Kalita have been hitting hard on the reissue front recently: think back a year or so to the marvellous Marcy Luarks and Jeanette N’Diaye releases, for instance – so its entirely to be expected that Doing Our Thing With Pride, by the Al-Dos Band, turns out to be an absolute delight.
Recorded, but unreleased, in 1976 the LP has nine top notch funky throwdowns, dug up and repolished to highlight the super-tight grooves and black power boogie business. The title cut is a perfect exemplar of the band’s method: a loping 4/ 4 backs up cosmic synth lines and conscious lyrics: soulful as hell – ‘trying to stay alive…. doing our thing with pride’ – killer vibes all round.
Fear not, for the other tracks are just as solid. Confusion bolts out of the blocks, firing up the BPMs and tracking along a classic disco bass-line: this is dancefloor-primed and ready to roll. Lyrically astute, the scenario painted is just as relevant today as it was 40 years ago, sadly. Check the drum break halfway through: awesome stuff.
Some Things Don’t Mean A Thing rocks a clavinet groove, a la Stevie`s Superstition, while the vocals again straddle the socially conscious vibe, packing a punch for female empowerment and partying at the same time: making you think on the floor – moving your body and mind – works every time! On a big system this will absolutely slay it.
They can also drop the pace without losing the funk: I Remember When heads into sweet soul pastures for a well-judged trawl through times past, all “oohs” and “aahs” from the backing vocalists, as male and female leads swap over adroitly – operating not too far from the likes of Sweet Charles, say, which is high praise indeed.
This is another frankly essential release from Kalita for all boogie / disco / soul crews. Timeless, uplifting, aged in harmony and bathed in funk: people will be dancing to this just as long as people are dancing. Undeniably positive and just what the doctor ordered: you’ve gotta love it when these jewels get uncovered.
Al-Dos Band’s Doing Our Thing With Pride is out now on Kalita Records.