Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Awsomely funky and soulful compilation incl. Soulful Strut
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 03/22/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"An awesomely funky and soulful disc full of 12 instrumentals from the duo that had been Ramsey Lewis' rhythm section on some of his biggest chart hits (including "The In-Crowd" and "Wade in the Water"). Having split from Lewis in 1966, Eldee Young and Isaac "Red" Holt went off to form their own trio. Over the course of a few albums, the trio swelled to a somewhat amorphous group of musicians, with Young and Holt as the rock-solid rhythm section.
The LP leads of with their greatest popular success, "Soulful Strut." Originally the backing track for Barbara Acklin's "Am I the Same Girl," the instrumental literally replaces Acklin's vocal with a drifting, languorous piano. One of the great soul-jazz instrumentals, it reached #3 in 1969, a year that also included such other great soul tracks such as Sly & The Family Stone's "Everyday People" and "Hot Fun in the Summertime", the Temptations "I Can't Get Next To You", The Isley Brother's "It's Your Thing", The Friends of Distinction's "Grazing in the Grass" and many more. A banner year.
Young and Holt's first solo effort, "Wack Wack" is also included. This is more in the vein of Mongo Santamaria's "Watermelon Man" than the Ramsey Lewis style. The single "Give It Up" features the Latin boogaloo style too. Also included from the first LP is "You Know That I Love You", featuring some scat vocals and a more straight-ahead piano jazz treatment. Young's standup bass playing is a great feature.
A trio of live tracks from their second LP prove the original trio spellbinding on stage, too. Covers of their earlier successes with Lewis include "The In-Crowd" and "Wade in the Water", alongside their original composition "Ain't There Something Money Can't Buy." All very cool (although the spoken intro to the third song gives an idea of how funny their act must have been - I especially like when they stretch the spelling of "Money" to "m-o-n, n-e-y" to fit the rhythm), with the house obviously swinging heavily to their groove. The sound reminds me a bit of Johnny Rivers' recordings at the Whiskey.
Several more tracks capture the funky fusion of jazz and soul that was being born in '68 and '69, including "Dig Her Walk" and "You Gimme Thum." Other tracks in the Ramsey Lewis style, include a covers of "Who's Makin' Love" and "Light My Fire", and a super-cool reading of "Baby Your Light is Out."
The package is a bit short on the playing time, at only 35 minutes, but with so many solid tracks, it's hard to complain. Simply looping "Soulful Strut" for 70 or 80 minutes makes it worth the price."