Here are the notes for GO Mechanism Number 6, which is scheduled to be aired on Luxuria Music’s streaming radio site on Saturday February 5 during its “Saturday Night Special” program.
The Science Corner in this installment of The GO Mechanism will feature three backing tracks created in the Motown Records recording studio—known as the ‘Snake Pit’ because of all the cables strewn around it. Motown had a fairly regular group of musicians as a house band and they played on most of the records made during the sixties. When playing these records, the listener often concentrates on the vocalist—no sin there, many of the Motown singers (ie, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves) were spectacular. On these tracks heard in The Science Corner, the lead vocals have been stripped and the listener can key-in on the music played by the band, known as The Funk Brothers. Several years ago, they were the subject of a good documentary called Standing in the Shadows of Motown. In the film, the musicians discuss how the tracks were produced and give insights on recording so many hit songs.
Many of the band members of The Funk Brothers were pulled from the jazz nightclubs of Detroit by Barry Gordy, Motown’s owner. One such musician was Johnny Griffith, a pianist who played on many of Motown’s hit records. He also cut an album, simply titled Jazz, for a short-lived Motown subsidiary label called Workshop Jazz. GO Mechanism Number 6 leads off with a track from that album. In the seventies, Griffith made some cool funk records under the name Johnny Griffith Inc.
As noted in GO Mechanism Number 4, Daptone Records has lately been branching out into the world music kingdom. In GO 6 we present an example of Moroccan music that the label released last year by a group called Innov Gnawa.
For this installment of The GO Mechanism, its producers were able to add some of their all-time favorite records into the mix. At one point, there are four in a row—music by Eddie Lovette, Jan Davis, Jack Costanzo (Mr. Bongo) and Dave Bartholomew.
“Shrimp and Gumbo” by Dave Bartholomew is quite simply one of the greatest records ever made. It came to the attention of the GO Mechanism producers during the eighties when it appeared on a French compilation of his music. It had been on the top of our want-list ever since—until it was finally obtained about ten years ago via a heavy, heavy record deal with noted radio personality and record collector Mr. Fine Wine.
Another contemporary act presented in GO 6 is Los Disco Duro, an Oakland, California-based group of electronic musicians who breathe fresh life into the ethnic rhythms of South America. Presented here is the group’s version of “Cumbia Sampusana,” a very popular cumbia from Colombia. This new version is as good as any of the four or five other versions in the Boogaloo Omnibus library.
“Big Nick” is an excellent organ groover by the New Orleans musician James Booker. The exact melody was used by Italian-born, French singer Nino Ferrer for his song “ Les Cornichons” and it is one of our favorites by him. Don’t worry, the French people gave Booker a co-writing credit on the song. Most likely, the Ferrer version will be played in a future GO Mechanism.
The same can not be said for Hommy Sanz, who took songwriting credit for his cool mambo version of The Yardbirds’ “Heart Full of Soul.” Is it too late for the real writer, Graham Gouldman to call his lawyer?
In 1958, M-G-M records released an album of spoken word called The Weary Blues With Langston Hughes. On one side of the album Langston Huges recites his poetry and and makes observations over the playing of some traditional jazz musicians, with compositions by the writer Leonard Feather. The other side presents Huges’ eloquence backed by Charles Mingus’ band playing Mingus’ compositions, but under pianist Horace Parlan’s leadership for contractual purposes. The last track on the album is this version of “Jump Monk,” sans Hughes.
Jimmy McCracklin‘s fabulous rocker “What’s That” has become quite a sensation on R&B dance floors over the last several years. A truly boss song, the version heard here in The GO was unreleased until it appeared on a Bear Family CD compiling all of McCracklin’s Mercury recordings in 1992. There are some great songs on that disc, so expect to hear more from Jimmy in future GOs.
In the early sixties, popular R&B organ player Bill Doggett featured a young singer named Charles Hatcher in his live act. Although Doggett recording prolifically, he very rarely recorded with a vocalist. However, Hatcher was allowed to record as a percussionist, and is heard on this track, “Oo-Da” from Doggett’s LP Wow! that was first issued on ABC-Paramount in January 1965. Soon after, the frustrated Hatcher left the band, changed his name to Edwin Starr and recorded one of the greatest records ever made, “Agent Double 0-Soul.” In 1969, Doggett released an excellent instrumental version of Starr’s hit song “Twenty-Five Miles.”
