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Related: music - jazz - funk

Mastercuts has released seven timeless Jazz-Funk CD compilations, which are hard to find these days

Intro, a US perspective

Whenever a jazz artist turns to rock, R&B or pop, jazz's hardcore purists are bound to cry "sellout." In the 1970s, a number of talented jazz improvisers increased their sales considerably by embracing R&B, including George Benson, George Duke, Patrice Rushen, Roy Ayers and Donald Byrd. Those artists experienced scathing attacks by jazz critics when, in the mid-1970s, they moved to jazz-funk, which was basically soul, funk and disco with jazz overtones.

Intro, a UK perspective

Jazz funk was a unique style of Black dance music that swept the UK club scene in the mid-1970s, establishing a firm base in London, and which was exemplified by artists such as Eddie Henderson, Charles Earland, and Mass Production.

This strange new music could contain a funk bassline and injections of jazz riffs, but always contained an overall soulful feel. The faster tracks were ideally suited to being played in a club environment. They featured 'real' instruments (such as Freddie Hubbard's flugelhorn, or Roy Ayers' vibraphone) and, for those who had developed and nurtured their soulful tastes over a number of years, it was brilliant to dance to

At around the same definitive point, circa 1976, when Northern Soul was pulling in the punters at UK venues such as Va Va's (Sheffield), The Casino (Wigan), The Winter Gardens (Cleethorpes) and The Mecca Highland Room (Blackpool), Jazz Funk was accounting for a major parallel underground following in the South East of England, at clubs like Frenchies (Camberley, Surrey), The Goldmine (Canvey Island, Essex), The Lacy Lady (Ilford, Essex).

The DJs who championed this sound included such luminaries as Chris Hill , Tom Holland, Greg Edwards and Chris Brown, also known as the soul mafia.

I suppose that the real explosion in Jazz Funk occurred with the onset of the Soul all dayers - periodical events held at large dance venues. The original all dayer in the south of England was at the Top Rank Suite in Reading, first held in August 1976 - a joint venture which involved Northern Soul being played in a main room, and Jazz Funk in a smaller room, but which by August 1977 saw jazz funk enjoying the main billing. http://web.ukonline.co.uk/soulies/jazz_fusion.htm

Soul Mafia

[...] The reason the electro scene took so long to fully establish itself in the capital was down to the stranglehold the all-powerful Soul Mafia DJ’s held on the Southern scene. The Soul Mafia, with big names like Chris Hill, Robbie Vincent, Froggy, Jeff Young and Pete Tong, continued to play jazz-funk and Soul grooves (later referred to as ‘80’s Groove’). It wouldn’t be until 84 that their virtual monopoly of the clubs, radio, and the black music press began to erode as a new order of music replaced the old, laying the foundations not only for Hip-Hop, but also the subsequent UK techno and house scenes. - Greg Wilson [...]

Kute Definition

Jazz Funk was a massive underground culture in the late 70s and early 80s based around what was essentially jazz fusion music. In the mid 70s many jazz artists began introducing soul elements to create jazz fusion, which the upfront DJs soon started to play. The more danceable tracks had funk bass-lines and rhythms, giving birth to the term jazz funk. It had instrumental melodies with lots of brass, horns and strings and was occasionally seasoned with vocals. In the early 80s there was an influx of Japanese 'direct-cut' albums featuring both Japanese and established jazz artists affectionately known as jap jazz. If you follow the link to kute's jazz funk page contains a rather complete tracklisting. http://www.kute.com/music/jazz_funk.htm

Roy Ayers

  • Roy Ayers During the seventies, Roy Ayers released a couple of true club classics with 'Running Away' and 'Sweet Tears', which made him immensely popular on the UK jazz-funk scene. Tracks include 'Running Away', 'Sweet Tears', 'Can't You See Me' and 'Love Will Bring Us Back Together'

    Donald Byrd

  • Donald Byrd/Blackbyrds 'Dominioes' : 'Rock Creek Park': 'Happy Music' : 'Lanasana's Priestess' : 'Mysterious Vibes', will eventually link to the Mizell Brothers. . In the '70s, his music took a decidedly commercial turn. Byrd recorded a number of heavily produced, pop-oriented albums on which his horn was subjugated by disco-fied vocals and string sections

    Gil Scott Heron

  • Is it Gil Scott Heron 'The Bottle' : 'Home Is Where The Hatred Is' : 'Peace Go With You Brother' --> The Bottle had originally been released on tiny New York Strata East records, and reissued on Turbo rds

    Lonnie Liston Smith

  • Lonnie Liston Smith 'Expansions' , Flying Dutchman 1975/RCA: 'Expansions' was the closest Smith had to a hit. Smith turns the African percussion and spacey influences into calm but light jazz funk. (Ian Scott Horst)

    Sojka and Pike

  • Sojka and Pike Powerline's 'Journey/Double Journey' : Atmosfear's 'Dancing In Outer Space' 1979

    Together Forever

  • Exodus: Together Forever' Pa Pa Pa Pa Di Pa Pa has been the starting point for countless sample-driven club hits over the years: remember Todd Terry's "Hey Buddy," Raven Maize's "Forever Together," and even last year's underground favorite "House Music" by Eddie Amador (that haunting key riff)? They all used pieces and parts of this Loft/Paradise Garage era staple.


