Afro-music continues to inspire a whole host of musicians, producers and DJs but even now the full picture of Afro-music in the 1960s and 70s is still far from being properly represented. Ghana Soundz Volume 2 goes some way to readdressing the balance.
Celebrated British bassist GEORGE ANDERSON leads an unusual dual musical life. He is, of course, best known for his work with smooth jazz icons Shakatak. He's a key member of the band – on the road and in the studio. George was also instrumental in co-writing many of Shakatak's best tunes ….most famously 'Day by Day' featuring Grammy award winner Al Jarreau. George was responsible too for co-writing the song 'Perfect Smile' which was a smooth-jazz radio play hit in the US for Shakatak in the 90's.
Having steered the mothership and worked as a triggerman for the Godfather of Soul, storied sax man Maceo Parker now brings his own tight rhythm and soul sound to vinyl (er, plastic) in undeniable proof that he's still "got it." Combining his smoking horn with the backing of fellow legends such as trombonist Fred Wesley and new bloods such as son Corey (whose intermittent raps colorfully enhance the album's youthful vibrance), Maceo works through the familiar funk and soul lines of his Parliament and JB days and adds new twists to such classics as Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" and "Inner City Blues," Stevie Wonder's "Tell Me Something Good," and Sly Stone's "Sing a Simple Song," while offering a number of his own well-orchestrated and well-seasoned compositions. "Youth of the World" features Maceo on a lead vocal reminiscent of Kool Moe Dee or Kurtis Blow, while "Do You Love Me" rises like Tower of Power before the sultry Chicago lines of closer "Going in Circles".
A bombastic party courtesy of Legacy Records. The festivities begin with an unedited "Wake Up Everybody" by Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes, flows into Isley, Jasper, Isley's "Caravan of Love," and then switches to adult theme ballads, the stature of "Me & Mrs. Jones," "Kiss and Say Goodbye," and Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine." Brenda & the Tabulations' breezy but despairing "One Girl Too Late" is delightful. The Intruders' "Cowboy to Girls" and Major Lance's calypso-ish "Hey Little Girl" are irresistible. Includes Labelle's potent "Lady Marmalade" and MFSB's contagious, six-plus minute "Love Is the Message."