Following on from working with Rob 'Galliano' Gallagher on his 1988 Acid Jazz records tune, The Quiet Boys " Let The Good Times Roll " Bangs started working with Rob and the crew writing some new demos for the album at BB Studios in Kingston Upon Thames. Spry came down and added good vibes, percussion and a bit of classic Trojan skank, Constantine came and helped captain the ship recording vocals on many of the original demos, including Stoned Again, Little Ghetto Boy and Nothing has changed. Rob's brother Booey also added some chants and percussion and it soon became obvious something pretty special was starting to come together.
These original demos led to Rob being Gilles Peterson's initial signing at Talking Loud, closely followed closely by Brother Marco and Femi's mighty Young Disciples. The album sessions started at Bangs fave studio of the time Joe's Garage in Clapham London in the early part of 1989. Initial sessions consisted of taking those ( oh-so rough ) demos and recreating them using the elite of the UK jazz scene at that time.
Steve White ( drummer from Paul Weller's band ) came down with a vintage Gretsch kit as Bangs wanted to really capture " that old sound " the he and Gilles Peterson had spun at their historis Mambo Madness and Cock Happy club nights. Joe's Garage was an old motorcycle repair workshop around 20 metres long and 5 metres wide with a corrugated iron roof and a stone floor made of paving slabs from B&Q but had an amazing grainy kind of sound and the sound of Whitey's drumming coming from that room just instantly took on a glorious 'Antique' kind of sound.
Ace guitarist Tony Remy was on the sessions too. He arrived at the studio with a rack of very expensive digital effex but Bangs wanted it to sound old and crusty so the guitar parts were all recorded with 2 Shure mics stuck before a very nice vintage Fender Twin amplifier. The only effect on the guitars was a Cry Baby wah that got used on a few tracks. Steve Williamson played soprano sax and Julian Joseph layed down some piano parts.
The highlight of the recordings though was a beautiful sunny day when Mr Roy Ayers walked into the studio. We had hired in an original Musser set of vibes,( Check out that unique "harp" vibrato sound on 57th Minute Of The 23rd Hour ) Bangs made sure it was the same as the vibes on the cover of Roy's 'Vibrations" album and spent a memorable few hours in the company of one of music's true legends with Gilles Peterson, Paul Weller and co all hanging out.
Roy played two takes of vibes on 5 tracks and got persuaded to freestyle scat thru the uptempo jazz tune " Favourite Gears ". All done in one take Roy said "just use the parts you love" so we did which was all of it !!
Linda Muriel ( original vocalist with The Brand New Heavies ) sang vocals on several tracks including Welcome To The Story, Little Ghetto Boy and singles Nothing Has Changed and The Power And Glory. Style Councillor Keyboardist Mick Talbot brought his magic fingers to the team playing Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer and Hohner D6 Clavinet and Pub Piano and Toaster Caz threw down some serious Ragga vibes on Reviewing The Situation. Caz's outtake of the whole track with him rapping was probably the best tune not to end up on Rob's album along with What Colour Our Flag and last minute album addition pianist Alastair Gavin played piano overdubs, best heard on the live jazz mix of Power and Glory.
With access to the vinyl collections of Bangs, Peterson, Brother Spry and Marco and it was inevitable that a few well chosen samples would find their way onto the disc. Submitted by many and lovingly swhittled down by Rob and Bangsy, many of the original samples were replaced as the musicians on the project began to catch the vibe. Many of the drumloops were dumped and replaced with the metronome tight live drums of Steve White and the result over an album of tracks where you couldn't spot the joins between live playing and samples paved the way for a lot of UK Acid Jazz , Street - Soul and Funk outfits.
Must also mention mix engineer and top geezer Dilip Harris who did an amazing job mixing tracks with the disks containing the original programming and Akai samples all missing. Dil didn't get to mix all the tracks (wish he had really) as the tiny budget ran out and we couldn't think of any more favours to pulland the resulting album was a crazy mish mash of styles and sounds pulled together by the vocals of Galliano and still selling on Download and CD nearly 20 years later.
Chris Bangs Faves on 13th note " Nothing Has Changed, Little Ghetto Boy and 57th Minute Of The 23rd Hour.