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A.J. Sparks & Crew - Working On Love


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A.J. Sparks & Crew - Working On Love magazine cover

Press Release: A.J. Sparks & Crew “Working On Love” Soul Junction 520

Release Date: Monday January 7th 2013

https://soundcloud.com/chalkster/aj-sparks-and-crew-both

A.J. Sparks (real name Anthony Jones) is one of Detroit’s most respected session musicians who started his career as a drummer and percussionist at the age of 12.

A.J’s early career was nurtured under the watchful eye of legendary Funk Brother Joe Hunter whom the young A.J always referred to as “papa Joe”. By the time A.J was eighteen he was backing some of the biggest names on the Detroit music scene.

While playing drums for Edwin Starr during a performance at the Apollo Theatre in New York one night, the in house musical director made the lasting quote “that boy can sure beat the sparks off those drums” and so the stage name of “A.J. Sparks” was born.

A.J was employed by many local Detroit recording studios including Sonny Marshall’s Dotty’s label and Ernest Burt’s Magic label, featuring on all The Mad Dog & The Pups releases amongst others. A.J’s drum rolls can also be found on The Chapter 8, The Flaming Emeralds, The Detroit Emeralds and the Floaters Fee label releases.

A.J also recorded the Funk anthem “Put It In The Pocket” for Fee Records as “A.J. Sparks & The Spark Plugs” with the plugs being Donald “Crazy Legs” Austin and Howard Carter.

A.J. also featured as a session musician on his childhood friend Michael Henderson’s” Do It All” album as well as the later “Slingshot” album which Michael recorded with Venna Keith.

Further A.J. Sparks credits include working with Parliament and Funkadelic main man George Clinton on his “Cinderella Theory” and “The Awesome Power Of A Fully Operational Mother-ship” projects.

More recently A.J has been involved as a co-producer on Ronnie McNair’s first solo project the current “Living My Life” album release.

A.J is currently operating his own Detroit Black Smoke Productions Company, and it is with one of his own Black Smoke productions that we at Soul Junction Records kick off the New Year in style with. The incredibly soulful and classy “Working On Love”.

The backing vocals on “Working On Love” are provided by a young and up and coming all female group known as 777 Jackpot who were accompanied and supervised by former Golden World and Revilot records recording artist, Ms Pat Lewis. While the b-side, see’s A.J and Crew return to their familiar funk orientated roots with “Gotta Make It Do What It Do” with the Crew member supplying the vocal accompaniments being none other than Mr P-Funk himself George Clinton.

For further information please contact John Anderson or Dave Welding

Tel: +44 (0)121 602 8115 E-mail sales@souljunctionrecords.co.uk




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AJ Top Guy ..he always make me laugh with that smile when seeing him in The D ...good luck Dave with the 45 .

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RE: While playing drums for Edwin Starr during a performance at the Apollo Theatre in New York one night,

When would that have been, the late 60's / early 70's ??

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RE: While playing drums for Edwin Starr during a performance at the Apollo Theatre in New York one night,

When would that have been, the late 60's / early 70's ??

Hi John

1968

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Hi John

1968

Thanks for that info.

So I guess AJ was in the backing band that replaced the Soul Agents (his original RicTic backing crew, 2 of whom were from back in Cleveland).

With Edwin being Detroit based (I assume) in his Motown days, seems only natural that he'd recruit a new set of guys who were from Detroit (after some of the Soul Agents got homesick & went back to Clevelandtown).

Do you know who the other guys in this backing band were ??

What did they do when Edwin headed off to tour Europe (as he did on a regular basis in 68/69/70) ??

.... guess they sat at home waiting for Edwin to start gigging again in the US (though it seems that AJ himself headed into local recording studios to keep working).

Edited by Roburt
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A.J. is not only a drummer but a singer, writer, producer, keyboard player and engineer.

He's worked with all the motown greats, George Clinton and Parliment, Holland and Dozier, Norman Conners, Sins Of Satan

Micheal Henderson, Dynamics, Detroit Emeralds, Carol Anderson, Floaters, Chapter 8, Donald Austin, Mad Dog & The Pups plus all the other artists on Magic City, Areatha Franklin, Sandra Feva (a.k.a Sandra Richardson) Ronnie McNair etc etc

So he really didn't need to wait around for Edwin.

Not quite the unknown artist as some reviewer has implied.

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The A.J.Sparks & Crew "Working On Love" Is out on general release today and is available from all the usual outlets :thumbsup:

Dave

Soul Junction

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