Monday, January 16, 2012

Fathers of Rap, Volume Five: Jimmy Castor

Jimmy Castor passed away earlier today, leaving behind a musical legacy as immense as an iceberg. As Dr. King once said: "Seeing is not always believing." You've gotta dig deep to appreciate the magnitude of "It's Just Begun", an audible treat from 1972 that finds the funk/disco saxophonist letting loose with one of the illest horn riffs of all time. Numerous DJs and producers have sampled portions of this track, not to mention other Castor records like the easily-quotable vocal intro on "Troglodyte (Cave Man)". And we can even get a bit more technical, noting that Jimmy Castor produced tracks for other artists, say for instance Gary Byrd, on his jazzy gem "Soul Travelin' Pt. I (The G.B.E.)" - which was sampled on Nas' "Halftime" and Big L's "8 Iz Enuff", just to name a couple of classics. But for this entry in my Fathers of Rap series, I wanted to take the time to value that one track, "It's Just Begun", to highlight how far one short little series of horn notes can play in the makeup of musical history. So without further adieu: What we gonna do right here is go back... To the man. Jimmy Castor. It's just begun...

"Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better." - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.