  • 'Funkanova' on Turbo rds Wood Brass and Steel did the massive Funkanova (sampled on 'New Jersey Deep' by Black Science Orchestra, and 'Come and be Gone' by Bucketheads. It had originally been release in 1976 on Turbo records, Sylvia Robinson's label

    Miroslav Vitous

  • Miroslav Vitous 'New York City'

    Dinosaur L

    • 'Go Bang' Arthur Russell

      Herbie Hancock

    • Herbie Hancock 'I Thought Is Was You'


    • Deodato 'Whistle Bump', 'Superstrut' Eumir Deodato was a pioneer of jazz-funk and fusion in the mid 1970's; he first recorded for Creed Taylor's label CTI in 1973. He later wrote for artists such as Kool and the Gang ("Ladies night", "Celebration"). After two early fusion LP's, his eponymous releases include the classic disco records "Peter Gunn", "Whistle bump", and "Night cruiser".


    • Azymuth with 'Jazz Carnival' and 'Manha'

      Ronnie Laws

      • 'Always There' (instrumental version), later covered by Side Effect in a vocal version and later still by Incognito with great vocals from Jocelyn Brown

      Sun Palace

    • Sun Palace "England produced some classic disco jazz/funk tracks - and this is probably the best. We used to play this at Delirium as acid house! It was recently sampled by Kenny Dope - a gem."

    Eddy Grant

  • Nobody's Got Time/Time Warp .....Eddy Grant .... Epic
    • by The Coachouse Rhythm Section (Eddy Grant) on ICE records (Guyana 3-12) instrumental 'Time Warp' on B-side. One of the all time favourites of Derrick May

      The Clash

        'The Magificent Dance'"
    • T.W. Funkmasters (Bo Kool)
      • 'Love Money', Tania Music, from the London record store

      Ned Doherty

      • 'To Prove My Love'

      Francin McGee

      'Delirium'/'Feelin' Good', 1977 Canadian RCA Victor, Canadian
    • More ...

    • Cymande 'Bra', 'The Message' UK
    • David Bendeth 'Feel The Real'
    • Risco Connection
      • 'Ain't No Stopping Us Now', This is a great rendering of McFadden and Whitehead's classic. This version has a reggae vibe to it and mixes wonderfully with The Clash's 'Magnificent Dance'. Black Rose Music is the name of the label, matrix number JIH1001 by Risco Connection. It is from New York, a Joe Isaacs production with vocals by Otis Gayle Soul.
  • Eddie Henderson
    • 'Say You Will', 'Prance On'
  • Arthur Adams 'You Got The Floor'
  • Funk Fusion Band 'Can You Feel It' Nick Martinelli
  • Matsubara with 'S.O.S'
  • Dexter Wansel 'Life On Mars'
  • Mandré 'Solar Flight'
  • Hudson People 'Trip To Your Mind' UK
  • Frontline Orchestra 'Don't Turn Your Back' Ensign, UK
  • Johnny Hammond 'Los Conquistadores Chocolates'
  • Ingram : Mi sabrina tequana, 77
  • Disco Dub Band : For the love of money, 76
  • Manzel : Space funk, 78
  • El Coco : Cocomotion, 79
  • Raw Silk : Just in time, 83 Nick Martinelli
  • Chocolate Milk : Time Machine, 75
  • see also: Loft classics
  • http://www.mawtus.demon.co.uk/culture/jazzfunk.html


