Junie Morrison Genius Appreciation Post

Rest In Peace Young Man, only 62, and gone already.

Junie Morrison

Walter “Junie” Morrison

7 months after losing Bernie Worrell. Then there’s Bowie. Prince. Wow what a run of bad news for music lovers worldwide.

I have been one of Junie’s biggest fans since the day I was born. I was coming into the world as he was leaving the Ohio Players and his music is part of the soundtrack of my life.

All kinds of genius and inspiration coming out of this man.

I can’t summarize my feelings at this point so I’ll let others go through their own rediscovery of him for your benefit:

OHIO PLAYERS KEYBOARDIST WALTER ‘JUNIE’ MORRISON DEAD AT 62

Solange Pays Tribute to Junie Morrison: “He Was the ‘Super Spirit’ Indeed”

Ohio Players and P-Funk legend Walter ‘Junie’ Morrison dies aged 62. The multi-talented musician was the driving force behind some of the biggest hits of 70s funk – and an inspiration to scores of hip-hop artists

R.I.P. Walter “Junie” Morrison

Junie Morrison, Parliament-Funkadelic and Ohio Players Member, Dead at 62


Go buy some Junie Morrison music now. Stream some of his greatest jams. Celebrate one of our finest funk musicians. Look below for our exclusive Junie Playlist.

(Not Just) Knee Deep • One Nation Under A Groove • Why • Funky Worm • Super Spirit • Suzie Thundertussy • Bread Alone • Paint Me • Because I Do ••• the list will go on forever, so many amazing tracks.


This Youtube playlist is so stocked full of Junie goodness it’s just amazing!

Praise Walter Junie Morrison, you will be missed.

I’m so sad I was never able to meet you. You are a constant inspiration to me.

 

You’ve Got To Give Them What They Came For

Sun


One of the baddest underground funk bands ever was SUN, live from Dayton, featuring a hint of all of the greats rolled into a sound all their own.

The vocals were amazing, the band was TIGHT, they could swing, they had latin flavor, they could throw down with horns or without… I mean, they are true legends with very little fanfare.

Check out some outstanding Sun selections in the OhioFungk playlist:

 



 

Required Viewing – The O’Jays Crush It

Daryl Hall has reworked his show Live from Daryl’s House and it’s still one of the best music shows going. Originally set in a barn on his rural property, it was a jam session sleepover recorded for our entertainment. He brought all sorts of artists out to the barn – indie and legends – and they would jam on a few songs, hang out, and generally just celebrate the awesomeness of great live music.


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It’s now in a club-like setting up the road, featuring more space and better sound and still without a crowd. The end result feels a bit more like a throwback recording session than a jam session.

Which is awesome, of course.

The sound is perfect and there’s a little more space to stretch out and get more camera angles. It feels as though the musicians present the songs better than in the barn, perhaps because it’s more obviously a TV show and recording session. The barn was charming but had a private rehearsal feel.

I’ve watched several of the 2016 episodes now and the highlight has to be The O’Jays. They are funny, have a monstrous catalog, and of course Daryl is such a disciple of the O’Jays sound that it all fits perfectly.

Living For The Live

There’s a lot going on in this clip. It’s pretty good.

Ray Charles + Stevie Wonder, doing one of Stevie’s funk songs, with neither of their bands, for an awards show. It looks like the late 80’s with plastic keyboards and big hair but the talent is so great it works out just fine.

Also since Ray’s R&B big band really doesn’t do the early 70’s funk groove that this song was originally cut in, for this era they turned into a disco-tempo gospel style romp. It’s reframes the song nicely.

Imagine if these two ever did a full record together….

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Battle of Tributation

Stevie Wonder is a monster musical genius, capable of perfection at every angle. Tribute shows are the big thing now, and I’m not complaining. Anytime someone can throw down the cash needed to properly work these songs up and make other famous artists step up to the plate and deliver some classic material, magic can happen. This ain’t a laptop DJ.

So I found two great Stevie tributes online. Both feature amazing lineups, great setlists, perfect playing, Stevie himself lending a hand or two, and plenty of amazing moments.

I can’t decide which one is better.

New Bowie: Behold The Blackstar

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David is 68 and counting and still making new, relevant music – very inspirational.

