Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

292

The Mighty Imperials: Thunder Chicken

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Some of us just can't get enough of that down home dirty New Orleans funk. (Admittedly, some of us have already had enough; just hit "back" on your browser and proceed no further if that's the case.) Five years ago, the Mighty Imperials laid down the forty minutes of uncut grooves which would become Thunder Chicken ; but it would take some time and a few false starts (including a bootleg release that earned some underground attention back in 2000) before the Daptone label would serve the chicken up properly this October.

The Meters fully exploited the organ/guitar/bass/drums unit as a vehicle for funk in the '70s, and the Mighty Imperials continue in their early tradition with a bump and grind that seductively and irresistibly demands that you shake your booty. You most definitely wouldn't know the difference if you didn't have liner notes or a reviewer telling you this, but all four members of the band were sixteen when they made the record. (Joseph Henry, the vocalist featured on four tracks, was the only one old enough to buy smokes.) Apparently they skipped school to do it. Whatever. It's not the longest recording, but it's solid all the way through.

There's some contrast between the old school grooves of the instrumental tracks (seven) and the more peppy, James Brownish vocal outings (four). Predictably, guitar and organ get more time to stretch out when they don't have to share the stage with words, and on tunes like "Jody's Walk" and "Duck Hunt," the musicians make the most of very simple repeating riffs. Soloists don't get much space here, but that would be totally out of place. Minutes later, "Joseph's Popcorn" appears with unidentified horns in the background, another variation on the theme of repetition. "Take me to the bridge!", Henry shouts midway through. (Heard that before? Probably. Some of the rest, too.)

These inspired, sweeping gestures mine the funk tradition and expose its power to communicate raw energy through simple terms. Thunder Chicken is a thirty year-old time capsule that ought to perk up some ears to a classic sound that never died.


Track Listing: 1. Thunder Chicken; 2. Never Found A Girl; 3. Jody's Walk; 4. Duck Hunt; 5. Joseph's Popcorn; 6. Chico's Barnyard; 7. Kick The Blanket; 8. Funky Belly; 9. Ride Shank's Mare; 10. Soul Buster (Part 1); 11. Cold Sweat. 12. Soul Buster Pt. 2 (LP only).

Personnel: Personnel: Sean Solomon: guitar; Nick Movshon: bass; Leon Michels: Hammond B3 organ; Homer Steinweiss: drums. With Joseph Henry: vocals.

Title: Thunder Chicken | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Daptone Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Alleviation CD/LP/Track Review Alleviation
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Last Minute Panic CD/LP/Track Review Last Minute Panic
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Murphy CD/LP/Track Review Murphy
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Haberdashery CD/LP/Track Review Haberdashery
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Song of the Silver Geese CD/LP/Track Review Song of the Silver Geese
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Live at Kolarac CD/LP/Track Review Live at Kolarac
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "avantNOIR" CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 21, 2017
Read "Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere" CD/LP/Track Review Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere
by Mike Jacobs
Published: July 15, 2017
Read "Translator's Note" CD/LP/Track Review Translator's Note
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 3, 2017
Read "Just Funkin' Around" CD/LP/Track Review Just Funkin' Around
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 5, 2017
Read "Circle of Chimes" CD/LP/Track Review Circle of Chimes
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "Bloodroot" CD/LP/Track Review Bloodroot
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 10, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!