BY Carlton J Smith
IT IS THE END OF AN ERA IN FUNK.
I have always held firm to my belief that when it came to that early 70’s wicked funk? That funk that could peel paint off walls?
There was the mighty JB’s and second to them there was Kool & The Gang.
I applaud and respect Kool & The Gang for being able to reinvent themselves at a time in which other funk bands – The Ohio Players, Earth, Wind, and Fire, The Commodores, etc. were no longer selling any records and their funk days were clearly in their rearview mirrors.
It is through no fault of their own that Eumir Deodato along with James “JT” Taylor came along and breathed new life into them, but I grew up on the early Kool and the Gang…the wicked Kool and the Gang…the Jersey funk Kool and the Gang!
And all of that rhythm and funk and groove was due in large part to the way that “Funky” George Brown got down on them boom baps!
He was never flashy. He never overplayed and he was always locked with Kool’s bass. Over the course of a series of 45’s on De-Lite records, George along with Ronald and Robert Bell, Spike Mickens , Claydes Smith, Dennis Thomas, and Rickey West recorded some of the hardest, hitting funk this side of Soul Brother Number One:
“Who’s Gonna Take The Weight”
“Love The Life You Live”
“Music Is The Message”
“Rhyme Tyme People”
“Spirit Of The Boogie”
And of course the iconic, “ Jungle Boogie” and the legendary, “Hollywood Swinging”
There are so many more deep lp cuts and flip sides of 45’s.
“Funky George” you have served in the vineyard long enough.
Funk music thanks you enough for your immeasurable contributions.
Go on and get your rest.