Alan Hawkshaw – Mo’Hawk: The Essential Vibes & Grooves 1967-1975 (2003)

Alan Hawkshaw - Mo'Hawk - The Essential Vibes & Grooves 1967-1975 (2003)
Artist: Alan Hawkshaw
Album: Mo’Hawk: The Essential Vibes & Grooves 1967-1975
Genre: Funk / Soul
Released: 2003
Quality: FLAC (tracks+.cue)
Tracklist:
1. Señor Thump – Alan Hawkshaw, The Mohawks
2. Beat Me ‘Til I’m Blue – Alan Hawkshaw, The Mohawks
3. Move Move Move
4. Girl at the Top
5. Hastle
6. Millionairess
7. Beat Boutique
8. Piccadilly Night Ride
9. Dr Jekyll and Hyde Park – Alan Hawkshaw, The Mohawks
10. Sweet Motion – Alan Hawkshaw
11. Blue Note Listen
12. Girl in a Sportscar
13. Dave Allen at Large
14. Raver
15. Drive On
16. Action Man
17. Rocky Mountain Roundabout – Alan Hawkshaw, The Mohawks
18. Powerboat
19. Rumplestilskin – Alan Hawkshaw
20. Hawkwind and Fire

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Like many an active British session player in the 1960s and 1970s, Alan Hawkshaw, in addition to playing on many records by stars, did some recording as part of studio-only bands and for music library albums. Mo’Hawk selects 20 such tracks from 1967-1975, emphasizing ones that put his soul-rock-jazz Hammond organ to the fore. Some were credited to bands when first released — four to the Mohawks, one to the Salon Band, and one to Rumplestiltskin. But the rest evidently come from music library albums for Keith Prowse Music (though the liner notes don’t give precise details on the origination of some tracks), which were heard by few back when they were recorded, and not always even used in TV or cinema. Hawkshaw is a very good organist, but this material does betray its origins as pieces that were, after all, often hastily composed for cheap budget albums or as incidental background music to be considered for movies and television. As a consequence, it’s largely generic party music from various phases of Swinging London, albeit gutsier and more soulful than much other such music that made its way into period films. And while Hawkshaw plays his parts with some aplomb, when you have this sort of material (mostly written by Hawkshaw, alas), it isn’t going to give Georgie Fame sleepless nights. Various shades of easy listening, soul, funk, jazz, and pop-psychedelia make their way into the tracks, none of the songs standing out as work that transcends the background context for which they were originally crafted.
Review by Richie Unterberger

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