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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Eddie Hazel


 
Edward Earl "Eddie" Hazel (April 10, 1950 – December 23, 1992) was a guitarist in early funk music in the United States who played lead guitar with Parliament-Funkadelic. Hazel was a posthumous inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic. Hazel was one of the original Parliament / Funkadelic members in the beginning of the 70’s. 

In 1967, The Parliaments, a Plainfield-based doo wop band headed by George Clinton, had a hit record with "(I Wanna) Testify." Clinton recruited a backing band for a tour, hiring Nelson as bassist, who in turn recommended Hazel as guitarist. Hazel was in Newark, New Jersey, working with George Blackwell and could not be reached. After Nelson returned from the tour, he tried to recruit Hazel. His mother at first vetoed the idea, since Hazel was only seventeen, but Clinton and Nelson worked together to change her mind. In late 1967, The Parliaments went on tour with both Nelson and Hazel. In Philadelphia Hazel met and befriended Tiki Fulwood, who quickly replaced The Parliaments' drummer. Nelson, Hazel and Fulwood became the backbone of Funkadelic, which was originally the backup band for The Parliaments, only to later become an independent touring group when legal difficulties forced Clinton to temporarily abandon the name "Parliaments".

With great solos like on the legendary "Maggot brain," it is obvious that Eddie Hazel is one of the biggest funk guitar-heros and his influence on other funk guitarists is undeniable. 

Eddie Hazel & Michael Hampton of Funkadelic - Maggot Brain (1983)

 His involvement with the George Clinton posse became less preeminent in the 80’s when P.Funk turned more electro-funk oriented and after some drug problems. Eddie Hazel died on December 23, 1992 at the age of 42. 


Axiom Funk with Eddie Hazel - Pray My Soul (1995)
Posthumous release


Discography

Game, Dames and Guitar Thangs (1977), Warner Bros.
Jams From the Heart (1994), JDC - EP
Rest in P (1994), P-Vine
At Home (With Family) (2006), Eddie Hazel


Sources: Wikipedia; Discogs

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band



Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band is a pioneering American soul and funk band. Formed in the early 1960s, they had the most visibility from 1967 to 1973 when the band had 9 singles reach Billboard's pop and/or rhythm and blues Hot 100 lists, such as "Do Your Thing" (#11 Pop, #12 R&B), "Till You Get Enough" (#12 R&B, #67 Pop), and "Love Land" (R&B #23, Pop #16). They are best known for their biggest hit on Warner Bros. Records, 1970's "Express Yourself" (#3 R&B, #12 Pop) that is often sampled by rappers, such as N.W.A.

Charles Wright was born in 1940 in Clarksdale, Mississippi, before moving to Los Angeles in the early 1950s, playing guitar and singing in several doo-wop groups including the Turks, the Twilighters, the Shields and the Gallahads. He also briefly worked as an [[A&R]] for In 1962, he formed his own band Charles Wright & the Wright Sounds . Over the course of the next six years, Wright would add more players to his group and these were the players who would eventually become known as the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, at least by 1968.

Band members:

* Charles Wright - guitar, piano
* Al McKay - guitar
* Benorce Blackmon - guitar (replaced Al McKay)
* Gabe Flemings - piano, trumpet
* Melvin Dunlap - bass
* James Gadson - drums
* Big John Rayford - saxophone
* Bill Cannon - saxophone
* Ray Jackson - trombone

Albums:

(As The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band)

* Hot Heat & Sweet Groove. Warner Bros. Records 1741 (1967)
* Together. Warner Bros. Records 1761 (1968)
* In The Jungle, Babe. Warner Bros. Records 1801

(As Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band)

* Express Yourself. Warner Bros. Records 1864 (1970)
* You’re So Beautiful. Warner Bros. Records 1904 (1971



(As Charles Wright)

* Rhythm & Poetry. Warner Bros. Records BS-2620 (1972)
* Doin What Comes Naturally. ABC/Dunhill DSD-50162 (1973)

* Ninety Day Cycle People. ABC/Dunhill DSD-50187 (1974)

* Lil' Encouragement. ABC/Dunhill (1975)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Don "Sugarcane" Harris

Don Francis Bowman "Sugarcane" Harris 

Born:  June 18, 1938

 Died: November 30, 1999 

 Instruments:  Vocals, electric violin, violin, guitar, organ

Genre: Rock 'N Roll, Jazz, R&B

Don "Sugarcane" Harris was an American Rock 'N Roll violinist and guitarist. In 1954, Don Harris joined Dewey Terry, a founding member of a group called The Squires while still in high school. In 1955 the Squires released a record on the small Los Angeles-based label, Dig This Record. In 1957, the group broke up, but Don and Dewey remained together. Both Don and Dewey played guitar, with Dewey often doubling on keyboards. When not playing guitar or bass, Don occasionally played the electric violin, a skill for which he subsequently became well known under the name of "Sugarcane" Harris. Even after recording with Art Rupe on his Specialty label using the legendary drummer,Earl Palmer, Don and Dewey failed to record any hits. 

After separating from Dewey Terry in the 1960s, Harris moved almost exclusively over to the electric violin. He was to reappear as a sideman with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and Frank Zappa, most recognized for his appearances on Hot Rats, and on the Mothers of Invention albums Burnt Weeny Sandwich and Weasels Ripped My Flesh. His lead vocal and blues violin solo on a cover of Little Richard's "Directly From My Heart to You" on Weasels, and his extended solo on the lengthy "Little House I Used To Live In" on Weeny are considered highlights of those albums. Reportedly, he was rescued from a jail term by Zappa. Zappa had long admired Harris's playing and bailed him out of prison, resurrecting his career and ushering in a long period of creativity for the forgotten violin virtuoso. He played a couple of live concerts with Zappa's band in 1969.

During the early 1970s, Sugarcane fronted the Pure Food and Drug Act which included drummer Paul Lagos, guitarists Harvey Mandel and Randy Resnick, and bassist Victor Conte, who was the founder of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO). Conte replaced Larry Taylor who was the original bass player. His first solo album (with back cover art by underground poster artist Rick Griffin) is a forgotten masterpiece of blues, jazz, classical and funk compositions, and his 1973 live album Sugarcane's Got The Blues, recorded at the Berlin Jazz Festival show an accomplished musician at the top of his game.

In the 1980s, Sugarcane was a member of the Los Angeles-based experimental rock band Tupelo Chain Sex.

Discography
  • Keep On Driving (1970)
  • Sugarcane (1970)
  • Fiddler On The Rock (1971)
  • Sugar Cane’s Got The Blues [Live] (1972)
  • Cup Full Of Dreams (1973) 
  • I’m On Your Case (1974)
  • Keyzop (1975)
  • Flashin' Time (1976)
Compilations
  • Anthology Volume One (2001)
  • Cup Full Of Dreams CD (2011)

Affiliates 
  • Pure, Food  and Drug Act - Choice Cuts (1972)
Sources: Wikipedia, discogs, rateyourmusic.com

Friday, January 17, 2014

Blax-Jive Update!

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