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Clarence Wheeler & The Enforcers – 1970 – Doin’ What We Wanna

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Clarence Wheeler & The Enforcers Doin' What We Wanna Front

A landmark album from this legendary Chicago soul jazz combo — and a record that helped set the tone for changes to come in funky jazz for the 70s! Tenorist Clarence Wheeler heads up the group — and they’ve got an amazing organ/bass sound that’s made them a legend with funk fans for years — a groove that’s filled with complicated riffing and changes, almost the “next level” of soul jazz beyond the already hip Jack McDuff groove of the Prestige years — taken into a lot more righteous territory! The grooves are totally infectious, and they echo with some of the best styles of the group’s contemporaries on the Chicago scene — particularly the electric Eddie Harris combo, or the best work going down over at Cadet Records! The album features a wonderful extended version of “Hey Jude”, with a million jazzy changes and loads of nice riffs (which is probably why it’s been heavily sampled) — plus groovy groovy versions of Eddie Harris’ “Sham Time” and Jack McDuff’s “Theme From The Electric Surfboard”.

And all that’s only on side one! Side two’s got even more great stuff — like “Doin What I Wanna”, “Dream Bossa Nova”, and “Right On” — and the whole record’s a gem!


Clarence Wheeler & The Enforcers Doin' What We Wanna Back

By Link S.

This is the album that inspired me to become a musician. My dad had me listening to this when it was first released on vinyl in 1970. I was 6 years old at the time, and I loved it, despite not knowing what genre of music it was called! Groovy version of the Beatles’ “Hey Jude“. “Sham Time” and “Electric Surfboard” do Eddie Harris and Jack McDuff justice. “Right On“, a tune that could have made it on the soul charts back then, features vocals by Judy Clay & Cissy Houston (Whitney’s mom). “Dream Bossa Nova” features the band members’ soloing versality. Title track “Doin’ What I Wanna“, a great blues-jazz tune you can dance to. The album concludes with “C.W.” the bands’ signature tune, which even features a drum solo. I regret not being able to see them live before Clarence’s passing in 2006, but this album is the personification of what jazz should always sound like.