So a couple of weeks ago, my father called me up and told me that he was finally ready to give his extensive record collection to both me and my brother. He's in the process of moving, and he realized that he hasn't played his records in years, and the righteous thing to do would be to give up his records to his selfish, but appreciative sons. My brother and I have had designs on his record collection since 1990, when we discovered that he had Richard Pryor and a ton of hip hop samples in the mix. Back then, my father consistently said no, and he wasn't ready to share, so thank god he changed his mind.
When my brother and I were divvying up the collection, it was fairly easy to decide who got what. I got all the jazz and smooth jazz (smooth jazz in the 1970s was way more hip and rich in sound and texture than it is today), and Jamal got mostly R&B with some exceptions. But there were four records that we could not agree upon initially:
1)Minnie Riperton - Perfect Angel
2)James Brown - Solid Gold
3)Otis Redding - The Dock of The Bay: The Definitive Collection
4)Stevie Wonder - Innervisions
I really wanted the James Brown album because you could basically put it on and dance for a good 2 hours straight. I wanted Minnie Riperton's album, because "Perfect Angel" (written by Stevie Wonder) is one of my favorite Minnie songs ever. I wanted Otis Redding because..well its fucking Otis Redding and Innervisions is the best Stevie Wonder album (in my opinion) recorded. Unfortunately for me, my brother had those very same reasons for wanting those exact same albums, so we were in a bit of a pickle. In the end, he got the James Brown, I got everything else, and neither one of us is truly happy, which is the sign of a good compromise.
So now, in honor of this great record collection my father has given to me, I will play a record a day and write a bit about it. You see my father, from 1980 until 1990 (when my parents started to drift apart..they eventually divorced in 1992) played records every Saturday, so that my brother and I would share his love for all types of music--and it worked because I'm a rabid fan. So every day (or every time I blog) I will share the record I chose to play that day.
First up? White Rabbit by George Benson. It came out in 1972, and the title track is a cover of a Jefferson Airplane song written by Grace Slick. The musicians on this album are like an all-star roster: Ron Carter on bass, Earl Klugh on gee-tar, Herbie Hancock on electric piano, Billy Cobham on drums, Hubert Laws on flute, clarinet and piccolo) and others. My favorite song off the album is California Dreamin: