My Funky (In)Disposition

The LF soul music blog run by music-mad Imran Mirza, in conjunction
with his Starpoint Radio show, 'The Blue-in-Green Sessions'.


'Remixed Feast of Jazz' by Nick Pride & The Pimptones

‘Remixed Feast of Jazz’ by Nick Pride & The P!mptones
(2012, Record Kicks)

Written by Imran Mirza
Not content to have us still reeling from one of the most pleasant surprise releases of 2011, ‘Midnight Feast of Jazz’, Nick Pride & The P!mptones return in 2012 to stake their claim once again as being one of the brightest and brilliant UK names in funky soul music.
Hot off the presses, so to speak, the band deliver us with ‘Remixed Feast of Jazz’, unfortunately with no hardcopy pressed so only available to be purchased as MP3s online.  While ‘Midnight Feast of Jazz’ served as the band’s ‘interpretation’ of jazz music from the perspective of a soul and funk band, these interpretations are now offered up to new perspectives from an incredible array of producers who re-mix, re-interpret and re-imagine the original songs with fantastic results.
Smoove’s (of Smoove & Turrell fame) remix of ‘Waiting So Long’ (featuring Jess Roberts) makes the cut after already having found a home on Record Kicks’ brilliant compilation of last year, ‘Mo Record Kicks: Act 2’, but new to our ears would be (Daytoner's remix of 'Hug Lorenzo', Diesler's remix of 'Hotdoggin', along with other DJs and producers, such as Fab Samperi, Danny Massure and Wild Palms.  But it may be James Baige's rework of 'Lay It On The Line', which opts for a completely new groove as the song builds slowly around a nice guitar pattern, while still thankfully retaining Zoe Gilby's guest vocals, which might be the quiet show-stealer here.
We had previously described 'Midnight Feast of Jazz' as a versatile record to begin with, but remix albums always allow you to go that one step further, and that versatility has allowed even more sounds and styles to be fully embraced as dance, explosive soul numbers and even latin rhythms are littered across the gems on this album. 
In our exclusive feature on the band, Nick Pride not only gave us the scoop on this album when it was in the making, but also let us know about the band's other project in the works: "We have a side project where we’ve used some choice acapellas from different artists like Aretha Franklin, ODB, Dead Prez and totally re-imagined the music.  Like a mash-up but with a live band"... so we really hope that one sees the light of day as well!
Click here for our exclusive interview with Nick Pride.


Southpaw - 'Illio'

For those of you that caught the live broadcast of The Blue-in-Green Sessions, Sunday 26th February, around 9:30am-ish would have heard a brand new song and first time play of the wonderful 'Illio' by Southpaw. 

I said it live on air, and I'll say it here too, there will come a day when many Starpoint DJs and presenters will know these guys and happily play their songs, and I'll consistently be happy in the fact that I was the first one to do so.  

I also mentioned that there were links to some of the band's material and other songs on YouTube so here's one to the excellent song itself. 

If this is the first time you're hearing this, then my friends, you're in for a real treat...

Special shout-out to the band's drummer, Jake Long, who's a fantastic musician, and I'm appreciative that he sent the song over as it's become a firm staple to the show's playlist ... as well as my iPod! 

The Blue-in-Green Sessions airs every Sunday morning, 8-10am exclusively on Starpoint Radio.


Can I Borrow A Feeling? [Part 2]

I remember a really old episode of LA Law - firstly, LA Law: remember that?! - well, in this episode, Harry Hamlin was representing a really old skool r&b quartet, in the vein of the respectable ilk of Motown harmony group, like The Temptations.  In this episode, this group, whose name completely escapes me (get used to me saying that a lot in this post) were angry that one of their songs about sweet, old fashioned romance, whichI distinctly remember containing the lyrics, "Walking in the rain with my baby", had been covered by a contemporary 90s r&b act, in the vein of Jodeci, and that their version had been significantly sexed-up, thus cheapening the original and discrediting it. 

The two groups then went on to have a sing-off in the court room (why not?), leaving the judge to decide if the case held water.  The judge - the significantly older judge - instantly sided The Temptations-esque act, completely aghast at the Jodeci-esque bump'n'grind routine, despite their complaints that they didn't even get to perform the bridge of the song, which I can only imagine would have been awesome.

And there you have it - my first experience of the iron hand of the music sampling law!

I hope you guys enjoyed the music sampling article and hopefully a couple of the cases I raised would have been new to you and made for somewhat interesting reading.  There was one case I wanted to raise in particular but couldn’t find any details of it on the internet.  It revolved around Will Smith’s use of Patrice Rushen’s ‘Forget Me Nots’ for his single ‘Men In Black’. 

Obviously Smith’s song went on to become a huge smash hit single (and incredible promotion for the movie of the same name), and Rushen’s classic original is clearly oozing all over it, so the sample was clearly not a subtle one.  What was surprising though was I distinctly remember hearing a radio interview with Patrice Rushen some years ago where she talked about how the song came about.  Now, I know my details are very sketchy in my recounting here (which is why it didn’t make the main article) but apparently permission wasn’t secured before Smith and his producers (Poke & Tone from The Trackmasters) went ahead and recorded the song.  There then became a huge squabble about writing credits, or payment, that they potentially tried to skip out on, but all of this apparently exploded just before the film and song’s release so knowing she had the upper hand, in that Smith & Co couldn’t abort the song so late in the process, Rushen stuck to her guns and won out in the end. 

