Monday, July 24, 2017

Garnet Mimms – What It Is (Arista)

Lost but not least! Garnet Mimms – What It Is (Arista)

Bringing me back to the very first time I heard this. And in the meantime, the first time ever I came to Le Vaudeville in Brussels. And what a place this was! Those of you who’ve managed to go there should remember. A club where you would be taken into the most infectious Disco, Soul, Funk jams one could think of back then…

This is how I stumbled upon Garnet Mimms‘ What It Is’, instantly caught up by its obsessive blend of strings and horn lines over an infectious rhythmic guitar driven rhythm pattern. That famous blend that would stand as producers Jeff Lane and Randy Muller‘s trademark.

Taken from Mimms‘s ‘Has It All’ Album back in 1978, altghough credited to Garnett Mimms & Truckin’ Company on its single release the year before. The opportunity to get to an outstanding singer who sadly happened to remain so underrated…

– Ashland, WV native Garnet Mimms grew up in Philadelphia where he started singing in church choirs and Gospel groups, with his first recording dating from 1953 as a member of the Norfolk Four

Gifted with an incredible voice, he remained quite underrated, although he collaborated with luminaries such as Jimi Hendrix. But also The Senate which featured drummer Robbie McIntosh of the Average White Band fame. He eventually seeing some of his songs covered by Janis Joplin (‘Cry Baby’) and Led Zeppelin (‘As Long As I Have You’).

1977 saw him releasing the Funk fuelled ‘Has It All’ album featuring the infectious ‘What It Is’ carrying the instantly recognizable signature of producers Jeff Lane and Randy Muller of the Brass Construction fame.

Mimms gave up his music career shortly afterwards.

– Born in Guyana, Randy Muller relocated to Brooklyn, NY where he first took up music at Thomas Jefferson High School. There, he made friends with Solomon Roberts, Jr. and Jeff Lane with whom he would establish some solid partnership along with time.

Muller started arranging songs for Jeff Lane‘s group B.T. Express. Meanwhile the latter became his, producing early material for his group, Brass Construction.
A multi-instrumentist, Randy established himself as the driving force of Skyy, Funk Deluxe and First Circle in addition to Brass Construction.
The depository of an instantly recognizable sound, he has collaborated with countless artists. From Garnet Mimms to Charles Earland, Mark Radice, Tamiko Jones and Rafael Cameron to name but a few.

Still in activity nowadays, Randy runs his own label, Plaza Records, which he launched back in 1988.
Also a flautist, he has been exploring jazzy territories more recently under his Randy Muller Boom Chang Bang guise.

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