funk Archive

Album Review: Polyrhythmics — Man From the Future

Polyrhythmics are an eight-piece band from the Pacific Northwest. If your tastes run toward ‘70s fuk and soul, the current-day funk-soul revival of (primarily but not always instrumental) bands like New Mastersounds, you’ll luxuriate in the deep groove sounds of this outfit. But don’t go thinking that Polyrhythmics are also-rand traveling in the wake of

Tower of Power: Towering Achievement, Powerful Homecoming

Tower of Power celebrates a half century of funk & soul with new live CD+DVD recorded in Oakland When Emilio “Mimi” Castillo launched Tower of Power with fellow sax player Stephen “Doc” Kupka, he never imagined that the Oakland-born soul-funk-r&b group would still be going strong 50 years later. And while members of the lively

30 Days Out, March 2021 #2: Pleasure Chest, Brother Smith, Empire Strikes Brass, 49 Winchester

The globe observed (certainly it didn’t celebrate) the one-year anniversary of the pandemic last week. While people continue to get sick and die from the infernal virus, the news does in fact get better with each passing day. And live music continues its slow, tentative return. If you’ve had your shot and are willing to

Hundred-word Reviews: February 2021, Part 3

These five are all archival, reissue and/or compilation releases. There’s even a vinyl release here. Wolfgang Lackerschmid & Chet Baker – Quintet Sessions 1979 I was only recently introduced to the sublime collaborative genius of Lackerschmid and Baker via this release. Now, from the same era, comes this archival release. It’s even better, featuring as

Album Review: The Whit Boyd Combo — Party Girls OST

Admittedly, it requires a certain kind of sense of humor to appreciate such a thing, but as fate would have it, I’m just such a person. So as out-there as the context might be, I now count myself as a fan of what has been (somewhat arbitrarily) dubbed the Whit Boyd Combo. As the liner

30 Days Out, December 2020: Doom Flamingo, Unspoken Tradition, John Doyle, Mike Cooley

Live music is decidedly back, with restrictions. All of these shows – happening in the next 30 days in Asheville – feature limited seating and other restrictions, but they represent some of the best (and only) opportunities to witness live music. Two of the featured acts are Asheville-based; two are national acts doing some very

Citizen Mojo: Expressing Themselves

A long-running funk group based in Western North Carolina, Citizen Mojo serves up fresh and inventive readings of classic tunes, steeped in American musical forms like blues, soul and jazz. Built upon the rhythm section of bassist Tim Clement and drummer Scott Stinson, Citizen Mojo also features organist Brad Curtioff and band leader/guitarist Stephen Blanton.

Chocolate Samurai: More from My Conversation with Fantastic Negrito (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … Police violence and racial disparity have been in the news a whole lot more in recent times than they had been in a long time. Do you think things are actually getting worse or are people just starting to get fed up and it’s starting to get reported on more?

Chocolate Samurai: More from My Conversation with Fantastic Negrito (Part One)

Thanks to my friend and former bandmate Jeff Japp, I discovered the music of Fantastic Negrito right around the time he released his stunning – and eventually Grammy-winning – debut, The Last Days of Oakland. I’ve also been lucky enough to see him live onstage no less than three times, and I’ve had at least

Fantastic Negrito: ‘These are My Friends’

This feature appeared previously in SF Weekly — bk When Xavier Dphrepaulezz reinvented himself as Fantastic Negrito, his self-described “black roots music for everyone” struck a chord with the listening public. While he had released an album in the ‘90s as Xavier, the life-changing aftermath of a serious auto accident in 1999 led to his