Tuesday, February 17, 2009
THE BETTER HALF
When Indianapolis' Funk, Inc. first came onto the scene in the early 70's, the band received their "share of negative reviews from the more dogmatic jazz critics, who hated the idea of combining jazz with funk and soul. But the fact is that this material is infectious, captivating and hard-swinging. Funk, Inc. realized that jazz didn't have to be extremely intellectual to be worthwhile, and its mission (at least in the beginning) was to grab R&B fans with foot-pattin' grooves but expose them to the improvisational freedom of jazz. Soul-jazz tunes like "Bowlegs," "The Whipper" and "Sister Janie" were to the early 1970s what the music of Count Basie, Jimmie Lunceford and Lionel Hampton had been during the swing era -- improvisational party music that fared well among young African-American audiences..."
Below, one of their best jams, "The Better Half," which features some scorching guitar work from Doug Swanigan.