Leon "Ndugu" Chancler

Do I Make You Feel Better?

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When drummer Leon "Ndugu" Chancler brought his Chocolate Jam Co. project to Epic in 1979, he signed a contract that called for two albums. Epic didn't do a lot to promote either the Company's first LP, The Spread of the Future, or its sophomore effort, Do I Make You Feel Better?. Consequently, the vast majority of R&B fans didn't know that the albums existed. And that's regrettable because even though Do I Make You Feel Better? isn't fantastic, it's a decent album that deserved a kinder fate. Parts of this 1980 LP are a bit more disco-minded than its predecessor, especially the Chic-like "Send You My Love" and a cover of Andy Gibb's "Shadow Dancing." But most of the material is either tough funk or smooth, polished late-'70s/early-'80s soul that has more in common with Earth, Wind & Fire or George Duke (one of the session's keyboardists) than disco. The Duke influence isn't surprising when you consider that Chancler (who produced the album, wrote or co-wrote all of the songs, and shares the lead vocals with Leo Miller) was a member of Duke's band at the time. Because Do I Make You Feel Better? received so little promotion from Epic, it only stayed in print a few years. Nonetheless, the album is a pleasant, if unremarkable, footnote in the history of R&B.