Herbie Hancock's killer original music for the Fat Albert TV special (1969)

In 1969, Herbie Hancock found the funk for a collection of music he composed for "Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Fat Albert," a TV special that eventually led to the long-running cartoon "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids." Hancock collected those tracks on Fat Albert Rotunda, the band leader's first LP after bailing on the Blue Note label. It's a deeply soulful affair that presaged Hancock's 1973 jazz-funk classic Head Hunters. Now, Fat Albert Rotunda is readily available again as a high-quality vinyl reissue from my friends at the Antarctica Starts Here label. Dig it.

Herbie Hancock - Fat Albert Rotunda LP (Antarctica Starts Here/Superior Viaduct)

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Groove to Chaka Khan's new single "Like Sugar"

Chaka Khan is back with a new funky single called "Like Sugar."

NPR calls it a "sweet summer groove":

"Like Sugar" is the lead single from Khan's upcoming album, which she promises to add to her 22-album canon sometime in 2018. The project — her first since 2007 — will be released on Diary Records, a new label run by producer and M.I.A. collaborator Switch.

In the video for "Like Sugar," dancers in their best vintage duds show off their dance skills in a vacant industrial plot. No glitz or glam needed, just the beats and the moves.

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A funk cover of "Sweet Child O' Mine"

Here's a fab funk cover of Guns N' Roses' 1988 hit single "Sweet Child O' Mine" featuring the powerful vocals of Mario Jose.

Now, here's the backstory of the band behind the cover: In 2017, Patreon's founder and CEO Jack Conte started a band (no, not that one) with his buddy-since-high-school Ryan Lerman, a funk band called Scary Pockets.

Conte shares how the band formed:

Ryan and I started brainstorming about ways we could make music together, despite our geographical separation and my focus on Patreon. Then we hit an idea: what if I flew down to LA once per month, spent a single day in the studio with Ryan and a few musician buddies, and recorded four songs. We wouldn't do any prep work -- no preconceived arrangements, no pre-production, no frills. We would just walk into the studio and not even know what key we were going to record in. Sometimes we wouldn't even have a song picked out. Let's just spend a single day together in the studio, arrange and record four songs together, have a great time playing funk with our friends, and video the whole thing. And that was it!! We decided to give it a shot, and we had our first session in February of 2017. Scary Pockets was off the ground.

The music was full of imperfections -- wrong notes, some gritty buzz and hissing from old instruments, a ton of drum bleed in the vocal mics -- but we were having a blast together, and it was a dream come true to be playing music together again.

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Do the "Funky Robot" (1973)

The wonderful Rufus Thomas and friends do the "Funky Robot" on Black Omnibus, a short-lived 1973 TV interview/performance show hosted by James Earl Jones and featuring African-American artists and cultural figures.

(via Weird Universe)

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Keith Wilder, singer of Heatwave, RIP

Keith Wilder, singer for 70s funk powerhouse Heatwave, died on Sunday at age 65.

"From Heatwave is your heart," Wilder once said. "If your music is where your heart is, and you put your whole heart into, it will come out the way your heart is as a person and a human being... We kept our music in a vein that also was a pure, clear picture and representation of what we were like, and what we were about. And we kept our music that way... We just kept it real and kept it pure."

(Rolling Stone)

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How to play a Hammond organ

I have a 1956 Hammond M3, youtube and this here book. Wish me luck!

I bought Hammond Organ Complete because I literally had no clue how to even turn on the Hammond M3 I decided would complete my living room.

Took me a while to figure out it wasn't broken, just that all the drawbars were pushed in and there were no tones. Let us not dive into the whole dual switch Run/Start boot-up sequence either!

I've always found music to be non-intuitive. The keyboard layout of notes really appeals to me and music theory, in my old age, makes a lot more sense than it did before I knew it was just science.

Time to practice scales.

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Turn your funk up to 7, with the Chi-Lites

The titular track from 1971's (For God's Sake) Give More Power to the People by The Chi-Lites. Read the rest

Funklet: drum sequences from classic tracks

Funklet is a new archive of drum patterns (not sampled loops) from classic funk songs, complete with brief histories and musical context. Each can be edited in a simple embedded sequencer and shared. [via r/InternetIsBeautiful] Read the rest

Scorching Caribbean soul covers of Neil Young, Isaac Hayes, and Jimi Hendrix (1975)

In 1975, Suriname's Dutch Rhythm Steel & Show Band released "Soul, Steel & Show," a killer funk-psych-soul LP that included scorching covers of Neil Young's "Down by the River," Isaac Hayes's "Theme from Shaft," Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe," Kool & The Gang's "Funky Stuff," and other great jams. Can you dig it? I knew that you could.

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Listen to Prince's personal party playlist

In a 2013 episode of New Girl, the characters were invited to a party hosted by Prince. When Prince was made aware of the intended plot, he sent the producers a list of jams he played at his real parties. Damn it's a smoking mix. Spotify playlist below.

“City in the Sky,” The Staple Singers “Country John,” Allen Toussaint “Fire,” Ohio Players “Happy House,” Shuggie Otis “Higher Ground,” Stevie Wonder “I Was Made to Love Him,” Chaka Khan “Listen to the Music,” The Isley Brothers “The Lord is Back,” Eugene McDaniels “Lost in Music,” Sister Sledge “The Pinocchio Theory,” Bootsy Collins “Rubber Duckie,” Bootsy Collins “Rumpofsteelskin,” Parliament “Skin Tight,” Ohio Players “We’re Gettin’ Too Close,” The Soul Children “Wild and Free,” Curtis Mayfield “After The Love Has Gone,” Earth, Wind & Fire “Back in Baby’s Arms,” Allen Toussaint “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight,” The Isley Brothers “Don’t Take My Sunshine,” The Soul Children “How Could I Let You Get Away,” The Spinners “I’ll Be Around,” The Spinners “Push Me Away,” The Jacksons “Stay With Me,” Shirley Brown “The Thrill Is Gone,” Aretha Franklin

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Funky Friday: 'Don't Look Any Further,' Dennis Edwards ft. Siedah Garrett (1984)

Eighties kids, do you feel me. Read the rest

Shake and dance with Con Funk Shun

Sinbad certainly looks like he's having fun too. Read the rest

James Brown teaches you how to dance

"I taught them everything they know, but not everything I know."

(via John Curley)

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100 movies mashed up into one Uptown Funk video

Don't believe me? Just watch. Read the rest

Music: "Hot Pants," James Brown (1985)

Good god. Read the rest

Music: "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)," Sly and the Family Stone (1969)

"Chit chat chatter tryin', stuffy in the place. Thank you for the party but I could never stay!" Read the rest

WATCH: Jungle Boogie by Muppets' Electric Mayhem with Sam the Eagle

Not even straight-laced Sam the Eagle can resist the funky riffs of Kool & the Gang when laid down by The Electric Mayhem. Read the rest

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