Gowhere Hip Hop

In The Raw Archives

In the Raw: Mel Brown


Mel Brown's musical acuity stemmed, in part, from his father's tutelage. It never hurts when the man teaching you an instrument played with Tommy Johnson, arguably one of pre-War blues' most talented guitarist and lyricists.

Regardless of where Brown gained the ability to adroitly mix jazz, blues and funk, the guitarist was able to impact bands led by folks as influential as Etta James and Bobby 'Blue' Bland, with whom Brown played during the majority of the '70s. Even with these impressive credits, it's the five albums that Brown recorded for Impulse! during the late '60s and early '70s that makes up his legacy.

Between 1967 and 1970, Brown led a variety of ensembles through a mélange of genres that could be summed up by the term soul jazz. Of course, that would be reductive and considering the fact that from song to song, Brown's band might work in any single genre, pigeonholing the music seems useless.

Counting Oliver Nelson as arranger and Bob Thiele as producer, Brown's first date as a session leader in '67 yielded Chicken Fat. With jazzbo Herb Ellis serving to bolster the collected ensemble behind him, Brown moved from the improvisational blues of "Home James" to the jazz and funk of "Greasy Spoon" with little effort.

Getting a song writing credit on the latter track, Ellis opted to play a 12-string guitar on not just "Greasy Spoon," but a few other efforts as well. It was a choice most likely motivated by Ellis' affinity for the instrument more than anything else, but added a serpentine quality to each track the instrument was used for. Endless highlights emerge over the duration of Chicken Fat. But even if one moves forward in time through Brown's discography, a consistent quality remains. Too bad there isn't more to wade through.



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In the Raw: Cane and Able


The history of Cane and Able is inextricably linked to the Lafayette Afro-Rock Band (LARB).

Coming out of Long Island, LARB found itself in a marketplace that sported more than a few groups which bore some musical similarity to the funk and psych stuff that the band made use of. That being as good a reason as any to move to Paris, the band relocated in 1971.

A few auspicious meetings resulted with LARB functioning as the session band for Pierre Jaubert's Parisound studio. The group would go on to release a few discs and subsequently be sampled by an endless number of top tier producers. Even as Soul Makossa is today revered as a classic, most of LARB's work is pretty staid and boring to wade through.

Some of that middling music was eventually relayed on Cane and Able's self-titled long player, released in 1972. Saving the disc, though, was a well construed Wilson Picket cover. After the fuzzy guitar intro that could have announced the opening to a Black Sabbath track, most of "Don't Knock My Love" emerges as jazz fusion not unrelated to Eddie Henderson's work with Herbie Hancock.

Part of what allows Cane and Able - and specifically "Don't Knock My Love" - to come off better than anything LARB was able to summon is the prominent feature of Tony Lytle (trombone) and Hasan Tayratira (trumpet), who were both refugees from James Brown's horn section. The pair's inclusion on this disc might only have had a minute impact on the actual recording process. It's unquestionable, though, that without the assist from the brass section, Cane and Able really wouldn't be worth mentioning at this point even as the group would record a bit more prior to calling it a day.



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In the Raw: Ebony Rhythm Band


Indianapolis doesn't seem like an auspicious town to begin a career based in grit and funk.

Pressed to name other acts to come out of that town, it'd be just as easy to cite the Zero Boys, an early hardcore band, as anything else. So needless to say, when listeners stumble across the Ebony Rhythm Band on The Funky 16 Corners compilation and do a bit of digging, the group's origins seen odd.

Compounding the bizarre displacement of is the fact that the group remained in relative obscurity, only being brought to the light the late '90s when the band's work was found at Les Ohmit's studios. With that discovery, of course, came the reissue campaign spearheaded by Now-Again Records, an affiliate of Madlib's Stones Throw imprint.

Regardless of the new disc's relative collectability, the band, during its first incarnation eventually grew tired of its Midwestern confines and headed out to Los Angeles. But much in the same way that other groups would have dreams dashed out there on the cost, the Ebony Rhythm Band didn't find success. Of course, the ensemble was somehow able to wrangle Wayne Henderson from the Jazz Crusaders to produce its first album. That, though, wouldn't help too much and the ensemble eventually headed home.

The mostly instrumental effort that is Soul Heart Transplant hasn't suffered over time. And even with surprising inclusions, like "Drugs Ain't Cool," the Ebony Rhythm Band arrives today as one of the tighter groups from funk's middle, classic period.

