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SPN: The Soul-Patrol.com Jazz/Funk Collection From Heads Up Records: Stanley Clarke, Candy Dulfer, Maceo Parker, Victor Wooten & the late great Joe Zawinul
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The Heads Up record label is primarily known for producing highly successful "smooth jazz" recordings of varying quality. As such over the past few years it has become something of a "way station" for many jazz & soul artists with "big names", who usually end up producing "commercially successful smooth jazz recordings of varying quality."

However, I must make note that someone must have dropped a "couple of tabs of acid" into the coffee machine at the Heads Up Record Company because recently, they have been sho nuff been providing me a serious flashback to the 1970's.

>From the DVD "Stanley Clarke & Friends: Night School" to the late Joe Zawinul's "Brown Street", the new one from Candy Dulfer ("Candy Store") and Stanley Clarke's latest album "The Toys of Men", Victor Wooten's "Palmystery" and Maceo Parker's "Roots and Grooves", the Heads Up record company is going from one extreme to the other. Instead of providing music that literally will put you to sleep, they are now incorporating music that is designed to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

The bottom line here is that if you are looking for some brand new STANK FUNK music in 2008, you might just have to look in the jazz section of the "wreakastow" to find it... Thanks in advance...

--Bob Davis
609-351-0154
earthjuice@prodigy.net




Album Review: Stanley Clarke - "The Toys of Men"
(Jazz/Funk)

Click Here to get more info about Stanley Clarke - The Toys of Men In the 1970's the group "Return to Forever" (Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White & Al DiMeola) was one of the best of the so called "fusion bands" to emerge in the wake of the success of the Miles Davis Band. Their music ranged from the melodic/romantic/jazzy/slightly latin vibe of South America to the other extreme as possibly the closest thing to "heavy metal" that Black music has seen or heard since. Later in the decade Stanley went solo and had several albums which were actually radio hits (ex: "School Days"). Then he teamed up with keyboard master George Duke for a series of hit albums that such great MONSTER FUNK COVERS of "Mothership Connection" and "Louie Louie". This is how the legend of Stanley Clarke was first established.

Do you need a serious injection of creative & innovative JAZZ-FUNK music into your life? Would you like the experience of listening to an album straight thru and smiling on every cut? There are several songs on this album which will make people who were fans of "Return To Forever" break out into a big smile. There are several songs on this album which will make those who were fans of the Stanley Clarke hit making solo albums of the 1970's smile. There are several songs on this album which will make people who were fans of his collaborations with George Duke in the 1970's smile. There are several songs on this album which will make people who are fans of the "virtuosity" of Stanley Clarke's "outta space bass" smile.

The whole album made me smile the whole way thru.

Although I have to admit that my favorites are the first two cuts (The Toys Of Men & Cosmic Intervention), which are so "cold blooded" that they sound like they could be placed on the 1974 Return to Forever classic "No Mystery".

Did you ever at any point in your life dig Stanley Clarke? (then don't even think twice about this one)

Are you too young to ever have experienced the thrill of ripping off the plastic of an LP, dropping the tone arm & needle directly on to the groove of an album where Stanley Clarke is one of the featured players at 3am inside of an incense filled room, and don't understand what the big deal is? (then don't even think twice about this one)

There is little doubt in my mind that this album will make Soul-Patrol.com's list of best jazz albums of the year. My hope is that it brings the genius of Stanley Clarke to a new generation of listeners.

And BIG UP'S to the HEADS UP record company "from someone who is old enough to remember when...", I certainly hope that they continue to produce albums that are this good.

Check out Stanley Clarke - The Toys of Men at: Stanley Clarke - The Toys of Men

Look for these songs playing as as "buzz cuts" on Nu Soul @ RadioIO.com

--Bob Davis

Candy Dulfer - Candy Store
(Jazz/Funk/Soul)

Click Here to get more info about Candy Dufer - Candy Store We should simply create a brand new musical genre for Candy Dulfer and call it "Blonde Funk." Her albums have always been phun and phunky. Now after spending the past few years as a part of the New Power Generation with Prince, she back on the solo tip and even FUNKIER. Right from the git go with the first song appropriately named "Candy" you know that a funk attack is on. Bootsy Collins puts in a guest vocal appearance on track #3 called "Music = Love". Track #4 is a Caribbean Funky joint called "La Cabana", which seems inspired by Kid Creole. That's followed by a nice slow jam called "11:58." Track #7 called "Summertime" seems inspired by a combination of Chic & Funkadelic, it makes me bop my head in a way that makes me think of disco roller skating back in the 1970's. Remember when Kool and the Gang used to covers of then current slow jams by artists like the Stylistics & Brenda & the Tabulations? Well that is what the next song entitled "Soulsax" sounds like. Tracks #9 & 10 called "Back To Juan" and "If I Ruled the World" sound like they could be on the soundtrack of a super cool detective movie.

