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Chris Turnbull

Late 70's Jazz Funk Scene

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59 minutes ago, daved said:

That's what I said earlier Alan about Kent.

The same is true of a lot of soul radio shows - jocks of a certain generation who haven't really moved on since the mid 80s, sticking to a narrow playlist of weekender anthems week after week. By contrast for example Les Adams and Nick Aravis on Solar, Keith Richards and Don Gee on Stomp, all focus on 70s/80s jazz funk soul but cover a wider area and dig a lot deeper and still regularly come up with the unfamiliar or forgotten.

I loved jazz funk during its peak years 79-81 and then after a bit of a detour came back to it almost by accident when I walked into a record shop that was playing this at the time brand new release:

 

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8 minutes ago, Bruv said:

Good ol Foot Tapper - Freeez - Southern Freeez   :hatsoff2:  

The UK scene at the time was amazing - loads of releases, many of which have remained obscure and forgotten while other performers like Incognito, Light of the World/Beggar & Co, remain popular. Joey Negro's comp "Backstreet Brit Funk" is well worth the pennies, and news is that a second volume is on its way soonish.

Hopefully featuring this:

 

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I thought 'eventually' it merged the progressive Blackpool Mecca sounds with what was coming out of London.

New releases being played that you could hear in modern rooms at Cleethorpes winter gardens and Caister weekenders.

Not necessarily the same DJs, but the same music and fashion.

Idris Muhammed, Peter Brown, dexter wansell, all got a shot in the main rooms, but it had to be separated.

I can't say the Northern and JF crowds mixed that well in the venues I attended at that time.

Hard to dance to 'fly by night' and then move rooms to dance to 'your love makes me lonely'

How everything merged into today's 'across the board, anything goes ' scene, I'm not sure.

I don't personally think many JF tunes became 'rare soul classics'.

Ed

 

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I used to go to Rafters in Manchester at the time,The only record I thought was massive was Weather Report "River People", A real strange tune tbh,Very atmospheric jazzy type record,

There were of course loads more,I remember Hi Tension "Hi Tension",Charles Earland - "Let The Music Play",Hamilton Bohannon "Let's Start The Dance",

Faded memories really.

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17 minutes ago, tomangoes said:

I don't personally think many JF tunes became 'rare soul classics'.

Ed

 

Interesting point. It might look a bit different on the continent, where there seems to be a thriving jazz funk scene, especially in France, the source of many bootleg CDs covering the era, as well as more respectable comps and a surprising amount of new music in the same style (Thomas G, Swade, B Thompson, Enois Scroggins ...).

There is a surprising amount of relatively unknown and just plain forgotten releases from the classic JF era that would deserve similar status to rare soul classics elsewhere on the scene, if only the JF crowd would venture a bit further from their "Best of Streetsounds Weekender Anthems" safety zone. 

Edited by Mickey Finn

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4 hours ago, Stubbsy said:

Somebody mentioned a Jazz Funk revival. It's never really gone away and there's an abundance of soul/jazz funk nights in my area (Essex), but they all play the same records! :)

Someone mentioned the Goldmine (Canvey Island). Wasn't that the JF equivalent to our NS Wigan Casino? Anyone on here venture that far out east?

To me jazz funk is part of the overall Soul scene. Just a different form of soul music and possibly the bridge between disco & modern soul. Too many long 12" instrumentals for me - prefer the wham/bam of an uptempo soul (or disco)  7" anyday!

 

4 hours ago, daved said:

That's what I said earlier Alan about Kent.

Who's Alan Dave? :D

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3 hours ago, Mickey Finn said:

The same is true of a lot of soul radio shows - jocks of a certain generation who haven't really moved on since the mid 80s, sticking to a narrow playlist of weekender anthems week after week. By contrast for example Les Adams and Nick Aravis on Solar, Keith Richards and Don Gee on Stomp, all focus on 70s/80s jazz funk soul but cover a wider area and dig a lot deeper and still regularly come up with the unfamiliar or forgotten.

 

Agree with you Mickey, Les Adams and Nick Aravis always worth a listen on a Saturday, imaginative DJ'ing :thumbup:

Picked up some good tunes having heard em for the first time on their shows, especially Nick's show.

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9 hours ago, Stubbsy said:

Agree with you Mickey, Les Adams and Nick Aravis always worth a listen on a Saturday, imaginative DJ'ing :thumbup:

Picked up some good tunes having heard em for the first time on their shows, especially Nick's show.

It was Nick who put me on to JJ Barnes' "I have seen the light" among other tunes.

Les Adams has been reviving this tune in recent months:

 

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On 6/7/2017 at 21:35, tomangoes said:

I don't personally think many JF tunes became 'rare soul classics'.

Ed

 

This got me thinking ... while it's probably not right to call these tunes "rare", I think they deserve "classic" and "soul". If rare, only because underplayed.

First up, brilliant jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard with Jeanie Tracy from 1981. This turned up on volume 2 of Kent's "Masterpieces of Modern Soul" in edited form, and Paul Collins has played it on his radio show. The full length version can be had from the original "Splash" LP, recently reissued on cd.

