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Paris DJs Soundsystem - California Soul

Paris DJs Soundsystem - California Soul
(MP3 podcast on KRAKED/T.I.M.E.C., 2007-05-27

Info :
Ubiquity Records and Paris DJs Soundsystem are happy to present you this mix, celebrating the release of the second volume of the "California Soul" series on Luv'N'Haight reissues label. Luv'N'Haight has amazed us for years with incredible digging of soul, funk, latin and jazz marvels, building up a nearly flawless catalog that's a joy to hunt for. [details on the two "California Soul" compilations released by the label are available below]

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Tracklisting :
01. Paris DJs Soul Soundsystem - Introduction feat. Carlton Livingston
(exclusive jingle)
02. Rotary Connection - Respect
(from 'Songs' LP, 1969 / Cadet)
03. Gow Dow Experience - Compared to what
(from 'Super Cool California Soul 2' compilation, 2007 / Luv'N'Haight)
04. Courtial - Losing you
(from 'California Soul' compilation, 2000 / Luv'N'Haight)
05. The California Poppy Pickers - Crystal Blue Persuasion
(from 'Today's Chart Busters' LP, 1969 / Alshire)
06. Eric Burdon & War - Pretty Colors
(from 'The Black Man's Burdon' double LP, 1970 / MGM)
07. Litlle Sister - Stanga
(from 'What It Is!' 4CD boxset compilation, 2006 / Rhino)
08. Eddie Hazel - California Dreamin'
(from 'Games, Dames and Guitar Things' album, 1977 / Warner Bros.)

Artworks :
california soulSuper Cool California Soul 2california soulcalifornia poppy pickerscalifornia poppy pickersWhat It Is Funky Soul and Rare GroovesEddie Hazel Games and Thangs

Download MP3

Credits :
Selected, mixed and mastered by the Paris DJs Soul Soundsystem feat. Loik, Djouls & Grant Phabao
Audio mastering by Grant Phabao (

california soul
01. Paris DJs Soul Soundsystem - Introduction feat. Carlton Livingston

Famous reggae singer and Studio One veteran Carlton Livingston has been recording tracks with Grant Phabao for quite some time now.

A limited edition 12 inch from this collaboration has been released on T.I.M.E.C. last year, a storming cover of "Message To Your Rudie, also featuring the legendary jamaican deejay The Lone Ranger. The track got praise from The Unabombers, Paul Murphy, Rob Luis, Miles from The Breakestra, Erik Rug, the Fat City Record Shop and many others and we can't wait to hear what else has been cooking up between Carlton and Phabao...

During those sessions, Carlton has graced us with some singing jingles for the Paris DJs podcast, and we've included one on this short introduction, just to add a pinch of Jamaican soul spice to this "California Soul" mix...

Credits :
Produced by Loik & Grant Phabao
Vocals by Carlton Lingston
Links :

02. Rotary Connection - Respect
(from 'Songs' LP, 1969 / Cadet)

Tracklisting :
A1. Respect (3:05)
A2. The Weight (3:24)
A3. Sunshine Of Your Love (5:07)
A4. I've Got My Mojo Working (2:38)
A5. Burning Of The Midnight Lamp (4:40)
B1. Tales Of Brave Ulysses (4:28)
B2. This Town (3:25)
B3. We're Going Wrong (3:20)
B4. The Salt Of The Earth (4:55)

Produced and arranged by Charles Stepney
Vocals - Jeremiah (tracks: A4, A5, B1, B4), Minnie Riperton (tracks: A1, A5, B1, B3, B4) , Sidney Barnes (tracks: A2 to A4, B2, B4)
Recorded at Ten Mar Studios, Chicago, March 1969

Links :

Super Cool California Soul 2
03. Gow Dow Experience - Compared To What
(from 'Various - Super Cool California Soul 2' CD/2xLP compilation, 2007-05-22 / Luv'N'Haight)

