David Holmes / The Free Association

Come Get It, I Got It

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The opinions of collectors and obsessive DJs notwithstanding, there's only a certain amount of obscure music out there, and even less that's worth its salt. That fact apparently left David Holmes -- celebrity soundtracker and mixer par excellence -- with few options but to record a few of his own soul tracks to sprinkle into this mix album. Come Get It I Got It, his second major mix (after the masterpiece Essential Mix 98/01), introduces the Free Association, a studio project of Holmes and Stephen Hilton capable of creating interstitial bits for more effective transitions -- most of them less than a minute. As his 1998 mix proved, Holmes' selector abilities are nearly unparalleled; Come Get It I Got It rescues 16 tracks of seriously obscure popcorn soul from the '60s and '70s, and only two or three of the performers will be familiar to most listeners. (A track from Muddy Waters, the crackling "Tom Cat" from his 1968 "psychedelic" crossover record Electric Mud, is much more infamous than famous.) Among the more familiar names are Cyril Neville (whose 1970 cut "Gossip" was backed by big brother Art's new group, the Meters), first family of gospel the Staple Singers, R&B showman Johnny Otis, and jazz pianist Ray Bryant. Holmes appears to be interested as much in oddball novelties as in great tracks, and it's hard to avoid the impression he spends his days trawling for outrageous, crazy material rather than just good music. Case in point: "Mama Soul" by fluteman Harold Alexander, a schizophrenic scat routine with half of his wild vocalizing coming directly through his flute (à la Rahsaan Roland Kirk). Tracks like these are fascinating to hear for the first time, but of rapidly diminishing returns afterwards. (Did the long-forgotten JuJus really need to shout out the star signs for each member before his solo on "Sweet Songs"?) These are really small quibbles, though; Holmes is a master at drawing listeners in with creative sequencing, subtle post-productions, and -- most of all -- amazing music.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
feat: Rodriguez
3 01:20
4 02:42
feat: Muddy Waters
6 02:28
feat: Rex Garvin
8 02:53
9 00:39
10 00:18
feat: Ray Bryant
12 01:23
feat: Jujus
feat: Betty Adams
16 02:27
17 01:24
18 01:35
19 00:51
20 02:43
21 00:42
22 01:16
23 01:16
feat: Andre Perry
25 03:10
26 02:05
blue highlight denotes track pick