George Clinton & P Funk | Atomic Dog

3 06 2010

To anyone who grew up in the early 90’s this song will immediately sound familiar but it was actually released in 1982. It was George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic’s last song to hit #1 on the Billboard charts. Despite a lack of air play, this song became widely popular which eventually prompted radio stations across the US to finally give it some love. The reason so many young people will recognize it is that it has been sampled over 50 times by various hip hop artists. The most notable is Snoop Dog’s “Who Am I ? (What’s My Name)” but the list includes others such as Biz Markie, Digital Undeground, Ice Cube, MC Hammer, 2Pac and more. The song not only features a great hook and a the refrain of “Bow Wow Wow…” seems to never get old. This version below is the extended version that stretches to almost 10 minutes. In this version, P Funk’s Bernie Worrell really flexes his muscles on the Moog while Bootsy Collins just digs in deep on the repetitive bass line.

That song will forever standout in the P Funk catalog but I am also partial to an earlier hit from 1978, “Flashlight”. This song was written as a tribute to Bootsy Collins although the distinct bass groove is actually played by Worrell on the Moog. Interestingly, Bootsy plays drums on the track in the studio version though. “Flash Light” was also heavily sampled and by the usually suspects… Snoop, Digital Underground, 2Pac, and so on. Like “Atomic Dog”, George and Co recorded an extended version of this tune but the one below is the condensed version.

References:

More info on George Clinton

More info on “Atomic Dog”

More info on “Flash Light”

More info on Parliament Funkadelic

More info on Bootsy Collins

More info on Bernie Worrell





Sly!

22 04 2010

Whoa! I just found this video of Sly & The Family Stone (the original band) performing live on the short-lived TV show Music Scene circa 1969. This is some true Sly at the peak of it all. This performance is essentially a medley of some of their hits including “Everyday People”, “Dance To The Music”, “Hot Fun In The Summertime”, “Don’t Call Me N(word), Whitey” and “Gotta Take You Higher”.  Now, as far as medley’s go I am typically not a fan. As a purist, I enjoy the full cut of the song as it was intended to be, but I have yet to see live footage of Sly that is this good. This is legit, not that past-his-prime,  burnt out stuff that has recently surfaced. For someone that wasn’t around in ’69, I actually get the sense that this is what the “Music Scene” was actually like… hence the name of the show.

Despite loving this video, of all those songs the only one I really listen to by choice would be “Hot Fun In The Summertime”. The others I appreciate and enjoy but they are not at the top of my Sly queue. Two songs that always seem to jump out as my favorites are “If You Want Me To Stay” and “Family Affair”. They are from his later years and all but, man, do they sound great… pure slow burning Sly soul funk. To check them out follow the links below:

If You Want Me To Stay

Family Affair

Reference Links:

More info on Sly Stone

More info on The Family Stone

More info on Music Scene

Previous GG posts:

Sly At His Slyiest

Purchase Online:

Sly & The Family Stone on iTunes

Buy The Essential Sly & The Family Stone





Boogaloo Joe Jones

18 03 2010

My man, Boogaloo Joe Jones, was one of the first soul jazz artist I ever heard. It was Joe who turned me on to the whole thing during my days of almost exclusively classic rock, reggae and the jam scene. Not that I didn’t dig R&B and Jazz back then but I never really had a “jones” (pardon the pun) for the stuff. I got a compilation disc of Joe and that was it… forever converted.

