egroj world: Monk Higgins • Extra Soul Perception

domingo, 23 de julio de 2017

Monk Higgins • Extra Soul Perception

Artist Biography by Ed Hogan
Monk Higgins is best known for the R&B hit instrumentals "Who Dun It" and "Gotta Be Funky." The prolific Higgins also wrote a slew of songs for others including Bobby Bland and one of the Chi-Lites' first singles, "Go Go Gorilla." A mainstay of the Chicago R&B/soul music scene, he was a producer/arranger/session player at Chess Records during the '60s.
Higgins also worked with Three Sounds, Blue Mitchell, Junior Wells, Gene Harris, Muddy Waters, Freddy Robinson, and Etta James, among others.
The saxman was born Milton Bland in Menifee, AR, on October 17, 1936. After moving to Chicago, Higgins started doing sides for George Lerner's One-Derful Records. Later, he began recording for St. Lawrence Records. One of his instrumentals for the label, the cool, funky "Who Dun It," hit number 30 R&B during the summer of 1966. The flip side was the melancholy past-midnight ballad "These Days Are Filled With You."
While at St. Lawrence, he hired his cousin Barbara Acklin as a secretary. Higgins recorded a single on her under the name Barbara Allen for his Special Agent label. Later, Higgins used Acklin as a background singer on his Chess Records sessions. Acklin later hit as a recording artist in the summer of 1968 with "Love Makes a Woman."
In 1969, Higgins moved to Los Angeles. He arranged and produced acts for United Artists Records, Imperial, and Minit. The multi-talented sax player recorded a few albums for United Artists. The LP Heavyweight (August 1972) included his biggest hit, "Gotta Be Funky" (number 22 R&B). Another UA LP, Monk Higgins (January 1973), includes "Little Mama." On Buddah Records, Higgins recorded "Dance to the Disco Sax of Monk Higgins" (December 1974). He's featured on the movie soundtrack and Buddah LP release from the 1975 Pam Grier/American International film Sheba, Baby. Higgins collaborated with former Stax Records executive Al Bell on hits for Bobby Bland during the '70s and '80s.
In 1983, blues artist Keb Mo joined his Higgins' Whodunit Band, contributing vocals and guitar as the group performed at Los Angeles-area clubs like Marla's Memory Lane. Keb Mo credits his time with Higgins as the most important element in developing his understanding of the blues. During the '90s, Higgins' music has been sampled by numerous rap artists and is included on various breakbeat compilation CDs.
MCA Records bought the Chess catalog in the mid-'80s from Joe and Sylvia Robinson of Sugarhill Records, reissuing many sides that feature Higgins' contributions. Monk Higgins died July 3, 1986, in Los Angeles, CA.

A1 Extra Soul Perception 2:35
A2 The Look Of Slim 3:00
A3 A Good Thing 2:30
A4 Watermelon Man 3:10
A5 Straight Ahead 2:40
A6 Canadian Sunset 3:56
B1 Collision In Black 4:00
B2 Just Around The Corner 2:58
B3 Little Green Apples 2:25
B4 Poker Chips 3:08
B5 Sittin' Duck 3:00
B6 Doing It To Deff 2:50

Bass – Bob West, Ron Brown
Congas – Jerry Williams
Drums – John Guerin
Flute – Jim Horn
French Horn – David A. Duke*
Guitar – Al Vescovo*, Arthur Adams, Freddy Robinson*
Piano, Percussion – Miles Grayson
Strings [Under The Able Direction Of] – Sidney Sharp
Trumpet – Thomas Scott*
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – William Peterson*
Vibraphone, Percussion – Alan Estes
Producer, Percussion, Organ – Dee Ervin
Producer, Arranged By, Tenor Saxophone, Organ – Monk Higgins

Label: Solid State Records ‎– SS-18046
Released: 1968

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