August 25, 2016

The Lyman Woodard Organization - Saturday Night Special (1975)


Man this is some cool shit. Strata-East lives up to its dope name for sure, every album I've heard from their catalog is onto some next level shit. If you're familiar with James Mtume's live album for the label, Alkebu-Lan, then you're probably drawing some sort of aesthetic connection already based solely on the album artwork. The crusty recording quality and much of the instrumentation is the same, but this is a much more subdued album than the hyper spirtual and avant-garde Mtume, and they're completely different genres. Saturday Night Special is some of the sliest and throwed funk I've ever heard; one of the coolest things in funk besides Isaac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield. Lo-fi productions are awesome and sometimes the little imperfections like microphone imbalances, tape-rip hiss, or vinyl pops act like separate instruments. Without a doubt, the grimy coating gives the engineer (or producer, or whatever) a little more flexibility to indulge in certain things. Some of these keyboard and synth lines might end up giving me a headache if given a shiny finish like many other jazz-funk records from this time, but the warm and lo-fi filter helps take some of the excess sugar out of those sequences. If you're in the mood for some cool and pimped out grooves look no further than this long lost treasure.

Saturday Night Special