Much respect to the familia over at the local Digger’s Union who I’m genuinely fans of. I only recently just started this blog, so the lack of coverage on other sites here are zilch, but def. look for future episodes of their Enjoy & Be Educated podcast shows here. I support these brothas (Unexpected & Hevehitta) and salute them. For today’s episode, they showcase and give the drummer some. And the fact that they got some Idris, Olatunji (!!!!) and Hiro Tsunoda in the mix is enough proof for you that they know their shit and are deep diggers. Tracklist below. Download it here.
There’s a part of me that truly despises most smooth jazz. Some of this deep seeded abhorrence I harbor for the genre may be due in part to the “purist” side of the brain, while some of it may be attributed to it’s association with elevator music, which as well all know, is heard in such unnerving places as the good ol’ doctor’s offices. That place always gives me the creeps. The irony of all this is today’s “smooth jazz” centerpiece features one song I do remember hearing in elevators, hotel lobbies, convenience stores in the airport and while on hold with the local cable company on the phone. And simply put, I fucks with it. The atmospheric vibe of it is super chill, and for DJ Shok to flip it into something as sincere as DMX’s Slippin’ is moving. The other two songs featured here are probably too funky to be considered “background music.” Nonetheless, Grover Washington Jr.’s Feels So Good, arranged by the one and only Bob James, is proof (at least to me) that not all smooth jazz is eerie fluff that makes you want to pull your own wisdom teeth out instead of waiting in the lobby of your dentist and having enough self control not to throw a chair at the ceiling speakers.
If Bob is the King of Reggae, Dennis Brown the Crown Prince and Gregory Isaacs the Cool Ruler, then Beres Hammond is the Emperor? Well, definitely the Emperor of lover’s rock. No debating that. And more than that, he’s a living legend, a breathing relic who is to reggae what Otis Redding, Marvin, Curtis, David Ruffin or Jerry Butler are to R&B / Soul music. I’d put money on it that many babies were made to this brother’s music. And because, well, I felt like it, hit the jump for Beres’ video to Rockaway which brings back fond memories of living in VA and making the 8 hour drive from from VA Beach to NYC damn near every weekend. A nostalgic tune which will be forever rooted in my brain.
Funky likkle reggae chune by The Crown Prince of Reggae (Bob Marley’s words ), Dennis Brown. Sorry, no photo of the 45. This cut was produced by Herman Chin-Loy and was recently repressed on his Aquarius label in 2004.
You all know about the legendary Blind Alley break by The Emotions. But do you know about this bootlegged version of the Volt classic? This dub-esque version features the reworked Blind Alley on the A-side, with an extended cut of Isaac Hayes’ Bumpy’s Lament on the flip. Both were culled from the original master tapes from the Stax/Volt sessions, which in turn blesses us with a version of Blind Alley (written by David Porter) that features an extended break intro with that heavy bassline, those notorious keys that get the head nodding (pause) and dubbed out vocals. So ill. Now excuse me while I browse through the profiles of blossoming Tiger Mom MILFS on Asian Avenue for a good laugh.
I fucking love me some Black Uhuru. Word to Keola! They defined raw, rootsy, dub reggae and Sly & Robbie murdered it on the production tip. Even better? The dub. Peace to Michael Rose (vocals on this album), Don Carlos, Junior Reid, Sly & Robbie and Duckie Simpson.
Listen, I don’t know jack about Intimate Strangers, this song’s history or who else chopped this break, so instead I’ll leave you with a random, yet important science fact:
The Sun is approximately 93 million miles from Earth, and the speed at which Light travels is approximately 186,000 miles per second, yet it takes the Light from the Sun about 8 minutes and some change to reach us here on Earth. Which ultimately means the Sunlight we are seeing is 8 minutes old, or about the same time it takes Jim Jones to catch a new case.