Fred Wesley & the Horny Horns

Say Blow by Blow Backwards

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Released in 1979, Say Blow by Blow Backwards is the second of two albums that Fred Wesley and the Horny Horns (which employed Maceo Parker on tenor and alto sax) recorded for Atlantic in the late 1970s. Wesley produced this album with George Clinton and Bootsy Collins and it comes as no surprise that "We Came to Funk Ya" and shadowy "Half a Man" are straight-up p-funk. But some of the time Say Blow by Blow Backwards doesn't sound all that much like a Parliament or Funkadelic project. Wesley's appreciation of jazz comes through on the instrumentals "Mr. Melody Man," "Just Like You," and "Circular Motion." These tracks aren't straightahead jazz -- something that Wesley and Parker are both quite capable of playing -- but they do offer a pleasant, if unremarkable, blend of R&B, jazz, and pop. Like the Horny Horns' first album, A Blow for Me, A Toot for You, this set is uneven, and unlike Parliament's The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein or Funkadelic's Maggot Brain, it isn't an album that's thrilling all the way through. Nonetheless, Say Blow by Blow Backwards has more ups than downs and is worth searching for if you fancy yourself a serious p-funk collector.

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