It seems as if after a lengthy break, the group's begun gigging around its hometown in much altered form. If it's worth checking out is beyond me, but the video below makes it seem like it might be a good time.



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In the Raw: The Lyman Woodward Organization


Hanging the success of Detroit's music scene on Motown Records seems like a reductive concept. Not everything truly remarkable from 'the D,' as Dilla called it, centered on the label. John Lee Hooker's boogie certainly had no direct ties to the soul imprint. And while '60s punkers like the MC5 probably had a few psychedelic soul albums in their collection, any connection there would be tenuous at best.

Lyman Woodward and his sprawling career had a very specific relation to Motown. Woodward and his keyboard helmed Martha and the Vandellas' band between 1970 and 1973. Those years were admittedly not the pinnacle of either Motown or the Vandellas. But the fact that Woodward would be selected for the task speaks to his musical proclivities.

Eventually, though, Woodward grew weary working under the auspices of another group's name. So, after just a few years heading up the Vandellas' band, comprised of some tossed off Funk Brothers, the keyboardist assembled what would be referred to as the Organization.

The Lyman Woodward Organization would gig around clubs in the Midwest for the better part of the ensuing decade. It may not have recorded too much, but the albums it did produce paid homage to Woodward's avowed mentor, Jimmy Smith.

Not to rag on the elder organist, but a great many of his compositions come off as slight dinner music. Woodward's group by contrast funked it up a bit while still maintaining some poignant jazz ideas.

Work by the Organization, at this point, is heralded mostly by crate digging types for inclusion in deejay sets as opposed to production work. But some of the cuts that the group got down remain sample ready.




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In the Raw: Freddi-Henchi and the Soul Setters



It's easy to figure that some party bands that have been ignored for the perceived broadness of presentation should find a place in a deejay's crates.

Fred Gowdy and Marvin "Henchi" Graves met during the early '60s in Phoenix, Arizona of all places. The latter was a college wrestling champion and dance instructor, while Gowdy had worked a bit as front-man for an ensemble during college.

For reasons too numerous to list, after forming the Soul Setters, which would eventually morph into Freddi-Henchi and the Soul Setters, the singers high tailed it to Colorado - another area not too often associated with the funk.

Despite all of that Gowdy and Graves set about collecting a group of musicians that were as interested in writing good music as they were ready to throw down at parties. Eventually, the group would become renewed in its adopted state for its live performances, but not before a shifting line-up brought two interesting figures into the fold.

The late '60s hangover broke up a good many bands. And the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band as well as the Electric Prunes were two of the bands that ceased to exist by the dawn of the '70s. Each group trucked in various degrees of florid psychedelic based rock stuffs. The latter group saw a larger fan base grow throughout the country, but it was the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band that is generally lauded by collector geeks at this point.

Regardless of that, the disintegration of those ensembles allowed for guitarist Bob Yeazel and bassist Jerry Krenzer to join the Freddi-Henchi collective. The integration of players with backgrounds that weren't necessarily tied to dance music was really an auspicious move. In performances dating from '73 and after, there was a pronounced rock sound - to the point where the band covered a Jimi Hendrix tune on its album The Prophets of Funk.

It's interesting to note that there's more lyrical fair included in the band's repertoire that focuses on the funky good times than on social issues - "Clancys a Real Good Cop" notwithstanding. Working in Colorado probably afforded the group that, but as long as it's funky now...


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In the Raw: Damn Sam the Miracle Man and the Soul Convention


Released via Tay Ster Records in 1970, Damn Sam the Miracle Man and the Soul Convention found itself tied to a label that would be dedicated to issuing some really early rap stuffs in the coming years. Despite the imprint releasing singles by the Harlem World Crew, Tay Ster was at one time focused on issuing some heavy funk.

Just judging from this self titled album's cover, it'd be easy to guess that there'd be a pronounced George Clinton thing going on here. That's not the case, though. Instead, Damn Sam (bka O.C. Wright) and his throaty southern soul vocals leads a band on songs that could be described as the what Otis would have sounded like if his plane didn't go down in Lake Erie. Comparisons of that nature are unfair, but the work laid out by the Soul Convention is able to push Damn Sam's vocals into a perpetual raspy frenzy and vice versa.

