Thursday, May 24, 2012

One For The Weekend: The Prophet & His Disciples

Detroit Funk Vaults – Funk & Soul From Dave Hamilton 1968 to 1979
1. A DROP IN THE BUCKET - The Deacons
2. YOU FOOL YOU FOOL - Prophet & The Disciples
4. NATIVE RHYTHM - Bolton Brothers
5. BAD THINGS (YOU SAID TO ME) - The Barrino Brothers
6. BRAND NEW GIRL (INST) - Billy Garner Band
9. GHETTO STRIDE - Dave Hamilton
10. POSSESSION - Little Ann
11. MISTER SUPERSTAR - Charmaine
12. WHO - Jackie Dee
13. LOVE BANDIT - O.C. Tolbert
14. SIMON SAYS - The Future Kind
15. LET'S HAVE A BALL - Chico and Buddy
16. HARD TIMES - O.C. Tolbert
17. YOU FOOL YOU FOOL (PT 2) - Prophet & The Disciples
18. PARTY TIME (INST) - Dave Hamilton
19. I'LL TAKE MY FLOWERS - Barrino Brothers
20. I'M SENDING VIBRATIONS - The Webb People
21. YOU WON'T MISS YOUR WATER - Chico and Buddy
22. WHAT'S GOING ON - Dave Hamilton

When Ace's Ady Croasdell released the first Kent Records compilation of Dave Hamilton's holdings in the late 90s it was thought the archive might throw up just two CDs but between the Kent and BGP labels we have found sufficient material for several more, including a whole CD featuring Dave’s own instrumentals. He wasn’t the most methodical of archivists and he recorded constantly, so as we’ve gone through the tapes more and more gems have been found, along with a ton of stuff that was very ordinary. Since we issued “Dave Hamilton’s Detroit Funk” I felt a need to revisit Dave’s funk archive and my research was worth the effort. Some of these recordings collected on “The Detroit Funk Vaults” are previously unreleased, others have turned up in various forms on Kent albums – sometimes in different takes – whilst others are incredibly rare funk records whose reissue is long overdue.

One example is ‘You Fool, You Fool’ by Prophet & The Disciples. A masterpiece of ghetto funk, it is a cautionary tale against drug addiction, it is so rare that we haven’t been able to turn up a copy in good enough condition to release it at an earlier date. (Note: Back in January, a VG- copy of the Pressco label single sold on eBay for an astonishing $510 US and on May 24, an EX copy went for $630 US which means two people won't be thrilled by the appearance of both sides of the pricey seven-inch on this relatively inexpensive new BGP comp. D'oh!)

At heart a jazz musician, Dave made great instrumental records and we’ve unearthed several more for this CD, including a new cut by The Deacons ‘A Drop In The Bucket’ and Dave’s own Quincy Jones-sounding ‘Ghetto Stride’, and we’ve included a wonderful version of ‘What’s Going On’. As promised in our earlier volume we have included Dave’s instrumental of ‘Party Time’ and the instrumental of Billy Garner’s ‘Brand New Girl’.

Of the unreleased masters the most exciting is probably the proto-funk frenzy of ‘Clap Your Hands’ which we are pretty sure is an unreleased cut by the Tokays. But we also have some compelling stuff from Chico & Buddy and the Future Kind whose ‘Simon Says’ sounds very influenced by Funkadelic. I’m also fond of the delicate – to the point of falling apart really – ‘Mister Superstar’ by Dave’s daughter Charmaine.

Overall another excellent overview of work from the Dave Hamilton archive. The last one? You’d think so, but as someone once told Sean Connery ‘Never say never’. By Dean Rudland

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