Playlists To Help You Explore The Music

Here you'll find a range of playlists to broaden your funk, jazz and soul horizons (watch out for some blues and trip hop as well!). Each playlist takes in many artists and individual tracks, however why not dig deeper into tracks you particularly like by checking out the albums and the artists as well as using the medium of Spotify to explore linked music via the 'Related Artists' tool. 

Soul Class

A selection of modern soul and R&B spotlighting both US and UK artists. Check out the fantastic Shaun Escoffery cut 'Space Rider, Tyrone Lee's excellent 'Time Of Your Life' and the  Luther Vandross sounding Marc Staggers. Other contributions include gems from Trish Andrews, Gwendolyn Joy, Dira and Ty Causey.

Soul Class

 

Ty Causey

This Is Northern Soul

The Northern Soul scene is one which grew up in the North of England in the late 60's and the 70's when young people were looking for something to take them beyond the Stax and Motown sounds surging out of the US. DJ's and fans alike took off on trips to the US in search of underground, independent soul which would ultimately create a basis for the Northern movement.

This playlist offers a selection of the sounds which emerged, many of which were staples at top venues such as Wigan Casino, Blackpool Mecca, The Golden Torch in Sheffield and Manchester's Twisted Wheel. Enjoy!

This Is Northern Soul 

 

Gloria Jones

Masterpiece Disco Funk

Much of the music on this playlist represents the 80's soul and funk scene which made it's mark in the UK. Although this scene was very much a part of your website host's musical evolution, a large number of the tracks contained remained unknown to me until quite recently.

The sound of this scene was an unmistakeably 80's club sound, with stabbed keyboards, choppy guitars, slapped bass and some very soulful vocals. The Rose Royce, Mark Fisher and Carl Anderson cuts are personal favourites but it was a joy to recently discover Ze Brass's 'Feel So Good' and 'I Ain't Mad At You' by Tony Adderly.

Masterpiece Disco Funk

 

Mark Fisher 'Love Situation' (featuring Dotty Green on vocals) - EMI Records

Jazz Film Soundtracks

From the 40's through to the end of the 20th Century jazz had a lot to offer the world of film and TV. If this is something that grabs your interest then it's well worth checking out the series of box sets from the 'Moochin About' company which are beautifully presented and offer a very good flavour of the marriage between film noire and the jazz music scene.

The tracks on the playlist represent some well known film soundtracks covering such well known films 'Last Tango In Paris' 'Bullitt' (starring Steve McQueen) and 'Death Wish' (Charles Bronson). Other films are less familiar however look out for brilliant work by Duke Ellington, Antonio Sanchez and Branford Marsalis. Make time also if you haven't heard Henry Mancini's music for the 'Pink Panther' movie as it's truly wonderful.

Jazz Film Soundtracks 

 

A Streetcar Named Desire

Blues Rock Attack!

You can't ignore the blues on a website like this one and your website host likes his blues modern and fused with rock and blistering guitar work. If this is your bag then there's plenty to draw your attention in this playlist.

You'll see from 'The 150' that there are entries from Robben Ford, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray and Stevie Ray Vaughan. What you get here is further work from the established and less well known in Blues Rock. Personal favourites are the Tinsley Ellis and Matt Schofield cuts, however take a listen and make up your own mind.

Blues Rock Attack!

 

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

A Hip Trip

Think about music of ambience and music which draws in the sounds of hip-hop, jazz, world and funk. This playlist brings an absorbing insight into an area which presents itself as difficult to categorise. Amongst the range of music on offer you'll hear the magic of trip-hop, a movement which off the back of the harder edge of hip-hop and rap grew up in the 90's. Sadly the quality which lies in trip-hop can sometimes be disparaged by its association with chill and coffee bars!

Rest assured there's some tough stuff in this list! State of Bengal, T.J. Rehmi, Nitin Sawnhey and Bombay Dub Orchestra are bona-fide examples of the Asian Underground scene while Groove Collective is straight up acid jazz with a little Asian influence thrown in. The Night Trains track is a trancy dance number and very infectious.

If you're looking for a classic trip-hop track then venture no further than Massive Attack's 'Teardrop'. Awesome with bass that'll blow your speakers away!

A Hip Trip

 

Nitin Sawnhey

Fire Up The Funk!

The Temptations were keen to tell us that 'Funky Music Sho' Nuff Turns Me On'; The Brothers Johnson said 'Get The Funk Out Ma Face'; 'Word Up' was that you had to 'Get Down' and 'Dance To The Music'. So if 'It's Your Thing' then feel free to 'Express Yourself' by dancing to a 'Melting Pot' of funky music.

'If I Turned You On' to funk and it sounds 'Good To Your Earhole' well 'There It Is'. You're absolutely ready to 'Fight The Power' of 'Evil'. 'Life Can Be Happy' when you find yourself on the 'Funky Broadway' so get into the 'Spirit Of The Boogie', 'Keep Your Body Workin' and 'Get Up Off Your Fat'. 

'You Got It'? 'Do You Love What You Feel'? Good... 'cause it's 'The Law Of The Land'

Fire Up The Funk!

 

The Meters

JazzFunk'n'Fusion

The 70's in particular saw a magnificent explosion of jazz infused with funky rhythms, grooves and a strong back beat. Often taking electrified sounds delivered by both keyboards and synthesisers and merging these with electric bass and rhythm guitar, the sound was hip and accessible without losing the essence of improvised riffs and solos. The music would often incorporate R&B, soul and disco in its arrangements and attracted a dedicated fan base who brought much of the music into the clubs and out onto the dance floor.

Synonymous with the sound of jazz funk were Roy Ayers, Donald Byrd, Idris Muhammad, Alphonse Mouzon, Lonnie Liston Smith, Ramsey Lewis and Gary Bartz, while on the other side of the pond the UK arrived a little later with Hi-Tension, Light Of The World and Atmosfear spearheading the Brit-Funk movement into the 80's.

JazzFunk'n'Fusion

     

Donald Byrd

Disco Heaven

It's a fact, although not often recognised, that disco was key to the development of what appeared many years later as electronica and house music. Much of what we hear today in the clubs of the UK and around the world is just an extension of what was experienced in the 70's as a musical phenomenon which gave rise to dance crazes like the Bump and the Hustle; artists such as Donna Summer, Cerrone, Sylvester, Crown Heights Affair and Loleatta Holloway; the brilliance of producers and mixers like Tom Moulton, Giorgio Moroder and Patrick Cowley; the magic of DJ's such as Nicky Siano and New York Clubs Studio 54 and The Loft.  

Disco was a music which drove everyone to feel the energy and have a great time amongst the lights, the clubs, the fashion and the individualism which oozed out of disco's every pore.

Take a listen to some of the sounds in the Disco Heaven playlist. This was an era whose high spots were relatively short lived and which spawned a drug culture to taint the phenomenon, however some of the the depth and creativity which emerged from disco's heyday was nothing short of inspirational.

Disco Heaven 

 

Donna Summer & Giorgio Moroder