I’ve said this before but I think it bears repeating: adding a horn section to your Ajax Acme Do Good B-flat rock and roll band doesn’t make you a jazz ensemble any more than adding strings makes you a symphony orchestra. That’s right, it’s time for More Horn Bands. Frequent visitors know that we have an unnatural fondness for sax, trumpets, and trombones here in the Way Back Studios. And when we lean that way, they’ve come to expect tracks from Chicago and Ballinjack. But there’s more than one way to skin a cat playing a saxophone as today’s batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl goes to show. Now while adding horns to your rock outfit doesn’t mean you’re going to be playing jazz, some of the bands just can’t help themselves. Along those lines, we’ll hear Blood, Sweat & Tears covering a Billie Holiday classic. We’ll also get the Latin side of jazz-rock courtesy of Malo. We’ll hear some serious rock and roll that happens to be horn heavy from Cold Blood and we’ll get to the Soul and Funk side of things with The Average White Band and Tower of Power.
Some time back we did a set featuring the jazzier side of Spirit where we also heard from The Crusaders, the L.A. Express, and Ronnie Laws. Well, much to my surprise, I heard from Mark Ruffin, the program director up at Real Jazz on channel 67. Mark does a great show on Sunday afternoons called ‘Beyond Jazz’ where he gets down to the roots of jazz-rock fusion. Well, it turns out Mark caught my Spirit set and wrote to say how much he liked it. Higher praise you’re not going to get. So when I was putting today’s set together, I figured we’d dedicate this one to Mark at Real Jazz. With that in mind, here’s Chase.
|Chase||Two Minds Meet|
|Blood, Sweat & Tears||God Bless the Child|
|Cold Blood||No Way Home|
|Average White Band||Soul Searching|
|Tower of Power||Walkin’ Up Hip Street|
Wrapping up a horny little batch of tracks, that’s Tower of Power takin’ a walk up Hip Street, from their album Urban Renewal. Before that, the funkiest band outta Scottland until proven otherwise, The Average White Band, we heard the title track from their album “Soul Searching.” We opened the set with a blazing trumpet piece called “Two Minds Meet” from Chase, a horn band with a difference in that they consisted of four trumpets and no other brass instruments. Bill Chase was the leader and namesake of the group which was probably the jazziest of the so called fusion bands of the era. After that we heard the Billie Holiday standard, “God Bless the Child” as performed by Blood, Sweat, and Tears in 1968. Then we got our First Taste of Sin from Cold Blood, an album produced by the late Donny Hathaway, featuring the vocals of Lycia Pense on a track called “No Way Home.” And the Latin track in the middle of the set was a song called “Nena” courtesy of Malo featuring the guitar work of Carlos Santana’s brother, Jorge. That’s all the time we’ve got but keep in mind that ‘mama may have and papa may have but God bless the child that’s got his own Way Back Studio. And remember, if you’re looking for the set lists, the show commentaries, or the truth behind the rumors you can find it all at my website or the Way Back Studio Facebook page. I’m Bill Fitzhugh, thanks for listening. I’ll be working on a new batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl for next time and I hope you’ll join us, right here in the Deep Tracks.