It seems inconceivable how the great Mary Lou Williams could go from the swingin’ “Froggy Bottom” to the groovy funk number presented at the end of GO Mechanism Number 6. However, in between she made a bunch of great records, including “Walkin’ and Swingin’” (with Andy Kirk & His Twelve Clouds of Joy), “Yes We Have No Bananas,” “Kool Bongo,” “Gemini,” “Oo-Bla-Dee.” We may revisit Ms. Williams in a future Science Corner.
Here is the official track listing for GO Mechanism Number Six:
•Earl Bostic—Lester Leaps In (King)
•Johnny Griffith—Unknown Minor (Jazz Workshop) – LP Jazz
•Jack Daniels Orchestra—The Loop (Jerden)
•The Atlantics—Beaver Shot (Rampart)
•James Carter—Caravan (DIW/Columbia) JC on the Set
•Màalem Hassan Ben Jaadfer – Innov Gnawa—Chorfa (Daptone) Lila
•Los Teenagers—Cumbia Sinceleja (Discos Fuentes; Colombia) Cumbias y Gaitas Famosas
•Eddie Lavette—Boomerang (Steady)
•Jan Davis—Watusi Zombie (Holiday)
•Jack Costanzo—Chicken and Rice (Boogaloo edit ending) (GNP Records stereo version)
•Dave Bartholomew—Shrimp and Gumbo (Imperial)
•Cracker Jacks commercial
•Gary Mure—Crack Up (Verve)
•Bunky Green—Orbit 6 (Cadet) Testifyin’ Time
•Chocolate Watch Band—Expo 2000 (Tower)
•Los Disco Duro—Cumbia Sampuesana (Discos Mas)
•Roland Alphonso—James Bond (Studio One) Something Special: Ska Hot Shots
•Tito Puente—Cuero Pelao (RCA Victor)
•Earl Bostic—La Bossa (King)
•The Big Game Hunters—See the Cheetah (Uni)
•James Booker—Big Nick (Peacock)
•Horace Parlan with Charles Mingus—Jump Monk (Verve) Weary Blues With Langston Huges reissue
•••The Four Tops minus one—Reach Out (I’ll Be There) (Motown)
•••The Supremes minus one—You Keep Me Hanging On (Motown)
•••The Isley Brothers minus one—Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me for a Little While) (Tamala)
•Hank Jacobs—Elijah Rockin’ With Soul (Call Me)
•Art Blakey—A Night in Tunisia (Part 1) (Blue Note)
•Milton DeLugg—Rise Robots Rise (Mainstream)
•Jimmy McCracklin—What’s That (Part 2) (Mercury/Bear Family CD)
•Bill Doggett—Oo-Dah (ABC-Paramount) Wow!
•Hommy Sanz y su Orquesta—Heart Full of Soul (Fonseca)
•Dave & Ansil Collins—Doing Your Thing (Techniques; UK)
•Dyke & the Blazers—The Wobble (Original Sound)
•John Coltrane—Tranesonic (alternate take) (Impulse) Stellar Regions
•Quincy Jones—Call Me Mister Tibbs (United Artists)
•David Alexandre Winter—Qu’est-ce Que J’ai Dansé!
•Etta James—Plum Nuts (Argo) Second Time Around
•Curtis Mayfield—Freddie’s Dead (Boogaloo edit)
•Mary Lou Williams—Let’s Do the Froggy Bottom (Mary)
•Bonzo Dog Band—Slush (United Artists)
Alec Guinness—O The Sun Comes (by e.e. cummings) (RCA Victor)
Gregory Corso—Sun – A Spontaneous Poem
After its original air-date, February 5, this GO Mechanism will be available as a podcast on the Luxuria Music website. It can be found among the Luxuria Music podcasts for the Saturday Night Special programs and this one will be dated 2/6/2022.
This episode of The GO Mechanism Experience is now available here
Previous GO Mechanisms are available at the Mixclouds. Dig it here!