Check out Candy Dufer - Candy Store at: Candy Dufer - Candy Store

Look for these songs playing as as "buzz cuts" on Nu Soul @ RadioIO.com

--Bob Davis

Album Review: Maceo Parker - Roots and Grooves
(Jazz/Funk/Soul)

Click Here to get more info about Maceo Parker - Roots and Grooves Do you like live albums? (I do). That's because I like going to concerts and this album is kinda like listening to a "dream concert." This album consists of a 2 CD set and it's really like two separate albums in one package. The first disc is a live set featuring Maceo leading a big band doing a super hellified, largely instrumental tribute to Ray Charles. The second disc is a live set featuring Maceo leading a big band doing a real greasy funk concert, that ends with a 17 minute long live version of "Pass The peas". I have no clue as to who could possibly not like this album. If you are a person reading this review it means that you are already pre-disposed to really digging this album. I can't imagine that you wouldn't like it. There aren't any surprises here, just like the title says, it's "roots and grooves", nothing more and nothing less. If you have any hint of a "glide to your stride", "bounce to your ounce", no matter how small you are going to be immediately transported to a place called "planet groove" as soon as you put this album into your CD player. And if you need more than TWO HOURS OF LIVE STANK AZZ GREAZY ROOTS & GROOVES in one sitting, then come and see me, because that means you are a funkateer in desperate need of medical attention. However if you are a country music fan, you might not want to listen to this album unless you want your hair to turn nappy.

Check out Maceo Parker - Roots and Groove at: Maceo Parker - Roots and Groove

Look for these songs playing as as "buzz cuts" on Nu Soul @ RadioIO.com

--Bob Davis

Album Review: Victor Wooten - Palmystery
(Jazz/Funk/Blues/Soul)

Click Here to get more info about Victor Wooten - Palmystery I'm not even sure that I should be writing this review. I seriously doubt if there is any way in hell that I could be "unbiased", when it comes to the music of Victor Wooten. And with that disclaimer out of the way, I can wholeheartedly recommend this album (big surprise eh?). With that being said, this is NOT the off the wall, phi slama jama, raw virtuoso, stoopid funk, that has been the hallmark of Virctor Wooten's last few albums that we have reviewed here.

"Palmystery" has a 1970's vibe, but this time out instead of a SlyStonePFunkBlackSabbathJamesBrown kind of 1970's vibe, it's got a HerbieHancockReturnToForever kind of a vibe. In other words this is an abum of 1970's style jazz/funk (more commonly known as "fusion"), with some soul & blues in the mix as well. Somehow "fusion" became a dirty word, I never quite understood just how come. Maybe it was because you had to be a really good musician in order to play it, and the vast majority weren't able to hang?

If Victa's other albums were "party albums", then "Palmystery" is the kind of album that you put on after the party is over or before it starts. For this album in addition to the usual cast of charecters (Anthony Wellington, JD Blair & of course Regi Wooten ("The Teacher") and Joseph Wooten ("Hands of Soul"), there are tons of other Wooten family members and other guest artists, including folks like Chuck Rainey, Alvin Lee, Karl Denson and Dennis Chambers. So like other Victor Wooten albums, this one is a total group effort as well. However make no mistake about it, don't let the subdued tone of this review fool you, this is a killer album. However it's different because this isn't Victa beating you with a slam dunk with 1 second left on the clock, this is Victa beating you with a 3 pointer with 1 second left on the clock. The fact that he can do either, whenever he feels like it, is what makes him the "Micheal Jordan of Black music."

In addition to the album, Victor Wooten is also simultainously releasing a book. The book is entitled "The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search For Growth Through Music".

Check out Victor Wooten - Palmystery at: Victor Wooten - Palmystery

Look for these songs playing as as "buzz cuts" on Nu Soul @ RadioIO.com

--Bob Davis

Album Review: Joe Zawinul - Brown Street
(Jazz/Funk)

Click Here to get more info about Joe Zawinul - Brown Street  How is possible for a bald white man from Vienna, Austria to be soooo god damn FUNKEE???

