Monday, May 31, 2010

New Orleans Funk Volumes 1 & 2


New Orleans has an extremely rich musical history, being home to some of the greatest jazz, blues, soul and funk musicians ever known.  These collections, both from the Soul Jazz label, are reverently-sourced and contain some of the greatest funk tracks ever recorded.

The first volume concentrates on bringing the listener a aural history of the genre and includes some very hard-to-find recordings (particularly now considering a lot of the archives for these recordings were wiped out by Hurricane Katrina).  The second volume continues the exposition with a similarly tasty playlist.  The only criticism I have (and this is very minor) is the tracks aren't in chronological order.  Yeah, I did say minor.

There are so many good tracks on both, it is virtually impossible for me to single out any one.  But if there is any track that defines this collection for me, it has to be Aaron Neville's Hercules.  It is sublime, superbly voiced, sexy and extremely funky and epitomises what it is all about.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP and g g g g get on down


Featuring names I know, like Allen Toussaint, Dr John, Lee Dorsey and Aaron Neville - and a whole bunch of people I'd never heard of before this - these two CDs plus some more Soul Jazz collections are party central music.   All our funk collections come courtesy of YourZ except one, which is kind of weird when you consider I am the Funky Queen in the house (in the house, I say).  (YourZ sez: so you say)

Truly I could listen to funk compliations for most of the rest of my life without getting too bored.  They're full of wildly groovy tunes, they're mostly highly danceable, the singers are great, what's not to love?  And that would be my only comment - proceed directly to the verdict - if not for one funk-related story I have to relate.

So a long time ago I purchased one of the In Yo' Face! compilations - Volume Three, to be exact.  My boyfriend of the time (Hi Kevin!) was just a trifle dismissive of the purchase, especially of the opening track, Jungle Boogie by Kool and the Gang.  Fast-forward a few months to the first time we saw Pulp Fiction - and guess what song is the first one you hear on the soundtrack?  I confess, I allowed myself a brief inner moment of glee.

But anyway, if you don't have any funk compilations in your collection, why not?  Top class music, all the way.  Just ask Quentin Tarantino.


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  1. Toni, the funk compilations I had also had Jungle Boogie. It was this one.

    I wore it out. :)

    BTW .. I would have loved to seen your ex-bf's face when he heard Jungle Boogie. I always told Rose that if I hosted a talk show that would be my entrance music. :)

  2. Now THAT looks like a good compilation - Fantastic Voyage! Love that song. Hmmm, maybe I oughta just get all the rest of the the In Yo Face! series 'cause they looked great, too.

    Jungle Boogie would be great as entrance music. Gotta keep that in mind if I make my way back onto radio anytime.

  3. Can't believe the boy Kevin was dismissive of Jungle Boogie. I understand it's one of his funk faves these days, right up there with Brick House.

  4. Hmmm.... sorry it took me so long to comment.... but glad you, sorry Kevin likes it these days!

  5. rapidshare links pleeeezzze!!! thanks brother!!!