SONG OF THE DAY Perry & The Harmonics – Do The Monkey With James

Perry & The Harmonics were a Chicago-based soul-jazz combo led by saxophonist Clarence Perry.  The recognisable name among the five musicians was Ed Townsend, who had a 1958 vocal hit on Capitol with For Your Love.  Townsend later went on to co-write Let’s Get It On with Marvin Gaye.  The other members of Perry & the Harmonics were Clarence Perry on tenor sax, Richard McCrea on organ, guitarist Paul Pratt and drummer Maurice Wells.

The band unfortunately cut just one album for Mercury Records in 1965, cashing in on the mid-sixties craze for anything spy-related! The cleverly-titled Intrigue With Soul album features versions of themes from the early 60s James Bond films and several Perry-penned originals (and also features Ed Townsend on piano as well as being produced by him!)

Do the Monkey with James (which I’ve just read is a bit of a rewrite of the much tamer Twisting With James from the Dr. No original soundtrack) was released as a single in 1965 and, whilst this slice of R&B-infused mod jazz wasn’t going to storm the mid-60s pop charts, Mercury clearly thought they had a jukebox hit on their hands!  I love the tight rhythm section, spoken word lyrics and the way the sax boogies in the background before it erupts into an explosion of cool bliss!!! Just what you need to lift the spirits and we really need some of that right now! Listen above.

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The Listening Post Blog - A place to discover new sounds, where the music speaks for itself..
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