Here's a look inside the basic rhythm section of "Kid Charlemagne" (from their Royal Scam album) stripped of vocals, solos and sweetening. Some things to listen for include:
1. The precision of the playing is fantastic. There's enough room for the players to stretch out slightly (bass player Chuck Rainey stretches a lot), yet they're so tight on all the hits while not sounding quantized. Listen especially for the turnarounds between sections.
2. Listen to Larry Carlton's guitar on the left side. He's playing along with the Rhodes piano, yet the releases of both instruments are fairly loose.
3. Check out the clavinet on the right side. That's often buried in the mix, but it's quite apparent here. It meshes great with the other instruments without getting in the way, considering how busy the playing is.
4. Drummer Bernard Purdie is playing a version of his famous shuffle, but listen to the unusual pattern on the high hat.
If you liked this track, you also might like my Deconstructed Hits series of books that provide an inside look to hits from all different genres.
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