Monday, May 16, 2011

Eddie Hazel Games Dames & Guitar Thangs

Eddie Hazel's only solo album has been out of print for too long, and is briefly available direct from Rhino's Handmade line (or was when I wrote this-- Hazel is of course the legendary guitarist from the first few Funkadelic albums, and is one of the most overlooked guitarists out there. The album really is a feature for Hazel's guitar plyaing, and many Funkadelic members show up to help out with this one (including Bernie Worrell, Bootsy Collins and Tiki Fulwood, with both Collins and George Clinton contributing songs). Appended to the end of this release is a jam session from 1975 with Buddy Miles on drums originally released as "Jams from the Heart".

If you're familiar with Hazel (and with "Maggotbrain"), then you know what to expect-- his playing is fiery, powerful, and inventive. Musically, the record moves through the sort of funk modes similar to what Funkadelic did, although all the songs here are quite loose to allow a heavy emphasis on guitar soloing--Hazel soaks in different tones, always with his wah-wah close to his heart. There's not much in the way of vocals on this one, but they're not really important. Check out the monster playing from Hazel throughout certainly, but especially on "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"-- words can't describe.

Odds are, if you know to look for this, you know what you're getting yourself into-- if you don't and you're a fan of P-Funk or you just love great guitar playing, this is a fantastic album. Definitely worth checking out, its just a shame it hasn't gotten wider distribution.

1 California Dreamin’ (6:16)
2 Frantic Moment (3:42)
3 So Goes The Story (3:55)
4 I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (9:25)
5 Physical Love (5:32)
6 What About It? (3:46)
7 California Dreamin’ (Reprise) (1:30)
8 Smedley Smorganoff (3:07)
9 Lampoc Boogie (11:47)
10. From The Bottom Of My Soul (12:35)
11 Unkut Funk (2:03)


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