . Cloud play at Stanmore Chevaliers this Saturday (5) . . . George Alexander funks Harrow Weald’s Middlesex & Herts Country Club every Tuesday now Lyndon “T” currently funks Peckham Kisses (Fri/Sat), Slough Studio 1’s Club Creole (Thurs), ladies night at Soho Fooberts (Wed) . . . Kool ‘Ladies Night’ is a killer, as suspected, out of the vocal version of Wish ‘Mr DJ’! . . . Charlie Brown, mobile from Walton On-Thames, joins Phil Jay for a jazz-soul oldies spot on Sundays at Byfleet Carafino . . . Robbie Collins funks Saturdays at Watford New Penny . . . Neil Fincham, Steve Martin & Ray West have established a late night (’til 3am) Sunday Soul Night at Edinburgh Mad Hatters — where the new term for “punters” is “hillmans” (Hillman Hunter, punter!) . . . whaddya mean, you’re too young to know what a Hillman Hunter was?! . . . Stateside reports suggest the O’Jays are so broke after two years without a record out and only a few gigs that they couldn’t come up with the cash for a court action . . . JoBoxers current pop hit is nothing less than Northern Soul thinly disguised . . . Paul Major (Lincoln Cinderella Rockerfella’s) raves that Cori Josias ‘Takin’ It Straight (Dub)‘ mixes superbly with Donna Summer ‘I Feel Love’, Space ‘Magic Fly’, Sharon Redd ‘Beat The Street’, Electrik Funk ‘On A Journey’, LOTW ‘Time’ . . . Adrian (Bournemouth Adams) finds Yarbrough & Peoples ‘Heartbeats‘ synchs perfectly through the Vincent Price outro of Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’ . . . Davy D’s decks on his recent Top Of The Pops appearance were supplied by EMI Music’s Rob Sawyer, who does weddings and bar mitzvahs on the side! . . . Modern Romance should note that I’d review their records (the early ones of which I used to champion) if only I received them before they’d hit the pop chart — in fact I’m still waiting for a 12in of ‘Cherry Pink’! . . . Mark Herstell (Knutsford) is trying to identify a chick-sung song that goes “that’s life, c’est la vie, mon cherie” — it certainly looks familiar, any ideas? . . . Dick James Music seem to have started a magazine supplement — or am I wrong? . . . Al Matthews denies he’s offering a prize for anyone who accurately counts the number of times he goes “mmm-hmmm” on Capital’s soul show? . . . YES INDEEDY!


HOT VINYL

CHILL FAC-TORR: ‘Twist (Round ‘N’ Round)’ (US Philly World PWR-2010)
Already selling like crazy although tricky to introduce to dancers at first, this is nothing so much as a brilliant adaptation of Hank Ballard’s Chubby Checker popularised ‘The Twist’ (appropriately again on a Philadelphia label), stretched and spaced out into a still twist tempoed (and dead difficult to mix!) cool 183/91½bpm 12in jazz-funk framework, with the slow acappella started vocal side and instrumental flip both featuring some superb duetting saxes soaring, honking and squealing in stereo. A novelty pop smash if released here, it’s another haunting Johnny Chingas!

THE BAND A.K.A.: ‘Joy’ (Epic Streetwave EPC A13-3145)
Catchy enough singalong (and along and along) 114bpm 12in soul swayer takes a while before finally reaching the band’s strong point, their great sax, which for me makes the more instrumental flip a better bet — but, this now is followed by a horrendously clumsy segue (beats going all over the place!) into their old ‘Grace’. Truly awful, a simple edit from sax to sax would have been better — but then Streetwave’s Morgan Khan couldn’t care now as the label’s leaving CBS/Epic (Contd. next week).

KASHIF: ‘I Just Got To Have You (Lover Turn Me On)’ (Arista ARIST 12521)
Super producer Kashif actually has some vocal support from Evelyn King herself as they struggle valiantly not to sing the words of ‘Love Come Down’ to this spacious 117½bpm 12in cool burbler (instrumental flip), which sounds just as you’d expect. Continue reading “March 5, 1983: Chill Fac-torr, The Band A.K.A., Kashif, Jerry Knight, Glenn Jones”