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Billy Freemantle

Instrumentals

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The most accomplished and soul-stirring instrumental that I've heard today has to be Sonny Stitt's '00 Soul'. Sonny made no compromises at all from a bebop perspective and yet it drips with Soul of every variety.

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I was thinking about this in bed last night because someone said it's impossible for an instrumental to be soulful - my favourite insts are things like Bari Track, Cigarette Ashes, Locke's Theme (not a joke!), Exus Trek, but I would say that Ramsey Lewis' Wade In The Water or Booker T Time Is Tight, surely these have to be classed as soul???

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I was thinking about this in bed last night because someone said it's impossible for an instrumental to be soulful - my favourite insts are things like Bari Track, Cigarette Ashes, Locke's Theme (not a joke!), Exus Trek, but I would say that Ramsey Lewis' Wade In The Water or Booker T Time Is Tight, surely these have to be classed as soul???

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if you can sing with soul surely you can play an instrument with soul??

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I know there's a slight bit of a vocal in it, But Eddie Bishops 'Call Me' does it for me.

You tellin' me that Sax doesn't sing? AND with soul.

Oh, and Young Holt Unlimited 'California Montage' - pure class - you don't even notice there are no words. That's the sign of a quality instrumental.

Jamie

Edited by Soulsville

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I was thinking about this in bed last night because someone said it's impossible for an instrumental to be soulful - my favourite insts are things like Bari Track, Cigarette Ashes, Locke's Theme (not a joke!), Exus Trek, but I would say that Ramsey Lewis' Wade In The Water or Booker T Time Is Tight, surely these have to be classed as soul???

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I think you are absolutely right ,Pete.And I think that especially those who have the broadest definition of Soul - ie that is a about a feeling - would have to agree. Great Soul Vocalists like O.V. Wright, Jackie Wilson, James Carr etc etc use their voices AS instruments. It's about the 'grain' of the voice.

And I agree with you, too, about 'Wade in the Water'. Does Marlena Shaw's vocal make it more soulful. I think not.

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You tellin' me that Sax doesn't sing? AND with soul.

Yep I am. No Soul in an instrumental IMO. I say it's all in the vocal. Granted the instruments, including the sax add to the finished product but for me it's the singer who puts the soul in the record.

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Cliff Nobles - The Horse

The Theo-Coff Invasion - Lucky Day

Milton Wright - The Gallop

Billy Arnell - Tough Guuuerl

Mystic Moods - Astral Trip

But i would agree that Ramsey Lewis takes some beating in the soulful stakes even if it is a jazz record whistling.gif

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Yep I am.  No Soul in an instrumental IMO.  I say it's all in the vocal.  Granted the instruments, including the sax add to the finished product but for me it's the singer who puts the soul in the record.

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To me Chalkster, you can almost feel the emotion in the instruments, how they hold a note.

To me it's like they are singing. Not in all instances, but some the music comes first, then the lyrics.

I think the writers heard the music and it gave them a certain feeling and created a picture. I think they then built from that.

Afterall, 'FEELING' is what 'SOUL' music is about. Sometimes it's hard to describe what you feel.

Jamie whistling.gif

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I'm with Chalky on this - soul has to have a voice... and 99% of intrumentals that I hear played at Northern Soul events are terrible IMO [sorry Monsieur Finch... forgive me whistling.gif ]

Blues and jazz is the home of the instrumental... Ramsay Lewis, Oscar Peterson, Jack McDuff, Jacques Loussier, Lalo Schifrin, Jimmy McGriff, Les McCann .... THESE GUYS knew how to write beautiful instrumentals.

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To me Chalkster, you can almost feel the emotion in the instruments, how they hold a note.

To me it's like they are singing. Not in all instances, but some the music comes first, then the lyrics.

I think the writers heard the music and it gave them a certain feeling and created a picture. I think they then built from that.

Afterall, 'FEELING' is what 'SOUL' music is about. Sometimes it's hard to describe what you feel.

