Thursday, June 26, 2008

Father's Children

It's hard to believe that an album Wayne Henderson produced could be a total flop commercially. But then again, worthwhile albums fall through the cracks all the time. That's exactly what happened with this self-titled debut album by Father's Children, a little known L.A. band that Henderson produced in 1979. The music on this out of print LP is essentially soul and funk, but with jazz overtones -- and, occasionally, Father's Children incorporates elements of reggae and Afro-Caribbean music. Think of the jazzier funk of the 1970s, and you will know where the eight-man band is coming from on tracks like "You Can Get It," "Dance Do It," and "Shine On." Pleasure, the Blackbyrds, and Karma are valid comparisons, and one can also hear similarities between Father's Children and some of the more jazz-influenced offerings of the Ohio Players and the pre-J.T. Taylor Kool & the Gang. Father's Children also hints at Side Effect on some of the songs, which isn't surprising because Side Effect leader Augie Johnson serves as a co-producer and background vocalist. Some of the material is excellent, and some of it is merely decent -- this LP isn't perfect, although Father's Children deserves credit for taking chances. One hears a lot of potential on this record, but, regrettably, the band's first album also turned out to be its last. ~ Alex Henderson,

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