Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
Some captivating sounds await in this week's crop of platters: The voice of Derroll Adams, simultaneously soothing and haunting; Bo Diddley, channeling a Yiddish-warbling Paul Robeson (on "I Don't Like You," wow!); and Koes Plus, the so-called "Indonesian Beatles," sounding more '70s Laurel Canyon than '60s Liverpool. But the offering here I personally find most knee-knocking is the unvarnished funk from Mali's Moussa Doumbia.
A veritable boat-load of old African funk and soul records have been reanimated over the past decade, but to my ears none match the scorching intensity of Moussa Doumbia's mid-'70s masterpieces (lovingly compiled with extensive liner notes by Oriki Music in 2007) . Look no further than the title track, "Keleya," which is provided here in two dosages, regular (the shorter, 45rpm version that was first given wide distribution on Luaka Bop's Love's a Real Thing, back in 2005) and extra-strength (the nearly 11-minute-long album version with Doumbia's sax solo, and more, intact). Give a listen and see why, in the review for my Favorites of '07 list, I called this "maybe the greatest single-disc trove of African funk ever released."
Pick your potion...
Moussa Doumbia ~ "Keleya"
(Blog: Exp Etc )
Soul Brother #1A
More gushing verbiage from my Favorites of '07 write-up:
"Doumbia seemingly conjured, on a nightly basis, the very soul of Soul Brother No. 1 itself. His massive funk workouts featured all the withering, from-the-gut grunts and squeals, but they were layered over a dense thicket of his native Dioula rhythms—along with, of course, skronking horns and skanky guitars."
Derroll Adams ~ "Portland Town"
(Blog: Time Has Told Me)
Ramblin' Jack's Traveling Buddy
Posted back in 2008 at the treasuresome Time Has Told Me, the link for this collection of timeless ditties is blessedly still working. (The fellow who shared this, Markus, describes Derroll Adams as having "a wonderful voice, deep like an ocean, warm like a summerbreeze and soft like silk.")
[Please stop by for a visit and leave a kind thought for the blog's host, Lizardson, who is based in Japan. In a recent post he sent reassuring word that he's safe.]
Bo Diddley ~ "The Black Gladiator"
(Blog: Flabbergasted Vibes)
Bo Knows Guitar
"This album could serve as a sampler of Bo's wide talent, amply displayed on an equally wide range of top choice material. If your blues must come from the deepest reaches of Bo's own patented gut-bucket, then there's "Power House," "Shut Up, Woman," (a great "talking" blues tune) and a song which defies the gutbucket tag only, "Black Soul." If your taste leans towards a slightly more up-tempo offering, then "Hot Buttered Blues" and "I've Got a Feeling" will fit neatly into your bag. If, like me, you get a kick collecting Bo's "personal" tunes, then you'll flip behind "You, Bo Diddley." Then, if you laugh until your stomach hurts, you'd better ingest some aspirin before you pay too much attention to "I Don't Like You," in which Bo uses his best operatic voice to play the dozens with his irate woman. I predict that Bo's "Funky Fly" will not only be a smash in its own right, but will probably spawn a national dance craze as well." (From the liner notes, by Dave Potter, Chicago Daily Defender)
Koes Plus ~ "Hard Beat, Volume 1"
Tonny Koeswoyo, Yon Koeswoyo, Yok Koeswoyo, Jon Koeswoyo PLUS Kasmuri
"Koes Plus, Indonesia's most beloved pop music treasure, has an incredibly interesting history. Aside from the fact that this is a '70s Indonesian band unmistakably influenced by the British Invasion and that they were successful and popular enough to record over 40 albums during the '70s alone and spawn dozens of tribute bands over the years while remaining largely unknown throughout the rest of the world (piqued your interest yet?), the group's tale is somewhat legendary. Politics, rebellion, arrests, destroyed recordings, plane crashes…" (Crawford Philleo, Foxy Digitalis )
Mr. Holland's Opuses
Pimple-faced dumpster divers have quibbled over the boastful titles on these choice comps since their issuance. But what's the point? Can't we be funk lovers not fighters!
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