Variety is the Spice of Life

Johnny Jenkins- Ton Ton Macoute, 1970, Capricorn

Johnny Jenkins recorded this legendary funk-inflected swamp blues album in 1970 at the ripe age of 31. Jenkins was a huge influence on the playing of Jimi Hendrix and on Ton Ton Macoute, Jenkins concocts a heady brew of Hendrix-flavored psychedelia mixed with gospel, delta blues and swamp rock. Beck liked the sound of his rendition of the Dr. John classic "I Walk on Gilded Splinters" so much that he sampled the infectious drum beat for his hit song "Loser". On "Sick and Tired" Johnny really funks it up with an infectious mix of wah wah guitar, tight beats and gutsy vocals that really make you believe in the power of soul. Other standouts include the psychedelic gospel soul of "Voodoo and You" and the wonderful organ and slide guitar driven "Leaving Trunk". Check out this underappreciated classic in all it's glory while the getting's good.

Get it here

Apryl Fool- S/T, 1969, Label Unknown

I was really surprised to find out that this experimental fuzz guitar masterpiece was created by a group of Japanese guys. I was envisioning Apryl Fool as a group of long-haired British blokes with a predilection for playing the down and dirty blues at the local watering holes. This is the only album Apryl Fool ever made as far as I know. Sessions for this album went down in 1969 and it was eventually reissued in 2002 as a Japanese import. It's sound ranges from psychedelic guitar-freakouts with cathartic noise interludes to trippy classic rock with lots of piano and organ. The energetic opener "Tomorrows Child" busts out the gates with a dynamic guitar riff that segueways into a mellow verse before an explosive fuzz guitar solo really gets the track cookin'. "Another Time" is a slow blues with affecting vocals and stirring piano solos while "April Blues" sounds like 60's fuzz-rock mixed with Vince Guaraldi's Peanut's Theme in a faux live club. Menacing, funereal organs and heavily phased vocals are the main ingredients on the standout epic "The Lost Mother Land Pt.1" which shows that the band desired to experiment beyond the conventional styles of classic rock and blues. Overall, this is a truly original and creative late 60's psychedelic nugget that should not be passed up.

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Afro Rock Volume 1- V/A- 2001, KONA Records

Afro-Beat is a style especially popularized by Nigerian born Fela Kuti. The songs on Afro Rock Vol.1 combine funky basslines, jazzy horns, african percussion and soulful lyrics. Jingo starts the party off with an uptempo groovin' track called "Fever". "Heavy Heavy Heavy" is a light and playful track with a blissful vocal along with extended organ solos. Mercury Dance Band's 'Envy No Good" reminds me of Ethiopiques #4 due to it's raw sound and arresting guitar solos. Other influences on this compilation appear to be Orchestra Baobab, Os Mutantes and James Brown. I challenge you to put this on and not move your body. Highly essential!!

Get it Here

The Blue Note Years, Vol.5- The Avant Garde 1963-1967, 1999, Blue Note

Much of the artists featured on this compilation are free jazz and fusion oriented, but these songs are showcasing their less discordant music. This is still top-shelf jazz but with a more straight-ahead sound to please people who love adventurous music with more of a traditional jazz feel. Plenty of out-of print songs are featured on here such as Grachan Moncur's "Monk in Wonderland" and "Thandiwa". It features a great cross section of the true masters of free jazz such as Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, Sam Rivers, Don Cherry and Ceil Taylor. I look at this record as being a gateway to some of these artist's more experimental work. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.

Disc One

  1. Larry Young- The Moontrane
  2. Andrew Hill- Black Fire
  3. Andrew Hill- Siete Ocho
  4. Jackie McLean- Frankenstein
  5. Jackie McLean-Kahlil The Prophet
  6. Tony Williams- Tomorrowow Afternoon
  7. Sam Rivers- Luminous Monolith
  8. Grachan Moncur III- Thandiwa

Disc Two

  1. Eric Dolphy- Hat and Beard
  2. Grachan Moncur III- Monk In Wonderland
  3. Andrew Hill- New Monastery
  4. Eric Dolphy- Out to Lunch
  5. Ornette Coleman- Dawn
  6. Ornette Coleman- Broad Way Blues
  7. Don Cherry- There Is the Bomb
  8. Cecil Tayor- Steps

Get Disc 1 Here

Get Disc 2 Here


Anonymous said…
unable to access disc 2. it appears RogePost is down for maintanence. Is it possible to have the file "upped" via quicksharing like the first disc?

thanks for the post.
Anonymous said…
As the other guy said, would appreciate a re-up of disc 2.

Many thanks

Kevin said…
I just checked and RogePost is still down for maintenance. I ended up doing Rogepost because Quicksharing was having issues and wasn't completely uploading the files. I'll try to upload disc 2 on quicksharing later tonight. Please check back later and let me know what you think of these rekkids.

Thanks, Kevin
Bennett said…
While you're at it, if you want to put Johnny Jenkins up too, that'd be great. I've got Gilded Splinters from the Duane Allman Anthology and was very excited to see this album when I got up this morning!
Ballaberg said…
Thanks for your now absolutely proof re-ups :)
Anonymous said…
Very nice on the Johnny Jenkins. Strange to hear that drum break in its original context, but I'll get used to it. Why? It's fon-kay.
Sam Baden said…
Very nice on the Blue Note, thanks!

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