“The Dutch Have A Word For It Shuffle Monkey!”

“Pronkstillevens”, they say around Old Amsterdam, as Old Bertolt & Bowie & Brel have been want to Sing, &, it means in Painting Terms, “Sumptious Still Lifes” – But The Shuffle Monkey is All Jackson Pollock if anything & in His little Abstract Heart there’s nothing remotely Still Life about what this Simian throws down & Today is no exception as he starts us off with The Originals, & “Californian Sunset” – rather moody, Pacific West Coast Soul. Followed by Dazz &, “Brick”; & then Father’s Children &, “Hollywood” and Chain Reaction with, “Hogtied” – Chain reaction of course were Bruce Ruffin (‘I’m Mad About You’) Dave Collins – Brother of Ansel (‘Double Barrel’ – no less) – & the other one who I should remember, but I can’t and The Shuffle Monkey’s no hope with His Banana addled Brain!!

Next it’s Bowie with, “Everyone Says Hi” – a more contemporary track, but excellent; Interesting – Danny Wilson next with, “Mary’s Prayer” – Lighters’ Aloft!; & back to some Soul now with ZZ Hill, who has one of those Voices & this is just one of those Deep Soul Songs, “Make Me Yours” – 4-to-the-floor; Speeding up a little, but still on the Soul Side comes Arthur King, with “Fear”; And now a real Corker, The Supremes with“Bad Weather” – We have several versions of this great track in the Shuffle Monkey’s Mix-Bag, but check the groove on this cut and Blow Your Whistle!

GEAR CHANGE – Some Reggae with Bunny Wailer &, “The Oppressed Song”; GEAR CHANGE, Again – Rose Royce &, “Get Up Off Your Face” – A Tad Darker & Heavier than Car Wash; Followed by “Tite Rope” Harold Alexander blowing His Funky Horn; then another GEAR CHANGE & a bit of ‘Blue Grass’ Beatles, or rather, I should say Handsome Hank swinging “Back In The USSR” – Hey, Hey, Hey! Airplane Landing!!

Duke Pearson follows that and whilst I catch my breath I must ask – How did we get here? But it’s fabby – Cool, Piano Driven Samba, with a great vocal, “Sandalia Dela”; & finally today The Man, Mark Murphy with, “Love Is What Stays” – Some of Mark’s stuff has been more recently remixed by Nicola Conte and works really well – This cut though is a straight ahead take! I had the pleasure of seeing Mark Murphy play in Edinburgh a while back – Another Story, like The Gil Scot Heron “Birmingham’ Adventure, which will feature in a Future Blog – Anyway, Catch Mark, if you can, while you still can!! And Keep The Faith, Be Awesome & We’ll Keep It On Shuffle… Oh Yeah! 🙂

Chapter 8, The Fatback Band, Lafayette Afro Rock Band – We Love You Shuffle Monkey!!

cally & matts wedding 16th august 102What a fantastic start from Mr Shuffle today – The Soul Super Group Chapter 8, which featured both Gerald Lyles and Anita Baker, kicks us off & it is Anita doing the heavy lifting with, “I Just Wanna Be Your Girl” – Marvellous Stuff & Beyond Brilliant! – If you like Anita Baker, &, I’ve seen her live several times, Check this Track out!; Next up is the mighty Fatback Band & the mighty, “Wicky Wacky” – We’re Looking For The Party People, Oh Yeah! A great funky beat and also a spooky coincidence as this Blog is now being followed by the Fatbacks on Twitter as we mentioned previously, so Respect & keep the groove, You-All, &, let’s hope, “This Is The Future” – Arguably one of the first Rap Records (?) features soon as well!!.

Coming right up to date (almost) now we have a showing from Neil Finn’s Pajama Club which he set-up with his wife and they’re singing, “Tell Me What You Want” A driving, sensual beat & they’ve got an “Itch, I can’t scratch” – Loved this when I first heard it on Jools Holland’s “Later” last year, but it has a bit of an abrupt end!; And Next we have the brilliant Lafayette Afro Rock Band with “Right Foot” – Funky-ee! And what a great double bill they’d make with the Fatback Band, Oh Yeah, Party!!; Following on we have a true Masterpiece of Modern Soul with James Carpenter &, “(Marriage Is Only) A State of Mind” – Not quite mate, it’s sometimes a stone cold reality!!; & then We are heading back to Clubsville circa 1983, with Johny Chingas & a chugging Bossa groove which tells us this is, “Phone Home” – Get Down with ET, Oh Yeah!!!

