Acoustic Sounds

Music Reviews: Funk

Many classic albums are lauded as “singular” and “groundbreaking,” but after a while don’t really sound like it, because everyone afterwards did it, or we realize that someone lesser-known did it six months earlier. Yet 52 years later, Sly & The Family Stone’s There’s A Riot Goin’ On remains as singular and confounding as ever; nothing remotely like it existed before, and nothing since has done exactly what it does. It remains impenetrable and unique: while its elements have scattered throughout popular and underground music since, Sly Stone's early 1970s work operates in a manner that’s impossible to plagiarize because exactly what makes it work is much harder to pinpoint.

Read More

What's unusual here is not the big band. James Brown toured and recorded with one throughout his career. "Soul On Top" is an outlier in the Brown catalog because he's backed by a jazz band— Louie Bellson's 18 piece orchestra—with arrangements by Oliver Nelson, who tried to conduct. Only saxophonist Maceo Parker, Jr. from Brown's band The J.B.s came along for the ride.Brown's 28th album, released in 1970 on King Records (KS1100) was... Read More

genre Funk Vocal Jazz format Vinyl