egroj world: Willie Bobo ‎• Bobo Motion

sábado, 22 de julio de 2017

Willie Bobo ‎• Bobo Motion

Review by Thom Jurek
Recorded and released in 1967, Bobo Motion is one of percussionist Willie Bobo's best-known recordings of the 1960s. The album is best-known for its version of the Sonny Henry nugget "Evil Ways" that Carlos Santana and his band made their own a couple of years later, but there's more to it than that. Since Bobo signed with Verve in 1965, he'd been releasing wily blends of hot Latin tunes, and soul-jazz interpretations of pop tunes of the day. His five previous albums for the label had all been variations on this theme. On the earlier ones, safer pop and easy tunes played with Bobo's trademark hand drum grooves won out over original material. Indeed, 1965's Spanish Grease and 1966's Uno, Dos,Tres 1-2-3 had featured one tune apiece that featured the cooking Afro-Cuban flavored jams he'd become known for, and the rest were either soul-jazz arrangements of Latin standards or "with it" pop tunes of the day (Afro-Cuban versions of the organ trio records that Blue Note was shoveling out by the truckload at the time). Bobo Motion, however, is a different animal. While there are no originals on the Bert Keyes/Sonny Henry-arranged set, the grooves are tighter and more sophisticated, and the drumming is mixed way up above an uncredited smaller combo playing horns, electric bass, and Henry' electric guitar. The tune selection is also weirder and reflects the range of Bobo' eclectic tastes, and turns more firmly toward jazz (unlike Juicy, the 1967 precursor to this set, which was pregnant with workouts of soul hits of the day). There are trad standards like "Tuxedo Junction," Neal Hefti's swinging "Cute," -- which was almost a Count Basie evergreen of the early '60s -- and a smoking blues-out read of Sonny Burke' "Black Coffee." That's not to say there are no pop tunes here, Henry's "Evil Ways" features Bobo's less than hip vocals but the tune itself is so steamy and strange in its minor-key articulations, and the groove is such a monster, it doesn't matter. The same goes for Arthur Sterling's "Ain't That Right," that becomes a whomping boogaloo with the triple-time congas, gourd shaker, and timbales atop a fluid electric guitar groove. The transformation of Joe Tex's "Show Me," into a Latin jazz tune is remarkable to say the least -- even if it keeps its funky soul feel (the horns are the melody line here, and Bobo plays all around them setting up a monster conguero groove). Bobo Motion ends with a brief but burning version of "La Bamba." Its traditional roots are all on display here as Bobo's congas drive the rhythms into overdrive. Forget the quaint version by Trini Lopez, this one gets it. Recommended.

A1 Up-up & Away 1:56
A2 Ain't That Right 2:35
A3 Midnight Sun 2:08
A4 Cute 1:52
A5 I Don't Know 2:32
A6 Tuxedo Junction 2:15
B1 Evil Ways 2:40
B2 Show Me 2:15
B3 Black Coffee 2:42
B4 Night Walk 3:05
B5 La Bamba 2:07

Arranged By – Bert Keyes (tracks: A1, A3, A4, A6, B2, B3, B5), Sonny Henry (tracks: A2, A5, B1, B4)

Engineer [Director Of Engineering] – Val Valentin
Release Date 1967
Duration 26:23
Recording Date July 20, 1967 & July 27, 1967

Verve Records Catalog: 8600 series
V/V6 8699 Willie Bobo - Bobo Motion
Willie Bobo (timbales) and others
NYC, July 20, 1967
102976 Tuxedo Junction
102977 Black Coffee
102978 La Bamba
102979 Cute
103201 Night Walk

same personnel
Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, July 27, 1967103051 Up, Up And Away
103052 Midnight Sun
103053 Show Me
103054 Evil Ways
103055 Ain't That Right
103056 I Don't Know Why

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