Tracklisting :
01. Gow Do Experience - Compared To What (Main Version)
02. Buddy Conner - Halfway Loving
03. Pat Hunt - Supercool
04. Cal Green - Revolution Rap
05. Mokie JJ & ROB - Beverly
06. Carmelita - Isn't It Lonely
07. Sy Hightower - I Know You're Leaving Me
08. Spanky Wilson - Fancy
09. LAPD - Big Herm
10. Johnny Morrisette - I'm Hungry
11. David Glover - We Got To Get It Together
12. HP Riot - I Have Changed
13. Gow Do Experience - Psychedelic Sally
14. Rodney Trotter - Space Nigga'
15. Darondo - Such A Night
16. Gow Do Experience - Compared To What (Bonus Version)

Links :

Press Release :
"A golden state's worth of funky soul from the 60s and 70s - pulled together in a collection that's arguably even better than the first volume in the series! The tracks here are all incredibly solid - tunes that aren't just great because they're rare, but because they perfectly illustrate the hard-hitting groove going on in the California underground..."
- Dusty Groove America

"Nothing less than a treasure trove of sunshine-soaked soul."
- Urban Junkies, London

"The then-sound of a regional underground, and a soundtrack for subcultures that birthed our leaders of today."
- East Bay Express

"Super Cool California Soul 2 delves deep for its riches...These songs have aged remarkably well while still retaining their period charms."
- OC Weekly

"What makes Super Cool California Soul 2 so compelling is not the obscurity of these tracks but the organic cohesiveness that holds them together."
- Exclaim! Canada

"The subtle, unmistakable flutter in your chest and overwhelming urge to soul clap will make you feel right at home in a place you may never have been before... Grade: A-"
- Campus Circle

"Providing us with another batch of (highly) sought after underground Cali doesn't get more soulful than this..."
- Beyondjazz

Super Cool is the second volume in our California Soul series and features music recorded between 1966 and 1982. Spanning eclectic genres from soul jazz, blues, heavy funk, modern soul, Northern soul, and disco, there's even a ballad (previously unavailable on CD) from Luv N'Haight favorite Darondo.

Despite a number of tracks being incredibly rare and highly sought-after, Super Cool was not compiled because of the rare-factor or value of the original releases alone. More importantly this is a treasure trove of music that connects the dots between artists and scenes, eras and genres, and none of the acts or tracks should not be lost to obscurity.

This is music by artists who may not be household names, but were session musicians, players, and characters who kept the scenes from San Francisco to Los Angeles and beyond alive. They were the sound of the underground and, far from being a cast of nobodies, artists included on Super Cool have played alongside Fela Kuti and George Clinton. Members of the bands featured were also integral players in acts like Funkadelic, War, and Sam Cooke's band, there's even a second cousin to Martin Luther King amidst the line-up!

Rather than concentrate on one sound or scene, the "California Soul" series is an all-encompassing overview reflecting the eclectic range of soul music to come from the state. These tracks were pulled from a couple of decades which saw the social and political status quo undergo huge change in America. The wildly inclusive racial make-up of the population meant that California was an epicenter for that change. The art and music of the times obviously reflects such influences and it was easy to fill Super Cool with super-fly love songs, righteous shouts for freedom and cosmic flower-powered funk. While wide in scope the tunes included on this compilation (and Volume 1) can obviously only represent a tiny fraction of the multitude of soulful styles, tunes and artists from California, so enjoy now and hold tight for volume 3!

california soul
04. Courtial - Losing you
(from 'Various - California Soul - Rare Funk, Soul, Jazz & Latin Groove From The West Coast 1965-1981' CD/2xLP compilation, 2002 / Luv'N'Haight LH039)

Tracklisting :
01 Linda Tillery - Freedom Time
02 Sweet Stuff - Freaky (To You)
03 Courtial - Losing You
04 Ike White - Love and Affection
05 Rokk - Patience
06 Roy Porter - Party Time
07 Mike James Kirkland - Hang On in There
08 Cool Sounds - Where Do We Go From Here
09 West Coast Revival - Feelin' Alright
10 Cool Benny - Wobble Cha
11 Orquesta Esencia - Carnaval
12 Sons and Daughters of Lite - A Real Thing
13 Adele Sebastian - Daydreamer
14 Sweet Stuff - Freaky (To You) (PUTS DJ re-edit)

