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Re: Funky stuff

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:05 pm
by Adam Blake
It's alright, I guess, if you like that kind of thing…

(surely in truth only the inexorable might of "Handa Wanda" itself can really compete with it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jv1Xi8KscXc

Re: Funky stuff

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:06 pm
by will vine
Adam Blake wrote:Funk, in the sense that it is being discussed here, boils down to the expertise and panache with which polyrhythms are set in juxtaposition with each other.

Of course, not all polyrhythmic activity is funky, otherwise Terry Riley and Steve Reich would be funkmeisters, but polyrhythms derived and adapted from African music are generally considered to be the, um, thang

If you can listen through the chip pan noise to early pre-war country blues you might hear a guitarist such as Charley Patton deploying as many as three rhythmic patterns simultaneously with one guitar. Robert Johnson simplified things a bit later by juxtaposing duplets against triplets and thereby creating what became codified as the Chicago shuffle, which later, in the hands of Chuck Berry, became rock'n'roll.

The idea of treating all the instruments in a full scale r'n'b band as if they were drums was, I think, James Brown's with "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" in 1964, but the aforementioned Professor Longhair had been blending Cuban rhythms with African-American rhythms as far back as the late 40s (to say nothing of Dizzy Gillespie!)

Melodically, funk seems to have settled around the sound of and extensions off a dominant 9th chord - with chromatic sidestepping motions in both directions. (i.e., a chord of, say, G9 can be approached from either Ab9 above, or Fsharp9 below). Jimi Hendrix upped the stakes by introducing the chord of the sharp 9, this was quickly adopted by James Brown and became the signature sound of funk in the early 70s. Miles Davis liked it too, but he had his own fiendish agenda.


I love this Adam. I am new year resolved to learn it word for word then trot it out at a dinner party. I will end my speech with "Of course I am over simplifying here."

Funk - I think I know it when I hear it. I don't think you can fake it. The word I really have trouble with is Soul.

Re: Funky stuff

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:18 pm
by Chris P
will vine wrote:
Adam Blake wrote:Funk, in the sense that it is being discussed here, boils down to....(snip)...fiendish agenda.


I love this Adam. I am new year resolved to learn it word for word then trot it out at a dinner party. I will end my speech with "Of course I am over simplifying here."


haha, brilliant, Will.

on a more mundane 'note', I really should study & memorise those chords Adam's talking about

Re: Funky stuff

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:18 pm
by Adam Blake
Yes I know. Spot the under-employed music teacher. Still, glad to be of service.

Chris: learn the 9th shape and you've got it all up and down the guitar neck. That's why it's so useful. 'Sidestepping' is a wonderful thing, which as far as I know is completely unique to American music. You sure as hell won't find any examples in Bach, Beethoven or Mozart. Stravinsky…hmmm, maybe.

Re: Funky stuff

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:22 pm
by Chris P
My definition of funk is a little more concise, it's when they're in the pocket, or the Pock A-Way or the Look-ka-py-py. Simultaneously loose, tight, and on top of the groove. Or even under the groove on an outernational basis naturallee

Re: Funky stuff

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:26 pm
by Chris P
Beefheart uttered a priceless thing about Stravinsky having exact ideas on how orchestral musicians should bend his notes. I've got a feeling he was right. Is 'sidestepping' a musical term then?

Re: Funky stuff

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:35 pm
by Adam Blake
Chris P wrote: Is 'sidestepping' a musical term then?

Yes, amongst jazzers.

Re: Funky stuff

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:49 pm
by Rob Hall
I posted this previously on FB where some of you may have heard it, but it bears repetition:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4Ib_OF5F5w

Re: Funky stuff

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:12 pm
by Chris P
Adam Blake wrote:
Chris P wrote: Is 'sidestepping' a musical term then?

Yes, amongst jazzers.


The term side-slipping or side-stepping has been used to describe several similar yet distinct methods of playing outside. In one version, one plays only the five "'wrong'" non-scale notes for the given chord and none of the seven scale or three to four chord tones, given that there are twelve notes in the equal tempered scale and heptatonic scales are generally used.[3] Another technique described as sideslipping is the addition of distant ii-V relationships, such as a half-step above the original ii-V. This increases chromatic tension as it first moves away and then towards the tonic.[4] Lastly, side-slipping can be described as playing in a scale a half-step above or below a given chord, before resolving, creating tension and release.[2


EDIT: there's also tritone side stepping:
What is the Tritone Side Stepping Concept?

While many of us have checked out side stepping where you move between two chords a 1/2 step apart, you can also bring a modern sound into your lines by playing two different chords a tritone apart over the underlying chord(s) of a given progression.

For example, if you were soloing over a Cm7 chord and you wanted to bring a sense of tension and release to your lines, you could move between the chords Cm7 and F#m7, m7 shapes a tritone apart, to create your lines.

This type of playing is hard to do, see/hear one chord in the tune, but think/play two chords in your lines.

- See more at: http://www.jazzguitar.be/blog/modern-ja ... 31nR5.dpuf

Re: Funky stuff

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:35 am
by Rob Hall
Fascinating.

Meanwhile, back on planet "I'm sure there's plenty of erudite definitions all over the web from people who claim insight on the matter, but I suggest that, rather than attempt to define it, we illustrate it with examples":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJc_tDW-bNs

(With thanks to Ted, through whom I discovered this gem.)

Re: Funky stuff

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:34 am
by Adam Blake
Rob Hall wrote:Meanwhile, back on planet "I'm sure there's plenty of erudite definitions all over the web from people who claim insight on the matter, but I suggest that, rather than attempt to define it, we illustrate it with examples":


Oh alright, if you insist:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czdcjphhBHA

Re: Funky stuff

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:32 pm
by Chris P
hot sheet, that's the real stuff there, adamski

(don't tell me the last person who came up with that name variant got thumped!)

sort of Meters-like, and hence funky AND bouncy, and groovesome

insistent and a little silly too

Re: Funky stuff

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:35 pm
by Chris P
I've always liked this one, although the gender specificity is a bit of an old-fashioned turn-off:

http://youtu.be/LCnknBl7Ihg

Re: Funky stuff

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:48 pm
by Jamie Renton
More JB
"Hey Bobby, why do you like soul food?"
"Because it makes me haaaapy!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUkfiLjooxs

Come on and Hip Drop in New Orleans
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNo4ICXKUtE

Re: Funky stuff

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:26 pm
by Garth Cartwright
Agreed, the programme was risibly written - such rhetorical slammers all thru - but had some good footage and interviews. But, really, the BBC should have better quality control: doesn't anyone check the script before it is filmed? And the overrating of those early Funakdelic records that are anything but funky... give the Meters and Jimmy Castor and Charles Wright and Motown's Funk Brothers and others some credit please!

To my mind James Brown pioneered funk and made more great funk records than anyone else. Outside of Miles Davis and the Rolling Stones I listen to JB more than any other artist and am constantly floored by how great he consistently was. I remember reading an intv with the South African trumpeter Hugh Masekala and he said when he first heard JB in the 60s it struck him as more African sounding than any African music he had yet heard.

New Orleans was and remains the funkiest city in the world. The likes of Eddie Bo made so many epic sounding records.

Funk kinda got discredited in the 80s when lots of white bands announced they were "funk" - I'm thinking of INXS and Chilli Peppers and such who aped the big baselines in a manner akin to Gary Moore aping blues guitar solos. But Dr Dre made remarkably funky rap records based on samples and his own great sense of feel. He sampled a lot of War - again left out of the programme! - and Charles Wright as well as Clinton and JB. Here's Charles Wright jamming with his band from an album I love to bits.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dghAZv0X5IY