Thursday, September 4, 2008

Into The Groove (44)

Hello, Into the Groove funks on with Texas-born bassist Larry Graham. He changed the face of funk forever when he pioneered the thumb-slapping electric bass technique during his late-'60s tenure with Sly & the Family Stone. Subsequently, he set off on his own, starting Graham Central Station. Larry Graham renamed Hot Chocolate (not the British group) Graham Central Station after he moved from producing the group to playing with it. The group included Graham, guitarist David Vega, keyboardists Robert Sam and Hershall Kennedy, percussionist Patrice Banks, and drummer Willie Sparks. They utilized the identical funk cum rock and soul formula of Sly, they also integrated gospel music into their repertoire, and played with the dichotomy between the funk/rock star image and the "sanctified" gospel group image. Some of their recordings feature the Tower of Power horn section.. They recorded as Graham Central Station from 1974 to 1977, then as Larry Graham & Graham Central Station in 1978, and during their final year (79) were called Larry Graham with Graham Central Station.

In the early eighties he released five soloalbums and scored some minor hits. In 1999 he hooked up with former Family Stone-members Cynthia Robinson en Jerry Martinirelaunched and released Graham Central Station 2000 on the Prince NPG label. In those years (98-01) he was touring with Prince as a member of the New Power Generation...In 1975 Graham had become a Jehova's witness.i guess it's save to say he converted Prince to the Jehova's Witness clan around that time.

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Graham Central Station - Release Yourself ( 74 ^ 84mb)

After a tentative but promising 1973 debut album, Graham Central Station returned the next year with a head-spinning blend of R&B styles that realized their promise in a truly impressive fashion. Release Yourself touches on everything from gospel music to psychedelia, as the band puts forth an impressive set of songs that strike an effective balance between accessibility and complexity. The album's most impressive achievements are the title track, a pulse-pounding tribute to the joys of self expression that combines churchy organ riffs and stately horns over a furiously-paced bass/clavinet rhythm, and "Tis Your Kind of Music," a psychedelic-funk masterpiece that has Patryce "Chocolate" Banks and Graham trading sultry lead vocals over an otherworldly blend of keyboard and Mellotron riffs with a fluid bassline. Although it lacks an overtly pop-flavored classic like "Can You Handle It?" or "Your Love," nothing on this album is less than interesting thanks to stellar arrangements and the group's obvious love for what they do . The result is a true gem that is a treat for funk fanatics .

01 - G.C.S. (3:22)
02 - Release Yourself (4:39)
03 - Got To Go Through It To Get To It (3:43)
04 - I Believe In You (4:52)

05 - 'Tis Your Kind Of Music (5:37)
06 - Hey Mr. Writer (4:03)
07 - Feel The Need (3:53)
08 - Today (6:35)

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Graham Central Station - Ain't No 'Bout-A-Doubt It (75 ^ 98mb)

On their third album, Graham Central Station created an album full of trademark infectious pop-soul grooves, but not consistent enough to define it a true classic. The album's all-time funk classic is the opening track "The Jam," a "Dance to the Music"-styled funk workout that intersperses a dazzling group groove with individual solos for each player. "Water" is another strong funk tune, an insistently rhythmic song that blends thump-popping basslines with backwards tape loops to create an intriguing blend of funk and psychedelia. Ain't No 'Bout-A-Doubt It also produced a number one R&B smash in "Your Love," which marries the group's talent for funky grooves to an old-fashioned love song with a melody that harkens back to doo wop.

01 - The Jam (8:13)
02 - Your Love (3:21)
03 - It's Alright (3:49)
04 - I Can't Stand The Rain (6:05)

05 - It Ain't Nothing But A Warner Brother Party (6:01)
06 - Ole Smokey (3:18)
07 - Easy Rider (2:56)
08 - Water (4:24)
09 - Luckiest People (3:45)

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Graham Central Station - My Radio Sure Sounds Good to Me (78 ^ 93mb)

Benny Golson of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers fame -- and his name continues to be synonymous with hard bop. Still he's co producing "My Radio Sure Sounds Good to Me" with Larry Graham. This record marked the first time that Graham called his band Larry Graham & Graham Central Station (as opposed to simply Graham Central Station). But despite the name change and despite Golson's presence, Radio is state-of-the-art GCS -- gritty 1970s funk jams ("Pow," "Boogie Witcha, Baby," "It's the Engine in Me") are right at home with sentimental soul ballads ("Is It Love?") and gospel-influenced message songs ("Mr. Friend"). Golson handles most of the LP's horn and string arrangements, but his jazz background doesn't make its presence felt . My Radio Sure Sounds Good to Me is a solid effort with gutsy, horn-powered 1970s funk.

01 - Pow (4:42)
02 - My Radio Sure Sounds Good To Me (3:56)
03 - Is It Love? (6:38)
04 - Boogie Witcha, Baby (3:44)

05 - It's The Engine In Me (5:17)
06 - Turn It Out (4:37)
07 - Mr. Friend (3:35)
08 - Are You Happy? (4:53)

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All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !

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