Monday, February 28, 2011

I Ain't Jivin' I'm Jammin'

Here is a song that got me into the spirit of Mardi Gras.  "I Ain't Jivin', I'm Jammin'" by legendary songwriter and record producer Mr. Leon A. Huff who together with Kenneth Gamble became Gamble and Huff.  Together this team have written and produced over 170 gold and platinum records.  They were pioneers of Philadelphia sound and the in-house creative team for the Philadelphia International record label.  In 2008 the team was inducted to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the non-performer category.  Even though, "I Ain't Jivin'" is oviously rooted in Chicago Jazz with its great two-step piano sound that can't do no wrong on any dance floor any time this song will fit right in at any club around this time, specially in New Orleans.   This rare offering was from his first  LP as an artist instead of producer released in 1980 aptly called Here To Create Music.   Upon first listen, I was transported to the French Quarter. The sun is rising and I'm having a Bloody Mary while sitting on a balcony on St. Ann watching the revelry still going strong.  Enjoy and Happy Mardi  Gras!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oscar Night: Theme From King Kong

Tonight are the Oscars and what a better way to get into the spirit Disco Monk style with the brilliant interpretation of  the "Theme From King Kong" with Barry White's brainchild, the Love Unlimited Orchestra.  This epic song captures and parallels the epic quality of the movie without missing a beat with such polished glamour that shines just as much as the statues that will be given out tonight.  This song was based from John Barry's original composed theme from the 1977's version of King Kong which stared one of my favorite actress,  Jessica Lange.  This version was also a minor dance hit, though the song didn't soar to the very top of the charts as did "Love's Theme", this song features sweeping strings, driving bass lines, and all the other ingredients that categorized a White song.  Cheers to Oscars!

Jessica Lange in King Kong
Theme From King Kong - Love Unlimited Orchestra

Saturday, February 26, 2011

In The Heat Of The Night

Great weather today and to celebrate some heat here is a very twisted early precursor of house music to warm you up for this Saturday night called"In The Heat (Of The Night)" by Klinte Jones. The song starts off as your typical r&b influenced dance tune that was very common around the time, however, as the song progresses it starts to get jucier and more interesting with some amazing synth strings with some early house undertones and vocals that was used to death during the late '80s.   There is very little information on Mr. Jones on line except this song was produced in collaboration with the legendary disco producer Mr. Patrick Adams and mixed by Tony Humpries in 1984. Also, he did some work for the Jamaica Girls and probably worked with Larry Levan as well.  I discovered this song upon reading a playlist of Paradise Garage classics and I am sure this was  classic.  Enjoy!

In The Heat (Of The Night) - Klinte Jones - Oh My! Records

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Here is a sweet song I just discovered by I-Level called "Minefield".  Upon first listen, I realized that they sound familiar and realized they were the same people who did the smashing dance classic "Give Me".  I- Level was a short-term U.K. band consisting of Duncan Bridgeman, Jo Dworniak, and Sam Jones. Bridgeman and Dworniak, both from Essex, England and met through a classified ad in Melody Maker.  Classified ad on a music magazine? This  kind of encounter probably would never take place in todays time!  The group formed in 1981 and signed with Virgin Records.  Their sound was considered smooth R&B/Reggae along the lines of English Beat.  Although "Give Me" it's a great song and deserves a posting here, I'm opting to post this one here.  Enjoy!

Minefield - I-Level- Virgin


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Want To Rock With You

I have been away this whole weekend upstate communing with nature and there is nothing better than to re-energize at the site of trees and breathe the mountain air.  Recently I posted a picture titled "Artist in his studio" from this legendary and one of my favorite '70s producer, songwriter and performer Italian native Giorgio Moroder, who is credited to bring synthesizers to the front with his significant influence on New Wave, house, techno and electronic music.   Giorgio founded the former Musicland Studios in Munich. Well known for his work with the legendary Donna Summer with  the groundbreaking disco songs  "Love to Love You Baby" and the pulsating "I Feel Love" revolutionizing dance music.   He has worked with The Three Degrees, Sparks, David Bowie, Irene Cara, Madleen Kane, Melissa Manchester, Blondie, Japan and France Joli.   Mr. Moroder did some ground breaking film scores as well.  The theme from the film Midnight Express "Chase" won him an Academy Award for best film score in 1978.   Here is a wonderful song called "I Want To Rock With You" featured from his 1979 classic LP E=MC2.  The text on the album's cover stated that is was the "first electronic live-to-digital album".   He has also released  three albums between 1977-1979 under the name Munich Machine.  During the '80s Moroder worked with Philip Oakey of The Human League releasing "Together in Electric Dreams" and created the score for the film Top Gun.  Also, in 1984  he compiled a new restoration and edit of the famous silent film Metropolis and provided a contemporary soundtrack to the film known as the "Moroder version".  In 1997, Moroder reunited with Donna Summer and won the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording for the song "Carry On".

