Once upon time, the hand of God (in the form of James Brown & Bobby Byrd) swept down and picked up young Bootsy Collins & his brother Phelps in Cincinnati and sent them around the world with the Godfather of Soul. They made some of the funkiest music of all time together. See them here with James Brown and the original J.B.s playing “Soul Power” & “Get Involved” on Italian TV in 1971 — they look so happy!
It’s time to re-visit some old school Funk classics because
Everybody Wants To Get Funky One More Time…
If you don’t have Spotify listen to these superb songs here…
The 7 BADDEST Funk Bass Players
Christian McBride is a leader in today’s contemporary Jazz scene. Listen to the first 7 selections in this Spotify playlist, which represent his list of the best riffs from the best Funk bass players of all time…
1. Larry Graham, of Sly & The Family Stone, went off on his own, and kept being one of the baddest bass players of all time. Listen to “Pow,” and he’ll get ya’ with that powerful slap bass of his.
2. James Jamerson, Motown’s bass guitar session player extraordinaire, makes “Home Cookin’” by Jr. Walker & The All Stars extra funky. He was the uncredited bassist on most of the Motown Records hits in the 1960s and early 1970s, and is now regarded as one of the most influential bass players in modern music history. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
3. Listen to Verdine White, funky bass player of Earth Wind & Fire, crushing a deep bass line on “Mighty Mighty.” This tune is spiritual and funky at the same time, a party song with a mightier message.
4. Dig one of the most perfectly constructed bass guitar solos ever recorded — Willie Weeks on Donny Hathaway’s “Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything)”.
5. The Temptations’ “Shakey Ground” has an especially dope bass part. Here’s how McBride explains the genius of this composition, “If you listen closely, there are two bass parts playing. The classic funk formula is that you have two guitars and a bass, but on this track you have Eddie Hazel playing the guitar part and Billy Bass playing a rhythm bass part, and then you have a lead bass part. That’s a display of genius, somebody thinking to put a second bass part on.”
6. One of the most famous bass lines ever comes from The O’Jays bass player, Anthony Jackson, on “For the Love of Money.” Talkin’ about cash money!
7. Watch Soul Train as the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, sings “Rock Steady” (bass guitar on the original by Chuck Rainey)…
Everybody Wanna Get Funky One More Time…
More Old School Funk For Ya
Rose Royce follows “For the Love of Money” and puts her money where her mouth is on this old school Funk classic from the timeless Carwash Soundtrack.
James Brown & his crew (with Bootsy Collins & Fred Thomas on bass) lead the funky charge, so they get a couple in here.
Hear one of the best Funk guitar riffs ever, played by Skip Pitts on The Isley Brothers’ classic “It’s Your Thing.”
Archie Bell & The Drells do the “Tighten Up,” and lay down another famous bass line.
The Meters (with George Porter Jr. on bass) give it all they can to funkify your life.
Kool & The Gang deliver the “Funky Stuff”… and more.
One-of-a-kind Oakland player, Darondo, let’s his lady know he’ll always be “True.”
Al Green gets in with “I’m A Ram” — a driving rhythm, based on another funky bass line, and his always super soulful singing.
Curtis Mayfield is in here with “Future Shock,” from the 1973 record, Back To The World.
“If You Want Me To Stay” is one of my favorite Sly & The Family Stone songs. It displays more bad ass bass lines from Larry Graham.
Funkadelic gets down (just for the Funk of it) with another brilliant bass line & promises us the Funk…the whole Funk…nothin’ but The Bomb — on “One Nation Under A Groove.” This song became Funkadelic’s biggest hit and the group’s only million selling single.
Vibes player & Jazz cat, Roy Ayers, made some hot disco Funk in 1977 and had his biggest hit with “Running Away.” Its thumping bass line and steady percussion, then Ayers’ vibraphone solo, make this one of my favorite 70s songs.
You’ll know the names and most of the tunes in this Spotify playlist. It’s always fun to hear these classic cuts, and imagine a funkier future by listening to the past.
Keep it on the One…
Funk is fun! I wish people still dressed like these dudes, and acted as funky. For me, the change I want to see in the world…is for a funkier world. Watch the proof of just how funky we can be — here on Soul Train with James Brown, The J.B.s & The Soul Train dancers in 1974 — “Cold Sweat”, “Payback”, “Damn Right I Am Somebody.”
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