[Today: My Uncle Henry passes along an afro funk classic...]
There are certain benefits to being a certified music geek. Foremost among these is that when friends & family are discarding their record collections, they generally think of you. This is never a bad thing, and sometimes it’s a GREAT thing. Case in point: my Uncle Henry decided to give me his vinyl a few years back. Little did I know at the time that this literally entailed thousands (!) of records that spanned every genre imaginable. These have been coming to me several produce boxes at a time over the last few years. My uncle knows music, and I’m uber-lucky he decided to keep his albums in the family.
When my mom and step-dad paid the P and I a visit a few weeks back, they brought us a few more boxes of Henry’s “produce”. Honestly, for me, getting free records (especially Henry’s) is as close as I can get in my heart to how I felt on Christmas day as a kid. The unbridled joy of knowing something good – and deliciously unexpected – is waiting, well, that’s how I feel when I start flipping through these boxes. There’s the usual smorgasbord of 70’s Funk, 60’s garage bands, free jazz, calypso, Grateful Dead (Rhythm Devils’ Apocalypse Now Sessions anyone?), Blues, freaky soundtracks – as well as an unusually deep selection of Olivia Newton John albums that Henry vehemently disavowed any knowledge of through a series of carefully worded Post-It notes (yeah right!).
Midway through the second box, I stumble on two Osibisa albums. Their self-titled debut (which has equally head-friendly artwork), and this one, which I’ve played about 23 times in the last two weeks. It might be good. It might be great. More than likely it’s somewhere in between. But for me this will always be the album that conjures fist-pumping memories of my own personal Christmas 2007.
[The P tells me that Osibisa means "criss-cross rhythm that explodes with happiness" - her Ghanaian classes are paying obvious dividends...]