Everything is on The One: Ode to the Funky Drummer

April 6th, 2014

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This afternoon Professor Victor Coelho and I  are hitting WTBU’s Ke-mo-sah-bee to talk about Funk.

I peeped a mothership connection on campus in, of all things, a course! And, in a University! So, to get the discussion going for the first day of school and to avoid coming in unprepared, I’ve got one question: if the American people decided to rededicate Mount Rushmore to the Funk – let’s call it the new Mount Funkmore – which four mugs does Overton Loyd chisel on the rock? (Professor Coehlo and I will discuss this conundrum, today – April 6 – from 4-6 p.m.)

I get pegged as being a jazz guy (I am, too). I believe in Funk.

The first time I heard Parliament-Funkadelic’s “Do That Stuff” I was in – knee deep. Funk. The bomb. P-Funk. Uncut, lip-curling, stank, funk! I realized that I was a Funkateer all my life and never realized it. (Name-shouts for James Brown, The Bar-Kays, Booker T. and the M.G.s, The Brothers Johnson, Rufus, Sly Stone, and Prince.)

Wasn’t just about the groove and the thump. For me, funkiness was a way of life – it gave me a sense of self, freed us from small inhibitions, and offered a way for us to come alive. Sure, Funk – especially George Clinton style – was about a little ego trippin’ but, for me – when it was righteous – it was about protest, escaping, and guided me to my own uniqueness. Funk is a celebration of being human and all the conditions that go with it. It’s about the joy of life.

Since we’ll be on the radio today, don’t fake the funk, listen for yourself.


Not an afterthought – a sweet shoutout to all things that schooled me on The One (and a few considerations for Mount Funkmore):

Fithy McNasty; Cannonball Adderly; James Brown; Bootsy Collins; Burnt Sugar; Paul’s Boutique; D’Angelo; George Clinton; Marcus Miller; DJ Soul Sister; Hair; George Duke; The Soul Rebels; Mtume; Chic; The Ohio Players; Living Color; Sly & the Family Stone; Slave; Digital Underground; Junie Morrison; The Time; Lakeside; NWA; The Commodores; Zapp; Parliament; Funkadelic; Roger; Heatwave; Flashlight; Cool and the Gang; Su;, BT Express; Platypus; Brass Construction; War; Bar-Kays; The Brothers Johnson; Earth, Wind, & Fire; Cameo; Maze; Labelle; Prince; Impeach the President; and, Dam Funk


This post is a revision of an August 6, 2012, post, “Jazz? I Prefer Funk – It Made Me Aware and Alive”
Image from http://www.aerialnoise.com/2012/04/21/funk-errific-part-three/

One Comment on Everything is on The One: Ode to the Funky Drummer

  • Dear Dean,

    I am glad you’re my Dean. I was raised with JB playing loud in the living-room (along with Miriam Makeba and Gil-Scott-Heron) and later Parliament, Bootsy, Sly, EWF… I can relate to your whole story.

    Thanks for this article,
    one BU under a groove !

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