For our first dig deep post of year four, I bring to you a real gem of a latin funk LP. Ran into this at Groove Merchant, where Cool Chris not only always has the goods, but he knows exactly what to play while I’m at the store. As soon as he dropped the needle on La Clave’s version of “Move Your Hands” I knew this record would be mine.
Turns out La Clave was a San Francisco based group headed up by Benny Velarde. As far as I know they didn’t record another album, though I suspect these players (who are mostly uncredited on this LP) turned up on quite a few other records from this period of time. Adding to the quality is the appearance of Lalo Schifirin who plays piano on several tracks and contributes one of the better songs on the album, the B-Boy-rific and breaktastic “Latin Slide.”
Additional highlights include a cover of Donny Hathaway’s “The Ghetto” with a big time rockin’ guitar solo, a very saucy version of “Soul Sauce” and some nice latin style on “Baile Mi Guaguanco.” As a final track to post here I’ve chosen the ultra smooth and breezy “Who You Fooling,” which strangely sounds to me like it could have been recorded in the mid 1990s at the height of the Acid Jazz craze. This one was reissued by Dusty Groove about 5 years ago, but it’s well worth tracking down in the original.