Give me more 70s funk-soul
May 4, 2010 11:53 AM   Subscribe

Suggest some 60s-70s funk-soul for a fan of Roy Ayers. Instrumental preferred but not necessary.

I like listening to this kind of stuff while I work. I enjoy the Nite-Liters, David Axelrod, Curtis Mayfield/Impressions, Chi-Lites, Dells, Wood Steel Brass, and have tracked down all the Dusty Fingers comps, but I'm looking for more. Also into the 70s afro-funk-jazz (Orchestre Poly-rhythmo and Mulatu Astatke) and looking for the obvious stuff in between that I'm missing as well as rare/underappreciated work of the time period.
posted by rubadub to Media & Arts (24 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Gil Scott Heron is an obvious choice, but he's really good. Rock Creek Park by the Blackbyrds is a great song that to me sounds pretty comparable to a lot of Ayers' stuff.
posted by The Lamplighter at 12:08 PM on May 4, 2010

Dexter Wansel has some good songs as well.
posted by The Lamplighter at 12:09 PM on May 4, 2010

Fela's pretty obvious, especially since he did that album Music of Many Colors w/Roy Ayers guesting. I've been really enjoying stuff on the Kudu label lately, and also the Ethiopian sax player Getatchew Mekurya.
posted by box at 12:30 PM on May 4, 2010

Response by poster: I knew I missed an obvious one (Gil Scott Heron) - downloading Pieces of a Man and Winter in America from Amazon MP3 right now. Gonna poke around and see if I can find Dexter Wansel's older stuff as well. Thanks Lamplighter!
posted by rubadub at 12:32 PM on May 4, 2010

This Memphis Soul compilation might be your style.
posted by smallvictories at 12:35 PM on May 4, 2010

Wait! Ugh, I was too quick. I'm going through my ipod, and I think this New Orleans compilation might suit you even more. Every song is pure funk magic.
posted by smallvictories at 12:37 PM on May 4, 2010

I like his Secrets album as well, and that's closer to Roy Ayers' jazz-funk than the earlier stuff which to me is more like The Last Poets or something.
posted by The Lamplighter at 12:37 PM on May 4, 2010

Oh yeah, Ornette Coleman's "Of Human Feelings" album has a good bit of that crossover feeling, slicker and funkier than most of his stuff.
posted by The Lamplighter at 12:42 PM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Try Thrust by McNeal & Niles and Midnight Theme by Manzel.
posted by The Mouthchew at 12:50 PM on May 4, 2010

The Staple Singers
early Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 1:42 PM on May 4, 2010

In Yo Face - the Roots of Funk as a compilation perhaps?

There is lots of great Brazilian originated music which is somewhat related for example Herbie Mann or Sivuca's version of "Ain't no Sunshine" - and tropicalia generally.
posted by rongorongo at 1:55 PM on May 4, 2010

The Menahan Street Band. Not from the 70s, but I think you'll like them.
posted by iamcrispy at 2:03 PM on May 4, 2010

If 70's style is acceptable, check out the Whitefield Brothers, also pick up the great (and long OoP) "Soulin'" comps (1, 2, 3, 4), and the LPs Ayers did with Herbie Mann (especially "Live at the Whiskey A-Go-Go" if you haven't already.
posted by ryanshepard at 2:10 PM on May 4, 2010

The Players Association, Pleasure, Brass Construction, Crown Heights Affair, WAR, Bobbi Humphrey, Johnny Hammond and Brainstorm.
posted by jade east at 2:46 PM on May 4, 2010

I would think 60s-70s Lou Donaldson, Lonnie Smith, Grant Green and Donald Byrd would scratch that itch. As well as King Curtis, The Crusaders, Booker T & the MGs.
posted by gnutron at 2:54 PM on May 4, 2010

Jorge Ben
The Meters
and possibly Banda Black Rio

(Is Billy Preston too much of a gimme?)
posted by Vervain at 3:05 PM on May 4, 2010

Shuggie Otis is an interesting and maybe slightly less traditional r&b/soul guy.
posted by critzer at 4:08 PM on May 4, 2010

The Blaxploitation compilations are a treasure trove.
posted by philip-random at 4:17 PM on May 4, 2010

The British label Beat Goes Public (or BGP) is definitely for you. It's a subsidiary of the great Ace Records consortium, which also is home to labels Southbound, Westbound, and my personal favorite soul-oriented one, Kent. Not to mention the world music of Globestyle, the 60s garage of Big Beat, and much more.

While Kent releases as a lot of 60s / 70s soul in both its deep Southern and uptempo Northern variations (including big names like Aretha Franklin and the Impressions, and obscure ones like Ty Karim and Charlie Whitehead . . . and about half of Kent's output consists of compilations by theme or originating label), BGP deals with more obscure artists, from a timeframe that's about five years more recent than Kent's (on average.) So BGP tends to lean more on funk, sultry 70s "album" soul and hints of jazz. I think it's just your thing. I'd post its in-print discography, but it's a bit long. That said, any of these might be your thing:

CDBGPD 096 VA back to funk
CDBGPD 126 VA super breaks
CDBGPD 128 VA vibrafinger
CDBGPD 129 THE BLACKBYRDS best of the blackbyrds
CDBGPD 130 VA living in the streets
CDBGPD 131 VA super funk
CDBGPD 132 VA super breaks volume 2
CDBGPD 133 VA stax of funk
CDBGPD 135 VA king funk
CDBGPD 136 VA funkin' the ghetto
CDBGPD 137 VA super funk 2
CDBGPD 139 VA black roots
CDBGPD 140 VA living in the streets volume 2
CDBGPD 141 VA sweet taste of sin
CDBGPD 142 VA alright! black american dance music from the disco era
CDBGPD 145 VA super breaks volume 3
CDBGPD 148 VA superfunk 3
CDBGPD 149 VA . . . ain’t it funky now!
CDBGPD 150 VA stax of funk volume 2
CDBGPD 151 VA living in the streets 3: busting out of the ghetto

They're nearly all compilations, but BGP has released single artist CDs by many of the artists on them. Additionally, they nearly always are 60-78 minute-long CDs with excellent sound and contextualizing liner notes.

You can listen to samples of many of these via Amazon or Amazon UK.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 5:57 PM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

A kind of left-field suggestion is any of the wonderful Numero Group compilations. You'll probably have best luck with their Eccentric Soul releases, which are uniformly great. Moreover, while I'm having a hard time articulating why, this comp (though from a different series) might be right up your alley. I don't have all their stuff, but I've never heard a sub-par release from these folks.
posted by .kobayashi. at 6:03 PM on May 4, 2010

Ooh, or maybe Darondo, who's just come up on my iTunes shuffle.
posted by .kobayashi. at 6:06 PM on May 4, 2010

lonnie liston smith! he's a 70's jazz artist with psychedelic and funk influences, i'd definitely rate him as a fellow traveller with roy ayers.

also, i can't believe no one's mentioned donald byrd yet!

and finally, don't laugh but the fusion radio compilation from grand theft auto 4 is actually hosted by the man roy ayers himself (not sure how much he figures on the compilation cd but he's the host of the radio show in the game itself) and the comp is chock full of great fusion jazz tracks. you might even like the if99 (international funk) and k109 (disco) compilations from gta4 as well - they really did an exemplary job on the music in that game.
posted by messiahwannabe at 2:01 AM on May 5, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks guys, this is awesome.
posted by rubadub at 9:22 AM on May 7, 2010

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