mr. zilla goes to town

Saturday, September 25, 2004

and you thought he was cool before

Sometimes you come across the most interesting things when you're killing time in a record store.

A long time ago, long before he started doing a Noel Pearson and laying some tough love verbal smack down on members of his own community, Bill Cosby was a comedian, a variety show host, a Doctor Heathcliff Huckstable, and all the way back in 1969, high school teacher sitcom star of The Bill Cosby Show.

Now as well as being best of buddies with Fat Albert, Cosby was also mates with jazz legend Quincy Jones who provided the soundtrack to much of Cosby's television work in the late 60s and 1970s. As musical director for the Bill Cosby Show, however...

Jones assembled a crack team of prominent jazz and funk artists to create a soundtrack and essentially left the tape recorder running during numerous informal jams. The sessions, however, ended up in the vault and were forgotten until over 30 years later when the “lost tapes” were rediscovered during an office move....

“We discovered some boxes labeled ‘Quincy, Jimmy Smith and Oscar, 1969,’ and about fell out of our chairs,” explains Marc Cazorla, executive producer for Quincy Jones Music...

And the rest is history. The end result of their chance discovery is that not only can you get your hands on the Original Jam Sessions from 1969 but a fresh and diverse New Mixes interpretation of the body of work by the likes of Cornershop, John Digweed & Nick Muir, and Mix Master Mike just to name a few.

...and Noah said, riiight... what's a remix?

Well I picked up the New Mixes CD I found in the store that day, and it is bloody marvellous. Thirteen tracks of low down and laid back, or deep and dirty diggin funk that is an absolute treat to pick out and slide into one of our Blue Room DJ sets early on in the night. There's nary a shadow of a house beat to be found and you can feel the respect for the original vibe that have gone into the re-production work - even though some are not remixes at all but new creations based completely on samples from the 1969 sessions. So to Graham and any other folks out there who are finding the word funk irreverently applied, get your ears into these grooves.

Here's what one reviewer elsewhere had to say...

Of the many highlights on the release, the wiggle of Herbert's "Technically Amateur Mix" may be the most creative, taking the sound of the Fender Rhodes keyboard to a jaunty, carnival-steam-organ place. You may be tempted to dance like a chicken laying a dozen eggs all at once, or you can add your own vocals for extra fun (as in "root, puh-toot, puh-root, puh-toot-toot"). And don't forget to flap your wings.

A-men.

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