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Saturday, November 17, 2012

the OFF SET - Brent Records retrospective




the Off Set as a later group the Boys from New York City
L-R - Hank Cardello (drums/vocals) - Don Sallah (vocals/guitar)
Ray Martinez (bass *unsure if Ray is in Off Set) and Tony Franquiero (keys)



This is NOT the Jagged Edge offshoot incidentally named group
the Off Set.  
But they were from the same area and stomping grounds
of New York city. 

Since collecting these mid 60s Brent sides for the most part I didn't have much information on many of these oddball one off releases. One thing I was almost 100% sure of was that the sound of a series of records released in more or less one after the other in 1965 on Brent was to be attributed to the same studio they recorded in and for the most part the same musicians and recording techniques.

Here is an example of the Matrix order of these releases to be discussed :
7045 - Boo Boo Bunky 'turn around'
7047 - Shane 'that girl of mine / don't turn me off'
*7048 - the Word 'now it's over'
7051 - Off set 'just a little smile'
7053 - Off set 'you're a drag'

* The Word turned into the War babies and then Euphoria.
They are a stark contrast in sound and texture and arrangment
compared to the others. that's why I posted it as it was released right
after Shane but before Off Set.

These other records that all share the same vibe, instrumentation,
and I'll focus for a moment on the Bass player. It's a fair guess that I'm hearing the same guy with really interesting grooves but it's very unique especially the tone  achieved by this bass player which graces records by Shane, Boo Boo & Bunky
and our topic group the Off Set.  Then reading the insightful article on Don Sallah (the guy behind the Off-Set) that was
posted on FlowerBombSongs aka OPULENT CONCEPTIONS blog wherein the author interviewed Sallah
and he states they were a Studio only group as the Off Set. (go to OPULENT CONCEPTIONS to read many other offshoots of who was behind the Off Set). So that makes sense as Shane and Boo Boo &  Bunky were also one off concepts among a few other bands on Brent / Mainstream / Time.
It's speculated by myself that Mike Deasy is doing session guitar on here
but he himself cannot remember but he did record sides for Brent during this
time and was session guy there. He is featured on many of
the sides on the Brent / Time comp called Music for the Dance crowd.
Now to look back at the Off Set sides on Brent, the B side on 'just a little smile' is 'lonely lonely night' and the title
alone pretty much sums up the vibe and I wonder if it would rank as one
of the shortest Sides on 45  clocking at a brief 1:32 with this downer B side .
The studio at Bob Shads Brent/Time was obviously stacked with really
diverse gear. They had ay their disposal Latin inspired instruments like
the Vibes and different percussions as  Joe Cain had recorded
there for along time also forgot to mention Hugo Montenegro!
I mention the  vibes as they show up on tracks by Shane and the Off Set
gracefully.
When you get the B Side of 'You're a drag'  (Little Girl Little Boy) you get a completely different sounding group and theme. I would guess that was a tack on
tracks from earlier musical projects, and not recorded at Brent and sounds like
it was from 1962ish.
Lastly a bit about the  basically unknown track called 'I'm just a clown" is  another downer track and it's a shame it's hidden on
the rare 3 LP box set of Music For the Dance crowd and it's totally uncredited. I think it's a real gem
and it is a really cool treat to hear it in Stereo as the song 'Just a little smile' is featured on the 1 LP version of Music for
the Dance crowd and it's in Fake stereo from a Mono mix but the Single version as featured here is the true Mono goodness.



you_re a drag-OFF SET...





i_m just a clown-OFF SET





just a little smile-OFF SET






lonely lonely night-OFF SET






little boy little girl-OFF SET





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