Afrique


Band members               Related acts

- King Errisson -- percussion (1973)
- Paul Humphrey -- percussion (1973)
- Paul Jeffrey -- sax (1973)
- Joe Kelso -- sax (1973)
- Steve Kravitz -- sax (1973)
- Charles Kynard -- keyboards (1973)
- Ray Pounds -- drums (1973)
- Chuck Rainey -- bass (1973)
- Wallace Snow -- percussion (1973)
- Charles Taggaart -- percussion (1973)
- David T. Walker -- guitar (1973)
- Arthur Wright -- guitar (1973)
- Chino Valdes -- percussion (1973) 
  

 

 

- none known

 


 

Genre: funk 

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Soul Makossa

Company: Mainstream

Catalog: MRL 394

Year: 1973

Country/State: New York, USA 

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: still in shrink wrap

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 2313

Price: $100.00

Cost: $1.00

 

In spite of the international name, Afrique (French for Africa) was a New York-based studio entity. Led by sessions bassist Chuck Rainey and guitarist David T. Walker, in 1973 the 13 member band was signed by the Detroit-based Mainstream label. Released as an unlikely single, the group enjoyed a fluke hit with an instrumental remake of Manu Dibango's "Soul Makossa". With the single just missing the top-40, Mainstream rushed the band back into the studio to record an album of similar styled instrumentals. Released with the clever title "Soul Makossa" the rest of the set was little more than anonymous soul and disco-influenced fodder ("Kissing My Love", "House of Rising Funk" and "Let Me Do My Thing"). While Walker and fellow guitarist Arthur Wright came up with a couple of entertaining segments ("Let Me Do My Thing"), there just wasn't much to be heard that was original (did you really need another instrumental version of "Sleepwalk"?). Propelled by the title track, the parent album proved a minor hit, reaching #152 on the charts. 

"Soul Makossa" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) 

 

(side 2)
1.) 


1. Soul Makossa - 4:30
2. Kissing My Love - 3:02
3. Sleepwalk - 3:36
4. Let Me Do My Thing - 4:45
5. Slow Motion - 4:09
6. Hot Mud - 4:10
7. House of Rising Funk - 3:27
8. Dueling Guitars - 3:27
9. Hot Doggin' - 3:23
10. Get It - 3:24

While most bands would have struggled on with a pathetic follow up, Afrique at least had the sense to call it quits after one LP.

David T. Walker is an American guitarist born in Los Angeles, California. Walker has played rhythm guitar for many musicians, including Johnny Bristol, The Crusaders, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Donald Byrd, Bobbi Humphrey, Gerald Levert, Stephanie Mills, Pharoah Sanders and Leon Ware. His song "On Love" appeared on the breakbeat compilation record "Tribe Vibes" as it had been sampled by the musical group A Tribe Called Quest to create a new musical composition.

Now here's an odd one. The track "Soul Makossa" was a hit for Manu Dibango in early 1973. After it was issued, a lot of folks sought to cover it most badly. But, in this case, that single track spawned a band of studio musicians hell bent on creating not only a club and jukebox 45 hit of the Dibango original, but an entire set of groove-driven instrumentals that could be issued as 45s for the juke market. Afrique, which was comprised of organist Charles Kynard, guitarist David T. Walker, bassist Chuck Rainey, Joe Kelso and Paul Jeffery on saxophones, drummer Ray Pounds, and a host of percussionists including, Chino Valdes and baritone honker Steve Kravitz. There were 13 members in all for this one-off. So the deal is simple: this LP, the only Afrique title, is a hell of a slab of lost funk. Sure, there's a groovin' greasy version of the title track, but the real gems lie in "House of the Rising Funk" on side two, the "Mustang Sally" knockoff "Sleepwalk," the tripped out sax ballad "Kissing My Love," the dirty, chunky funk of "Hot Doggin," and the lubricious "Let Me Do My Thing." There is plenty of wah-wah excess, saxist angst, and drunken careening rhythm to propel a soul train from one end of the continent to the other. And if you can dig the guitar breaks against Kynard's hammering, contrapuntal cut up chords on "Slow Motion," than you are ready for anything. For those for whom groove is everything, this album is to be procured at any cost.

'soul ' . hot mud catalog MRL 5542 

 

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