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250: “Pusherman” by Curtis Mayfield

Curtis was three steps ahead of everyone else. Glasses prove it.Sometimes I gotta remember not everyone knows the classics. I’m getting old enough to have to remember: There is always a new generation of baby funk scientists pit-pattering around our hairy, grown-up selves whilst we cop our grooves, eat our peaches, and pass the time.

And it’s not enough just to pass the time… You also have to pass the torch.

In light of such, I now slowly reach out, in a most ceremonious and profound manner… and present to you… dot dot dot… Curtis Mayfield‘s “Pusherman” (1972).

Take it. DO it.

Why? Because it’s rude not to, you young piece of post-millennial trash. No, I didn’t mean that. Just listen. It’s worth trying. Listen. Listen hard.

Dot. Dot. Dot… First one’s free.

Enjoy.

Song: Pusherman
Artist: Curtist Mayfield
Album: Superfly: Deluxe 25th Anniversay Edition
Label: Atlantic Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

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198: “Dr. Follow’s Dance” by Gary Bartz

Full circle style would be cool again today.Gary Bartz doesn’t have a kick-ass name. But his alto sax is smooth as Bartz.

I found Gary Bartz on YouTube during my intensive and sweaty research for Uncle Funk Finds Songs For You.  I’ve bought a couple of his discs now, and this is one of my favorite tracks, from Juju Street Songs (1972).  He played with Miles Davis on his Live-Evil album, but I had never heard of him until he popped up on YouTube.

There’s a lot of hot Bartz out there, and I’m always excited to find someone I’ve never listened to before.

I hope you enjoy the Bartz out of this tune.

Song: Dr. Follow’s Dance
Artist: Gary Bartz
Album: Juju Street Songs
Label: Prestige Records
Buy from: Amazon
Watch: YouTube

126: “Jealous Guy” by Donny Hathaway

Oh, Donny Boy!Here’s one of my favorites from another great who died too young.  Donny Hathaway is one of the most influential soul singers ever to don a beret (or whatever that hat is called).

Donny sings passionately of his jealous love in this song from 1972, sounding something like a fundamentalist Muslim at one point, crying out near the end, “I don’t want nobody looking at you!”  Good luck getting a sister to wear a burka!

Just slightly different flavors of the same passions can cause crimes or they can cause good music.  The same young men who could become terrorists, could also become the next Saudi Arabian Donny Hathaway.  Er…

Enjoy this, if you are free to do so.

Song: Jealous Guy
Artist: Donny Hathaway
Album: Live: Donny Hathaway
Label: Atco Records
Buy from: Amazon

101: “Slippin’ Into Darkness” by The Ramsey Lewis Trio

Glasses + Turtleneck = Kick Your Ass With StyleHere’s one of the best covers out there of WAR’s classic “Slippin’ Into Darkness” by jazz piano/keyboard great Ramsey Lewis and his trio.

This hard-working brother, born in 1935, has recorded over 80 albums throughout his career.  At that pace, he’s probably recorded two more since breakfast yesterday.

Ramsey’s first album dropped in 1956, and last year he put out a new one, Ramsey does Ramsey.  This tune is from Upendo Ni Pamona (1972). If you don’t know it, I’m glad I could share.

Enjoy.

Song: Slippin’ Into Darkness
Artist: The Ramsey Lewis Trio
Album: Upendo Ni Pamona
Label: Collectables
Buy from: Amazon (CD Only)

94: “Pedal Up” by Rahsaan Roland Kirk

He even tried to train an overgrown mole to handle an extra horn, but couldn't get it down.Here he is, the maestro himself.  Doing what he do.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk shows in this video the kind of crazy talent and multi-instrument ingenuity that makes him the inspiration of the greats.

Rahsaan could have circular breathed Kenny G, former world record holder, into the ground.  And I mean, when you can best Kenny G in anything related to circular breathing or haircare, then you’re hardcore.

Suck in a full, deep breath, and enjoy.

[Embedding is disabled on the video, so click to watch… and jump to 1:15 if you wanna skip Quincy Jones’ long-winded intro]

Song: Pedal Up
Artist: Rahsaan Roland Kirk
Album: Brotherman In The Fatherland
Label: Hyena Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

84: “Thirteen” by Big Star

Big Star has pieces of music like yours in its stool.Beautiful song, this one.  “Thirteen” is from Big Star‘s #1 Record (1972).

Just might be another bathtub song.  Try it out, but don’t electrocute yourself.

Can I be an outlaw for your love?  Enjoy.

Song: Thirteen
Artist: Big Star
Album: #1 Record
Label: Stax
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

37: “Maybe Your Baby” by Stevie Wonder

No, that's not a tablecloth you're wearing. You look great.Here’s a classic for you.  If you think of “My Cherie Amour” when you think of Stevie Wonder, you have another think coming.

“Maybe Your Baby” is Stevie laying down some tripped out 70’s gutterfunk, from Talking Book (1972).

Stevie rocks the pitch shift effects to create freaky high background voices throughout the song.  Listen for him saying in that high voice, “I’m a little boy!” at about 5 minutes in.

Maybe your baby done made some other plans.

Indeed.

Enjoy.

Song: Maybe Your Baby
Artist: Stevie Wonder
Album: Talking Book
Label: Motown
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: iLike.com
Listen: YouTube