T.S. MONK: ‘Human’ (Label: Funkytowngrooves)

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T.S. MONK: 'Human'

This was the third and final album from an 8-piece post-disco band led by drummer/vocalist, T. S. Monk, the son of legendary jazz composer and pianist, Thelonious Monk. Released by Jerry Greenberg’s Atlantic-distributed Mirage label in 1982, the 7-track set not only reflected the influence of Nile Rodgers’ and Bernard Edwards’ Chic outfit but followed a similar stylistic trajectory taken by the boogie-era groups Change, BB&Q Band and High Fashion. The opener, ‘Fantasy,’ is a great female vocal-led cut that was co-written by Leroy Burgess – the Change-like groove is propelled by a sinewy slapped bass with elegant keyboards on top and a Chic-style lead vocal from girl singers Boo Monk and Yvonne Fletcher. Also included as a bonus on this edition is a superb Paul Simpson extended edit of the song. Other highlights on the album include ‘Play Side Two’ – a weird but highly infectious track that encourages the listener to turn the record over – the mid-tempo ballad, ‘I’ll Get Over You Somehow’ and the reflective, jazz-tinged title track, which features steel drums. Added to the original album is a terrific John Morales 2009 reconstruction of the group’s 1981 US dance floor hit, ‘Candidate For Love.’ Now remastered and available on CD for the first time ever, ‘Human’ is definitely worth picking up if you’re a fan of early ’80s soul/dance records. T.S. Monk’s previous two Mirage albums, ‘House Of Music’ and ‘More Of The Good Life,’ are also available from the Funkytowngrooves label.
(CW) 4/5