For his new record he scouted the New York scene and then hired an experienced hard-jazz improv group to act as his foil. He brought them his demos and ideas, learned to work with them in the studio, then had his long-time producer Tony Visconti set up and record nearly the entire album in the 1st or 2nd take, all in the same room, with minimal overdubs.

The resulting album is called Blackstar and the sound is new, expansive, and fresh. Bowie growing as an artist, still!?!

The only trick under the sun that constantly works is letting good musicians work together to sell the song. No technology can help that.

Here’s the first single from the album: Lazarus.

 

No More Monkeys Jumping On My Bed

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I loved this band, very strange indeed.  Two dudes with synths, sequencers, guitars, and occasionally a drummer. Gil Mantera played bass, synths, sang, and generally rocked one of the most awesome looks ever to hit the stage. His partner Ultimate Donny sang his heart out through some very strange lyrics and played an icy lead guitar while
wearing a trench coat and not much else.

Their songs are strong and the mix was unlike anything else.  It’s nearly every genre at once and it works. I heard they broke up a few years ago :-(.

Behold the awesome sauce that was Gil Mantera’s Party Dream (GMPD), and check out the rest of the record – it’s full of jams and left turns.


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Long live rock and roll!

Power Ballad Power Battle

In the red corner: “Without You” as performed by Harry Nilsson, 1971. A HUGE hook, a HUGE hit.

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Originally composed by Pete Ham & Tom Evans (of the band Badfinger) Nilsson heard their version at a party, hummed it for days, and when he finally figured out who it was he called his manager. “I think I found one” he said, and he was right.

 

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Unlimited talent

 


 

 

In the blue corner: “Don’t Want To Say Goodbye” as performed by The Raspberries, 1972.

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Playing the role of the underdog it’s Cleveland’s power pop sluggers – The Raspberries. Led by Eric Carmen on piano, guitar and vocals, their debut album had that delicious ‘we can do anything’ vibe, somehow mixing progressive arrangements with piano ballads. It’s hard to pick a single song to go against Nilsson but “Don’t Want To Say Goodbye” packs a wallop,

“Waiting”, and “I Can Remember” also tug at the heart strings.

 

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Smiling is for other bands

 


 

Decision?  Nilsson in a split decision. The Raspberries scored points on songwriting, ambition, and flexibility, but Harry Nilsson’s voice is just unstoppable on that hook. The most jaded heart will yearn within 5 seconds of that song.

Prince Does 24bit

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The genius of early Prince is finally available at full quality digital. Check out ponomusic’s Prince page for his first 8 albums at 24/192!

  1. For You – 24/192
  2. Prince – 24/192
  3. Dirty Mind – 24/192
  4. Controversy – 24/192
  5. 1999 – 24/192
  6. Purple Rain – 24/192
  7. Around The World In A Day – 24/192
  8. Parade – 24/192
  9. Sign o’ The Times
  10. Lovesexy
  11. Batman
  12. Graffiti Bridge
  13. Diamonds & Pearls
  14. Love Symbol
  15. Come
  16. The Black Album
  17. The Gold Experience
  18. Girl 6
  19. Chaos & Disorder
  20. Emancipation
  21. Crystal Ball
  22. Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic
  23. The Rainbow Children
  24. N.E.W.S.
  25. Musicology
  26. 3121
  27. Planet Earth
  28. Lotusflow3r
  29. 20Ten
  30. Art Official Age – 24/44
  31. Plectrumelectrum

Prices are a little high ($22 each LP) but you’ll never have to buy another copy again!

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The Funk Professor – Bootsy Get Live

Believe it or not Bootsy is touring the states and you gotta see the man to be the man. Check your local listings and don’t miss this show if it comes within 400 miles of you.

I caught it last year and it was perhaps the finest night of live music and energy I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve been to a million shows. Getting to see The Rubber Band and the Master of the One cannot be replicated.

Youtube can whet your appetite. Here’s amateur footage from the beautiful hamlet of Asheville, North Carolina. It takes a little while to get settled but once they lock in on the show it’s amazing.

PS – Love the new album – The Funk Capital of the World – I got it on double-disc vinyl and it’s just outstanding. The music goes everywhere, the packaging, the vibe, the love, the cameos, just an amazing man. Bootsy ain’t slowing down at all, he’s a hero to us all.

