The Gilberto Sextet – Good Lovin'

Gilberto Sextet - Good Lovin'

The record I bring you today is a nice latin boogaloo take on an old hit for the Young Rascals back in 1966. Written by Rudy Clark & Arthur Resnick it was originally recorded by an R&B singer called Limme Snell in 1965 but the single sold very few copies and a short time later was re-recorded (with substantially different lyrics) by Northern Soul favourites, The Olympics. I, like a lot of others was first aware of the Young Rascals version but as my interest in all things mod increased, I came across the Olympics’ version which I far preferred.

Fast forward a few years and as my penchant for latin grew, I stumbled upon this version. In it’s own way it fits into the mod sound just as much as the Olympics’ version. A reissue of this record was put out a few years back by one of our favourite reissue labels/compilers Vampisoul. It seemed to be to be a bit of an odd selection to me as this version isn’t particularly hard to come by or indeed beyond the resources of collectors due to it’s price. Nevertheless, it’s a great song so I don’t have any issue with them re-releasing it.

As well as the versions I mentioned above there were other takes on the song by popular 60s beat combo, The Tremeloes as well as mod favourites The Who (thus enhancing the song’s mod credentials ever further). One of the things I particularly enjoy about this song is the odd laughing at various stages – it certainly gives it a unique flavour! Enjoy! 

Jorge Ben – Se Manda

Jorge Ben - Si Manda

With the football World Cup having just started on Thursday, I thought I should bring you something from my collection that celebrates the vast musical heritage of the country where the tournament is taking place – Brazil.

One of the things that disappointed me most about the opening ceremony was the fact that the organisers saw fit to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars having Jennifer Lopez shake her ass for a few minutes and some guy called “Pitbull” mumble along (whoever the hell he is) rather than showcasing any one of the vast range of talented artists from Brazil. Well today’s selection is an appreciation of one of the very finest to come from Brazil, Mr Jorge Ben.

Jorge Ben (or Jorge Duilio Lima Menezies as he was christened) was born in Rio in 1945. He first became interested in music at the age of 13 and by age 15 had joined a local choir. His big break came in 1963 when he was playing at a local club and a record executive from Phillips spotted him and signed him immediately. One week later his debut single was released – “Mas Que Nada” Most people probably aren’t aware that it was Jorge Ben who wrote the song as Sergio Mendes’ version became the most well-known version before the truly awful Black Eyed Peas take on it.

Ben continued to record right through to the new millennium and during that time release almost an album every year as well as writing and recording tracks for other artists. Ben is still performing to this day at festivals around the world so if he turns up at a music festival near you, I highly recommend going to see one of the genuine legends of Brazilian music. 

 

La Lupe – Fever

It’s been a little while since we brought you a guest contributor so we’ve got one of our friends to pick out a track from their collection to feature, and I’m sure you’ll agree – it’s a banger!

Who is our guest I hear you ask? Well it’s none other than Mr Kris Holmes. Kris is a musician, record collector & DJ based in Auckland, New Zealand. Specializing in 45s, Kris has been collecting 45s for 20 years & tries to travel overseas to DJ & pursue 45s as often as possible. He curates the website Greenville & Beyond (www.greenvilleandbeyond.wordpress.com), hosts the Sunday Shuffle Soul & Funk Show on Radio Ponsonby (www.radioponsonby.co.nz) – Sundays 2pm – 4pm NZ time. Kris has also released his own funk 45s every so often (in fact he is the man behind one of our favourite funk 45s of the last few years – Elder William Smith) and is also involved with the New Zealand Soul All-Dayer events (www.facebook.com/thenzsoulalldayer?fref=ts)         So let’s hear from the man himself:

La Lupe - Fever

La Lupe

Just what the world needed in the mid-60s was another version of Fever, but you know I’m really glad they took the time to lay down this blistering Latin Soul take, because although I have a fair number of versions of the song on 45 this one is kind of unique.

Along with Celia Cruz, La Lupe was Tito Puente’s “other” female vocalist in the 60s. Cutting tracks with Puente for the Tico label, Lupe was billed as the featured vocalist & performer on many of the later tracks she cut fronting Puente’s band. Although Celia Cruz can often be seen as an important female figure instrumental in growing the role of women in Latin music, it can sometimes be overlooked that La Lupe also played a vital role in this aspect during the 1960s but ultimately was a much more acquired, dramatic & somewhat chaotic figure which perhaps undermines her importance somewhat.

Bringing a performance & vocal style which was slightly more, shall we say “unhinged” than the norm (which kind of says a lot when you think of some of the fiery Latin vocalists of the era), La Lupe enjoyed massive success through the 1960s.

Guadalupe Victoria Yoli Raymond was born of partial French descent in Cuba in 1942. After cutting her teeth as a Cabaret singer in Havana as a teen, she moved to New York in 1962 where she was discovered by Mongo Santamaria & quickly recorded with him for Riverside. In 1964, unwilling to tour Puerto Rico with Santamaria, she jumped ship to Puente with whom she cut a number of hit sides on the Tico label until 1968 when Puente, tired of her crazy antics & unpredictable temper tantrums fired her. Following a very brief time with Machito’s Orchestra, La Lupe then seemed to fade into obscurity for nine years until she reunited successfully with Machito & Puente in 1977 for a short lived but momentarily successful comeback attempt.

Sadly, La Lupe fell into a state of depression in the final decade of her life, with obesity, poverty & drug abuse causing her added pain on top of losing her career in the Latin music world. Sadly, La Lupe passed away in 1992.

For me, her version of Fever really shows what La Lupe was all about, a firecracker of a Latin Soul 45 born out of an R&B classic, the sort of concoction born out of New York’s musical melting pot of the 1960s. From the opening “cackle” & exclamations of “Gahrooby baby, Gahrooby!!” to the rolled “r’s” of La Lupe’s heavily accented English & the seeming effortless lapses into Spanish language verse. Then when the bugalu kicks in with La Lupe’s call & response with the male vocalists, it just blazes. Everything which is killer about Latin Soul/Bugalu is confined within the 2m38s of this 45. So turn it up, BARBARO indeed!

Pucho & The Latin Soul Brothers – Got Myself A Good Man

Firstly, we here at Gazfunk have a bit of an apology to make for this week’s selection as this record is actually a re-release. Normally we don’t play that way, however in the case of this track we’ll make an exception due to the rarity of the original, not to mention the quality of the tune.

Following on from my recent posts of latin legends, this week’s choice brings yet another heavyweight of the latin scene in the US, Henry “Pucho” Brown. Pucho & The Latin Soul Brothers were formed in 1959 and can still be found performing today.

This choice is a cover of Gladys Knight & The Pips’ “Got Myself A Good Man” originally released in ’69 on the “Soul” label. This version has everything you could ask for in a funky latin instrumental. It has wah-wah guitar, pounding drums(from Bernard “Pretty” Purdie no less), conga, funky flute and organ. In my view this is simply one of THE greatest “dance” tracks ever made.

Enjoy!!