Soul Fantasy

Monday, March 21, 2011

Patryce Choc'let Banks

Patryce Choc'let Banks was the lead female singer of the grammy nominated funk group Graham Central Station. She started singing at the age of three in her father's Babtist Church. The beginning of her professional career started upon graduation from Dorsey High with the “Doodletown Pipers,” an “All American” type group of youngsters. With the Pipers she traveled the US and Canada performing in concerts and appearing in a televised series of “Doodletown Piper” Holiday specials.
In the continue Dick Griffey became manager of Patryce. He helped her to do an introduction to the group Sly & The Family Stone, where she met Larry Graham bassist of the group. This meeting was the beginning of her successful career of Graham Central Station. Meanwhile with the group she travelled in the USA and Europe and appeared on TV including "Soul Train" , "Rock Consert".

Later she decided to leave from the group for a solo career. She recorded her debut solo album entitled "She's back and ready" and it was released on T.Electric Records in 1980.  Jim Tyrrell in 1979 formed a black record label called T.Electric from New York. Tyrell was the president of the label. Tyrrell's oldest daughter, Cheryl was T-Electric's director. T-Electric Records was marketed by Infinity Records and was distributed by MCA Records. The label released the two first albums with Patryce Choc'let Banks and Love Committe. 
Also the label recorded one more album by Karin Jones which was never released on the label. That's because the label ran out of money. Later Karin Jones signed with Ron Alexenburg's label, called Handshake Records. Handshake Records released the album entitled "Under the influence of love" which today is an ultra rare album. Karin Jones participated on the album of Patryce Choc'let Banks, as backing vocalist.
It is worthy to note that Jim Tyrrell and his daughter wanted to change the image of Patryce. All the people knew Patryce as a funk singer from the group Graham Central Station. Patryce agreed with her different style because she had a good relationship with them. When the album finally came out, she heard “I Wanna Get Close to You” which she picked to be the first single, on the radio. However it was ironic that the label went bankrupt after her album's release.
In my opinion the album "She's back and ready" is a great album. Although it was her first time to try a different style, I believe that she did it.

The album was recorded at Sigma Sound, New York. Great musicians helped Patryce Choc'let Banks such as Howard King on drums and percussion, Dexter Wansel on synthesizer, Jimmy Williams on bass, Ed Moore on guitar, Dunn Pearson and Bruce Gray on keyboards. String and Horn contractor by Gene Bianco. Background vocals by herself, Tawatha Agee, Karin Jones and Sybil Thomas. Arranged by Dunn Pearson. Produced by herself, Bruce Gray and Dunn Pearson.
My favorite song is entitled "I'm in love" which was written by Bruce Gray and T.G.Conway. Also great songs are "It's lovin time" , "The feeling goes on" , "Sunshine love" and "I waited for love". The last song was written by herself and Gary Glenn. Patryce collaborated with Gary Glenn and sang for him as backing vocalist on the Gary Glenn's album "G.G" in 1980.

After this album Patryce discovered another interesting side of the industry in performing at parties, weddings. One of the most important was a surprise birthday party for Berry Gordy.  Today she has released two books related with her life.
I want to note that Patryce Choc'let Banks also has collaborated with Gary Bartz , Betty Davis and Light of the world.

Note: The above posted tracks are not played in full

# I bought this album in Athens in the late 90s.

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