Joe Claussell is on the brink of an exciting project, along with Brian Bacchus — they’re all set towork on remixing the Miles Davis catalogue. It’s a task that the Body & Soul star is approaching in a typically philosophical way. “Whatever the universe puts out we will accept it,” he muses. He’ll be heading to the UK this summer to the Southport Weekender along with Francois K and Danny Krivit for a Body & Soul special. “I really love what they do, what they put together, making sure they put on the best music festival around.” Coming from a household where each room had a different soundsystem playing a different genre, Joe Claussell is well equipped to sum up his Lucky 7...
What is the track that really sums up your childhood?
“I grew up with so many genres, it’s hard. A song by a group called Malo and it’s called ‘Suavecito’. It’s a song that’s been played a lot in my house. And everyone gelled to this. It went from my mother to my older brothers to my younger siblings and we absolutely loved this song and when I listen to it, it’s one that brings me right back to home in Brooklyn. It’s also a great album, it means ‘things being smooth, life being smooth’.”
What’s the first record that you ever bought?
“’Led Zeppelin’. I grew up in a multi-musical family, really hardcore. We had differentkinds of vibes in different rooms. I was really young when I bought that album. From the rock side my brother Larry introduced me tothat genre and at the time he had the bigger
stereo, so his music was the loudest, he was the oldest. He also had a rock band and that band used to rehearse in our basement, so there was a drum set and all this kind of set-up, so rock was heavily infl uenced. We were into all kinds of things, and I remember going in my neighbourhood into a store that still exists in Brooklyn on Fifth Avenue, called Records and Tapes. I was fifteen when I purchased the album.”
What’s the most embarrassing record in your collection?
“Again, I listen to a lot of different genres of music and some of it might be thought of as corny. I can’t think of something embarrassing but maybe I have something that other people might think is corny. For example, I love The Carpenters. I can go from funk, soul, African, jazz whatever, but I can go to my Carpenters, my James Taylor, you name it from that era. If you sit back and listen to the arrangements and productions or just the vocal harmonies to hear how great this music was put together. I would say ‘Close To You’.”
What’s the track that’s guaranteed to make you cry?
“Something like James Taylor ‘Shower The People’. That song is beautiful. The song is basically about showering the people that you love with love. Your friends, your family, your loved ones. Appreciate them, show them. That’s the great thing about music, back in the days, back then they were saying something, they were really saying something. That song really touches me, because it’s defi nitely in line with what we should be doing today. I tell my friends I love them all the time. But there’s a lot of songs that make me cry, it could by lyrics, harmonies or melody, for sure, music, yes.”
What’s an album that you’re currently into?
“When it comes to the newer music, there’s a lot of great stuff but it’s not touching like the older stuff. So I listen to a lot of older music. It’s a most recent record for me and it’s by Kip Hanrahan. It’s from a label that’s been about for a long time and his album is called ‘At Home In Anger’, it’s kind of a Latin jazz influenced album. One of the songs on there is called ‘Gift, No Woman Knows’, it’s a really good album.”
What’s the most valuable record in your collection?
“To be honest I’m not coming from a collector’s mentality. It’s really about the music speaking to me, but I do have a lot of expensive records.”
So, what’s the most expensive record you’ve ever bought?
“A double acetate, with unreleased remixes of Herbie Hancock ‘Flood’ — it’s a Japanese concert from him. It’s a test record, it’s a triple acetate, the duplicates of what’s been mastered and remixed. It’s different variations and remixes, stuff like that. And I paid something Like three hundred dollars.”
What’s your all-time favourite track of all time?
“That is so hard. Any genre? I would say probably right now, ‘As’ by Stevie Wonder’. The lyrics are genius and it’s a very touching song. Just the way he put that song together, for a blind man to come up with such wonderful lyrics. I can relate to it. It’s brilliant. That would be the song, it’s just powerful. Stevie Wonder was a great influence. He’s one of my heroes. That’s the song, today, at what time? Here it’s 12:07. At 12:10 it could be something