I had quite a different tune in mind for
this week's Saturday Scratch, but instead
here's Winston Wright & the Upsetters with a
a sweet little organ-led groove from 1972 in
tribute to the biblical storm that hit us an
hour or so ago, 'Hail Stone'.
For the first time in nearly three years, I
have a deck set-up and I'm playing through
my records, rediscovering forgotten gems
and reacquainting myself with old
favourites, such as these unlikely versions
of 'The Surrey With the Fringe on Top'.
The Rodgers & Hammerstein show tune has been
covered well and faithfully on many
occasions over the years, by jazz artists
such as Miles Davis, Ahmad Jamal and Wes
Montgomery, but I've mentioned before how
much I enjoy a well chosen cover version
that confounds expectations and these tunes
fit that bill to a tee.
The first is indeed a jazz version, by Sonny
Rollins, but not the sedate respectful run-through favoured by some of his previously
mentioned contemporaries. It captures
Rollins and drummer Philly Joe Jones duoing
(or should that read duelling?) on a hard
bop arrangement that twists and turns it's
way to an exhausted conclusion. Genius.
Then there's Dennis Bovell (a.k.a.
Blackbeard) - member of Matumbi, UK dub
pioneer, creator of Lover's Rock and
producer of such varied artists as Linton
Kwesi Johnson, Fela Kuti, The Thompson Twins
and Bananarama! He uses 'Surrey' as a
starting point for 'Ska-Be-Doo-Za' from
1978's 'Strictly Dub Wize'. Absolutely
inspired, but how did he get away with not
giving Rodgers & Hammerstein a partial
I've been out and about today, getting home just in time to prevent the need for an inaugural Sunday Scratch. So, as the midnight hour approaches, here's George Faith's 1977 psychedelic Jamaican soul version of the Wilson Pickett classic, complete with additional Lee Dorsey references.