Posts Tagged ‘ Funk ’

California Funk Machine – Volume 1

b4f5b459-03bc-d19b-c7da-b750345bab8cParis born guitar virtuoso Emmanuel “U-Nam” Abiteboul always had a great affinity for funk. This passion runs through his entire life’s work and reaches its peak with the California Funk MachineVolume I is a collection of selected pieces of funk history that brought it the greatest success and had a decisive impact on it.

Ain’t No Stopping Us Now is a song by American R&B duo McFadden & Whitehead and keyboardist Jerry Cohen from 1979. This super smash hit was already covered by the late Wayman Tisdale, Bobby Wells, Peter White and many more. U-Nam does his interpretation in a big way with multiple instrumentations and with the great singer Marva King who is known to us as the vocal accompanist of Phil Collins, Tupac Shakur, Prince, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Cliff, Chaka Khan, and Lionel Richie.

EWF had with September their ultimate top hit in 1978 with more than 2 million digital copies. U-Nam creates a cover which is close to the original and yet has the twist that makes it worth listening to as a novelty. The Brothers Johnson had a huge hit with Stomp! in 1980, perfectly recovered by Quincey Jones on Q’s Jook Joint in 1995. Now comes U-Nam with his version bringing the song to explosion.

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California Funk Machine – Volume 1

b4f5b459-03bc-d19b-c7da-b750345bab8cCalifornia Funk Machine is not just another tribute band. California Funk Machine is not just a collection of music. California Funk Machine is a concept, a style, a coming together of like minded musical brethren to breath new life into some of the hottest Funk, Disco, Soul and Jazz Funk classics of the 70’s and 80’s.

The driving force behind what is envisaged to be a series of volumes is none other than Billboard chart topping artist, platinum producer and multi instrumentalist Emmanuel “U-Nam” Abiteboul who, since moving to Los Angeles from his native Paris, France in 2008, has built a reputation for knowing Funk like no one else knows Funk.

His contribution to California Funk Machine reaches far and wide.  As well as arranging both horns and strings, U-Nam also produces and arranges the entire album.  In addition he provides his own virtuoso input with lead and rhythm guitars, talk box, vocoder, lead and background vocals, rap vocals, bass, moog bass, rhodes, clavinet, synth guitar, keyboards, drums, editing & mixing. It places him front back and center of the entire enterprise that includes a plethora of outstanding supporting artists, including some who, back in the 70’s and 80’s, were responsible for creating some of the music that California Funk Machine is now reigniting.

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Tom Browne – Brother, Brother: The GRP/Arista Anthology

TOM-BROWNESoulMusic Records is very proud to present “Brother, Brother: The GRP/Arista Anthology,” a musically superb anthology by renowned trumpeter, musician and songwriter Tom Browne, covering his five-year tenure (1979-1984), firstly with GRP Records then with Arista Records.

From Jamaica, Queens, NY, Tom grew up in a creatively-fertile environment among other budding musicians including drummer Omar Hakim, bassist Marcus Miller, keyboardist Bernard Wright, drummer Lenny White and songwriter/musician Lesette Wilson. After being courted by several labels, Tom opted to sign with the then-fledgling GRP label, created by top jazz production team of Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen.

Following the critically-acclaimed “Browne Sugar” LP, Tom experienced his biggest commercial breakthrough with 1980’s “Love Approach” which included the massive global hit, the now-timeless funk groove, ‘Funkin’ For Jamaica (N.Y.)’, a No. 1 R&B US hit. This 29-track, 2-CD set also includes two 1991 remixes of the classic cut by the UK’s Driza Bone. Continue reading

Jeff Oster – Next

Jeff Oster Next FAWith his newest album, Next (2015), Jeff Oster brings his horn front and center – you’ll hear his unmistakable tone floating over these 12 new tracks like never before. For Jeff, this album is about rebirth and change, and tells the story of what’s next for him, both as a musician and in his life.

