Tue. Aug. 14, 2018

10 essential Funk jams. What’s Your fav?

10 essential Funk jams10 essential Funk jams… Like always, a selection is per definition limited, and God knows how our enviromment would definitely not be what it is without these bouncing jams which have had countless of us clappin’ our hands and stompin’ our feet from a generation to another… As a result, many are those we couldn’t talk about here, even though they would have definitely been worth a mention.

No need to say how this selection is way from being exhaustive. Most likely due to find an extension later when the right time comes. Nevertheless, you should find thereafter a pretty much illustrative sample of highly emotional pieces of art where the quality predominates. Be it in terms of melody and arrangements.
Wishing you’ll enjoy the ride as much as we did, while putting this together for you. With your feedback, and a mention of your favorite song more than welcome.
Maestro, bassline!

10 essential Funk jams / Fred Wesley feat Jab’o Starks* & Clyde Stubblefield with Bootsy Collins ‎– Funk For Your Ass (A Tribute To The Godfather Of Soul) (Fujipacific Music Entertainment)
Dedicated to the late James Brown who he’d been recording with for a long time… Legendary Trombone player Fred Wesley together with another legend – Bootsy Collins – on this straight to the bone jazzy/funk groove. A cut which happened to be the title track of his 2008 album of the likes on Japanese label Fujipacific Music Entertainment…
10 essential Funk jams / James Brown – Get Up Offa That Thing (Polydor)
“Get up offa that thing / and dance ’til you feel better”. The title cut of the Godfather of Soul’s 1976 album has just what it takes. From the flow to the groove punctuated with killer horn riffs that would be for much on the man’s fame since his early days. Ironically though, it would be his last biggie from the 70’s in a period that saw him declining for some time…
10 essential Funk jams / Cameo – Candy (Atlanta Artists)
Initially called the New York City Players, Cameo which Larry Blackmon put together back in 1974. This 13 piece band reached their height in the 80’s with classics such as ‘Word Up!’ and the infectious ‘Candy’ which group member Thomas Michael Jenkins co-wrote. Other gems from the group including ‘Back And Forth’ and ‘She’s Strange’. But also ‘Skin I’m In’ and ‘Single Life’. As many pieces giving a pretty good illustration of their synth-led Funk signature…
10 essential Funk jams / Brick – Dazz (Bang Records)
Hailing from Atlanta, GA, this quintet formed by Jimmy Brown (lead vocals, saxophone, flute, trombone), Regi Hargis Hickman (guitar, bass, vocals), Glen Perdew (keyboards, background vocals), Eric Florence (bass) and Victor Alexander (drums and percussion) is mostly remembered for this killer jam. A cut taken from their 1976 released ‘Good High’ album. Its title being nothing but an allusion as to where they’re comin’ from. From the reunion of two groups: one being Disco and the other, a Jazz one. ‘Dazz’ standing as the contraction of Disco/Jazz!
10 essential Funk jams / Funkadelic – One Nation Under A Groove (Warner Bros.)
From the 10th studio album of George Clinton, Bootsy Collins & Co, rerleased back in 1978. The bouncing ‘One Nation Under A Groove’ conceived as an ode to freedom, happened to be Funkadelic‘s first million selling single. It is seen as one of their highlights along with ‘(Not Just) Knee Deep’ from their ‘Uncle Joe’ album which saw the light the year after…
10 essential Funk jams / Wild Cherry – Play That Funky Music (Epic)
Rob Parissi and his partners together as Wild Cherry have released a total of 4 albums in the second half of the 70’s. It doesn’t help them though from beeing seen pretty much like a one hit wonder. With the hit in question being this mythic joint from their 1976 self titled debut-album. Among its countless cover versions, the memorable one of Vanilla Ice back in 1988. The latter eventually got sued for not havin’ credited Parissi as its author…
10 essential Funk jams / Fatback Band – (Are You Ready) Bus Stop (Event Records)
Bill Curtis formed The Fatback Band (later known as Fatback) back in 1970. The group would nevertheless have to wait until the middle of the decade to start getting recognition. The reason being their move towards a Disco oriented sound with ‘(Do The) Spanish Hustle’. But also the aforementioned, highly associated to the introduction of the line dancing in the clubs at the time. From then, the group established themselves as a solid reference in the genre. Delivering extra classics such as ‘King Tim III (Personality Jock)’, ‘Backstrokin” or ‘Take It Any Way You Want It’. Not to mention ‘I Found Lovin” and ‘Is This The Future’ among others…
10 essential Funk jams / The Bar-Kays – Holy Ghost (Stax)
Formed in Memphis, TN back in 1966, The Bar-Kays pretty much benefitted from their experience as backing musicians for their elders like Otis Redding, Booker T & The MG’s and Isaac Hayes at Stax Music to come up with a unique style. Remembered for their flamboyant style, as seen on Mel Stewart‘s seminal documentary – ‘Wattstax’ – back in 1973, they are responsible for classics such as ‘Son Of Shaft’ (not a coincidence), ‘Shake Your Rump To The Funk’, ‘Spellbound’ and the aforementioned, taken from their 1978 released ‘Money Talks’ album, which M/A/R/R/S sampled 9 years later on ‘Pump Up The Volume’…
10 essential Funk jams / Positive Force – We Got The Funk (Sugarhill Records)
Hailing from Pennsylvania, Albert J Williams and Brenda Laverne Reynolds aka Positive Force are pretty much remembered for this classic released on the late Sylvia Robinson‘s label Sugarhill Records. They eventually changed their name into Positive Express soon after leaving the label. Thus releasing a second album – ‘Changin’ Times’ – on Victory Records. An album which failed to generate impact, it therefore would be their last…
10 essential Funk jams / The Isley Brothers – Fight The Power (T-Neck)
Obviously more recognized as balladeers (probably because of their debut as a Doo-Wop group by the end of the 50’s), The Isley Brothers litteraly electrified the genre. Eventually melting it with infectious Rock guitar riffs bringing back to the souvenir of the late Jimi Hendrix. But also fusing it with conscious lyrics. Recorded the same day as ‘Harvest For The World’, ‘Fight The Power’ is one of the most famous protest songs, reflecting a negative opinion of authority figures. It is also remembered for the usage of the word “bullshit”. It eventually generated censorship back then during radio listens.

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10 essential Disco Jazz cuts…

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