Neil notes: This week’s show included something of a Hammond organ-fest from CJ guest Gary. The show featured music from MMW, the Essence All Stars, Freddie Roach and Fred Jackson all pounding on the keys of B3s. But there was also a taste of classic 1970s funk with the inclusion of three tracks from a bargain release called A Beginner’s Guide to African Funk, bookended beautifully with Fred Wesley and the JBs (featuring The Godfather of Soul James Brown) and Marlena Shaw from her excellent The Spice of Life album.
Steely Dan and Gil Scott Heron reminded us of the jazziness to be found in much more mainstream rock and soul sources and Djavan did the same for Brazilian music – cool Fender Rhodes keys on this track.
One of Cuba’s best bands, Irakere, showed that having on board great soloists like Arturo Sandoval (on trumpet) and Paquito d’Rivera (on alto) really does make a difference – check out the great track Sea Mail from the reissued Cuba Libre. This Japan-only release from 1980 could be Irakere’s finest hour – and you can now find it on an excellent 2010 re-release on Joe Davis’s Far Out label. Cuba Libre was composed, arranged and produced by the remarkable Japanese musician Chikara Ueda with almost the entire original line up in place including Chucho Valdes, Arturo Sandoval, and Jorge Alfonso.
- Nigel Kennedy – Sunshine Alley from Blue Note Sessions
- EST – Eighty Eight Days in My Veins from Viaticum
- Charlie Hunter Trio – Come As You Are from Bing Bing Bing!
- Medeski Martin and Wood – Partido Alto from The Dropper
- Lonnie Liston Smith – Cosmic Funk from Introduction
- Steely Dan – Time Out of Mind from Gaucho
- Gil Scott Heron – Ready or Not from Moving Target
- Irakere – Sea Mail from Cuba Libre
- Djavan (feat. Mariazinha) – Nereci from The Brazilian Funk Experience
- The Essence All Stars – Uptown Blues from Hipbop ‘n’ Funk
- Freddie Roach – Brown Sugar/Fred Jackson – Hootin’ and Tootin’ from So Blue So Funky
- Fred Wesley and the JBs (feat. James Brown) – Doing It to Death from The JBs/Funky Good Time: the Anthology
- Orlando Julius – James Brown Ride On from Super Afro Soul/Beginner’s Guide to African Funk
- Sir Victor Uwaifo and the Melody Maestros – Joromi from Beginner’s Guide to African Funk
- Super Djata de Bamako – Bimoko Magni – from Beginner’s Guide to African Funk
- Marlena Shaw – Liberation Conversation from The Spice of Life
- Rotary Connection – I Am the Black Gold of the Sun from The Very Best of Rotary Connection
For video this week, it’s time to check out the JBs live. Many years ago I did just this at Kentish Town’s (then) celebrated venue The Town and Country Club. Magic! Here they are more recently but still with the classic line up of Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley and Pee Wee Ellis. Give it up for Cold Sweat…:
And for a second treat, here’s an hour and more of the late George Duke live at Montreux in 1976. The band also features Alphonso Johnson on bass, John Scofield on guitar and – of course – Billy Cobham on drums. Enjoy:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5geCPXLYHz4