funk Archive

Boxed Set Review: Land of 1000 Dances

Though there were certainly earlier examples, the era of the lavish boxed set began a few decades back; it more or less coincided with the CD era. And it persisted well into the 21st century. In the last few years, it seems to have trailed off, though superb exceptions to that rule continue to pop

Album Review: The Black Tones — Cobain & Cornbread

Ice-T (among many others) has long made the point that African Americans’ role in the creation of rock ‘n’ roll doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. While I agree, I suspect that in part the reason for that is that comparatively few people of color work in the rock idiom. I recall vividly just how

Hundred-word Reviews for December 2019, #3

Here’s the final installment of the year (and the decade!) of my quick, condensed album reviews. Ten titles, 100 words each. Seven are new releases; the remaining three are archival and/or reissue releases. There are some SERIOUS gems in here. Sweet Lizzy Project – Technicolor When most people think of Cuban music, their thoughts turn

Hundred-word Reviews for December 2019, #2

With the end of 2019 on the horizon, I figure now’s as good a time as any to bring things up to date with another batch of quick reviews. In this edition: all new music, ten titles. Blues, powerpop, jazz and more. All worth your time. Maybe even a Great Gift Idea™. Happy holidays! Coco

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