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It's Black History Month - Jerome Brailey/Mutiny/Funk Road
If it is February, then that does indeed mean that it is Black History Month. And if it's Black History Month, you can be sure that Soul-Patrol.com is going to have some special related features. Now that's not exactly news to most you who are reading this.
However what might be news to you is that one of those special features for Black History Month involves someone named Jerome Brailey.
I am quite certain that some of you are familiar with the name Jerome Brailey. After all, he is not only the legendary drummer from Funkadelic, he is also a member of the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. What you may not know is that Jerome was also the drummer for the Unifics, the Five Stairsteps and the Chambers Brothers. In fact not only did he perform on the Unifics big hit "Court of Love," but he is also the only non Burke family member to ever appear on a Five Stairsteps album cover. Jerome was in fact the drummer you hear on the song "Ooh Child."
And if you think that's impressive, if you go on over to YouTube, there is a video there of Jerome playing with the Chambers Brothers on the old Mike Douglass TV show. At the end of the song you can see Mike Douglass walk over, along with John & Yoko Lennon asking for everyone's autograph.
The point I am trying to make here is that many times when we talk about Black History Month and the names that you should associate with it in terms of our musical legacy, some of those names are obvious. Some aren't. Nevertheless you should pay attention to both.
And Jerome Brailey is one of those not quite so obvious ones that you should, because he has been a key component of a whole lot of its creation.
On top of all that, Jerome has a new album out in 2014 and we think that it's a pretty good one. The album is called "FUNK ROAD," and we think that it's a pretty good album.
I like it because it is an album that captures the many different styles within the "bastard genre" called FUNK that strikes a chord with me. Within the album you here echoes (well really more than echos….LOL) of the various funk styles that one might expect from a Rock n' Roll Hall of Famer with a musical pedigree like the one Jerome Braily has. It's got Funkadelic style "voodoo doo doo funk", it's got James Brown "get on the good foot style message funk," it's got Five Stairsteps/Wilson Picket style late 1960's am radio style soulful funk," it's got "chambers brothers/black hippie style funk," it's got "bootsy collins style silly funk," it's got west coast late 80's/early 90's style g-funk," hell it's even got a little "2000's tom joyner style all of the black folks from nine to ninety at the family reunion get up and line dance style funk."
Not only do I think that you will like the album, but I think that you will also be able to understand just why Jerome Brailey, the legendary Funkateer who led the "MUTINY" in the 1970's is someone who needs to be recognized not only for his past contributions but for extending the legacy of Black music into the future.
Scroll down, read the album review, click on the links and listen to the music and learn some Black History that's worth sharing with someone you know, who don't know.
Album Review: Mutiny - Funk Road
Back on da scene wit da rekkid machine w/anotha review lol. This time we're gonna take a look at Mutiny- Funk Road from Cap'n Himbad hissef, Jerome Brailey and His band Mutiny.
Mr. Brailey is a good friend of Soul Patrol. I overstand he's been around droppin tidibits of Funk roun dese heah parts for some time now.
He of The Stairsteps O-o-ooh Child and the Unifics Court of Love (did y'all know Donny Hathaway arranged that one?) His playing has always been incredibly influential for me. Especially after learning it was he on those records. Those two tunes were amongst the first records I learned to play as a youngun.
Funk Road is an interesting recording which I must admit I held in very low esteem upon first listen. It seemed bland, uninteresting and seemingly without direction or substance.
Second listen my opinion changed dramatically.
Third listen I've completely reversed my thinking. This is something I rarely do. If I don't dig it I usually cut it loose. I always thought it was basically ok. But just ok. Nothing to buy or chase after.
So it was suggested I suspend my reality and listen again. I never suspended my reality but I listened again. Here's what I found.
Funk Road is a groove oriented recording which spans the length and breadth of the P-Funk pantheon. Particularly relative to those recordings upon which he played and earned his own HOF appearance with the band. This record has a lil something for everyone. We've got some Bootsy stuff (which by dint of association connects the dots with Hip-Hop, West Coast Snoop Dog/Dr. Dre/Ice Cube/NWA Rap), Stepping/line dance stuff, Run DMC/monster rock/sonic noise, JB Funk, Grooveallegiance Funk and even a sly take on country square dance music.
