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Jones & Gaston and The Cannonballs - Do you get the message - Cannonball Records

B/W - We Got The Message

Condition - M 

They say that behind every great man is a great woman (and i'm sure the opposite also holds true). I would also say that behind every successful musical artiste there are several great session men. Case in point is Robert Jones and Berdell Gaston two jobbing session musicians who have been quietly working in the background laying down tracks, picking up a cheque and moving on whilst others take the spotlight and the accolades. Not completely in the background mind and certainly not on the Northern scene. You see Berdell Gaston wrote Do you get the message that was recorded by The Grey Imprint and copies of which command's a high randsome (if you can find one). Incidentally this 'message' track was recorded as a demo by Gaston with Jones on vocals however it never made it past the Demo stage to get a release. Dave Thorley heard the vocal take and introduced Gaston and Jones to CannonBall records who set about doing what they do best and this release is the outcome of that process. I have been of the mind, and this 6th release provees it, that this boutique label is pound for pound one of the best new release outfits currently plying their trade. And it seems that the rare soul scene is in agreement as all of their releases are snapped up as soon as they are put on the shelf.So enough of the hagiography and onto the most important aspect of this - the music. As would be expected the vocal take is not as polished as you would hear on a previously released version but for my money that's the charm of this offering - theres a grittier feel to it than the grey imprint release yet paradoxically this is as fresh as as spring morning and doesn't show its age at all. The Cannonballs backing has taken the track into a completely different direction, straddling that soul/funk divide and doing so proudly as the message of the song makes clear. The lyric belies the time of its genesis with its realisation that Americans of colour were no longer second class citizens however when one looks at what is going on in USA today (certainly to judge by the headlines) the message is as relevant today as it was back in the late sixties. Top side is the vocal version and tucked in behind it is the Cannonballs instrumental version which itself is sublime in and of itself and notches up the funk factor just a shade.... nice. And the most important thing about this release is that it has been done correctly, knowing Alberto one would be shocked if it was any other way. Alberto allowed Gaston and Jones control over the finished product so its a testament to his vision that these seasoned musicians who have played many sessions with many, many greats have listened and nodded their approval with the finished product. That right there is why I love this may be low on quantity but my word it is brimming with quality.

Jones & Gaston and The Cannonballs - Do you get the message - Cannonball Records

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