Thursday, July 29, 2010

Samba Samba

It has been crazy hot in the city and I am inspired to post some tropical fare here. This is a song I recently discovered called "Samba Samba" by Elkin & Nelson.  They are a pair of  Colombian brothers who moved to Madrid during the mid '70s and started playing a couple of beat up acoustics in clubs around town.  Their style was rougher and earthy than the typical acts of the time and they weren't afraid to cover Western radio tunes either.  It quickly let to this self titled album produced by Juan Pardo (Los Brincos, Juan & Junior).  Juan got them an electric keyboard player, a great' guitarist, dressed them into tight and androgynous glam outfits and allowed them to soar.   With Infectious maracas and slick touches from the other studio musicians, they became popular among discos and DJ's during the mid '70s during the end of those sweaty summer nights of dancing.  They also did a great version of "Light My Fire" on this LP.  

Monday, July 26, 2010

Disco Promenade Sentimentale by Glamjack

It has been a while since I have posted one my own re-works or mash-ups, so here is one my latest.  The song is by one of my favorite current piano composers Vladimir Cosma's "Promenade Sentimentale".  Vladimir,  born in Bucharest, Romania is a French composer and conductor from a very prestigious lineage of musicians.   He has composed several French film scores and to me this is one of his best from the great film Diva.  It was while watching this film that I fell in love with his music and I never get tired of hearing this song!  Why make a disco version out a brilliant song? Well, I was inspired by the fact that during the late '70s, disco music had reached such a peak and became so saturated that producers and performers wanted to cash in and began to make disco versions out of anything they get their hands on, from musicals, classical songs and/or anything else that had any historical or stylistic musical references.   So here it is, "Promenade Sentimentale" done disco style. I used a break from Free Life's "Express Yourself".  A song featured during my previous posing on Gospel Disco.  Whether this is cheese or not, I  hope you enjoy it!

Promenade Sentimentale (Glamjack Disco Version) - Vladimir Cosma


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Disco Spirituals

12" Release "There Is Something Better"
New York Community Choir

It is Sunday and I'm feeling disco gospel today so this is a tribute posting dedicated to the "Disco Spirituals". Can I get an Amen?  First let me start with Free Life's amazing "There Is Something Better". Free Life were proteges of Earth, Wind & Fire's Philip Bailey.  Bailey co-produced and co-wrote several of the songs from their self titled full length album in 1978.  The follow up releases were 12" singles that bridged the gap between church and disco. "Dance Fantasy" released in 1979 was also seminal, although not necesarily a disco gospel,  it shows the transition from disco to "dance" music by using more electronic sounds.  "There is Something Better" was the b-side and it is a timeless "disco spiritual" that I personally never get tired of hearing.  The next song is from the New York Community Choir's "I'll Keep a Light in My Window" which was actually a song also performed and released by Free Life on their self titled LP.  Free Life's version of "I'll Keep a Light in My Window" was more R&B influenced.  The Choir's version is full on disco gospel and for what I've heard, it brought the holy ghost to the clubs and it enraptured the dancers whenever they would hear it. Pioneered by Edwon Hawkins and Rance Allen, New York Community Choir made the brilliant move to fuse disco and soul/gospel at the height of the disco craze also with "Express Yourself".  Last but not least, the timeless Paradise Garage classic "Stand On The Word" by the Celestial Choir.  Originally recorded live at the First Baptist Church in Crown Heights, NYC, in 1982 and pressed only for the congregation, Walter Gibbosn (owner of Jus Born studios and a new born Christian a the time of the recording) acquired a copy and played it out at the 7th Ave. Rock and Soul shop where he worked.  This was the place where most discerning DJs and soulful dance music aficionados picked up on this new sound, and it quickly became a Garage, Loft and Zanzibar club classic, championed by Larry Levan, David Mancuso and others. Later, Larry tweaked the original and made it his own and for what I've heard, Levan's version took the dancers on a spiritual journey of pure disco gospel bliss.  Enjoy and praise the Lord disco style! Amen

There Is Something Better - Free Life

I'll Keep a Light on My Window - New York Community Choir

Stand On The Word (Larry Levan Mix) - Celestial Choir

Friday, July 23, 2010

Take Some Time Out

Happy Friday! Yesterday, I was going through my record collection and came across this great record and realized I did not mention Arnold Jarvis on a recent post I did about the male and soulful side of early house music which focused on Paris Brithledge's "Learn To Love" and his connection to DJ International.  On that posting, I also mentioned other greats such as Robert Owens and Rocky Jones and completely forgot the most compelling one.  Arnold Jarvis,  who is now considered one of the premier voices in house music today.  Like many singers, Jarvis received his initial exposure to music via gospel, which he performed as a teenager and that probably explains why his voice has the healing touch .  His secular career began in 1987, when he recorded "Take Some Time Out" for the legendary Fourth Floor Label.   This song made him an instant star on the dance music circuit and jump stared his career.  He then joined forces with the legendary Frankie Knuckles and David Morales with house classics such as "And I Loved You" and "Tears".  Arnold is still very much relevant in the dance music scene and  releasing poignant, beautiful and lush dance songs such as "Inspiration" and "Special Kind Of Love". Dance songs that make you move but also transcend and speak volumes on the dance floor!  Enjoy this amazing end of the week song!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ce Soir (Je Sens que tout peut m'arriver)

