Listen to My Heartbeat
I Like the Way You Do Your Thing
I Really Love You Babe
Pretty Little Girl
When Was the Last Time
As a session man for Willie Clarke and Henry Stone’s Cat, TK, and Alston labels, Willie “Little Beaver” Hale helped define the sound of Miami soul in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Hale’s solo work was particularly notable for adding sophisticated, jazz-inflected guitar to the languid rhythms and hedonistic atmosphere of Miami funk. Hale’s second solo LP, 1974’s Party Down, was something of a minor masterpiece in this respect. By 1976, the Miami sound had begun to evolve, and the sultry syncopation of those early funk records gave way to disco's more rigid pulse. Hale’s fourth LP, When Was the Last Time, reflected these changes, boasting a clutch of dance floor–ready tunes that stand as some of the best disco funk to emerge from mid-‘70s Miami. “Concrete Jungle” is a particularly menacing number that boasts a foreboding string arrangement and slinky guitar playing, recalling some of Fred Wesley’s more jazz-influenced numbers with The J.B.’s. When Was the Last Time is essential listening for anyone who wants to understand the Miami soul scene of the '70s.