And YES we are getting down even further with the great Gregg Diamond & Bionic Boogie & “Hot Butterfly” – With Luther Vandross of course guesting on vocals (he was a very busy boy in the late 70’s early 80’s, what with CHANGE, Mascara, Gregg Diamond, Georgy Porgy, his own stuff and producing Aretha Franklin’s brace of fine Albums) & of course this is a Right Cracker too!

Some Righteous Reggae next – The Real Gear, with Delroy Wilson & “Going To The Ball” – certainly Trojan and Ska influenced, &, it so takes me back to that Winter I once spent in Tabago, before Child 4 & 5 came along…; Finally & hold on now, this is really spooky and no fix, but in real time Mr Shuffle has just come up with The Fatback Band again, &, yes it’s, “Is This The Future” – Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?? – Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant!!!

So, Keep The Faith, Be Awesome & me & the monkey will Keep It On Shuffle, Till Next Time! 🙂 🙂

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keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com – Blog 108 Or It’s Too Late To Stop Now!

The Shuffle Monkey has only gone and got himself a legit job at the National Office For Statistics (NOS) – He tells me though that he’s only there to make up the numbers!!

Seriously though – He knows his stuff and we both agree to agree that, ‘It’s Too Late To Stop Now’ – Van Morrisons Live LP from 1974, is quite possibly the best Live LP ever… Contentious? Perhaps, though it certainly has its’ fans in the know, including Kevin Rowland of Dexy’s Midnight Runners & Today the Shuffle Meister opens with, “Bring It On Home” – from that Album, which of course was written and originally recorded by the late great Sam Cooke: Well, that’s Awesome in itself, but it looks as though we’re in for a Double Dose of Awesome Today, as the next track comes off Dexy’s latest Album, ‘One Day…’ which we were raving about a few weeks ago and this track is called, “You” – Fantastic!!

Pavement follow and they’re right up our Street with, “Carrot Rope”; & then we have A wee shuffley GEAR CHANGE with a Laura Lee classic, “Dirty Man” – A True Chess Diva; & Msr le Shuffle throws in another GEAR CHANGE for the next track as we swan dive into a Guilty Pleasure – &, it sure is with Neil Sedaka singing, “Laughter In The Rain” – & Neil will be touring the UK in the Autumn!!

The Beatles bounce in next with, “Michelle” off ‘Rubber Soul’; & a bit of a Star Funk groove ups the beat count next with Rocket &, “Here Comes My Baby” – Oh Yeah!; & this Glides into some Snowboy produced Jazz Funk with Pete Escovedo &, “Cabo Frio”!

Big GEAR CHANGE follows with Andy Williams & a live version of, “May each Day”; & then General Johnson storms across the floor & straight out of the Soul Cellar with, “Don’t Walk Away”!

And finally Today, three great tracks to play us out – Firstly, ‘Autobahn” – That’s Senor Coconut’s version, not Kratwerk’s original; Secondly we have the great Yarbrough & Peoples with, “Wrapped Around Your Finger” – & we are still looking for, ‘What’s That You Slipped Into My Wine’, here at Shuffle Towers; & lastly we have the mighty Beach Boys with, “God Only Knows” – Be Awesome, Plant your feet and square up to life, &, Keep The Faith, Coz the Monkey & Me are Keeping It On Shuffle 🙂

keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com – Blog 99 Or We’re Not A One Man Band!

Nor, A One Monkey Band either, I hasten to add – Coz it’s definitely Me & the Shuffle Monkey cruising on a Sea of Love, Funk, Soul & many other Righteous forms of Music in the Good Ship – keepitonshuffle @desfume – But Leo Sayer blasts the Claxon Horn first Today with what I’m pretty sure was his first commercial success in the early 1970’s, “One Man Band” – & there he was dressed as a Clown & Jumping out of Dustbins, as you would if dressed as a Clown – Or did he actually live in a Dustbin for a while, I canee mind? He now lives in Australia though I believe, but Tours Europe regularly, &, He also wrote “Thunder In My Heart” that got a massive turbo-charged Disco remix at the back-end of the 80’s, &, of course he also wrote the Classic, “Giving It All Away” – which was a solo Hit for Roger Daltry!

And we keep in the 1970’s as the next three tracks confirm our credentials here at Monkey Towers of being the Broad Church of Keeping The Faith for All Good Music – Firstly, it’s Jo Jo Gunne with, “Run Run Run”, which I’d forgotten Slows Down at the End, but is still a Blistering Track – Secondly, it’s another visit from Creedence Clearwater Revival with, “Looking Out My Backdoor”! – & then we have the Epic, Gear Changing Soundscape of, “Station To Station” from a certain David Bowie – It’s too late to be grateful, it’s too late to be later than, it’s too late to be hateful… It’s too late…!!

