Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Leo's Five - Hold It
Here's a record that I'd neither seen nor heard of until moving to southern Illinois a couple of years ago. But boy, is it ever plentiful here! Bet I've seen about a dozen copies floating around since and always for cheap. One local junk shop had seven copies of this last summer. I even snagged a couple of extras to give to friends.
Leo's Five were a jazz styled combo out of the St. Louis area. Indeed, the L-G label was owned and operated by Leo Gooden out of his nightclub in East St. Louis, IL. Leo had at least one single on the label featuring his vocal stylings. I don't think he lent anything more than a name to Leo's Five though. I'm not sure of the membership on "Hold It" but the songwriting is credited to Don James, the band's Hammond B3 player.
"Hold It" is an uptempo instrumental that kicks off with interplay between James' organ and a horn section. Then, an Ike Turner-esque guitar comes in and takes over the lead, with the Hammond B3 backing. James then takes his turn at lead and wails! Some great tension is generated as the horns join back in and the organ leads them all back to the opening refrain. It's soul jazz at its finest, a really swingin' affair.
As close as I can pinpoint, "Hold It" was a 1964 release. Leo's Five made other recordings but for whatever reason this record seems to be the only one that's an easy find around here. But whoo, how lucky for me that this is the one.