Without him. I could not understand me. As a man 39 years later, I now understand why he penned “I Want To Be Free”. It was because of this cat, I learned how to play rhythm guitar..the coolest of the cool. Rest In Paradise Mr Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner
You will be forever loved.
THE version (in my book)..one of my fav 45 pieces. Slow, hot & bothered funk..straight gut. The drummer plays without hi hat or cymbals (New Orleans line dance style)..but in full swing. The style was basically ahead of its time and would later become the template Dilla (Iconic Musician/Producer) style of drum programming which many beatmakers/ producers have adopted in their own formula today.
In the mid 70′s, Soul,Rhythm & Blues brandished slicker sounds & plush rhythms, thanks to the legendary Philly Sound of Gamble, Huff & Bell and Washington DC’s own Van Mccoy.
However, during this period there was a powerhouse in LA that was to be reckoned with in fusing Funk, R&B, Pop & Soul. Using a faithful recipe of some LA sunshine that gave light to many dancefloors with legendary productions by Baker-Harris-Young, Gene Page, Leon Sylvers, The Calloway Brothers, LA & Babyface, just to name a few. Dick Griffey’s SOLAR Records was the premier label for the Los Angeles Sound and its lifestyle. SOLAR was the baby of the Chicago-bred SOUL TRAIN when the longest running syndicated television show & the hippest trip moved to LA. Griffey was Talent Coordinator for this iconic television show that showcased African American culture & the apex for dance-fashion culture.
As a genuine music lover & life long participant of Black Music &
Dance Culture, I felt it was beyond fitting to pay homage to a pivotal figure in music that gave the west coast a face to the sound and highlighted the most talented artists,musicians and writers that created a sound that still stands to this day.
In honor of the late great Dick Griffey & the entire SOLAR Records legacy, here’s a Top 25 of my favorite songs from the label (including SOUL TRAIN Records which was the original conception of SOLAR)
When Funk & Soul were in question during the 80′s..SOLAR was the ONLY label that stayed concistent with national hits which crossed ovet to the POP market yet remained true to its soulful roots.
The Hustle + Afro Years
Rainbow | The Soul Train Gang
Make It With You | The Whispers
One For The Money pts 1 & 2 | The Whispers
Soul Train Theme 75′ | The Soul Train Gang
Chocolate Girl | The Whispers
Uptown Festival | Shalamar
Jheri Curl + Jordache Jeans + Post Dashiki Years
Take That To The Bank | Shalamar
Girl | Shalamar
A Song For Donnie | The Whispers
And The Beat Goes On | The Whispers
Lady | The Whispers
All The Way Live | Lakeside
California Curl + Reganomics Years
Second Time Around | Shalamar
I Owe You One | Shalamar
I Dont Want To Be A Freak (But I Cant Help Myself) | Dynasty
I’ve Just Begun To Love You | Dynasty
Show Me Where You’re Coming From | Carrie Lucas
In The Raw | The Whispers
Love Is Where You’ll Find It | The Whispers
Raid | Lakeside
Just My Luck | The Deele
Body Talk | The Deele
No Parking On The Dancefloor | Midnight Star
Slow Jam | Midnight Star
Deep Cover | Dr Dre ft Snoop Doggy Dogg
Save The Children | Bobby Womack
Sunbear | Self Titled
Jesse Jackson | Our Time Has Come
Unique74 | Little Temple
“a weekly excursion of the ultimate feel good.”
[LA progressive hip hop]
This Hip Hop artist bears an energetic show with amazing showmanship (which is a lost art for many Hip Hop artists). A great combo of street wise lyrics, a concious flow and witty metaphors set this LA based artist apart from many. You might have caught him a few months ago at 5th St Housequake (Zanzibar) performing with the likes of BLU, PAC DIV and NOLA DARLING just to name a few. If you dig artists such as COMMON, TALIB KWELI and GAME..you will dig PERFECTO!!
☛ MICHELLE SHAPROW
“f*cking great track!! (BACK DOWN TO EARTH)
makes me happy today in tokyo as I look out of my window x”
“Michelle is an amazing talent. I don’t know how she does it but somehow her music feels like a mixture of
1 part)..Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, 1 part).. raw funk and
1 part)..that whimsical feeling you get when you’re dancing like you don’t care who’s watching… “
“Michelle Shaprow is all things beautiful. Her aura, presence and most of all sound make for a gift for all to share. Michelle is the truth. “
[soul, r&b, pop]
A brilliant vocalist and talented musicians (plays piano and guitar) who has toured as Elliott Yamin’s keyboardist and been behind the scenes writing, arranging, producing or playing instrumentals for other artists including, Ruben Studdard and Nappy Roots.
