Get this crazy baby off my head!



Ballin'jack - Ballin'jack - 1970 - CBS

Ballin'jack was a horn based funk rock group formed in Seattle, Washington in 1969 by the late bassist/vocalist Luther Rabb, and drummer Ronnie Hammon. The band had a minor hit in 1970 with "Super Highway". Luther Rabb later toured with Santana, and both Ronnie Hammon and Luther later joined War. Ballin'jack's debut album has some nice funky rock and wah wah killer tracks, with some good breakbeats. Over forty years after the release of this album, it could be said Ballin'jack was a progenitor of the NY hip-hop movement. In the late seventies DJ's noted them for their "breaks" and the band's music has been sampled by artists like Young MC, Beastie Boys, Ozamatli, Gang Starr, DoubleXX Posse, and the Cheetah Girls. "Found a Child" has a great guitar riff and heavy drums break. The horns are terrific, and there's some nice samples and loops on "Never Let 'Em Say". The problem with this album is track lengths. Seven of the tracks on "Ballin'jack" are less than three minutes long. In fact two of the tracks are less than two minutes in length. "Festival", "Carnival", and "Hold On" are longer pieces and allow the band more musical leeway.The band's 1972 "Buzzard Luck" album was stronger than this debut album, with longer and more developed tracks. Nevertheless, this album from 1970 despite dated vocals reminiscent of the time period, has a lot of good original R&B/soul/jazz funk, and it would be worth checking out for remastered CD versions of this vinyl album, which contains some "snap, crackle, and pop". [ All tracks @ 192 KBps: File size = 47 Mb ]


A1 Found A Child - J. Walters & L. Rabb
A2 Super Highway - J. Walters
A3 Festival - J. Walters & L. Rabb
A4 Telephone - J. Walters
A5 Only A Tear - L. Rabb
A6 Never Let 'Em Say - L. Rabb

B1 Street People - J. Walters & L. Rabb
B2 Carnival - Ballin'jack
B3 Ballin' The Jack - C. Smith & J. Burris
B4 Hold On - L. Rabb


Guitar, Backing Vocals – Glenn Thomas
Bass, Lead Vocals – Luther Rabb RIP
Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals – Ronnie Hammon
Piano, Trombone, Backing Vocals – Tim McFarland
Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, Backing Vocals – Jim Coile
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Lead Vocals – Jim Walters


Luther Rabb and Ronnie Hammon originally formed Ballin'jack in their hometown of Seattle, Washington in 1969. Getting encouragement and inspiration from the sudden success of their childhood friend Jimi Hendrix. they added Glenn Thomas on guitar and a compliment of horns including long time musicians like Jim Coile and Tim McFarland. They moved to Los Angeles, California where there are many stories of famous people visiting their big mansion home-studio near the Sunset Strip. BALLINJACK'S reputation was that live their shows were so good that fans were known to have left afterwards, and that some headliners had actually refused to have them again as an opening act. ( 1970 Billboard Magazine ) This didn't seem bother Jimi all too much...as he aksed his old school mates to come along with him on his 1970 "Cry Of Love" tour. During 1969-74 Ballin'jack headlined up and down the West Coast and went on nationwide US tours warming up for many legendary bands at famous venues like the Fillmore East and West and was on the bill of several large "Pop Festivals" of the era. They went as far as Japan with great reception. Ballin'jack's studio recordings hold true as archives of some very cool and spiritually diverse music. Their songs have broad appeal, containing purely original beats, rich soulful melodies and plenty of good old-fashioned "Wah-Wah" guitar. In the years to come, many of their funky, yet organic sounds were re-discovered by live DJ's (who still spin LP records). In 1989, Young MC won a Grammy award for the hit single "Bust A Move" (VH1 Story) using a looped lick taken from the their song "Found A Child". Sampled by many since, the Hip-Hop movement found that... the grooves Ballinjack had originally laid down over 30 years ago… were in fact, original. Ballin'jack had released three studio and one live album before disbanding in 1974. Luther & Ronnie worked on solo projects and other music ventures as a bass and drum team and both had a long running gig as members of the WAR The Music Band. The limited edition Best Of Luther Rabb & Ballin'Jack CD and the upcoming 21st Century Tribute to Ballin'lack CD along with the eventual reissue of their original LP's from the1970's can finally share with this new millenium, the old vibrations, that their many loyal fans have always have kept close to their heart. Originally recorded on vinyl, their music was sweet and tasty when it was freshly made… but now, available on CD there will be many more helpings of terrific leftovers in the days to come. From Hendrix to Hip-Hop… fans get a plate. Ballin'jack may once again be the best thing to come around since sliced bread. © http://www.ballin-jack.com/


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

Some Awe said...

Hello Sir Fingal, trust you are well. Thanks for this, a reminder of a great band and sound I only came across recently. I looked for a vinyl copy and though they are on ebay in the States there are no copies here in England. So I bought a 2 for 1 cd [made in Germany] from amazon, containing this album and Buzzard Luck which arrived today. It's a great listen across 20 tracks. I do love a great sax-pumped track called 'Two Years' off their 'Special Pride' album. Anyway, I endorse the recommendation. Looking forward to the '73 John Kay by the way, thanks.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Some Awe. I used to scour old record shops. I got quite a few rarities, which are legit, but not in any catalogues I've seen. I'd love to see a lot of stuff like this remixed and remastered. What was the audio quality like on that 2 x CD? John Kay's album is great if short. Thanks for comment, & TTU soon...P

Some Awe said...

Sound quality absolutely fine: Walhalla 90373; 2006

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks, Some Awe. I'll be checking some of those issues out. TTU soon...P