Here's some thing which I think you SP'ers may take deeply in your hearts. There's a tune upon further review which I feel is a lovely tribute to our friend (and Jerome's as well) Fats Gallon.
There was this tune (I need to do my research on this) which Fats recorded awhile back about something to do with Funk with a sort of C&W bent to it. Can't remember the name of the tune but as we all know when it comes to the not-so-Fat man (anymore- due to some illness) it was underneath, beneath the funk of the rock!
I have only one 'problem' with this album. The technical production/mixing etc. leaves something to be desired. Maybe I got a bad copy or something but I could take this anywhere and get my groove on but the mix rattles and just isn't clean in a way I might expect on this level. Secondly most of these tunes IMO are begging for a nice bridge or something to take em to the next level.
Now Mr. Brailey may have intended it this way, who am I to argue? I'll tell you this though, people like Timbaland, Pharell and all of the 'lookin-for-the-perfect-beat' people will have a literal field day with this album. It's a mixologist's DREAM as the grooves are all very, very Funky.
-Thought Patterns - percolating, P-Funk prognostifunkifications
-Something Better To Do - Early classic Hip-Hop, Bell,Biv,Devoe groove
-Delta Dog - aforementioned Fats Gallon tribute- also see Zapp Band
What, Yeah- JB tribute/sample of Let Yourself Go
-Ninety Nine and a Half - cold blooded Classic Rhythm and Blues tune we all know and love. Well executed. *Lots of the vocals sound like GC in his sanging days.
-Thee Funky Prez - Nasty ass stank, dew-drop-in- FUNKin crowd pleezah stuff.
-Ouch - abovementioned Grooveallegiance tune
-Promenade - abovementioned Country tribute -but jes funky as hell.
-We Keep Doin Our Thing - Bootsy/Dre/ Snoop Aint Nuffin a But A G thang
-Lump- holdover from the old Mutiny album. Funk n Roll for the numillennium
-Sweet Blessings- Heavy spiritual with serious Gospel/Glenn Goins thrashermatics on the vocal tip
-Lights Camera Action - Mr. Biggs incarnation of Ronald Isely type vocals as tribute to Bones, Thugs and Harmony
-Diggy Don Datta- Funkadelic. Period....also in dat monsta rock/noise thing but very, funky again
-Prayer For The Living - Ceelo Greene ' Crazy' groove
-Rome Dog Roaming ll - quite simply a nasty ass drum groove. One for which ol Rome is most. Y'know like the beginning of Tear The Roof Off or Do That Stuff? They just opened a mic and let my man GOOOOO!!!
Add some well-placed scratching and there ya go.
New Funk in a new way for a new time.
I think y'all gonna like this.
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Press Release/Bio - Jerome Brailey/Mutiny
This CD was a long overdue collaboration of lifelong friends as well bandmates Bernie Worrell, Cordell "Boogie" Mosson, Mike Hampton and Garry "Starchild" Shider who make guest appearances on a few tracks. It's a 15 track party of NEW funk, the brainchild of Bigfoot Brailey as well as a fresh take on two classics; Wilson Pickett's "Ninety Nine and One Half" and MUTINY's Cult Classic "LUMP" from the soundtrack of Al Pacino's hit movie "Cruising".
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, Jerome "Bigfoot" Brailey was the drummer during Parliament-Funkadelic's height of fame, appeared on most of their more popular hit recordings and co-wrote one of their most iconic hits "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker).
He is arguably the most respected and well known of the P.Funk Drum & Wiggle Corp through the mid-70's peak of the band's creative output. However, a rich musical history was paved that began long before he hooked up with George Clinton's US Funk Mob in the summer of '75. Jerome Bigfoot Brailey's legacy goes all the way back to Armstrong High, Virginia and his early musical inclinations to blow the trombone in marching band. Seems the 'bone was wearing on his chops and he got into beating those drums, and the pounding percussive rhythms he laid down were heard up way thru the stoned soul stratosphere into the middle of The Chocolate Milky Way.
Along the way, he totally funked up and helped blow the cobwebs offa black R&B and rock thru the late 60s/early 70s. Just check his licks on music by The Unifics, The Five Stairsteps and legendary rock/funk/pop hybrid masters The Chambers Brothers. This unheralded master of rhythm and groove had crossed paths with The Funks out on the chitlin' circuit and got the call from Dr. Funkenstein about midway thru 1975. He hopped on The Mothership Connection and the rest is a lesson in funk history.