 

Here’s part 1:

and here’s Part Deux:

 

Bootsy!

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Katy Scary

The Super Bowl halftime show was a total disaster. It had none of the demographics pleased.

I was at a party with a bunch of people and their kids, some of who were teenage Katy Perry fans, and even they were cracking on her voice, her stage show, her fashion. Ouch.


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Derp


Of course the adults with an ounce of taste (or ears) were non-plussed.

The highlight of our viewing was several people calling for Timberlake to appear and pull her top off.

I also got a laugh by imagining they left her hanging in that contraption and during the 2nd half the QB’s had to throw around her.


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A proper half-time music show needs very strong material that cuts across all groups, a band and performance that can deliver physically in a way the players on the field do, and a decent amount of sex of the old-fashioned S&M-lite style that we prefer.

Katy Perry had none of the above. She’s a pretty girl but nothing in the show was sexy. Way more trippy and creepy.

Singing was horrible, no band, poor Lenny Kravitz dancing around pretending to play guitar for 1 minute. The highlight was Missy Elliot doing her 2 hits. That’s my review.

 

 

Are You With Me?

Ultimate Donny

Ultimate Donny is my silly-serious hero.


This is one of the most interesting bands from Ohio, especially when they keep their clothes on.

Most nights they get naked and loaded so you just gotta go with it… it’s unbelievable.

To everyone in the world outside of Ohio and some sleazy midwest clubs, I present to you:

Gil Mantera’s Party Dream, or GPMD for us busy folks.

A Rollerskating Jam (not named Saturday)

It’s only Wednesday but it’s 61 degress and sunny on the Northside of 2MERICA, so it’s time for some rollerskating!

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Check the moves on this video for our song Male Performance Issues.

I’m off to buy some new wheels and then I’m gonna pedal all over the damn place tonight.

 

Album Review: Slave (1977)

Album Review By Super J

[originally published at WFNK.com on 08/01/2000]

 


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Slave’s debut album came in 1977. With 9 members, the album promised to give us power funk and it doesn’t disappoint.

The sound of the album reminds me of Mercury-era Ohio Players with a slightly higher energy level. Only the tune “The Happiest Days” qualifies as a ballad. The other tunes are barn-burning party stomping jams.

With two guitarists and 4 horn players and C.B. who is credited with “all things off the wall” the sound is pretty full.

The tunes “Slide”, “Son of Slide”, and “You and Me” stand out on the record. They have the rich instrumentation featured in the more hyperactive jams, but are ever so slightly mellower and feature thick dark basslines with well-arranged rhythmic horn lines reminiscent of JB style riffs (especially in “You and Me”). However, the drumming is much more late-70s stomping-style than the sophisto-funk style of the JBs. The thick heavy pulsing drum sound was more popular in the late 70s, and most funk bands from the time employed it.

There is some subtle keyboard work providing a “vibes” atmosphere in the background of “You and Me”, which was also used by the Ohio Players but in a different way.

slave-slave“Screw Your Wig on Tite” and “Party Hardy” seemed a little over-the-top at first, but on repeated listening sophisticated grooves are revealed. Make no mistake – these are not subtle tracks, they tear the roof off without a doubt. But there is quality musicianship underneath the powerful rhythmic front.

I expected “Love Me” to be a ballad (because of the title), but it is actually a slap-bass workout with Ohio Player style horn-lines that is probably too powerful for today’s dance floors. It’s definitely a must-listen for the bass enthusiast. There isn’t any bass solos, but the rhythmic track is very nice.

Interestingly, Slave is one of those bands who can totally change one’s perspective by listening to an album. They bring the hard Dayton-funk sound from the beginning. Listening to a good Slave album like this one from beginning to end can truly change one’s perspective.

Here’s to one of the dinosaur funk pioneers. 4 out of 5 stars for an outstanding and shameless power funk album.


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Record Review: Funkadelic – Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On

[originally published on WFNK.com on October 1, 1999]

funkadelic-ontheverge_1024x1024 Album Review by Coffee

Funkadelic, in my opinion is the GREATEST “black rock band” of all time. But let us put that in perspective. I am using the words- black, rock and band there. Obviously, almost every member in Parliament and Funkadelic was/is African American. And I use the term ‘rock’ somewhat specifically because I am targeting harder edged material when I am citing rock music.