Links :

Press Release :
California's rich social fabric has given the world some amazing soul music. Tower of Power, Santana, Sly and The Family Stone and Shuggie Otis - the list is endless. Our compilation includes some of the more hard-to-find moments featuring unreleased 7"s and vinyl album-only soul, Latin, jazz and funk cuts recorded as early as the mid-1960s through and into the early 1980s. This slice of California's underground musical history was assembled by the Luv N'Haight rare groove digging crew, which means that not only are the tunes preserved and made widely available but also artists were tracked down and properly paid. This is not a bootleg, this is a dedication to the soulful sounds of California.

Linda Tillery wrote and released "Freedom Time" in 1977 for her self-titled album on Olivia Records, at the time a Los Angeles-based label dedicated to giving women access to the music industry. The company, now based in Oakland and primarily dealing in the women's travel industry, was exclusively women-run. Women made the music and Olivia Records offered technical training and job opportunities to women. According to the original album liner notes all profits from record sales went to paying Olivia Records employees salaries and helping fund the building of their own studio - to be run by women, of course. Tillery is still active in the music industry, at the time of writing she was touring Europe with her band the Cultural Heritage Choir.

Sweet Stuff and The Cool Sounds both come from the Soultown record label run by Bobby Sanders, himself a producer and occasional singer with the classic California soul group The Younghearts. Sanders nearly laughed himself out of his seat when we called to license the Sweet Stuff version of Leon Haywood's "Freaky (To You)". Apparently it had been a while since anyone had mentioned the track. Unfortunately for Sanders and Sweet Stuff, this wasn't the one-hit-wonder he was hoping for. Sanders and Haywood have been friends for over 30 years, but Sanders is pretty sure that even Haywood won't remember this cover version. "He was too into his own sound!" jokes Sanders.
The Cool Sounds pull out an awesome Marvin Gaye-like soulful but apocalyptic warning song - something that Sanders sent us on a cd-r, "just in case we might be interested" - hell yeah! Sanders was only 19 when he released the Sweet Stuff 7". "I wanted to be the new Berry Gordy with Soultown and my other label Pick-A-Hit Records, " he says. "I was the youngest kid doin' this stuff." Sanders had hits with McKinley Travis "Baby Is There Something on Your Mind" and Lil' Helen who at 12 years old sang "The Richest Girl". Sanders explains that back then Record Hops were the way to promote music. Every Friday he would take music and bands into schools and the buzz he'd create allowed him to get radio play. "It was much easier to break an act back then," laments Sanders.

Courtial is the second band on this compilation, after Linda Tillery, to record at Wally Heiders San Francisco studio. Their "Don't You Think It's Time" album came out a year before Tillery's album in 1976. William Courtial lead the band, which also featured awesome bay area vocalist Errol Knowles, perhaps better known for his work on the Azteca albums or Coke Escovedo's "I Would Not Change A Thing". Both Knowles and Courtial went on to join the group Chela with Mike Clark and Paul Jackson of the Headhunters. Between the Courtial band members they amassed appearances and collaborations with acts like Esther Satterfield, Jimmy Buffett, Solar Plexus, Ivory Joe Hunter and the John Betsch Society. We need to offer our thanks to Pam Courtial, one of William Courtial's ex-wives, who turned us onto his current whereabouts and coincidentally lives right around the corner from our recently-opened offices in Newport Beach.

Ike White wins best liner notes of all the records featured here. He features a quote from Stevie Wonder and thanks to Superintendent Jerry Enomoto of the California Department of Corrections "whose help made the project possible". Despite being in jail White's "Changin' Times" album was recorded and released in 1976 on the LA International label - also home to West Coast Revival who's version of "Feelin' Alright" can be found on the band's self-titled album in 1977. Jerry Goldstein produced both Ike White and West Coast Revival, he was also the producer behind the seminal California soul-funk-rock-Latin band War. Legend has it that vocalist Eric Burdon used to crash on Goldstein's couch before hooking up with the War. Goldstein also had a hand in writing 2 huge pop hits - "Hang On Sloopy" and "I Want Candy".