For the next three years into '78, Clinton regularly called on "J Romeo" night after night in sold out 20,000 seat arenas across the nation to 'gimmie dat FOOT!!' Celebrated artist Pedro Bell picked up on it and he has been known as the legendary Bigfoot air since. I fondly recall Jerome stepping proudly up to the mic at the Rock Hall of Fame induction ceremony. "I am the co-author of 'Tear the Roof Off The Sucker'". Casper and The Dr actually wanted him to tone down the rhythmic intensity and put it on the 1,2,3,4. But listen to a recording like Funkadelic: Live At the Sugar Shack '75 and you'll find this bad azz cat slipping in all kind of fills when he takes the solo over "Chocolate City". I think Clinton aught to have appreciated that pushing of the groove.
A book could be written about his contributions to The P, locking the groove on so many of the collective's best offerings. Although that is what he is most known for, the man has never stopping refining and redefining what the essence of the groove is about. His Mutiny from the Mamaship has been well documented on albums by Quasar and his own tightly syncopated street funk unit, Mutiny, which he has been cutting material on for over 30 years.
During the 90s, he became master proto-funk producer Bill Laswell's go-to drummer and appeared on too many projects to mention. His resume reads like a journey through a roll call of Rock Royalty. He has contributed to records and road shows by a diverse roster of artists including: Eddie Hazel's New Funkadelic, Dave Stewart, Keith Richards, Herbie Hancock, Buddy Miles, Buckethead and the list is ever funkin' on.
J Romeo has never been intent on resting on laurels, and that is nowhere more prevalent than on Funk Rd, his latest explosive offering to come out on Mutiny. Here, he incorporates a smorgasboard of master players, layers and collaborators to tear the roof off of radio's formatic, formulated, robotic play lists. Cut with a stellar cast of musicians all up and down the east coast from NYC to Miami this is a genre-busting mélange of high octane tracks.
I've come to expect from Mutiny just that…the unexpected. Fonk-N with airthang from R&B, Blues, Hip Hop and whatever other grooves that have bubbled up out of this cauldron of spirit and essence. It's truly refreshing and a testament to pure rhythmic creativity that no two tracks here sound anything remotely alike. But that is what Mutiny has come to be about, pushing the musical envelope into unexplored regions of funkability. He is not trying to recreate P-Funk, nor the first two now classic Mutiny albums. Instead J Romeo's future has never looked so bright.
Bigfoot recently told Bay Area Funk Historian Rickey "The Uhuru Maggot" Vincent, that he wanted to create a record that gives back in love to those who have supported him. There's just soooooo many goodies here. Some spread hate all around the world but "We Keep Doing Our Thang". A chanking loop of The Godfather's "Let Yourself Go" on the popping "What?YEAH!!!" Totally lose oneself in a track like "Sweet Blessings". Garry "Starchild" Shider's Plainfield-drenched gospel overtones fill the atmosphere with a bliss of sweet soul spiritual yearnings. That one and "Prayer For The Living" just take me to that space, man, What more can I say. The spirit of Parliament is alive with big, fat blobs of the late, great Cordell "Boogie" Mosson's bass on the pounding "Ouch". And then he turns around and hits you with a southern fried track like "Promanade (Git 'er Done)" with it's up-the-country twang. The neo-futurist "Thought Patterns" opens the affair with 'once you change you philosophy' and I think Bernie the Wizard of Woo is laying down that sinister synth/organ on "Something Better To Do". He even reworks my all time fav Mutiny track with "Lump". A real treat for a brudda.
There's plenty more here, it's a diverse offering. Like I said, he gives up something for everybody to enjoy. I'm thankful this master of the game is still at his funky best, delivering the groove straight up no chaser. It's Funk plus the One put the two together and it's the Bomb.
Putting together the funk band MUTINY as the vehicle Jerome "Bigfoot" Brailey would use to launch his "sound" after jumping from The Mothership is an ever evolving concept.
The CD can be purchased on Amazon.com, CD Baby, CD Universe and most online music outlets as well as record stores throughout the country.
Cincinnati-OH Funk Journalist~ "Bustin Bob" aka Robert Mitchell
For further information, Facebook: MUTINY's FUNK ROAD
For booking contact: Blanche Valentine (+1)(908) 361-5576
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