“next is about claiming who I am, and who I’ve always wanted to be,” says Jeff. “It’s why I live. It takes strength and power to step out into the unknown. Not everyone opens the door and takes the risk to try something new, something you’ve dreamed of for years. And with uncertainty comes the joy of freedom. This album represents my moment to truly make a statement…to claim my place as a musician with something important to share.”

With “next”, Jeff creates a new genre – New Age Ambient Funk – and along for the ride are guitarist Nile Rodgers (Chic, Daft Punk, David Bowie, Madonna) on the title track, and five songs created during a legendary session with the duo of drummer Bernard “Pretty” Purdie and bassist Chuck Rainey – musicians that he has respected and admired for his entire musical career.

Jeff Oster has always amazed me. Anyone who sounds like no one else amazes me, but a guy who grows so stunningly as a composer and player in the space of a few years inspires nothing but awe. NEXT is a step in musical evolution from where we last heard from Jeff… rather like the apes harnessing fire and inventing French cuisine. It’s a joy as his friend and co-producer to watch someone you love and respect grow into an artist of true importance and significance in a world of background noise.

Listen to this. It matters. Available here.

Cory Wong – The Paisley Park Session

ThePaisleyParkSessionRecognized for his high-speed improvisational skills, fun-loving performance spirit, and a flexible right wrist, guitarist Cory Wong had a multifaceted music career in his base of Minneapolis, Minnesota before becoming better known for regular guest spots as rhythm guitarist for R&B/funk outfit Vulfpeck in the mid-2010s.  In 2016 Wong released the solo EP MSP, Pt. 1. He made his official full-length solo debut in September 2017 with the eclectic Cory Wong and the Green Screen Band, a playful fusion of funk.

Wong’s second solo album came about after he got a call from organist Ricky Peterson (George Benson, David Sanborn) saying he’d be in Minneapolis the following week. Excited about the prospect of joining him in the studio, Wong told Peterson he’d been working on some songs and asked if he would like to get together to record them. Wong scrambled to write some songs in the days leading up to the session, while also putting together a rhythm section comprising bassist Sonny Thompson and drummer Michael Bland, both former Prince band members. A second lineup joined him for an additional session in Minneapolis, and a third session with Ben Rector and his band took place in Nashville. The resulting release, August 2018’s The Optimist, also featured long-distance contributions from Stanley, Marti Fischer, and KATIS, as well as the horn section Hornheads.

His newest project is The Paisley Park Session (2021).

Stream or buy this album here.

Cory Wong & Dirty Loops – Turbo

TurboGrammy-nominated songwriter, producer, guitarist, and bandleader Cory Wong has teamed up with Stockholm, Sweden-based “twisted pop trio” Dirty Loops for a new collaborative album, Turbo. The album offers an reimagined take on iconic Michael Jackson smash hit, “Thriller”. “Thriller” appears as the penultimate track on Turbo, which also includes pre-release singles “Follow The Light” and “Ring of Saturn”.

Jonah Nilsson sets the tone right away with his uncanny, MJ-level falsetto, but the underlying music sounds less like the original 1982 hit and more like a Steely Dan outtake. Bolstered by the virtuosic bass work of Henrik Linder, the tactile drums of Aron Mellergardh, the rhythmic texture provided by Wong, and the vivid, complex instrumentation by a talented five-piece horn section, the Cory Wong/Dirty Loops version of “Thriller” puts a uniquely enthralling, genre-blending spin on an all-time classic.

This new album is available on all digital platforms.

Pickpocket – Refraction

Pickpocket are a Melbourne band who play deep instrumental funk. Sophisticated yet unpretentious funk that stimulates your brain and activates your feet. Funk for everyone. They change musical gears with ease, resulting in a compelling live performance that celebrates the groove and embraces improvisation.

This group is recommended by editor Chris Mann. They have five albums on their belt, all available on bandcamp.

