Friday, March 28, 2008

Funky Friday - Aciiiiiiiiid Jazz

Can you believe it's over 20 years since Acid Jazz first dropped into circulation with its juicy loose grooves and scrapbook look of Carnaby Street chic, Caine flick cool and bohemian beards? Aside from AJ's Anglomania retro referencing (beating Britpop to similar source material by several years) musically Acid Jazz seems to be a composite of these three elements ..

Early Santana - Latin shuffles with squealy and/or wah guitar

Jaco Pastorious - all Acid Jazz bass cadets had red hot handskills.

Robin's Nest theme tune - a riff that Jamiroquai's been riding and rewriting for his entire career.(Out of all the Acid Jazzers - why is HE the only one that's endured? )

So what acid drops are we taste testing today?

Corduroy - (formerly known as those moonage mods - Boys Wonder more on that here) laying down some skinny trousered split screen funk - there really is some great editing on the 'E Type' vid. I've spotted 'Blow Up' and 'Hawaii Five O' - but I'm sure there's more

Corduroy - E Type

Mother Earth
- headed up by Matt Deighton (Santana influence) and their 'can't believe it wasn't a monster hit' piece of perfect pop- 'Jesse'. Mother Earth's album 'People Tree' features Weller as a backing vocalist on 'Mr Freedom' which acted as the perfect framing device for Weller's first (acid style) solo album and Modfather revival. Deigton later stood in for Noel Gallagher at the occasional Oasis gig.

Mother Earth - Jesse

The New Jersy Kings - (Robin's Nest and Jaco influence) The James Taylor Quartet had been riffing on spy high soul for sometime, before bizarrely going into hiding as space age funkateers The New Jersey Kings when Acid Jazz kicked in.
New Jersy Kings - Dreamwaves

If you're in the mood for more contempory Acid Jazz style sounds check out The Bongolian , who keeps his synthy sizzlers spiked with an acid flavouring..


rockmother said...

You are so right about Jay Kay and his Robin's Nest theme obsession - I knew it sounded familiar....whatever happened to Mother Earth - they should have been much more successful than they were. Hmmm...I might have to do a podcast tonight!

ally. said...

fantabulosa - for me this was the fez and shake & fingerpop and talkin' loud and that bongotastic love-in in the trocadero the sandals did and just a ridiculous amount of dancing with a bit of italian knitwear shopping thrown in. and record buying like never before. blimey.

Planet Mondo said...

RM - I think he's also borrowed a bit from The Blockheads tracks like : 'Wake Up And Wake Love', 'What A Waste'. Mother Earth's - 'You Have Been Watching' is a cracker too. Podcasts!Where can I sign up?

Ally - That's done it.I'm gonna have to dig out my 'Phials Of Acid Jazz' comps

Simon said...

Eddie Piller, who set up Acid Jazz, came out of the 80s mod scene. He had a record label...Countdown...James Taylor of the James Taylor Quartet started out in The Prisoners who released an album on Countdown. Martin Blunt of The Charlatans also was in a band - called Makin' Time - on Countdown. Some of the roots of the Acid Jazz stuff can be heard in those bands.

The Beat Collector said...

Mods and funk. A perfect combination!
Wicked post Dave!

Planet Mondo said...

Simon - I was going to make a mention of The Charlatans as their hammond heavy sound always seemed so close to the Acid Jazz sound. Now I know why. Thanks for that.

Thanks. I'm packing your new mix for my hols next week

Axe Victim said...

Was it really twenty years ago? Man, Mother Earth should have been huge. I love their album. Did they ever do another? I must check my MySpace page because they're on there.

I too want to get into podcasting. I know bugger all about it but would love to do it.

marmiteboy said...

Mother Earth were a great band, good shout Mr Mondo. Acid Jazz was a great moment in dance and knocked spots off all that House nonsense.

Planet Mondo said...

AV I've got three Mother Earth albums

'Stoned Woman'
more of a mini album really

'People Tree' -
which is like Weller's first two albums rolled into one.

'You Have Been Watching'
Heavier and groovier

I think Matt Deighton's gone solo, but check out this label for more of the same

Don't forget to lend an ear to yesterdays 'Motorhead' cover by Corduroy too.

Planet Mondo said...


It was you wot got me on the Acid buzz. That week up in Edinburgh, I think you were trawling round Virgin for Acid Jazz bits and bobs which got me checking it out. I was on a Santana buzz around that time, which is proto Acid Jazz anyway and that was me way in to the way out sounds.

Axe Victim said...

Ah Santana. Don't get me started.

bleecher said...

i'm dancin all the way to monday morning now cheers PM, on e thing tho.......

'wat no grant green?????'

smooth as my head and funkyer than a ...umm ... funky thing dint he have some kind of marvin gaye connection too?

Planet Mondo said...

Funnily I mentioned Grant Green hereyesterday

lil x said...

I can't believe I lead such a sheltered life...never heard of Corduroy before - they are fantastic! (my new favourite)

Real steep learning curve for me on my frequent visits to Planet Mondo.

acidjazzy said...

Very nice post (but then, I'm biased when it comes to anything A.J. related). I wouldn't say Jamiroquai is the only one that has endured, Incognito and the Brand New Heavies are still kicking the original flavour, as are James Taylor Quartet and the Greyboy Allstars. Still plenty of freshness to go around.

I believe the whole "genre" (more of a movement, really) has been highly underrated, and has spawned some extremely smooth grooves in the 20 odd years that have followed.

For more AJ goodness, check out my Acid Jazz Blog and the Original Acid Jazz Group that I've set up on

bleecher said...

Remember that rehersal yourself and mrs mondo came down to in rochester years ago?? well that grotty celler was where james taylor quart was formed .... and our bassist (then) was best buddies with JT and he used to pop in to our rehersals (and nick our riffs) .....

Keith said...

That was cool. I really enjoyed Skirt Alert by Corduroy. Very awesome tune. It's definitely catchy.