Along with the new Du-Rites 7″, May will see the release of the debut single from one of my other instrumental funk projects, The Zone Identity. For now, it’s basically me teaming up with different musicians to put a twist on funk, soul and jazz classics. The line-up for this one is percussionist Ray May, organist Bennett Paster and guitarist Ed Littman. Bennett and Ed are forces in the jazz scene and part of Fraternity Records’ house band, The U.B.’s. I’m on drums and Ed and I split the bass duties. Our first attempt is a nod to a Kool and the Gang classic (“Let The Music Take Your Mind”) and a rarity from 1969 (Warm Excursion’s “Funk-I-Tus”). The record should be out later in May (you never know with the vinyl plants) on Fraternity Music Group. Catch a sneak preview of both cuts on the Instagram video above.
A lil’ practice routine of mine using Big Daddy Kane’s “Raw” to help my concentration. Shout out to Big Daddy Kane.
A post shared by J-Zone (@jzonedontig) on
The Roxanne Shanté “Live On Stage” cover makes little to no sense, but I have two gigs this month and neither are hip-hop-related – I figured someone would be thrown off without a hip-hop reference.
Quiet month on the gig front; I’ve been holed up in the studio and doing boring prep work for this year’s releases. But I do have one DJ gig at Robert Bar and one drumming gig with rock band LuLu Lewis:
02.07.17 – with LuLu Lewis at Knitting Factory (B’klyn)
02.18.17 – Soul Vibrations! at Robert Bar (B’klyn)
Flyer for the Robert Bar gig coming soon.
(Photo credit: Maxwell Schiano)
The positive responses to my Q&As with some of the most important drummers in funk and soul has led to a live radio program with Red Bull Music Academy. The first round: Greg Errico (Sly & the Family Stone, Weather Report, Betty Davis), Leslie Ming (B.T. Express, Mtume, Kashif) and Bernard “Pretty” Purdie (everything…literally)! Stay tuned…
Wrapped up in expanding my Red Bull Music Academy drummer series and preparing three funk 7″ releases for the spring, so January’s quiet on the gig front. But I have my monthly Soul Vibrations throwdown at Robert Bar (Jan. 21) and a drumming gig with rock band, LuLu Lewis (Jan. 19 at Fat Baby, NYC. 10PM).
See flyer above for Soul Vibrations info. Flyer design ©2017 The Bad Flyer Bandit (me)
Interviewing my musical heroes has been amazing. It’s also been school for me in the process of learning my instrument. And after the flurry of musical losses 2016 threw at us, giving these amazing musicians the chance to tell their stories while they’re still with us (and in many cases still active) gives me some relief. It’s been great to let them know they’re appreciated. The latest installment in my Give The Drummer Some Series with Red Bull Music Academy is with Tower of Power’s David Garibaldi, a guru of Bay Area Funk.
Give The Drummer Some: J-Zone’s RBMA Interview with Dwight Burns of TSU Toronadoes & Archie Bell & The Drells
After a three month hiatus, I’m back to my Give The Drummer Some column at Red Bull Music Academy. For the current installment, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dwight Burns, drummer for late ’60s funk band TSU Toronadoes, who happened to also be the band playing on Archie Bell and the Drells’ “Tighten Up.” Dwight is one of the founding fathers of the drum break and an important musician from an important band that never quite got its due. We talk about not getting credit/payment for the million selling (and game-changing) “Tighten Up” and the shadiness of the music business, but also about drumming and the TSU Toronadoes’ contributions to funk. Any collector knows this if you’ve tried to buy some of the band’s 45s and any drummer knows what Dwight brought to the set. I was honored to interview him, so check it out…
And go get some TSU Toronadoes in your library.
For the first time in over 10 years I have enough gigs to list them in one post! Still ain’t many, but if you’re in NYC, I’ll be at the drum throne or on the turntables in these places:
11.26 @ Parkside Lounge NYC on drums w/ Lulu Lewis – 11PM
12.10 @ Robert Bar, B’klyn throwing down funk + soul 45s for my monthly “Soul Vibrations!” DJ gig – 10PM
12/15 @ Troost, Bklyn on drums w/ Lulu Lewis – 10PM
12/29 @Bowery Electric on drums w/ Lulu Lewis – 10PM
If you’re around, come by.
NYC: I’m currently filling the drum chair for soul/disco/funk outfit, Benjamin, for their September residency at C’mon Everybody (325 Franklin Ave.) in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. We play every Tuesday for the month: the 6th; the 13th; the 20th and (possibly) the 27th. $10 at the door. 8PM-11PM. The clip above is from the first show on September 6th. If that’s your vibe, come on down!