Coke Escovedo - 1975- Coke
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I stumbled across this album while quenching my thirst for some groovy classic funk.
You know, the kinda funk that incites that face like you caught a whiff of somethang so rank… Well, this 1975 release by Coke Escovedo will certainly spark your soul. “Coke” is a certainly an addictive album that leaves you with a smile.
The feel of the album is one of Soul, Latin Grooves and Funk. A prime example is “Love Letters”, a conga rich, guitar-licked single that seamlessly goes through 4 movements in less than 3 minutes. Too bad they cut short the percussion solo near the end.
The voices of Calvin & Linda Tillery’s lead vocals warms the heart in songs like “No One To Depend On”, “Rebirth” and “Make it Sweet”. The most familiar song for most of us will be “If I Ever Loose This Heaven” released in 1974 by Quincy Jones and covered by bands of the era including Average White Band and crooners like Will Downing.
You will not be disappointed with this album at all. It is guaranteed to spark conversations between generations and among music lovers like yourself. Get yourself some “Coke” by Escovedo, that is.
A1 No One To Depend On 4:20
A2 Why Can’t We Be Lovers 3:40
A3 Rebirth 3:50
A4 Easy Come, Easy Go 3:12
A5 Love Letters 2:55
B1 Hall’s Delight 2:50
B2 If I Ever Loose This Heaven 3:37
B3 What Are You Under 2:53
B4 Make It Sweet 3:33
B5 Life Is A Tortured Love Affair 2:52
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
The late percussionist Thomas “Coke” Escovedo came from a very musical family — he was the brother of Pete Escovedo and the uncle of Sheila Escovedo, who started going by Sheila E. after joining forces with Prince in the 1980s. Although not as well known as those relatives, Coke Escovedo had an impressive track record that included working with Santana and founding the band Azteca. In the ’70s, Escovedo recorded three little known solo albums for Mercury, the first of which was 1975’s Coke. The music is soul/funk with occasional jazz and Latin overtones — not as ambitious as Santana or Azteca, but generally rewarding nonetheless. Escovedo wasn’t a lead singer, which means that on Coke, Linda and Calvin Tillery provide the lead vocals.
Linda has her share of inspired moments, and she really lets loose on the funky “Easy Come, Easy Go” as well as Smokey Robinson’s “Love Letters” and a stunning remake of Santana’s “No One to Depend On” (which Escovedo co-wrote). Calvin’s contributions aren’t as memorable as Linda’s. His performance on Leon Ware’s “If I Ever Lose This Heaven” is pleasant, although it falls short of the excellence of the Average White Band’s better known version.
But more often than not, Coke is excellent, and it’s also the most essential of Escovedo’s three solo albums.