Sunday, February 13, 2005


Here are some photos from last nights Uptight. It was a top night and it was really nice to see the South Coast Soul Club in attendance, we shall be popping down to one of their nights very soon.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Jimmy Smith - RIP

Sad news, Jimmy Smith died yesterday (10th February) at the age of 79. I have been a big fan of Jimmy Smith since nicking a compilation of his stuff from my Dad when I was a kid. I went to see him at the Jazz Cafe a few years ago and he blew me away. Whilst looking for material to include here, I chanced upon this exert from Bill Milkowski's Rockers, Jazzbos & Visionaries on the Funk 45 Forum. The man was a legend.

I know you got into some kind of karate.

Yeah, for 25 years now.

I've seen your album Respect , where you got your kung fu robe on the cover.

Not kung fu, motherfucker. That's shotokan. And that means sho-kill-yo'-ass. I studied that particular method. Shotokan is when you go to the diaphragm and pull out the fucking food, show him what he ate for dinner, you understand? And I mean that shit. Go in there, pull them fuckin' greens out, put 'em right in his face and watch him faint. You know what I mean?

Yeah, that would come in handy on the subway.

Hey man, shit, you don't need no damn gun. Pull them fucking intestines out...and they be movin', you know, like worms. That shit be running all over my damn hand.

On Elvin Jones

Elvin's too ugly to look old. That's an ugly man. You know what happened, when we first met it was Haight-Ashbury in Frisco, and man...I was off on Monday...I was playing at the Jazz Workshop and he was playing at the Blackhawk. So anyway, I wasn't working on this Monday and he was on. So I walk in the door to catch Elvin's gig and the guy says, "Jimmy Smith, come on in! Elvin Jones is here, man. I hope you guys can hook up tonight, man." And here comes Elvin, "Hey, man, we're gonna get into something tonight, OK?" I said, "What? I ain't never played witch you, man." So he just grabbed me, and he's strong anyway...I had to put all my little karate shit on his ass. I grabbed his dick. He say, "Turn my dick loose, motherfucker." I say, "Man, don't fool with me, boy." Everybody say, "Jimmy Smith is crazy, don't fool with him." 'Specially when I'm not playing...and I'm 'off,' I'm really off. It's what the black people call you. It's not's o-f...they say, "The nigger's o-f." That's from the South. Say that. It sounds good. It's got a ring to it. So anyway, we play. Elvin broke the sock cymbal right off, man. He done broke that sucker, 'cause he's so strong, man. And when we got done, I was soaked, he was soaked, our socks were wet. I'm serious, Bill. Our socks were soaking wet. I messed that suit know, all that salt you get from sweating. You ever see a musician with those white armpits? These motherfuckers with all that salt beadin' their ass up? Just like race horses? Exactly.

For a more sober look at the life and times of a legend try these:

  • BBC

  • The Guardian
  • Monday, February 07, 2005

    Soulful 7s

    Here is my first instalment of soulful 7s, a list of some of my favourite 7 inch slabs of plastic, some of these tracks are old favourites and some are ones that I’ve picked up over the last few months. I hope that this will become a regular feature and I will do another one when I have bought enough new stuff or dug out some more stuff from the back of my collection. All of this batch has been played at Uptight over the last year and they all rock. I’ve included sound clips, courtesy of Soul Club or Funk 45, wherever I can.

    B.W. Souls – Marvin’s Groove (Round)

  • Marvin's Groove

  • Man, what a record and not difficult to pick up either. Starts with a great piece of percussion and builds on a groovy little horn line. The break is class and guaranteed dance floor dynamite. A must.

    Ike and Tina Turner – Bold Soul Sister (Blue Thumb)

  • Bold Soul Sister

  • This is hard, it starts hard and gets harder. I’ve started sets with this record and it pummels the crowd into submission, once you’ve played this, they’re yours for the night. I love Tina’s opening line of “Stuff and things and things and stuff”. She’s a bold soul sister indeed.

    Betty Adams – Make It Real (Ride On) (Notes Of Gold)

  • Make It Real (Ride On)

  • I’d been after this Aretha-a-like ever since hearing it on a David Holmes comp a couple of years ago but had no luck tracking it down until those nice people at Budget Beats did the business. This is a storming track and the call and response chorus gets me every time. Nice breakdown to boot.

    Jean Knight – Carry On (Stax)

    The dance floor doesn’t lie, this is one funky single. Top sister funk. A nice cheap record to pick up, mine only cost me a couple of dollars.

    Jackie Wilson and Linda Hopkins – Say I Do (Coral)

    I don’t know whether this is the A or B side of this single but I love it. It’s from ’63 and it’s got an early soul / R&B type sound with a skippy rhythm. Jackie is on top form here and the point where his vocal comes in for the first time sends shivers up my spine. In the right club this would go down storm.

    Prince La La – She Put The Hurt On Me (A.F.O. Records)

  • She Put The Hurt On Me

  • New Orleans R&B at it’s best. If you’re familiar with the Spencer Davis Group version of this tune, you’ve got to track this one down because it’s loads better. With a name like Prince La La, it was always going to be good and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s a swampy, sweaty track with the vocals reminding me of Dr John in places.

    Lamp Sisters – Sweet Daddy Soul (Duke)

    I picked this up after reading about it on Soul Generation and it just goes to show that Martin is a man whose recommendations should be taken seriously. This has an Aretha type feel to it and is a real grower. Great chorus, strong vocals throughout. I’ve got a couple of their other singles and they are all good.

    Etta James – Tighten Up Your Own Thing (Checker)

    I love Etta James and buy just about everything by her that I come across. I bought this one blind and wasn’t disappointed, it may not quite be up there with Seven Day Fool, or In The Basement but it isn’t far behind. It’s got a really strong funky backing and a great vocal, what more do you need?

    Mitty Collier – I Can’t Lose (Peachtree)

  • I Can't Lose

  • I’ve got Ed to thank for introducing me to Mitty Collier, like with Etta James, I tend to buy a lot of her stuff blind and to date I haven’t picked up a duff track. I Can’t Lose is the pick of the pack. Funky, funky, soul that is highly recommended.

    Mary Jane Hooper – I’ve Got Reasons (Power-Pac)

  • I've Got Reaons

  • This has become an in demand record since Soul Jazz comped it and getting hold of a copy at the right price has caused me nightmares. There were plenty of early morning alarm calls in order to be at my computer to bid for it on eBay, only for it to pass my cut off price at the last minute. Well I’ve managed to get hold of a copy now and it was worth every sleepless night and early morning.

    The track was written by and produced by Eddie Bo, a guarantee of quality if ever there was one, and is one of my favourite tracks that he has been involved in. It starts with a quick run up and down the keyboard before Mary kicks in and does her thing. This is a seriously funky record and if it doesn’t make you want to dance, you must be dead from the neck down.

    Ellie Greenwich – I Want You To Be My Baby (UA)

    I first came across this song on the Kent compilation On The Soul Side about twelve years ago and I’ve loved it ever since but it is only the last month that I’ve picked up a copy.

    This is a high-octane track with a brilliant call and response intro and is really immediate. It’s a real call to the floor and I’m looking forward to playing it for the first time at Uptight this month. This is going to be a cornerstone of my set for months to come.