Tag: funk

Album Cover of the Week: The Billy Cobham/George Duke Band, “Live” On Tour in Europe

Album Cover of the Week: The Billy Cobham/George Duke Band, “Live” On Tour in Europe

Album Cover of the Week, Music
Credit for introducing me to this fantastic cover goes to one of my favorite record shops, Princeton Record Exchange, which recently posted it on their Facebook page. It's a joint effort between legendary jazz fusion drummer Billy Cobham and multi-instrument star George Duke, 1976's "Live" On Tour in Europe (Atlantic Records, SD 18194). And boy is it ever strange. If you weren't too skeeved out to keep reading, that's Billy Cobham on the left and George Duke on the right. Credit for this illustration goes to Jim Warren, who is no stranger to freaky cover art involving hands. That all said, this is a pretty damn good album, so check it out if you can. Just keep your eyes closed.
Listening Booth — The New Mastersounds, “You Mess Me Up”

Listening Booth — The New Mastersounds, “You Mess Me Up”

Listening Booth, Music
With all the crap I've been dealing with thanks to Hurricane Sandy, I've had precious little time for music listening. And that means I haven't been able to really dig into the new record from the New Mastersounds, Out on the Faultline. I mean to correct that today, and the first step is sharing the official video for the first song off the LP, "You Mess Me Up." It's a fun video for an even funner song. That's right, funner. The group's last album, Breaks from the Border, made my 2011 year-end best of list, and I have a feeling this one will too. Out on the Faultline is available now! And if you're on Spotify, you can check out this track and most of the ones featured in my Listening Booth series by subscribing to this playlist.
Album cover of the week: Mobius (Cedar Walton)

Album cover of the week: Mobius (Cedar Walton)

Album Cover of the Week, Music
The recent death of French artist Jean Giraud -- aka Moebius -- was the inspiration for this week's album cover selection. It's Cedar Walton's Mobius, released on RCA Records (APL1-1009) in 1975. The album notes pretty much give away the inspiration for the title: "Mobius, which is the theoretical shape of the infinite universe, makes use of the most modern recording techniques and synthesizers. We mastered and mixed so that it's hotter than the competition, which should help radio play and in-store demonstration." Technically the correct spelling would be Möbius, but I'm not sure how jazz/funk fans in 1975 would've reacted to seeing an umlaut in an album title. But they'd probably get past it hearing hot tracks like "Road Island Red." Unfortunately I do not know who illust
Sunday Jazz: First Cosins Jazz Ensemble, ‘For the Cos of Jazz’

Sunday Jazz: First Cosins Jazz Ensemble, ‘For the Cos of Jazz’

Music, Sunday Jazz
This album has been making the rounds on jazz .mp3 blogs for quite a few years, but I like it so much I feel compelled to share it myself. It's called For the Cos of Jazz, and it was recorded by a group called the First Cosins Jazz Ensemble. As far as I can tell the group was a one-off project put together just for this album. As the name of the group and album might hint, Bill Cosby was a major figure in putting this together -- which makes sense, as he was pretty involved in the music world in the '60s and '70s in addition to his acting and stand-up comedy career. Indeed, Cosby is listed as a musical consultant and co-arranger on the record. Musically, For the Cos of Jazz is pretty typical of the jazz/funk that was popular in the mid-to-late '70s. It brings to mind one of my favori...
The Music Year That Was: The Best Albums of 2011

The Music Year That Was: The Best Albums of 2011

Music
The usual disclaimers about my year-end music lists still apply. I'm only one man and only have so much time to listen to new albums. So even if I hear an album and it's really good, if nothing about it grabs me right away I may end up forgetting it. Also, naturally I'm going to gravitate toward music either from acts I already know and like or that's recommended by friends and writers/critics I respect. These, then, are the ten albums that I have returned to more than any other in 2011 and probably will in 2012. Because at the end of the day, isn't that the only mark of a good record? #1. Mastodon, The Hunter As much as I was disappointed with Crack the Skye, I absolutely love The Hunter. I've read a lot of comparisons between it and Metallica's "Black Album," and I can see why. It's...
Album review mini-roundup: Anthrax, Ladytron, and The New Mastersounds

Album review mini-roundup: Anthrax, Ladytron, and The New Mastersounds

Music
Anthrax, Worship Music (Megaforce Records) -- No disrespect to John Bush, but Anthrax only sounds like Anthrax to me with Joey Belladonna behind the mic. Interestingly enough, his first album with Anthrax in more than 20 years is a much more modern-sounding album than I expected. While parts of Worship Music -- tracks like "Earth on Hell" -- are right out of the Persistence of Time era, others ("Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't" and "I'm Alive") sound more the like modern, radio-friendly hard rock found on more recent discs. Belladonna was in a tough spot here, as he and Scott Ian publicly admitted that Worship Music was largely complete when he was brought in. So he was basically singing over songs that were written with former singer Dan Nelson in mind. To his credit, Belladonna sounds at hom...
Sunday Jazz: Herbie Hancock, “Wiggle Waggle”

Sunday Jazz: Herbie Hancock, “Wiggle Waggle”

Music, Sunday Jazz
Would you like to add a little funk to your Sunday Jazz? Good, 'cause I'd like to as well. Here's one of the best cuts off of Herbie Hancock's inspired 1969 LP, Fat Albert Rotunda -- "Wiggle Waggle." Instead of blathering on about this excellent disc myself, I'll let AllMusic Guide's Richard Ginell take it from here: Centered around some soundtrack music that Herbie Hancock wrote for Bill Cosby's Fat Albert cartoon show, Fat Albert Rotunda was Hancock's first full-fledged venture into jazz-funk -- and his last until Head Hunters -- making it a prophetic release. At the same time, it was far different in sound from his later funk ventures, concentrating on a romping, late-'60s-vintage R&B-oriented sound. with frequent horn riffs and great rhythmic comping and complex solos from ...
Album cover of the week: Good, Bad & Funky

Album cover of the week: Good, Bad & Funky

Album Cover of the Week, Music
Here's a neat find from Flickr. Walk into the light...   I had never even heard of Shotgun before stumbling on this cover for 1978's Good, Bad & Funky (their second LP). Here's what Allmusic has to say about the group: A Detroit funk group whose enthusiasm didn't pay off in hit singles. Trumpeter Richard Sebastian, saxophonist Greg Ingram, keyboardist/lead guitarist Billy Talbert, guitarist Ernest Latimore, bassist Larry Austin, drummer/vocalist Tyrone Steels, and percussionist Leslie Carter made entertaining songs in the best Ohio Players/Slave/Cameo mode but never could land the elusive hit. They also toured with Rick James while recording for ABC, MCA, and Montage in the late '70s and early '80s. Good, Bad & Funky was released on ABC Records (AA-1060), with phot...
Why the Hell Should I Like… post-‘Thriller’ Michael Jackson?

Why the Hell Should I Like… post-‘Thriller’ Michael Jackson?

Music
“Why the hell should I like… ?” is an experiment of sorts between Popblerd and The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. What we’re going to attempt to do is to pick 10 songs from our favorite artists — one for which the other has professed dislike or disinterest — and show them why they’re wrong. On June 25th, 2009, the world lost one of the greatest entertainers of all time -- Michael Jackson. Although recent history had not been kind to Michael, after his passing it seemed like a light switch went on in the collective mind of the American public and they began to view him with respect again. Because let's face it, despite his obvious issues, the man was a one-of-a-kind talent. A fantastic singer, a great dancer, a solid songwriter and producer, and, if you look over the current pop mu