My experience of Boogaloo, a style to which I'm quite new, has been varied. In short, I love some of it and don't quite get the rest. The key to me seems to be the right instrumental and percussive blend, and vocals that don't dominate too much.
Although it sounds quite generic, this track manages to satisfy me on the criteria above. From a very lucky thrift store find (this album is up there with James Brown's 'Black Caesar' among my top bargains ever), this opens with a nice solid groove, featuring saxophone, brass and layered, relentless percussion. The vocals seem pretty much off-the-cuff - the main 'Boogaloo baby - baby baby do the boogaloo' is joined by a mixture of muttered Spanish and screaming. The attraction of this song is really the texture - it can't really claim any musical or lyrical sophistication. But the instrumentation and groove are really first rate.
I've been in love with this tune since I heard the superb instrumental version of it on 1990's 'Wild at Heart' soundtrack. I'm a big fan of Les Paul and Mary Ford's records - the combination of immaculate multitracked guitars and spooky, clear vocals is a real winner for me. I only found out about this recording quite recently. It really is stunning. It's slow, plodding along while Les's intricate but very cool guitar lines twinkle around over the top. This song makes me feel very nostalgic, although I'm not sure exactly what for. The lyrics really add something to the atmosphere - 'tell me where do they go/those smoke rings that blow each night'. Anyway, please ignore my inadequate description and listen to this exquisite, perfect recording.
from Bye Bye Blues (Capitol) available on CD - Bye Bye Blues/Les & Mary (COLLECTABLES)
A wonderful track. As you may have read elsewhere, Wendy and Bonnie were young sisters who wound up releasing an album on the Skye label, which was owned by Cal Tjader, Gary MacFarland and Gabor Szabo. This recording benefits from some superb session musician work, and opens with a bluesey riff. The arrangement is simple, with a haunting organ joining the guitar and drums, and the Wendy and Bonnie singing and occasionally harmonizing over the top. The voices are clear and carry the melody very well. This short song has a rather enchanting moody feel to it, exemplified by the fade-out ending. The mix of earnest female vocals and great session musicians recalls the Feminine Complex.
from Genesis (Skye Skye SK1006-D), available on CD (Skye)
I love the sweeping introduction of this track so much that I would almost recommend it based on that alone. A brass flourish leads into a really cool, jerky beat. It continues with nice multitracked guitars that produce a harpsichord-like effect. Very cool.
The soundtrack to Bedazzled is remarkably good, one of a few much-hyped records floating around in my head that has actually lived up to my expectations. This instrumental is notable for its haunting mood and astonishingly beautiful chord sequence. The flute melody, lush strings and gentle latin percussion combine beautifully. Musically, it's one of those pieces that's so good you want to cry.
from Bedazzled OST (London MS 82009), available on CD (London)
13 Apr 04 ·standish: Hats off to Dudley for the whole soundtrack. Sparkling, serious and intelligent music - I totally agree about the goosebump chord sequence that reappears throughout the album. Haven't found any other stuff by him that's as good - maybe "Genuine Dud" if you're into piano trio jazz. 19 Jun 04 ·Mike: What a gem! Very arresting, and good enough to listen to several times in a row, each time finding things to marvel at in the harmony, texture, overall structure, melody...well, pretty much everything.