Something that I’ve always loved about Disco is the message. The 95% of disco music is full of burning bodies, high fevers, unexpected lovers and Knights In White Satin. All this was possible thanks the extended version of “Love To Love You Baby” by Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer: that 16 minutes song officially legitimized sex in the charts. Another European producer, the French drummer and composer Cerrone was a prominent key figure for some of the best sexy disco songs out there. “Call Me Tonight” is in this list, a track from the Cerrone – American LP – “Angelina”, written with Alain Wisniak the song features a bunch of great session players: Greg Mathieson, Jeff Baxter, David Hungate and singer Michelle Aller.
Cerrone – Call Me Tonight (Discogs)
In 1975, bassist John Lee formed a Jazz band with drummer Gerry Brown. Together they recorded two albums for Blue Note Records, “Mango Sunrise” & “ Still Can’t Say Enough”. One for Mood Records called “Brothers” and two for Columbia Records: “Medusa” and the ladder “Chaser”. Released in 1979, it was recorded in Copenhagen and features Kenneth Knudsen, Darryl Thompson and Palle Mikkelborg. “Celebration” is the more disco oriented track from the album: warm synth arrangements and a very melodic guitar solo are the key elements of this beautiful song.
John Lee & Gerry Brown – Celebration (Discogs)
Heat Exchange was a British duo formed by drummer, composer Brian Bennett and producer Dave Jordan. Bennett started working with Cliff Richard, becoming his musical director and later becoming a renowned film and television composer. Dave Jordan worked as a producer for The Specials, Bananarama, The Fun Boy Three and The Pogues. Together, in 1979, they released an album and one single from the same: “Shake Down”. I wonder who was the singer on this beautiful slow funky song.
Heat Exchange – Shake Down (Discogs)
Area Code (212) was a disco vocal trio from New York. They released just an album before disappearing. My favourite track is “Gaz-O-Lean” a crazy disco track with an Indian flute on it. The key members were Steve Shelto, an American singer raised in Brooklyn who later worked with Shep Pettibone, and Stan Bronstein: a saxophone player best known for playing with John Lennon, The Clash and the Aerosmith.
Area Code (212) – Gaz-O-Lean (Discogs)
Charanga ’76 was a Cuban group formed in NY in 1976 and active until 1983. Their name comes from the traditional ensemble that usually plays Cuban dance music. In 1979 they released four 12” covering some disco hits of that year. They sang in Spanish and added some nice Cuban flavors to the originals. The first one was a cover of “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” by McFadden&Whitehead, the others were all Chic themed songs: “Mi Amor Prohibido“, “Somos Familia” and “Como Vamos a Gozar“.
Charanga ’76 – Good Times (Como Vamos A Gozar) (Discogs)
John Tropea is an American guitarist, who has played, among the others, with Billy Cobham, Laura Nyro and Eric Clapton. In the mid seventies he was signed by Henry Stone for his label Marlin Records releasing 3 album. In 1979 he made also a special appearance on T.K. Disco. Remixed by John Luongo.
John Tropea – Livin’ In The Jungle (Special Disco Mix) (Discogs)
As the originator of the “slap-and-pluck” technique, bassist Larry Graham made a big impact on the sound of contemporary music. He started playing with Sly & The Family Stone before going solo with his Central Station, when they released 7 albums between 1973 and 1978. This track comes from the last one, so underrated.
Graham Central Station – Star Walk (Discogs)