I recently had the change to preview Jordan John’s (Jordan John on Facebook) sophomore album “Funk Parade.” You can catch Funk Parade on Spotify here. Jordan is a solid soul, R&B and funk lead vocal sensation as well as multi-instrumentalist based in Toronto, Canada. On this album he takes lead and backup vocals and also plays electric guitar, lead guitar, drums, Hammond organ, clavinet, CP80 grand piano, percussion & drum pad strings among other instruments.
His main supporting instrumentation is Prakash John on bass who played with Pariliament/Funkadelic as well as John Panchyshyn on sax on select tunes. John plays in a band Oakland Stroke covering a lot of 70s horn funk from Tower of Power, Earth Wind and Fire and Blood, Sweat & Tears among others.
Funk Parade is a fine juxtaposition of Jordans’s musical lineage and his new era aesthetic. You can definitely hear echoes of many great bands throughout this album and the influence they all had on him. Here’s a rundown of the album tracks.
Get In The Groove – Tower of Power sounding opening lick with a Michael Jackson-esque lyric line. Bass line ripped right out of Bootsy’s page, sounds like it could be from the 70s, true dance tune terrific sax solo John Panchyshyn on alto at the bridge. Jordan has nice touch on Hammond contribute to old school feel.
Funky, Funky, Funky – Nice retro funk will allusions to Sly Stone in the lyrics and and a tip to What Is Hip?” from Tower of Power with “style of your hair, clothes that you wear” also embedded in third verse. Nice horn work again from John Panchyshyn with a full extended altissimo at the end.
The Funky Nation – Nice groove like “Yes We Can, Can” from the Pointer Sisters. Solid dance tune overall with catchy lyrics and heavy bass line.
Work That Body – Nice intro featuring some bright keyboard work from Jordan. Also, some spacy synth work on top. Solid tune given that it’s essentially nearly a solo other than bass work from Prakash and some backing vocals. Excellent guitar solo from Jordan to close out the song.
Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart) – Cover of the classic Stylistics tune. Jordan sings a slightly speeded up version in a beautiful falsetto. Simple instrumentation including keys and acoustic guitar enables focus on vocals.
Coconut Bridge – Fast paced with excellent synth work from Jordan as well as strong drum percussion also from Jordan. Clearly, there’s a great synergy between Jordan and Prakash overall but it’s especially strong here.
Too High on Love – Great sweeping opening in the vein of Franky Beverly and Maze. Had to check the liner notes here to see if they brought in strings because it sounds like some of the great 70s tunes with orchestration which turns out to be Jordan on “string pads”, a real nice effect. Overall one of my favorite tracks with an emphasis on Jordan’s lead vox.
Own Up – This one has the feel of later Average White Band and Jordan’s vocals lyrics echo Hamish Stuart. Overall a nice, driven funky beat. Again, nice guitar work on the bridge from Jordan.
Lovin’ u More – Solid old fashioned soul drips on this one with strong Jordan vocals and nice backing vocals. This one really shows Jordan’s history of growing up with Motown and 70s soul music.
I Just Wanna Be The One – Jordan excels on ballads and his falsetto rises to the occasion on this silky smooth ballad. Very reminiscent of the Stylistics who have already been covered on this album. Brings back visions of those slow dances on Soul Train or in the club. Nice finger-snapping tune.
Make Way for the Funk Parade – Clear James Brown opening guitar lick “baaa-dum” lays down the groove for the “Funk Parade” and is carried through the bulk of the tune. Solid guitar bridge and again Jordan demonstrates his chops with a funky syncopated drum line.