News, reviews and commentary on afrobeat and related music from Africa, The Caribbean and The Americas

Monday, April 03, 2006

Miami Funk 1967-74

By Robert Fox

In 2003, the UK's Soul Jazz label released a superb collection or rare and previously "lost" hard funk classics from Miami's fertile music scene of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The album was titled "Miami Sound: Rare Funk & Soul from Miami Florida 1967-1974," and it includes a brilliant set of chunky, sweaty grooves from local Miami artists who never hit the big time but who could obviously Bring It in a serious way.

This was powerful, raw music, recorded low-fi, but with a swinging energy and an all-around strutting attitude influenced by James Brown, Stax Records and the Afro-Cuban grooves drifting over Miami radio. It's a winning combination, and many of these tunes deserve to be classics: "Funkadelic Sound" by Little Beaver; "Cramp Your Style" by All The People; "Do It To Me One More Time," Joey Gilmore; "Fantasy World," James McKnight, etc.

You can check out some song samples from the CD on the Barnes and Noble website.

For 2006, "The Godfather of the Miami Sound," producer Henry Stone, has added two additional volumes of Miami Funk from the same era. They are released under his own label as "Henry Stone Presents Miami Funk Volumes 1 and 2." If anything, these two CDs only increase the temperature further by digging deep into the Miami funk archives.

The new releases feature four-alarm jams such as: "Funky In the Hole" (you know which one) by The Blowflys; "Mashed Potato Popcorn" by Freddie and the Kinfolk; "Groove On" by The Famous Chromes; and "Nasty Dog" by The Mighty Dog Catchers. Mmmmmmm, funky!

Check out some song samples of the new releases and buy CDs on the Henry Stone website, or listen to the songs on Rhapsody and other streaming services if you have access to their networks. Have the fire extinguisher ready, however---this is hot stuff!

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