"Patience" was recorded in 1976 as the lead single to an album by Rokk. The album was never finished because producer Calvin Carter became too ill. A handful of promotional copies of "Patience" were distributed but the song has otherwise never the seen light of day. Label owner Betty Chiappetta had high hopes for Rokk and looked to re-launch her Tollie label with the band's success. Unfortunately when Carter fell ill the band disappeared and the almost-completed Rokk album is still in Chiappetta's possession.
Tollie, coincidentally named after Carter's son, was set-up by parent company Vee-Jay who owned the rights to the Beatles early material. Vee-Jay had so much success with Beatles album material that radio stations were complaining about having too many Vee-Jay releases in their charts. Chiappetta set-up the sub-label as an outlet for the singles. Tollie went out of business when an impending suit with Capitol over rights to the Beatles went sour for Vee-Jay. Thanks to Los Angeles-based record hunter Mike Vague who turned us on to the song and label. Thanks to Egon (Stones Throw) for turning us on to Mike!

Roy Porter, Mike James Kirkland, and the Sons and Daughters of Lite have all made several appearances on Luv N'Haight, helping us establish ourselves as an archive label with the platters that matter. Sadly Porter is no longer with us, but the tremendous drumming skills honed in South Central LA live on in music like "Party Time" - check the breaks! Be sure to seek-out the B+ documentary "Keep In Time", which gives Porter plenty o'props and features Porter speaking in the end-sequence. Or read Porters story in his own words in "There and Back," published by Bayou Press.

Mike James Kirkland's background was in doo-wop and gospel. Moving from Yazoo City, Mississipi to Los Angeles opened up Kirkland's ears to a world of new music. He and his brother Bob started Bryan records and released Kirkland's two ultra-rare but super soulful albums "Doin' It Right" and "Hang On In There". Apparently Kirkland's records may never have been created if it wasn't for a bet. At a party Bob offered a wager that his brother could cut a record as good as any Motown offering. How this guy wasn't a huge hit originally we're not entirely sure. "Hang On In There" mixes socio-political commentary with an awesome bass-line and Kirkland's poignant vocal stylings in the indie-label equivalent to "What's Going On".

The Sons and Daughters of Lite formed in Oakland in the early 1970s and their album "Let The Sunshine In" was re-issued in full by Luv N'Haight in January 2000. The band's energetic sound earned them stage appearances with the likes of Sun Ra, Fela Kuti, Freddie Hubbard and Stanley Turrentine. The term Sons of Lite comes from the Ancient Egyptian Mystery System. The Creators or Sons of Lite were those who had experienced true spiritual consciousness.

Cool Benny and his Stone Swingers is Benny Velarde, a San Francisco musical fixture for as long as we can remember. The "Wobble-Cha" 7" single was released on Virgo records and came to our attention via Cool Chris and Vinnie Esparza down at the Groove Merchant record store - thanks fellas!

Orquesta Esencia's "Carnaval" (from the album "Fuerza Positiva") is another San Francisco Latin track - this one originally a hit in the Mission district when it came out in 1981. DJ and music aficionado Rainer Truby (Compost records) hipped it to us a few years back and since then the album has grown in reputation to become a highly collectible item - just check the breakdown and you'll hear why. Not everyone involved enjoys the tune, the original writer Dave Godines couldn't understand why we would be interested in it - he was kind enough to do the deal anyway!

Adele Sebastian's "Daydreamer" was taken from the album "Desert Fairy Princess" on Nimbus records - originally an L.A.-based jazz label that specialized in avant-garde jazz music by artists like Horace Tapscott, The Creative Arts Ensemble and Nate Morgan. Sebastian joined the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra in the 1970s as a teenager. She played in the band until her death in 1983 of kidney failure at the age of 27. According to Tapscott's liner notes she was "dedicated to the task of contributing toward the 'Ourstory' of a rising nation".

While this compilation covers a lot of territory we're aware that there is an endless amount of music out there - known or unknown. We love to dig for tunes so watch out for further volumes of California Soul and other re-issues via Luv N'Haight.

