[acid-jazz] CD Reviews: Ty Causey, Miami Funk, Mem Shannon, MFA Kera/Mike Russell, Anthony Hamilton, Sounds of Blackness

From: Bob Davis (earthjuice_at_prodigy.net)
Date: 2005-08-11 16:20:03

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    * Ty Causey - Love Notes
    (Baby Makin Slow Jams)

    I've been listening to this CD off and on for the past few days. And while I have been
    enjoying the hell out of it, I have also been racking my brain trying to figure out who Ty
    Causey reminds me of. Well it just hit me. Ty Causey reminds me of Terrence Trent Darby, if he
    were fronting a Jeffrey Osborne's band (instead of Jeffrey Osborne), singing hard core Marvin
    Gaye/Isley Bros. type slow jams of truth. In other words this guy is the REAL THANG. It's the
    type of record that you know within the first 60 seconds that the whole album is going to be
    badd. Each sucessive song simply reinforces that belief within the first few seconds. In other
    words it's really an album of erotica that when played under the right circumstances, will
    have your lady down to her panties, pretty quickly...

    * Miami Funk At Its Best Volume 2 - Various Artists
    (Super High Octane Funk)

    Ahhhhh so you say that you dig funky music? Well you can't go wrong with this compilation.
    Anyone here remember the old TK Records label from back in the 1970's? Well Henry Stone went
    DEEP into the archives and pulled out songs by Freddie and The Kinfolk (w/Freddie Scott), B.
    B. Brown, Funky Nassau, Mona Lisa, Miami, Little Beaver (w/Jaco Pastorious), Famous Chromes,
    Sam Early, Johnny K, The Hot Stuffs, The Funky Bunch (Clarence Reid, Willie Clarke,
     “Chocolate” Perry and other studio musicians). I'm sure that our boy FATS GALLON knows these
    people, but I have never heard of most of em before. KILLER GROOVES, STANK FUNK here my
    friends. The album is full of these NASTY 3 min. CHUNKS OF FUNK. look for this on
    Soul-Patrol.Net Radio soon...

    * Mem Shannon - I'm From Phunkville

    Anyone here remember the old Funkadelic song called "Music For My Mother"?? I have never heard
    of Mem Shannon before, but he sounds like he could have been one of the folks singing on that
    song. Musically he reminds me of Mighty Sam McClain (although his singing isn't as strong as
    Mighty Sam's). One of the things I like best about Blues are the stories contained within the
    songs, songs about real life, as lived by real people. And that is exactly what you get with
    this CD. For example there is a tasty cover version of the Beatles "Elanor Rigby". If your
    looking for a nice slice of modern day Blues then Mem Shannon - I'm From Phunkville is a good

    * MFA Kera/Mike Russell - Afro Soul (Black Heritage)

    This is the type of CD that all of the "psuedo hip white folks" @ places like the Village
    Voice who are constantly writing about all of this music they like that originates from the
    "motherland" would like if they ever heard it. MFA Kera/Mike Russell is a funk band from
    Africa, now residing in Berlin Germany that has a true sense of what 1970's American funk
    music was all about. And I'm not just talking about the James Brown inspired grooves, I mean
    from a political/cultural sense as well. The title of the album Afro Soul (Black Heritage) is
    no joke and tells you what you need to know about the world perspective and view of the
    artist. In MFA Kera's biography it says: "In the meantime she formed the "Black Heritage
    Orchestra" working with US Jazzman Mike Russell, telling the story of black music in music (
    from Ethnic-African music through Blues, Afro-beat, Salsa, Gospel, Reggae, Jazz, Funk and
    Rap)." There are no apologies to political correctness here. My favorite song on this CD is
    the song "soulfood". Check out MFA Kera/Mike Russell online at their website
    (even their url is no joke)
    At the site you can listen to the music from Afro Soul (Black Heritage) and you can also view
    video clips of the group live. See how educated I have become? I had never heard of this group
    untill they signed up for the Soul-Patrol Times a few months ago. Since that time not only
    have I become hip to the music of MFA Kera/Mike Russell, but MFA Kera herself has helped me to
    expand my own "world view" by writing some very heavy commentaries on today's music scene (a
    few of which I have re-published on Soul-Patrol)

    * Anthony Hamilton - Soulife
    (Nu Soul)

    I really like Anthony Hamilton's singing and I like the songs on this CD. Soulife is an album
    that is full of potential hit records and its worth buying, however I almost wish that there
    was an alternate version of this CD. A version where they forget about the studio tricks and
    just let this brotha sing straight up. If they did that, he really could be like another Al
    Green, or Lou Rawls (or something similar?).

    * Sounds of Blackness - Unity

    During the 1980's Black folks substituted actual political/social conciousness with a type of
    fake political/social conciousness that always left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
    Culturally this was manifested with a type of fake post civil rights afrocentricity in
    everything from clothing, greeting cards, language and more. True afrocentricity was pushed
    aside, as the artifacts from our freedom movement were re-packaged into comercilized/symbolic
    icons. In music this was true as well and the group Sounds of Blackness was one of the
    manifestations of this trend. It became sort of politically correct to like them. I knew lots
    of people who purchased their music, but these people never really liked them, they just
    brought the albums because they felt that they were supposed to. People would buy it almost as
    if under some type of peer pressure to do so. During this period of time I pretty much ignored
    the Sounds of Blackness. So when I first put the album into the CD player, I figured that I
    wasn't going to like it. Well, I was wrong, this CD is funkier than hell. Sure it's "preachy",
    but its also got a non stop infectious funk groove that continues for track after track.The
    album has a gospel feel to it, but it isn't religous. It's kinda like the group Sounds of
    Blackness is using funk music as a tool to get back to the essence of Blackness. And if that
    is what they are doing, I applaud them because it's working. Who knows, perhaps a rediscovery
    of funk music is a method for Black people in general to shake ourselves out of the malaise we
    currently find ourselves in? This is a good album, buy it, listen to it and absorb it and
    perhaps you too will be "healed of what ails you"...

    "Funk not only moves, it can re-move, dig?
    The desired effect is what you get"

    Bob Davis
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