Category Archives: Funk Friday

Funk Friday

Funk Friday: Maceo and the Macks – “Soul Power ’74” (1973)

Just some straight, grimy funk for your Friday afternoon.

Maceo! Blow your horn!” That’s how James Brown would dynamically signal his favorite horn player to take another stinging sax solo — and Maceo Parker never once let his boss down. Parker‘s jabbing workouts in the midst of “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “Cold Sweat” made him a household name among ’60s funk fans — not bad for a kid fresh out of college who got the gig primarily becauseBrown coveted his brother Melvin‘s drumming chops.

AllMusic Guide

Funk Friday

Funk Friday: Dazz Band – Let It Whip (1982)

If this song doesn’t get you in the mood for the weekend, I don’t know what will.

The Cleveland-based Dazz Band was one of the more popular funk groups of the early ’80s. Bobby Harris formed the group in the late ’70s, merging two Cleveland funk bands, Bell Telefunk and Mother Braintree.* After myriad lineup changes, the end result was an eight-piece band featuring Harris, Skip Martin III, Pierre DeMudd on horns and vocals, guitarist Eric Fearman, bassist Michael Wiley, drummer Isaac Wiley, keyboardist Kevin Frederick, and percussionist Kenny Pettus. Harris and lead songwriter/guitarist Mike Calhoun’s concept for the group was “danceable jazz”; he shortened the description to “dazz” and called the group Kinsman Dazz. Under that name, the group had two small hits in the U.S.A. during 1978 and 1979. After Calhoun left they changed their name to the Dazz Band in 1980 and signed to Motown. …

“Let It Whip,” taken from their second album Keep It Live (1982), reached number five and won a Grammy Award for Best Performance by an R&B Vocal Duo or Group.

AllMusic Guide

*Proof that funk has the best band names of any genre.

Funk Friday

Funk Friday: Slave – Slide (1977)

When looking at the great soul music geographies of the past quarter century, perhaps the most criminally overlooked is Ohio, the breeding ground for a generation of hot funk acts that came into their own in the 70s and early 80s, including the Ohio Players, Heatwave, Zapp, Lakeside, Midnight Star and Dayton.  One of the premiere Ohio groups of this era was Slave.  Formed in Dayton in 1975, Slave originally consisted of  bass guitarist Mark Adams, trumpter Steve Washington, drummer Tim Dozier, guitarist Mark Hicks, sax players Orion Wilhoite and Tom Lockett,  trombone player Floyd Miller, keyboardist Carter Bradley and vocalist Danny Webster.

The group signed with Cotillion Records for their self-titled debut album and immediately scored with the blazing funk track, “Slide,” which hit #1 on the Soul charts and earned Slave a Grammy nomination for best new artist.

-Chris Rizik at SoulTracks

(Also, RIP Slave bassist Mark Adams, who passed away this March, and guitarist Mark Hicks, who passed away in June.