Dyke & The Blazers - So Sharp! (1966-1971)

Dyke & The Blazers were an American funk band.

Arlester Christian was born in Buffalo, New York in 1943. The early 60s saw him playing bass with R&B band Carl LaRue and his Crew, and in 1964 the band moved to Phoenix, Arizona after being invited to back The O'Jays. However after a while The O'Jays had moved on, and LaRue's band fell apart. Christian and two other band members found themselves stranded in Phoenix with no way of getting back to Buffalo, and so stayed and formed a new group with local musicians. Dyke & The Blazers consisters of Christian himself (bass & vocals) with 'Pig' Jacobs (guitar), Rich Cason (organ), Rodney Brown (drums), and J.V. Hunt and Bernard Williams (saxes).
Getting lots of gigs in local clubs, the band developed a hard, funky R&B sound, no doubt inspired by James Brown. They released a single on Artco Records, "Funky Broadway", which slowly climbed the R&B chart until it found itself at #17 in early 1967. The band toured on its success, adding bassist Alvin Battle so Christian could focus on singing and dancing. However the band broke up later the same year. Shortly afterwards soul superstar Wilson Pickett covered "Funky Broadway" and had a massive hit with it (#1 R&B, #8 pop). 
Christian then returned to Buffalo and put together a new touring band, but it didn't last long. Through the late 60s and into the 70s he kept recording under the Dyke & The Blazers name, using L.A. session musicians. He had a number of hits on the R&B chart, the biggest being "We Got More Soul" at #7 and "Let A Woman Be A Woman, Let A Man Be A Man" at #4. Sadly he died in 1971 when he was fatally shot in Phoenix, whilst preparing for a tour of England.
This compilation contains twenty-two tracks, a great collection of gritty funk grooves.


1 comment:

ELtel said...

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