Galt MacDermot Up From The Basement - Unreleased Tracks Volumes 1&2

Montreal-born musician Galt MacDermot is best known mainly for composing and arranging music for the Broadway show Hair in the late '60s. That began to change around the early '90s when Pete Rock liberally sampled from the soundtrack on his and CL Smooth's classic Mecca and The Soul Brother album and it's MacDermot's "Space" providing the carousel groove to Busta Rhymes "Woo-Haa!" single. Vinyl scourer Eothen "Egon" Alpatt of Stones Throw fame recognised the appeal of MacDermot's tracks to the hip-hop generation and helped to reissue some of these rare recordings while working for the label. The tracks on Up From the Basement represent Alpatt's discovery of long-forgotten analog reels and acetates in MacDermot's basement but any reservations that the tracks were virtually on the cutting room floor for a very good reason are soon erased. The tracks selected were recorded from the period of 1968 to 1973 and psychedelic and "butter funk" stylings weave their way into MacDermot's insistently groove-rooted productions. The selections range from the leftfield fuzz of "Never Die, Desire Not" to the funkiest cold remedy commercial you're likely to hear ("'Cool It With Contac' radio spot") and feature MacDermot skilfully integrating his piano and organ contributions with the rest of his New Pulse Jazz Band associates, notably including legendary timekeeper Bernard Purdie. Consequently, many of the breaks are practically begging to be loaded into a sampler, something the hip-hop friendly MacDermot, now in his 70s, probably wouldn't mind. But these tracks also demonstrate MacDermot's compositional chops and also provides satisfying listening to those not listening with a hip-hop ear, making it a balanced and enjoyable listening experience for crate diggers and jazz fusion enthusiasts alike. (Stones Throw)