Cultural Affairs Week 2016 continues with nearly forgotten “The Splib, Part 1”, a grinding honker by J.C. Davis. Also posted today, check out Frank De Rosa’s nearly forgotten shaker, “Irish Rock.”
Date of release: 1961 (Chicago, Argo). A side: “The Splib, Part 1” / B side: “The Splib, Part 2.”
Likely personnel: J.C. Davis (leader, tenor sax), Alvin “Fats” Gonder or Bobby Byrd (piano), Les Buie (guitar), Hubert Lee Perry (bass), Nat Kendrick (drums), Roscoe Patrick (trumpet), and Alfred Corley (alto sax).
Genre: Early R&B.
Biographical information on leader: J.C. Davis came to some renown as a soloist in, and musical director of the James Brown Band round about the late 1950s and early 1960s. He recorded a smattering of songs as leader roughly during the same time period with “The Splib, Part 1” (b/w “The Splib, Part 2”) being one of his first committed to vinyl. He may have drifted out of music by the 1970s, but not before he toured with the likes of Etta James, Jackie Wilson, and Little Willie John. Some photographic evidence available online suggests that J.C. Davis attended James Brown’s funeral in 2006. Davis tears the building down with “The Splib, Part 1”, which concludes with a voice (Davis himself?) encouraging the listener to flip the record for further splib, oh yeah!
25 word review: Screaming as applied to uninhibited gyration, it celebrates the moments before pinnacle, the clinching argument, one imagines whole halls in motion, the walls themselves dancing.
Sources of information: 45cat entry for J.C. Davis, Discogs entry for J.C. Davis, Goldmine Magazine article on The Last of the Famous Flames, Book The James Brown Reader: Fifty Years of Writing about the Godfather of Soul (Plume 2008), Book The One: The Life and Music of James Brown (Avery 2012), Google group thread on J.C. Davis.
cultural affairs week 2016 editorial schedule
Wednesday: USA to Elect Donald Drumpf?