There are musicians who have done little in their career, but the little they have done has left their mark. One of these examples is Donald Austin’s ‘Crazy Legs’ album.
Originally from Memphis, there is little known about Donald Austin.. he worked as an arranger and sessionist for Junie Morrison of the Ohio Players & for Fuzzy Haskins of Funkadelic….and then there are the rumours: ‘he played on some of the very last ‘ Motown Detroit sessions’, ‘he wrote the song Angel for Aretha Franklin at age 14’… All we know and all we have are these thirteen FUNK tracks represented here on the ‘Crazy Legs’ album.
The album was produced by Funk veteran ‘Bernie Mendelson’ (Funkadelic, Ceasar Frazier, Melvin Sparks) and mastering duties were handled by ‘Howard Craft’ who worked with legends such as ‘Al Green’, ‘Syl Johnson’, ‘Isaac Hayes’ and many other top artists. Also worth mentioning is the fantastic cover art designed by Neil Terk (known for his work with Cymande, Muddy Waters, Dire Straits, Funkadelic, Grace Jones etc). It’s no surprise that the album-art was featured in Joaquim Paulo’s book ‘Funk & Soul Covers’.
‘Crazy Legs’ is a collection of psychedelic funk instrumentals every bit as physical and wild as its title portends. The muscular grooves that galvanize all 13 of the album’s brief but memorable tracks are relatively unique within the Westbound catalog, they are relentless and the playing is top-notch. Also included on this amazing record are two Funkadelic covers, perfectly performed in Donald Austin’s unique style.
Donald Austin’s first (and only) album was originally released in 1973 on Eastbound Records, super rare and fetching large sums on the collectors market, now finally back available as a limited (500 copies) deluxe vinyl edition.