Isaac Hayes passed away today (Sunday), in the very same hospital that my children were born in. His strong personality will be missed, but his musical legacy remains. I’ve been digging the soul/funk/R&B revival going on these days, thanks largely to Daptone Records, so it’s appropriate today to share a couple of gems from the Daptone 7 inch Singles Collection Vol. 2 by Charles Bradley & The Bullets.
We really dig what Daptone’s been up to this year. But they’ve been working at reviving soul for some years now; their comeuppance is due. One of their earliest releases is an album from The Sugarman Three, an outfit built around saxophonist Neal Sugarman and a Hammond B-3 organ. It’s a crying shame that tracks from their debut album, Sugar’s Boogaloo, aren’t available, and that your first taste of the band comes in the form of remixes, but you just shouldn’t take another breath until you get yourself a lil’ Sugarman action. These remixes are from a complete remix compilation that’s been freely available for a couple weeks courtesy of Daptone and friends. Dig deep from the Daptone well friends.
Don’t get me wrong, I really like the arrhythmic bobbing of one thousand hipster heads at, say, a Menomena show outside in the summertime. Equally pleasing is the boho hippie happy love vibe and patchouli smell rising like steam above an Amadou and Mariam or Manu Chao show. But I’m not talking about hippies or hipsters here… I’m talking about the hot. sweaty. funk. Sharon Jones has been bringing the hot sweaty funk for years now and as soon as the band starts playing–hips WILL be swaying, arms WILL be flailing, and, yes, booties will be shaking, because Sharon and her million person band of 3-piece-suit-wearing talent consistently brings it. These songs may not be brand spanking new, but when the music is classic, who needs them to be?
My 10-year-old son plays the clarinet in his school orchestra. His teacher offered a weekly jazz band class, in which my son, disappointing his old man, chose not to participate. This summer I plan on feeding him some heavy doses of The Budos Band, regaling him with stories of their after-school jazz ensemble, and how it lead the boys across the East River, via late night ferry rides, to sneak into Antibalas, Sugarman Three and Fela Kuti shows. Those illicit escapades helped form the Afro-Soul roots of The Budos Band. No son, it’s not exactly Harry Potter but, man, “Ride Or Die” would sure make a great soundtrack to those Lego James Bond videos you’re always watching on YouTube kid.