=Friday, August 8, 2008

A Mind Wandering

Ahhhh... another two weeks have passed already. Honestly, I couldn't believe it when I realized that a new mix was scheduled for this week. Although things have calmed down a good bit over the last few weeks, it still seems like time is just flying by lately. This week's mix is inspired by my desire to kick back, relax, and enjoy a mental break from the daily routine. I'm sure that regulars here will notice that, despite including roughly the same number of tracks as vol. 1-3, this week's mix is a good bit longer than usual, clocking in at about 50 minutes. While perusing the blogosphere, it seems to me that all too often the vinyl junkies of the world overlook the long-player to make room for the funkiest of 45's. And don't get me wrong, I enjoy a succinct slice of funk as much as the next guy, but sometimes there exists a groove that needs to be stretched out. Trunk of F.U.N.K. vol 004, A Mind Wandering, was inspired by such grooves, and, for the most part, encompasses tracks that couldn't fit onto a single side of 7 inches of wax (a couple of shorter tracks were included simply because they fit the mood I've been searching for lately).

The mix starts off with a jazz-funk track from pianist Les McCann that slinks along in a cool electric groove. Hip hop heads will notice classic samples taken from this track by the likes of MC Shan and Pete Rock. The mix then moves to a heavy brazilian number from Airto, showcasing a standout performance from the percussion tag team of Airto and Flora Purim. Larry Young's Fuel then provides us with another slice of funk that is heavy on the electric keys, as well as a solid break to start the song off. A few weeks ago I mentioned that Ramsey Lewis would certainly show up here many times. I wasn't kidding, as this week's mix moves from the work of Larry Young to smoking electric piano work from Ramsey Lewis. This track is a personal favorite of mine due to the way it starts off with an amazingly heavy groove, which seems to totally fall apart in the middle and then come back together at the end. Next up A Wandering Mind keeps the soul-jazz feel with a song from funk powerhouse, Cymande. This group is no stranger to beatheads and vinyl junkies, but this track in particular seems to get less coverage than some of their more classic material, which seems crazy after hearing that great vamping flute line. Curtis Mayfield then gives us a break from all things jazz with a serious funk bomb. The title of this one is perfect, and begs the question, with a groove that funky does anything really need to be said? From there the soul-jazz re-emerges with one of the shorter tracks in this set. Highlighted previously on this site for their roles as members of the Ramsey Lewis Trio, The Young-Holt Unlimited use this track to prove that they can get bodies moving on the dancefloor without the assistance of Ramsey on the keys. And what would a laid-back jazz-funk mix be without some smoking organ work? To close things out A Wandering Mind presents back to back organ groovers. First up is a number from Jimmy McGriff taken from an album sub-labeled, The Super Funk Collection, which for anyone who's heard it is a more than accurate description. I can safely say that while this is the first track from this record presented here, it won't be the last. Finally, the mix wraps up with an organ groover from Lou Donaldson. An organ groover from Lou Donaldson, you say? But he's a sax player! Certainly that's the case, but here we have a track credited to a young Lonnie Smith, who is featured prominently on the organ throughout the entire number. So, without further ado, Trunk of F.U.N.K. presents...

Trunk of F.U.N.K. vol. 004 - A Mind Wandering


Title - Artist - Album - Label

1. The Harlem Buck Dance Strut - Les McCann - Layers - Atlantic
2. Finger (El Rada) - Airto - Fingers - CTI
3. Sticky Wicket - Larry Young's Fuel - Spaceball - Arista
4. Kufanya Mapenzi - Ramsey Lewis - Funky Serenity - Columbia
5. Rickshaw - Cymande - Cymande - Janus
6. Can't Say Nothin' - Curtis Mayfield - Back to the World - Curtom
7. Who's Making Love - Young-Holt Unlimited - Soulful Strut - Brunswick
8. Dig It On - Jimmy McGriff - If You're Ready Come Go With Me - Groove Merchant
9. Peepin' - Lou Donaldson - Mr. Shing-a-ling - Blue Note

P.S. The next installment of Trunk of F.U.N.K. radio won't be brought to you by your's truly. Instead, a real heavy hitter will be gracing our airwaves with the inaugural mix of the Trunk of F.U.N.K. guest mix series (sorry, I'm not going to spoil the surprise, you'll have to check back to find out who it is).

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