Funk, Jazz Funk, & Fusion Recordings

Great find, James. I’m a great fan of Groove Holmes. Holmes is incredible on On Basie’s Bandstand as well. Besides Groove Holmes, you should check out Jimmy McGriff, Jack McDuff, Don Patterson (especially with Sonny Stitt and Gene Ammons), Big John Patton, and Larry Young. Maybe not all funk but some major players, especially Larry Young.

For a bit of funk, you might like Jim Alfredson. He works the midwest as a sideman and has his own group, Organissimo. Here’s an original he did to showcase the Hammond SK2. I have one and am trying to get a handle on it, a part of the reason I’m here at PianoGroove.


And you might like to listen to a full session. I just came across this today. Not all funk, but most of it you’ll probably like. There are younger guys keeping with the funk tradition.

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Thanks Scott! Yes, I’m a fan of quite a few of those names. I only know Larry Young from the rare groove classic tunes of Larry Young’s Fuel - used to enjoy playing those while DJ’ing in London many, many moons ago!

I’ll check out the video you kindly shared - have to admit I’m not that familiar with the hammond, but I remember from the acid jazz days in the UK in the 90s there being a fantastic throwback to Jimmy McGriff etc - and that’s when I started to listen to them, via the James Taylor Quartet (a gig I will never forget!). If you don’t know them, I am pretty sure you’d dig them.

I have been a jazz-funker (Roy Ayers, Lonnie Liston Smith, Azymuth, Patrice Rushen) since I was a kid in the late 70s/early 80s. I am now mainly trying to get my playing around Brazilian rhythms and grooves, that’s where I’m at. Though the aim of developing some funk material in general in PG is very exciting.

How’s your playing going?

James, the album you mentioned by Larry Young isn’t really representative of his more important work (at least in my opinion). Check out the earlier African Blues (1961), Into Somethin’ (1964), and Unity (1965). His approach is a bit more traditional, more modal, and has more to do with the great theory lessons on offer here. By the way, there’s apparently a recording of him jamming with Jimi Hendrix.

As to my playing, it’s getting there slowly, but surely. Instead of playing simply by ear and pounding stuff out, I’m trying to learn what I’m doing this go-round. But it’s all fun regardless.

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Oh, totally Scott - I just mention being more familiar with that than his other material. Have to hear him jamming with Jimi Hendrix!

Following up on your interest in funk, I just happened on this by Robi Botos with Cory Henry and thought of this conversation. You said they don’t make them like Groove Holmes anymore. Maybe not, but I think these guys are upholding the tradition pretty well. There’s an interesting conversation between Botos (piano) and Henry (organ).


Awesome performance Scott.

We have plans to incorporate that gospel/funk/neo-soul style into PianoGroove. I saw you mentioned your aspirations to learn and master Hammond and so I’m sure this kind of content will be of interest to you.

I was chatting with @James a while ago about our longer term vision which is create an online school encompassing all styles of improvised music.

Traditionally, we started off just as a jazz piano school, but I feel there is so much more for us to offer, and the jazz theory and foundations that we cover is the basis to then explore these other styles.

I’m currently working on our next new teacher… I won’t announce anything until it’s confirmed but I have a feeling it will be ‘right up your street’ in light of the things you’re sharing here.

Yes I love seeing musicians ‘musically-conversing’ with other like this.

Jovino and the vibes player in his quinteto - Ben Thomas - did a lot of this when I watched them perform. It created a wonderfully engaging and playful dynamic between Ben on the vibraphone and Jovino on the piano.

You will be in for a real treat watching them live.



Well, that was a very enjoyable 8+ minutes - thank you Scott!

James, I’ve come across another artist that I think you’ll like, Jeff Lorber. He’s been around since the late 70’s and largely into fusion. Chick Corea contributed to some of his early stuff and in 1980, a new jazz sax player recorded with him, a guy named Kenneth Gorelick, now known as Kenny G. His principal group is Jeff Lorber Fusion (JLF), but he also records with the group Jazz, Funk, Soul whose album Prototype might be of interest. You’ll find many of his videos on YouTube. These two are representative.


Awesome performances Scott… thanks for sharing.

I’ve always been a big fan of Jeff Lorber :star_struck:

An amazing Fusion/Funk recording from Africa.


Thanks Scott - yes, admired Jeff Lorber for some time. ‘Soft Space’ is a great album, and I have ‘Water Sign’ and ‘Wizard Island’ from the same era. I haven’t checked out ‘Prototype’ yet - heard of it, but not heard it! Thanks for the tip :sunglasses:

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Thanks @ariel for posting - an interesting fusion for sure! A really interesting take on jazz-funk/fusion, thanks for the introduction :smiley:

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heres an album that contain lot of my favourite styles around jazz

it is jazz is it fusion jazzfunk jazz soul … categorisation not easy but whatever style it is … its GREAT and i love it so much

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Here’s something from Greg Goebel, from Portland, Oregon. He worked with Gino Vanelli for 10 years and now works with David Friesen’s Circle 3 Trio. Friesen is a bassist who’s worked with Chick Corea, Michael Brecker, Stan Getz, and Dexter Gordon, among others. Check out the second video. The sidemen on the first are incredible. Enjoy!

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Just came across a young trumpet player who is outstanding., Theo Croker. He has three albums and a few singles so far. He has his own style, but as I listen, I’m feeling Miles Davis. I’ll put a couple of videos just so you can hear. And best of all, I’ve got tickets to see him next week! :notes:

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Yes, I’d stumbled across his name a few months ago Scott - I really like his version of the Stevie Wonder-written ‘I Can’t Help It’, featuring the fantastic Dee Dee Bridgewater:

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I was just listening to some jazz funk yesterday James, this record you shared a while back is my favourite…

Such a great groove!


I have the MIDI file of this somewhere @Hayden, I’ve been meaning when I get the time to transcribe and make an iRealPro chart…best intentions etc… :grin:

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Just got back from hearing Theo Croker live. Wow! Really an incredible player with a great group of guys traveling with him. (Start listening with the videos listed above here in this thread.) And at 34, a force to be reckoned with. He made one interesting comment with regard to the video/song “The Messenger,” which is dedicated to Elvin Jones. He said that “How we swing our quarter note is the basis of all black music. It’s the beat, and this song was made to reflect the power in that swing.” And he suggested that without Elvin Jones, Coltrane wouldn’t have had that swing. (Then added something like, "OK, for the jazz police, yea Coltrane could swing. :sunglasses:) Well worth a serious listen.

One other note of interest: he commented that if you want to help jazz musicians, buy a physical product (CD, DVD, whatever). He noted that for every person who streamed an album via Spotify, he got something like $.06 per album. He said that really doesn’t pay the rent. Interesting point (if I’ve done my math right). If he sells a million copies via streaming he winds up with $60,000. Not bad, but as he says. It probably wouldn’t pay for the basics.