Masters of the FUNK, part 1: Rick James and the Stone City Band

Omowale Jabali

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This morning as I have risen early while hardly able to sleep I have been thinking over recent discussion and how brother Malcolm X often taught about our need for Cultural and Spiritual Revolution and just how far Black people in america have to go in light of our present situation. Thinking over much of my own time spent in a "political" context I further realized that I will begin to cooncentrate more on my "cultural work" and leave the politicing to others. With that said, this morning I have begun a process of "reclaiming" a part of "MY Generations" historical contributions in the musical sphere, namely this thing called FUNK.

So while I am writing I have been warching a Rick James video titled "Rick James: Super freak Live 1982". This is only one of numerous videos that I have but have not previously screened. This DVD will be a nice addition to any media library. What particularly struck me was a short tribute that the Band did in commemoration of one of my favorite PEOPLE, Bob Marley.

Some folks will have problems with this video because ricjk had an "integrated" band, much like Hendrix, Sly and George Clinton. In fact, watching the Mary Jane Girls made me think about Parlet, She-Funk and a friend of mine, Kim Manning, who is presently touring with Parliament-Funkadelic. These are all some very talented musicians and Rick James just ****** ROCKED!
 

Isaiah

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Jun 8, 2004
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omowalejabali said:
This morning as I have risen early while hardly able to sleep I have been thinking over recent discussion and how brother Malcolm X often taught about our need for Cultural and Spiritual Revolution and just how far Black people in america have to go in light of our present situation. Thinking over much of my own time spent in a "political" context I further realized that I will begin to cooncentrate more on my "cultural work" and leave the politicing to others. With that said, this morning I have begun a process of "reclaiming" a part of "MY Generations" historical contributions in the musical sphere, namely this thing called FUNK.

So while I am writing I have been warching a Rick James video titled "Rick James: Super freak Live 1982". This is only one of numerous videos that I have but have not previously screened. This DVD will be a nice addition to any media library. What particularly struck me was a short tribute that the Band did in commemoration of one of my favorite PEOPLE, Bob Marley.

Some folks will have problems with this video because ricjk had an "integrated" band, much like Hendrix, Sly and George Clinton. In fact, watching the Mary Jane Girls made me think about Parlet, She-Funk and a friend of mine, Kim Manning, who is presently touring with Parliament-Funkadelic. These are all some very talented musicians and Rick James just ****** ROCKED!
Brother O, just turned into the FONK SHOW, and I will not attempt to adjust my RAY-DIO, YO!LOL!

If I'm not mistaken, brother, is that the show where Teena Marie appears with him and does that terrific live version of Square Biz??? Yeah, I believe he does some of his modern-day classics(called hits at the time)on that piece as well...

It's Ironic that you bring up the late Rick James, one of our great latter day funk masters, as the other day I was doing some food shopping, and shakin' my thang in the aisles to the classic MARY JANE(smile!) Yep, them was our days, man, and Rick was at the top of his game, carrying on the Funk Tradition...

Speaking of which, integrated bands would include the Motown and Chess Records House Bands, as well as, STAX/ATLANTIC/MUSCLE SHOALS, reputed to be the the creme de la creme of soul musicianship... Of course, I don't buy none of that, but as these white cats were there making the music we now call Classic Soul, it could become problematic for some folks when it comes to appreciating Black Music...



Peace!
Isaiah
 

Omowale Jabali

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Isaiah said:
Brother O, just turned into the FONK SHOW, and I will not attempt to adjust my RAY-DIO, YO!LOL!

If I'm not mistaken, brother, is that the show where Teena Marie appears with him and does that terrific live version of Square Biz??? Yeah, I believe he does some of his modern-day classics(called hits at the time)on that piece as well...

It's Ironic that you bring up the late Rick James, one of our great latter day funk masters, as the other day I was doing some food shopping, and shakin' my thang in the aisles to the classic MARY JANE(smile!) Yep, them was our days, man, and Rick was at the top of his game, carrying on the Funk Tradition...

Speaking of which, integrated bands would include the Motown and Chess Records House Bands, as well as, STAX/ATLANTIC/MUSCLE SHOALS, reputed to be the the creme de la creme of soul musicianship... Of course, I don't buy none of that, but as these white cats were there making the music we now call Classic Soul, it could become problematic for some folks when it comes to appreciating Black Music...



Peace!
Isaiah

I don't think Teena Marie is in this DVD but I did not view all of it because I was in the other room posting this thread. I guess I will check it again later.

As you sate..."it could become problematic for some folks when it comes to appreciating Black music" and this is understandable. These are the "Noses de-void of Funk" who have fallen under the Placebo Sybdrome and are mindstuck by constipated notions which permeate the cerebral contexts of the spankless matrix. "Starchild" shall continue to spread the "bop rays" of illumination in to the farthest reaches of their cosmic slop and grayest matter.
 

Isaiah

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MEMBER
Jun 8, 2004
3,210
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omowalejabali said:
I don't think Teena Marie is in this DVD but I did not view all of it because I was in the other room posting this thread. I guess I will check it again later.

As you sate..."it could become problematic for some folks when it comes to appreciating Black music" and this is understandable. These are the "Noses de-void of Funk" who have fallen under the Placebo Sybdrome and are mindstuck by constipated notions which permeate the cerebral contexts of the spankless matrix. "Starchild" shall continue to spread the "bop rays" of illumination in to the farthest reaches of their cosmic slop and grayest matter.

