Classic Melting Pot


The Perfect Circle – Hands Of Time
The Perfect Circle – For Your Funkification
The Perfect Circle – I’ll Always Love You (Girl)
The Perfect Circle – Peaceful Funk

PerfectCircle2As is our tradition here on Melting Pot, the final post of 2015 belongs to the last record I bought, which in this case was a pretty solid one and something that I’ve had my eye on for a really long time. This Perfect Circle record has been just chillin’ at Atomic on their wall of fame for probably two or three years (though from a comment from the owner, it’s also possible that they had a couple on hand,instead of it just being the same exact record, who knows), just begging for me to buy it, and here on the final day of the year, the stars aligned. The Perfect Circle were a funk outfit out of the Bay Area, based in Oakland. It’s exactly the kind of thing that I probably would have asked Matthew Africa about and if he were still around I’m sure he would have had a story to tell. Inner City Records seems to be a private press, and from the note on the back (Inner City Records is a division of Inner-City Attractions a product of free, black, and new America), it must have been a righteous affair. I’ve included the thoroughly funky “Hands Of Time,” “Peaceful Funk” (did the whispers) and “For Your Funkification,” as well as a slow and sweet one “I’ll Always Love You Girl.” 2015 was a stellar year in terms of tracking down records for me (as you’ll get a taste in the return of the Melting Pot Radio Hour, looking at some of the best vinyl I got in 2015) and by all indications 2016 should be as good or better. Happy New Year!




Orchestre Poly-Rythmo – Min We Tun So

As you’ll see once we move into 2016 proper, there will be many changes to this blog now that I’m connected to a radio station or radio show, and likely won’t be in the foreseeable future. One of those changes is that I’ll likely not be posting as much newer music. For pretty much the entirety of this blog’s close to 6 and 1/2 years, “In Heavy Rotation” has been about showcasing newer music that I was especially digging. From here on out, it’s likely to be a category that sticks more truly to the concept, being the things that I’m listening to more than anything else that week or month. It’s possible anything might find it’s way in here, including songs that I’ve shared before, but likely under a very different context. That’s the case with this song, from Orchestra Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou. This is a song that I’ve talked quite a bit about, featured before, and even played it on my last show at KPFK. But it wasn’t until fairly recently that I actually picked up a vinyl copy of the collection, which I was very happy to find included translations from Fon into English. It’s always fascinating hearing music from languages that you don’t understand, which forces you to relate to the music “itself.” What’s equally as fascinating to me is how the songs that seem to resonate most turn out to be the ones with very satisfying lyrics and messages, which is absolutely the case with “Min We Tun So” (which translates to “Who Knows The Future?”). Based on the lyrics above I think you’ll agree this seemed like a pretty close to perfect song to close out 2015 with as we move forward to 2016.


It took a lot longer than I intended, but that longer wait, hopefully just made it all the better, especially since I get to present it as Christmas present to all of you…here (FINALLY!) is the second mix of music dug up in Cuba, this time focusing solely on LPs. Some of these records I’ve featured here, some I’ll be featuring in coming months, lots of fantastic sounds. I have no doubt that there will be more of these as I continue digging in Cuba, which I hope to get back to in May 2016. Until then..Dig On It!

Sorpresa Musical Volume 2

Sorpresa Musical Vol. 2 – Tracklist:
1. Mirtha y Raul – Ya No Habran Raices – Mirtha y Raul
2. Chucho Valdes – Invento No. 4
3. Rafael Somavilla – La Batea
4. Eddy Gaytan y Su Combo – Para Vigo Me Voy
5. Omara – Soy Cubano
6. Lucecita – So Una Raza Pura
7. Irakere – Xiomara
8. Los D’aida – Canto A Ogún/Es Mi Manera/Da Igual
9. Senen Suarez – Sonsoneando
10. Grupo Sazon – Baconao
11. Vicente Rojas – Esto No Es Para Bailar
12. Son 14 – A Bayamo En Coche
13. Pacho Alonso – El Upa Upa Del Chambelán
14. Juan Pablo Torres y Algo Nuevo – Extracto De Son
15. Juan Formell y Los Van Van – Cuentame
16. Olivia Byington – Procissão
17. José María & Sergio Vitier – Riesgo
18. Silvio Rodriguez – Cancion Tema De El Hombre De Maisinicu*


José María y Sergio Vitier – Riesgo
José María y Sergio Vitier – Persecucion
José María y Sergio Vitier – Despedida

