The paradigms shifted in Pop, Dance Music, Rhythm and Black Music in general, could NOT have advanced without the input or influence of Mr FONCE MIZELL. I as a Producer, Artist, Dj, Musician, could NOT even ATTEMPT to do what I do without his influence.. Rest In Paradise. (keep his family and friends in thought and prayer).
The conviction, redemption and essence of human contradictions along with vulnerable brilliance will never be repeated at this caliber..He was beyond real.
He defied while being the ultimate definitive. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MILES DAVIS!
This song was the first time I got open to Zappa back in 92, I was digging at an old spot called the “Record Store” in LA. I found it in the reject bin (I use to come up clean at that spot, its been there since the mid 70′s. It closed in 2004. Shout out to my man Dwight!). I remember wanting to chop up the drums but the song was so bugged I never really flipped it. The whole album is bananas.
I originally started this blog post last Saturday which was Pete Rock’s b-day, I got caught up getting ready for a gig that day. However, I felt the need to complete and speak about one of my heroes in the game that inspired me to spend endless hours in various record shops, hole in the wall spots while running the risk of rat bites and who knows what else in the name of “digging in the crates”. Pete Rock and Erick Sermon have to be single-handedly credited for constantly keeping the term “Funk” alive during the 90′s era of Hip Hop which was infused with a lot of sub standard new jack swing anthems that lacked the original recipe of the great Teddy Riley.
Hip Hop has always celebrated the music of past heroes in Funk-Soul-Jazz such as Gil Scot Heron, Kool and The Gang, Sly Stone, James Brown, The Headhunters, Roger Troutman,etc. Many criticized these new breed of street producers and dj’s for their constant use of sampling, but failed to acknowledge these young trailblazers in keeping the legacy of these artists alive by re-interpreting their works which might have been overlooked by these new generation of urban tastemakers and street griots. So-called “Black Radio” and many Pop/Crossover/ Oldies stations turned their backs on many of these great Soul-Funk-Rock-Jazz artists due to various inner politics and socio-economic ramifications that existed within their infrastructure. By the mid 90′s, most Mom and Pop radio stations that catered to fans of the classic 50′s, 60′s & 70′s sound were being sold and bought by major corporations which took over these stations. As a result, giving listeners a very processed and over redundancy in its programming. During this time, there is a new generation of taste makers on the rise creating street anthems that not only became charted HITS but cradled many through their high school and college experiences. Pete Rock was one of the major figures in ushering that new street sound, fusing heavy Funk, Jazz and Rock with the Emu SP-1200 as the navigating tool (I miss working that pretty little machine but dont miss losing the memory..). I remember hearing “Mecca and The Soul Brother” and going: “WHAT THE F–k?!” It was like a new wave of street funk samples for a new generation. See, I was also a huge fan of Marley Marl (who is Pete Rock’s mentor from his “In Control” days at WBLS). Which explains Pete’s great taste in samples in funk, just as the great master teacher Marley demonstrated on countless cuts..whats beautiful is that I always liked how Pete would incorporate Big Daddy Kane’s debut 12′ “Get Into It” in most of his early productions!!
I still get geeked watching this..my man pulls a “gangster move” during “Mr Big Stuff”..watch closely:
Pete has to be in my top 5 of great Hip Hop producers, with me being a die-hard funk head, I heard him loud and clearly. I remember during the mid 90′s I had the honor in opening for him at a venue in Downtown LA called “The Stock Exchange” (which was the original stock exchange building for Los Angeles during the early 20′s). This was the listening party for his solo debut “Soul Survivor”, what’s funny is that I had no idea he was going to show up. A lot of times, record labels may put together a listening party but that doesn’t mean the artist may show up, but in this case I was proven wrong. Its midnite and im flipping my doubles of “Dont Look Any Further” with “Get Money” (this was way before I started doing the emceeing thing..my man Toquan The MC from SOUL ELEVATION handled that area..big shout to Dj Rock for hooking me up with that gig!). So as im doing my routine (im on an elevated level overlooking damn near 1000+ people which was a huge deal for me at that time, its like the 8th floor on a balcony), I feel someone hovering over me and im thinking its someone trying to make a request..lo and behold I turn around.. its the “Soul Brother”, im nervous yet excited. We exchanged greetings and gave pounds, I asked him was he ready to play yet and he says “naw man you are nice with it, keep going.” At that point, I go hella hard on the routines. After that the man himself goes in with MOP‘s “How About Some Hardcore” and its pure pandemonium (bear in mind this was a Hip Hop/R&B crowd that was wide open that nite…high heels and all!). After the set, we had a brief conversation about “Crown Heights Affair” and funk breaks. Thats my Pete Rock moment I had to share which I still cherish to this day.
Thank You 4 The Funk Pete!! Happy Belated Birthday!!
