You know that saying “Small World”?
It’s all about connections and disconnections. For example, consider a band like Zapp. Started by Lester and Roger Troutman, the group grew into the powerhouse most of us know as Zapp. But, before that it was Roger and the Human Body. Through a childhood friendship with Bootsy Collins that Zapp got major exposure through theMotor Booty Affair tour of ’79. A record deal, “More Bounce to the Ounce” and opening performances for acts like Prince, the Commodores, Ashford and Simpson, Cameo, Kool and the Gang and the rest, they say, is history.
Wait a minute. I said connections and disconnections…
Go back a step.
Parliament-funkadelic (say that fast twenty times) was a mother lode of funk. Onboard the mothership was a cast of talent including Bootsy’s Rubber Band, The Horny Horns and The Brides of Funkenstein.
Ahhh.. The Brides…. Did you know that original members Dawn Silva and Lynn Mabry backed up to Sly & The Family Stone? Later the Brides consisted of Silva, Sheila Horne and Jeanette McGruder. Did you also know that their album “Never Buy Texas from a
Cowboy” containing hits “Never Buy Texas from a Cowboy” and “Mother May I” features some of the best guitar solos you will ever hear? Later you could hear Dawn Silva on tour with The Gap Band during 1982.
Oh dag did it again..
Go back two steps!
Reach for it by George Duke . All ‘N All by E.W.&F. Menagerie by Bill Withers. Angel by the Ohio Players. The Pride by the Isley Brothers. Ask Rufus by Rufus. Secrets by Con Funk Shun. The Force by Kool & The Gang.
George Duke hit us upside the head with “Reach For it” making heads snap around. Did you know it was an accidental hit? Came out of a set they were performing at The Cellar Door in D.C. (Thank You Ndugu!) Deep head nod to Byron Miller for the bass solo that won me bets left and right (a lot of people thought it was Stanley Clarke due to Duke’s association with him). Hehehehehe…sorry guys! Not!
So you have Duke, Ndugu, Miller and company cutting up in D.C., the Mothership slittin’ about zappng the sonic doo-doo out of our minds and … come to think of it.. I think The George Duke Band is due in Detroit on the 24th of this month at the Opera House. (Next month you can may catch them on the Capitol Jazz Supercruise)… But I digress…
The above mentioned LPs share something in common something real simple and quite obvious…they are sounds of their time. They reflect where we’ve been and where we think we’re going as is all music when you think about it… Santana’s Abraxas reflects more than excellent guitar performances and it wasn’t all about Carlos either….
Connections and Disconnections…