Oh my, we remain in the 1970’s – Timelocked, like in a version of the Time Tunnel – but we’re moved across Genre’s & we’re into Punk and on the path laid down by Bowie’s chum Iggy Pop with the blistering Power Chords of the Sex Pistols giving us, “Pretty Vacant” – & Boy that’s Still got some Awesome Muscle!! And we remember being in Richmond (London) in 1976 when Bill Grundy had a 6 o’clock spat with Johnny Rotten & Glen Matlock & assorted Punkette chums on the Thames News! GEAR CHANGE now and we’re into Blue Note territory & Tripping with Kenny Burrell &, “Midnight Blue”; which followed by another slab of Happening Jazz, although bringing us firmly up to date with The Natives &, “Dragon Jump”! Cool-As-Coolade!!

The great Freda Payne next with not, ‘Band Of Gold’ – but another brilliant song called, “Tell Me Please” – written by Skip Scarborough no less; & this is followed in turn by a terrific modern mash-up from Josh Milan & Honey Sweet with, “Wake Up”; And Finally Today let’s Fire Up The Funk & Light up a Tote – It’s Rick James & He’s, “Busting Out (On Funk)” – Bloody Righteous – So Plant Those feet, Be Awesome, Keep The Faith & Me & The Monkey will Keep It On Shuffle – Promise!! 🙂

keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com – Blog 98 or Do Smiley’s People Smile, Sometimes?

Well, The Undisputed Truth who start us off today with, “Smiling Faces, Sometimes”, Might think so, but The Monkey & My Question is more rhetoric, but goes a little deeper – You see we’ve just been re-reading John Le Carre’s ‘Smiley’s People’ & now we’re re-watching the DVD of the original BBC series – & just to think we where at UEA when it was first Screened – well, not the Monkey of course, He’s never been to College, Bless Him! In fact he’s a Tad anti-education unless you can get it in a Banana – But I tell him that’s just stereotyping his Monkey Chums – & what does He say to that you may ask?…’What’s Stereotyping?’ – You just can’t win with the Shuffle Monkey but who would want to win when He is on a roll – & the next Track is Charme & “Georgy Porgy” – with an uncredited Luther Vandross on Vocals – Sweet! And this is followed by Chapter 8 with, “Don’t You Like It” – Which of course has the great Anita Baker on vocals – Didn’t they once perform together in one of the incarnations of Change? Probably not…

Stevie Wonder is wigging out next on, “Please Don’t Go” – Whih comes off the ‘Fulfillingness First Finale’ set; & this is followed by a Corker of a version of one of the Shuffle Meister & my own fav Songs – “Since I fell For You”, & this is Nina Simone at her Down Right Best – with just Piano & Harmonica and a little Guitar behind her!!

T S Monk follow with the Classic 80’s 2-Step, “Can’t Keep My Hand’s To Myself”; & Racing up behind in all it’s Glory is the Long Sax Intro 12″ Version of, “Native New Yorker” by Oydessy – We’re Dancing Here at Shuffle Towers!; And then we have a Righteous version of, “In The Middle Of The Game (Don’t Change The Play)” by Betty Wright & The Roots; Which takes us into the Elliptical Orbit of some Sky High Jazz Funk mixed by the Mizzell Brothers & here it is Donald Byrd & his classic, “Street lady”!!

El DeBarge now with, “You Are My Dream” – Sweet!; Followed by a wake-up Call with a Big Social Conscience from my old mate Gil Scott Heron & the Powerful, “Possum Slim”; And we’re right back up to date with Plan B &, “She Said”; Although just us quickly we return back to the 1970’s for, “Reminiscing” by The Little River Band – That’s The Monkey having Fun!; & we keep at the Tail-end of the 70’s with Lenny White & Twennynine &, “Back To You” – SATURDAY NIGHT FOREVER!

And Finally Today a trio of very different, but nonetheless Marvellous Tracks – Firstly, Bom Dia Rio (Posto 6) (Featuring Roberto Menescal & Cris Delanno) with the Great, “Bossacucanova” – Secondly, Steve Tyrell & Patti Austin &, “Don’t Make me Over” – Classic Bacarach & David  – & Third & Last, some Steely Dan &, “Doctor Woo”! Brilliant mixing Msr le Shuffle – So, Keep The Faith, Be Awesome & Keep It On Shuffle!  🙂

 

keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com – Blog 96 Or The Blues Is A Lot Like Church!

When a Preacher’s preaching the Bible, he’s honest-to-God trying to get you to understand things, &, the Shuffle Monkey & I think that singing the Blues is Kind of Like the same Thing… So, what has the wee shuffley thing gone and done – Oh Yes, he’s pulled from the Mix a great & Mighty Righteous start for us Today, with a Scat version of the Classic, “Autumn leaves” delivered on this occasion by Mel Torme! Which is followed by The Beatles from their ‘White Album’ with, “Revolution No. 1” – & OK, neither are exactly Examples of the Blues, but Quickly behind comes Otis Clay with a Real Blues Goody, “Since I’ve been Loving You” – ‘I’ve been loosing my Mind – I come in the Front Door & Someone leaves by the Backdoor – You’ve got a Backdoor Man’ – Or, perhaps a Large Pussy Cat?? Benefit of the doubt Mate here at Shuffle Towers!!

We move to France next & to Eddy Mitchel singing, “Te Pedre”; Archie Bell & The Drells then Dance their Troubles Away with, “I Won’t Leave You Honey, Never” – But the Cat will have to Go!! And it’s Classic, Quality, Vintage Soul to Boot!

The Human League follow with the Great, “Open Your Heart” from ‘Dare”; & then we cross Borders once again and move to Italy for Adriano Celentano to give us a Rousing version of, “Coccolona (Mamma’s Baby)”; & this is followed in turn by The Light Of The World &, “I’m So Happy” (12″ Version); Which is then Buttressed by back-to-back Beatles appearing yet again Today, but both Good Choices by the wee shuffley thing with Firstly, “Dear Prudence” – & Secondly, “Piggies”!

And Finally today a great closer from Kris Kristofferson &, “Broken Freedom Song” – So, Keep The Faith, Be Awesome & We’ll Keep It On Shuffle 🙂

keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com – Blog 95 & Welcome “Fans Of Concha Buika’

It’s an open secret on the Blog that the Shuffle Monkey & I are Great Admirers of the Great Great Spanish Singer Concha Buika & it is our Great Pleasure that the ‘Fans Of Concha Buika’ are now following the Blog on Twitter as well! So, what else could Msr Le Shuffle kick us off with Today but Concha singing the very Beautiful, “Volrevas” – Track 9 from her Album, ‘Nina De Fuego’ – & produced by the Great Javier Limon!!

And to follow we move from Spain to France & to the Mighty Claude Francois who gives us a stirring rendition of, “Comme D’ Habitude” – Which of course he wrote, &, which became extremely famous after Paul Anka put an English Lyric to it & Frank Sinatra picked it up and made it His Own – We of course know it in the English Language Version as, “My Way”! There is also a new film out about the life of Msr Francois – It’s called ‘CloClo’, as he was know to his fans, &, is directed by Florent-Emilo Sir – Of course, Here at Monkey Towers we are always several steps Behind & we Have & Love an earlier Film about Msr Claude called ‘Podium’- It’s actually about a Guy called Bernard Fredric who impersonates Msr Francois & it’s a riot – But it is also in Flemish and French with no English Translation, &, I do think the wee shuffley thing & I sometimes miss some of the finer points of dialogue!!

More French next & C’est Chic, But this time it’s with Petula Clark & the Great, “Donne Moi”! & Msr Le Shuffle is really pulling out the Stops as next we get some more Serge Gainsbourgh with, “Des Vents Des Pets Des Poums” – Which is from his 1973 Album ‘Un De L’Exterieur’ – & for our Money it’s one of His Best!!

Some Brilliant SATURDAY NIGHT FOREVER music now, with Change &, “The Very Best In You” – Terrrriffficc!! Which is followed by another Tom Moulton remix & this time it’s the turn of, Moment Of Truth &, “Love At First Sight” – Philly Re-Grooved!

Grover Washington Jr next with, “Things Are Getting Better” from his great 1983 Album, ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ – & the Title Track is also Storming, with Patti LaBelle on the Vocals! And Finally we have a Live version of, “Honky Tonk Women” by the New Barbarians – Which is Keith & Ronnie, with Bobby Keys on Tenor Sax & Stanley Clarke on Bass etc etc – & this is followed by a Glorious Finale from Led Zepplin &, “Rain Song” Awesome! So, Keep The Faith, Plant Your feet, Be Awesome & Keep It On Shuffle – Just Like Us!! 🙂