*This release includes a special guest DJ-friendly re-edit by Los Angeles-based People Under The Stairs. Many thanks to Thes One for hooking it up!

california poppy pickers
05. The California Poppy Pickers - Crystal Blue Persuasion
(from 'Today's Chart Busters' LP, 1969 / Alshire)

Tracklisting :
01. Get Back
02. Ballad Of John And Yoko
03. Love Can Make You Happy
04. Blues For Berkeley Street People
05. Hushabye
06. Crystal Blue Persuasion
07. Special Delivery
08. Horsefly
09. Augie From Bakersfield
10. Poppy's To Be Picked

Links :

california poppy pickers
06. Eric Burdon & War - Pretty Colors
(from 'The Black Man's Burdon' 2xLP, 1970 / MGM)

Tracklisting :
A1. Black On Black In Black (2:05)
A2. Paint It Black I (2:05)
A3. Laurel & Hardy (1:30)
A4. Pintelo Negro II (1:05)
A5. P.C. 3 (1:30)
A6. Black Bird (2:17)
A7. Paint It Black III (3:02)
A8. Spirit (8:30)
B1. Beautiful New Born Child (5:07)
B2. Nights In White Satin (4:28)
B3. The Bird & The Squirrel (2:43)
B4. Nuts, Seeds & Life (4:01)
B5. Out Of Nowhere (3:22)
B6. Nights In White Satin (2:51)
C1. Sun / Moon (10:04)
C2. Pretty Colors (6:52)
C3. Gun (5:44)
C4. Jimbo (4:50)
D1. Bare Back Ride (7:07)
D2. Home Cookin' (4:10)
D3. They Can't Take Away Our Music (6:45)

Links :

Info :
Eric Burdon's second and final album with War, this two-LP psychedelic soul tour de force is perhaps the greatest testament to the band New Music Express would acclaim as the "best live band...ever seen." A sprawling work filled with free-form rap, improvised jazz vamps, and tight, funky rhythmic workouts, "The Black Man's Burdon" presents Eric Burdon and War at the height of their partnership, a spontaneous funky musical force that could go anywhere at anytime. Highlights include the 13-minute-plus Stones-influenced "Paint It Black Medley;" the soulful, jazzy "Pretty Colors;" and the gospel timepiece "They Can't Take Away Our Music."

What It Is Funky Soul and Rare Grooves
07. Little Sister - Stanga
(from 'What It Is! - Funky Soul And Rare Grooves' 4CD boxset compilation, 2006 / Rhino)

Tracklisting :
Disc One
01. The Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band - Spreadin' Honey
02. Bar-Kays - Soul-Finger
03. Brother Jack McDuff - The Shadow Of Your Smile
04. Jimmy Norman - Gangster Of Love (Parts I & II)
05. Rufus Thomas - The Memphis Train
06. Grassella Oliphant - Get Out Of My Life Woman
07. Eddie Harris - Live Right Now
08. Natural Bridge Bunch - Pig Snoots, Part I
09. The Freedom Sounds featuring Wayne Henderson - Soul Sound System
10. Clarence Carter - Snatching It Back
11. Artie Christopher - Stoned Soul
12. The T.S.U. Tornadoes - Getting The Corners
13. Tony Alvon & The Belairs - Sexy Coffee Pot
14. Mark Putney - Don't Come Around Here Anymore
15. The Commodores - Keep On Dancing
16. The Southshore Commission - Right On Brother-Part 1
17. Eldridge Holmes - Pop, Popcorn Children
18. Cold Grits - It's Your Thing
19. Soul Angels - It's All In Your Mind
20. Johnny Cameron & The Camerons - Funky John
21. Joyce Jones - Help Me Make Up My Mind
22. Lou Johnson - Rock Me Baby
23. The Noble Knights - Sing A Simple Song
24. Titus Turner - Do You Dig It
25. Phil Moore Jr. - Funky Canyon
26. The Fabulous Counts - Jan Jan
27. The Rhine Oaks - Tampin'

