‘Lectric Diaspora

“Versioning” is at the heart not only of reggae but *all* Afro-American and Caribbean musics… It’s a democratic principle because it implies that no one has the final say. – Dick Hebdige, Cut ‘n’ Mix

Eltsuhg in Dub

November 4th, 2008

For those that like their peanut butter in their chocolate, their dub in their funk, I’ve got a special ‘Lection Day treat for ya. Namely, the Mad Professor remix of the Daktaris’ classic hustle. Sponsored by Iron Lion Scion no less. Enjoy.

Eltsuhg Ibal Lasiti (Mad Professor remix) – Daktaris

Plus, as a bonus, the very nice Ticklah remix of Sharon Jones in rocksteady stylee.

How Long Do I Have To Wait For You (Ticklah remix) – Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

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Thank You Mix

August 18th, 2008

The Four Clefs – I Like Pie, I Like Cake

Mamani Keita – Yelema

Ernest Ranglin – Jericho Rocking

The Quantic Soul Orchestra – Hold It Down

Dr. Squiggles – Sunrise Blender (feat. Josh & Jonah)

Alan Hawkshaw – Beat Me Til I’m Blue

The Vibrations – Ain’t No Greens In Harlem

The Rebirth – Evil Vibrations

Eddie Palmieri – Bilongo

Ugly Duckling – Eye On the Gold Chain (92 Remix)

Billy Preston – Swing Down Chariot

Amadou & Mariam – Pauvre Type

Olu Dara – Okra

Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra – Dub Je Je

Sister Nancy – Bam Bam

Tabu Ley Rochereau – Aon Aon

Orchestra Baobab – Africa

Dorothy Masuka – Khauleza

Michael Franti & Spearhead – We Don’t Mind


Extra bonus tracks:

Jackie Mittoo & The Soul Vendors – Rock Steady Wedding

Stanton Moore – Angel Nemali

Nicolas Repac – Swing Swing

John Scofield and MMW – Jeep On 35

Asha Boshle & Mahendra Kapoor – One Two Three Baby

Spacemonkeyz vs. Gorillaz – Slow Country (Strictly Rubbadub)

Balkan Beatbox – Bulgarian Chicks

Quincy Jones – Summer In The City


The whole darn thing as a zip file

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Yet mo’ band tunes

August 10th, 2008

Let me know what you think…

J.B.s – Damn Right I Am Somebody

Jazz Jamaica Allstars – Liquidator

Fresner Augustin – Simbi Dio

Greyboy Allstars – 2% Body Fat (w/Fred Wesley)


Theme From Don

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Soulful Three

June 25th, 2008

In my early 20s, as I grew to love funky soul music, I immersed myself in the 70s output of a mighty triumvirate of singers: Sly, Stevie, and Curtis. Some of the most crucial, creative, timeless music ever recorded.

Of course, this material is pretty well known (as it should be), so rather than rehash it here, I’ll dig a bit into the “crates” for some funky versions.

First up, representing Stevie Wonder, is the very groovy Weldon Irvine. This being 1976, it starts out kinda proto-discoish, but settles into a stepping funk groove with nice horn arrangements and vocals by Don Blackman.

Weldon Irvine - Sinbad

Weldon Irvine – Don’t You Worry Bout A Thing


Lonnie Smith is just as groovy as many of his post-Jimmy Smith peers on the B3, but often more creative and daring. Here he reinvents Sly Stone’s classic “Stand” in a kozmik 17 minute epic jam from 1971, complete with dub effects and weird overdubbing. 

Lonnie Smith - Mama Wailer

Lonnie Smith – Stand


Last, we have Frank Owens doing an instrumental version of “Freddy’s Dead” from 1973. I don’t know too much about this guy, though Dusty Groove notes that Bernard Purdie produced the session and plays on it. A pretty tame treatment of the tune, but with some nice rhodes soloing in place of Curtis Mayfield’s voice. I actually think you can judge it pretty well by the cover in this case.

Frank Owens - Brown n\' Serve

Frank Owens – Freddy’s Dead

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Stop that flautist

June 15th, 2008

Herbie Mann performs a pleasant version of the reggae classic “Draw Your Brakes”, featuring Cissy Houston (Whitney Houston’s Mom!) on I-Threes-esque vocals.

Herbie Mann – Draw Your Brakes

I don’t know who the band is, but they pull off a pretty convincing reggae for 1976. I’m always kinda intrigued by Reggae-Jazz fusions, and I’ll be featuring more in the future. 

This is another song of personal historical significance: my mother had a beloved LP of “The Harder They Come” when I was a kid – her only reggae album, and thus the 1st I was exposed to. I’m still bewildered by the patois invocation at the beginning of the original!

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June 15th, 2008

A nice slab o’ jazz/funk from “Jug” Gene Ammons. Note the poppin’ clavinets by George Duke!

Gene Ammons-Brasswind

Gene Ammons – Rozzie


An all-star session arranged and conducted by David Axelrod.

Allen DeRienzo, Snooky Young – trumpets
George Bohanon – trombone
Bill Green, Jay Migliori – flute, alto flute, alto sax
Jim Horn – flute, alto flute, bars
Gene Ammons – tenor sax
George Duke – keyboards
Michael Howell, Don Peake – guitars
Carol Kaye – electric-bass
John Guerin – drums
Berkeley Nash – percussion
David Axelrod – arrangements, conducting

Recorded Berkeley, CA, October 30, 1973


Those of you who know me will recognize why I like the title of this track!


As of this writing, Smooth of My Jazz World has the whole lovingly-digitized thang for ya.

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Who got ‘em?

June 15th, 2008

When I was a teenager in NH it took me a while to get into rap. The vocals were unfamiliar and didn’t speak to me right away, but right from the start I really dug the samples they were using. This was the Native Tongues era of the early nineties, really the golden age for sampling. One of the first hip hop tunes where I fell in love with the sample was Black Moon‘s “Who Got Da Props.”

Black Moon – Who Got Da Props

The sustained string synth, and most of all, those barking rhodes stabs! I’d never heard anything like that and I loved the sound. I even had to loop it up myself and just soak it up over and over. 

The original, “Tidal Wave” by Ronnie Laws, is a decent bit o’ fusiony jazz funk itself.

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More Band Chunes

April 28th, 2008

Fela Kuti – Opposite People

Fela & Afrika 70 – Observation Is No Crime

Fela Kuti – Swegbe & Pako

Fela Ransom Kuti – Viva Nigeria


The J.B.s – If You Don’t Get It the First Time

Nina Simone – Funkier Than A Mosquito’s Tweeter


Bembeya Jazz National – Mami-Wata

Orchestra Baobab – Jin Ma Jin Ma

Orchestra Baobab – Utrus Horas


Mulatu Astatqé – Yèkatit (february)


Stanton Moore – Angel Nemali

Charlie Hunter & Ernest Ranglin – One Foundation


Greyboy Allstars – 2% Body Fat (w/Fred Wesley)


Tommy McCook & the Super Sonics – Wild Bunch

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Money Is

April 18th, 2008

Corduroy were the first band that I’m aware of to do the “retro soundtrack to a fake kitschy blaxsploitation/spy movie” thing (though it’s a conceit that many other subsequent groups have employed) with their 1993 album High Havoc. I had the pleasure of seeing Corduroy play live the year this came out, at a small club in Paris. This was at the height of the Acid Jazz era, and I was excited to be wearing my new/vintage Black Panther-style leather jacket and digging the throwback 70s vibe that was just then coming into fashion. It was a great show, though they stuck pretty closely to their album arrangements.

Corduroy - High Havoc


Their 1st album Dad Man Cat is full of funky retro grooviness as well.

Corduroy - Dad Man Cat


One of my favorite tunes from Dad Man Cat is a rockin’ clavinet-driven instrumental called “Money Is.”

Corduroy – Money Is

It turns out, as I discovered some years later, this is actually a Quincy Jones song from his soundtrack to the movie “Dollars” from 1971 (with Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn).


Quincy’s version had Little Richard singing on it!

Quincy Jones – Money Is  


Still later, I obtained Corduroy’s live-in-Japan album Quattro, which was recorded in 1994 but doesn’t seem to have been issued until 2001.

Corduroy - Quattro

Corduroy – Money Is (live)

Interestingly, on this version they add the vocals back in. Though it works well here, on their later albums they seem to have tried to transform themselves into a more conventional vocal-centered pop band, and the results are considerably less interesting.

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Possible band tunes #1

April 16th, 2008

Whitefield Brothers – Yakuba

The Daktaris – Upside-Down

Antibalas – Nesta75

Sly & the Family Stone – Sing a Simple Song

and see also

The Meters – Sing A Simple Song


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