Thursday, 26 February 2009

Wood, Brass and Steel - Wood, Brass and Steel - 1976 - Turbo

What a fantastic cover on this LP! Turbo records was a subsidiary of the great All-Platinum label and is, I fear, not available on CD. Such a pity as it's a great little album and would benefit from a proper reissue. Wood, Brass and Steel were a funky eight-piece outfit comprising the well-known Doug Wimbush on Bass, Otha Stokes on sax, flute and vocals, Randy Bost on trumpet and Flugel Horn, Craig Derry on congas and vocals, and Bernard "Skip" McDonald on lead guitar and backing vocals. On piano we have Hubert Powell as well as strings, clavinet and synth, Harold Sergeant on drums and percussion and Barton Campbell on lead and rhythm guitars. An accomplished and well contained outfit that deserved a greater piece of the action in the 1970s. You will be very familiar with one track in particular on here and that is the instrumental, "Funkanova".

This track hit big again during the Rare Groove scene in the late 1980s, and a cracking powerhouse of 70s synth and horn-driven jazzy funk fusion. The synth is superb and right in the bag of the Mizell Brothers or Roy Ayers. An essential track as you will hear below - a real 'get up and go' record! The track I bought this LP for was the sublime Roy Ayers-like "My Darling Baby". The synth is a dream and the percussion is excellent - the drums courtesy of Harold Sargent. This is summer captured in 4 minutes of jazzy soul heaven! The lead vocal here is Craig Derry. "Without You" is a lot more relaxed, chilled and mellow. Craig Derry vocalises and gets into the vibe, managing to hit a few Marvin Gaye cum Donny Hathaway spots to boot! For funky 70s heads "Theme Song" will raise a smile and get the flares flapping as the horn section kicks in. Very Kool and The Gang! Another vocal cut, "My Lady", should appeal to you if you like the Futures a la "Ain't Got Time Fa Nothin'". This LP has something for everyone - so well worth picking up.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

Buy Rare Wood Brass and Steel LPs at MusicStack