  • Vol. 1-Classic Jazz Funk (1993) - Various Artists [Amazon US]
    1. Expansions (Original 12 Mix) - 2. Always There (Original 12 Mix - 3. Bottle (Original Version - 4. Change (Makes You Want To Hustle) - 5. Inherlt The Wind (Original 12 Mix) - 6. Shaker Song (Original 12 Mix) - 7. Jazz Camival (Original 12 Mix) - 8. Los Conquistadores Chocolates - 9. Say You Will (Original 12 Mix) - 10. Brasilla - 11. Till You Take My Love (Original 12 Mix) - 12. Unicorn (Original 12 Mix)
  • Vol. 5-Classic Jazz Funk [Amazon US]
    1. Countdown (Captain Fingers) 2. Grand Prix 3. Freeze Thaw 4. Sausalito 5. Intro / River Niger 6. Dreamin 7. Keep Smiling 8. Watching Life 9. Boulevard 10. Let's Funk Tonight 11. La Cuna 12. African Bird
  • Vol. 3-Classic Jazz Funk [Amazon US]
    1. You Know You Know - The Mahavishnu Orchestra 2. Journey Into Satchidananda - Alice Coltrane 3. The Creator Has A Masterplan - Pharoah Sanders 4. Nautilus - Bob James 5. We Live In Brooklyn Baby - Roy Ayers 6. Listen Here - Eddie Harris 7. Pot Belly - Lou Donaldson 8. Down Here On The Ground - Grant Green 9. Good Humour Man' - Blue Mitchell 10. Red Baron' - Billy Cobham 11. (Fallin' Like) Dominoes - Donald Byrd 12. Strawberry Letter 23 - Brothers Johnson
  • Vol. 4-Classic Jazz Funk [Amazon US]
    1. Birdland - Weather Report 2. I Thought It Was You - Hancock, Herbie 3. Can't You See Me - Ayers, Roy 4. Dancing In Outer Space - Atmosfear 5. You Got The Floor - Adams, Arthur 6. Whistle Bump - Deodato 7. The Real Thing - Mendes, Sergio 8. Magic, Fingers - Hamilton, Chico 9. Strawberry Letter 23 - The Brothers Johnso 10. Chief Inspector - Badarou, Wally 11. Funkin' For Jamaica - Browne, Tom 12. Street Life - The Crusaders
  • Vol. 2 -Classic Jazz Funk [Amazon US]
    1. Could heaven ever be like this - Muhammad, Idris 2. Brazilian love affair - Duke, George 3. Easy - Jarreau, Al 4. Dominoes - Byrd, Donald 5. To prove my love - Doheny, Ned 6. Snowblower - Baker, B. 7. Poo poo la la - Ayers, Roy 8. Come with me - Maria, Tania 9. Rotation - Alpert, Herb 10. Chicago song - Sanborn, David 11. New killer Joe - Golson, Benny 12. Keep that same old feeling - Crusaders (1)
  • MVP Classic Jazz Funk, Vol. 2 [Amazon US]
    1. Home Is Where The Hatred Is - Esther Phillips 2. The Mighty Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo) - Ramsey Lewis 3. The Worm - Jimmy McGriff 4. Fat Mama - Herbie Hancock 5. Let's Make The Peace And Stop The War - Funk Inc. 6. It's Your Thing - Lou Donaldson 7. Black Byrd - Donald Byrd 8. Tidal Wave - Ronnie Laws 9. Summer Madness - Kool & The Gang 10. Everybody Loves The Sunshine - Roy Ayers 11. Sookie Sookie - Grant Green 12. New Killer Joe - Benny Golson
  • Mastercuts - best of Jazz Funk [2 CD, Amazon US]
    Disc: 1 1. Running Away - Roy Ayers 2. Always There - Ronnie Laws 3. Dominoes - Donald Byrd 4. To Prove My Love - Ned Doheny 5. Rock Creek Park - The Blackbyrds 6. The Bottle - Gil Scott-Heron 7. Could Heaven Ever Be Like This - Idris Muhammad 8. Shaker Song - Spyro Gyra 9. Brighter Tomorrow - Tom Browne 10. I Thought It Was You - Herbie Hancock 11. Sausalito - Grover Washington Jr 12. De Ja Vu - Paulinho Da Costa Disc: 2 1. Expansions - Lonnie Liston-Smith 2. Jazz Carnival - Azymuth 3. Brazilian Love Affair - George Duke 4. Love Will Bring Us Back Together - Roy Ayers 5. Summer Madness - Kool & The Gang 6. Dancing In Outer Space - Atmosfear 7. Come With Me - Tania Maria 8. Los Conquistadores Chocolates - Johnny Hammond 9. Unicorn - Dizzy Gillespie & Lalo Schifrin 10. The New Killer Joe - Benny Golson 11. Let The Music Play - Charles Earland 12. Spring High - Ramsey Lewis
    Ten years and 7 volumes of Jazz Funk Mastercuts, the time is definitely right for the Best Of. With the continued success of Jamiroquai and exciting new acts such as Breakestra coming through interest in Jazz Funk has rarely been higher. This is the complete package of classics for both the nu skool kids just discovering the genre and the old timers who bought the early Mastercuts on vinyl (hands up if that includes you!). These are all the biggest tracks from the biggest artists in Jazz Funk. Just look at the tracklisting, everyone's a winner. This is not just a story about an album though. Mastercuts are teaming up with the Jazz Cafe for the Mastercuts Jazz Funk Festival at the legendary venue in Camden. Lonnie Liston Smith, the Blackbyrds, Tom Browne, Ronnie Laws and Tania Maria are all due to roll back the years through the month of March. As well as a large joint marketing campaign, major press and radio exposure is guaranteed as these 2 classic brands come together. So to misquote the legendary Mr Ayers "Jazz Funk Will Bring Us Back Together"!

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