Week 12: Snip
Originally posted at 4BB 2.0 on July 6, 2008:
OK, folks…time once again for another beautiful contribution! This time from our friend and longtime follower DJ Blueprint, who apart from being a gifted beatmaker also runs his own blog called This Is Tomorrow. And what a treat he’s found for us!
Here’s Mother Freedom Band and their album “Cutting the Chord” from 1977!!! And as usual with these rarer nuggets of funk, it’s tough coming by any info. They where signed to Sylvia Robinson’s New Jersey-based All Platinum label (Yup, that IS the “Pillow Talk” Sylvia, who later also started the record label Sugar Hill and by that became one of the founders of the most influential musical and cultural movement of the 20th century – yes, I’m talking about hip hop!). The large band was led by a certain Jim Richmond, who together with band guitarist Greg Medoro wrote all 10 of the songs on the album. And it’s all horn section-driven funk in the vein of Tower of Power, but with enough originality to go around. My personal favourites are “Flick Of the Wrist”, “Mr. Brother”, “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot” and “Gotta Get It Back” – but it’s all good! (Almost anyway, the faux-reggae album closer is a bit too cheesy :¬)
The only additional info I’ve found is on the earlier mentioned band leaders Richmond and Medoro. First out is guitarist Greg Medoro, who just recently relaunched his music career:
“Back then, the naturally gifted singer, songwriter and fledgling guitarist joined the highly sought after Rochester, New York based Mother Freedom Band while still a student in high school. For years after, Medoro’s life was consumed with writing, rehearsal, recording and performing, as the group played nightclubs, television, national college tours and gigged everywhere from New York to California from Miami to Montreal.
The act demo’d some of the songs Medoro wrote as a teenager as well as collaborations with singer Jim Richmond at the suggestion of a young A&R executive with Epic Records in New York, before hastily signing with another label. The first album succeeded in providing many more lucrative national tour dates, but the band soon began to rethink its musical strategy. Mother Freedom Band ultimately evolved into a jazz-fusion style as Medoro left, moved West and found a new life beyond the music in Las Vegas.”
Mother Freedom Band’s vocalist/saxophonist Jim Richmond is still doing his thing, now with a new group called Prime Time Funk…here’s some info from his bio on their web page:
“As a child, Jim Richmond entertained the neighborhood kids by imitating Elvis on his front porch. After listening to his father’s gospel group rehearse weekly in their living room, he was inspired to take up the saxophone. He led his own band, The Echomen, while still in high school, then went on to major in music at SUNY Fredonia. Sugar Hill signed his band, Mother Freedom, in the late 70s and released one album. Jim’s serious vocal, songwriting and arranging talents, like his sax playing, have kept him in demand over the years.”
To listen to Prime Time Funk, visit their MySpace!
Needless to say, big thanks to DJ Blueprint for sharing the good music! 4BB salutes you!
Never re-issued, but the original vinyl is available here if you got $55 to spare!
Still not convinced? Just listen to this groovy preview of “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot“!
NOTE: We got an intriguing comment on the original post that I thought would be cool to keep in the post– from Greg Medoro himself (or rather via his label rep Ron Boyce):
Hey everyone, I work for Odds On Records and we are the label that put out Greg Medoro’s new record “14 Sunset Way” anyways, Greg was surfing the web and found you guys talking about Mother Freedom Band, and we thought it was so cool, we just wanted to send you guys a comment and let you know Greg is still Rockin! His record is available online and through Barnes & Noble and Virgin stores. Be on the look out for his upcoming tour dates also. Keep up the great work! Greg would love to hear anyones remixes or samples!
Greg Medoro & Ron Boyce
Odds On Records