Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Incredible Bongo Band - The Return Of...dotdot
artworkMichael Viner, Jim Gordon, King Errisson, surf sax master Steve Douglas, Mike Deasy (Paul Revere and the Raiders / Friar Tuck, etc.), and Perry Botkin, Jr. are the session men at this Canadian project. The concept is old tunes arranged like pompous funk, slowed down and horn driven. I suppose this is at least original, but that's about all that merits much attention.
Picks: Kiburi, When The Bed Breaks Down, I'll Meet You In The Spring, Sing Sing Sing, Pipeline, Wipe Out, Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley, Your Tie's Caught In Your Zipper, Topsy Part I / Topsy Part II / Topsy Part III, Sharp Nine, (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, Got The Sun In The Morning and The Daughter At Night, Ohkey Dokey

Track by Track Review

Kiburi dot
Studio Funk (Instrumental)

A psycho funk rendering of wah wah and soul beats ensue as the girls sing the chorus. I'm not sure what the pint is, but it's perhaps typically studio funk in nature. It progresses endlessly to no particular goal.

When The Bed Breaks Down, I'll Meet You In The Spring dotdotdot
Studio Funk (Instrumental)

Bongos and more bongoes, and then more percussion. Rhythmically interesting, but strictly a percussion track. "When The Bed Breaks Down, I'll Meet You In The Spring" flows nicely into "Sing Sing Sing." Beware songs with long artsy titles!

Sing Sing Sing dotdotdot
Studio Funk (Instrumental)

Hmmm... an odd - a very odd arrangement of Louis Prima's "Sing Sing Sing." A little psychedelic, kinda funk, and contrived. Yes, it's all that, yet it's still kinda fun. Lots of bongos and excellent drums in a long solo.

Pipeline dotdotdot
Studio Funk Surf (Instrumental)

Long a slow like a Barry White backtrack, "Pipeline" eventually breaks out on vibes. The orchestral arrangement is dramatic and almost psychedelic. Maybe the most unusual of the multitude of versions.

Wipe Out dotdotdot
Studio Funk Surf (Instrumental)

Bongo flurries and grumbly bass thunder, fuzz guitar riffs and a painfully slow delivery, and then... well, it's that studio funk sound. OK, so it's very strange, and so the drums are replaced by bongos, and so Preston Epps didn't cut it, still, it's on the stranger than you'll know side of version of this song. A four minute plus workout.

Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley, Your Tie's Caught In Your Zipper dotdot
Studio Drum Solo (Instrumental)

Once again, avoid the cutesy title. A long and uneventful drum solo, energetically played in that 1974 haze of uninspired music.

Topsy Part I / Topsy Part II / Topsy Part III dotdot
Studio Extravaganza (Instrumental)

Three movements of the Cozy Cole classic, mostly indistinguishable, and played in that too slow funk and soul groove that pompous seventies bands evolved to show how they could make serious music. Confusing slow for sophisticated, the Incredible Bongo Band launch "Topsy" like the speed limit is 35 and there's no tomorrow anyway. It sounds big, though!

Sharp Nine dotdot
Studio Funk Jam (Instrumental)

Borrowing a tiny bit of a Jimi Hendrix riff, polishing it with brass, and lending it to the disco... "Sharp Nine" is a jam, and just not much more. There area couple of inspired guitar solos from Mike Deasy, who first came to my attention as Friar Tuck. A long drums solo fills out the track, and it's quite rhythmic. This is maybe like a minor Osibisa track.

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction dotdot
Studio Funk Jam (Instrumental)

Slow - v-e-r-y s-l-o-w! Brass, funk, deliberate, and, well, just plain uninspired. Mike Deasy's guitar solo borders on Fillmore magic in places.

Got The Sun In The Morning and The Daughter At Night dot
Studio Drum Solo (Instrumental)

Again with the too cute title, this drum solo is slow and kinda intellectual, at least for most of the track.

Ohkey Dokey dot
Studio Tweak Jam (Instrumental)

Bordering on psycho strange, "Ohkey Dokey" becomes an orchestral nightmare, inverted from daylight sanity. Tweaky sounds and drug induced noodling. with lots of bongos.