"Ce Soir (Je Sens que tout peut m'arriver)" according to google translator  means "Tonight I am meaning that anything can happen".  Ummm... I wonder....Anyhow, this is a song that I love very much by Adrienne Ste-Claire. She was part of the trio called Beauregard, Violetti & Ste-Claire also simply known as BVS.  During the mid '70s this group titillated everyone with provocative titles such as "Orgasm", "Undo Your Blouse" and "Frenzy".  Although it was obvious they were influenced by David Bowie and The Bee Gees, this trio made quite a stir in Europe and Canada with their musical style that was unique and unlike anything else at the time.   Their first album,  En Plein Orgasme (In Full Orgasm) is full of beautiful rock ballads, early disco and Glam in a style that is sensual and bitter at the same time.  It was only launched in Quebec and France, featuring one of the most beautiful cover art ever seen for an album in Quebec.  The photo is a result of the work of Daniel Poulin, and the mouth belongs to the comedian and actress Dolores McDonough.  This cover art caused controversy at the time but ironically not about it's sensual nature but rather because of the fact that the record company CBS in Montreal released the rights and the same concept was used for a Wild Cherry LP cover that has become quite famous.  This infuriated the members of the group, a lawsuit ensued and the group is no longer registered for CBS.  I found this album at a Montreal record shop about four years ago. The clerk informed me that this is considered a total classic and it is a hard to find LP.  This is an amazing record that informs the beginnings of Disco, funk and 70's rock with a French twist.  This album also contains a fierce French version of LaBelle's "What Can You Do For Me"which I am planning on posting it in the near future. In the meantime enjoy "Ce Soir"!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Here is a song by one of my other favorite of the Disco orchestras. "Ma-Mo-Ah" was the first song put under the Tony Valor Sounds Orchestra. Tony Valor was born in Sicily, but at the age of one his family moved to Brooklyn, NY where his father who was a record shop owner and dancer instilled music to the younger Valor and encouraged him to sing as well as learn to play the piano, guitar and drums. By the time he reached his teens Valor was singing on street corners in Brooklyn and the rest is disco history. Valor sang vocals with other groups such as The Impalas and the Classics but it wasn't until the '70s when he was doing what was to become early Disco music. "Ma-Mo-Ah" was inspired after hearing music by Mongo Santamaria. and it was first released as a 7 inch single and later as a Brunswick 12 inch single in 1977 as "Ma-Mo-Ah (Take II)." The Take II stems from the fact that it was actually a remix by Tom Moulton with added percussion. "Ma-Mo-Ah" was a worldwide smash in 1977 and has been released a few times since then. Valor said'; "It gets sampled a lot and how I can tell is there was something I did in that record that has not been done before since. I encoded certain things in it had this particular sound. No one knows how I did it and if they take the sample they can't change that." Indeed, nothing can change the fabulous disco sound of Tony Valor Sounds Orchestra! Enjoy


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Learn To Love

Here is a song from one of my favorite house music labels of all time, D. J. International. Based in Chicago and founded by Rocky Jones in 1985, this music label was responsible for some of the most amazing vocal house music that came out of the 80's. Unlike the Trax label ( another one of my favorite) which focused on the more instrumental and experimental side of house music, DJ International focused on the more soulful side and enjoyed commercial success during the late '80s. If you would ask me to name my top 10 vocal house songs of all time, "Learn To Love" would be high on my list. This song was performed by enigmatic singer from Chicago, Paris Brightledge who had several massive underground hits with DJ International with Sterling Void. Paris is considered among the best of the house vocalists of that era along with the likes of Robert Owens and Peter Black. Paris is still very active and making some great lyrical house music. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Straight Ahead

I just discovered this release from these cool people called Stupid Human. Apparently this is from their widely anticipated second release called Swamp Funk from Phonica records. It is full of four to the floor disco action, that goes smooth on the beats with some uplifting moments. "Ahh You're Welcome" is another tune that reworks Rufus and Chaka Khan's "Stop On By". Here they are re-working Nick Straker Band "Straight Ahead" to amazing effects. I'm only posting this for a couple of days for downloading since this is a fairly recent release. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Don Quichotte

