The Brothers – 1976 – Don’t Stop Now
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The “Brothers” appeared to be little more than a New York set of studio players, led by Bhen Lanzaroni – but they did an amazing job of replicating a Philly instrumental sound, with plenty of heavy bass at the bottom of the arrangements, and jazzy riffing on wah wah guitar, flute and keyboards over the top. Washes of strings gave the whole album a real “hustle” feel – and the tracks blend into one another on each side. They were the kind of group that were easily overlooked if the tracks weren’t so good!
The Brothers studio project was designed to cash in on the disco craze. DON’T STOP NOW is packed with a smooth instrumental disco sound that’s got a lot of nice jazzy touches, which never lapses into the clichés you’d expect. The “Brothers” were hip enough to cover Antonio Carlos and Jocafi’s classic Brazilian groover “Voce Abousou“, done with the coolest vocals on the chorus only – and they come up with some nice numbers on their own, like “Make Love”, “Brothers Theme”, “Don’t Stop Now” and “Under The Skin”.
1976 was an eventful year for Brooklyn-born producer, arranger, songwriter, engineer and singer Warren Schatz. It was in 1976 that he produced The Brothers’ second album, Don’t Stop Now (a favorite in dance clubs). Schatz established him as an important figure in disco. But even though Schatz was closely identified with disco in the mid- to late 1970’s, it was in pop-rock that the native New Yorker initially made his mark.
Recruiting his friend Bhen Lanzaroni to help with the arranging and songwriting, Schatz produced The Brothers’ album.
Don’t Stop Now was dominated by instrumentals. Having a larger budget enabled Schatz to give Don’t Stop Now a highly orchestral sound, and Schatz’ approach is both lush and funky on infectious instrumentals like “Were You Ready for That” (as opposed to “Are You Ready for This”), “Last Chance to Dance”, “Make Love” and the title track. However, Vicki Sue Robinson (who was only 46 when she died of cancer in 2000) is featured as a vocalist on a disco/samba arrangement of “Você Abousou,” a famous Brazilian song that was written by the duo Antonio Carlos & Jocafi and finds Robinson singing convincingly in Portuguese. “Você Abousou” was a major hit in dance clubs, as were the instrumentals “Under the Skin” (written by Mitch Farber) and “Brothers Theme” (which Schatz wrote).