Friday, May 15, 2015

7" Vinyl Single of the Month - "Bob James: Nautilus / Mardi Gras" (edited)

7" Vinyl Single of the Month (45prm)
Bob James: "Nautilus / Take Me To The Mardi Gras" (CTI/BJ Funk Edits) 

Release Date: May 17, 2015
Arranged & Conducted by Bob James

Coming out today! Its origin unknown (which means it's an "unofficial release" by a mysterious label called BJ Funk Edits) here as two CTI classic cuts from the Bob James canon get the edit treatment on a highly limited 45 - strictly for the nimble fingered DJs only. Every man and his funk appreciating dog should be familiar with both "Nautilus" and "Mardi Gras", they are the epitome of 'iconic tracks' and it's nice to see them available on edited 45 for the first time to give an extra bit of oomph to those breakbeats. Don't sleep !
Among the many "unofficial" CTI titles often released in Europe is this odd 7" single by Bob James. Under the fake catalog number BJ 7, it includes two songs that originally appeared in different CTI albums, but are no longer part of the CTI catalog; in fact, both tracks are now owned by James himself and belong to his Tappan Zee label.

"Nautilus" was part of James' CTI debut, "One," while the famous (and much-sampled) rendition of Paul Simon's "Take Me To The Mardi Gras" comes from Bob James' "Two." Both tracks were recorded at Van Gelder Studios by the legendary engineer Rudy Van Gelder, an essential part of the CTI history.

"Nautilus" was cut in February 1974 with Bob James on keyboards (Yamaha YC30 organ and Fender Rhodes electric piano), Gary King on electric bass, Idris Muhammad on drums, Ralph MacDonald on percussion, and Richie Resnicoff on electric guitar, plus a large string section led by the violin virtuoso concertmaster Harry Lookofsky.

"We were working on a theme, I started using a particular stop on the Yamaha organ which sounded very good, like some underwater effect," Bob James recalled. "Creed Taylor thought it might suggest a cavern, with stalacties, but I felt it was more like a submarine journey."

"Mardi Gras," recorded on January 15, 1975, features Bob James (Fender Rhodes with a lot of distortion obtained through the use of delay and flanger), Eric Gale (playing both electric bass AND rhythm guitar!), Andrew Smith (drums), Arthur Jenkins & Ralph MacDonald (percussion), Eddie Daniels (clarinet) and Tony Studd (trombone), plus strings. One more essential item to CTI collectors.

No comments: