Boogaloo Down Broadway

Soul Summit

Dry Your Eyes

Philly Original Soul Classics: Storm Warning

Whudda evenin'--y'all betta belieb I had gittin' my narrow bee-hind all kindsa jiggly wiggly to this full loada Philly SOUL! Whoo... I SWEAR, this one schwanky handfulla o' Jamie/ Guyden back-catalog reissues... y'all, they the folks who helped educate our WORLD on 'at phamous Philly git-down sound!

Okay, firsta the bunch I spun was Mister Fantastic Johnny C's Boogaloo Down Broadway LP, a "YELL-pee" if I EVER heard one! Damn, he served uppa big-assed slab o' Prime Rib "git it, git it, git it," with alla the fixin's! An', tho' this come out 30 years ago, it held up--how could the muthafugga NOT... it fulla Fantastic's STRONG single sides! Hey, alla y'all needa get this, 'cause I KNOW it ain't gonna hurt NOBODY to "Hitch It to the Horse."

Secondly was the Ambassadors' Soul Summit LP! DAMMIT!! I wish I'da known 'bout these fellas befo' NOW!! But that ain't my fault--fuck "oldies" stations everywhere fer NOT spinnin' 'em! Anyways, I was thrilled to dig such fine soul fulla "sensual" groove appeal, like, they got "pop" a li'l like the Impressions, pristine arrangin', ...and the longer this played, the better it got, 'specially the stomp-ravin' live tracks!!!

Next, I dug upon thee Miss Brenda and the Tabulations' Dry Your Eyes LP. 'Course, befo' hearin' this I'd done "danced" with Miss Brenda, as I own some o' her singles, but in terms o' diggin' her Long Play appeal... meow. I was, however, sooprised to find some, almost, gritty R&B action mixed with polished "pop." Oh, mind yer attitude 'bout the covers too--this WAS '67 'n' standard procedure inna singles-driven market. By the way, tho' Brenda from Philly, y'all Mod o' the Northern Soul descent take note, she got the REAL squeal!

Finally, was a buncha fo'dee fibes digitized on aluminum 'n' named Philly Original Soul Classics: Storm Warning. Uh... if this the warning, I cain't WAIT fer the STORM! This a SOLID, well-paced soul collection spannin' '64-'71, which cut MY mustard... like a flame-thrower! I'd say mo', but I cain't waste no mo time... I gotta go find alla these songs on the popular 45 format.

Now, if you got a persistent hankerin' fer a hunk o' GROOVE, ain't no reason to skip any o' these! Oh... if y'all wonderin', there oughta be MORE comin'! MIKE NIPPER

Upper Egypt
(Knitting Factory Records)
American Bandstand
(Songlines Recordings)

Zony Mash is one of the most enjoyable fusion-jazz combos around today. I can mention the chemistry between the four members, the heavy groove employed in the tunes ("Zony Mash" is the name of a Meters' tune), or even the mesmerizing improvisations that seem to develop and swing until you're dizzy and drenched in the Cajun swamp with down-home blues riffs swarming around you like a mob of mosquitoes in the mangroves. However, what distinguishes Wayne Horvitz's Zony Mash project from the projects of his contemporaries (e.g., Bernstein's Sex Mob or Medeski, Martin and Wood) is the fact that Horvitz is, first and foremost, a killer composer.

Upper Egypt is an electric album, fueled by Horvitz's Hammond B-3, Nord Lead, DX-7, Wurlitzer Electric Piano, and a Roland JD 800. As a counterpoint, American Bandstand is an acoustic project with Horvitz sitting himself down at the piano. Both albums feature the ass-kicking Keith Lowe on bass (check out his wicked opening riff on "Snakebite"), Tim Young on guitars, and Andy Roth on drums. While Upper Egypt offers plenty of tasty treats to wag your hips to, it is on American Bandstand, perhaps because of its stripped-down nature, that the quality of Horvitz's compositions comes to the forefront.

It is the perfect late-night album, when no one wants to go home but the neighbors would like to sleep. The tunes are mellow but intricate, and Horvitz's touch is sublime as Young's textures weave themselves around the keys and Lowe's bass notes. Roth gently allows the tunes room to meander, before bringing them back into focus (as on "Disingenuous Firefight" or "American Bandstand"). While both of these albums are testaments to Horvitz's compositional genius, neither possess the demoniacal energy and wacky spontaneity one witnesses at a live performance, which is, after all, why one goes. They are wonderful snapshots, a glimpse of what the experience is like live. KREG HASEGAWA


Dave Alvin, Public Domain: Songs from the Wild Land (High Tone) If this album of classic folk-song covers is truly "public domain," then shouldn't it be free?

Unified Theory, Unified Theory (3:33/ Universal) Put two former members of Blind Melon together with a one-time Pearl Jam drummer and a dreadlocked singer-guitarist, and what do you get? A band that sounds like Jane's Addiction, but not as "hard."

Graham Coxon, The Golden D (Transcopic/ Caroline) The Blur guitarist plays all the instruments and sings on this second solo album. Who needs a band, anyway?

Victoria Williams, Water to Drink (Atlantic) Time to hit the office cooler....

Wheatus, Wheatus (Columbia) Wheatus: The Breakfast of Blink-182-like champions.

Anoushka Shankar, Anourag (Angel) The word "anourag" translates into "upright" or "oblique." This concludes your first Hindi lesson.

Liquid Gang, Sunshine (Atlantic) Liquid gang moved from Philadelphia to Memphis, where the musical ideas started overflowing. Whether it was the Tennessee air or the fact that they lived around the corner from a 24-hour Piggly Wiggly, the band doesn't know.

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, Night Tide (HighTone) The rockabilly hall-of-famers now have an upright bass to add to their air of authenticity.