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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lesson 1040 - The Long Form (Something Else! on 07/09/09)

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Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, come inside, come inside...

This week's show is one where I feature modern grooves along side their inspirational sources. Our opening example is "Rhythm of the Drum" by M64 - Ragen Fykes + Ohmega Watts from the Record Breakin' sampler I mentioned last week. The following track provides the electric piano groove foundation, "Summer Madness (Live)" by Kool & The Gang. While their biggest songs will always be "Celebration" and "Ladies Night" from the 80s, they had a long career as a quasi-jazz group that had more than a passing familiarity with the funk (an earlier funk hit was "Hollywood Swingin.'") "Movin' In the Right Direction" by Steve Parks is the original break for acid-jazz classic "Talkin' What I Feel" by the Young Disciples. Both soulful cuts leading into a few tracks that I have always liked--"Funny (Bone)" by Chic and classic Eddie Kendricks' groover "Girl, You Need A Change of Mind." It's nice to hear a Chic song that is just a good groove since the main writers were both primarily musicians (guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards) and later produced smash albums for famous singers: Diana & Let's Dance by Nile Rodgers (for Diana Ross & David Bowie, respectively) and Riptide by Bernard Edwards for Robert Palmer. "GUM (Daz-I-Kue Remix)" by DnS is another one of those cuts from the Record Breakin' Sampler featuring the production skills of Daz from Bugz In The Attic--serious bass, I hope your speakers are ready! Next up a few classic turntablist tracks from fellow Californians and a very talented Parisian: "Lesson 6 (The Lecture)" by Cut Chemist (formerly of Ozomatli & Jurassic 5,) "What Does Your Soul Look Like? (Pt. 4)" by Dj Shadow (formerly of UNKLE) and "Deiu Reconnaitra Les Seins" by French wonder Dj Cam. I have to admit, these last few tracks feel a bit nostalgic for me--they remind me of my mid-late 90s Dj residencies in Los Angeles, helping to define the term "acid-jazz" or as the Solsonics titled their track, "Jazz In The Present Tense." Generally people associate "Superstition" with its writer, Stevie Wonder, but Ahmad Jamal's cover provides us with the intro to the previous song and grooves us to a close for this week. Ahmad Jamal is a jazz piano legend and not generally known for being "funky" but, like the wind, the funk doesn't care about barriers we put up -- it goes where it likes.

Speaking of the funk going where it likes -- next Friday I'll be funking it up in Camden (London!) Check my Events page for details!

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