May Feature: The Soul Brothers and Pucho & the Latin Soul Brothers
Throughout May, Global Village joins Strange Currency, Night Train and Straight No Chaser for a B3 Month celebration, highlighting two bands that prominently feature the organ in their sound.
Few bands captured the spirit and energy of South African 'township jive' or mbaqanga better than the Soul Brothers. The group formed in mid '70s, though several members had played together in an earlier band. They quickly became one of the most popular acts in the townships, and despite the loss of several members to car accidents over the years, the group persevered, releasing over 30 albums and starting their own record company.
The Soul Brothers were known for their choreography, showmanship, distinctive vocals and, especially, a unique style inspired by American soul and fueled by their unusual Hammond B3 sound. A tour to Europe in 1990 captured wider attention and resulted in several international releases, though they continued to find their greatest success at home in South Africa.
Pucho & the Latin Soul Brothers are headed up by Harlem-born percussionist, Henry "Pucho" Brown, who formed the group in 1959. As the name suggests, the band brought together the lively Latin and soul sounds Pucho heard while growing up and their muisic helped to spark the short-lived but influential Latin boogaloo movement. An early edition of the band included a young Chick Corea, Steve Berrios and several other fine players who were quickly scooped up by Mongo Santamaria and Willie Bobo.
With a new lineup, Pucho signed to Prestige in 1966, did eight classic albums for the label and even made an appearance at Carnegie Hall. As the Sixties progressed, he added funk, psychedelic rock and jazz influences to the mix.
But changes in the music scene led Pucho to disband the group in the '70s and head to the Catskills, where he would work in a hotel band for some two decades. In the '90s, though, as British 'acid jazzers' discovered and sampled his work, Pucho was inspired to re-form the Soul Brothers and released a series of well-received new albums.
Throughout May, it's the energetic sound of both the Soul Brothers and Pucho & the Latin Soul Brothers in the Global Village.
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The Soul Brothers live with one of their best known songs
Pucho and the Latin Soul Brothers with their classic "Heat"