Sorry, my supreme lack of memory has ruined a riveting story that was filled with action, adventure, romance and even a bit of aliens thrown in too.  I will endeavour to scour the web for more concrete news in the hopes of being able to relay the more appropriate facts.



D’Angelo live @ Brixton’s O2 Academy 3/2/12

Would he or wouldn’t he? That was the question I kept asking myself as soon as D’Angelo’s European tour was announced.  There was a time the announcement of a D’Angelo gig would have had me prepared to crawl through broken glass for a ticket, to dance over hot coals, to jump from a tall building, to… well, you get the point, but the announcement of this particular gig didn’t have me prepared to do those things.  I guess, as I say, I didn’t fully believe it would happen, and maybe I’ve just lost a little faith in D’Angelo, ‘the artist’.

To quickly address the things we already know: ‘Brown Sugar’ comes out in ’95, births a new movement for contemporary soul artists, the Grammy-winning ‘Voodoo’ is released five years later and in the 12 years between then and now, all fans have had to tide them over is a handful of collaborative songs and news reports of arrests, drug addiction and ballooning weight.

It’s all very sad really.  I have no wish to comment on the man’s personal life, of which I know nothing about, but what makes me sad is what he could have achieved in those 12 years – there could have been multiple albums, collaborations, tours – my iPod salivates at the music it could have listed under his name.  one part of me thinks he could have become a soul music legend, but thinking about it, I think he already has.  I can’t come up with any other names of artists that could have released two albums over the course of 17 years, and after a 12-year gap, have generated this much excitement and interest in their return.

I didn’t initially jump at the chance to go along to see D’Angelo in Brixton, but I’m really glad I changed my mind.

He looked good, he sounded great, and the leaked list of musicians forming the band went a long way to further rejuvenating my interest and reassuring me that this is something he was taking seriously:  Pino Palladino (bass), Jesse Johnson (lead guitar) and Chris ‘Daddy’ Dave (drums), all masters in their own right and all shone on the night.  With a guitar strapped around his shoulder for most of the night, D’Angelo displayed a great energy about him throughout the night and threw himself into the songs as much as he needed, even going as far as to hurl the mic stand behind him during a rockier take on ‘Devil’s Pie’, to screams of delight from the crowd, all happily feeding off of his enthusiasm.

Perhaps even more surprising was the amount of new songs that made the setlist – all of which currently doing the rounds on YouTube, and as great as they sounded, it’s a shame that they came at the expense of established classics: ‘Me and Those Dreaming Eyes of Mine’, ‘Untitled’ and ‘Cruisin’ were only allotted a few minutes each during a solo piano medley.  ‘Lady’, shockingly, didn’t even make the cut in any fashion!?  ‘Brown Sugar’ was repackaged with incredible new ‘funky’ life breathed into it and made for a fantastic encore, and other songs like ‘Devil’s Pie’ and ‘S##t, D#mn, Mother F###er’ had equally innovative and welcome new takes delivered on their performances as well.

Without getting too ahead of myself, hopes are currently high for new material this year, and, fingers crossed for another supporting tour, but I guess attention will then inevitably turn to the already long overdue FOURTH album(?)!


best of: 2011

In our 'best of' show that aired 1st January 2012, here's a run down of what we thought were some of the best songs of the year.  It's always a tricky list to compile because most years I tend to find myself midway in to the following year picking up more stuff from the year before and realising all the things that slipped through your fingers. 

Currently, I can shamefully say that Anthony Hamilton's 'I'm Ready'' should have made the list, but in the meantime, the below is one sexy list...

'The Moon and The Sky' [Remix] - Sade f/t Jay-Z
'I Hurt You' - Anthony Hamilton f/t Tarsha Macmillan
'Just Don't' - Raphael Saadiq
'Let It Go' - The Liberators f/t Roxie Ray
'Love and Revolution' - Nicola Conte f/t Melanie Charles
'The Bronx' - Booker T Jones f/t Lou Reed
'Patience' - The Baker Brothers
'Stone Rollin bonus track' - Raphael Saadiq f/t Larry Graham
'You Make Love Real Easy' [Remix] - Dojo Cuts
'Give It Up Or Turn It Loose' [Live] - Soulive f/t Nigel Hall & Questlove
'Mama Done' - Zara Macfarlane
'The Telephone Song' - Charles Bradley
'1960 What' - Gregory Porter
'Brighter Day' - Nick Pride & The Pimptones f/t Susan Hamilton
'Time Will Reveal' - AAries
'Progress' - Booker T Jones f/t Yim Yames
'Sun Will Rise' - Shuya Okino f/t Divinti
'Love From The Sun' - Nicola Conte f/t Jose James & Nailah Porter

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