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Bob Porter Reviews Kool And The Gang

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...into the musical climate of the times as far as one "musical demographic".

This is the scene about which a bunch of today's "crate diggers" are going nuts over, and frm which many DJs are sampling profusely. It's easy to hear the appeal now, but maybe it's interesting to look at how it was for this stuff then, when it was still somewhat nascent. The words are brief, but the insight lingers on.

Down Beat 2-1-73

Review.jpg

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Up for the "why was 70s jazz fun?" thing. This is a part of the reason why, this relationship between a certain portion of Black Pop and Jazz and where it seemed then that it might be leading..

I spent last night at work listening to Fulfillingness' First Finale and remembering how many jazz musicians were paying attention to Stevie Wonder in 1974, not as a source for commercially viable cover material, but as a valid songwriter and "arranger", the creator of a music that was not jazz per se, but certainly spoke many of the same "messages" in an accent that was, at the very least, not unintelligible.

For a while, it looked as if maybe "it" really was all going to come together into one big OmniMusic. And yes, that was fun!

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I'm a fan of both Kool & The Gang and Black Heat, so it's definitely cool to read how they were being received in their day. The grooves these groups came up with, particularly Kool & The Gang...as funky as it gets! There are few funk acts I'd rate higher, The JB's and the Parliament/Funkadelic band and maybe the Meters. I especially dig the early instrumental jams from Kool..."Dujji" "Jungle Jazz" "Summer Madness"...so good.

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I have fond memories of hearing Jungle Boogie, Hollywood Swingin and Funky Stuff on the AM soul station to and from high school. Also, Ohio Players, Tower of Power and JB. Innervisions just came out. Those tunes were incredible.

Saw Kool Bell and Clifford Adams in the Vanguard some years ago.

Funky Stuff on Soul Train. That bassdrum hit on the second sixteenth of beats 3 and 4 is some baad shit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10Il77mbV0Y. Still doin' it. Cookin' Clifford Adams solo at 3:00

Jungle Boogie, Midnight Special, 1974. Clavinet/drums duo Alright!

Edited by Michael Weiss

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Most people - oops, most critics weren't getting this material. Porter, of course, was DEEP into it from the word go!

I like Porter, but there's a slight conflict of interest here for a reviewer - note how he gives a sly plug for the band he was producing, Funk Inc. But what he said was, and still is, right.

MG

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Apparently this "conflict of interest: issue came up in the 3-15-72 issue:

Porter.jpg

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what is shittin out a your booty hole! nice. wow i can't believe that larry coryell "offering" got 4.5. very interesting. i like that album a good bit but it is interesting to see how it was received at the time. what happened to harry wilkinson? he looked like a candidate for smack in band photos. fresh faced young man from TN if i remember.

also interesting to see that person whining about the buddy terry rating. complaining about a 3.5! jeez. that sounds about right for that album.

conflict of interest or not, bob porter, imo, is a guy who had good taste and i would not mind hearing his opinions.

also interesting shepp played a show on a bill with buddy miles and war. jeez i wish i was alive back then out of general principle.

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jeez i wish i was alive back then out of general principle.

The number of times I've wished I was living in the US in those days...

It's the right time AND the right place!

MG

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Apparently this "conflict of interest: issue came up in the 3-15-72 issue:

Porter.jpg

Thanks Jim. Technically, then, he was between jobs; out at Prestige, but not yet in at East/Westbound (where the Counts were recording - or going to, perhaps). :D

MG

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lol...goldberg had to sit through michael garrick's fey organ attempts while his true passions played in the vibrant inner cities of america!

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anybody remember Sonny Williams?

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also interesting shepp played a show on a bill with buddy miles and war. jeez i wish i was alive back then out of general principle.

Hey, check this out:

DBCOVER.jpg

Talk about...options! :g

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Ornette Coleman played with Queen during the war!

.

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The Queen played with everybody. :ph34r:

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On second thought, there are many Queens.

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and only 3 Ornettes.

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Jim, how do you post your article scans? I want to post an image, but keep bumping up against that 100K limit (and the file doesn't appear in my post anyway, only a link).

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I set up a Photobucket account, upload the scans to that, and then link them here from there,

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lol...goldberg had to sit through michael garrick's fey organ attempts while his true passions played in the vibrant inner cities of america!

I never SAW a jazz organist live until Hank Crawford/Jimmy McGriff came over in the late eighties - not sure when that was, Bobby Broom was in the band at the time.

I have the Acid Jazz movement to thank for most of what I did get to see.

MG

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conflict of interest or not, bob porter, imo, is a guy who had good taste and i would not mind hearing his opinions.

Porter got into jazz through R&B, same way I did. And he's never lost his love for R&B; he's regarded as an authoritative figure in that field.

Within the context of jazz, or perhaps any music, reviews, you could make a stab at a kind of general rule that conflicts of interest would only arise, and matter, if a reviewer was plugging something that he/she thought was rubbish but was doing so for purely commercial reasons. But, in Porter's case, I can only think of one album he produced which he probably doesn't think entirely met his expectations/requirements. As a producer, I think he was extremely successful in producing albums he liked (and probably still likes). So if someone says they like something/think it's good, and it's true, well, where's the conflict? Only that some cretin like me comes along and says, "Hey, foul!"

MG

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The number of times I've wished I was living in the US in those days...

It's the right time AND the right place!

MG

Well, except for that polyester leisure suit thing...

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