The 13th Floor - 1977 – Steppin’ Out
The one and only album we’ve ever seen from The 13th Floor – a hip little combo from St Louis, produced here by Oliver Sain in a great blend of jazz, soul, and funk!
There’s a depth here that goes way beyond the average outing of this type – as the group clearly have some sort of an ear for more spiritual jazz, yet are also comfortable working in a more focused, groove-based mode too! Saxophonist Lionel Greene is at the head of the group, and also sings a bit – but our favorite tracks are the instrumental ones, played by the combo in a sweet, tight blend of guitar, bass, drums, and sax. There’s a nicely compressed groove here that almost hits some spacious Roy Ayers styles at times – but the overall sound is much more varied, and even hits some harder funk moments from time to time too, letting the guitar and bass step out more than the sax.
A1 Sweet Thang 4:53
A2 Teffany 3:27
A3 Time And Place 4:33
A4 Hang Loose 2:55
A5 Steppin’ Out 3:40
B1 Sweet Lovely Girl 4:20
B2 Get Up 3:34
B4 Rise 5:04
A real rarity! 1977’s “Stepping Out” by obscure Oliver Sain produced Funk/Soul outfit The 13th Floor has always been a tough LP to catch, the only release by this lesser known St.Louis outfit showcased a unique blend of jazz, funk and soul that has intrigued hardcore collectors of rare grooves and black music since it’s release.
Released on the highly collectable Blue Candle sub label of Miami‘s TK Disco empire, “Stepping Out” features lots of different musical flavours – from the languid, Ohio Players-esque “Hang loose” and the incessant mid-tempo burner “Leanin” to the dance-floor groove of “Sweet thang“, the LP showcases across it’s 9 tracks show a band at the top of it’s game, completely in tune with each other and firmly in the pocket. This should be no surprise when you consider the opening track of the album is co-written by a young Chaka Khan and members of the band went on to form parts of her band Rufus and played alongside artists such as Patti Austin, Maxayn Lewis, Ronnie McNeir and High Voltage. The overall feel of the album is one of amazing musicians keeping it gritty, soulful and most of all, funky!
This album has always demanded high prices on the second hand / used vinyl market and is a truly lesser spotted gem, which is surprising considering the eye catching sleeve artwork!
This is the first time that The 13th Floor’s “Stepping Out” has been reissued on vinyl, fully remastered from TK’s original tapes, represented the way the the LP was issued in 1977 with all original cover and label artworks intact. Now, almost 40 years after it’s original release the album has now been made available again for 2016, fully licensed in conjunction and with the full permission of Henry Stone music / TK Disco, Miami, FL.