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4 tracks arranged by Charles Stepney have been recommended.
Order by - songtitle - year - performer - date recommended
Paper Castle  performed by Rotary Connection  1968
Recommended by tinks [profile]

The Temptations may be first in your mind when you think of psychedelic soul, but this group, featuring former Turnkeys leader Maurice Dollison and the woman we can blame for "Lovin' You", Minnie Riperton, defined it with this single scorching, fuzzy, crunchy, swirling, doped-up masterpiece. Long-time Chess arranger Charles Stepney milks the string section for all it's worth.

from Aladdin (Cadet Concept)
available on CD - Aladdin/Dinner Music (Raven)




  05 Sep 02 ·Liv: A strange hybrid of styles.. Psychedelic soul?
  05 Sep 02 ·tinks: yeah, and it wasn't even the strangest...there was an off-shoot that i'll hereby dub "native soul", which was a blend of psychedelic soul, with it's fuzz guitars and such, and native american drums. the sound is best exemplified by the instrumental group the electric indian, who were from philadelphia (and featured len barry of "1-2-3" fame") and had a moderate-sized hit with "keem-o-sabe". they recorded a couple of lps in the idiom, while all other examples i've heard have been one-off attempts. there's also good stuff out there by a group called the little big horns and a song called "warpath" by the isley brothers which is an all-out masterpiece.
  07 Dec 05 ·Swinging London: Thought I didn't like The Rotary connection. Hearing that, I've changed my mind. It's outa-sight!
Julia  performed by Ramsey Lewis  1969
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This one really has everything, to me. I'm not a connoisseur of the Beatles's 'White album', but I'm completely crazy about Ramsey Lewis's superb LP in tribute to it. The entire album has a delicious balance of crisp beats, electric piano, strings, and subtle touches of moog, played by the album's producer, Charles Stepney. I've chosen 'Julia' to recommend because I enjoy the way it changes mood - opening mournful and slow, and then getting very funky. But the entire album is really packed with winners; other highlights are a wacky and extremely funky 'back in the USSR', a superb 'Dear Prudence', and a great 'cry baby cry'.

from Mother Nature's Son (Cadet)




  31 Aug 05 ·vince: Is there any way to get the whole album Mother Nature's Son on CD?
  01 Sep 05 ·delicado: yes, there's a Japanese CD, which you could probably get via www.dustygroove.com. It really is a wonderful album (for those that like this kind of thing!)
Eternal Journey  performed by Ramsey Lewis  1968
Recommended by konsu [profile]

The prolific and always entertaining Ramsey Lewis.This track is one of my favorite from his collaborations with the legendary fusionist,Charles Stepney.It has all the best elements from their work,lush orchestral textures,rock steady soul jazz,and the siren calls of Miss Minnie Riperton.It sounds like this recording was done during the same sessions as Minnie's incredible solo album,Come To My Garden.In fact,the record contains a version of "Les Fluer" that has the same istrumentation, except Ramsey plays the lead vocal melody in his typical style.

This piece is almost like some kind of lost soundtrack work,impressionistic in a spiritual way,like a cosmic gospel.Travelling the silver thread of consciousness back to the source...An Eternal Journey indeed,and a must for fans of spooky jazz and 60's soundtracks.

from Maiden Voyage (Cadet LPS 811)



  11 Feb 03 ·delicado: Nice track, and a great album, which is also available on a cheap CD, 'Maiden Voyage and more' (the 'more' consists of four tracks from his excellent 'Mother Nature's Son' LP, also produced by Stepney)
What Color Is Love  performed by Terry Callier  1972
Recommended by konsu [profile]

I know the buzz is burned on his return but I still need to give this song props. The first time I heard this album was indesribable. It sort of places you in a zone where so many sounds you love coexist in poingant harmony. This one, the title track, is a mix of torchy iceman elegance, and rootsy baroque impressionisim. And the mix of talents is undeniable. Charles Stepney and his incredible group of session men, and one, singular, unique songwriting talent. Done at a time when they could do no wrong...

It goes in and out of print, so snap it up if you can.

from What Color Is Love (Cadet MSM 37190)


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