Fred Wesley & the Horny Horns / Fred Wesley

A Blow for Me, a Toot to You

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Having been in the employ of James Brown, who gave them a first-class education in funk and soul, Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker were obvious choices to contribute to George Clinton's P-Funk empire (the Godfather of Soul was a major influence on Clinton). In 1977, Clinton and Bootsy Collins produced A Blow for Me, A Toot for You, the debut album by Fred Wesley & the Horny Horns -- a group that boasted Wesley on trombone, Parker on tenor and alto sax, and Rick Gardner and Richard "Kush" Griffith on trumpet. Clinton and Collins did a lot of the writing, and not surprisingly, much of this vinyl LP is pure P-Funk. The album gets off to a gritty start with a remake of Parliament's "Up for the Down Stroke," and the Parliament influence is equally strong on "Between Two Sheets." As for the instrumentals, "Four Play" blends funk and jazz, while Wesley's moody "Peace Fugue" isn't unlike something you would have heard on a CTI recording in the 1970s. "Peace Fugue," in fact, is the least Clinton-sounding thing on the LP. A Blow for Me, A Toot for You may not be in the same class as Parliament's Mothership Connection, Collins' Ahh...The Name is Bootsy, Baby! or Funkadelic's One Nation Under a Groove, but not many LPs were. Overall, it's a likable record that anyone who loves P-Funk should be aware of.

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