After hearing one of the opening acts at a recent show here in ATL rock over a beat with the same sample as Tyler the Creator’s “Odd Toddlers,” I was compelled to do some internet searching and found a French jazz gem. “Odd Toddlers” was already my favorite beat on Bastard, and the source track has already been sampled for beats spit upon by Hip-Hop’pers as disparate as MF Doom (“One Beer”) and Wiz Khalifa (“Visions”), but hearing the original – an incredibly dope song in its own right – makes Tyler’s rearrangement of the various loops even more enjoyable.
The track in question is “Huit Octobre 1971” by Cortex, a French-but-funky jazz group anchored by pianist Alain Mion and percussionist Alain Gandolfini. It comes off their Troupeau Bleu album, which, though well-received when it was originally released in 1975 and despite being reissued both in 1999 and 2008, remains an obscure selection, well-respected among crate diggers but not known by most music fans.
The tempo and feel of the album range from a bright Sunday morning funk to a more sedated jazzy texture and the atmospheric vocals of Mirelle Dalbray add a consistent layer of mysticism to the proceedings. It’s a great album for background music, or to just put on and zone out to – I’m enjoying the mp3s enough that I’m definitely hoping to win this eBay auction to add it to the vinyl collection as well.
P.S. Back in July, I did a Daily Funk on Electric Flag’s “Groovin Is Easy” because I spotted a sample off Skipp Coon & Mr. Nick’s Sophomore Slump EP while listening to that funk-soul-rock jam. Recently, while listening to Troupeau Bleu on repeat, I caught another SS EP sample–Mr. Nick lifted a brilliant four-second loop from “Prelude A 60 Round” for “It Is What It Is.” Salute that man and his ear.