06 March 2010

In a previous post I presented the "Hits, remixes and rarities" compilation of (Nickolas) Ashford & (Valerie) Simpson Warner Bros years.

I feel I need to pay more tribute to this extraordinary couple who ranks so so high within the category of the 70s multi-talented composers-musicians-singers. Besides their own hits they composed dozens of 70s anthems like "Ain't no mountain high enough", "The Boss" for Diana Ross, "Clouds" for Chaka Khan.

To my opinion, almost every thing they did is between good and pure genius... until 1981. After this year, as most artists who had crossed the whole 70s scope, they didn't feel "at home" in this new synthetic-digital-pop environnement and the novelty they had brought was impossible to repeat a decade later.

The more I listen to their discography from 1973 to 1981, the more I understand how their style built-up, particularly thanks to a rythmic section that reached perfection with genius bass player Francisco Centeno who complemented perfectly Valerie Simpson's piano skills. Francisco Centeno who can also be noted for his role in the monster disco LP "Rap-O-Clap" by Joe Bataan, equals Bernard Edward from the Chic tandem or Marcus Miller and Louis Johnson in the way he made bass guitar a key element in the rythmic section and give it a funky bouncy fat sound. You can spot Francisco Centeno in great shape here, live with Aretha.

I will share with you a great track extracted from the double live LP "Performance", although this track and 2 more from this LP were recorded in studio only.
This Show is available at Itunes, Spotify, Amazon etc... so I will only share one track as a "promo" initiative, and strongely recommend you to get the full LP, excellent all the way through (check out the "Clouds" medley...)

Ashford & Simpson - It shows in the eyes (320 kbps)
full album "Performance" available on itunes and dustygrooves

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