Monday 20 February 2023

Posted by Gerry Hectic | File under : , , ,

If your sitting comfortably.... then I'll begin.

If you've just got to grips with the keyboard whiz that is Julius Brockington from his album 'Sophisicated Funk' (review HERE) that's largely cover versions of tracks made famous by others like Isaac Hayes ('Do Your Thing'), Stevie Wonder ('If You Really Love Me'), Al Green ('Let's Stay Together') and Aretha Franklin ('Rock Steady') then this album is a bit of a shock.

'Sophisicated Funk'  was released in 1972 but  a year later for 'The United Chair', label head Patrick Adams, obviously saw something in Brockington's composition 'Cold Water' to give him a free funk reign over the seven tracks here.

Once more the cover does not give any incling as to what's on the inside but prepare yourself for some pre-beat gospel soul funk that's spacey and rocks, particularly  'BALT, Wash. EXP' and classic, 'Fourty Nine Reasons'.

'Fourty Nine Reasons' is the track that the diggers search for at nearly 8 minutes long.  Ironically, the one track not written by Brockington himself but his Alto saxophonist and flautist, Steve Turner who, along with Gerry Langston (guitar), Jim Wilson (trumpet), Ralph Fisher (drums), Marcel Turner (bass) and Julius (organ, piano and synth) produce an individual funky sound which is another reason the two albums are so different.

There's unusual funk tunes like 'Lost Tribe', 'In The Back Of The Churchyard' (sounds like it could have been a TV theme for a Blackploitation Father Brown) or 'Gettin' Into It' (The Clangers go to funky town - watch out for the Soup Dragon)

It's a lot less Brian Auger than it's predecessor and more soul/R'n'B, perhaps he needed a Julie Discoll/Oblivion Express to make the charts although 'Jaded Jackie' is more mainstream soul-jazz instrumental [hey, it was released as a 45 single in the US with 'In The Back Of The Churchyard' - hope you find one in the bargain bins]

If you had to pick just the one album betwen 'Sophisticated Funk' and 'The United Chair' that would be a very difficult choice but as they've been re-issued on the same day by BBE, it'd be rude to to get and enjoy both of them and marvel at the talent of Mr Brockington.

Artist: Julius Brockington

Title: The United Chair 

Release date: 17th February, 2023

Label : BBE Music

Catalog Number : BBE658 LP / CD / Digital / Bandcamp 


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