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Monday, May 25, 2009

Tower of Power - San Francisco 1975

Some Oakland funk... Tower of Power is certainly one of the most exciting funk bands around, and yes, around they've been! Here's a short recording from the mid seventies, a homecoming gig in San Francisco's

All props go to the person who was kind enough to share this on dime - I'm merely spreading the message here!

Tower Of Power
S.N.A.C.K Benefit
San Francisco, CA (USA), Kezar Stadium
March 23, 1975

Lenny Pickett - tenor sax, flute, clarinet
Emilio Castillo - tenor sax, vocals
Stephen "Doc" Kupka - baritone sax, vocals
Greg Adams - trumpet, flugelhorn
Mic Gillette - trumpet, trombone
Chester Thompson - keyboards
Bruce Conte - guitar, vocals
Francis Rocco Prestia - bass
David Garabaldi - drums
Hubert Tubbs - lead vocals

1. Bill Graham Intro > Oakland Stroke > What Is Hip? (8:55)
2. Down to the Nightclub (Bump City) (4:41)
3. Sparkling in the Sand (9:31)
4. You're the Most (To Say the Least) (4:05)
5. You're Still a Young Man (6:18)

TT: 33:33

Sound: A-/B+
Lineage: FM.master.(PayLess)cassette>CDR>EAC>WAV>Trader'sLittleHelper>FLAC

Notes: A friend told me he had recorded the Tower of Power's S.N.A.C.K Benefit set on cassette as it was broadcast more than 34 years ago. He lent me the cassette (which needed some repairing) and here are the results. I'm sure there is higher quality of this show out there, but kinda cool to hear it as it was recorded live from the radio.
This was the opening set of the S.N.A.C.K. Benefit (Students Need Athletics, Culture and Kicks) and captures Tower of Power at the time of their most popular album's release, 1975's Urban Renewal. The intense rhythms, powerful horn section and tight vocal arrangements are all here...Tower of Power at their funkiest.
Following Bill Graham's introduction of the band, they launch into a hot jam on "Oakland Stroke" that rips directly into an incendiary "What Is Hip?" to open the set.
Following some tuning and commentary on how much they enjoy being home, they introduce their new vocalist, Hubert Tubbs, before kicking off into Bump City's "Down To The Nightclub." They next slow things down and venture into soul territory with "Walking In The Sand," featuring prominent contributions by Lenny Pickett on flute, and it's back to the funk for "You're The Most (To Say The Least)."
They end the set with one of the first songs Kupka and Castillo wrote together, the highly Motown influenced "You're Still a Young Man," which would eventually become one of Tower of Power's signature songs and their biggest hit. Enjoy!


ubu said...

FLAC (tagged) + info:

nick said...

nice! a fun change of pace. thanks for sharing this.

swamielmo said...

thanks , help keep us east bay doofuses grounded. swamielmo

thefunkygoat said...

thanks ubu, I luff the fonk


ps - swamielmo, isn't the plural of doofus 'doofii'?