Monday, February 27, 2006

Get On Down With The Cos!

Bill Cosby - Hooray For The Salvation Army Band

Most people do not know about Bill Cosby's various forays into music. Larry Grogan's "Funky Funky Bill Cosby" article tells the story best, and I'll defer to that article. I agree with all who write about Cos' singing in saying that it's good that he kept his day job and that his music, generally, should be taken in smaller doses. Despite his vocal limitations, however, his funk and soul recordings of the '60s and '70s feature high-caliber musicians and some very engaging and interesting tunes.

Today's selection was the title track of his second musical album for Warner Brothers. "Hooray" is basically a rip-off of Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze," but it features solid accompaniment by the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band (whose career Cosby helped get off the ground) - note the sassy reading of "Bringing In The Sheaves" the band lays down in the midst of the song - and Cos attempting to give the humorous lyrics a psyched-out treatment. The Hooray For The Salvation Army Band LP is worth hearing in its entirety, as it does features some funky, funny stuff and the rare groove lovers' favorite, "Ursalena." It is my understanding that this album is about to be reissued on CD. It'll be a worthwhile purchase!

1 comment:

Todd Lucas said...

"Hooray" and "Ursalena" were also released together on 45. Nice record.