VA – Blue Funk (2001)

VA - Blue Funk (2001)
Artist: Various
Album: Blue Funk
Genre: Jazz-Funk/Soul
Label: Blue Note
Released: 2001
Quality: APE (image+.cue)
Blue Mitchell – Who Dun It? (3:00)
Lou Donaldson – Say It Loud (I’m Black And I’m Proud) (7:41)
Big John Patton – Cissy Strut (6:58)
Grant Green – Ease Back (5:47)
Jack McDuff – Hunk O’ Funk (6:02)
Candido – Tic Tac Toe (4:04)
Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes – Down Home Funk (4:13)
Grant Green – Cantaloupe Woman (5:34)
Grant Green – I Don’t Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open Up The Door I’ll Get It Myself) (5:55)
Ronnie Foster – Don’t Knock My Love (4:32)
Lou Donaldson – If There’s A Hell Below (9:05)
Reuben Wilson – Bambu (8:05)
Bobby Hutcherson – Family Affair (4:27)


This is a very attractively priced sampler by Blue Note, issued in the early ’90s on CD highlighting their deep and funky soul-jazz titles for the beat heads and emergent hip-hop nation that was sampling in earnest at the time. (Little did the label know that collectors and DJs wanted wax, not shiny little plastic.) In any case, this attractively priced sampler of BN acts from the ’60s and ’70s is all killer, no filler; it’s heavy on funk and soul. Sure it’s got the big B sharp players from the era, like Groove Holmes (“Down Home Funk”), Jack McDuff (the amazing “Hunk O Funk”), Big John Patton (with a killer cover of the Meters’ “Cissy Strut”), Reuben Wilson (“Bambu”) and Ronnie Foster (“Don’t Know My Love”), but there’s way more. Lou Donaldson and Grant Green make up the royalty for this period (the producers still hadn’t realized just how happening Donald Byrd was to the emerging hip-hop generation so he’s not here) and they are well represented by a few cuts each — Donaldson’s read on James Brown’s “Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud),” is a monster; and Green’s take on “Cantaloupe Woman” is simply bad ass. But there is some added class to this mix with Candido’s smoking drum funk in “Tic Tac Toe,” and Blue Mitchell’s set-opening “Who Dun It.” But the big surprise comes at the very end when Bobby Hutcherson clocks it all out with his uber funky soulful read of Sly Stone’s “Family Affair,” setting the vibe just right as a cap. A couple of these Blue Note soul-jazz comps would fuel any bash, and would provide an awesome Friday night jump to Sunday afternoon cruise control and leave the listener without a care in the world.
by Thom Jurek

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