"No No No....No SeƱor....." Oh yes, believe me when I tell you this song made everyone dance in 1986! Well at least in all the alterna-gay clubs where this song influenced a new cool and more subtle "camp" style that blened post new romantic style with a more loose Latin flavor. Other bands such as Les Rita Misouko, Bandolero and the Colourfield where heading the front for this style of music. "Don Quichotte" was actually the perfect early 80's Italo House song by French synth pop group Magazine 60. Members included Jean-Luc Drion and Dominique Regiacorte. The female lead singer's name was Veronique Oliver. They only released only one full length LP called Costa Del Sol and several 12" single releases from the same LP, "Pancho Villa" and "Que No Sa" were among them. Although this style of music was heavily influenced by the Italo House movement in dance music that swept Europe during the mid to late 80's, Magazine 60 put a twist and added a lot of Spanish Pop influences to the point that their music should have been called Spano House. I remember being barely legal and dancing to this song at the only "alternative" club in New Orleans off St. Charles St. called "Chaps". Also, this song was very popular at a place in Baton Rouge called "Xantus". I have memories of wearing pointed patent leather shoes with big buckles, a long black skirt, a white shirt and tie and round John Lenon sun glasses and seriously dancing to this song. Talk about subtle camp! Enjoy


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blend - A Glamjack Mix

Here is the third mix from Dj Glamjack. It is simply called Blend. I was inspired on the idea of the blend between songs by using accapella intros which are always useful when introducing a new song during the mix. The mix begins with a very hilarious take on Chuck Rogers preachy house anthem "My House" which I found as the intro from a superb mix by Michael Mayer. Also it is important to note the fact that this mix contains a couple of excerpts from two other brilliant mixes I found on the music blog world. The first is one from a Tim Sweeney from his amazing Beats In Space blog and it includes an unknown song I believe is from Bunblebee Unlimited and the other is a mystery to me. Also, the other excerpt is from legendary British deejay Greg Wilson who does a very interesting take of Mann Friday's "Love Money, Love Heartache" and Chic's "I Want Your Love". Other stand outs are a Glamjack treatment of "Nervous Acid" by Bobby Konders. Enjoy!

Blend - A Glamjack Mix Track Listing

1. Intro- My House- Intro from a Michael Mayer Mix
2. Segue- Two songs from a Tim Sweeney Mix
3. Macho City - Steve Miller Band
4. New York City (Rub n Tug Remix) Beasty Boys
5. One Of These Nights (A Jimmy Michaels Mix)- The Eagles
6. As Long As You Love Me (Walter Gibbons Mix)-
True Example
7. Nervous Acid (House Rhythms) A Love & Happiness
Glamjack Treatment - Bobby Konders
8. Closer, Closer - Celi Bee
9. Love Money, Love Heartache (Greg Wilson Mix) -
Mann Friday
10. I Want You Love (Greg Wilson Mix) - Chic
11. I Don't Know If It's Right (Extended Disco Version) -
Evelyn "Champange" King
12. Pagliacci - Maynard Ferguson

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Slackness and Sax

In the spirit of me slacking for not posting lately, here is a song called "Slackness and Sax" from Massive Sounds. Massive Sounds is the brainchild of house legend Bobby Konders who has given us amazing acid/jazz influenced deep house. Most of the songs on this compilation are instrumental and infuse some crazy hard pounding beats accompanied with some beautiful flute and saxophone arrangements. This sound might verge towards the dark side of dance music and rightly so since it probably reflected a time when the clubs where hard hit by the AIDS epidemic specifically around New York city where clubs such as Shelter, Sound Factory, The Tunnel and countless others became dark shrines for those who where affected by this terrible disease. On the brighter side this was the time when house music from New York reclaimed it's throne and paved the way for the more eclectic sound of house music of the '90s. Enjoy

Saturday, July 3, 2010

One Of These Nights

It has been way too long since my last post and the reason being that I took a much needed vacation! I went down south to spend time with family and friends and had a lovely time. So I am back and here is a remix that is generating waves in the music blog world. It's by non other than legendary rock band The Eagles. I did an early post where I indicated a new trend among deejays embracing and revamping "Yacht Rock" as a legit form of dance music. I am thrilled to see more of that wonderful music that sounds as good as new. "One Of These Nights" get the treatment by Jimmy Michaels to amazing results. I don't know much about this guy except that he did a brilliant job remixing this classic tune. It is seamless and not over the top keeping the integrity of the original intact. The beats are right on target and simply perfect in the right places with the breaks. I am also enjoying the length of this extended version! I find this is the perfect warm up for this upcoming 4th of July festivities. Enjoy!