Friday, September 5, 2008
Jazz Funk Delight
This one is for all the jazz funk lovers out there. For those of you who are mad for the frantic drum beats, funky bass, warm Fender Rhodes keys, flutes all over the place and sax and trumpets galore. This selection of rare tracks, known mostly to the record collecting community - stuff you'll probably never hear on the radio - is made up of the work of some of the most brilliant instrument players, composers and producers ever to grace the world with their music. A lot of these have been sampled by house and hip-hop producers, but deserve to be featured in you music library as stand alone tracks.
Many of these musicians are tied together in some way: Eddie Russ formed a band called Mixed Bag, with whom he recorded his first album "Fresh Out"; a jazz funk gem from 1974 which gave us the first track of this selection "The Lope Song". Larry Nozero, flutist and sax player was part of the Mixed Bag, and plays the flute on "The Lope Song". His following track "Tune for L.N." is a hypnotic trip, filled with wah guitar, mystical flute phrases and lifting choirs.
Then comes the wonderful "Windy C" by 100% Pure Poison, and its very distinctive drums/bass/guitar/rhodes intro, sampled by everyone, from Pete Rock to Saint Germain, to Nas... The whole song is an amazing pre-disco piece of soulful jazz from 1974, recorded for EMI in... Chicago? Detroit? No, in Germany by American servicemen on the leave.
Then come the Europeans: Vincent Gemignani and his sculptural jazz funk, from the utra rare album "Modern Pop Percussion" originally composed as a "pop" version of Shakespeare's Midsummer night dream, featuring the finest French session jazz players. Marc Moulin and his band Placebo come next with the track "Aria" from the 1971 album "Ball of Eyes". No need for any further introduction, it's at least the 4th time I put up a Placebo song on this blog.
"Party Time", from Roy Porter's album "Jessica" is another amazing jazz funk gig, and another song from this album already made it on this blog too :) Then Ray Bryant, and the banging piano and drums on "Up above the Rock" will have your heads nodding for more. More is coming of course, with 2 HUGE tracks: Frank Strazzerri "Cloudburst" and Kenny Barron "Spirits". Straight up Jazz Funk madness with all the Rhodes solos you can dream of.
One of my favorite pieces from one of my favorite producers David "the Axe" Axelrod follows: "Mucho Chupar", and Martial Solal "Un Drôle d'Escalier Roulant" (A Funny Elevator). Then some great tracks from Seatrain, Mixed Bag (again!), Jeremy Steig, a couple of tracks featured on the excellent "Dusty Fingers" series ("On the Hill" by Oliver Sain, and Sammy Nestico's "Shoreline Drive" - sampled by Krs1 on "Mc's Act Like You Know").
The last track is from one of my very favorite studio jazz producers: Janko Nilovic, which I've featured numerous times on this blog. "Xenos Cosmos" from the album "Rythmes Contemporains" is a baroque suite of jazz moves, with an amazing orchestration, mind-shifting choirs, and a cinematic dimension that will blow your mind away to finish off this musical voyage.
Track list is:
01. Eddie Russ - The Lope Song, 1974
02. Larry Nozero - Tune For L.N., 1974
03. 100% Pure Poison - Windy C, 1974
04. Vincent Gemignani - Insidieusement les Elfes, 1970
05. Placebo - Aria, 1971
06. Roy Porter - Party Time, 1974
07. Ray Bryant - Up Above the Rock, 1968
08. Kenny Barron - Spirits, 1975
09. Frank Strazzerri - Cloudburst, 1976
10. David Axelrod - Mucho Chupar, 1974
11. Martial Solal - Un Drôle d'Escalier Roulant, 1974
12. Seatrain - Flute Thing, 1973
13. Johnny Hawksworth - Jazz Rule, 1970's
14. The Mixed Bag - Shark, 1975
15. Jeremy Steig - Goose Bumps, 1975
16. Sammy Nestico - Shoreline Drive, 1982
17. Oliver Sain - On the Hill, 1972
18. Janko Nilovic - Xenos Cosmos, 1974
Get you groove on right here