Of course, album opener, "Give Me Another Joint," should be perennial favorite. But elsewhere there're hints of psychedelic soul that makes the aforementioned Clinton seem to be radio ready. The bells, wah-wah guitar and its enormous break makes "Smash" a lost classic. And while it'd be difficult to track this 1970 album down, 2006 saw a proper re-release.

There wasn't ever another recording from Damn Sam and his cohort, which might account the lack of information on the group that's floating around. Regardless, though, the music is all gritty and sample ready.

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In the Raw: Dennis Coffey


You've probably heard Dennis Coffey play guitar innumerable times and just not known it.

Growing up in Detroit, even as country music comprised most of his early listening, Coffey was lucky enough to come of age during a time when Berry Gordy was assembling the Funk Brothers, who were ostensibly the house band at Motown Records. Despite the group not attaining its rightful fame, the rotating ensemble produced some extraordinary players. Coffey was one of them.

Making use of that fateful wah-wah pedal as well as a healthful dose of distortion made Coffey a unique player in soul music. He can't be figured as the progenitor of all the psychedelic soul stuff, but he did play on the Temptations' Cloud Nine - and that counts for something.

The same year that the Temptations' released that fuzzy soul disc, Coffey managed to gather together an ensemble to record his first album, Hair and Things. And while the guitarist would draw liberally from Galt MacDermont's musical, as the title should suggest, there were a number of his own compositions that remain stunning portraits of rock meeting soul music head on.

That early success, though, isn't what Coffey is generally known for. Instead, it's the tracks "Scorpio" and "Taurus" that are usually mentioned. Both have been endlessly plundered by producers, but Coffey's funk offers an endless supply of drum and bass.



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In the Raw: Skull Snaps


"I'm yo' pimp / I wear my hat to the side and walk with a limp..."

The development of the album as a viable art from can arguably be traced to the British Invasion groups and specifically the Beatles. Sgt. Pepper's might be vastly overrated as audio art, but it did achieve an album long coherence that no other group had attempted back in 1966.

Prior to that, most recorded music was issued in the format of singles or 45 rpm discs. Frequently, those stray pieces of vinyl were collected and issued as compilations. So an overwhelming majority of early funk and soul stuff that could have come to bear some impact on hip-hop is likely sitting around waiting to be discovered. And then came the spate of re-issues ushered in by the likes of Chicago's own Numero Group.

Regardless of where all those one-off recordings are today, the way in which latter day collectors understand Skull Snaps (Samuel Culley, Ervan Waters, George Bragg) is generally obfuscated by the history of the Diplomats.

Coming of age during a time when doo-wop and straight soul was on order, Culley, Waters and a revolving cast of musicians comprising the Diplomats issued a string of traditional sounding fair during the '60s. Recognizing the shift in popular music both in its dissemination as well as its sound, the Diplomats set up shop in New Yawk and changed its name to Skull Snaps.

Issuing a single album in 1973, the ensemble ostensibly disappeared, only to be resurrected by a bevy of mid '90s producers that plunder the self titled album for material. Most frequently recycled is "It's a New Day." The flowing bass notes should be instantly recognizable to anyone even moderately familiar with DJ Premier. That being said, there are too many other folks that've made use of that specific track to mention.

Beyond that best known effort, though, are tracks that cover everything from pimping to failed relationships. While Skull Snaps are occasionally slagged off as being a middling funk group even a cursory listen to its one long player should disprove the claims.



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In the Raw: Willie Tee


The story of Willie Tee (née Wilson Turbinton) and his various keyboards, pianos and organs begins in the same projects that the Neville Brothers called home. And while that duo would go on to distinction in a variety of settings - most importantly the Meters, of course - Willie Tee spent the entirety of his career working towards recording more than regional hits.

Beginning his career while still in high school during the early '60s, partially thanks to the advice of a band teacher, Tee's recordings perpetually made use of a variety of genres: jazz, blues, soul and NOLA party tunes. It would make sense that considering the confluence of music Tee would be able to achieve some sort of broad acclaim. He didn't.

Early on Tee recorded under his own name and as a date leader. These sessions yielded some player-styled tracks including "Teasing You Again," which sported lines like "You bought her alotta drinks...She'll get a cab and bring it home to me." Classic.

Still searching for a proper hit, Tee founded the Gaturs in 1970 and began recording in a style that would actually presage some of the coming smooth sounds of the decade. "Get Up" is all sultry cheese-ball soul, but still had most other musically chicanery beat by a few years.

