Well, I’m about to have a wee bit of a life change, so in between moving and a new job, I might not be able to find the time to post quite as regularly as I would like. If that does indeed to turn out to be the case, here’s a veritable cavalcade of top-drawer music to keep you warm as November progresses. I say cavalcade, it’s actually five tracks, but never mind the width, feel the quality.
First up is a song it took me 13 years to finally track down and get my hands on. I first caught it late-night on the then untouchable Jazz FM, which has not really seen better days since, forsaking the likes of Herbie Hancock for the puke-jazz-lite stylings of Jamie Cullum et al, but looks to be possibly making a more credible comeback. 99% confident it was Roy Ayers, I then went about combing through the man’s impressive discography with no joy, well actually lots of joy, but not any from finding the track I was after. Even though the track is from 1994, I didn’t know it at the time and, as I’m sure you’ll agree, it has a timeless feel, so it was hard to narrow it down. Then along came the internet and a good decade of typing the lyrics into various search engines and trying to find out about as many Roy Ayers side projects as I could. Then, bingo, I found out about Time & Space, a side project of The Brand New Heavies’ Jim Wellman, and their vinyl only release Crazy Love Songs. Confusingly all of the material on that album was rerecorded for their Love Not Truth CD release which surfaced twelve years later. Seems like Jim couldn’t let those jams go either. But it was the 1994 version I wanted, and in the end I got my mitts on it. And here it is now for you, ripped from the vinyl by those same mitts. Bonus fact, I got a personal get well message from the vibesmaster when I was too ill to see him in 2002. What a gent.
Without wishing to overstate things, this is probably one of my top 10 songs of all time, and that’s a heated competition. So get stuck in.
Next up is a song acclaimed by Shaun Ryder as the greatest single ever put out on Factory, Reach for Love by Marcel King. King died tragically young in 1995, from a brain haemorrhage at the tender age of 38. Such a shame as the irresistible energy on this track proves. For you hardcore FAC-heads out there, this is FAC92.
And now for my favourite nursery rhyme based slow jam, Raydio‘s Jack & Jill. Featuring future honorary Ghostbuster, Ray Parker Jr. it’s tunes like this that take me back to my earliest years where an affection for polished soul productions took hold. Lyrically, they turn an innocent tale of pails of water and tumbling into a darker tale of adultery. Shame this wasn’t a template for further appropriations like Rumpelstiltskin (The Funk Machine) or a version of the Three Little Pigs that deals with the crack epidemic.
This is a song to get your blood pumping in the am. From a future Ghostbuster to a song used in a movie with some low-rent Ghostbuster wannabes, Be Kind Rewind. No, it’s not Jack Black’s misremembered crack at the theme tune, but rather The Gap Band’s monster Early In The Morning, which does a great job of backing a montage of Black and Mos Def’s growing cinematic enterprise.
And to wrap up, and particularly if you’re not in the market for soul today, a great oft-overlooked Kinks classic, Supersonic Rocket Ship. Get into it now before it gets used in a Wes Anderson movie or an annoying Kodak commercial. Or George Lamb drives Ray Davies to murder.
Stay gold, and I’ll catch you on the flipside and no foolin’ fo’ sho. Etc.