Start taking your fusion playing to the next level with an injection of jazz and practical theory. Lessons by Levi Clay. In this excellent DVD, Levi Clay introduces the jazzy sounding melodic minor scale based on the sound, teaching you how to hear this scale in music. After taking you through simple ways to introduce this harmony into your improvisations via the pentatonic scale, Levi teaches you all melodic minor fingerings and a selection of 15 licks and phrases designed to bring out the sound of the scale.
As Dean Rudland points out in Ace's 2014 reissue of Lonnie Liston Smith's 1974 set Cosmic Funk, Smith himself views this LP as a transitional effort, capturing him between his pioneering work with Miles Davis' electric group and the exploratory Expansions. This suggests it perhaps isn't a cohesive album and, true enough, it's a record where the good ideas are sometimes suggested rather than developed. Much of the record showcases the smooth vocal stylings of Smith's brother Donald, who leads on a vocal version of John Coltrane's "Naima," lends a bit of a supper club vibe to "Beautiful Woman," croons through "Peaceful Ones," and dives into the thick, overlapping grooves of the title track. That opening song is one of the few tracks that emphasizes funk, otherwise the cosmic reigns, as the group usually getting spacy all the while never quite leaving the earth.
Afro-music continues to inspire a whole host of musicians, producers and DJs but even now the full picture of Afro-music in the 1960s and 70s is still far from being properly represented. Ghana Soundz Volume 2 goes some way to readdressing the balance.
Ghana was one of the centers of the music called highlife, but the Afro-beat and funk that came out of the country in the 1970s, in the wake of Fela Kuti's musical success in Nigeria, has largely gone undocumented – until now. Compiled from obscure 45s and albums, Ghana Soundz is the first of a three-volume series that will most definitely put Ghanaian funk on the map. Some of it is truly fabulous, like tracks by the Sweet Talks, the Ogyatanaa Show Band, and the Apagya Show Band, all of which do funk in the Afro-beat mold of interlocking parts over an infectious rhythm, giving room for improvisation. Others, like Oscar Sulley & the Uhuru Dance Band, take more of a jazz tack.
This collection on the U.K.'s Soul Brother imprint is a very compelling look at a big slice of Freddie Hubbard's long career as a leader, and one that gets ignored for the most part. Hubbard recorded over 20 records between Backlash, his Atlantic debut in 1966, and Ride Like the Wind for Elektra in 1982, with lengthy stops at Columbia and CTI (as well some straight hard bop and post-bop outings for labels Fantasy and Pablo). In many cases, some of these original recordings were not only disregarded by more traditional jazzheads, they were regarded with outright hostility. It didn't matter to Hubbard, however, because at the time, these were among his best-selling albums and connected with the public deeply.
A massive bit of funky fusion from the 70s – an album that was crucially overlooked at the time, but which has gone onto become a crate-diggers classic over the years! The group's fronted by Polish jazz legends Michal Urbaniak and Urszula Dudziak – but it also features a fair bit of American players too – all working together in a blend of the best funky fusion modes going down in both the US and Eastern Europe in the mid 70s! Drums on the set are totally great.