One of the biggest fears when reviewing an album that is a follow-up to a pair of classics, is that the tracks won't match up to those on the originals. Well in this case they most certainly do.
Several of the tracks fall into the "So Tacky They Are Tasteful category", namely Trini Lopez' Unchain My Heart which far outweighs Ray Charles' original and Andy Williams' House of Bamboo, which some smart-ass covered up in the mid 80s as by William Andrews.
Psychedelic soul is also represented by two of the finest songs ever to emerge from this bizarre fusion. Eddie Jefferson's Psychedelic Sally and Erma Franklin's Light My Fire have long been underground club anthems and are at last making it on to a Mod Jazz CD.
Former mod classics Honey Child, Ain't There Something Money Can't Buy and Secret Love all cross over nicely -.-but it does seen weird hearing them without the usual pops and scratches.
Talking of scratches, My Back Scratcher by Frank Frost is an amazing new sound to me, presumably inspired by Slim Harpo's Baby Scratch My Back. For me Woody Herman's version of Joe South's Hush sounds too much like a TV theme tune, but this is more than made up for by two previously undiscovered gems. Caesar's Pad was made by a young Googie Rene, a whole four years before Smokey Joe's La La (as featured on Mo Mod Jazz Kent CDKEND 150) and the best of the bunch Another Plan For School Mix Up by the Cals. Not only is this track a social comment on the school segregation of early 60s southern American states, but it's also great to dance to! Can't wait for Even Mo' Even Mo' Mod Jazz!
By Paul Hallam:
seedy nightclub DJ and 'Popcorn' dance promoter.