The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bernard Purdie - Lialeh (1974)

1. Lialeh
2. Touch Me Again
3. Conscious
4. Easy
5. All Pink In The Inside
6. Pass Me Not
7. Hap'nin'

Seventies porn soundtracks are rarely the reservoirs of deep-cut funk that stand-up comics make them out to be (“So the girl takes off her top, and it’s like wacka-chicka-wacka-chicka— wah-WAHH!”), so it’s a real pleasure to discover that this CD is a genuine stone groove. It helps that drummer Bernard “Pretty” Purdie, who provided the boom-bap for everyone from James Brown and Aretha Franklin to Steely Dan, composed its seven cuts, and hired the cream of jazz and soul session players to work out their languorous rhythms, including horn players Seldon Powell, Garnett Brown and Jimmy Owens, bassist Wilbur Bascomb Jr, and Ernest Hayes on organ (with Horace Ott overseeing all arrangements). The cuts have the loose, playful swing of late ‘60s funk, especially the title track and “All Pink On The Inside,” which lope along on Bascomb’s thumping bass and Purdie’s spare, tasteful beats. Lyrics sound like the scrambled-headed mutterings of popper-fueled guests at an uptown swing party (“Touch…me…again—where it FEEEELS GOOD!”), but vocalist Sandi Hewitt manages them like a trooper. Hardcore soul, funk and jazz collectors will either be horrified or ecstatic over this reissue; less uptight types might find its mellow grooves a fun and friendly soundtrack for their own personal skin shows.