The Tramp's Jukebox Puri: Moe's Curried Soul


Well, well, well... Just like buses, it seems that you wait a whole year for a new Jukebox Puri then two come along at the same time. It's only been a month or so since we last took the Wurlitzer for spin but it was good having the old girl back in action so why not crank her up again? Last time I invited you to pour a G&T, pop on your slippers and kick back in a comfy chair for the chilled out, and slightly psychedelic, smooth jazz noodlings of the Indo-British Jazz Ensemble record Curried Jazz. This time, it might be an idea to get the lounge suit out and  pull on a roll neck because there will definitely be jazz flute ahead as we check out Moe Koffman's Curried Soul.



Moe Koffman was a Canadian jazz musician who played not only the flute but also rocked the sax and clarinet (just like our very own Trampy). Having established his reputation as a talented flautist in the late 1950s and 1960s, Moe's Curried Soul saw Koffman move from straight-up jazz into the world of fusion. Released in 1969 on Karma Sutra records, Curried Soul is a funk/soul/jazz explosion. The title track is the winner here, funky and jazzy in equal measure. If you can tolerate jazz flute you'll surely find a lot to like – great guitar, nice horn section and (presumably to justify the "curried" part of the title) just a tickle of sitar ... all of which builds to a satisfyingly cosmic finale. The rest of the album has a definite 1970s Sesame Street vibe going on (particularly the cover of You Are My Sunshine which jars somewhat as it immediately follows Curried Soul) but Koffman's covers of High Heel Sneakers and Cantelope Island are worth a listen.

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While the music is great, something else attracted me to this record. The back sleeve contains the usual tracklisting and production credits alongside what at first glance may appear to be a typical spiel about the record. But instead of the common accompanying blurb about the band, or how "groovy" the album is, it's actually Moe's recipe for Curried Soul. Initially I thought it was going to be a clever, but potentially groan-inducing, spiel about the ingredients of the album being "1/4oz of funk" and "1/2lb of soul" but no, it's just a straight-up recipe – and quite a bizarre one at that. I feel a TATTGOC cooking session coming up, just to see what the hell this concoction turns out like. Here are the ingredients:

Moe's Curried Soul
4 cups cooked lamb
6 rashers bacon
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
3 tablespoons chopped red pepper (optional)
3 tablespoons chopped apple
6 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons curry powder
4 cups stock
pinch of salt
6 cups hot, boiled rice

Moe also offers advice on side dishes (no less than 15 in fact!) including raisins fried in bacon fat – oaft! Other sage-like advice from the big man includes "you will want no green vegetable" and "to drink, beer is best, but if you prefer wine, be sure it is red and rough" – a tip that is wholeheartedly endorsed by the TATTGOC team.


Although Moe is no longer with us, Curried Soul carries on his legacy as the title music to the Canadian current affairs radio programme As It Happens – which has been running since 1968 and adopted Koffman's track in 1969. And for those that can't take the flute, Curried Soul was covered in 1970 by British one hit wonders Mr Bloe. Mr Bloe's version starts off promisingly enough, with great piano and drums, but the flute melody is replaced by a honking moothie – little wonder that this follow-up to their hit single Grooving With Mr Bloe failed to chart at all.

So, fancy giving Moe's Curried Soul a whirl yourself? Grab it here.

Happy listening!

... and since there's been a heavy jazz flute theme here's surely the best jazz flute scene of them all:



PREVIOUSLY ON THE TRAMP'S JUKEBOX PURI

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