Monday, November 22, 2010

Shuggie Otis - Inspiration Information


Well, there's some funky soul in here, but most of it is kind of cool jazzy instumentals.  Not the thing for intense listening, but my vote for a dinner party.  I was surprised to find out this is the original of Strawberry Letter 22 - making me think The Brothers Johnson didn't do anything much to it to make it a hit.



Yet another piece of music recommended to me by a friend who used to work in  a record shop whose recommendations weren't always the sort of music I would normally buy.  But in the case of Inspiration Information, he got it just right.

Originally released in 1974, the prodigiously-talented Otis had spent three years creating Inspiration Information, including using the first generation of drum machines to create beats behind his creations.  Shuggie did it all, from writing every track, playing all the instruments and singing to production.  But this, his second album, proved to be an enigma to the times and Shuggie, once lauded as a child prodigy and destined to become a huge artist, instead became increasingly elusive and withdrawn.  With this re-release in 2001, there was some hope Shuggie would shuffle off his troubled ways and come back to the world.  But it wasn't meant to be.

As Mine suggests, Inspiration Information, despite some of the over-earnest noodlings, is a jazz/funk/rock hybrid perfect for a dinner party or for that slow come down after a late, late night of excess.


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