Randolph Baker & Sophisticated Ladies / Kalita Records

Kalita Records might have started out unearthing treasures from the African continent. Disco, Jazz and Reggae from Cameroon, Ghana, and Ivory Coast. But following on from the Brooklyn Gospel of Darryl Douglas Inc., Kalita stay in the US of A for their next two reissued rarities. 

First up are four tracks (plus a previously unreleased instrumental) from Randolph Baker`s privately-pressed 1982 LP, Reaching For The Stars. The Florida-based drummer, enlisted the cream of of local musicians, including trumpeter Nat Adderley and Duke Ellington`s bass player, John Lamb. Taking two years to complete the album that he intended to be his legacy. In the process making him something of a state-wide legend. 

His recordings preserve the party that must have been. With crowd noises and whistles cutting into near every tune. Injecting even more warmth into the group vocals, timbales, slapped basses, piano, electric blues leads, and brass. As they all dance to Boogie that celebrates unity, Norman Harris-esque Rare Groove, that gives Adderley a chance to shine, and a storming, uptempo – church-y – Paradise Garage-worthy anthem in Callin` Me. 

Sophisticated Ladies

The second E.P. features the forceful, feminine, Funk of the Sophisticated Ladies. Of the two songs, the swifter, Bobby Womack-penned, Check It Out, is classic, New York Disco. A paean to unrequited desire. Broken down here by Love Vinyl`s Mighty Zaf (with the similarly mighty Phil Asher at the controls). While This Ain`t Really Love is another certified, sing-a-long, arms-in-the-air, euphoric, end-of-the-night hymn. 

You can pre-order copies of both 12s directly from Kalita. 

 

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