For instance, The Temptations are probably one of the greatest soul groups of all-time. True, they may have had some more agressive and psychedelic spurts here and there. But the Temps are known for their squeaky clean and rhythmic doo-wop over anything else that they ever created. So let us consider the career of Funkadelic as a funk-rock band just for reference.

Like their siamese sister band, Parliament, Funkadelic has had an illustrious and colorful career in changing the concept of black music. George Clinton played with legions of musicians, so I won’t even try to name every Funkadelic member. Here is the general list of artists who appeared on the album at hand, “Standing On the Verge Of Getting It On.” Praise thee-

funkadelic-standingGary Bronson: Drums
Ron Brylowski: Guitar
Eddie Hazel: Guitar
Jimmy Calhoun: Bass
George Clinton: Vocals/Album Producer
Raymond Davis: Vocals
R. Tiki Fulwood: Percussion, Vocals
Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins: Vocals
Tyrone Lampkin: Drums
Cordell Mosson: Bass, Vocals
Leon Patillo: Piano
Gary Shider: Guitar, Vocals
Grady Thomas: Vocals
Bernie Worrell: Keyboards, Vocals

Standing On the Verge Breakdown-

Intro- Some of the funniest first few seconds that I have ever heard on a record begin side One and Side Two of this album. My translation of intro 1: Our world can bite us in the ass if we don’t watch it! Check yourself and correct yourself. For Side two intro: Like peas of pod we’ll fit together until I introduce to you the cosmic highway to my mind.

Track 1: Red Hot Mama

– An Eddie Hazel guitar signature song and one of Funkadelic’s most successful singles ever. They hit the mark on this one. It is great when psychedelia sounds clean and cohesive like this. You can hear the layers working one another just as easily as they disappear into a sonic stew. If ever there was a funky song by P-Funk (without proclaiming funk’s name first), this is it. The story is of a fast woman from swamp country. She claims super diva status with her sexuality. You can sense brothers copping a jive talking session about it on the avenue.

Track 2: Alice In My Fantasies

-Wow. The thought of a blaxploitation version of “Alice In Wonderland” with this Hendrix-esquian echo funk sure sounds good to me. This song is on fire with acid headed freedom eruptions throughout. It is obvious that The Red Hot Chili Peppers were inspired by tracks like this ahead-of-its time motivator.

Track 3: I’ll Stay

-This R&B is sensual ebb and flow. It’s graceful romance deserves as much recogntion and cred as anything put out by the Temps or the Tops. Let Bernie W. and the rest take your head out to play with this smooth and slow jam. Making love music has never been so greasy and out of this world at the same time.

Track 4: Sexy Ways

-Disco dancefloor-doowop pick up lines in the groove. The funk has grabbed the soul of a thousand booties. The lust continues. Go ahead guys, do the first date thing- buy a flower, open her door and offer your coat in times of need. Then pop this track on in the den if you want her to know what you’ve really been thinking about.

standing_fullinsideTrack 5: Standing On the Verge of Getting It On

-The optimism and good intentions are offered here with absolute freedom. I have always thought that this song sounds like a more adventurous James Brown. This classic is still performed by Parliament-Funkadelic at concerts. If you can’t loosen up to this ode to the people, then your ass is in a coma. The harmonizing of the vocals and the lyrics see to symbolize the need for unsion and acceptance that is inherent to human nature. The funk is an aura of emotion that makes standing together part of the whole routine. It is not ironic that one of P-Funk’s most contagious groove has such an invitational message.

Track 6, Jimmy’s Got A Little Bit of Bitch In Him

-Hendrix is played on and quoted in this satirical look at his fashion sense and zoned out character. Jimi doesn’t take it too seriously watching P-Funk shows from up above. Parliament-Funkadelic’s attire and personality make Jimi look like Nat King Cole. Ok maybe that is a bit severe…

Track 7, Good Thoughts, Bad Thoughts

George Clinton preaches spoken word funk over one of Eddie Hazel’s soul-searching psychedelic journeys that transcend emotion.

This is my 2nd favorite Funk album EVER. If you don’t own it- buy it now. Do not pass F, give up $15 or so and read those outrageous Sir Lleb liner notes when you open the merchandise. Check out the album artwork and vote for a virtual reality event to mirror its vision.

Peace and Funk,
Coffee

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