A bit saddened to hear that another of my fave soul/funk artists Eugene McDaniels (AKA Gene McDaniels) passed away yesterday.
While his reputation amongst beat junkies and rare groove collectors is set in wax, I would definitely label him obscure to the average Jake Blues. However anyone owning a copy of Tribe Called Quest’s “People’s Instinctive Travels…” may recall the snippets of McDaniel’s eerie Jagger The Dagger playing betwixt interludes.
Eugene started out his career in the early 60s as ‘Gene McDaniels’ making top 40 fluff like Tower of Strength and A Hundred Pounds of Clay but by the late 60s he eschewed the Sam Cooke schtick for blacker, more conscious waters. By the early 70s, with albums like Outlaw and Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse a more wildly indignant brother (save maybe Gil Scott Heron) you’d be hard pressed to meet.
Personally, I think nothing sums up self righteous apathy quite like his big tongue-in-cheek, ‘fuck you-got mine’ track than today’s entry Cherrystones. Despite being sampled quite heavily, McDaniels covers run obscure to nil. However I was able to scare up a rather out there jazz-funk version by Blue Note Hammond whiz (and occasional collaborator), Jimmy Smith.