Another classic is this, from pianist Gene Harris's final LP on Blue Note, "Tone tantrum" (1977), as played by Bob "The Crate" Smith on his show. Featuring a great vocal from Ralph Beacham, this is the opening track on a true classic jazz funk album that also features Donald Byrd:

 

Edited by Mickey Finn

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Keeping it a bit more mellow with these 3 ... and showing the more soulful side of JF.

Back to 1981 for the return of Miles Davis after a 5 year break. The title track of "The Man with the Horn" features Randy Hall on vocals:

Rodney Franklin seemed to burst on to the scene with "The Groove" in 1980, which was a big Chris Hill play. But even as the JF scene kind of lost its sparkle as productions became more electronic and programmed, Franklin was still putting out some good stuff, like this from 1985:

And finally for now, back to 1978 for a real dream team - Pharoah Sanders and Phyllis Hyman, produced by Norman Connors ... what more could anyone ask for?

 

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16 minutes ago, Bruv said:

Level 42 - Starchild  my favourite from the band before they went on to become famous. :hatsoff2: 

Saw them in 85 just as they were turning famous. They were an excellent stage band, proper musicians, and by then had a great back catalogue to perform. Hearing this takes me back to evenings listening to crackly 208, which at the time was like Jazz Funk Central of the airwaves.

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41 minutes ago, Mickey Finn said:

Saw them in 85 just as they were turning famous. They were an excellent stage band, proper musicians, and by then had a great back catalogue to perform. Hearing this takes me back to evenings listening to crackly 208, which at the time was like Jazz Funk Central of the airwaves.

Yes, they were Brilliant musicians Mick, no surprise they went on to be so successful, my brother seen them play live a couple of times.  

       Another of their early spins, Are You Hearing What I Hear   :)  :hatsoff2:  

        

 

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45 minutes ago, Mickey Finn said:

Keeping it a bit more mellow with these 3 ... and showing the more soulful side of JF.

Back to 1981 for the return of Miles Davis after a 5 year break. The title track of "The Man with the Horn" features Randy Hall on vocals:

Rodney Franklin seemed to burst on to the scene with "The Groove" in 1980, which was a big Chris Hill play. But even as the JF scene kind of lost its sparkle as productions became more electronic and programmed, Franklin was still putting out some good stuff, like this from 1985:

And finally for now, back to 1978 for a real dream team - Pharoah Sanders and Phyllis Hyman, produced by Norman Connors ... what more could anyone ask for?

 

The only common denominator that keeps the various genres 'acceptable' is that they are dance records.

The exception being the 'chill out' events or 'deep soul - low rider' type event. Not really my cup of tea to be honest.

These 3 tracks are great to listen to, BUT its hard to imagine a dj playing them and expecting a dance floor to fill up.

The original thread I think is an inquiry about the eventual integration of these new JF sounds into the existing scene.

Predominantly new releases.

I've not heard many of the records listed so far in this thread played at an 'across the board' soul event, even though they were played at the time.

I just don't think they have been embraced.

Ed

 

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The Sunday lunchtime sessions at the Blackpool LSW would be a strong possibility for records such as the above, but I get your point.

Sean Hampsey recently posted recordings of early 80s allniters and the playlists feature the likes of Norman Connors, Stanley Clarke, Webster Lewis, Niteflyte, that would all have sat comfortably in a JF setting (still do). It's possible that the contrasting *scenes* meant that for a lot of people otherwise happy to go along to northern or modern&crossover events, JF was a secret pleasure, if not quite guilty. But there are many people here more qualified to say. Equally there's a good few from daan sarf who regret not being able to travel north more regularly because of the variety of music played there. Norman Jay is a famous example of someone who did make the journey, and who is comfortable in either setting.

Re fusion/JF as a genre, the record companies and it has to be said also jazzers themselves figured that a more funk-based backing supporting solos within a more disciplined song structure would make more money than a standard easier to record but low selling hard bop session. Creed Taylor was one of the pioneers of this, and his CTI label was where many of the subsequent big names came of age - George Benson, Freddie Hubbard, Bob James, Hubert Laws, Stanley Turrentine ... These and others were later picked up by the majors and went on to become major stars and very well off - Donald Byrd famously so. UK jazzers like Morrissey Mullen grew up in bop but were attracted to the funkier side despite the disapproval of the jazz police. But the mainspring of the UK jazz funk music scene seems to have been a combination of childhoods steeped in various forms of black music, coupled with the energy and spirit of punk. It explains why so much of the UK-produced stuff of the period has a freshness and energy about it that gives it such an immediately identifiable sound. That's also a very different set of social circumstances compared to the northern scene, despite the overlaps and affinities. Mix that with already existing north vs. south nonsense and you've got almost a conspiracy to keep separate what should have been more fluid - and was in certain places.

