For this week’s installment of Funky Seoul Corner we go back almost 50 years. Lorez Alexandria was a soul/rhythm and blues vocalist whose recorded work spanned four decades—from the 1950s through the early years of the 90s. “Baltimore Oriole” was a track Lorez originally recorded for the King label (Cincinnati, Ohio) in 1957. But the 45 you now see before you is from 1963. She decided to record this track again for Argo (Chicago, Illinois). The Argo version has an afro-soul, jazz-tinged vibe to it. The airy flute you hear throughout the track mimics bird sounds—a nice touch, indeed and the lyrics are top-notch poetry! The tune describes the relationship between a Baltimore Oriole and a Blackbird. To be sure, the song has suggestive and titillating overtones: “I’d like to ruffle his plumage.” They just don’t say it like that anymore. Class, elegance and sophistication all wrapped up in one tune—that’s how I would sum it up.
Although I had this 45 on my “to buy” list for eons, I finally managed to pick up this copy just last year from a record dealer back in the states. I have yet to play it out anywhere, but if I did its mellow yet groovy sound would compel me to spin it early, perhaps as I’m starting to sip my first cocktail…. Enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: Sound files are posted for educational purposes only.