The Jackson Sisters – I Believe In Miracles

The Jackson Sisters - I Believe In Miracles

The tune I bring you today can probably be best described as a bona fide classic. This record became huge on the Acid Jazz/Rare Groove scene in the late 80s/early 90s and since then has been reissued many, many times. My first introduction to it came around that time as well – however it wasn’t as a result of hearing it in clubs, I was introduced to it by way of it being sampled on a hip-hop track that was a particular favourite of mine back then.

Mc Duke was the artist in question – a British rapper from the East End who became one of the pioneers of the British Hip-Hop sound. Duke (as he became later known) was probably best remembered for “I’m Riffin'” which was a minor hit in the U.K. charts. It was however his 1988 single “Miracles” that really grabbed me and had me searching to find out just what the groovy music sampled was called. Now remember, this was in the days before the internet so it wasn’t that easy to find a reference point to tell you who had sampled what (not like today when you can just visit sites like “whosampled.com”)

Fast forward a number of years to when my record collecting habit was in full swing and The Jackson Sisters’ original made it’s way to the top of my wish list. After quite a long time chasing a copy, I finally managed to pick one up for quite a reasonable price (original copies these days aren’t easy to come by and regularly reach £100+). The song itself just has such a great groove about it and would be just at home in a funk club as it would at a more “disco” night. Now I must admit – I’m not at all a fan of disco, however this is probably the one tune that has a disco feel to it that I actually like – that shows you how good it is!!

I’ve already talked about this record being the original sample on Mc Duke’s “Miracles” which may have led you to believe that The Jackson Sisters was the original release, well some of you may be aware that even this was a cover of a track by a guy called Mark Capanni. So rare is the original that Jazzman Records reissued it on 7″ a few years back. 

 

Kahuna Kawentzmann – Gogo Sitar

As it’s a Bank Holiday I have a little bit more time than I thought I had to bring you an update ahead of my trip to NYC tomorrow.

So you’re looking at the title of this latest entry and thinking to yourself this must be a late 60’s/early 70’s track by some obscure Indian sitar player. Except you’d be wrong.

Kahuna Kawentzmann is actually a German guitar player (called Sebastian Hartmann) from Berlin who started out playing in a “surf” band called the Looney Tunes in the late eighties. By the time the band had split, the Kahuna Kawentzmann alter-ego had been created. A spell dj’ing in clubs around Hamburg allowed the Kahuna Kawentzmann brand to be established and this in turn led to the release of Gogo Sitar in 2004.

As for the song itself, well it has all those features you’d want from a funky track, with hammond organ, pounding bongos and sitar (though I suspect this might be a guitar tuned to sound like a sitar). Think Ananda Shankar meets a late 60’s spy soundtrack. Groovy!

African Music Machine – Black Water Gold

African Music Machine were an eight piece who started out as the backing band for Jewell/Paula Records in Louisiana (who featured artists such as Toussaint McCall and Little Johnny Taylor)

During the 70’s they occasionally released their own material including this selection, in 1972. Black Water Gold is a staple within the funk scene and has often been covered by various other artists, but this is the original and best version in my opinion.

At different times this 45 was highly in demand by funk collectors and reached quite a high price. Due to the value of their original singles, a compilation album was reissued in 2000 featuring this and their other single releases.