Funky female soul galore – a killer set of rare tunes that's one of the best sets of this type we've ever stocked! The SuperFunk crew at BGP have gone through the rich array of labels handled by the company – pulling out some massive tunes that really push our understanding of female soul – taking things way past the obvious hits and girl group numbers, into hard and heavy-stepping territory that we really love!
Opening with the Head Hunters version of "Watermelon Man" and closing with the electro-embracing crossover hit, "Rockit," Mr. Funk is a semi-random skip across Hancock's Columbia recordings, and it technically spans 1973-1983 (at least going by release dates), rather than the 1972-1988 range printed on its cover.
No fan of classic funk (or of the "rare groove" school of dance music) will be able to look at this album without starting to drool – the period-piece cover art; the Jimmy Walker hats and bell-bottoms; and the presence of such magic names as Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis, Bobby Byrd and Clyde Stubblefield (not to mention the insanely funky bassist Bootsie Collins who is better known as a charter member of Parliament/Funkadelic but is also a J.B.'s alumnus) – all of it will lead the perceptive groovehound to anticipate an hour or so of irresistibly booty-shaking funk. And that's exactly what you get: no frills, no synthesizers, basically no acknowledgement of change in the pop music world. From the greasy "Do the Doo" to the CD bonus track, "Mistakes and All," which ends the program, Bring the Funk on Down delivers almost nothing but hardcore, horn-heavy old-school funk (with a couple of brief and uninspiring excursions into ballad territory another James Brown tradition). Highlights include the slowly simmering title track and the archetypal "Born to Groove" but the album is really pretty consistent. The only downside is the absence of Maceo Parker who plays only on the final track. Highly recommended.