Archive for the ‘ Funk ’ Category

SounDoctrine – Inspire

Anyone who has read my reviews of Perseverance and Endurance will know how deeply I appreciate SounDoctrine’s ‘Alternative Christian Funk’.

With the release of 2010’s ‘Inspire’, we have a new set of positive messages to groove to – it will be my pleasure to take you through them…

The opener ‘Just Think’ features the fabulous vocals of Marlon Saunders and is a midtempo tune which enjoys a stripped-down production. The offbeat time signature could make the song tricky to get into on first hearing but stick with it – those vocals and some very nice keyboard touches will reward you. I like the way this song runs into ‘Brother’s Keeper’- another example of leader Jere B’s ability to wed a meaningful lyric with a head-noddin’ beat. It’s far from being a basic 4/4 dance beat but you’ll be drawn in. Enjoy the vocals and some nice percussive accents. I’d love to hear this with live horns – one day soon, Jere.

Now, now ‘Marriage’ is right up my alley. A slinky funk groove with Incognito-style keyboards and Ragan Whiteside’s lovely flute carrying the melody. The immaculate layering of a sax, flute and keyboard line reminds me of Jeff Lorber’s sound too – and that is one of the highest compliments I can offer. This song is outstanding!! We swing into another instrumental – ‘Sacred Place’ – and there is a lovely vibes sound courtesy of Cliff Barnes (no, not the dude from Dallas) and some lovely ‘clicky’ rhythm guitar from Paul Douds. The lazy Latin feeling makes me imagine recording sessions running late into the summer night – ok that’s just me romanticising but the music takes me there. Take a listen and see what I mean…

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Wayman Tisdale – The Fonk Record

After a stellar career that produced eight top-selling jazz CDs and one gospel project, prepare yourself for a different side of Wayman Tisdale—one that was 12 years in the making!

It’s The Fonk Record featuring 11 original songs, Tisdale’s own funky vocals and a crew of down-and-dirty musicians, The Fonk Record also boasts three guest stars with extensive funk résumés—George Clinton, George Duke and Ali Woodson.

To those who knew him best, it seemed only natural that Tisdale would craft a funk project. “He always wanted to make funk music,” says Derek (DOA) Allen, who produced The Fonk Record and was one of Tisdale’s closest friends. “People are going to see a whole ‘nother side of Wayman on this record—he was on a mission to play as hard and funky as he could.”

Tisdale confided in Allen that a funk project was something he always wanted to do. At first it was a playful joke with a few demos here and there. Inspired by great funk artists like Bootsy Collins and Robert Wilson of the Gap Band, Tisdale created his own funky moniker: Tiz and named his band The Fonkie Planetarians. His power source came from Stinky the Sock! Those who were lucky enough to catch Tisdale in concert got a glimpse of his alter ego when he’d perform 20 to 30-minute funk-filled interludes during his jazz shows. “If you saw it, you knew it was the most explosive part of his show,” Allen says. “That’s when the party got started!” Continue reading

Nils – What the Funk?

Nils fourth album on Baja/TSR, What the Funk? expands on his already successful jazz base and incorporates dance and R&B into the mix.

His impressive list of accolades includes most played song of the year at jazz radio in 2005 with Pacific Coast Highway, a nomination as best Jazz Guitarist for the American Smooth Jazz Awards in 2010, musical director for the Independent Spirit Awards Show and numerous #1 hits from his previous three albums.

What the Funk? lives up to its title with groove filled tracks and soulful riffs that Nils delivers with his renowned guitar skills. The lineup of musicians features stalwarts Rickie Lawson (drums), Alex Al (bass), Oliver Brown (percussion) and Avatar choir vocalist Clydene Jackson (background vocals/ keyboards).

Artur Bayramgalin – Electric Breezz

Hailing from Ufa, Russia, multi-instrumentalist Artur Bayramgalin is the new name in the smooth jazz scene. At the age of 22, Artur made a name for himself on the Russian music scene performing with many of top artists like Fidan Gafarov, Aidar Galimov, Fadis Ganeev, Radik Dinahmetov, and Azamat Gafarov.

Last year he recorded his debut album Interro Island in the Breezz Studio, Ufa and fostered his music in all jazz-networks and communities. A rave review about this album is to find at His sophomore album is entitled Electric Breezz and just released.  Artur categorizes his new album: “Funk, Nu Jazz, Smooth Jazz and Fusion are the unique flavors that mix into the upbeat and catchy tunes. ”

All tunes are composed, arranged and performed by Artur Bayramgalin. The album is available at Amazon, iTunes and CDBaby.

George Duke – Déjà Vu

His imposing appearance signals: George Duke is the heavyweight of contemporary jazz. His music is legend and inestimable. George has performed with the most important musicians of the last century and his spectrum ranges from jazz to funk, from soul to pop.

His previous album Dukey Treats (2008) was a funky mental, physical and spiritual healing. The return to the funny funk in the style of George Clinton’s Parliament. His new album Déjà Vu is another flashback to the sound of the past.

“The whole idea behind Déjà Vu was to take a look back at some of the stuff I used to do that was a little more musically challenging,” comments Duke. “In some way or another, whatever happened before always comes around again. It may be a little different, but it will resurface. That’s kind of what this album is – a resurfacing of some ideas I had back in the ‘70s when I recorded albums with a lot of synthesizers, like Feel and The Aura Will Prevail.

George Duke welcomes on his new album many great musicians of the smooth jazz scene like Michael Manson (bass), Paul Jackson (guitars), Ronald Brunner jr. (drums), Nicholas Payton (trumpet), Everette Harp (sax), Ray Fuller (guitar), Bob Sheppard (sax) and many more. He holds all cards in his hand with a full house.

The introducing track is simply entitled A Melody. Latin flavored in the good old fashion way singers Terry Dexter, Lynne Fiddmont, Lamont Van Hook and Shannon Pearson let it swing. George Duke’s sophisticated approach to the synthesizers speaks a lot about his deep masterly knowledge of these instruments.

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John Blackwell Project – 4ever Jia

This album is about redemption, rebirth and truth, coupled with the musician’s love of their art and the song. It features musicians who have been heard on thousands of CDs playing what they want to play how they want to play it. It features performances from folks who have played with James Taylor, Justin Timberlake, Prince, Carly Simon, Alicia Keys, Carly Simon, Chaka Khan, Cameo, Hall & Oates and many, many more.

They have played on songs which have formed much of the soundtrack of the last thirty years. For a musician, performance and writing and recording is art, catharsis and just what they do. In the case of this CD, the death of John Blackwell‘s daughter Jia (to whom the album is dedicated), meant that this record was a necessary release of emotion and love.

To achieve that aim, John surrounded himself with like minded musicians who shared the desire to do something different: to tap into the jazz tradition and to play with soul and funk; to draw on personal and musical inspiration; to pay tribute to those who came before and at the same time to leave their own legacy on the musical world. This is a self released CD which always strove to put the music and the musician first and has succeeded in doing so. It pays homage to past trailblazers but never loses its own spirit: a spirit which is unique among much of the music available today. We hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed playing!

For all friends of jazz funk and jazz fusion my recommendation, listen to this album at CDBaby.