Best Served Hot

The Latin Blues Band ft Luis Aviles – (I’ll Be a) Happy Man [Speed]

As a string of near identical instrumentals the body of this energetic Latin Soul number was variously released as ‘Happy Soul’, then ‘Happy Soul with a Hook’ and ‘Hippy Skippy Moon Strut’ by Dave Cortez and/or the Moon People, but it is this crisp original vocal version that (according to the ever-reliable and readable DJ Monk One in his liner notes for 2006 Harmless compilation Pulp Fusion: Bustin’ Loose) offered up its innards for sample.

Though originally intended for Amerie, the Time Team’s Tony Robinson of killer cuts DJ Premier lifted the horn stabs and busy rhythm from this late 60s slice of scorching boogaloo for what was to become Christina Aguilera’s ‘Ain’t No Other Man’ to near chart-topping effect, bringing the original back to the attentions of the funk underground in the process. Of course it’s a double-edged sword on some dancefloors as recognition will deem it appropriate for dancing but you’ll have to brace yourself for the onslaught of associated chart requests to follow.

After unleashing the jaunty piano and punchy brass interplay shared by its successors, The Latin Blues Band (yet to advertise their heritage as Moon People) have, in the sections later occupied by Cortez’s noodling Hammond, defiantly upbeat vocals from Luis Aviles, sounding every inch a young Joe Bataan or Pete Rodriguez, championing the good life as the best revenge. A dish all the better served hot, hot, hot.

Originally released on the album Take a Trip Pussycat [Speed], ‘(I’ll Be a) Happy Man’ is now more widely available on Various Artist compilations Brown Sugar: Latin Breakbeats, Basslines & Boogaloo and Pulp Fusion: Bustin Loose [Harmless], and the now rereleased Take a Trip Pussycat [Codigo Music].

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