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Funk-A-Hall-Licks Wooing the World (1991 Bernie Worrell interview from the New Funk Times archive)

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Bernie Worrell in 2009 - concert with SociaLibrium at the jazz club Porgy & Bess in Vienna (Photo: Manfred Werner/Tsui. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

Bernie Worrell in 2009 – concert with SociaLibrium at the jazz club Porgy & Bess in Vienna (Photo: Manfred Werner/Tsui. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

I was sad to hear that Bernie Worrell, P.Funk’s „Wizard of Woo“, passed away yesterday at the age of 72. I last saw him in person a long time ago – he, his wife Judie, his band and I were holding hands backstage at New Orleans‘ Tipitina’s club, praying for a good show.

On a personal note: My favorite P.Funk has always been about George Clinton, Bernie, Bootsy Collins and Garry Shider – the hustler and the three musical geniuses. (I am sure George won’t mind – he and I talked about this. ;-) )

Here is a phone interview about his album „Funk of Ages“ I did with him in 1991, for the P.Funk newsletter New Funk Times I used to publish from the late ’80s to early ’90s (continuing the great work of Archie Ivy & Co.).

New Funk Times: I was wondering if you cut any of the basic tracks with the whole band present in the studio, or were there a lot of over-dubs going on?

Bernie Worrell: There’s a lot of over-dubs. You won’t believe the size of the studio I had to record it at! It’s pretty small, but the one good thing about it was… a lot of recording studios in New York don’t have windows, you can’t see out to the street. But this one was in what we call the Tribeca area, and it had two windows. So at least we could see outside.
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Written by Peter Jebsen

25. Juni 2016 at 21:26

Everything you always wanted to know about music genres but were afraid to ask!

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On the amazing website Every Noise at Once you find samples of 1436 styles on one map:
everynoise-2
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Flashback ins Jahr 1991: Besuch im Prince-Studio Paisley Park

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Prince (Photo: Nicolas Genin / This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. / http://bit.ly/21aIC9W)

Prince (Photo: Nicolas Genin / This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. / http://bit.ly/21aIC9W)

Während meiner Zeit als Musikjournalist traf ich im Herbst 1991 in den Paisley Park Studios von Prince in Chanhassen/Minnesota drei Mitglieder seiner damaligen Band New Power Generation. Prince selbst war nicht anwesend; aber ich denke, dass das Interview einen ganz guten Einblick in seine damalige Arbeitsweise gibt. Das Gespräch und der darauf folgende Studio-Report erschienen in Ausgabe 1/92 des FACHBLATT Musik Magazins.

PRINCE AND THE NEW POWER GENERATION

Michael Bland, Kirk Johnson, und Damon Dickson – Des Prinzen neuer Hofstaat

Schon mit zwölf beherrschte Prince Rogers Nelson 20 Instrumente. Mit 19 unterzeichnete er – ein Novum für Nachwuchsmusiker – einen Vertrag über drei LPs, die von ihm produziert, arrangiert, komponiert und eingespielt wurden. Prince soll damit der jüngste amerikanische Künstler sein, dem völlige kreative Kontrolle eingeräumt wurde.

Nachdem er sich mit Platten wie 1999 und PURPLE RAIN – und diversen kommerziellen Flops – als wohl innovativster Künstler der 80er Jahre bewiesen hatte, läutete Prince mit seiner jüngsten LP DlAMONDS AND PEARLS ein neues Kapitel in seiner Karriere ein. Seine New Power Generation, die als die bisher funk-lastigste Prince-Band gilt, stellte er aus bewährten Kreativ-Komplizen und jungen Talenten zusammen. Gitarrist Levi Seacer, Jr., hatte schon länger mit Prince zusammengearbeitet. Er ist der musikalische Kopf der NPG, als deren gesangliches Aushängeschild die jazzerprobte Rosie Gaines fungiert. Tommy Barbarella ersetzte Dr. Fink als Keyboarder; neuer Bassist ist Autodidakt Sonny T., den Prince selbst als eins seiner Kindheitsidole bezeichnet – »er kann alles spielen oder singen, was er hört – Soul, Jazz oder Klassik!« Zu den jüngsten New-Power-Mitstreitern gehören Schlagzeuger Michael B. und das Rap/Tanz-Trio Tony M., Damon Dickson und Kirk Johnson.
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Written by Peter Jebsen

22. April 2016 at 16:38

R.I.P., Maurice White – let’s pay tribute with a collective playlist on Spotify!

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Maurice White performing with Earth, Wind, and Fire at the Ahoy Rotterdam; 1982 (Photo: Chris Hakkens / This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Maurice White performing with Earth, Wind, and Fire at the Ahoy Rotterdam; 1982 (Photo: Chris Hakkens / This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

I was saddened to read the following news earlier tonight:

Maurice White always was particularly close to my heart because he was both a musician’s musician and managed to achieve pop hits. I think I hated „Boogie Wonderland“ when it first came out, but it grew on me. Especially after reading the great story behind it which songwriter Allee Willis made me aware of on Facebook (check the comments section). ;-)

I started to compile a Spotify playlist with my favorite Maurice White songs right after hearing the bad news. So far, it contains 4 hours 28 minutes of great funk, soul and jazz (use it in shuffle mode). Artists include (in alphabetical order) Barbra Streisand, Billy Stewart, Brian Culbertson, Deniece Williams, Earth Wind & Fire, El DeBarge, The Emotions, Fontella Bass, James Ingram, Ramsey Lewis, Ramsey Lewis Trio, The Salty Peppers, The Tubes:

I configured the playlist to be a collaborative effort. Feel free to add your personal favorites on Spotify. If you don’t have a Spotify account, post your music links (YouTube & Co.) in the comments section of this blog entry. And please retweet/repost this tribute in your social media circles!
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The Handshake Economy

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The Japanese experience is utterly unpalatable for most artists and probably wouldn’t translate anyway in most Western countries. But the essence of understanding that the fandom itself is just as valuable to fans as the music is the essence of truth that YouTubers have already grasped and that more artists need to do. Welcome to the handshake economy.

Music Industry Blog

We are in the era of the always-on fan, with artists making themselves ever more available to their fans. It is a transition that comes with no shortage of challenges, not least the extra workload it places on artists and the way it chips away at the magical aura that surrounds them.  There is an inherent tension between increasing an artist’s appeal through increased accessibility and creating it by maintaining distance.  Contrast this with YouTubers like Jenna Marbles, PewDiePie and Phil and Dan who share so much of their lives with their fans.  Platforms like Kickstarter, Paetron and the ever excellent PledgeMusic have given artists the ability to balance artistic credibility with monetizing their super fans. But while such efforts are currently on the fringes there is a country where super fans are at the heart of recorded music revenue. Artistic credibility however is not exactly at the top of…

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Written by Peter Jebsen

26. Januar 2016 at 14:35

The Complete New Funk Times Issue #1 from 1989

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The New Funk Times used to accompany George Clinton albums on Capitol Records in the ’80s. From 1989 to 1991, I published it as a subscription-only newsletter. I made the P.Funk History Double Issue available before, here is issue #1 from 1989. It features interviews with George Clinton & Bootsy Collins, and a 250-record P.Funk discography.
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Funky Shots: George Clinton/Parliament/Funkadelic 1989-1991

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I used to publish ‚round 2‘ of the George Clinton/Parliament/Funkadelic newsletter New Funk Times from 1989 to 1991. I can’t find the original photos I took back then, but here are black & white scans from the issues. You can view full-size versions on flickr. If you are interested in the NFT: The P.Funk History Double Issue is available here.
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Written by Peter Jebsen

10. Januar 2016 at 14:50

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