Perhaps the ultimate northern-jf crossover occurred at Motown, when Berry Gordy recruited all the local jobbing jazz musos who became the Funk Brothers. It's only the snobs and self-appointed police who would ignore the musical talents of someone like James Jamerson because "it wasn't jazz". Equally, considering the desperate efforts in the mid to late 70s to find more obscure and frankly terrible records simply to keep the northern scene cranking out new "discoveries" whilst there was so much exciting stuff being done in the fusion of jazz and funk, doesn't say much for that kind of snobbery either.

So, if certain records haven't been embraced, it might be because they are no good, or because they don't fit a particular style. If it's about style, then is it a question of honest taste, identification with a particular scene, or the music police trying to dictate taste?

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Uh, Very Good :lol:

Thanks for posting ... this was/is a great album, recently reissued by Soul Brother. Alphonse continued to record some tasty stuff through the 80s, including terrific versions of Miles Davis' "Milestones" and "Seven steps to heaven".

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1 hour ago, Bruv said:

Yes, they were Brilliant musicians Mick, no surprise they went on to be so successful, my brother seen them play live a couple of times.  

       Another of their early spins, Are You Hearing What I Hear   :)  :hatsoff2:  

        

 

This has got that same energy as "Chinese way", which was great live. Hard to believe that even made it to Top of the Pops.

"Love games" was another big 208 favourite at the time :thumbup:

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north west a couple of really popular clubs were Angels (richard searling) in burnley the Pinewood in handforth wilmslow, cant remember too much as it was short lived style of music for me only 2 or 3 years as i preffered Northern and still do but due to the influences i like 60's 70's nothern crossover some 80's and not too much upto date modern soul, fashion wise was the move from wide baggy trousers and parralells to tapered bottoms coulourfull tee shirts longer changes in hair styles plastic sandals even pyjamastyle bottoms with drawstring waists. i am sure others know more.

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On Tuesday, June 06, 2017 at 19:28, mark castle said:

Moved to Peterborough from Oldham in 77 used tpn go to the Lime Tree pub on a Sunday night, dj Steve A llen, my first experience of the jazz funk scene. Steve later opened an excellent record shop in the city called Discoasis. All dayers at the Fleet, and the Cresset in Bretton. Travelled to Notts Palais itayers and the legendary Purley Tiffanys with the soul  amafia djs, Chris Hill, Robbie Vincent et al. Attended the first Caister weekender, unforgettable. Remember the build up from Chris Hill and first playing in the uk of EW&F and Emotions Boogie Wonderland. Awesome. Anyone remember the 'tribes' from around the country? Never forget the Rushden Cavemen who used to attend in Stone Age attire.

Best track from 78:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV4IFQCjD4I

Went to The Lime Tree, Slickers & assorted alldayers at The Fleet, Cresset, Wirrinna & small venues In Peterborough I have forgotten the names of.Bourne, Cambridg, Kings Lynn & Norwich Corn Exchanges also hosted JF events I attended.Remember the Rushden Cavemen all baring their bums one night at the Wirrinna I think!!!! All very Caister although I never went there. At the same time aw this was going on I was buying deep soul from Gary Cape & others. I love It all.

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On 6/7/2017 at 16:59, Chris Turnbull said:

 

I suppose I was thinking about the North West / Midlands scene - other than the occasional Colin Curtis Rafters type revival there doesn't seem to be much interest in the North, where clearly back in the day there was 

The Jazz-Funk Room at King George's Hall Blackburn, was very busy for most of it's lifespan (at least the first 10 years).

Now-a-days the modern room and jazz-funk room are together in the bar area, played to a much smaller crowd.

 

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Maybe some promoter could have a 2 room JF all nighter.

In the main room, the latest releases and current breaking sounds, and then in the other room the oldies like delirium and big blow.

The cycle is then completed :)

Ed

 

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 Well I've been playing the Grover Washington Jr LP Winelight on and off since Chris started this thread, and thought I would post up the full album version of Just The Two Of Us with Bill Withers on vocals, loving the sax playing half way through this, pure quality. :yes:  :hatsoff2:

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Been thinking once again about tunes I remember from the Jazz-Funk period,And as I mentioned before It was mainly Rafters I went to,

This one came to mind today,If it has been posted before,Sorry.

 

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And then you started digging a little deeper (no not the Brecker Bros) and found stuff like this on the albums, and perfected phrases like "will you stop hogging the spliff" .

 

Edited by Kegsy

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Quite a few tracks on this thread that are not what I would call jazz funk. 

Their was a decent jazz funk band from Gt Yarmouth called Sahara.Dion Dublins brother played Base.No idea if they had a record put out though.

Edited by NCFC

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1 hour ago, Bruv said:

 Another Banger, Ronnie Laws - Young Child  :thumbsup: 

Quite ironic, been playing "Loves victory" from the same set (Every Generation) for the last few days

Kev

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Santana crossed a lot of blurred boundaries during the 70s. From 1976, featuring Greg Walker on vocals:

The "Welcome" album from 1973 was very jazzy, featuring Leon Thomas on a few tracks but this instrumental always particularly did it for me:

By 1978 the influence of disco is clear ... with Greg Walker again, and produced by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, of Four Tops ABC-era fame:

 

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