This week’s playlist is a feast of funky saxophone driven tunes. It spans more than 50 years of great horn work as well as some other new and old classics. Highlights include the bookends of Rebirth Brass Band tunes as they’ll roll into town for two sets Saturday night.
Rebirth Brass Band – Do Whatcha Wanna – Do Watcha Wanna
RBB hits Smith’s Olde Bar on Saturday, September 8th for two shows and we’ll be there. This crew is one of NOLA’s top brass bands and has a regular Tuesday gig at the world famous Maple Leaf Bar. This tune is classic RBB and we hope to hear it live.
Les McCann & Eddie Harris – Compared To What – Live at Montreux Jazz Festival – Swiss Movement
This is an all-time jazz standard and FunkCity.net favorite. It’s words from 1969 are as much on point today as they were nearly 50 years ago. This will get your pulse rate up and Eddie Harris’ sax work is phenomenal.
Gato Barbieri – Europa (Earth’s Cry, Heaven’s Smile) – Caliente!
Gato pass in 2016 and this was always a favorite of ours, every since the 1980s when Les Davis opened his WRVR jazz show every night at 9 pm with this tune. It’s such an emotional powerhouse for a song with no lyrics.
Sonny Rollins – St. Thomas – Now’s The Time!
Another instantly recognizable tune, Sonny was a master having an absolutely clear as a bell tone. This tune has gotta get your feet moving and make you feel happy regardless of time and place.
Return To Forever & Chick Corea – Dayride – No Mystery
This is a classic with the classic lineup of Chick Corea-keys, Lenny White-drums, Stanley Clarke-bass and Al Dimeola-guitar. The supergroup was way ahead of their time and this tune stands up solidly against today’s jazz disciples.
Sadao Watanabe – California Shower – California Shower
Sadao was one of the best known Japanese saxmen and California Shower was probably his all-time classic. Another happy tune makes for great summer cruisin’.
Average White Band – She’s A Dream – Warmer Communications
AWB is coming back to ATL this week at City Winery and they’re still great performers. This is an all time favorite of ours despite not being nearly as popular or famous as “Pick Up the Pieces” or “Cut the Cake”.
The Juju Orchestra – What Is Hip? – Bossa Nova Is Not A Crime
Yes, it’s got the same title as the classic Tower of Power hit but it’s a totally different song and it’s nasty hip, it’s cool and it swings.
Spyro Gyra – Freetime – Freetime
Jay Beckenstein is a groove guru and has led Spyro Gyra for nearly 40 years. This tune off their fourth album is a heater with some great solos and another great tune for that summer nights’ feeling.
Crown Heights Affair – Dreaming a Dream – Goes Dancin’ Mix – Dreaming a Dream: The Best of Crown Heights Affair
The Crown Heights Affair was killing the dance scene in the 70s with this hit also released as a vocal version and featuring some great horn work.
The Crusaders – Put It Where You Want It – Crusaders 1
The Crusaders were a super group as well with each member a master of their craft. The core featured Joe Sample-keys, Nesbert “Stix” Hooper-drums, and Wilton Felder-sax & bass. This tune features Wilton on sax and it’s appropriate seeing as it’s from their Crusaders 1 album in a week in which he would have celebrated his 78th birthday (deceased 2015).
Toubab Krewe – Stylo – Stylo
TK ain’t a sax band but they are world music and tops of their trade. Stylo is the title track off their new album (2018) which is their first album in several years. Another tune that will make you feel like you’re on an island (or wanna go visit one).
David Sanborn – Let’s Just Say Goodbye – Voyeur
Sanborn is one of the great studio session sax players of all time but also had a string of terrific albums in the 70s – 90s. This tune from his classic Voyeur album has some very tasty and memorable licks.
The Blackbyrds – Walking In Rhythm – The Blackbyrds
The Blackbyrds were proteges of Donald Byrd who was their professor at Howard University. This tune went gold upon its release in 1975 and is another tune that’s made to get you moving.
Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers – Bustin’ Loose – Bustin’ Loose
Last and not least is the classic Bustin’ Loose from the godfather of go go funk music. This tune is often covered by Rebirth Brass Band and is an appropriate finale for this week’s playlist. Hope to hear it Saturday night!