Kashmere Stage Band
As digital music becomes overwhelming to the point I need breaks from MP3s altogether I've found myself record shopping once again and enjoying the pleasures of listening to vinyl at home, a lot.
Yesterday I road my bike down to DUMBO to hit up Halcyon, one of the few great record stores left in NYC. I picked up this album among a few other records, this one is indeed a stand out. Funky, live and timeless. Filled with the passion you just can't find easily from modern musicians.
This album, 'Zero Point' was one of only three albums the group ever recorded.
You can order the re-issues of their albums at Wax Poetics shop.
Kashmere High School is located in a predominantly black neighborhood known as Kashmere Gardens in Houston, Texas. Music teacher Conrad O. Johnson attended an Otis Redding concert in 1967 and was inspired to translate the style of the concert into a program he could sustain at the high school in order to create opportunities for his student musicians. The Kashmere Stage Band was born.
During its time, KSB won national championships in high school band competitions and gained a reputation as being unbeatable. Johnson served as band director, arranger, and principal composer for the band. KSB recorded eight albums during its life.
The teenagers in the Kashmere Stage Band produced a sound equal to that of the contemporary funk bands the JB's and the Bar-Kays. Although lost for decades, since 2003 the KSB recordings have been released on 7" or 12" LP record or CD, and have become prized by hip-hop artists and dj's for their inimitable sound. A notable sampling occurs on the Handsome Boy Modeling School album So... How's Your Girl?, DJ Shadow’s track “Holy Calamity (Bear Witness II)” samples “Kashmere” from the album Kashmere Stage Band Plays Originals. Many of the modern KSB releases are occurring for the first time.