Tue. Sep. 28, 2021

10 essential instrumentals / Cast your fav!

10 essential instrumentals10 essential instrumentals… Like always, a selection is per definition limited, and God knows how our enviromment would definitely not be what it is without these instrumental pieces which have thrilled us on so many occasions. Be they Jazz, Soul, Funk, House, Electronic, whatever… As a result, many are those we couldn’t talk about here, even though they would have definitely been worth a mention.

No need to say how this selection is way from being exhaustive, most likely due to find an extension later when the right time comes. Nevertheless, you should find thereafter a pretty much illustrative sample of highly emotional pieces of art where the quality predominates, be it in terms of melody and arrangements.

Wishing you’ll enjoy the ride as much as we did, while putting this together for you. With your feedback, and a mention of your favorite song more than welcome…

10 essential instrumentals / Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony – The Hustle (Avco Records)
While in the Big Apple to record an album back in 1975, Van Allen Clinton McCoy, better known as Van McCoy composed this song. This after his partner watched regulars of Adam’s Apple local nightclub dancing the Hustle. Famous drummer Steve Gadd and guitarist Eric Gale were among the musicians doing the recording session. And so was piccolo player Phillip Bodner responsible for the lead melody. With all of them under the direction of orchestra leader Gene Orloff. Remembered as one of the most popular themes of the Disco era, McCoy came up with the idea of doin’ an extended version of it. It sadly saw the light soon after his death in 1979 [More…]
10 essential instrumentals / Average White Band – Pick Up The Pieces (Atlantic)
Scottish musicians, Roger Hall (saxophone), Hamish Stuart (guitar) and cohorts came to international recognition in the mid-70’s. This when comin’ up with this Jazz/Funk anthem taken from their second album – ‘AWB’ – released back in 1974. Nothing was granted though as it initially failed to chart in the UK. With thanks to the US radio jocks who heavily supported it soon after its release Stateside. This eventually pushing their UK alter egos to do the same soon after. With the rest being pretty much history. Produced by Arif Mardin, it also made it to #11 position on the US Disco chart, with the band being still in activity nowadays [More…]
10 essential instrumentals / Booker T & The MG’s – Melting Pot (Stax Records)
From the 1971 released album of the name which would be their very last studio project for Memphis seminal label Stax Records. Willing to come up with a different sound, Jones (Booker T) recorded it in New York. Standing among our all time favs, as pretty much symbolizing what Indamixworldwide is about as a matter of fact. Meanwhile blending everything from Blues & Soul to the most progressive sides of the Groove for the time being. And, no surprisingly, displaying an infectious Jazz vibe over a rumblin’ bassline……
10 essential instrumentals / MFSB – K-Jee (Philadelphia International Records)
By the likes of Soul/Funk band The Nite-Liters, later known as Newbirth. With writing work courtesy of Harvey Fuqua and Charlie Hearndon… This 1971 released standard would get to higher recognition when covered by MFSB as a part of their 1975 ‘Universal Love’ album. It eventually met extra exposure 2 years later as a part of the ‘Saturday Night Fever’ OST [More…]
10 essential instrumentals / Love Unlimited Orchestra – My Sweet Summer Suite (20th Century Fox Records)
One of the signature cuts along with ‘Love’s Theme’ by the likes The Love Unlimited Orchestra. A 40-piece string-laden band which served as a backing unit for Barry White. And eventually the sisters James (Glodean and Linda) along with Diane Taylor, aka Love Unlimited. Taken from their 1976 album of the name. With arrangement work courtesy of White and Gene Page
10 essential instrumentals / Rodney Franklin – The Groove (Columbia)
1958 California-born Jazz pianist and composer Rodney Franklin came to recongition at an early age. He collaborated with luminaries such as Marlena Shaw, Bill Summers and Freddie Hubbard. This before signing his first record deal with Columbia in 1978. Clearly admitting influences by the likes of George Duke and Lonnie Liston-Smith among others, he’s best remembered for the Paul Buckmaster produced ‘The Groove’. Taken from his second album – ‘You’ll Never Know’ – which saw the light 2 years after…
10 essential instrumentals / El Coco – Mondo Disco (AVI Records)
El Coco happened to be the most famous project by the likes of Californian producers Laurin Rinder and W. Michael Lewis (Saint-Tropez, Le Pamplemousse…). With the aforementioned, featuring on their 1975 released album of the name. Standing as one of their signature cuts along with ‘Let’s Get It Together’ and ‘Yakety Yak’ (from the same package). This in addition to the magnetic ‘I’m Mad A Hell’…
10 essential instrumentals / Ashford & Simpson – Bourgie Bourgie (Warner Bros.)
One of the most sought after joints by the likes of singing/songwriter pair Ashford & Simpson. Released back in 1977 as a part of their ‘Send It’ album. Strangely enough, it didn’t see the light as a 12″ single before 1980 though. And this on UK Warners, as the flipside of ‘Love Don’t Make It Right’! A few months after the release of a cover version by the likes of John Davis & The Monster Orchestra as a matter of fact. And at about the same time as Gladys Knight & The Pips‘one. With both of them comin’ up with lyrics though [More…]
10 essential instrumentals / Funk Fusion Band – Can You Feel It (Progressive Version)(WMOT Records)
The capital of Pennslyvania was not only the home of Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff‘s seminal Philalephia International Records label. It also happened to be the one WMOT Records (Fat Larry’s Band, Heaven & Earth, Frankie Smith). With its two in-house producers – David Todd and Nick Martinelli – pretty much makin’ themselves a name as well. From an initial production by the likes of MFSB drummer Keith Errol Benson. In other words, Asphalt Jungle‘s ‘Freakin’ Time’ released back in 1979 on parent label TEC Records. A cut which the twosome turned two years after into this magnetic horn-led Jazz/Funk instrumental jam [More…]
10 essential instrumentals / Harry Thumann – Underwater (Baby Records)
Harry Thumann, who died back in 2001 at the age of 49, was a German electronic composer, producer and sound engineer. He as well actively participated in the creation of new technology. Meanwhile designing and building synthesizers. But also developing the famous SSL 4000 series of consoles. One most likely remember him musicwise for this sought after jam though. Taken from his 1979 ‘American Express’ album. And somehow sounding like a what could have been Giorgio Moroder’s approach to famous themes such as ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Star Trek’. Don’t you think?

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