There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Rare Essence’s Get Your Freak On captures a November 1994 Rare Essence appearance at Rythms nightclub in Landover. Recorded shortly after the tragic death of original drummer Quentin “Footz” Davidson, Freak retains the austere go-go style with which the 16-year-old ensemble has long been identified. The band focuses on conga, keyboards, bass, and drum rhythms, largely jettisoning melody. One lengthy funk jam smoothly segues into the next, with only a single ballad breaking the pattern. While this approach is wearying at times, on the disc’s title track as well as a Bar-Kays cover, “Holy Ghost,” Essence demonstrates how gripping simple percussion and party chants can be. Available at local record stores or through Liaison Records, (410) 880- 6111.