Thursday, 23 April 2009

“Little Mama” by MONK HIGGINS. A Review of his US-Only 1972 jazz-funk-soul album on Liberty/United Artists - now reissued on a 2004 CD Remaster.


This review is part of my "SOUNDS GOOD: Exceptional CD Remasters Soul, Funk & Jazz Fusion" Download Book available to buy on Amazon to either your PC or Mac (it will download the Kindle software to read the book for free to your toolbar). Click on the link below to go my Author's Page for this and other related publications:

                       http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00LQKMC6I

“…Can’t Stop Missing All That Good, Good Lovin’ You Laid On Me…”

The Arkansas Saxophonist Monk Higgins (real name Milton Bland) made two hugely sought after jazz/funk/soul albums for United Artists in 1972. The first was "Heavy Weight" - and then came this - "Little Mama".

Produced by LARRY MAXWELL, the "Little Mama" LP was originally released on Liberty/United Artists UA-LA005-F in the USA in late 1972 - this 2004 remaster is a straightforward reissue of that funky rarity and is part of EMI Europe's "Masters Of Funk & Soul" Remaster Series.

The MUSICIANS for "Little Mama" were:
MONK HIGGINS - Tenor Saxophone & Organ
JOE SAMPLE [of The Crusaders] - Piano, Clavinet & Harpsichord
CLARENCE McDONALD - Piano
WILTON FELDER [of The Crusaders} - Bass
FREDDY ROBINSON - Guitar & Harmonica
AL VESCOVO - Guitar
SPECIALTIES UNLIMITED - Backing Vocals
PAUL HUMPHREY - Drums & Percussion

The gatefold inlay has knowledgeable liner notes by noted "Chicago Soul" writer ROBERT PRUTER, but the big news is the SOUND. 24-bit remastered (34:50 minutes), the sound quality is exceptional - fantastically clear, muscular - funky -as-f**k basically.

The covers of Carole King's "Tapestry" classic "So Far Away" and the huge Bread/David Gates' hit "If" both benefit from the girly vocals of Specialties Unlimited - in fact they're on 9 of the 10 tracks. The cover of Freddy Robinson's "Black Fox" is slinky (the only song without vocals), but my favourite is the wonderfully catchy "Can't Stop" (lyrics above). It has the best guitar/bass intro, which then slides into organ and sax, then in come the sassy girls with "...can't stop...can't stop..." Really great stuff.

A cool little CD of a rare LP - complete with stunning remastered sound. Recommended.

Other titles in the "Masters Of Funk & Soul" Remaster Series are:
1. GARY BARTZ - "Music Is My Sanctuary"
2. BRASS CONSTRUCTION - "Brass Construction"
3. THE BROOKLYN, BRONX & QUEENS BAND - "The Brooklyn, Bronx & Queens Band"
4. CALDERA - "Caldera"
5. GEORGE CLINTON - "Computer Games"
6. COLD FIRE - "Too Cold"
7. DAYTON - "Dayton"
8. DAYTON - "Hot Fun"
9. THE GENE DUNLOP BAND - "Tired Of Being A Nice Guy"
10. JIMMY G. & THE TACKHEADS - "The Federation Of Tackheads"
11. EDDIE HENDERSON - "Comin' Through"
12. HIGH FASHION - "Feelin' Lucky"
13. KC and THE SUNSHINE BAND - "KC and The Sunshine Band"
14. RONNIE LAWS - "Mr. Nice Guy"
15. LITTLE BEAVER - "When Was The Last Time"
16. BOBBY LYLE - "The Genie"
17. MAZE featuring FRANKIE BEVERLY - "Maze featuring Frankie Beverly"
18. MAZE featuring FRANKIE BEVERLY - "Joy And Pain"
19. MELBA MOORE - "The Other Side of The Rainbow"
20. MYSTIC MERLIN - "Full Moon"
21. NOEL POINTER - "Direct Hit"
22. POISIN - "On Your Way To Number One"
23. SOUTHROAD CONNECTION - "Ain't No Time To Sit Down"
24. SUN - "Wanna Make Love (Come Flick My Bic)"
25. SUN - Destination: Sun"
26. TAVARES - "Madam Butterfly"
27. T-CONNECTION - "Pure & Natural"
28. TIMMY THOMAS - You're The Song I've Always Wanted To Sing"

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

INDEX - Artists, Albums, Record Labels, CD Remaster Engineers, Liner Notes Authors, Links etc