Jazz-Funk Carnival


Jazz-funk is a pretty broad genre, spanning everything from downtempo funky early 70’s cuts by jazz artists like Donald Byrd to uptempo early 80’s tracks that are pretty much disco. There’s less improvisation than jazz and typically more electronic keyboard/synth arrangements, making it softer than funk. There’s also a helluva lot of crap…but amongst the dross are some great tunes.

Snowboy draws a direct line from jazz-funk to acid jazz, and I guess some of the rediscovered ‘rare groove‘ tracks I first heard were jazz-funk. But it was hearing Lonnie Liston Smith’s Expansions on a Jamie Byng Chocolate City tape (thanks Stocks!) that really introduced me to the sound (as well as revealing where that Stetsasonic 12″ Justin and I played over and over got the hook from). We saw Lonnie live once (Town and Country Club I think – who else was there?). Then came Mizell-Brothers-produced Donald Byrd LPs, Roy Ayers gigs (once sat next to him in a pizza place), Columbia-period Herbie Hancock, etc. Paul introduced me to Atmosfear’s Dancing in Outerspace (source of a Stereo MCs sample), which is the jumping-off point for the mix below. I’ve put versions of it in several mixes before (MAW’s beefed-up mix, their amazing dub, and Francois K’s more subtle treatment) but this is the original I had long before getting those, as is Motivation (the Dimitri From Paris remix is here, and it was also looped by the Bucketheads).

Trip To Your Mind is a rare UK 12″ (sampled by Chubby Chunks here) and blends into a track everyone will know. The earlier Warner-period Earth, Wind & Fire is more my thing but it wouldn’t be a jazz-funk mix without Columbia-period EW&F. Next is Runnin’/Brazilian Rhyme, which I prefer to the slower Brazilian Rhyme on that LP (who was that girl I gave the Gazillion Rhyme 12″ to after Strawberry Fair one year?). The trumpet madness of Maynard Ferguson is one I got from the Turk, here edited especially for Gav 25 years after he complained about the ‘middle bit’ when I played it the first time we met.

The Charles Earland track is a departure from the earlier Prestige sound that inspired acid jazz and this was the soundtrack to my recent record room revamp. In The Middle is the flip to I Hear Music In The Streets (heard here), while Groovin’ You is the original for that “Bom, Bom, Bom, Bom, Bom, Bom, Bom, Bom” tune that was everywhere in the 90’s. The mix ends with a Bill Brewster favorite that’s surprisingly expensive on 12″.

  1. Dancing in Outerspace – Atmosfear
  2. Motivation – Atmosfear
  3. Trip To Your Mind – Hudson People
  4. Jazz Carnival – Azymuth
  5. Biyo – Earth, Wind and Fire
  6. Runnin’/Brazilian Rhyme – Earth, Wind and Fire
  7. The Fly – Maynard Ferguson
  8. Good Question – Charles Earland
  9. In The Middle – Unlimited Touch
  10. Groovin’ You – Harvey Mason
  11. Once I’ve Been There – Norman Connors


~ by ricardosevere on 12/08/2018.

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