1. GATE WESLEY AND THE BAND-"(Zap! Pow!) Do The Batman" Atlantic 45-2319 1966
I first heard this number back in the 90's when it was the crown jewel of the indispensable CD comp "Pow City! FABulous Shakers Soul Party". For the uninitiated it's a funky soul instrumental punctuated by some hysterical impromptu lines like "Come on Robin get the Batmobile rollin'" and my favorite "Hey baby is cape on right?". Zap! Pow!
2. KENNY DINO-"Show Me" Columbia 4-43062 1964
A big shout out to long time reader and pal Joe Hedio for hipping me to this one. It's a raving stormer with a musical backing that sounds like it could be the Dave Clark Five (dig that beat and the sax!) with a frantic/frenetic groove that's 100 mph pure dance octane.
3. THE FIVE SPLENDORS-"Your Dog Hate Me" Stroll 106 1960
This tongue and cheek early 60's r&b groover reminds me of the Coasters but with hints of doo-wop but a gritty sax solo and faster paced tempo keep it from straying into that genre. And dig the groovy looking label it's on!
4. THE BLAZERS FEATURING DAVE "BABY" CORTEZ ON ORGAN-"Skins And Sounds" Winley 262 1962
This funky little obscure instrumental is an interesting number with the interspersing of Dave "Baby" Cortez's Hammond and some conga drums which makes for a different bag, but one that totally works! Incidentally it was released after Cortez's brief sojourn into the upper reaches of the charts with 1960's "The Happy Organ" and I suspect it was possibly recorded earlier?
5. CLARK TERRY AND CHICO O'FARRILL-"Spanish Rice" Impulse! 45-252 1966
Cuban born Latin band leader Chico O'Farrill and jazz horn legend Clark Terry cut this smoldering jazz instrumental with a talk over discussing the recipe for Spanish rice on top of an infectious Latin jazz groove! Smokin'! Anybody got a copy?
6. JO ANN SMITH-"Give A Man A Tree" Columbia 4-43330 1965
On top of a smooth groove laid down by organ, horns and chorus the breathy/husky Jo Ann Smith sings with some biting lyrics "Give a man a tree, he wants a forest, give a man a stream, he wants a river, give a man a hill, he wants a mountain, he cannot be denied, a man is never satisfied". Brilliant!
7. JOE DUKES-"Moohah The DJ" PRESTIGE 45-322 1964
This Jack McDuff penned instrumental number is credited to drummer Joe Dukes who played on this along McDuff on organ, Red Holloway on sax and Geo Benson on drums. Musically it reminds of something that The Graham Bond Organzation would have gotten up to across the pond, though far heavier on the accent on the horns than the Hammond.
8. THORNTON SISTERS-"I Keep Forgettin'" Cuppy C-102 1965
This obscure cover of the Chuck Jackson number from '62 is worth checking out. It's far more upbeat than the original and the soulful female voices come across as gritty and intriguing. Some jack ass has a copy for sale on Discogs for $3,767.12. I kid you not. It's amazing but....
9. CASH MCCALL-"You Ain't Too Cool" Thomas 307 1966
The flip of Cash's Motown inspired ballad "When You Wake Up" is this nifty instrumental track led by a sax with organ/guitar interplay that comes off like an upbeat Booker T. type groove with King Curtis style funky horns.
10. ARTHUR PRYSOCK-"I Must Be Doing Something Right" Verve VK 10620 1968
There's always a running gag about every type of performer having their "Northern Soul" number and allegedly this is Arthur Prysock's. I'm not sure how you get down to this baritone voiced track with loads of tempo changes but there's a cool groove punctuated by horns and atmospheric flute.