Join us with our DJ friends as we break away from the funk for an evening of heavy, heavy, party jams. Costumes, prizes and fun for only $5 at the Smiling Buddha. See you there!
Boobie Knight & The Soulciety - ‘Soul Ain’t No New Thing’ Soul Ain’t No New Thing (1972 RCA Victor)
Boobie Knight had two incarnations: the band you hear right now, and the altogether fuzzier Universal Lady. Both records are prize albums full of the type of wild, raw and psychedelic funk we love to throw down at FF. See you on Saturday!
Hugh Masekela - ‘Lagunta’ Introducing Hedzoleh Sounds (Blue Thumb 1973)
One of the African Continent’s finest ever musicians, Hugh is the patriarch of S.A. Jazz, cutting the first ever jazz record in the country in 1958. Hedzoleh Sounds were introduced to him by none other than Fela Kuti, and they recorded this LP, which is regarded as one of the best jazz-funk fusions of all time.
Hugh went on to even further success with ‘Bring Him Back Home’, which became the unofficial anthem for the Free Nelson Mandela movement and earned him an international smash hit. He’s been regarded as something of a national treasure for several decades now.
After he came to town last year on a rare visit, I was lucky enough to grab a ticket and see him in Toronto’s gorgeous Koerner Hall. He played an incredible show, featuring tunes from Fela to Orlando Julius. If you ever get the chance to see the grand master of African Jazz, please don’t pass it up.
Track of The Week
Johnny Hammond: ‘Shifting Gears’ - Gears (Milestone 1975)
With the sad news in July of the passing of mercurial jazz-funk production legend (still not quite enough words to do him justice) ‘Fonse’ Mizell, we dedicated that month’s FF proceedings to the Mizell Brothers’ stellar output.
Fonse had been an essential part of the Motown hitmaking team The Corporation before later teaming up with his brother and branching out on their own. Responsible for founding the basis of great dancefloor-driven jazz-funk, the duo crafted classic albums with Donald Byrd, Bobbi Humphrey, A Taste of Honey, and Johnny Hammond, as evidenced here.
Hammond himself was born Johnny Smith, but his hard-bop organ style earned him the new moniker after the classic Hammond B-3 organ. In switching to a more soul-jazz driven style, he got to record with Grover Washington Jr, before finding himself in the studio with the Mizells. A classic matching of talents if ever there was one.
We’ll be back on the decks at The Smiling Buddha on the 27th August. Facebook deets are here. We’ll see you there!
Come join us for another action-packed night of funk, soul, afrobeat and other goodness at Smiling Buddha on College!
Billy Preston & Ray Charles
Jenny Treehorn - Track of The Week
Laura Lee ‘Crumbs Off The Table’ Two Sides of Laura Lee (Hot Wax 1972)
A stone-cold groove sets the scene for one of Soul music’s sassiest confessionals. Laura Lee had recently moved from Chess Records, to Holland, Dozier & Holland’s Hot Wax label, and was dating Al Green, when she cut this slice of perfection.
Sadly she fell into semi-retirement a few short years later after becoming seriously ill, returning only sporadically in later years with Gospel material (some of which she recorded with Al).
The Hot Wax stuff is of legend, and was produced by Motown legend William Weatherspoon. Check it out.
On Friday we learned of the tragic passing of an all-time great. Gil Scott-Heron passed away at St. Luke’s in New York after falling ill whilst in Europe.
Regarded by many as laying the foundations that allowed hip-hop to flourish, he fused politically informed poetry with a variety of musical styles, laying down a dozen classic albums from 1970 through to 1982 before struggles with drug addiction overtook his later years. Occasionally rising from the smoke to record again, or to call upon his unforgettable voice for another performance, he reminded us that we all have a responsibility to unite for each other, whilst never forgetting who each of us are.
We’re dedicating the next Funky Flavours to the great man. We’ll be playing a selection of his music, as well as things that inspired him, or that he inspired.
RIP Gil, one of very few musicians who really had something to say.