Funk

Omar Hakim – We Are One (2014)

Omar Hakim – We Are One (2014)

It’s not just that the do-anything Omar Hakim rarely puts out his own albums. That’s perhaps understandable, considering his over-stuffed career as a sideman alongside the likes of Sting, Weather Report, Dire Straits, David Bowie, Miles Davis and Daft Punk. What was strange was how little, well, drumming there seemed to be on his solo efforts.

‘He really made it sound class’: Tower of Power found its initial groove with assist from a Stax legend

‘He really made it sound class’: Tower of Power found its initial groove with assist from a Stax legend

Tower of Power burst out of the Oakland scene more than 40 years ago with Bump City, a gritty outburst of soul powered by the group’s silky smooth initial hit “You’re Still a Young Man.” They captured that Deep South vibe with the help of a Memphis master, Steve Cropper.

Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana – Mehliana: Taming the Dragon (2014)

Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana – Mehliana: Taming the Dragon (2014)

Forget everything you know about Brad Mehldau, who rose to fame via contemplative classical-leaning reimagingings of pop songs at an acoustic piano. This isn’t that. It isn’t even jazz

fDeluxe – Live & Tight … As a Funk Fiends’ Fix (2013)

fDeluxe – Live & Tight … As a Funk Fiends’ Fix (2013)

I’m not paranoid — usually — but the band fDeluxe has it in for me.

Tower of Power – Hipper than Hip: Live in 1974 (2013)

Tower of Power – Hipper than Hip: Live in 1974 (2013)

Recorded live at the peak of their considerable powers in May 1974, Hipper than Hip finds Tower of Power — powered along by frontman Lenny Williams — setting a Long Island radio-station soundstage ablaze.

Gimme Five: Herbie Hancock – The Complete Columbia Album Collection (2013)

Gimme Five: Herbie Hancock – The Complete Columbia Album Collection (2013)

Former collaborators Bill Summers and Mike Clark join us as we sort through a handful of ageless moments from the forthcoming Herbie Hancock box set, The Complete Columbia Album Collection.

Shows I’ll Never Forget: Earth Wind and Fire, September 20, 2013

Shows I’ll Never Forget: Earth Wind and Fire, September 20, 2013

At the Chicago Theatre, Chicago, Illinois: As the entire crowd bounced up and down, hands in the air, one thing was clear: only Earth Wind and Fire could turn the Chicago Theatre into one huge dance floor.

On Second Thought: Wild Cherry – Wild Cherry (1976)

Born in 1970, Wild Cherry began life as a rock band. Gigging the local circuit, the Ohio group struggled to gain the success they strived for.

Sly and the Family Stone – Higher! (2013)

Sly and the Family Stone – Higher! (2013)

The story of Sly and the Family Stone is that of the 1960s, a decade of dizzying highs followed by a period of just as devastating lows. Their music, and the band itself, shared the similar promise of a new way — only to implode with a shocking finality.

Dumpstaphunk – Dirty Word (2013)

Dumpstaphunk’s Dirty World is a layered delight, just as interesting on a close listen as Ivan Neville shares a sun-filled positivity as it as from the dance floor, where its twin-bass attack provides a thump that could bring down buildings.