Classic Day – Take A Chunk


Awakening from an intermediate slumber, Willie Little Beaver” Hale is this recognizable but not always instantly namesake for easy-listening and funk sounds to appear in the mind. With his popularity and most recognizable work most likely being the sampling from Jay-Z on “Party Life,” Party Down as a record from Little Beaver cements some of his work into the ground floor of gentleness.

Party Down from the start is a palatable and beautiful dissection of what the caress of sound can be. With seven tracks that get essentially carried out over the spinning wax, around 30 minutes give enough of a lasting indentation with Little Beaver.

The start of Party Down makes for a title-track with two parts, “Party Down – Pt. 1” is the same instrumental as “Party Down – Pt. 2,” however the first part uses the vocalization from Little Beaver.

This vocalization becomes the reflection of 70s coke white shoes that mix to Soul Train levels of dance movement. “Party Down – Pt. 1” in particular acts as a god to moving the shoulders, feeling comfortable, and eventually moving the train of thought forward into a lucidity.

While incredibly simple from a progression standpoint, Party Down and the track itself are gorgeous. Little Beaver is this stone-faced monument of assembling a working and rotating staff to fulfill these arrangements on the record.

It begins with Little Beaver as the vocals, guitar, and bass, which coexists alongside George Perry, Nelson Padron, and Ron Bogdon on the bass as well. The percussion stems from Robert Ferguson and Glen Holmes who together, work in tandem with Latimore and Timmy Thomas on the keyboards. Backing vocals while minimal come from Betty Wright and give vitality to an already illustrious mixing of performances.

There are moments where Little Beaver almost touches into the realm of being vaguely familiar even if his tracks have never been heard, he embodies this iconic soul and funk fusion where so many realms of soundtracks have been produced.

The track “I Can Dig It Baby” becomes the standard for this phenomenon where the writhing guitars are a focal point for the track, as well as the sultry vocals from Little Beaver. He describes, “You party all night long, living it up ad getting it on. I’m so lonely when you’re gone, so when you’re up and on your own, I can dig it, baby.” Party Down which is baked in with velvet pants and the overcoming feeling of a spiral right before the crashing point in Goodfellas. The guitar solo brings in a new dawn on “I Can Dig It Baby” like a tender caress before the sunshine dissipates, the nighttime becomes the horizon, and eventually, this nightlife will take over the audience.

Quick and to the point, Party Down is sample heaven for percussion and vocalization, but never hits that mark of being a necessary record to own. The tracks present are gorgeous but get somehow overshadowed by many similar records of the same era, becoming a gem inside a dust bin of treasure.

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