Funk, Jazz Funk, & Fusion Recordings

Ed Motta lovely fusion (jazz funk blues latin … even some steely dan style) and such a funny guy and hedonist , speaking about his love of food and wine between all songs during a whole gig …lovely moment it was … like sharing a moment in his living room …very unique concert


Came across this recording today. Very relaxing and enjoyable Jazz Rock, Fusion not sure really what it is :slight_smile:

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@ariel Wow! And that’s just the cover… :open_mouth:

Talk about energetic, and varied. That playing is immense. I like that Ray Barretto is on percussion too.

Just looked him up on Discogs - really quite active in the 70s. Wonder if his other albums are similar.

Ryo Kawasaki is an unsung and (in my opinion) quite under-rated jazz guitarist, with leanings towards funk, fusion and soul. He’s still out there doing it in his early 70s.

Anyhow, I’ve been discovering some of his material, of which this is possibly the best known. I’m going to add a breakdown and transcription of this to my ‘to do’ list once I’ve finished with my busy work/further study period - thankfully the end is in sight! (sadly not for work altogether, mind …:grin: )

Hope you enjoy this:

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Possibly with leanings towards soul jazz , but with funk stylings including the emphasis on the one, funk’s ‘calling card’ :sunglasses:


Awesome record James… it has such a strong groove.

It’s amazing how there’s so many different rhythmic layers going on between the drums, bass, harmony, improvisation, and other embellishments, and they are all locked into that groove so tightly… Brilliant! :ok_hand:

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They just don’t make 'em like this anymore…sigh! :grin:

Maybe there’s a gap in the market for you then James! :grinning:

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Haha! Maybe someday Hayden! :grin: :sunglasses:

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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.