Rhythm Makers

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This four-man-strong band from Harlem, NY, dished out pulsating, pumping, rhythmic pleasing club-dance funk that unfortunately never strayed further than New York and its surrounding states. The rest of the country missed out on some prime funk at its rawest, delivered by: Emmanuel Raheim Leblanc (lead & rhythm guitars/vocals), Keith Sabu Crier (bass/vocals), Kenny Banks (drums/vocals), and Herb Lane (keyboards/vocals). Until now. The tight quartet sounded bigger than life with their relentless, driving beat. Check out "Zone," "Prime Cut," "Funk-N-You," and "Can You Feel It," a two-parter that the compiler split up -- part one is track two, while part two is track nine (?). The only miscue is a campy remake of "At the Hop," popularized by Danny & the Juniors. "Soul On Your Side" is most interesting as it later provided the paradigm for the guys' reincarnation as GQ and their first big hit "Disco Nights" -- same melody, different words. Confusion abounds about the Rhythm Makers/GQ, as some online biographies state that Keith Sweat was an original member -- age-wise, this is impossible; it's more plausible, however, that Keith Sabu Crier is Keith Sweat's father, as the hitmaker with the whining style's birth name was Keith Crier. In addition, Raheim sang background on Sweats' early solo albums and influenced the way the he sings.

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