Dec 15, 2011

Brooklyn Funk Essentials: Funk from the West to the East


Every time, I like funk music groups from 70’s. In early 90’s, world music understanding has changed and so many alternative styles were released. We knew so many Funk groups and performers that they released some albums in early 90’s. Funk is funny enough, but it is not enough to make likeable and listenable music. So, many of them were erased from the music industry without making their mark on fans. I would like to introduce a funk band from the United States named in Brooklyn Funk Essentials which is one of the best groups in early 90’s.

Brooklyn Funk Essentials is a New York, Brooklyn funk group. Why this group is different? I can say that many funk performers are described as only music group, but Brooklyn Funk Essentials can be described as a musical collective. We can say it is not ego-driven music group, creativity and control are shared and contribution is flexible. Guest performers from the other countries make their music very interesting and fluent. They have some albums from musicians from Turkey, Latin Countries, and so on. Funk and Jazz elements were blended with local music such as Turkey, Brazil.
The group’s original lineup consists of vocals and some western instruments like drums, keyboard, trombone, bass, saxophone, percussion, trumpet, flugelhorn, and clarinet. When they perform music with the musicians from other countries, local contribution carries their music to higher level.Their debut album Cool and Steady and Easy was released in 1994. It was scored with The Creator Has a Master Plan song made by an old jazz artist Pharaoh Sanders. The following album In the Buzz Bag was released in 1998. I want to talk about this album below, because, this album is very different from the other albums. It deserves a special introduction in this music blog. The group made two more albums in 2000 and 2008. Albums names are Make them Like It and Watcha Playin. Last two albums also contain some foreign contribution such as Latin, Turkish and oriental ensembles.

So, we are in 1998 again. We should keep In the Buzz Bag album separately. It is a project album which included Turkish rhythm, melodies, and instruments. They came to Turkey, Istanbul for this project and worked together with Turkish clarinet performer Husnu Senlendirici and his band Laco Tayfa. Laco Tayfa contains typical Turkish instruments such as oud, baglama, zither, oriental percussion instruments, and so on. Some western instruments including violin, clarinet, and guitar are used in Turkish Music, and Laco Tayfa also has performers who play those western instruments. It is a musical project with a Turkish orchestra. Turkish music was blended with modern funk, jazz and ska elements.

laco-tayfaI would like to introduce some songs from the album. Many of them are Turkish Folk songs originally. Istanbul Twilight is a classic funk song combined with jazz and Turkish traditional music. It is very funny and fluent song. It is extremely suggested song that you can understand the album’s musical structure. Following songs Magick Karpet Ride, In The Buzz Bag, Selling Out, and Freeway To Uskudar are traditional Turkish songs well known in Turkey. Definitely, Funk and Jazz elements are interspersed into the music successfully. Ska Ka-Bop is a funny ska song. Ska is a funny music but, Turkish instruments make a ska song funnier. And, the final song of the album Zurna Preserve is totally traditional arranged song. Zurna means a traditional Turkish wind instrument.

Please find their music on video sharing websites and listen. They deserve your kind interest. Do not forget to buy their albums to support them. You could find songs on their website links given below. Listen it and enjoy!

Bye for now!


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