Byron Miller | Psycho Bass
by Peggy Oliver
When a supporting musician is noticed for a memorable contribution on a major star’s hit project, that can transform into the ultimate door opener for their own artistic platform. The jaw dropping bass guitar solo heard around the funk world on George Duke’s “Reach for It” in 1977 belonged to an up and coming, self-proclaimed funkmeister in Byron Miller. The then nineteen year old, who was mentored by the legendary keyboardist Duke, was more than well on the way to a much respected place amongst the bass playing community.
Oya Thomas “Tribute to Prince”
Skyloft (Laguna Beach)
Saturday May 28, 2016
Concert reflections and photographs by A. Scott Galloway
Vocalist Oya Thomas caught my attention a couple of years back with the beautiful Sunday morning song “Peace in the Valley” from her CD The Spirit of Oya. So I was stunned to receive an email invitation to a Saturday night show she was fronting in memory of Prince on Memorial Day. I knew she could sing and that she was also very nice on the eyes so when a last minute cancellation made it possible for me to see this show, I made that move.
Theo Croker and DVRK Funk | Escape Velocity
by Peggy Oliver
When musicians are ready to hit the professional pavement, many are willing to hone their craft with studio time or side work to make all their financial ends meet while gaining more notoriety in the industry. Born into jazz royalty as the grandson of trumpeter Doc Cheatham, Croker was naturally inspired to follow his own, unique trumpet virtuosity. After graduating from college, Theo Croker moved to Shanghai China, where a melting pot of musical cultures awaited him.
Con Funk Shun | More Than Love
By Peggy Oliver
When someone speaks of ‘absence making the heart grow fonder,’ it could take on a number of scenarios, especially a reuniting of a musical group that once broke their bonds and then returns again for old time music making sake. Con Funk Shun, one of the influential seventies and eighties R&B-funk ensembles, emphatically brought their audiences to the dance floor and oozed the best in romance.
Charlie Wilson | Forever Charlie (RCA)
by Brent Faulkner
Some veteran artists eschew the spotlight past their career’s prime, while others embrace it, continuing to share, preserve, and flex their artistry. For Charlie Wilson, he is the latter, remaining active in his early sixties after a brilliant musical career as the front man of The Gap Band. The 00s have been extremely kind to Wilson, as he has issued six solo albums, with his last five notably sporting his first name in their title.
Bootsy Collins | Tha Funk Capital of The World
by A. Scott Galloway
2012 will mark the 40th anniversary of when MOST people first discovered William “Bootsy” Collins. He made his recording debut as a member of Funkadelic on its fourth project, the double-Lp America Eats Its Young (1972).
Wayman Tisdale | The Fonk Record
by Brent Faulkner
Wayman Tisdale was another ‘shining star’ who was ‘gone too soon.’ Although an extremely talented former professional basketball player, Tisdale was equally talented as a multi-instrumentalist, who focused on the bass for the most part. Sadly, in May 2009, Wayman died after a stint with cancer. What did not die was Tisdale’s legacy. Experimental project The Fonk Record (featuring Tiz & The Fonkie Planetarians) is an album that showcases Tisdale’s restless creativity as a musician.
John Legend & The Roots | Wake Up!
By Susan Mutharia
The year 2008 saw the resurrection of faith and hope in America. On that year, many saw themselves not only as citizens of a country but citizens of the world. People started joining together and saying, “Yes we surely can.” Others went a step further and asked, “What can I do and where do I start?” R&B singer John Legend answered that question by uniting with the great hip-hop group, The Roots.
Incognito | Transatlantic RPM
by Peggy Oliver
Happy 30th Anniversary Incognito! Yes; thirty years of old school soul, funk, disco, hip-hop and jazz produced by the U.K. sensation that still sounds as fresh today as when they were first introduced to the world in 1980 with an album appropriately named Jazz Funk. Despite a ten-year absence after their debut, they returned to the recording studio with Inside Life and have never looked back since.
Change | Change Your Mind
by Marv D.
Change had a good run in 80’s starting with R&B Legend Luther Vandross singing the “The Glow Of Love”, which eventually launched his singing career. And a lot more hits followed. Their last album “Turn On Your Radio,” also had several hits… and that was it. After that, there was no more Change. The careers that came after the recording days allowed them to become major stars now.