Sunday, July 31, 2005

Amen, Brother!
I just got back from a week and a half trip to Toronto which included, among other things, many trips to the various used CD shops. While I unearthed numerous treasures in these shops, the real finds of the week occurred at the Fusion sale at the HMV on Yonge Street. I went to the store with my brother in law and year old niece, and intended on being inside for about 10 minutes before moving on to better (and cheaper) stores. However, one trip upstairs and I was faced with a shelf of CDs priced at $5.99.
I didn't think much of the sale (normally it's just the store's way of unloading junk), but then I saw DJ Pogo presents Block Party Breaks 2, a CD I've been trying to track down for a year or so. This compilation contains, among other things, the classic Winstons' track "Amen, Brother" which contains the break which is heavily sampled in jungle music. The CD was released on Strut, a killer label from the UK that specialized in break, funk, disco, and afro beat reissues. Unfortunately, the label shut down in 2003, making the CDs extremely rare and very expensive.
However, it appears that Fusion, a distributor, was just unloading stock at HMV, because I came out with 10 Strut discs, all for $5.99. This score included two essential discs known as the Bosworth and Chappell Library sessions, along with mix CDs by Grandmaster Flash, Freddy Fresh, Danny Krivit and DJ Milo. I was also lucky to find a few of the Afro-Strut titles, including the Tony Allen double disc Jealousy/Progress, Blo - Phases 1972 - 1982 and the Orlando Julius and His Moder Aces reissue of Super Afro Soul.
My most notable find in the used stores is the 2001 career retrospective of the Mighty Hannibal's work, titled Hannibalism!. The Mighty Hannibal's voice takes the listener on a journey through some early soul pop before hitting his live cover of "In The Midnight Hour," where his voice moves into a more a deeper, more passionate southern soul direction before he gets to his funk phase. I will definitely write more about this 28 track disc, but I highly recommend it to fans of southern soul and funk.
posted by Jonathan