June 16, 2010 | Categories: RESPECT, Unique 74 | Tags: Cl Smooth, Dj A-Ski, FUNK, Golden Era of Hip Hop, Hip Hop, Icon, Marley Marl, Pete Rock, Producer, RESPECT, Soul, Unique74, WBLS | Leave A Comment »
The First Family of Funk, Rock and Soul produced one of the greatest (though criminally underrated) bass players ever..Rest In Paradise MARVIN ISLEY..
here’s a taste of Marvin Isley at his finest…
(yes when you hear that BASSLINE..you are listening to the man himself..)
(the original blueprint..)
The Isley Bros 70′s performances are VERY RARE on You Tube for some odd reason.. The Isley estate dont play man!! ..Enjoy while you can
MAVERICK. MUSIC. MILES.
Lately, i’ve been putting together final tracks for upcoming releases this summer. During that process, i’ve been wanting to incorporate elements outside of my “normal” recording process. I’ve been pondering the idea of playing rhythm guitar, I also have been overdubbing a lot of my own live drums just to explore new rhythms. During this past month I have been listening to a lot of early Chicago Funk-Soul (mainly Chess-Brunswick and other off beat labels). When I think of Chicago Soul, I cant help but think about my hero the great Maurice White. Besides being leader of the iconic funk-jazz-soul unit Earth Wind and Fire, he was a also a drummer on many of the sessions at Chess records (along with Morris Jennings). Countless sessions such as “Rescue Me”, “Sitting In The Park, “Grits Aint Grocery” (been wearing out Little Milton’s collection this week!) bear the back beat of Maurice White.
I just so happen to have a kalimba at the lab and I couldn’t help thinking about the story from my uncle (who is very close to Mr White) explaining to me how Mr White and the kalimba came about. According to his recollection, it was at a music store located in Chicago called “Frank’s” where Mr. White’s first encounter with the kalimba took place during the mid 60′s and he has been playing it ever since.
I remember seeing Mr White a couple of times during my early college days (he was always at my bank, amazing!!) and I always felt nervous in going up to shake his hand. But I waved at him, he waved back and my day was made just on that alone. There are very few like Mr. White that went through the various stages of growth and mastered the art of production and recording. There is a leadership quality (reflecting the work ethic of a Mr. White) that is lacking in today’s so-called “modern era” where there are very few artists who take risk and plentiful are willing to follow the depreciated sound pallet only to become flavor of the month. I write this in showing recognition and appreciation to one of my musical heroes who went against the grain and is a constant inspiration. Thank You Mr. White!
“dont be a robot..you’ll lose your soul”. peep the keyboard..”settings and LFO” all day!!
When you ask the average person, who is GENE PAGE? Many will not have a clue. But if you ask any great musician or authentic music fan, there will be high praise. He truly was one of the major innovators of THE LOS ANGELES SOUND. Having arranged and produced many great artists such as Dobie Grey, Barry White, The Jackson 5, Pop, Soul and Country..Mr Page was truly a gem that set a platform of excellence and richness in sound that has yet to me matched to this day. I had the honor of doing a session at the legendary Sunset Sound in Hollywood and I just so happen to be sitting in the conductor’s chair. My Mentor and Hero, the great WAH WAH WATSON looked at me said “this chair is very special, this was the chair that belonged to Gene Page“. I’d never seen a room become so quiet in my life, it was like a spell had taken hold on all of us when his name was mentioned.
courtesy of STUBASS (Soulful Detroit)::
I was recently contacted via musician-producer David Paich informing us that a nomination has been submitted to NARAS in an effort to honor the late legendary arranger-producer Gene Page with a NARAS Trustees Award. Los Angeles based (via Detroit) and well respected musician-arranger Sylvester Rivers is leading this effort, which has been supported by a who’s who of music industry leaders, from David Foster, Dionne Warwick, Tom Scott, Bruce Miller, and many many more. I spoke with Sylvester yesterday, and offered my enthusiastic support for this most well deserved recognition for Gene Page.
Gene Page, as many of you know, was the musical inspiration behind those beautiful arrangements for artists such as Barry White, Laura Brannigan, Michael Jackson, many Motown and Solar Records projects, along with an impressive list of top performers from the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s. In addition to his musical virtuosity, Gene was always willing to help his fellow musicians, and served as a mentor to many of todays contemporary producers and arrangers.
I would urge you all to take a few minutes and drop an e-mail to Jennifer Dugas at NARAS in support of this most well deserved recognition.
Ms Ross is vibing out!! I love it!!! I was very lucky to spot Ms Ross while I was digging for some wax at Amoeba in Hollywood last year. It was so cool to see her casually looking for music (fyi, she went straight to the jazz section).
he’s clowning.. basically..take notes..
DIVA | SONGBIRD > LOVE SUPREME
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JEAN CARN!!!
March 16, 2010 | Categories: RESPECT, Unique 74 | Tags: Black Music Legacy, Class, Diva, Doug Carn, Icon, Innovator, JAZZ, Jean Carn, Legend, PROGRESSIVE!, Rhythm and Blues, Soul, The Philly Sound, Unique 74, Vocalist | Leave A Comment »