I Want To Rock With You - Giorgio Moroder

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The African Track

It seems that lately I'm on a Vincent Montana Jr. kick.  I just can't seem to get over the brilliance of his music.  This gem was released in 1979 proving that there is more to Mr. Montana Jr. by spotlighting African grooves using instruments such as the Cuica, a friction drum used in Africa for lion hunting.   Also, there are some amazingly haunting strings and bells making this a far out  dance classic.  This song was re-released in 2006 with fresh new remixes by Louis Benedetti revamping what was probably a song ahead of its time.  I just discovered this song and I'm loving the original!  Enjoy!

The African Track - Vince Montana Jr.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

It Ain't No Big Thing

Here is a song to help alleviate those Valentines blues for us singles around this time of the year.  "It Ain't No Big Thing" is rendered here by legendary disco lady Donna McGhee.   This sultry, mid-tempo disco "break up song" fits just right with the season.  Produced by Greg Carmichael and Patrick Adams,  this is a superb Disco album filled with great hi-hats, honest lyrics and overall lazy feel.  Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Donna McGhee grew up with gospel roots and then moving on to secular music.  During her earlier years she performed live at the Continental Baths in Harlem then became part of The Fatback Band, recorded with Phreek, Universal Robot Band and is actually one of the speeded up voices of Bumblee Unlimited!  Make It Last Forever contains five amazing disco songs that are true classics. The title song became an instant classic at clubs such as Better Days,  Paradise Garage, The Loft and Studio 54.  So for this Valentines "it ain't no big thing" being single.  Enjoy!

Disco Monk on Sound Cloud!

Check out these mixes by Dj Glamjack on Soundcloud!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Mr. Vincent Montana Jr.!

"the look that's love it's outta sight....two together....alright" and that's how it begins right after a sweet flute intro from this smashing and sexy song by Goody Goody called "It Looks Like Love".  Goody Goody it's the product of legendary Vincent Montana Jr. from the Montana Orchestra.  Recorded in 1978 this song has some the best flute and violin combinations making this a dreamy and sexy sound scape to heat up any dance floor any day, specially around this season.  Celebrating his 83rd birthday today, Mr. Monana  is an American composer, arranger and percussionist, most known as a member of MFSB and the founder of the Salsoul Orchestra.  He is the spiritual father of the Salsoul Orchestra, the backing band for the many acts on Salsoul Records.  The personnel of MFSB and the Salsoul Orchestra have overlapped substantially, and both groups were recorded at Philadelphias's famous Sigma Sound Studios.  This legendary disco figure has practically defined the golden era of Disco.  In recent years Mr. Montana has worked with house music duo Masters at Work, which has rekindled interested in his work.  He also did an amazing work with Pet Shop Boy's "New York City Boy" and recently collaborated on Dimitry From Paris' own tribute to the Philly Sound.   Ken Cayre, founder of Salsoul Records, has praised Montana's skill at scoring strings, brass, and diverse percussion in such way that it all worked within a dance recording.  As Montana was among the first with his considerable training and skill to apply such scoring technique to disco-oriented recordings, it is safe to say he is a true pioneer in the field.  Happy Birthday Mr. Montana and wishing you many more!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

As The Time Goes By

This week has gone so fast in grand New York style and here is a song that reflects that mood.  "As The Time Goes By" is a song by British blue-eyed funk band Funkapolitan.  Following on the footsteps of  bands such as Haircut 1000,  A Certain Ratio and The Hollies during the '80s, this eight-man band, made some amazing dance/pop/funk songs that were loved by the dance world.  Produced by August Darnell who is famously known as Kid Creole, this band incorporated a healthy blend of many styles ranging from Latin grooves to synthesizers to funk elements.  This song was a Paradise Garage classic and Larry Levan would drop this during his peak hours as a testament of his wide spectrum of music styles that made him a star DJ.  The cover art is brilliant! I heard this is a hard to fine vinyl and I'm loving this song, specially during those hard winter days "as the time goes by"wishing for the new season to break soon! In the meantime just enjoy this gem and dance along.

