These greens were grown in the USA.
Like a swampy Booker T. and the M.G.s, The Meters played their funk with honest, no frills competence, part of the reason they backed up so many other artists (including recordings by Robert Palmer and Sir Paul McCartney). This LP, from 1972, is well-played but somehow a bit flat and probably not the ‘essential’ Meters album. Yet the fresh green vinyl and Magritte homage cover are worth much more than a bowl of cabbage.
As most would know, “Green Onions” was a big hit for Booker T. and the M.G.s back in 1962. Although there isn’t anything quite as electrifying on the debut LP, opening with the classic single creates an irresistible momentum that carries the listener all the way through 12 tracks and thirty-five minutes of sparkling instrumental music.
Yet even allowing for the infectious energy of “Green Onions”, there are many other high points including “Mo’ Onions” (emphatically not a rehash of the hit) and “Behave yourself” (a superb blues) on the way to a most satisfying ending with “Comin’ Home Baby”. Once you’ve spun this album a few times, you’ll even find yourself bopping to the more cheesy, rinky dinky tunes such as, um, “Rinky-dink”.
Booker T. Jones on organ, Steve Cropper plays guitar, with the exemplary rhythm section of bass player Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn and Al Jackson, Jr, drums. An essential album.
For over five decades Guy Lombado led a variety of jazz bands and orchestras. Although later material has sometimes been portrayed as a kind of self-parody of lounge-jazz for straight white dudes, Lombado—at least in the early days—knew how to swing. It’s said Louis Armstrong was a fan. This unusual LP collects 78 rpm recordings from Lombado’s early days. What makes it uncommon is the coloured vinyl and that it predates the wave of digitising and re-issue of early jazz that followed in the 1980s. Although I could find no information on when it was released, I bought the album from Bentleigh Sewing and Records around 1974, the first coloured vinyl I’d ever seen.
NEXT: Some moody blues