Sometimes I like to think of this music as the funky side of Jazz, or the jazzy side of Funk. It’s vibey, cinematic style, new Funk music that captures a cool mood.
Read on to learn about the great contemporary Funk bands who make this music, then dig a little deeper to discover plenty more gems in their catalogs…
Listen to & follow this Spotify playlist of sweet, funky Soul instrumental Funk songs…
Soul Syrum — Laid-Back Instrumental Funk Grooves
Far-Out, Joyful, Jazzy Vibes
Listen to “Volcano Vapes” from their album on Colemine Records, Out On The Coast, my favorite record of 2016. On this tune, they get a little trippy with their mellow Jazz Funk. You might want to visit a So-Cal dispensary before cueing it up. Then, imagine you’re sitting on the rocks at La Jolla Beach — one with the elements 😉
Modern Afrobeat Meets Old Soul
You get to hear all these influences in full force on their superb 2017 record, Stinger, on Modern Outsider Records. Nine furious tracks take you on a rockin’ trip around the world musically. Stinger never lets up! Its high-energy vibe will keep you moving — body, mind & soul.
One of my favorite songs on Stinger is “Soul Thing.” If you’ve ever imagined what it would be like if Isaac Hayes and Fela Kuti had collaborated on a song in the early 1970s — it would have sounded like this. It’s more Stax than Afrobeat, and yet, the West African groove is still in there, with gorgeous trumpet dancing all along, plenty of wah-wah, potent percussion, and Hard Proof’s distinctive jamming.
You Need To Keep The Groove On The Move
Diazpora knows how to keep it on The One. Islands features killer compositions from a tremendously tight & funky band. The instrumental Funk songs on this record are hot!
Listen to their tune “Numbers” here. It captures the essence of this playlist because of its a mellow, soulful, instrumental Funk song with soaring horns that build up to a breath-taking finish. Hear more about the band from David Nesselhauf, bass player of Diazpora, speaking on Calamity Jade’s Funk Shui show on Radiopopolare.
The Gods Smile On The Funk
The Weird Part
First, Leroi Conroy, a band featuring members of The Jive Turkeys, Jungle Fire, and The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble, gives us a lilting little groove called “La Gran Mesa”.
Next, Ernie Hawks & The Soul Investigators, take a “Journey To The Bottom” with this moody & groovy joint from the “Scorpio Man Theme” 45 on Timmion Records.
Old Soul, Still Funky
The Dip is an electrifying seven-piece Soul band from Seattle, Washington. The band tows the line between crooning Soul music and hard-driving Funk. Featuring crunchy lines from the Honeynut Horns, The Dip serves a throwback groove that is sure to get you movin’.
Their 2015 self-titled debut features several vocal tracks that are a throwback to a more soulful time, yet these guys play irresistible music that’s 100% modern & original (never cliche). “Won’t Be Coming Back” is a powerful, super groovy instrumental track from 2016’s Won’t Be Coming Back EP you’re sure to love.
The Filthy Six give us “Supernova,” from their excellent 2016 album, More Filth on Acid Jazz Records. Their soaring horns, blistering guitar and gut-wrenching Hammond are fueled by one of the hardest grooving rhythm sections around. Their incredible musicianship create tight, funky music that moves the mind, body and soul.
Soul Village Sounds
“Jungle Juice” from their superb 2014 album, Refrigerate After Opening on G.E.D. Soul Records, is an extended jam with funky flutes, happy horns, and an impeccable groove.
Rex In Effect
Blades shoulders that responsibility with nonchalant virtuosity and infectious groove on his 2014 recording, Field Notes. Blades is joined by guitarist Jeff Parker (Tortoise, Joey DeFrancesco, Joshua Redman) and drummer Simon Lott (Charlie Hunter, Will Bernard), both musicians who share Blades’ grounding in tradition and urge to push it forward. Get into their mind-blowing tune, “Parks ‘n Wreck,” in this playlist to hear how this teriffic trio makes Jazz soulful, funky, and modern.
A Funky Soul Showdown
The Mighty Mocambos continue to deliver their brand of Funk with blazing horns, soulful guitars, driving drums and basslines combined with an extra bit of quirkiness. When not producing records for one of their many incarnations and collaborations, the band is touring steadily. Whoever witnesses a concert will tell you about the musicality, passion, energy, humour and joy that the band loves to bring to the people. In this Spotify playlist, get into their marvelous mellow groove, “Road To Earth.”
Throwback Soul Strut From The UK
November 2016 saw the release of their first full album, Three Step Strut. Listen to “The Drill Song” in this Spotify playlist — you’re gonna love it! It’s a classic funky Soul jam with a modern vibe, lively guitar playing, and groovy organ.
Their Groove, Your Move