Jamie  :lol:

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Most of the musicians weren't "soul" musicians. Take the funk brothers they were mainly Jazz musicians and hardly ever if at all played R&B prior to goiing to Motown....not that there was a lot of soul in the majority of Motown...middle of the road pop music whistling.gif:lol::D

I agree it is a feeling but it needs the lyrics and the artist to express those lyrics to give it the soul, all IMHO wink.gif

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Yep you can play an instrument with feeling but I've yet to find an NS instrumental that does anything for me - compared to the emotion you can identify with in a voice and lyrics they've got no chance!

There's a scientific basis to this as well - when you listen to music there's activity in a certain part of your brain, when you listen to language there's activity in a different bit, and when you listen to both, both bits get going. Which is why tunes with vocals are better whistling.gif Now who wants to hear my theory on....

Edited by rachel

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Sorry I can't understand this argument.

The voice is an instrument. Often crass lyrics take away emotion, not add to it.

I am not a big fan of Luther Vandross .... but I can rember an intersting comment that I can remebr being attributed to him. He said something like: When I sing I get lost in the sound. I could be singing about Rice Krispies.

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"Charge" by the Jess and James Band on Shout.

Who cares if it's soul or not - still makes me wanna backdrop 30 odd years later.

My osteopath however advises that I stick to Beat Ballads!

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Not sure about this one. I prefer vocal tracks without a doubt.

Perhaps I am in a strange mood today and looking at things in a post weekend haze but I would like to put forward the following:

When a record you love is played it may be 20 seconds at least before the vocal starts. However you are tingling with joy well before you hear the vocal therefore what does this say about the argument of instrumentals have no soul. Do the first few seconds lack soul? If so why do we turn to jelly when the drums kick in?

I believe you can't give the vocal as much credit as mentioned on this thread.

I think I may have a point does anyone agree?

Shane

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Not sure about this one. I prefer vocal tracks without a doubt.

Perhaps I am in a strange mood today and looking at things in a post weekend haze but I would like to put forward the following:

When a record you love is played it may be 20 seconds at least before the vocal starts. However you are tingling with joy well before you hear the vocal therefore what does this say about the argument of instrumentals have no soul. Do the first few seconds lack soul? If so why do we turn to jelly when the drums kick in?

I believe you can't give the vocal as much credit as mentioned on this thread.

I think I may have a point does anyone agree?

Shane

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No whistling.gifwink.gif I think the vocal deserves all the credit IMO. I personally think that instrumentals are good Northern Soul and we all know that Northern Soul doesn't necessarily mean soul :lol:

And you start tingling when you hear the first part of the record comes on cause you love the record...soul, northern soul maybe even modern soul :o :D:lol:

Edited by chalky

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To add another angle I would much prefer to hear a instrumental than a vocal on its own (al pacino I think they call it? whistling.gif )

Shane

:lol:

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I thought that was the drugs  whistling.gif

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:lol:

I wish we could do a really in depth honest drugs thread but I think it is best avoided. We will have the squad turning up at nighters again like the old days! (so I have been told!)

Shane

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:lol:

I wish we could do a really in depth honest drugs thread but I think it is best avoided. We will have the squad turning up at nighters again like the old days! (so I have been told!)

Shane

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Why are there drugs at all-nighters tut tut whistling.gif

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Young Holt Unlimited 'California Montage' - pure class - you don't even notice there is no words. That's the sign of a quality instrumental.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Couldn't agree with you more. This is sooooo beautiful! I love this record and never tire of it. It's very classy indeed. One of my favorite enders.

I'm not writing this to push anything, but I've got one available on a US Brunswick in really nice shape, in case anyone needs one.

KTF

Jas

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What is that on your avatar, a cat or a dog or something alien??  thumbsup.gif

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It's MOXY! She's having some late-nite fun at the playground on one of the swings. She's our Boston Terrier, who will be turning one year old in a couple of weeks. Could be from another planet, though. She makes some pretty weird gremlin sounds.

post-164-1099337797_thumb.jpg

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Young Holt Unlimited 'California Montage' - pure class - you don't even notice there is no words. That's the sign of a quality instrumental.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Couldn't agree with you more. This is sooooo beautiful! I love this record and never tire of it. It's very classy indeed. One of my favorite enders.

I'm not writing this to push anything, but I've got one available on a US Brunswick in really nice shape, in case anyone needs one.

