Mr. Jamo - Shake What You Brought With You Pt1
Mr. Jamo (right) with "The Geater" Jerry Blavat
‘Bay-Go-DAH! Bay-Go-DAH!’ Huh? The first time I heard ‘Shake What You Brought With You’ by Mr. Jamo I wondered immediately if the record had in fact been mislabeled, and was not the work of Jamo Thomas, but of some drug addled Euro-au-go-go maniac. Y’see, Mr. Jamo aka Jamo Thomas was a funky soul man who left his cabana in the sunny Bahamas to come to Chicago and make a grip of cool soul records in the 60’s. The best known of these ‘I Spy (For the FBI)’ is a groovy classic. He recorded a number of 45s for Chi-town labels like Conlo and Thomas (no relation) before taking his Party Brothers down south to the SS7 and SSS Intl labels. ‘Shake What You Brought With You Pts 1&2’ sounds like nothing less than a one-song greatest hits of late 60’s swinging Europe exploito-soundtracks (I'm pretty sure the track dates from either '69 or '70) . The mixture of bright, straight ahead horns with psychedelicized sitars and funky drums, sounds like it was custom made for a party scene in which Owlsey spikes the punch and everyone, from the Russian count wearing a monocle to the miniskirted Dolly Birds feel the vibe and decide to take off all of their clothes and do the Frug (or the Funky Chicken, Boogaloo or whatever). No…really. The whole crazy feel of things is regroove-u-lated (come on now…that’s not even a real word…) when our friend Jamo slides on in and starts interjecting what can only be described as a mixture of standard funky hype man exclamations (processed through a filter of hashish and joss sticks) and nonsensical (at least to me) proclamations, shouted by Mr. Jamo from his minaret, high - and I do mean high – above the proceedings.
Come on now, shake what you brought witCHOOOOO! Shake it, shake it , shake it! Bay-Go-DAH! Bay-Go-DAH! Whoop it on mayyyyy, whoop it on mayyyy and go A-HAYUYYYD! Go HAYYYYYYD! Mercy, baby mercy! I feel gooood! I feel GOOD? We gohn let your favorite jock whoop it on ya! Go ‘head on and work your show!
The overall effect is almost like they picked up the studio, relocated it (and Mr. Jamo) to a Discotheque on the Riviera and let the tape run. There are elements to this record that sound like they were spliced in from a UK-based library record and bits of any given soundtrack by Manfred Huber and Siegfried Schwab (the guys that did the soundtracks to the Jess Franco films). I’ve never heard anything else by Jamo (or anything else on the SSS Intl label for that matter) that sounds anything like this. It is a truly remarkable little record, and a lot of fun. The record was arranged by Anthony Dorsey and produced by Stan Watson (who both share writing credit with Mr. Jamo). As Watson was a big Philly producer (Delfonics, First Choice etc.) there’s a possibility that this was done in Philly.