Search This Blog

Saturday, October 27, 2007

JAMES BROWN and the James Brown Band : Ain't It Funky Now

Richard "Kush" Griffith
R.I.P. 1948 - 2007

"Kush" Griffith, trumpet player, played with some significant acts in the 60s and 70s. His big break was with James Brown's band in the late-60s. He later went on to form Motown house band Bottom & Co, and played with Parliament-Funkadelic, Fred Wesley & The Horny Horns, and Marvin Gaye among others. He passed away this year from a heart attack, suffering from about every ailment you can think of. Check out this article for more sordid details.

Kush was a prominent figure in James Brown's orchestra, as you can see here...
This song is the complete version of "Ain't It Funky Now". James is in charge of the proceedings as usual; I can't understand how anyone can be sooo funky when they ad-lib like James. This tracks simmers with a steady groove, and at 5:22 our man Kush gets to do a rare trumpet solo. He begins playing like he was surprised to get a solo at all! And I love JB's comments afterwards.

Song: "Ain't It Funky Now"
Recorded Oct. 14, 1969
From the album "AIN'T IT FUNKY" (King 1092) Jan. 1970
James Brown : vocals, organ
Richard "Kush" Griffith, Joseph Davis : trumpets
Fred Wesley : trombone
Maceo Parker, Eldee Williams : tenor saxophones
Jimmy Nolen, Alphonso "Country" Kellum : guitars
Charles Sherrell : bass
Clyde Stubblefield : drums
John "Jabo" Starks : co-vocals (no drums for Jab'O this time!)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

PETER THORUP with Friends : Grand Mother Watch Your Son (1970)

R.I.P. 1948 - 2007

Well, it's looking like a R.I.P. 6-pack! So here's ANOTHER musician who's passed away recently. This guy was a blues singer from the Netherlands who hooked up with UK blues-legend Alexis Korner in the '70s for three projects: New Church, CCS, and Snape.

This song was from his first solo album in 1970. Good blues-rock with some grrrowling vocals; he used musicians from Dutch bands The Beefeaters (which he used to sing with) and The Young Flowers.

Song: "Grand Mother Watch Your Son"

-from the LP "WAKE UP YOUR MIND" (Philips) 1970

Get it here : Peter Thorup - Grand Mother Watch Your Son

Saturday, October 13, 2007

WILLIE TEE : Get Up (mid-70s)


R.I.P. 1944 - 2007

Wilson Turbinton (Willie Tee), the New Orleans keyboardist, singer, songwriter and producer known as Willie Tee, died on Tuesday in New Orleans. He was 63 and had lived in Baton Rouge after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

The cause was complications of colon cancer, said his friend and producer, Leo Sacks.
Willie Tee was a catalyst and innovator in New Orleans music. He was the songwriter and arranger behind a pivotal album: “The Wild Magnolias,” released in 1973, which was the first to meld the parade chants of a Mardi Gras Indian tribe, the Wild Magnolias, with fierce New Orleans funk."

Willie Tee and Joe Zawinul were longtime colleagues and friends. Weather Report's 1984 album "Domino Theory" opened with Tee's song "Can It Be Done".

This week's song is "Get Up" by Willie Tee with The Gaturs. Funky goodness for the Fall...

Single A-side (Gatur 8001) ca. 1971-5

NOTE: this song was recorded with his backing band, The Gaturs.

Earl Turbinton (on sax) is Willie Tee's brother. He was also sax on last week's Zawinul track (RIP: Aug.3, 2007)

Drummer Larry Panna died on Feb. 23, 2007 as well. Yikes!

Link in title.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


More SNL favs...

Justin Timberlake Dick in a box

An oldie but goodie, the infamous SNL skit

Saturday, October 06, 2007

JOE ZAWINUL - Doctor Honoris Causa (1971)

R.I.P. 1932 - 2007

"Keyboardist Joe Zawinul, who played with Miles Davis and helped shape jazz fusion with his band Weather Report, died Sept. 11 in his native city of Vienna. He was 75.
"Zawinul, voted best keyboardist 30 times by music magazine Down Beat's critics' poll, including this year, had sought medical attention last month after a tour. He died of a rare form of skin cancer, local news agency APA reported."

More dead folks. Zawinul was really quite a driving force of merging world music into jazz for most of his career. Here is a track off his album from 1971, around the same time that Weather Report was getting off the ground. The Miles Davis influence is quite apparent here, and is a good example of early jazz-fusion. Stick with it, there is a very subtle groove going on throughout the piece...

Song: "Doctor Honoris Causa"
Dedicated to Herbie Hancock for his Honorary Doctorate at Grinnell University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Recorded Aug. 6-12, 1970
-from the LP "ZAWINUL" (Atlantic) 1971

Joe Zawinul : electric piano
Herbie Hancock : electric piano
George Davis : flute
Woody Shaw : trumpet
Earl Turbinton : soprano saxophone
Miroslav Vitous : bass
Joe Chambers, Billy Hart, David Lee : percussion

NOTE: Miroslav Vitous went on to join Weather Report
Earl Turbinton also died this year - Aug. 3, 2007 ; more on him next week!!

Get it here:
Joe Zawinul - Doctor Honoris Causa (1971)