KTF

Jas

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Hi Jas,

As seen as you're from over the 'pond', can you tell if this was used in the score of a Steve McQueen film? I'm sure it was, although can't remember which one. I don't think it was a big hit though. (The Movie, Chalky, before you start thumbsup.gif )

Cheers,

Jamie :lol:

Edited by Soulsville

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Hi Jas,

As seen as you're from over the 'pond', can you tell if this was used in the score of a Steve McQueen film? I'm sure it was, although can't remember which one. I don't think it was a big hit though. (The Movie, Chalky, before you start thumbsup.gif )

Cheers,

Jamie  :lol:

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Label credits a movie called "Winning"

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my favourite inst is earl wright thumb a ride

and the debate was what instrumental makes you proud to be into northern not what inst is soulful,

cos there was an awful lot of non soulful vacals played on the scene.

and i still think california montage is the best ending record ever and brings back loads of memories,

not soulful but is really catchy like raindrops love and sunshine just a nice poppy tune.

mark

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Holidays - Making Up Time, Frank Foster & Bari Track - Proper Northern Soul, not sure I would call them soul in strictest sense though! <_<

Whew I am confusing myself now!!! thumbsup.gif

Cheers

Jock

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Mike Vickers - On the Brink!!! Fandabadozy!!!.....................(cue tumbleweed moment).......................I'll get me coat...

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Billy Arnell - Tough Guuuerl

OOOOOOOOOOH!!!!! I like this sooo much thumbsup.gif

Also a fave instrumental is Dave Hamilton Orch. "who are you trying to fool" , i think its like 10 times better than Little Anns version..

best

Leo

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I'm with Chalky on this - soul has to have a voice... and 99% of intrumentals that I hear played at Northern Soul events are terrible IMO  [sorry Monsieur Finch... forgive me  thumbsup.gif   

Blues and jazz is the home of the instrumental... Ramsay Lewis, Oscar Peterson, Jack McDuff, Jacques Loussier, Lalo Schifrin, Jimmy McGriff, Les McCann .... THESE GUYS knew how to write beautiful instrumentals.

Forgiven - but I'm trying to stay out of this one! Now you've mentioned jazz tho' (and we did start with Sonny Stitt) - let's not forget all those ska-tastic Jamaican jazzers!

Edited by Kolla

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A good way to decide this issue is to think about an instrumental that has a vocal version. For example Crying over you - Duke Browner. IMO the inst is not half as soulfull, the same goes for many others, Hit and run, If its all the same to you etc.

I even prefer the vocal to Lady Lady Lady - Boogie man orch.

On the other hand I prefer the inst version to Eastenders theme instead of the awful barmaid singing 'anyone who falls in love'.

Is this supposed to be serious or what!!

Ed

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Forgiven - but I'm trying to stay out of this one! Now you've mentioned jazz tho' (and we did start with Sonny Stitt) - let's not forget all those ska-tastic Jamaican jazzers!

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Reluctant to get involved in this one, cause last week I posted a topic about white artists, and got hammered for saying soul music should be black........

So I suppose it's no suprise to all when I say, Soul music is about vocal expression, can't understand how an instrumental alone can be soulful.

However I do see the attraction of instrumentals, especially if you are a dancer.

If i Was to pick a fav' instrumental, I'd have to say " BARI TRACK" although I think the vocal is better ( Rose Battiste ).

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My favourite insts...there's probably loads more, there's one real surprise in with this lot, see if you can spot it!! And does anyone actually remember it??

innocent bystanders - frantic escape

frankie crocker - ton of dynamite

sidras theme

bari track

mirwood strings - don't pretend - I've actually got 2 versions of this, one is the well know one with a violin taking the lead, as bootlegged on soul fox, the other is an acetate which is just the backing track and no lead violin, I believe it is Russ's old copy which he go from Soussan

matta baby - do the pearl girl

miroslav vitous - new york city

jimmy conwell - cigarette ashes

bobs band - lockes theme

willie mitchell - the champion

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Love Bari Trak, Exus Trek etc, but I'm with Mulf - Frank Foster - Harlem Rumble on Triode - not heard it played or seen it for sale in a while - reminds me of when I got into northern in mid 80s - pounding class tune!

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