Sammy Nestico has a very long and prestigious music career. He’s best known for his arrangements of the Count Basie Orchestra and tons of work with film/television music. There is even an award named after him! Despite his lengthy career as a Jazz/big band composer and arranger, his first solo album didn’t drop till 1982. The album has a lengthy list of guest musicians, but the only one I recognize is Bud Shank. Most of it is traditional Jazz, with the cut “Shoreline Drive” being the exception. The track sounds more like something off of a CTI release than a big band composer album. The song was famously sampled for Fat Joe‘s intro track to Jealous One’s Envy, “Bronx Tale“.
Joe’s sophomore release Jealous One’s Envy is usually regarded as his best work. “Bronx Tale“, the first song on the album, sets the tone for the rest of the classic LP. Diamond D loops the Nestico track to perfection while KRS-One spits some bars. Ironically, the track sounds more like KRS-One featuring Fat Joe, as it’s mostly him doing the rapping. Diamond didn’t add any drums or chop the sample, but in his defense, it really didn’t need to. Either way, check out the original cut.
I don’t have much info on the L.A. Boppers unfortunately. They were an 80′s R&B group with a few albums focused on “bopping“? I’m assuming that corresponded to the West Coast pop-locking dance craze of the early 80′s. Aside from the dance-heavy tracks, the Boppers also had a few ballads, including “Did It Good“. The intro drum and keyboard hits were used by the underground hip-hop collective, D.I.T.C. for their track “All Love“.
An odd sample choice, the D.I.T.C. track was produced by Lord Finesse. The cut included verses from Fat Joe, A.G. (of Showbiz & AG) and the late/great Big L. Finesse managed to make the 80′s cornball loop sound like a gritty freestyle break. Check out the original to see just how far it went!
Mike Curb is an interesting dude. Aside from his work with Lalo Schifrin, Roy Orbison, the Osmond Family, Lou Rawls, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Solomon Burke; he also signed many prominent Soul acts while he was a record exec. Some of those groups include The Sylvers, War, and Johnny Bristol. In 1970, he infamously dropped several acts from MGM Records due to their pro-drug music. He later got into politics, country music, and even NASCAR!? His track “Burning Bridges“, co-written by Lalo Schifrin, was most recently sampled by Terror Squad for “Yeah Yeah Yeah“.
After the death of Pun, Terror Squad fell off horribly. They somehow scored a hit with “Lean Back” and were searching for their next big song. In the midst of that “Yeah Yeah Yeah” featuring Remy Ma dropped. Let’s face it, Remy would never fully replace Pun and without Cuban Link, TS didn’t really have much left to offer. Either way, they do their best trading verses over the intro to “Burning Bridges“. Years earlier, Big Daddy Kane used the same break for “Come On Down” featuring Q-Tip and Busta Rhymes. The track is credited as being produced by Kane himself!?
There is also a clean drum break at the very end of the track which is less punchy than the intro. Check it out.
I don’t have much info about the group The Eleventh Hour. They have an album “Greatest Hits” which is slightly misleading, being that I’ve never seen any other albums by them. There are some interesting facts about the album however. For one, all songs on the album were written by Bob Crewe, who is famous for writing several of Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons hits. Second, the horns on the album were arranged by Tom Scott. Finally, there is a version of “Lady Marmalade” (written by Bob Crewe) on this album. The most interesting part here is that this version was released the same year (1974) as the hit version by Labelle. It’s possible this version was released first.
The track “Nasty” was sampled by DJ Premier for the Fat Joe cut “That White“. Once again, DJ Premier chops an otherwise boring intro and makes a crazy beat out of it. Check it out.