Jesse Gould worked out of New York through the 60s, and enjoyed a return to the recording scene as a disco artist in the 70s and 80s. Sadly his later recordings do nothing at all for me, but all his earlier tracks have that R & B style and upfront vocals that really move me. His first releases were for the Old Town subsidiary Barry under the production of Kelly Owens, with whom he worked almost the whole of his career.
Both “Don’t Mess With My Money” and “She’s A Woman” were chugging mid paced soul cum R & B on which Gould’s rough edged style and impressive timing were just perfect. His own Baby I Need You was perhaps the pick of the bunch – a slightly slower pace but still that hard hitting vocal and a well arranged bluesy band full of horns and a fine guitarist.
Owens and Gould moved on to Kapp but the feel of “A Two Faced Friend Ain’t No Good” is so similar to the Barry sides it may well have been recorded at the same sessions. More fine heavy soul. By the early 70s Gould and Owens had set up their own OTG label and Two Women was their hardest hitting track of them all. The sound had been updated a bit – note the wah wah guitar – but to compensate Gould’s intensity had been notched up a bit if anything. He injects some great gospel touches throughout this tough ballad, and the female background singers only add to the testifying atmosphere.
Some of Gould’s later recordings like the socially aware “Out Of Work” have become cult discs over time but the disco beat and the electronics put them way outside the comfort zone of this website.
Don’t mess with my money / Baby I need you ~ BARRY 1019 (1967)
Sweet sweet / She’s a woman ~ BARRY 1022 (1968)
A two-faced friend ain’t no good / Get in the groove ~ KAPP 998 (1969)
Two women / Funky feet ~ OTG 873 (1973)
Let's do it / Pt 2 ~ SOUND OF THE UNIVERSE 2222 (1976)
Out of work / Pt 2 ~ P & P 2222 (1979)
That's hot / Inst ~ NUGGET 1 (1981)
Note ~ Both “She’s A Woman” and “Don’t Mess With My Money” can be found on the Ace UK CD “Heavy Soul”. “Baby I Need You” can be fond on the same company’s “Barry And Old Town Soul Survey” CD.