funk Archive

Album Review: The New Mastersounds — Shake It

It may well not have been their explicit intention, but over the last two decades, the New Mastersounds have helped a strain of jazz to become mainstreamed into widespread popular culture. Jazz has always been there – at least for a hundred or so years – but with some important exceptions it’s enjoyed only a

George Clinton: Still Tearing the Roof Off the Sucker

There’s more to George Clinton than many fans realize. To most of the listening public, the Kannapolis, N.C.-born musician is the voice and face of Parliament-Funkadelic. A leading light of the music scene, Clinton brought a sensibility that – much like Frank Zappa, to whom he is often compared – combined humor with advanced musicality.

Hundred Word Reviews for August 2019, Part Two

Ten more reviews. All new music, covered in the space of 100 words each. Jazzmeia Horn – Love & Liberation I love instrumental jazz, but I have to admit that vocal jazz resonates less strongly with me. Thus, you’ll find remarkably few reviews here that cover jazz vocalists. This is well worth an exception; very

Album Review: Eddie Senay — Step by Step

Clarence Avant was a Detroit entrepreneur, a figure who wanted to bring to the world Detroit music beyond that which Berry Gordy was doing. In the early ’70s his Sussex label did just that, releasing some astoundingly good albums by the likes of Dennis Coffey and Bill Withers. Instrumental funk was more or less Sussex’s

The Lee Boys: Keeping the Love Light Aflame (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… “We are really blessed and fortunate to have a vast array of styles within our music,” Lee says. He suggests that if one listens to the group’s music today, “you got some Led Zeppelin in there, some funk, some modern stuff, and then you got that real gospel drive. That all

The Lee Boys: Keeping the Love Light Aflame (Part One)

In a sense, the sacred steel musical tradition is like one of those tribes living deep inside the Amazon jungle, almost wholly separate from the larger world. But practitioners of the style were in fact influenced by the outside world, and the rich tapestry of influences that inform the style make it wonderfully accessible, even

Single Review: Cameo — “El Passo”

In the world of funk and soul, Cameo reigned supreme. Between the release of the band’s 1977 debut album, Cardiac Arrest and 1990’s Real Men… Wear Black, the New York City-based group scored a Top 20 R&B chart position for every single one of its records. On the R&B singles chart, Cameo racked up an

Ryan RnB Barber: Persistence Pays Off

As recently as 2015, Ryan Barber was homeless. But through a combination of determination and talent, today the Asheville musician is realizing his life and music goals. The newest release from Ryan RnB Barber – today a ubiquitous presence in the Asheville music scene – is a solo album pointedly titled Rejuvenation. Backed by his

Ghost-note: The Beat Goes On

In response to enthusiastic inquiries from fans, percussionists Nate Werth and Robert Sput Searight were inspired to launch their superstar side-project, Ghost-Note, in 2015. “Sput and I started taking drum solos together while on the road with Snarky Puppy,” Werth explains. “After the show, fans would approach us in awe and ask us how long

Album Review: Dennis Coffey — Live at Baker’s

In the course of his career, Dennis Coffey has made a name for himself several times over. The Detroit guitarist was a key session player in that city’s music scene; as one of the famed Funk Brothers studio aggregation, he lent his skills to numerous funk and soul side of the 1960s and beyond. His