CAREFUL WITH THAT AXE DAVID by Dean Rudland
Sometimes artists suddenly emerge from the past and are given a prominence that no one would ever have expected. David Axelrod is one such artist. His classic productions for the likes of Lou Rawls, Cannonball Adderley, his arrangements for the Electric Prunes and his own solo albums created a style which contained vast swathes of drums, loping baselines, and spine chilling strings. Until recently this didn't really mean a thing. Then the sample-obsessed hip hop crowd discovered and championed him, and his records no longer resided in bargain bins, but commanded healthy bounties. The likes of the Beatnuts and De La Soul found his records irresistible and DJ Shadow liked him so much he has had him working on re-mixes for the UNKLE project on Mo' Wax.
HEAVY AXE is one of the handful of Axelrod albums that form the holy grail for collectors of his work. In many ways it is his most complete and finest work. Everything Counts is classic Axelrod with its big strings and classical motifs on top of a funky backbeat, while Mucho Chupar is a crackling slice of funk that stares down the faint hearted. For a change of pace there is one of the finest versions of You're So Vain that you are likely to hear as Stephanie Spruill's vocals entwine enticingly around Axelrod's arrangements.
If you are unaware of David Axelrod's work start here and you will be hooked, and if you were having trouble locating or parting with the money for an original this might just be your lucky day.