Monday, 20 August 2012

SONG FOR TODAY: Us3 - Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)

A wonderfully cool bit of acid jazz from the 90's which I used to play a hell of a lot in my capacity as a very young club DJ. Us3 are a jazz-rap group founded in London in 1991. Their name was inspired by a Horace Parlan recording produced by Alfred Lion, the founder of Blue Note Records. On their debut album, Hand on the Torch, Us3 used samples from the Blue Note Records catalogue, all originally produced by Lion. 'Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)' is a song from their 1993 album 'Hand on the Torch'. It features a sample of Herbie Hancock's song 'Cantaloupe Island', and reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the group's only top 40 single.

The song makes notable mention of the Birdland jazz club in New York City in its opening line - "Ladies and gentlemen, as you know, we have something special down here at Birdland this evening: a recording for Blue Note Records." The line, spoken by Pee Wee Marquette, is taken from Art Blakey's first Birdland album' A Night at Birdland Vol. 1'. There are recurring samples, particularly in the beginning, of two men saying "yeah!" and "what's that?". Both of these were taken from the intro to Lou Donaldson's 'Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky (From Now On)'."

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