Brother O, I am interested in opening up this discussion on FONK to include the grandmasters and junior masters of the genre, if you don't mind...(smile!)

I was listening to some folks from your neck of the woods - the state of California - on yesterday, and yes, it seems that was a theme out there musically... But it would do a gross injustice to not recognize that FUNK is a southern phenomenon that traveled all across the United States and the world, and everybody caught some of the vapors... As a matter of fact, I have argued against using the term as a genre in past discussions elsewhere, precisely because it permeates so much of Black Music... For example, James Brown, who is undoubtedly the father of the genre, sounds nothing like George Clinton, and less like Sly Stone, but all are considered Funk groups or bands... I would argue that Clinton and Sly are more Funk-Rock bands, or that OHIO was a R&B-JAZZ-FUNK ensemble like KOOL&THEGANG until they morphed into a pop-dance band...

In any event, it ain nothing but a discussion - like the BIBLE is a discussion, right?(smile!) Have you read Ricky Vincent's book on FUNK, or ever heard his radio show??? I couldn't get through the book... I felt like LOVE was trying to be explained in 20 easy chapters... Get Outta Here!LOL! Holla back, brother!



Peace!
Isaiah
 

Omowale Jabali

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Temple of Kali, Yubaland
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Isaiah said:

Brother O, I am interested in opening up this discussion on FONK to include the grandmasters and junior masters of the genre, if you don't mind...(smile!)

I was listening to some folks from your neck of the woods - the state of California - on yesterday, and yes, it seems that was a theme out there musically... But it would do a gross injustice to not recognize that FUNK is a southern phenomenon that traveled all across the United States and the world, and everybody caught some of the vapors... As a matter of fact, I have argued against using the term as a genre in past discussions elsewhere, precisely because it permeates so much of Black Music... For example, James Brown, who is undoubtedly the father of the genre, sounds nothing like George Clinton, and less like Sly Stone, but all are considered Funk groups or bands... I would argue that Clinton and Sly are more Funk-Rock bands, or that OHIO was a R&B-JAZZ-FUNK ensemble like KOOL&THEGANG until they morphed into a pop-dance band...

In any event, it ain nothing but a discussion - like the BIBLE is a discussion, right?(smile!) Have you read Ricky Vincent's book on FUNK, or ever heard his radio show??? I couldn't get through the book... I felt like LOVE was trying to be explained in 20 easy chapters... Get Outta Here!LOL! Holla back, brother!



Peace!
Isaiah


Brother you can open this up however you want. let me just make clear something which you stated. I have ALWAYS acknowledged the "Southern" roots of not just FUNK but "Black music" especially because the South is my own family roots. And I am a geneaologist and ethnomusicologist so my posts tend to always add something concerning my family and their relationship to the music in question....Wuth this said...I personally DO consider FUNK to be a "genre" just as "Blues"..."Ragtime"..."Dixieland"..."Gospel"...."Rock"..."Jazz"...."Rap"...."R&B"....and "Soul"...just to name a few....as far as James Brown being the "Father" of FUNK....I personally would disagree.....J.B. was and is the "Godfather of SOUL..."Soul" IS seperate from FUNK...just as "House" is different from "Go-Go"...the differences are regional and FUNK is an extention of SOUL and it developed within a specific historic context, with specific social and cultural influence and social context....so, if we must...there is a difference between ""Louisiana Funk"....."Memphis Funk"....."Texas Funk"....."Cali Funk"....etc...

"Cali Funk" was influenced by every previous form of FUNK along with "Motown Soul"...I can not make the same assertion concerning for example the "Louisiana Funk" of the Meters or the Neville Brothers, which is "home grown"...Obviously, George Clinton out of Detroit ould have been influenced by "Motown Soul" and the FUNK BROTHERS, Motown's STUDIO musicians....and this is my point....what I may describe as "Cali Funk"...and later..."G-Funk" largely evolved LOCALLY and influenced by "outsiders" but also a core of lesser known STUDIO MUSICIANS and CLUB PERFORMERS who were jazz, rock and r&b musicians...from ALL parts of the country, but also our own brand of HOMEGROWN songwriters and studio musicians...

For example, while Sly Stone was a major influence in many parts of the country, including LA, SOME "locals" were more influenced by Hendrix and his associates such as ARTHUR LEE and LOVE....leading to Shuggie Otis....

A lot of what came out of LA never has been fully documented but if one did a study of some of the local AFM benefit concerns I'm sure some would be surprised. Remember, kocal AFM musicians are a small but influential group because it is from this pool in Hollywood that does most of the scoring, composing and recording for hollywood film and network productions which means that a very diverse group of musicians have passed through it's ranks, where many divergent styles BLENDED...

Just as brothers from the South Bronx give props to their homies for "hip hop"...just as Wybton marsali give props to his Family from New Orleaans for jazz.....just as brothers from the delta give props to their homies for the Blues...I no less have to give some honor, recognition and "props" to my hoomies from Cali as well, because if I don't it often seems as if no one else will...as far as Ricky Vincent is concerned...nah....never heard of him...


****...at first i was gonna pass this up but I couldnt sleep without getting this post off.....


peace Brother....i need to give these discussion forums a break....need to spend more time gettin' my own thang OFF...!
 
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