This week we serve up an eclectic mix, old & new, electronic & jazz, hyper and smooth. Most of what you’ll hear are favorite artists and or songs, but not ones that you typically hear as “the most famous or popular” and thins that you might not have heard from that artist before. Featured artists include Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Alina Engibaryan, Zach Brock, and Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles.
Jonathan Scales Fourchestra – The Trap – Pillar
Jonathan Scales is a top flight steel pan player and he’s just released this stellar album with an all star guest list. This tune, the first single from the disc features Weedie Braimah, Victor Wooten and MonoNeon and kicks off the set with tempo.
Ken Field – Slits in the Curtain – Under the Skin
Ken Field is a multiinstrumental flautist, saxophonist and composer and leads a band called the Revolutionay Snake Ensemble, a New Orleans-inspired improvisational brass band. This particular tune is a looping overdub of Field playing multiple instruments layer by layer and is just super cool.
Squarepusher – The Modern Bass Guitar – Hello Everything
We’re not big on electronic music at FunkCity.net but this is an example of how good and innovative it can be. This tune just feels like a bunch of machines communicating to each other at a rapid rate with things potentially going haywire at certain moments. Great for driving or working out.
Bobbi Humphrey – The Best of Bobbi Humphrey – Harlem River Drive
Bobbi Humphrey, the “first lady of the flute” had a string of popular tunes and albums in the 70s and 80s and perhaps none were more iconic than this tune Harlem River Drive (1973). Again, as we close out summer this feels like a great tune for cruising with the windows down and makes us reminisce of night partyin’ in NYC.
Skerik’s Syncopated Taint Septet – Summer Pudding – Live at the Triple Door
Skerik is a favorite saxophonist and is a founding member of Garage a Trois, with Stanton Moore, Mike Dillon and Marco Benevento. He’s also played with Les Claypool. This tune is from his own group and is an exemplary tune of his improvisational jazz sound.
Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart – World Clique
Deee-Lite hit the New York dance scene in the early 90s and briefly was the toast of the town. This tune featuring Bootsy Collins and Maceo Parker was one of the most widely played radio (what’s that) hits in its day
Electro Deluxe – Point G – Live in Paris
Electro Deluxe is one of a group of retro jazz groups out of Europe and particulary France that brings new twists to samples from big band music of the day. This tune from their live album just swings hard.
Us3 – Hand On The Torch – Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)
This song by the jazz-rap group Us3 featured a sample of Herbie Hancock’s song “Cantaloupe Island” and was a modest hit in 1993 but definitely opened some ears on the bridge between rap, hip hop and jazz.
Tom Scott & The L.A. Express – Tom Cat – Rock Island Rocket
This dude was one of the top session and solo saxophonists of the 70s and his stuff with the L.A. Express was ahead of it’s time. This tune is hard driving nugget off one of the first albums and an all time great.
Alina Engibaryan – We Are – I’ll Be Around
Alina’s a wonderful new voice in the GroundUP Music family and this terrific album features Michael League and Chris Potter, on sax. This poignant song is one of our favorites.
The Brecker Brothers – The Brecker Brothers – Sneakin’ Up Behind You
First album for The Brecker Brothers and this one was a hot preview of things to come for decades from the dynamic duo of Randy on trumpet and Michael on sax.
Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles – Art of Love – Trade It All
This album puts Cory at the vanguard of hot new soul-jazz artists. Cory, of course, was a keyboard master for many years with Snarky Puppy. On this album, he really brings out his voice and it’s bound to keep you grooving
George Benson – Good King Bad – Theme from Good King Bad
Benson broke out with Breezin’ from the album of the same name but this tune actually won a Grammy for Best R&B Instrumental Performance 1977 and predated Breezin’ by a few months. Benson’s CTI recordings were generally grittier than his later stuff on Warner and GRP and this one is funky and uplifting.
Zach Brock – Serendipity – Sunday Walk
Zach is the principal violinist for Snarky Puppy, a disciple/protege of Jean-Luc Ponty and a fantastic musician overall. This tune, another commemoration to the end of summer, is an upbeat and versatile jazz lick.
Deodato – Prelude- Also Sprach Zarathustra
And, in conclusion, another all time classic. Recently heard this tune, which to many people is known as the theme from 2001 Space Odyssey, performed by Phish. Of course, it’a actually a classical tune composed by Richard Straussin 1896 and inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical novel of the same name. This was a breakthrough hit for Deodato and is in the jazz-funk style. Released in early 1973, it won the 1974 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.