Tuesday, August 26, 2008

defunkt - avoid the funk...

There are certain albums where superlatives are not enough and yet unaccountably remain obscure - this is one of them.

This collection of early Defunkt mostly features their arguably classic line up. Kim Clarke's wonderful, unique, wide-freqeuncy sound on bass (Music Man Stingray?) slipping seamlessly from finger to slap can only be described as 'riotous' - it sounds like improvisation to me with endless ideas woven around a rock solid funk riff. Kelvyn Bell's guitar likewise has this impro feel about it and yet is funk solid - his hard sound and jazz-modal solos add to the overall 'angular' sound of Defunkt and is no surprise he went on to play in Steve Coleman's Five Elements. Kenny Martin on drums - well, it takes something very special to simultaneously add to this riot of a thousand-riff's-a-minute rock funk and still keep a bed rock groove (this man has eight arms surely)! All this is the perfect underpinning for Joe Bowies' proclamation vocals and strident, explosive, modal brass.

It's common knowledge that from the late sixties through the seventies, jazz musicians crossed over to dance music but commercial pressures kept their 'jazz' on a leash - unleash a modal, angular, style of jazz, add a hard, rock edge, root it in 'the-spaces-are-as-important-as-the-notes' pure funk, and you've got Defunkt - don't hesitate to buy this, their eponymous CD, and 'In America' if you can find it. Russell



il angelo said...

One of my fav when you are in dancing disposition.
Thanks for sharing

charles said...

Nice! There is an interesting discussion about free jazz funk going on at destination-out at this very minute. Thanks

aldus said...

Gentilissimo jazz Relics,
riprovo a tornare alla carica!
Avevo chiesto, tempo fa, se era possibile vedere pubblicati sul blog i due lp su HORO di Urbani e Rava.

Se avrai mai tempo per farlo,te ne sarei davvero molto grato.

Un caro saluto

Ellaguru said...

grazie per questo disco, è raro di vederli sul net dischi così.

jizzrelics said...

gentilissimo aldus,

io i due lp di cui parla non li ho, forse ne aveva discusso con un altro collaboratore.

resta il fatto che di norma le richieste non vengono accolte per principio.

un caro saluto
jIzz relics

John V said...

jizzrelics-thanks for posting this one.I don't I have ever heard these guys and I always wanted to give them a try. Thanks again!

John V.

Frédito said...

Ah the razor's edge... One of my dearest vinyls back in the 80s.
I had to sell it, with dozens of others. Good memories

Odiseus K. Schrute said...

dude!, what a great record. thanks a lot.I just linked in my blog. http://labateriafina.blogspot.com/

jizzrelics said...

thank you odiseus for your support!

mrivs said...

Defunkt at Dingwalls in London was far and away the best gig I ever, ever saw! I left the original records with an old "friend" and only had tapes, so thank you very much for this...