Amongst all of the sub-par fair represented over the course of the Gaturs' one proper album - Wasted - were a few gems. "Gatur Bait" is blaxploitation soundtrack ready with its wah-wah guitar and hand drumming. Tee's keyboard line, though, is what makes the track work. Despite the few highpoints of the ensemble's album, it would be with another group that Tee made his greatest impact.

Performing under the name the Wild Magnolias, which comprised a number of other NOLA based players, Tee wrote "Smoke My Peace Pipe (Smoke it Right)" as a way to celebrate Mardis Gras. It worked and the track obtained a substantial cult around it to the point that the Geto Boys would eventually sample it.

That one fact does little to expand the influence of Willie Tee's music. But it does point towards the talent that he toted around.
 




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In the Raw: Joe Bataan


The swath of disparate cultures that make up whatever America actually is can be found in most cities.

New York, during the '70s, though, had a bit of everything and perhaps too much of a segregated landscape. But as a result of minorities being cloistered away up there in Harlem, a number of things happened. An insular culture resulted that created an environment for music traditionally associated with African Americans to merge with a nascent Latin sound. It all didn't occur over night. And when Joe Bataan eventually emerged towards the latter portion of the '60s it was clear that in his music was based as much on storytelling and enough poly-rhythmic backing as to lay the foundation for what transpired the following decade.

Minor hits along the way, like "Subway Joe," presented themselves as a slight alternative to an R&B audience that wasn't ever able to get enough of those Mr. James Brown clones. By inserting the salsa and mambo that Bataan was familiar with as a result of his childhood growing up in Spanish Harlem, the singer and band leader settled upon a sound that appealed to a huge audience. He never became a tremendous star, but would retain a consistent popularity over time even as he took twenty years off from the recording industry to spend time with his family.

As the '70s moved along, though, Bataan became intently aware of the burgeoning rap thing that was set to shortly explode. Whether or not his "Rap-O Clap-O" was recorded before or after Sugar Hill Gang's first single is really of little importance now. But it is obvious on the track that Bataan's easing in yet another sound into his already broad musical palette.

Some of the band leader's work isn't going to appeal to the hip hop horde at this point, but there's enough funk to uncover amongst his recordings to keep folks digging.



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In the Raw: Brothers Unlimited


There's rarely been a time in recorded music when so many sounds and genres were able to find a home in one single act.

The Chambers Brothers might be your dad's favorite group at this point, but during the late '60s, the ensemble functioned as the torchbearers of some fuzzy soul movement that included the likes of George Clinton and Black Merda. And while there's a variety of notoriety that goes along with each of those acts, Brothers Unlimited deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as its better known brethren.

Including Curtis and Harold Johnson, formerly members of the Astors, the band was actually put together in Tennessee by a Florida transplant by the name of John "Kousi" Harris. Sporting no less than fourteen players, Brothers Unlimited created a sound that included as much psychedelia as funk and soul.

Set down at FAME Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and issued through Capitol Records in 1970, Brothers Unlimited released one long player, entitled Who's for the Young. Songs like "Take Me Back" weren't any different than what was heading up the charts at the time. But perhaps the overt social messages that he group attempted to insert alongside its more pop oriented material was enough to turn off potential fans.

The message song was in full swing by the time that Brothers Unlimited worked out its wax with Marvin Gaye's What's Going On only a year off into the future. It would appear that the ensemble didn't think it was trucking in songs that weren't going to be easily digested by the general public. Included on Who's for the Young are even a few well placed covers ("Spoonful" by Willie Dixon and "A Change Is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke). For one reason or another, though, the group dissolved just a few short years later with a members going on to perform with a reconstituted Bar-Kays line up.

Brothers Unlimited weren't the greatest band utilizing fuzz and funk, but it was a group that deserved more than it received.

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In the Raw: Mighty Joe Hicks



What's so interesting about music from the late '60s and early '70s is the fact that anyone who possessed an aptitude for an instrument had the chance of winding up on any recording.

This is all evidenced by the inclusion of Chris Ethridge on Mighty Joe Hicks' 1973 self titled album.

Ethridge, who's best recalled for his contributions to country tinged outfits like the International Submarine Band as well as the Flying Burrito Brothers, worked out the bass parts for the entirety of Hicks' one album. And while the bassist's inclusion is really just a footnote, Ethridge's performance here points towards the relative success of racially integrated bands during the decade preceding the recording of this disc.