As The Time Goes By - Funkapolitan - London Records

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Love Dancing

This a great new release by Strut Records that I have been devouring lately.  A group of musicians composed of Arthur Russell's close friends and collaborators have decided to get together and release a record in order to pay tribute to his genius and continuing on his legacy who rightly call themselves Arthur's Landing.  Members include Ernie Brooks, Mustafa Ahmed, Joyce Bowden, Steven Hall, Eloide Lauten, Bill Ruyle, John Scherman and Peter Zummon.    This is one the best tributes that focuses on the wide spectrum of Arthur's music.  "I Want To Change My Life" is a stand out here and easily one of my favorites. I never heard this gorgeous song before and was informed by Steven Hall himself  that he used to sing it with Arthur when they were a duo called The Sailboats.  Other songs covered here have slightly altered titles such as "Miracle 2" which is actually a new take on "In The Light Of the Miracle" and "Love Dancing" featured here which is a new version of his Loose Joint's "Is It All Over My Face".  This version is much slower paced yet still captures the brilliance of the original with Hercules Love Affair's singer Nomi on vocals delivering a more sultry seductive and nostalgic take on the original.  The whole album captures Arthur's complexities as an artist yet delivers a seamless sound that is truly Arhur's own  and proves right that his music will always be timeless.  Congratulations Arthur's Landing and thank you for continuing on with his beautiful legacy! This record is a must have for 2011!

Love Dancing - Arthur's Landing - Strut

Artist in his Studio

Giorgio Moroder

Friday, February 4, 2011

Let Me Show You The Way To Go

Here is a very nice and stunning tribute to the King Of Pop to start your weekend.   "Let Me Show You The Way To Go" was originally released from the Jackson's 1976's self titled album after dropping the "5" and it was their first one for Epic records after leaving Motown.  With youngest brother Randy replacing Jermanine who stayed with Motown, the band moved from the Motown production machine to the Philly Soul engineers Gamble & Huff.   Mr. Gamble & Huff provided a more mature sound with their trademark lush orchestrations.  Featured here is an interesting rework/homage by Social Disco Club.  Humberto Matias is the mastermind behind Social Disco Club and a hugely respected DJ who is a native from Portugal.  Humberto actually started his passion for disco by creating a blog just like this one.  This song is book ended with what it is now a nostalgic interview of Michael Jackson that pretty much sums up his true essence and segue into a long intro of the original making almost instrumental.  It is a beautiful and sublime homage to the genius and soul of Michael.  Included in this post also is the original for good measure.  Enjoy!

Let Me Show You (Social Disco Club Re-Tribute) - The Jacksons - Epic

Let Me Show You The Way To Go - The Jacksons - Epic

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Disco Monk!

Happy Birthday Disco Monk! It is hard to believe it's February and it's been one year since I started this blog!  I appreciate all of you who have been supportive and enthusiastic about this idea.   All of your comments and suggestions make my day and are very welcomed, so please keep them coming.  Aside from my love of music that makes you move, I'm so happy to be part of this idea of sharing and building online communities based on similar and /or unique tastes and passions. This is the month of celebration of love, so here is a good song to start the month with Disco Monk and the amazing Debbie Jacobs with "Don't You Want My Love".  Born in Baltimore, this Disco lady had several hits from her 1980 release of High on Your Love.  My friend Wiki tells me that the album title song along with "Hot Hot (Give It All You Got)" went to #1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.  Other '70s hits included, "Don't You Want My Love" featured here, and "Undercover Lover", which are her best known hit singles.  She enjoyed a second #1 dance hit in 2000 in a new version of "Don't You Want My Love".  Other famous disco/club-era tracks performed by Debbie Jacobs include "Doctor Music" and "Maybe This Time".  "Maybe This Time" is a rare record and has been known to fetch high asking prices.    Lately, I've been hearing this song being played by Danny Krivit at his 718 Sessions and Body & Soul parties and believe me when I tell you that this song "turns it out", hand claps on the dance floor!  Enjoy!

Don't You Want My Love - Debbie Jacobs