Disc Two
01. Cyril Neville - Gossip
02. The Mighty Hannibal - Somebody In The World For You
03. Little Sister - Stanga
04. Anada Shankar - Jumpin' Jack Flash
05. Brute Force - The Deacon
06. Don Covay & The Jefferson Lemon Blues Band - Sookie Sookie
07. Clarence Wheeler & The Enforcers - Right On
08. Curtis Mayfield - (Don't Worry) If There's A Hell Below We're All Going To Go
09. Johnny Harris - Stepping Stones
10. 6ix - I'm Just Like You
11. The Unemployed - Funky Thing-Part 1
12. Shirley Scott - Messie Bessie
13. Willie West - Fairchild
14. The Gaturs - Cold Bear
15. Mongo Santamaria - I Can't Get Next To You
16. Lulu - Feelin' Alright
17. Memphis Horns - Soul Bowl
18. Hammer - Tuane
19. Johnny Tolbert & De Thangs - Take It Off-Part II
20. Harlem River Drive featuring Eddie Palmieri & Jimmy Norman - Seeds Of Life
21. Wilson Pickett - Engine Number 9 (Single Version)

Disc Three
01. Baby Huey & The Baby Sitters - Hard Times
02. Houseguests - What So Never The Dance-Pt. 1 & 2
03. Eugene McDaniels - Headless Heroes
04. Wade Marcus - Spinning Wheel
05. Earth, Wind & Fire - Bad Tune
06. Rasputin's Stash - Mr. Cool
07. Junior Mance - Don't Cha Hear Me Calling To Ya
08. The Stovall Sisters - Hang On In There
09. The Beginning Of The End - Funky Nassau (Part II)
10. Mark Holder & The Positives - Whatever's Fair
11. Ed Robinson - Face It
12. Young-Holt Unlimited - Wah Wah Man
13. Aretha Franklin - Rock Steady (Alternate Mix) (Previously Unissued)
14. Black Haze Express - Won't Nobody Listen
15. Allen Toussaint - Goin' Down
16. Malo - Suavecito
17. Charles Wright - You Gotta Know Whatcha Doin'
18. Tami Lynn - Mo Jo Hanna
19. King Curtis - Ridin' Thumb
20. Macondo - Almendra
21. Little Richard - Nuki Suki

Disc Four
01. United 8 - Getting Uptown (To Get Down)
02. Howard Tate - 8 Days On The Road
03. Labelle - Moon Shadow (Edit)
04. Society's Bag - Let It Crawl
05. Black Heat - Wanaoh
06. Clarence Reid - If It Was Good Enough For Daddy
07. Claudia Lennear - Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky
08. The Mystic Moods - Cosmic Sea
09. Cold Blood - Kissing My Love
10. Seatrain - Flute Thing (45 Edit)
11. The Meters - Chug Chug Chug-A-Lug (Push And Shove) Part II
12. Freddi/Henchi & The Soul Setters - Funky To The Bone
13. Bobby Byrd - Try It Again
14. Cornell Dupree - Teasin'
15. Dr. John - (Everybody Wanna Get Rich) Rite Away
16. Oscar Brown, Jr. - Chicken Heads
17. Funk Factory - Rien Ne Va Plus
18. Herbie Mann - Cajun Moon (Single Version)
19. Darrow Fletcher - Improve
20. Faze-O - Riding High
21. Fred Wesley & The Horny Horns - Four Play (Promo Edit)
22. Eddie Hazel - California Dreamin' (Edit)

Links :

About Sly Stone's band "Little Sister" :
The group Little Sister was a female trio organized by Sly Stone, consisting of Vaetta Stewart (Sly's little sister of course), Mary McCreary and Elva Mouton. The group had two Top Ten R&B singles. "You're the One Part 1 & 2" reached #4 of the R&B charts in the early part of 1970 and "Somebody's Watching You / Stanga" reached #8 on the R&B charts in late 1970. These singles capture the same spirit as the seminal Sly & The Family Stone album, "There's A Riot Goin' On," which was released at the end of 1971. Little Sister was involved from the first Family Stone album, "A Whole New Thing"and subsequently sang backup vocals on many, if not most of Sly & the Family Stone's records. They are featured heavily on the Sly & the Family Stone album "Fresh". The recently released, "The Essential Sly & The Family Stone", showcases the Little Sister contribution as the remastering process has brought their voices to the fore.

