Tower of Power to Release "Hipper Than Hip Live" on November 25
Tue, 22 Oct 2013 14:08:50
Lenny Williams Videos
Who's hipper than hip? Tower of Power, that's who.
Tower of Power's musical odyssey began in 1968 when tenor saxophonist/vocalist Emilio Castillo met baritone sax player Stephen "Doc" Kupka in July of that year. Originally named The Motowns, the guys paid homage to the R&B sound that influenced them while adding their own personal twist. In 1970, the now renamed Tower of Power landed its first record deal with Bill Graham's San Francisco Records. Their next album, Bump City, was recorded on Warner Brothers and produced a string of hits giving the band its first national exposure.
Then, as history will repeat itself, on May 14, 1974, Tower of Power went into radio station WLIR in Hempstead, Long Island and played a live-in-the-studio show that set the station ablaze as well as the radios of any listeners that were lucky enough to hear it. Flash forward nearly 40 years and Hipper Than Hip Live. It captures the band at their commercial peak, fresh from releasing their fourth album, back to Oakland, and featuring such key early tracks as "You're Still a Young Man," "Down to the Nightclub," "So Very Hard to Go," "Time Will Tell" and, of course, "What Is Hip?" with Lenny Williams on vocals.
Emilio Castillo, founding member and leader of Tower of Power, said, "We were clearly at the top of our game firing on all 10 cylinders."
What makes the recording particularly overpowering—aside from the band's performance, which is so on the money that calling it "tight" doesn't really do it justice—is that it was a live-in-the-studio session, so the fidelity is the equal of a studio recording, yet it has all the passion and immediacy of a live concert.
• Oakland Stroke
• Squib Cakes
• This Time It's Real
• Soul Vaccination
• You're Still a Young Man
• Clean Slate
• So Very Hard to Go
• Get Your Feet Back on the Ground
• Time Will Tell
• Man from the Past
• Down to the Nightclub
• Just When We Start Makin' It
• Knock Yourself Out
• What Is Hip
Anyone plan to pick up this release?