Been a little while since I shared more from my Havana trip, and with the whole year on my mind here at the end of it, seemed like this would be a pretty good time (not to mention the fact that I FINALLY finished the second volume of Sorpresa Musical!). I previously shared compilation of Soundtrack music out of Cuba, but this record is the soundtrack for a single film, Julito, El Pascador. From the pictures and description inside it seems that Julito is just a normal fisherman, but he gets mixed up some “bad” people and drama ensues. Having not heard any soundtrack music out of Cuba, I really didn’t know what to expect. My hope was that since the record appeared to have been recorded and released in 1979, my hope was for some funky stuff. With a 55 piece orchestra, not including a chorus, there was really no way to know what to expect. For the most part the music, under the direction of brothers José María and Sergio Vitier, did not disappoint, with a number of nice pieces, but it’s “Riesgo” that really stands out. The song begins with an ominous, insistent and heavy set of drums, drums that never leave the song, even as flutes, organs, guitars and other instruments flit in and out of the mix. The song has almost a “Sweetwater” period Weather Report feel to it that really starts to cook about 1:30 in, when all the instruments fully come into the mix. Best be sure, that when I return (most likely in May 2016) I’ll be on the look out for more music from Cuban Films and especially from the Vitiers.




Dexter Story – Lalibela

One of the unfortunate realities of no longer doing a radio show is that I don’t feel much pressure to keep up with new releases. But here at the end of the year, with “Best Of” lists on everyone’s mind, it’s a nice period of time to play catch up on Fall releases and anything else that might have slipped through the cracks. I’d heard some of Dexter Story’s new release, Wondem, but hadn’t really spent much time with the record to form any real opinion of the record. NOw that I’ve got some down time, with the end of the semester and the holidays, I can fully get on board with Story’s album. Given Story’s history with the LA collective Ethio-Cali, it’s perhaps no surprise that much of the inspiration for Wondem is clearly in East Africa, but it’s in the way the elements come together, in a thoroughly contemporary way. When I heard about the record before actually hearing the record I expected something much more along the lines of Ethio-Cali, with very clear Mulatu Astatke references, but Wondem is something else entirely, drawing on a variety of sounds to create one of the more enjoyable listening experiences of 2015.

As a bonus, Story has created some short films/videos culled from time spent in Ethiopia, in this case for the song “Merkato Star”:


After a month-long hiatus from radio, it was my pleasure to guest host Danny Holloway’s show, Heads Up, on While I was familiar with Dublab’s work in LA and beyond, this was my first time actually stopping by at the internet radio station. Along for the ride was Music Man Miles, who dropped a fantastic and eclectic hour-plus set of music. Once I sorted out the technology after his set, we close the show with a little chat about some of the things that Miles has on the calendar and a points about collecting trends and music. Not sure when I’ll be hosting a show, though I do know in the near future I’ll be dropping in on Anthony Valadez & Novena Carmel’s Champion City podcast. Other than that, you can likely look for a return of the “Melting Pot Radio Hour” late this month as I do my traditional rundowns of the best vinyl I dug up over the year and my Best of 2015 shows (y’all didn’t think I was gonna just NOT do those, did ya?). For the time being enjoy the show!

Heads Up: 12-09-15 – Set 1
Heads Up: 12-09-15 – Set 2

Playlist – Guest Hosting Dublab’s Heads Up: 12-09-2015
{opening theme} The Skatalites – Ceiling Bud – 7” (Ximeno Records)

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The Special AKA – Racist Friend – In The Studio (Chrysalis)
Eddie Palmieri – Caminando – Vamanos Pal Monte (Tico)
Gloria Ann Taylor – Deep Inside Of You – 7” Selector Sound
Paulo Diniz – Felicidade – Quero Voltar Pra Bahia (Odeon)
Warm Dust – Blood Of My Fathers – Peace In Our Time (Uni)
Ame Son – Reborn This Morning On The Way Of… – Catalyse (BYG / Metronome)
Jackson Heights – Since I Last Saw You – King Progress (Mercury)
Hansson & Karlsson – Tax Free – Monument (Polydor)

