Sought after soul beat and jazz funk album, originally released on the German MPS label. Vocalists Dee Dee Mc Neil and Barry Window in front of a superb band feat. Joel Vandroogenbroeck on organ/ flute and Barney Wilen on saxes, recorded 1968 in Switzerland. First reissue of a great European soul jazz album, well known for its raw drum breaks and heavy versions of “Get out of my lifwe woman” , “Summertime”, “Soultime” and “Willow weep for me”, all arranged by Vandroogenbroeck.
The calls had been coming in for months „There`s a new singer at the ´Chemi Hütte` in Basel .. you`ve got to hear her – her name is Dee-Dee McNeil ...“ Similarly enthusiastic messages came out of the American clubs in the Palatinate: „Man, this chick is the greatest – come and dig her ...“. We came, we heard – and we dig her the most. This record is the result: Soul and Rock and Beat and Jazz in a steaming combination.
DEE-DEE McNEIL: Comes from Baltimore, Billie Holiday`s hometown. „Billie was my first big inspiration … and the Negro churches. I`ve been singing all my life.“ First professional job 1961 in Hawaii. They wouldn`t let her go for five years. Then followed Australia, Bangkok, Hong Kong. In 1966 she came to Europe, sang at the „Mascotte“ in Zurich and was married to Xavier Perrot, the well-known Swiss race driver (Swiss Championship 1968). As a jazz singer Dee-Dee has performed with Frank Butler, Hampton Hawes, Carl Perkins and others. In Europe she switched to Rock and Soul. It was no major change for her: „With both I fall back on Gospel music.“
Dee-Dee sings Soul with the deep voice and with the power and expression of the Blues singers of the Twenties. To her, male singers are more important than the females: Wilson Pickett, Lou Rawls, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Joe Tex … Says Joel Vandroogenbroeck, bandleader of the Movements: „She´s such a wonderful person – with such a fine character. Always ready to help wherever help is needed. I don`t know anyone who doesn`t like her. For all of us it`s a great pleasure to work with Dee-Dee.“
BARRY WINDOW: Barry`s father is a native of South Africa and a Negro. But Barry (21) was born in Basel, Switzerland. His dad was a drummer, and so it seemed natural to start out Barry on drums. Among others he has accompanied Albert Nicholas, the great New Orleans clarinetist. But because almost evrybody in a Rock group also must be able to sing, Barry also began very early with his singing. Soon he did it with such great success that he no longer found the time for the drums. He met Joel in 1967 and asked him to write arrangements. Thus the Movements came into being.
Barry „feels“ Soul and Gospel and, as a singer, retained the same drive he inherited as a drummer from his father. Otis Redding, Arthur Conley, Ray Charles are his idols. Says Joel of him: „I`ve never seen a young singer who`s been learning so fast. Barry shows fantastic development. And with what a speed! He has so much strength within him, natural strength, and he`ll make it to the top.“
JOEL VANDROOGENBROECK: Born 1938 at Brussels, Belgium. Started to play piano as a three-year-old: Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Bartok. Plays jazz since he was 17. Performed with the Belgian Jacques Pelzer Group in the Congo in Africa; then with Barney Wilen in France, Greece and Germany; with Eje Thelin in Sweden, and for two years with Nunzio Rotondo at the RAI (Italian Radio) in Rome, where he also began to arrange.
Joel switched over to Soul and Rock when he met Dee-Dee in 1967. „And when I got together with Barry,“ he says, „I knew I would definitely stick with it. That`s why I also changed from piano to organ. I believe there`s something refreshing in Rock – including the chords. Most pieces are based on very basic chords, which means the road to harmony has become free once again. Rhythm, too, has returned to the very simple beat. Where everything came from. Also the phrasing. I like the musical system of India. Presently I`m studying the sitar with my teacher M. Trika Sain. The sound of the sitar is big and pure, and I`m beginning to use it for my Rock music. Joel occasionally plays the flute as well. In „Get out of my life woman“, he does both at the same time – playing the organ with one hand, the flute with the other.
BARNEY WILEN: Leading French Saxophonist, born 1937 in Nice of French and American parents, grew up in the United States and France. Became internationally known through his work with Miles Davis on the music for the motion picture „Lift to the gallows“. In Germany he performed frequently with the Modern Jazz Group Freiburg, in Sweden with Eje Thelin. Featured as soloist on two SABA records: „Jazz Meets India“ (SB 15142 SB), with the great Indian sitar player Dewan Motihar (who, incidentally, led the Beatles to Indian music) and the Irene Schweizer Trio. And especially on his own record, „Auto Jazz“ (MPS 15164 ST), a free jazz composition and improvisation based on the original soundtrack of the 1967 Grand Prix de Monaco in which in which the Italian race driver Lorenzo Bandini suffered his fatal accident. Therefore the subtitle of the record: „Tragic Destiny of Lorenzo Bandini.“
RONALD BRYER: Born 1947 in London. His father was a guitarist and taught his son the first pluckings at the tender age of
two (!). At 16, the youngster playedwith the „Loosin` Inds“ in London. In 1966 he came with the „Big Wheel“ to Switzerland. It was the first real Soul group which came to that country. Ronnie liked it so much in Switzerland, he deserted the Big Wheel and stayed in Zurich. In 1967 he joined The Movements. Ronald loves the Beatles and the music of other British Beat groups. He also likes Indian music. Joel says, „I believe he prefers Soul and hard Rock … the black American Rhythm and Blues, that is – and Bob Dylan.“ He has a very individual Blues style on the guitar.“ Ronald`s favorite guitarists are Grant Green and Jimi Hendrix.
PETER GISKE: Born 1947 in Basel, of Polish ancestry. Began to play professionally in 1965 with the Rock combo „The Sheapes.“ Has been with Joel`s Movements since 1967. He has no favorite bassman and specializes in Rock and Soul. „Want to find my own style,“ he says.
WOLFGANG PAAP: Born 1944 in Danzig. Has been concentrating on Rock and Soul since 1964. Has performed with Esther and Abi Ofarim. Lives in Munich and has taken part in many recording sessions there. Was recommended for our SABA recording by Pierre Favre. Joel`s comment: „Wolfgang plays only by ear, but it`s amazing how easy he gets the feel of each arrangement. He has the exact ´Negro` sound we aimed for. We want to try at all costs to keep him in The Movements.“
JOACHIM E. BERENDT (Original liner notes 1968)
Translated by Peter Kuhr