Many fans speculate that Little Sister released a whole album, when in truth, four tracks were released. They were, "You're The One" Pt. I, "You're The One" Pt. II, "Stanga" and "Somebody's Watching You" . The singles were all written, arranged and produced by Sly. The release of "Somebody's Watching You" marks the first time a drum machine then called a "rhythm box" or "funk box" was used in a popular recording, a frequently used item in the studio some 35 years later. The same machine was used again on the #1 single from There's a Riot Goin' On "Family Affair" which propelled the new instrument into the spotlight even further. All Little Sister singles were released on Sly's own Stoneflower label through an exclusive agreement with Atlantic Records. Other artists who were released on Stoneflower included Joe Hicks and the group 6ix.

Press Release fro the "What It Is!" boxset :
Funk emerged in the 1960s, a scorching sound that amped up the spirit of R&B and became the precursor to hip-hop. While major artists topped the charts with funk hits throughout the '60s and '70s, "What It Is!" celebrates the smaller ones-the heady, groove-monstrous strain of gutbucket funk that remains a major force in American music.

A four-CD, 91-track compendium that would take incalculable hours to assemble from dusty bins at disappearing record shops, What It Is! is culled mainly from the treasure-filled vaults of Atlantic, Atco, and Warner Bros. Records. It's an unprecedented shadow history of funk, pulling together rare sides from well-known artists and definitive grooves from less-known but supremely gifted masters of the art form.
Artists include Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band, Eugene McDaniels, Baby Huey & The Baby Sitters, Allen Toussaint, Little Richard, Labelle, Eddie Hazel, Earth, Wind & Fire, Lulu, Wilson Pickett, Malo, The Meters, Cyril Neville, and many more. Deluxe packaging houses a massive booklet with rare photos, liner notes, and track-by-track commentary.

Eddie Hazel Games and Thangs
08. Eddie Hazel - California Dreamin'
(from 'Games, Dames and Guitar Things' album, 1977 / Warner Bros)

Tracklisting :
01. California Dreamin' 6:20
02. Frantic Moment 3:43
03. So Goes the Story 3:57
04. I Want You (She's So Heavy) 9:26
05. Physical Love 5:33
06. What About It? 3:45
07. California Dreamin' (Reprise) 1:40
In 2004, Rhino Records re-released the long out of print album with several bonus tracks:
08. Smedley Smorganoff 3:06
09. Lampoc Boogie 11:46
10. From the Bottom of My Soul 12:34
11. Unkut Funk 2:02

Links :

Biography :
Somewhat of a mythical figure, original Funkadelic guitarist Eddie Hazel pioneered an innovative funk-metal sound in the early '70s, best exemplified on his mammoth classic instrumental jam "Maggot Brain". This mythological status arises from his brief, mysterious era of productivity, a shadowy three-album cycle capped by "Maggot Brain". At the time, Hazel seemed a clear successor to the deceased Jimi Hendrix, one of the few black guitar players merging an acid rock approach with an R&B aesthetic. Furthermore, Hazel took things a step further, integrating a heavy dose of funk into his fiery guitar work as well, setting the precedent for successive Parliament/Funkadelic guitarists, as well as later generations of funk-metal guitarists.

Though born in Brooklyn on April 10, 1950, Eddie Hazel grew up outside the city in Plainfield, NJ, since his mother, Grace Cook, didn't want her son growing up in a negative, drug-littered environment (though, ironically, Plainfield wasn't much better in regard to drugs). While his mother commuted back and forth to Brooklyn to work as a silk presser, the young Eddie spent most of his time playing the guitar his brother had bought for him as a Christmas gift. In addition to his self-trained guitar playing, Eddie also sang in church and eventually met Billy "Bass" Nelson when he was only 12 -- the two instantly began playing together, teaching each other to sing and play guitar. Once they met up with yet another local youth, drummer Harvey McGee, they began jamming together as a trio, trying to learn all the early-'60s Motown hits. In 1967, another much more established Plainfield group, the Parliaments, had suddenly found themselves experiencing a considerable level of success and wanted to mount a tour. They needed a backing band, though, and looked to Nelson for help. Unfortunately, Hazel was nowhere to be found, supposedly in Newark, NJ, working with producer George Blackwell. When Nelson returned from a short summer tour in August, the first thing he did was hunt down Hazel in hopes of beefing up the Parliaments' rhythm section. There was one problem, though -- Eddie's mother. She wasn't crazy about the idea of letting her 17-year-old son head out on a tour with George Clinton's ensemble of wild musicians. Yet after a little begging and some convincing on both Clinton's and Nelson's part, Ms. Cook agreed to let her son follow his ambitions.

