I have to start somewhere so I might as well start right here!
I originally intended to post a lot of black or black related music. Soul, funk, fusion, rare grooves, dub, reggae, dancehall, … but up until now it seems that I only got my act together concerning other types of music. They’re a little bit more orderly packed while the motherload of black music in my collection is just one big mess.
Nevertheless I’m starting right here and now with something that’s not too obscure but that doesn’t mean that it's no good. Beverley Knight is about my age but boy, that’s about as much as we have in common. I can’t sing and I’m not half as good lookin’ [even though it’s an older picture].
Anyway, she’s Jamaican, grew up singing gospel and made a fame for herself singing R&B with the dark brown colour of her voice. My favourite tune is Greatest Day in the classic mix.
001 Greatest Day (Classic mix)
Next. The meaning of the Name.
This should have been the first post up this alley, but I couldn’t find the original version of a certain song right away [remember the mess] so it’s the second one.
Black Gold of the Sun is a great anthem and a cool name. Around the time that many rap and hip-hop artist were starting to pay respect to their roots and idols [~ Guru’s Jazzmatazz] a tribute album was released called Nuyorican Soul.
Nuyorican Soul is an alias for good old Masters at Work or MAW. They gathered around them a variety of old Latin and Soul legends (Ayers, Benson, Palmieri, Salsoul Orchestra, ...) to make a great double album back in 1996. The opener of that album is Black Gold of the Sun sung by Jocelyn Brown. A soul diva with whom they collaborate frequently [more later]. The original version of the song is by The Rotary Connection with the famous Minnie Riperton [even more later on].
002 I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun - Rotary Connection feat. Minnie Riperton
003 I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun - Nuyorican Soul feat. Jocelyn Brown
More from the Barrio and some Smooth Jazz
While picking up Black Gold from the Nuyorican Soul album I stumbled on an old favourite of mine, Nautilus from the Jazz pianist and bandleader Bob James. MAW reworked it and rebaptised it as Mawtilus.
Bob James is best know as the Godfather of Smooth Jazz. He became famous as writer of the theme song of the sitcom Taxi but he will be remember best for a series of classic albums with a couple of killer tracks he produced in the 70’s. In my opinion the term Smooth Jazz is not a appropriate branding. It’s a moniker which suggest that it sounds slick in stead of seductive which most of it is. It’s pretty hot and broad ranging stuff. It’s a highly customised blend of jazz, funk, pop and classical music. A real crossover if you have to brand it something.
The first one is ballad featuring a young Patti Autin. The others are very scenic instrumentals. I always think of them as soundtracks to a still unmade movie.
004 Nuyorican Soul – Mawtilus
005 Bob James feat. Patti Autin – I Feel a Song in my Heart – [Two 1975]
006 Bob James – Night Crawler – [Heads 1977]
007 Bob James – Westchester Lady – [three 1976]