1. JAMES BOOKER-"Gonzo" US Peacock 5-1697 1960
This is brilliant little slice of slightly "poppy" Hammond jazz, think of a jazzier Dave "Baby" Cortez with a groovy flute throughout the entire number. I know absolutely nothing about the artist or the label, but it looks like the latter had a mostly gospel output.
2. ANTHONY & THE IMPERIALS-"The Flesh Failures" US Veep V-1293 1968
The hit making days for Little Anthony (now just plain "Anthony") and the Imperials were long gone by the time this version of a track from the hippie musical "Hair" eked out in 1968. Delivered at a 100mph groove that would make James Brown sweat you'd be hard pressed to recognize Little Anthony and Co. when listening to this insane soul burner!
3. TAMIKO JONES & HERBIE MANN-"A Good Thing (Is Hard To Come By)" US Atlantic 45-2392 1967
Flutist Herbie Mann teams up with vocalist Tamiko Jones on this uptempo jazzy number found on the flip of their reading of The Fab's "Day Tripper. It's accented by some vibes and and a driving piano from their 1967 Atlantic LP "A Mann And A Woman" and of course an over the top solo by Mann as Tamiko sings with a husky but smooth voice.
4. SHAWN ELLIOTT-"Shame And Scandal In The Family" US Roulette R-4586 1964
This plastic calypso number was delivered by Puerto Rican born Shawn Elliott Santiago. It's a cover of a racey/tongue and cheek tune cut ten years earlier as a full on calypso number by Sir Lancelot and The Caribbean Serenaders. The musical backing is tight and punchy and the risque lyrics are a gas and Elliott's vocals are convincing!
5. CHRISTOPHER CERF-"Sweet Music" US Amy 954 1966
I was introduced to this number by the 60's Liverpool group The Koobas who cut this number. Little did I know it was a cover of a number released three months prior by Christopher Cerf. Though not as powerful as The Koobas version the original has some punch. The vocalist reminds me a lot of Mickey Lee Lane and the musical backing is a full on affair with vibes, horns, strings and the kitchen sink. Some idiot has a copy up for $416 on Discogs right now because of course some meathead decided it was a "Northern soul classic" (fucking shoot me now).....
6. BABY EARL AND THE TRINI-DADS-"Everybody Do The Ska" US S.P.Q.R. 45-3317 1964
Here's another feux West Indian sound led by sax man Earl Swanson, this time it's ska given the plastic treatment. Though the record is too fast to actually be considered ska it's more like a Gary "US" Bonds party record with a chorus exhorting the listener to do the ska while a sax led instrumental with an occasional ska rhythm pumps away at a frenetic pace that's easy to imagine Bad Manners covering!