Carl Holmes – 1970 – Investigation No.1
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A funky holy grail, one of the rarest of the rare, and the only album ever cut by funky guitarist Carl Holmes! Carl’s work on the guitar is incredible fast riffing and jazzy, with a style that’s dirtier and messier than some of his 70s jazz funk contemporaries, but which also lays back on a few tracks so that Carl can deliver a sweetly soulful vocal. The album’s a real blend of styles, all handled pretty darn well from the hard funk of “Black Bag” and “Investigation“, to the Latin jamming of “Modesa“, the fast grooving of “Get Down Philly Town“, and the mellow soul of “Think It Over” and “Your Game“. Great stuff and a real treat to finally have reissued.
This is a super rare soul/funk record where Carl tries to close “the gap between R&B, jazz and psychedelic rock by the creation of a sound that is funky, mellow, intricately soulful and explosive, yet uniquely disciplined in its complexity!
This is a @320 vinyl rip of the reissue CRS records LP, including covers.
A2.Close To You 5.07
A3.Black Bag 3.20
A4.Think Is Over 3.25
B2.Your Game 4.16
B3.Get Down Philly Town 2.59
B4.It Ain’t Wright 3.07
Review by Groovy Emmanuel
Well, well, well.. It’s time now for some to the dirtier side of funkiness grooves of the early seventies, painted with some to the mellower side soul touches of the same era. And it’s a fine little record from one of the less familiar names around, Philly guitarist and vocalist Carl “Sherlock” Holmes.
Carl started gigging in the early sixties forming Carl Holmes and The Commanders with whom he recorded a full length album for Atlantic in 1962 entitled «Twist Party At The Roundtable», and a couple of 45’s for Parkway and Verve later on. They even gigged with one Jimi Hendrix in 1966 but alas never recorded. After a final 45 for the local Philly label Black Jack, the group disbanded and Carl formed the Sherlock Holmes Investigation a solid outfit backed by a strong rhythm section packed with congas, vibes, flute, organ and sax. Philly’s Sigma Sound Studio was the place they recorded their sole album and Custis R. Staten’s CRS Records was the label that released it. And here we are.
Smokin funk breaks in «Black Bag», «Investigation», «Get Down Philly Town», «It Ain’t Right» and some syncopated latin-inspired jams in «Modesa» all coming out of the legendary Philly studio?… Yeah, why not? Music is One, or isn’t it? Ouch. All these coupled nicely by some fine mellow numbers in «Close To You», «Think It Over» and «Your Game» . ouch again! And all but one (Bacarach/David’s «Close To You») written by a guy named Len Woods. A remarkable blend of styles, no doubt!
Finally there’s a little confusion on when this little record was released. Is it late sixties, early seventies or mid seventies? Having that in mind, just listen to «Your Game». and focus on the break midway to the end, 2:55 to 3:14 of total 4:12 minutes the song lasts. Well, I thought I saw a pussycat, as Tweetie the cartoon used to say. Is it Marvin‘s «What’s Going On?» .? Did this little record come out before or after Marvin’s record? Ouch once more. But nevertheless, pay no attention at all, cause music is still the best no matter when or where or whatever, as long it is good. And last but not least, who the heck is Len Woods? The guy is a hell of a songwriter. Is he Carl himself or someone else? A final ouch to the end.