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Music Man Miles Guest Set:
Fred Neil – The Dolphins – Fred Neil (Capitol)
Funk Inc. – Message From The Meters – Superfunk (Prestige)
The Meters – Wichita Lineman – Struttin’ (Josie)
The Byrds – Everybody’s Been Burned – Younger Than Yesterday (Columbia)
Doris – You Never Come Closer – Did You Give The World Some Love Today (EMI / Odeon)
Ocho – Undress My Mind – Ocho (Soul Jazz)
Duke Pearson – Stormy – It Could Only Happen With You (Blue Note)
Cal Tjader – Mambero – Tjader (Fantasy)
The James Gang – Collage – 16 Greatest Hits (ABC)
Terry Reid – The Frame – Seed Of Memory (ABC)
Little Feat – Two Trains – Dixie Chicken (Warner Bros.)
Syl Johnson – Trying To Get To You – Goodie Goodie Good Times (Shama)
Paul Weller – Amongst Butterflies – Paul Weller (Go! Discs)
Steve Parks – Movin In The Right Direction – Movin In The Right Direction (Solid Smoke)
Cheyenne’s Comin’ – Come Back To Me – Cheyenne’s Comin’ (Shady Brook)
The Three Pieces – Shortnin’ Bread – Vibes Of Truth (Fantasy)
Bobby Valentin – Berebicua – 7” (Fania)
ET Mensah & His Tempos Band – Save Me – Mensah’s African Rhythms (EMI)
Quantic & Alice Russell – Boogaloo 33 – Quantic & His Combo Barbaro with Alice Russell (Tru Thoughts)

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{closing theme} Achim Reichel – Vita – AR4 (Zebra)


The Outsiders – Start Over
The Outsiders – Calling On Youth
The Outsiders – Break Free

First heard this last Summer during a quick jaunt to New Orleans, mainly just to buy records. The very first store I went to was Domino Records, and while I was there the clerk started playing this album. What really grabbed my attention was how very unpunk, especially for late 1970s UK punk, many of the songs were. On the first side especially, almost every other song was in a slower, moody and more introspective style. By the time I heard “Start Over” at the end of the first side, I knew this was record I needed to track down and asked about it.

The Outsiders were started up by Adrian Borland, who went on to more acclaim with The Sounds and on his own before tragically committing suicide by throwing himself in front of a train in 1999. This album, the debut for the band and Borland, was recorded at their family home by his father and released on their own label. It’s a raw sound and in some ways the slower and moodier tracks are even rawer than the “punk” ones. It’s clear even at this early stage that the depression that would ultimately would rob us of Borland was heavy on his mind. As someone who deals with depression personally, there’s a lot that I can relate to in a song like “Start Over.” Borland’s style and talents sharpened after this earliest moment, but I’m not sure if there’s anything that’s better than the purity that comes through in these songs.




Gloria Ann Taylor – Deep Inside Of You

A compilation far too long overdue, Luv n’ Haight has collected the music that singer Gloria Ann Taylor recorded for her own (and husband Walt Whisenhunt) record label Selector Sound. Taylor cut a few sides elsewhere, but never hit it big. Several of these sides, “Love Is A Hurtin’ Thing,” “World That’s Not Real” and both the 7-inch and 12-inch versions of “Deep Inside You” have been much beloved by fans of rare soul and funk. The original 12″ for “Deep Inside You” is a bit of a holy grail release, fetching big time money on the open market. There was a reissue of that release recently, but this one has the full cooperation of the artist and is the most definitive release compiling this work. Of particularly interest to me, and something I suspected, is the clear and distinct influence of Dale Warren. While Walt Whisenhunt deserves a good deal of credit for the sound of these songs, it’s undeniable that the two tracks touched by Dale Warren, “World That’s Not Real” and the 7-inch version of “Deep Inside Of You” have a sound all their own. The 12-inch version of “Deep” sounds as if it’s the exact same recording, with the drums dropped out and some disco drums dropped in to excellent effect. Most definitely a sound that reaches deep inside of you, and one of the major highlights of 2015.


Been a bit busy grading over the last week, but I’ll not only be returning to business as usual here on the blog later this week, I’ll also be back on the air! On Wednesday, December 9th, from 2-4pm I’ll be on Dublab, filling in for Mr. Danny Holloway on his show Heads Up. Along with me with me will be Music Man Miles of Funky Sole, Root Down and Breakestra fame. Really looking forward to sharing a little bit of the vinyl I’ve been obsessing over lately and to hear what surprises Miles has in store for you during my first trip over to Dublab.

I’ll post a breakdown after the show here, but you can listen to us live via the Dublab app, or online at

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