=Tuesday, December 9, 2008

African Walk - Oliver Sain

Today’s selection is one of the 45’s I picked up during my last visit to Chicago a few weeks back…

African Walk - Oliver Sain - Vanessa

Born in Mississippi in the early 1930’s, Oliver Sain relocated to St. Louis, Missouri in the late 1950’s, only after a military stint in Korea and a short-lived musical career in Chicago playing behind a number of big names. The choice of St. Louis was a wise one for a man so heavily rooted in the blues (he’s from Mississippi, after all), as Sain would quickly emerge as a prominent saxophonist, releasing recordings for a number of different Midwest imprints, including Bobbin and Vanessa. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of information out there on either of these imprints. Of the few details available for these imprints, it has been noted that the group led by Sain on his Bobbin imprint recordings featured future soul greats Fontella Bass (featured in the most recent Trunk of F.U.N.K. mix) and Little Milton. As these recordings are some of the earliest in the careers of both Milton and Bass, Sain is often credited with “discovering” these artists. Additionally, Sain is given responsibility for kick-starting the career of Bobby McClure, a northern soul singer who would record at least one 45 for Sain’s own Vanessa imprint, I Got A Good Woman, before moving to Chess records out of Chicago. Later in his career, Sain would release a string of recordings for the Abet imprint, including the fantastically funky, Saint Louis Breakdown, as well as a number of sides aimed at the emerging disco craze, like Booty Bumpin’, Bus Stop (previously featured at FleaMarketFunk), Party Hearty, She’s a Disco Queen, and B-OO-G-IE. Today’s selection, released on the Vanessa imprint, is one of Sain’s funkier outputs. The song features his saxophone prominently wailing away over tightly snapping backing drums and a twang-y, funky, blues guitar line that really helps move things along at a great pace.

Enjoy this tune for now, and be sure to check back in next week, as there’ll be a new single and mix available for your listening pleasure.