Hot Damn Horns & The Soul Machine – Shake Your Leg

The Hot Damn Horns & The Soul Machine are a 7-piece funk firework from Stuttgart (Germany) that combines instrumental funk, soul, afrobeat and hip-hop with the virtuosity of first-class jazz musicians. The notoriously sexy „Hot Damn Horns” are a horn section that not only impresses with its wholesome appearance, but above all with razor-sharp riffs, dizzying solos and daring “doits” sure to make any keyboarder who tries to play „brass section licks“ quake. An absolute highlight in times of electronically alienated brass sounds, Christian Mück (trumpet), Christoph Beck (saxophone) and Florian Seeger (trombone) celebrate the analog brass section. No wonder they have already shared the stage with greats like Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet) or Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes to Hollywood).

They are supported by The Soul Machine – a rhythm section that knows every trick in the book. Christoph Neuhaus (guitar), Lukas Großmann (hammond organ), Alex Uhl (bass) and Eckhard Stromer / Andy Schoy (drums) form the foundation of rousing instrumental funk & soul originals. The focus is on the groove…danceable and full of energy.

Get the album Shake Your Leg here.

Dumpstaphunk – Where Do We Go From Here

New Orleans funk powerhouse Dumpstaphunk announces their new album Where Do We Go From Here, set to release on April 23, 2021 (via Mascot Label Group / The Funk Garage). The release marks the band’s first full-length album in seven years, and undeniably the most powerful and politically pointed of their career. Previously released singles include “Justice 2020,” recently called one of the “Best Songs of 2020” by the New York Times, and the contemplative title-track “Where Do We Go From Here.” The record is a sharply relevant statement, even more-so than the group anticipated during writing and recording sessions just prior to the unprecedented events of the last year.

Dumpstaphunk released the album’s title track “Where Do We Go From Here” in August 2020, to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. On the eve of the presidential election the band strategically released the single “Justice 2020” (featuring Chali 2na and Trombone Shorty), which became an unofficial anthem of the social justice movement.  Dumpstaphunk will release a remix of “Justice 2020” by Cut Chemist this Friday, January 15th.

The band’s arsenal of classic and modern influences can be heard throughout the new album, a distinctive mix of genuine New Orleans funk, old school R&B and guitar fueled modern rock; from the slap-bass rave “Make It After All” to the band’s contemporary renderings of NOLA R&B rarities (the 1975 Blackmail gem “Let’s Get At It”) and early Seventies classics (Sly and the Family Stone’s “In Time”). One song with an unexpected genesis is the band’s urgent cover of Buddy Miles’ 1973 Hendrix inspired “United Nations Stomp,” which features searing guitar solos from special guest, rising blues guitar phenom Marcus King. Continue reading

PrivatProjekt – Welcome

PrivatProjekt is a German band hailing from Hamburg. Founder of the formation is keyboardist Michel Reckhard. Comparable to the British group Incognito, initiated by Bluey, Michel is the creative free spirit who gathers professional musicians around him from the local music scene.  Thus, for his projects, changing line-ups can be found, which transform his sparkling ideas into inspiring music.

On his new album Welcome (2020) he performs drums, percussion, keys, synthesizer and backing vocals. He is joined by Jens Salsa (bass, guitar, keys, sythesizer, backing vocals), Alexander Precht (keys, synthesizer, backing vocals), Andrea Weiß, Bonny Ferrer, LayG, Stefanie Schandt, Eniola Falase (vocals), Gina Taperla Weppler and ForYourSoul (backing vocals), Michael Albers (guitar), Sven “Rolli Rhdes” Klemme (keys), and Nigel Lowis (guitar).

With about fifteen tracks you get much music for your money. The band describes their music as neo-soul, funk and philly. If comparisons are allowed, then the music of the British band Incognito or the Dutch group Tristan comes to mind most readily. The album starts immediately with the title song featuring vocalist Bonny Ferrer.  More tolerance, understanding and respect, no distance, contempt and incorrectness, these are the main concerns of this formation, which also see themselves as a mediator of a political approach.

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