Does anyone here remember the band "Weather Report?" Well if you do, then the album "Brown Street" album is a must have. Forget Weather Report for just a moment, Joe Zawinul wrote "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," "Walk Tall" and "Country Preacher" for Cannonball Adderley and "In a Silent Way" for Miles Davis, even BEFORE Weather Report was created!!!!

Back in the 70's Weather Report formed by keyboard master Joe Zawiul and sax player Wayne Shorter and for a moment I must digress.

Let me tell you about a friend of mine who for the purposes of this discussion I will refer to as "Brotha Henry X". Today "Brotha Henry X" is a prominent Philadelphia attorney, a well entrenched member of the local "knee-gro elite". However back in 1974 "Brotha Henry X", was a straight laced "geek" who had graduated from Philadelphia's Central High and was now a sophmore at the University of Pittsburgh along with yours truly.

At our dormitory parties one of the staples was the song "Boogie Woogie Waltz" by Weather Report, from the "Sweetnighter" LP. Don't ask me why, but in some ways it is totally inexplicable how an 11 minute excursion into the outer reaches of Funk, Jazz & World music winds up on what is basically a "house party playlist" of Black teenagers in 1974. But nevertheless it was. And watching "Brotha Henry X" dance to Boogie Woogie Waltz for 11 minutes was something akin to watching someone propel themselves into another dimension of time & space to a higher form of life and then return to earth at the end of the 11 minute journey and have absolutely no knowledge of ever haven taken the trip. I have no doubt that if you were to question "Brotha Henry X" about his behavior before during and after the playing of the song "Boogie Woogie Waltz" by Weather Report, he would certainly deny all knowledge of this activity, since clearly such behavior would be a direct contradiction to his current status as a well entrenched member of the local "knee-gro elite". But I was there and I'm telling ya, that song made this brotha go to another universe and back, without the aid of any mind altering substances!!!

Joe Zawinul has called "Boogie Woogie Waltz" "a hip-hop in 3." Long before "hip-hop" entered the vernacular, he described its structure to Jazz Forum magazine. "There are only five sentences. There is an introduction, an interlude and a dance at the end. And in between, everything is free."

He has also said that former Sly And The Family Stone drummer Greg Errico played 'Boogie Woogie Waltz' better than anybody. Errico played drums for Weather Report between Sweetnighter and Mysterious Traveller, but never recorded with the band.

Now I know that I have rambled a bit here, because if you were a fan of Weather Report back in tha day, all you really need to know is that Brown Street is a live 2 CD set in which Joe Zawinul is leading a big band and playing Weather Report songs LIVE. It was recorded live on October 26, 2005 at Joe Zawinul's Birdland club in Vienna, this powerhouse project showcases Zawinul along with current Syndicate drummer Nathaniel Townsley, former Weather Report and Syndicate bassist Victor Bailey and former Weather Report drummer Alex Acuna on percussion in expanded, orchestral renditions of vintage Weather Report tunes and Zawinul compositions like "Black Market", "A Remark You Made", "Night Passage" and of course "Boogie Woogie Waltz."

But just in case you aren't already a fan of Weather Report you needed to know what I know about the power that this "bald white man from Vienna, Austria" had over Black teenagers in the United States a generation ago. He was in fact able to do what even Miles Davis couldn't. He was able to get Black American teenagers to not only listen to jazz with a critical ear. But he also got them to dance to Jazz back in 1974. Who knows, maybe in 2007 he can accomplish the same thing once again?

Check out Joe Zawinul - Brown Street at: Joe Zawinul - Brown Street

Look for these songs playing as as "buzz cuts" on Nu Soul @ RadioIO.com

--Bob Davis


The Soul-Patrol.com Jazz/Funk Collection From Heads Up Records:
Stanley Clarke, Candy Dulfer, Maceo Parker, Victor Wooten & the late great Joe Zawinul


If you have a news item, update, review, commentary, etc that you would like to submit to the Soul-Patrol Newsletter, please send them via email for consideration to:

earthjuice@prodigy.net


Hopefully you enjoyed this edition of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter.
We will be back soon with the next edition, with email alerts for local events, Soul-Patrol website updates/chat sessions or breaking news in between, as required.

If you have any comments, questions, etc feel free to drop me an email and let me know what's on your mind.
Bob Davis
earthjuice@prodigy.net

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