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Greg Alper Band- Fat Doggie

 
Greg Alper Band- Fat Doggie-Saxophone
ID: FHR08 (EAN: 5060216340029)  | 1 CD | ADD
Publi: 2010
LABEL:
FIRST HAND RECORDS
Subcollection:
Saxophone
Interprètes:
ALPER, Gregory | ANDERSON, Ray (trombone / ) | CHALK, Al (percussion) | GUTMAN, Steve (trumpet) | LOEB, Chuck (guitar) | MORALES, Richie (drums) | OPPENHEIM, Rich | POINTER, Debbie | POINTER, Olive | PROVENCHER, Ernie | SCOTT, Al | SHAW, Jean
Orchestre
The Greg Alper Band
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Genres: Jazz/Avant Garde & Free Jazz, R&B/Funk


“All in all this music has something everyone will love” Rolling Stone

Recorded in 1978, ‘Fat Doggie’ is a genre-defying fusion of jazz, funk, disco, soul and Latin. Solid rhythm section, tight horns, great tunes - imagine Average White Band, Santana, James Brown, Albert Ayler, & Tower of Power all on one album! The Greg Alper Band featured the finest jazz players in New York, including Richie Morales (Spyro Gyra, Brecker Bros), Chuck Loeb (Bob James, Fourplay) & Ray Anderson (Best Trombonist: Down Beat magazine critics poll 1987-91). The disco infused funk opening cut Hole in Your Pocket, was a dance floor classic. The combustible Give it Up is a scorching tightly-syncopated funk workout that wouldn’t sound out of place on a vintage Tower of Power album. The mellower mid-paced Latin grooved bonus track Many Moods with exquisite horn parts, lit by celestial shimmering guitar accompaniment. The original release elicited positive press reviews including Rolling Stone which said “...all in all this music has something that everyone will love” as well as Billboard’s “Top Album Picks”. In recent years, the hard-to-find ‘Fat Doggie’ album has become something of a cult collectable with groove spotters, DJs and jazz-funk disciples the world over. Remastered at Abbey Road Studios using the original source tapes, ‘Fat Doggie’ has once again been unleashed from the kennel!
Tracklist
 
1. Hole In Your Pocket4:14 
2. Fat Doggie4:30 
3. Give It Up3:04 
4. Three's A Crowd6:29 
5. Huevos Nuevos7:18 
6. The Cantatta Baratta4:42 
7. Suite For Renee3:27 
8. Many Moods5:22 
9. Five Verses For6:33 
10. Don't Ever Let Me Catch You3:46 

Analyse:
 

Music Web International - Feb 2011

First Hand must have acute instincts because this album is rare in its original LP form and its restoration must answer a real need amongst devotees of the Alper brand of funk-meets-disco-meets-James Brown. There's an excellent note from Charles Waring setting the scene for the 1978 recording and indeed giving us a biography of the leader himself (it was Coltrane that blew his mind), a full two page photographic spread and indeed a page of reminiscences from Alper himself, who also provides the capsule notes on each of the tracks. So all in all the project has been brilliantly realised. The only remaining question is whether the music's any good. Hole in Your Pocket features a raucous repetitive vocal from Ray Anderson amidst the cacophonous Disco/James Brown melee. The backing figures in Give It Up may be derivate of the Brown Band's horn section's routines but they're still exciting nonetheless. Once divested of his grand guignol vocalising Anderson settles down to preach some righteous, quixotic `talking' trombone on Three's A Crowd. It's here that one can best appreciate the relevance of Alper's oft-stated Ellingtonian influence. With individual, eccentric instrumental voicings like Anderson's the band could take on a range of colours and moods. Therefore try the `greasy' trombone solo on The Cantatta Baratta. Maybe the Latino vibe of Huevos Nuevos is rather insistent, but it is also nicely textured and well sustained throughout its seven minute length. Suite for Renee is in essence an extended drum solo, whilst Many Moods starts out like a Horace Silver song, its lightly etched Blue Note ethos being - probably - the nearest to conventional jazz that the band gets throughout the programme. The nicely voiced horns in Five Verses For usher in a polyrhythmic, Pharoah Sanders-influenced rave. This slice of New York musical life is funky, pacy and raucous. The individual members of the band went on to other realms - indeed Alper did too, going into film music - leaving behind this uneven, but full-bloodied testimony in their wake.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Woolf


SoulandJazzandFunk - November 2010 (3/5)

Greg Alper hails from Chicago where as a teenager he nursed ambitions to become a rock guitarist. When he was 18, however, he had one of those rare Road to Damascus moments . After listening to John Coltrane's 'A Love Supreme' he was a changed man; there and then he resolved to become a jazz saxophonist and he duly ditched his science studies at the University of Pennsylvania and, in 1978, he headed to New York to "become part of the jazz scene". There he formed a band, scored plenty of gigs and even won a recording contract with Adelphi Records. The result was the 1978 long player, 'Fat Doggie' which despite great reviews at the time did little commercially - possibly 'cos the band disintegrated soon after its release. Since then, however, 'Fat Doggie' has become a real collectors' item fetching big money amongst groove spotters and jazz-funk disciples. Now, First Hand Records have brought it to re-mastered CD for the first time and for a modest outlay we can all hear what the 'Fat Doggie' fuss was all about.

For starters we need to say that the music on 'Fat Doggie' is like no other. It's jazz - sure, but it's also infused with funk, pop, rock, soul and - in places - disco flavours. Alper admits that the feel of the album was inspired by a range of artists - amongst them, Duke Ellington, Charlie Mingus, James Brown, Frank Zappa and Don Ellis - whose unusual meters are evident on a number of cuts. When it all comes together it works well - witness the two openers 'Hole In Your Pocket' and 'Fat Doggie' itself. The former runs on pacey disco beats and features a gruff vocal from Ray Anderson and some soaring brass; the latter is an Average White Band funk workout with gimmicky dog sound that Zappa would have been proud of. 'Give It Up' is big and funky too. Elsewhere there's some pleasing Latin moments - notably 'Many Moods' (this is a bonus cut, not on the original LP), ''Huevos Nuevos' and the John Klemmer-ish 'Don't Ever Let Me Catch You'. Other cuts are maybe more esoteric and beg the question what the band might have gone to achieve together. As it was, individuals like Ray Anderson, Chuck Loeb, Ritchie Oppenheim and Steve Gutman went on to higher profile bands while Alper made a name for himself scoring movies. The CD's sleeve notes (courtesy of SJF's Charles Waring) tell the full story but the music of 'Fat Doggie' speaks for itself.
Reviewed by: Bill Buckley


 

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