The Parliaments went back on tour in September 1967, with Nelson and Hazel anchoring the rhythm section. In Philadelphia during a show at the Uptown Theater, Hazel met Tiki Fulwood, who was the Uptown's house drummer. The two instantly became close friends, going out partying after the show together. Furthermore, since both Nelson and Hazel were unhappy with their drummer at the time, they argued with Clinton about replacing the Parliaments' inadequate drummer with Fulwood. By the time they left Philadelphia, the Nelson/Hazel/Fulwood rhythm section was finally in place, a tight squad that spawned Funkadelic.

In essence, Funka delic was just a continuation of the Parliaments. With group member Calvin Simon gone off to the war, and with Hazel and Fulwood now in the group, the Parliaments abandoned their uniforms, donned extravagant costumes or street clothes, and began playing increasingly rock-influenced music driven by Hazel's dirty fuzz tone and Hendrix-influenced acid rock approach. The change to Funkadelic then became official with the introduction of Tawl Ross on rhythm guitar and Bernie Worrell on keyboards, resulting in a series of three landmark albums: the group's self-titled debut "Funkadelic" (1970), "Free Your Mind...and Your Ass Will Follow" (1970), and "Maggot Brain" (1971).

"Maggot Brain" ended up being one of the group's more essential albums, thanks primarily to Hazel's guitar playing. In particular, the title track has become his legacy, an epic instrumental piece fashioned as an emotive eulogy that has become a perennial staple of the group's live shows over the decades. The song's origins are supposedly rooted in a recording session where Clinton told Hazel to envision the saddest thought possible, his mother's death, and use that vision as inspiration. Other myths involve Hazel's voracious drug intake, a characteristic that led to the nickname "Maggot Brain." Either way, the song made Hazel famous and secured his legacy for successive decades.

While Hazel's role in Parliament/Funkadelic had diminished by the late '70s, Clinton did grant him the opportunity to record a solo album for Warner Brothers, 1977's "Games, Dames and Guitar Things". The album featured covers of "California Dreamin'" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)", along with a few songs written by Clinton and Bootsy Collins. The nine songs all prominently feature Hazel's lead guitar work, along with a considerable amount of backing vocals courtesy of the Brides of Funkenstein. Incredibly rare and highly collectable for years, the album remains one of the better P-Funk albums of the late '70s, highlighted by its guitar-heavy sound.

Following this album, Hazel continued to play with Clinton in successive years, but his contributions were never major, and he slowly descended further into oblivion, eventually suffering from chronic stomach problems and ultimately dying on December 23, 1992, from internal bleeding and liver failure. In the wake of his death, two posthumous collections of unreleased material were released. "Jams From the Heart" surfaced first in 1994, a brief four-song EP that eventually was eclipsed by a second import release, 2000's "Rest in P". This latter collection compiled the material from "Jams From the Heart" along with a few other leftovers dug up from the vaults. In 2004 Rhino Homemade finally reissued "Games, Dames and Guitar Things", appending the "Jams From the Heart" EP as an added bonus.
PARLIAMENT FUNKADELIC was inducted into the ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME in 1997 and PRINCE introduced them at the event.Brenda Hazel was there in her husband's place.Eddie Hazel was also named one of the TOP 100 Guitar players of all time in both ROLLING STONE and SPIN magazines! Everyone from METALLICA to PRINCE has been influenced by Eddie Hazel.He was and will always be one of the most soulful and creative musicians EVER!



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