Tag Archives: Chess/Cadet

Clea Bradford and Frank D’Rone: my love’s a monster, so think i will. jive on.

From Frank D’Rone’s Cadet/Chess album “Brand New Morning” released in 1968 (arguably Cadet’s creative peak), “Think I Will” was arranged by Richard Evans and is the Brother record to Clea Bradford’s bananas Sister cut “My Love’s a Monster” (also from Cadet in 1968). Yes. The horns are so mighty, and that guitar work is extra-tasty… I think I’ll jive on, too!

So here’s the little narrative I pieced together from the two records… First, in the record above, poor unsuspecting Frank decides to go out on the town (maybe to Mister Kelly’s, or something). He thinks he’ll fool around with some girl’s heart. That is until he meets Clea (listen below what goes down next).

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Minor Moods: ahmad jamal have i loved.

“Minor Moods” by Ahmad Jamal (1967) makes me happy, and yes I will play this at next week’s “groove conspiracy”.  Ahmad Jamal is from Pennsylvania, but a lot of his Golden Age material (including this hipper-than-thou number) is straight outta Chicago.  The Ahmad Jamal Trio was the house band of the Pershing Hotel (on the South Side) in the early sixties.  A live recording from that place and time was a hit record for Chess Records’ Argo label. 

This record is from 1967, and part of Chess’ foray into instrumental jazz with voices.  Donald Bryd experimented with this sound over at Blue Note in the early sixties (often taking it to church); but in the Late Sixties, Chess made it real groovy.  Minnie Riperton’s voice can be heard in the mix of a number of the cuts (led by luminaries including Ahmad Jamal, Ramsey Lewis, and Phil Upchurch). Enjoy and Jive on!


Woman of the Ghetto: marlena shaw dealing the cold truth

 

I just found a copy of “Woman of the Ghetto” by Marlena Shaw for 4 bucks! Killer Chicago recording from 1969.  The song has been sampled multiple times, among them:

St. Germain sampled from “Woman of the Ghetto” from Live at Montreux used in “Rose Rouge” on Tourist (2000)

9th Wonder and Buckshot also sampled “Woman of the Ghetto” in the track “Ghetto”, and Evil Dee (of Black Moon)’s remix of the same song.

Early integration of a Kalimba in popular western music. Richard Evans production. Jazzy Funk mastery. Lyrics below.  Nuff said. 

I was born, raised in a ghetto
I was born and raised in a ghetto
I’m a woman, of the ghetto
Won’t you listen, won’t you listen to me, legislator?

(ging, gi-gi-gi-gi-ging…)

How do you raise your kids in a ghetto?
How do you raise your kids in a ghetto?
Do you feed one child and starve another?
Won’t you tell me, legislator?

How do make your bread in the ghetto?

How do make your bread in the ghetto?

Baked from the souls in the ghetto

Tell me, tell me, Legislator?
Strong true,
my eyes ain’t blue
I am a woman
Of the ghetto

I’m proud, free,
Black, that is me
But I’m a woman of the ghetto

(ging, gi-gi-gi-gi-ging…)

How do we get rid of rats in the ghetto?

How do we get rid of rats in the ghetto?

Do we make one black and one white in the ghetto?

Is that your answer, legislator?

How do you legislate, brother?

How do you legislate, brother?

When you free one man and try to chain up another,

Tell me, Tell me legislator?
How does your heart feel late at night?
How does your heart feel late at night?
Does it beat with shame, or does it beat with pride?
Won’t you tell me, legislator?

(na-na-na-na-na-na-na, …)

My children learned just the same as yours
As long as nobody tries to close the door
They cry with pain when the knife cuts deep
They even close their eyes when they wanna sleep

We must all have identity

That’s the only way that we can be free

Now peace, you say
is all that you ask
But self-respect is a separate task

You may be sitting up there
in your ivory tower
60 stories tall

Now you may have seen at least one ghetto
But I wonder have you lived there at all?

Places like Watts,
ah, Detroit, tell me
Chicago, ah tell me,

Harlem, tell me,

Washington, tell me

See the women cry

See  the children die….

(ging, gi-gi-gi-gi-ging…)


There is….Soul in Chicago

I love the Dells… Great group originally from Harvey, Illinois.    They’ve recorded on various Chicago-based labels, including the Chess Records subsidiary Cadet Records.  In 1967, the Dells issued the album, There Is, and the title track, a cut of baroque soul (produced by Charles Stepney) which showcased the gritty baritone of Marvin Junior and the harmonies with the four other Dells. Together since 1952, the song was also their first top 20 pop hit. Highly recommended….

the-dells