House Party (1980)

Fred Wesley

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Track Listing:

House Party {Fred Wesley} 4:10
Bop To The Boogie {F Wesley, Rudy Copeland, Gary Bell, R Sinclair} 5:58
Still On The Loose {F Wesley, Lewis Dunpriest} 4:48
I Make Music {F Wesley} 3:14
If This Be A Dream {F Wesley} 5:12
Let's Go Dancing {F Wesley} 3:19
Are You Guilty? {B McGee, M Spradley} 4:53
Life Is Wonderful {A Dhanifu, S Finney} 4:53


The Fred Wesley Band and Chorus:
Trombone: Fred Wesley
Vocals: Spencer Bean, Rudy Copeland, Lewis Du Priest, David Li, Delbert Taylor,
 Melvin Webb
Guitar: Spencer Bean
Keyboard: Rudy Copeland, David Li, Delbert Taylor
Bass: Lewis Du Priest
Saxes: David Li
Percussion: David Li, Delbert Taylor, Melvin Webb
Trumpet:  Delbert Taylor
Drums: Melvin Webb

 Special thanks to:
Special Percussion: Razz Abo Nguinea 
Keyboards, Handclaps and Yeas: Gary Bell 
Guitar: Butch Bonner 
Vocals: Lyn Collins, Fannie Dees, Alton McClain, Robyrda Stiger,
 D'Marie Warren

Rating: RC: ***1/2


RC: This album was originally a promo-only item from Curtom Records back in 1980, although the 12" of the title track enjoyed some popularity back then. The whole thing was released in 1993 on the Back Black label, and the end product is a lot of fun. Basically, it's a dance record from beginning to end, staying very funky but dipping into disco on several occasions. The album is interesting because the only horn heard is Fred's 'bone, and he also sings lead on most of the tunes. It's definitely worth a listen if you're a fan of Fred's and you prefer his work funky.

"House Party" is truly a great track, a funky dance number in the tradition of the J.B.'s. The bass playing is extra solid, anchoring a fine groove, and Friendly Fred's voice carries the number. "Bop To The Boogie" is a great sing-a-long, once again led by Fred, who also adds a solo. "Still On The Loose" is a funny song about the bachelor life, with another great bassline and a very funky 'bone solo. "I Make Music" starts with a half-rap that settles into an excellent bass/guitar vamp. The singing is excellent on this uptempo number. "If This Be..." has a very Isaac Hayes-ish sound to it, with wah-wah guitars and a slow groove. "Let's Go Dancing" is straight-up disco, but stays within funky bounds. "Are You Guilty" is a heavy and silly ballad. "Life Is Wonderful" is more disco, but the album's atmosphere and Fred's playing prevent it from going too far downhill.

The album is available only as an import CD, and it features a cover photo of Fred.