Monday, March 09, 2009

Voices Of East Harlem - Right On Be Free (remastered & expanded) - 1970


The Voices Of East Harlem were a community choir that grew from an inner city action project in 1969. A fluid 20-member ensemble whose ages ranged from 12 to 21, their music mixed devotional gospel fervor with commercial R&B and soul, and included lead vocalists Gerri Griffin and Monica Burress. Coming to the attention of Elektra boss Jac Holzman via their producer Jerry Brandt, they were signed in 1970 for their debut “Right On Be Free”, which showcased a diverse song selection from Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth, to Richie Haven’s “Run Shaker Life”, all performed in their distinctive high-energy style. A follow-up single “Oxford Town” appeared in 1971, produced by Donny Hathaway who was scheduled to produce a second Elektra album, rumoured to have been called “Brothers & Sisters”; the session logs actually refer to it as “Nation Time” (written by Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff). Both sides of the Elektra 45 plus the other aborted tracks from these sessions appear on this remastered & expanded edition for the first time in 36 years, and are bolstered by the last single “Angry” plus two live tracks recorded at the “Soul To Soul” concert in Ghana in 1971.


1. Right on Be Free 3:48
2. Simple Song of Freedom 4:04
3. Proud Mary 2:49
4. Music in the Air 3:19
5. Oh Yeah 1:34
6. For What It's Worth 3:32
7. Let It Be Me 3:24
8. No No No 4:03
9. Gotta Be a Change 2:39
10.Shaker Life 6:51
11.Oxford Town [*] 3:00
12.Sit Yourself Down [*] 2:14
13.Nation Time [*] 2:52
14.I Wanna Be Free [*] 3:59
15.Hey Brother [*] 2:42
16.Love Is the Answer [*] 2:47
17.Kind Woman [*] 4:54
18.Angry [*] 2:39
19.(We Are) New York Lightning [*] 2:54
20.Run Shaker Life [*] 5:49
21.Soul to Soul [*] 2:23

* Bonus tracks.



The Voices Of East Harlem comprised of:
Gerri Griffin (lead vocals)
Monica Burress (lead vocals)
Bernard Graham
Wayne Garfield
Jerome Mack
Elaine Clark
Cynthia Sessions
Kevin Griffin
Claudia Moore

Voices band:
Bob Ealey (drums)
Johnny Serrano (organ)
Leslie Maynard (organ)

Accompanying the Voices on 1-10:
Chuck Rainey or Jerry Jemmot - (bass)
Patty Bown (piano)
Richard Tee (organ)
Montego Joe or Ralph McDonald - (conga)
Cornell Dupree (guitar)

Possibly(!) accompanying the Voices on 11-17:
Phil Upchurch (guitar)
Willie Weeks (bass)
Fred White (drums)

Tracks 20-21 recorded live at the 'Soul to Soul' festival in Accra, Ghana, 1971.

Jerry Brandt, producer (1-10)
Donny Hathaway, producer (11-17),
T Davilio/S Vincent, producer (18-19),
Tom Dowd, producer (20-21)

- Clique Aki:

6 comments:

fred said...

awesome, thanks for the upload

taro nombei said...

great sounds, great blog, much appreciated!

yotte said...

Downloading now. Can't wait to give it a listen. THANKS!

Aurelia said...

thank you SO much for posting this!

Dr. Bell Otus said...

Excelente!!!!

Muitissimo obrigado, por esta maravilha

Ian Paterson said...

This is an amazing album! :)