Sunday, 15 January 2012

Deniece Williams - This is Niecy (1976)

This funky gem comes from Gary Indiana native Deniece Williams. This is Niecy came out at the same time that Williams was performing as a backup singer for Stevie Wonder and Minnie Riperton - which is amazing because it is full of original and unique material.  It's also interesting to note the album credits as they pretty much list off all the members of Earth Wind and Fire.

This is Niecy came out a year before EWF's All 'n All - a veritable funk classic - and it's no surprise that the White's (the main family of EWF) were testing out some of their ideas on it. The album features Al Mckay on guitars, Jerry Peters on piano and Freddie, Maurice and Verdine White on percussion, drums and bass respectively. The album starts strong and arguably has one of the best B sides of any funk album from 1976 closing out with the smooth "Free", driving "Watching Over", and soulful ballad "If You Don't Believe." Look out for the similarities in groove between the EWF track "Serpentine Fire" and Williams' "Watching Over." Produced by Maurice White and Charles Stepney, this is a must listen to for any fan of EWF. The album is great sample material and even better to just groove to.

Ripped @ 320

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