His real name was Ivan Joseph Jones but his debut as an artist was with the name Joe Jones. At that time, there were at least 5 other guys in popular music using the name Joe Jones. So, upon his second release he started billing himself as Boogaloo Joe Jones. It was to distinguish himself from the others and it made sense given a song on that album was titled “Boogaloo Joe”. It can get a bit confusing because later in his career he started using Ivan “Boogaloo Joe” Jones, so there is material with all 3 names on it. Joe was a pioneering guitarist during the Boogaloo movement of the late 60’s. Back then they didn’t know what to call it. It was blues mixed with soul music, some early rock n’ roll and it definitely bordered on jazz given the strong blues influence and the fact that it was all instrumental with some improvisation sprinkled in to the arrangements. So what did they choose? …Psychedelic Soul Jazz. Not a great genre name in hindsight but it was descriptive nonetheless and suited their needs at the time. It eventually would be dubbed Boogaloo with the help of the man himself, Boogaloo Joe. Joe had plenty of originals but some of his best tunes are his reinterpretations of classic popular music. In many ways he help create that model in soul jazz.  Below is “I Feel The Earth Move’ from the What It Is album. This tune is originally a Carol King song. You may recognize the sound of the sax player as Grover Washington Jr… a Philly legend who is famous for both his own work like “Mister Magic” as well as collaborations with guys like Bill Withers on “Just The Two Of Us”.

Here is one of Boogaloo Joe’s originals that’s pretty laid back. It’s the title track from the same album… “What It Is”.

Here is a great cover of Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No Sunshine”. Cool version of a great song.

Another original but this one is hot. It just has a really great push to it all the way through.  This one is “No Way!” from 1971.

Here is a song from Joe’s famous sideman/session player,  organist Butch Cornell. It’s called “Sunshine Alley”. It was also recorded on another one of Butch’s famous gigs for saxophonist Stanley Turrentine’s CTI hit Sugar.

More on Ivan “Boogaloo Joe” Jones on Wiki

*Interestingly, I think Rafael Saadik looks A LOT like Boogaloo… check it out. It’s a good look, even in 2010!





Le Bon Tempe Roule!

8 02 2010

With the Saints winning the big game last night, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to show off some of my NOLA favs. New Orleans is without a doubt one of my all-time favorite cities. The culture there is overwhelmingly lush, combining so many amazing elements. Everything is just so cool and unique to the city whether it’s the food, architecture, attitude or music. There’s a short list below of some of my favorite acts to see while in the Big Easy. Mardi Gras is right around the corner and Jazz Fest is coming up this spring so there are many opportunities to see them. The great thing is, you usually don’t have to wait until then as they often play around town on any given night in NOLA. Le Bon Tempe Roule…

The Meters

Rebirth Brass Band

Walter “Wolfman” Washington… with Galactic as his backing band

Lou Donaldson

The Neville Bro’s

Please feel free to add anyone I may have left out via comment. Also, below are a few links to some of NOLA best spots and events. You have to get down there to experience it for yourself…

Events:

Jazz Fest

Mardi Gras

Venues:

Tipitina’s

Howlin’ Wolf

Maple Leaf

Snug Harbor

Blue Nile

d.b.a.

Le Bon Tempe Roule

Rock and Bowl

Other Links:

Directory of NOLA bands

NOLA Music Calendar

NOLA.com





Dance Lessons with James

26 01 2010

I got some really funny feedback about James’ dancing in my Sunny post. Yesterday I just stumbled upon some great video of James showing off a few of those trademark moves. Go ahead and give these a try…if you can actually understand what the hell he’s talking about.

This is a mashup of all his baddest moves in action. It’s funny to see that all the different clips are on beat when edited to a live version of the song “There Was A Time”. It’s like the guy only worked in one tempo or something (180+ bpm).

Here’s James passing the torch to a young Michael Jackson. This is part of a much longer video where James invites Michael up on stage despite the fact that he was only there as a spectator that night. I edited a little so you don’t have to sit through the whole thing though.

And finally, just a good song from the old days, “The Payback”. Some good dancing but terrible camera work. It’s worth it for the mustache though.

Here are a few songs from the JB’s that I happen to love. I felt I was doing them (and you) an injustice if I didn’t include these. They are REALLY funky.

The Grunt

Pass the Peas

Same Beat

Gimme Some More

Breakin’ Bread

JB’s Shout

Hot Pants Road

For more info on the JB’s & this album check it out here. Also you can buy Funky Good Time: The Anthology here.








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