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!
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”