+ RESIDENT DJ’s:
A-SKI & MIKECHECK
4519 Santa Monica Blvd
$5 Cover all nite! +(DRINK SPECIALS 9-10)
FREE w/ RSVP before 10:00pm + GUESTLIST + BIRTHDAY:
10 years ago, I had the honor and pleasure of watching this project grow from its infancy while working at Virgin/EMI and it was one of the most refreshing records that was needed for that time, it set the tone for many to come after that. This was a straight up FUNK album whether so called “Neo Soul” heads can embrace or swallow it…Many folks wanted what he did on the first album and if you listened carefully he gave you some of that in songs like “Untitled (How Does It Feel)”, “One Mo’ Gin” and “Send It On” (which is a major nod of respect to Kool and The Gang…do your research and call me later on that one…). He wanted to push the envelope (as many of us Aquarians) and raise the bar for this release and the mission was accomplished.
I remember “the video” was a major conversation piece when it first dropped and watching my man sell out a show in less than 30 minutes..There was a lot of LOVE, TIME and HARD WORK put into this project on all ends from production to promotion.
I am very proud to say Happy Anniversary to D’angelo’s “Voodoo”!! We Need You Bruv (there’s been too many aight substitute teachers…) + Happy B’day!! (im waiting on that BLUES album…)
Peace and Love,
taken from the film “Darktown Strutters”.
I was thinking about the great Osacr Brown Jr (the prototype for Mos Def and many other artists of his caliber today) and ran across his PBS TV series “Jump Street” that premiered in the early 80′s. When I was a kid, I use to look forward to watching this ground breaking series. It represented the essence of Black Music and its various attributes along with a plethora of legendary artists, writers, producers in candid form.
This episode features my Hero and Inspiration, Quincy D. Jones. In the lab cranking out the master guitarist George Benson’s Qwest debut release of “Give Me The Night“. I remember when this record dropped, it was on the heels of Q’s previous hit records (“Masterjam” -Rufus, “Light Up The Night”-Brothers Johnson, “Off The Wall”-Micheal Jackson). I remember during that period (the end of 79′), it was “Q”, Leon Sylvers, Ashford and Simpson and CHIC that were neck and neck in putting out hit after hit, keeping the record stores very well stocked and the streets moving.
I flipped out watching these clips because these are out-takes of now classic Benson pieces “Dinorah, Dinorah” and “Love X Love”. What’s ironic is that a couple of weeks ago I went to one of my favorite parties In LA (whenever I have a moment to relax) “The Do- Over”. That day, I had a chance to catch up with my colleagues Kon and Amir (their set was bananas! Kon: im still recovering from the Rick James “Mary Jane” extended multi track…Thank you for dropping that one!) . Kon starts his set off with an extended multi track of “Give Me The Night” and I am the only idiot at the party going ape s–t over this never released version while everyone else thinks this is the original (yes folks, I take my music VERY serious..). So fast forward, I just so happen to stumble on this YT gem with Q, Bruce Swedien, George Benson, Patti Austin and Paulhino Da Costa laying tracks for the “Give Me The Night” album (props to Billylovesjazz). Simply amazing!
Listen, Learn and Enjoy!
ps: I love it when “Q” speaks of knowing your craft and respecting it (aka “having the chops”), words of wisdom!
They clown on the overdubs for “Love X Love”…Ms Austin is amazing! Pure Class! Notice how they are taking their time and feeling the groove out!
PS: I want Q’s shirt!!
The Man is back! To the fellas…please take your lady to the show (thank me later…). I had the great honor in opening up for OMAR last year and the show was pure bananas. Pure funk with the silk linings, you WILL get an amazing show. Plus, you got my peoples GARTH TRINIDAD holding it down on the decks with the sweet selections, its going to be the sure shot you don’t want to miss!
This Friday Nite the ladies are running things @ SOUL SESSIONS! Happy B’day PLANN B!
Mark Your Calenders for April 24th @ SOUL SESSIONS.. The Big Showdown with DJ Center and myself goes down! Yes… we are going to act a fool, you know the drill -)
Okay, I have been thinking about this song for damn near a year. I have the 12′ and LP somewhere in my library, I just cant find that mug.. When I was in the second grade, this use to be THE jump off record in LA. Mix this with your Rick james “Superfreak” with a little Bar Kays “Freaky Behavior”..done deal (dont forget my 10% cut..). Released off of the legendary Total Experience label which was the home for The Gap Band. Robert Goodie Whitfield was a staff writer and musician at Total Experience, who is also the author of this classic LA jam. Gigolo time!
This song has been stuck in my head (Ernie’s solo!).
This record would’ve been big in the Pop market easily, kinda has that Malibu, old school Venice Beach vibe but still funky.