Monday, November 29, 2021

December's Soul/R&B/Jazz 45's For Your Ears!

It's time for some more off the wall U.S. 45's from the 60's. All scans are courtesy of

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!

7. BILLY HAMBRIC-"New York City Baby" US Soho 5001 1965

This bluesy groover is delivered mid tempo with a semi frantic pace that's interestingly a kinetic musical backing mix of vibes and strings. It's hard to describe as vocally it's almost a blues number but the sophisticated backing is almost too refined and slick to be an r&b record. Regardless it's infectious and amazing!

8. ODELL BROWN AND THE ORGAN-IZERS-"Mellow Yellow" US Cadet 5570 1967

Donovan's material was frequently chosen to be covered by a variety of jazz artists. This reading of his 1966 hit  "Mellow Yellow" is turned into an amazing jazzy instrumental here with funky Hammond organ, congas, hand claps and and a wailing sax solo. 

9. HANK JONES & OLIVER NELSON-"Winchester Cathedral" US Impulse 45-253 1967

Here's another reading of another pop hit from 1966, this time it's the New Vaudeville Band's "Winchester Cathedral". Vocalist Clark Terry sounds like Louis Armstrong on top of a funky arrangement by Oliver Nelson and a virtual who's who of jazz players providing the backing. For lovers of kitsch only!

10.  EDDIE & ERNIE-"Outcast" US Eastern 45-608 1965

Here's another one brought to my attention via the British invasion, this time it was The Animals reading of this mega obscure release by Eddie & Ernie. Though not nearly as punchy as the Animals version the original is a mellow, soulful duet that sounds like a poor man's Sam & Dave with some funky guitar licks and strong horns that are almost "poppy".

1 comment:

Darcy said...

Eddie & Ernie a "poor man's Sam & Dave"? Absolutely not (only my opinion, of course). They made a number of superb soul records, of both the deep and upbeat variety. The deep ballads are my favourites though.
I have gradually acquired most of their singles now after first stumbling across them about 15 years ago.
John Peel was a fan, having number of their Eastern singles in his well documented "special box".

Nice selection in this post. Thanks.