Friday, November 27, 2009
Tony Valor had been around for a while. A disco luminary he was a part of Salsoul's Soccer, Brunswick's The Tony Valor Sounds Orchestra, Brunswick's Touch and Pavillion's Fantasy. Just to name a few of his contributions as either producer, arranger, or writer. His edits in this track are part of the reason why this record is the holy grail that it has become.
Test Drive was actually Joe Coleman's follow-up to Get it off The Ground on Italy f1 Records. They are both Killer Modern Soul boogie classics. Which always inspire massive bidding wars on Ebay.
They are the types of records that once you hear them for the first time you can't wait to lift the needle and put them on again.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Produced by Ralph MacDonald of Calypso Breakdown fame, Love When I'm in Your Arms Bobbi Humphrey's 1979 disco 12" release is a disco joyous romp. Lots of tasty percussion and breaks. A real zippy funky throw-down.
Bobbi Humphrey is actually know for her jazz work as a flautist who worked with Stevie Wonder and Duke Ellington among others. She performed on Another Star, one of the best tracks on the Stevie Wonder double l.p. Songs in the Key of Life. She was also the first female signed to the seminal jazz label Blue Note.
LOVE WHEN I'M IN YOUR ARMS
BABY DON'T YOU KNOW
Her next 12" single effort came in 1982 with the mighty production by Roy Ayers for the seminal underground funky disco label Uno Melodic. The one which brought us Ladies of the 80's and the illustrious Sylvia Striplin. This time Bobbi wrote, arranged and co-produced the number, Baby Don't You Know.
HEAR A HOT RE-WORK
I've just posted my 12" for Love when I'm in Your Arms on Ebay. You can get to the link just by clicking the title of this blog. It was released in 1979 on Epic. Here's her song Sunset Burgundy.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I finally got my hands on Vince Aletti's amazing book The Disco Files. It was originally only available via djhistory.com but now can be found in better bookstores. I got mine at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square. Kinda pricey for a paperback at almost $40.00 but it's chock full of information. A veritable disco bible.
Disco Files was edited by Frank Broughton & Bill Brewster who brought us their own phenomenal disco history book Last Night a DJ Saved my Life which I reviewed in a blog quite a while back. Vince Aletti is currently the Photography editor of New Yorker magazine but back in the day he wrote a column for Record World magazine entitled Disco File. In this column he wrote about new releases not unlike the dance column in Billboard magazine later written by Brian Chin, Bill Coleman, Larry Flick and others. He also was in regular contact with many of the most important d.j.'s of the period and printed their Top 10 lists and a national Top 20 compiled from these lists.
Some of the early contributors include John Luongo reporting from various clubs in Boston, Larry Levan from when he was spinning at Reade Street, Walter Gibbons from Galaxy 21, Bobby Guttardo from Infinity, Tom Savarese from 12 West, Jay Negron and Paul Salari from The Playhouse in the Bronx and many other important early Disco pioneers.
The early part of the book is particularly interesting because it documents how the 45 rpm 7" single was first used by DJ's. Some had the vocal versions on side A and the instrumental on side B or Part I on one side and Part II on the other. So DJ's had to be creative with two copies to extend the dancing experience. Album tracks started to be replaced by the first PROMO 12" singles in 1975. As these wider grooves provided for better and louder sound. There were even a few, now rare 45 rpm singles without the large hole in the middle like in this otherwise unavailable extended mix of Tavares classic from 1975 It Only Takes a Minute which I have in my Ebay store. Click the title of this blog to have a look.
Use of imports were also quite prevalent by DJ's always prepared to wow an audience with something fresh. Now it's simply become the standard for all successful DJ's to spin a great deal of imports. Also the first dj record pool in New York started by the Loft's David Mancuso began in June 1975 and featured Vince Aletti on it's board of directors. Many artists actually performed for these DJ's or did a meet and greet in the office. Some included Faith, Hope and Charity, The Ritchie Family and the then new artist Donna Summer.
One of the crucial disco records of 1975 was The Jacksons Forever Came Today which has remained virtually unknown to their pop audience. Between their 1974 smash Dancing Machine and their first singles on Epic in 1976 the Jacksons had a dry period on the U.S. pop charts.
FOREVER CAME TODAY JOHN MORALES M & M FOREVER MIX