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Blue Funk

This is a very attractively priced sampler by Blue Note, issued in the early '90s on CD highlighting their deep and funky soul-jazz titles for the beat heads and emergent hip-hop nation that was sampling in earnest at the time. (Little did the label know that collectors and DJs wanted wax, not shiny little plastic.) In any case, this attractively priced sampler of BN acts from the '60s and '70s is all killer, no filler; it's heavy on funk and soul. Sure it's got the big B sharp players from the era, like Groove Holmes ("Down Home Funk"), Jack McDuff (the amazing "Hunk O Funk"), Big John Patton (with a killer cover of the Meters' "Cissy Strut"), Reuben Wilson ("Bambu") and Ronnie Foster ("Don't Know My Love"), but there's way more. Lou Donaldson and Grant Green make up the royalty for this period (the producers still hadn't realized just how happening Donald Byrd was to the emerging hip-hop generation so he's not here) and they are well represented by a few cuts each -- Donaldson's read on James Brown's "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)," is a monster; and Green's take on "Cantaloupe Woman" is simply bad ass. But there is some added class to this mix with Candido's smoking drum funk in "Tic Tac Toe," and Blue Mitchell's set-opening "Who Dun It." But the big surprise comes at the very end when Bobby Hutcherson clocks it all out with his uber funky soulful read of Sly Stone's "Family Affair," setting the vibe just right as a cap. A couple of these Blue Note soul-jazz comps would fuel any bash, and would provide an

blue funk

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In the hogan I was miserable, not enlightened, felt funky and slimed. All the individual animal and species sins poured out of me, not as catharsis or healing, but as reminder and irritant, and I did not believe in sin. This was not my culture, my ceremony, my victory, my tribe. It was like being put to death slowly and humiliatingly for my presumption.

"If you're guilty of all those things, and you come to a sudden stop, and setting there for 10 minutes, is it right for a police to come out from the clear blue -- four or five -- stand there and shoot up your truck? They're trying to make you antagonize 'em so they can kill you," he says, smiling. "And I set there and let 'em do it." (Brown had his shotgun with him throughout the chase, but the police never accused him of threatening them with it.)

Of the birth of funk, 'round about the time of "Cold Sweat" in '67, Brown says: "I wanted to do something that nobody else was doing. And it's all different places. Nobody else can find it. They haven't found the groove yet, and thank God they haven't, because once they find the groove, they'll move on to something else. You realize that the rappers are only doing about 10 percent of what I do in music?"

Saxophonist Maceo Parker, a veteran JB sideman, says spontaneity was a big part of the James Brown funk sound. "A lot of times, by the band's being together all the time, it seems we would just strike a groove ... and we'd work on the groove a week, two weeks, three weeks, then record it. Other times, it could be three hours after we hit on a new groove that we'd go into a studio," Parker says. "He didn't want to spend too much time in rehearsals because he didn't want to lose the newness of the groove."

Over the past few years, young hip-hop producers such as Dr. Dre of N.W.A. seem to have resurrected every old James Brown beat and riff -- direct from Brown's records -- as a foundation for a rap song. "My point of view is, the more simple it is, the better," Dr. Dre explains. "If it's simple and funky -- a simple bass line, drums -- it's better to rap over. And James Brown grooves are like that." 041b061a72


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