[131] Chuck Brown and The Soul Searchers – Any Other Way To Go?

9 Oct

A little bit of Soul, a splash of Hip Hop, a touch of syncopated Jazz, plus a healthy helping of Rhythm and Blues, this album is a whole lot of good times.


Here is a weird and wonderful fusion of all kinds of sounds and traditions, constantly in motion (hence the designation Go-Go), hugely inventive and inevitably toe-tapping.  The vocals are decidedly non-traditional, but always engaging with some fun scats and warm sung tones whose melody at times appears heavily improvised.

There is an obvious 80s feel on display throughout this live recording, despite the classic era of many of the compositions.  Much of the drum work was surely soon co opted by those programming drum machines and the production has the slick and polished veneer that is so recognizable.

The multiple percussionists keep up the all-day groove that anchors this collection of diverse covers, allowing the guitars to noodle, the horns to stop by for a cup of coffee, the vocals to rap or croon as the mood strikes.  And mood is very much at the forefront here.

There are unique takes on a number of old chestnuts – from Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean A Thing”,  through  Sly’s “Family Affair” all the way to the Woody Woodpecker theme! – but the highlight for me is the hypnotic and unstoppable “Run Joe”.  It is worthy of  spot on the 1,000 all on its own.

I am glad to have been introduced to this fascinating sound – I have never heard anything quite like Go-Go.  It appears to have been well respected, but never quite commercially successful, which is a shame.

Better late than never . . .

Next Week:  Clifford Brown and Max Roach – Clifford Brown and Max Roach Quintet

Owned before blogging? No. (11 of 131 = 8%)
Heard before blogging? No. (19 of 131 = 15%)
Recommend? Yes. (107 of 131 = 82%)

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