Rest in Peace, Fonce …

Today we learnt of the sad passing of Alphonso ‘Fonce’ Mizell – one half of legendary production team ‘the Mizell Brothers’. Along with brother Larry, he was behind a string of monumental hits from the likes of Donald Byrd, Johnny Hammond, Bobbi Humphrey and A Taste of Honey.

Fonce was also part of ‘The Corporation’ – a Motown super production team that wrote and produced all of the Jackson 5’s early hits including ‘ABC’, ‘I Want You Back’ and ‘Mama’s Pearl’.

Amongst other things, the Mizell Brothers were known for giving the synthesizer a promient place in the music of some popular jazz musicians from the 1970s – this is sometimes seen as laying the foundations for the acid jazz and neo-soul movements that would come later.

So here’s one of any number of songs I could have posted to mark his legacy – Donald Byrd’s ‘Think Twice’:

Fly high, Fonce.


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Filed under Disco, Jazz, Soul

Ghostfunk – Dem Back (Free Download)

So imagine if Ghostface Killah (of Wu-Tang fame) actually grew up in Ghana or Nigeria? Perhaps he would have released something like this:

The album is the brainchild of Max Tannone – who has fused the rhymes of Ghostface with African funk, high-life, and psychedelic rock music.

The whole album is available for download here, but ‘Dem Back’ stood out for me.

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Filed under Afro, Hip-hop

Pete Rock & Deda – Marked 4 death

Pete Rock and J Dilla are top of the hip-hop tree, in my opinion. Both took production to a whole new level, while spawning a rather significant movement of devoted disciples. ‘Marked 4 Death’ saw Pete Rock layer beats for Deda to rhyme over, and it appeared on ‘Lost and Found: Hip-hop Undeground Soul Classics’.

Check it:

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Gloria Scott – What Am I Gonna Do

One of my favourite 70s soul cuts from the glorious Gloria Scott. ‘What Am I Gonna Do’ appeared on her only full length album of the same name. The LP was produced by none other than Barry White.

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Filed under Funk, Soul

Thundercat – Daylight

Thundercat is one interesting, ah, cat – touring bassist for the likes of Snoop Dog and Eric Benet, collaborator to Flying Lotus, and member of hardcore thrash band, Suicidal Tendencies.

His forthcoming album, The Golden Age of Apocalypse, will feature input from Erykah Badu, J*Davey, and Sa-Ra Creative Partners. If ‘Daylight’ is anything to by, it should be lo-fi sonic pleasure for the mind (wait until the keys kick in – damn!):

Download via Pitchfork.

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Filed under Leftfield, Soul, Uncategorized

Meikbar – Sunshine

Sweet, sweet deep house that is remarkably more than 10 years old now. ‘Sunshine’ was an earlier Rush Hour release from back in the day. It still sounds fresh:

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Filed under House

Banda Black Rio – Expresso Madureira

Banda Black Rio sure knew how to bust out a wonderful groove. The Brasilian funk/samba/soul band was formed in 1976, and over a five album career, became one of Brasil’s greatest exports. However, best to let someone else do the talking – you can find a good bio here.

Expresso Madureira’ was the last song on the B-side of their 1978 album, ‘Gafieira Universal’ – timeless:

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Filed under Brasil, Funk, Soul