Regardless of the racial composition of the group, Hicks leads the ensemble through a spate of funk, soul and blues. The combination of genres most readily recalls a latter day Albert King, who recorded for Stax Records as well.

Even with that rather high profile comparison, Hicks doesn't revel in consistent top tier work. The tandem of B.B. King's "Rock Me Baby" followed by "Could it Be Love" presents itself as a mid-disc let down. Fortunately, "All In" ratchets up the bluesy guitar soloing as Hicks' voice is granted enough room to let listeners hear why he was afforded a chance to record a full length in the first place.

Despite Mighyt Joe Hicks being the singer's lone long player, Hicks' work has retained a shimmer over the years. "Ruby Dean," which echoes Johnny Cash's "Dont Take Your Guns To Town" while substituting love (read: naughty bits) for a gun, constitutes Hicks' legacy. There're a few other gems buried here - and most importantly, a few relatively obscure breaks.

 

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In the Raw: Lee Rogers and D-Town Records



It's time for another installment in the never ending saga of In the Raw and the unsung singers, producers and funk fanatics that contributed to the culture that would eventually spawn hip hop.

The career trajectory of Lee Rogers (née Lee Rogers Craton) mirrored that of the label he was most associated with - D-Town. Arriving at some modicum of fame during the first half of the '60s as a member of the Peppermints, Rogers found early success that he attempted to parlay in to a solo career. As so many of these tales go, Rogers never really achieved what he should have. Fate is cruel.

With a mixture of soul, RnB and a nascent funk, Rogers went in on a spate of singles that purportedly even capture the imagination of Marvin Gaye. But despite the make up of his fan base, Rogers modeled himself as a normal guy with extraordinary talents.

A single recorded for D-Town, outta Detroit obviously, finds Rogers figuring that he's just a 'practical guy.' Rogers didn't buy fancy clothes or drive a big car, but at least he was a sensible fellow. The lyrical focus that Rogers utilized was an approach that garnered the singer some success as the single was a relative success. But as society and culture changed over the course of the decade, Rogers eventually wound up being an anachronism.

Subsequent to a few more middling singles, Rogers high tailed it to Los Angeles where he would attempt to resuscitate his career, audition for the newly relocated Motown Records, but only wound up getting into a car accident that sidelined him for a bit.

Rogers' career didn't end there. He would go on to release a few slabs over the ensuing decades, but wasn't ever able to regain the footing he once had in he industry. Luckily for us, though, there's enough old tyme work to sift through.





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In the Raw: The Whitefield Brothers

Earthology.jpg

Not all funk is created equal.

While most funk aficionados figure the genre for something of an American original, the last few decades have led to its spreading the world over. Surely, afro-beat is on the mind of countless New Yorkers since the premier of Fela! a while back, but Germany needs to be considered when attempting to understand the globe spanning phenomenon that is funk.

Yeah, that's an odd sentiment to relate, but with the teutonic Poets of Rhythm proclaiming itself one of the most important modern funk ensembles, Germany has become a scene unto itself. With PoR calling it quits a few years back, though, a number of the group's principal players went on to record a few more slabs of stanky funk.

2001's In the Raw, released via the now defunct Soul Fire imprint, announced that Jay Whitefield, PoR's guitarist, intended to continue on under a new moniker. Of course, nine years is a long time to wait for a follow up, but Earthology proves its value immediately.

Subsequent to a brief introduction, "Safari Strut," recalls everything from acid-jazz to afro-funk and IDM. Quickly moving on, the album works to include a number of guest emcees. And during "Reverse" Percee P and MED go in over a track that arrives tied to the past as much as it's related to studio wizardry.

The Whitefield Brothers retain this old as new approach over the duration of the album. As "Pamukkale" prominently features a serpentine horn line, the song at once embraces funk's American lineage and a slew of Eastern and African musics.

Earthology begins the New Year with a grit not found on too many other releases. But even as there seems to be endless praise awaiting the ensemble and its latest album, In the Raw remains a definitive definition of the new funk that can now easily be found across every continent.

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In the Raw: Richard 'Groove' Holmes


Richard 'Groove' Holmes was a big fat guy. His organ jams were just as large.

Recording for major labels that trafficked in groove related jazz - Pacific Jazz, Prestige Records, Groove Merchant and Muse Records - Holmes left behind a dense discography that any rap aficionado should be able to recognize from its resulting samples. That's not to say that this organist and keyboard player is as funky as Mr. James Brown, but in the realm of jazz, there aren't too many folks who present such a samplable back log of songs.

Holmes' work has received various accolades, both during his life and subsequent to his death in 1991. Being rendered in song by the Beastie Boys, though, is an accomplishment that not too many other folks can claim.

Regardless of how others perceived his work, though, Holmes affected different takes on the jazz genre, always maintaining a certain funk about it all. On earlier dates, like the 1966 Soul Mist!, there's a more pronounced Jimmy Smith influence. As that decade gave away to the '70s, though, tracks like "Groovin' for Mr. G" from Come on Home, might just as easily be classified as funk in lieu of toting around the jazz tag.

It'd be difficult to figure a specific recording as Holmes' best. That's in part due to the fact that he wasn't the most prolific song writer, only turning in a few original tunes for each of his recording dates, making his discs something of a landing pad for standards. That being said, "Red Onion" and the huge break that the song opens with was penned by the organist for his 1974 New Groove album, easily counts as a career highlight.

There's a lotta funk to wade through, so get started.

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In the Raw: Black Heat



The song above, "Chip's Funk" by Black Heat, remains one of the strongest offerings to come out of the '70s Atlantic Records' catalog sample ready and was produced by none other than Joel Dorn (1942-2007).

Dorn's name might not be readily identifiable to the passing music fan, but during the '60s and '70s he helmed a slew of funk, soul and jazz recording sessions, including Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly." That alone isn't reason enough to remember Dorn. But his subsequent contributions enriched America's musical landscape.

Regardless, Black Heat was able to release three long players between '72 and '75 - each doused in funky backings and occasionally rewarding vocals. The downward trajectory in quality isn't really an issue seeing as the first, self titled album (at least its instrumentals) were all slinky funk and dance ready grooves.

Much of the vocal stuff here, like "Street of Tears" and "You'll Never Know" might not be too pleasurable to funk aficionados, but each is still passable despite sounding more than dated at this point.

A Meters' styled soul jam in the form of "Honey Love" might be the most successful vocal number here. Coming off as a New Orleans inflected dance track, the band's able to move around within the funk and soul genres to good effect. What people need out of Black Heat, though, are the instrumental numbers.

"The Jungle" is some tough funk stuff getting worked out at a pretty quick tempo. Hand-drums push the track forward as the organ kicks up and group vocals proclaim that all involved are tired of living in the jungle. It's a recycled sentiment, but in the hands of these players, it comes off as something more than a trite saying.

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~ Dave Cantor

In the Raw: Johnny Otis


No two people are ever going to agree on how or when hip hop came about. There are myriad ideas and reasons behind everyone's individual perspective, but that doesn't mean that we no longer need to speculate on the topic.

It's indisputable that during the late '60s a new kind of consciousness was washing over a generation of people in the States. The revolution that was to free us all never came to fruition. And while we can each blame our parent's generation for not having universal health care by now, the Boomers and some of the forward thinking members of the generation even older then them were able to explode musical boundaries.

Again, we can all argue about hip hop coming from funk, soul, blues, Jamaica, Germany or BK. Johnny Otis, though, is a part of the music despite being of Greek descent and playing in jazz bands during the '40s and RnB groups during the '50s and '60s.

Apart from hosting a wildly successful television showcase for musicians based in LA, Otis did a fair amount of recording - occasionally with his then teen-aged son, Shuggie Otis. While the younger Otis would go on to release several influential if not successful albums, it's on Cold Shot, attributed to the Johnny Otis Show, and Snatch and the Poontangs' For Adults Only, that the two musicians would contribute to the antecedents of hip hop.

Over the space of those two discs, the Otis' worked out the music behind a few blue lyrics. "Two Time Slim" finds Delmar "Mighty Mouth" Evans describing various sexual maladies that he's dealt with. In its delivery, the song works in a slow-speak manner as a whining slide guitar guides Evans through his story. It's not "King Tim III (Personality Jock)," but Evans should be easy to figure for a prehistoric rap hero. The fact that both Johnny and Shuggie Otis would go on to shred some funk tracks doesn't hurt the family's legacy either.

 

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~ Dave Cantor

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