18 years on from its original release, ‘Studio One Funk’ remains one of Soul Jazz Records’ most in demand Studio One titles.
‘Studio One Funk’ is made up of rare and unreleased reggae funk from the vaults of Studio One. Ever since the birth of funk in America, the sound has been an ever-present ingredient in the melting pot of Studio One’s musical output.
The music on this release is a combination of originals, US covers and versions of existing Studio One cuts. Jackie Mittoo shows his appreciation for Booker T and The MGs, the studio group at Memphis’ famous Stax Records, with ‘Hang ‘Em High’, itself a cover of a film soundtrack by Dominic Frontiere. Incredibly this version has never before been released. Booker T’s super funky ‘Melting Pot’ is also covered by the little-known Underground Vegetables.
Other versions include Isaac Hayes’ classic Blaxploitation soundtrack ‘Shaft’, again by Cedric Im Brooks, another unreleased gem, straight from the tape master. Motown gets a look in with Alton’s stripped-down version of the Spinners classic, ‘It’s A Shame’, written by Stevie Wonder and Syreeta.
James Brown is apparent in spirit with the JBs-inspired groove on the super rare cut, ‘Now’, by Lee Arab. Lloyd Williams similarly does a fine Kingston-style version of the hardest-working man in showbusiness on ‘Reggae Feet’.
Version-wise, we have ‘Idleberg’, Cedric Im Brooks’ tough instrumental cut on Horace Andy’s seminal ‘Skylarking’. The little-known Prince Moonie gives us a rare DJ cut of another Horace Andy classic, ‘See A Man’s Face’.
Pablove Black’s cut of Sidewalk Doctor (aka Poco Tempo) is one of a handful of Studio One releases featuring Augustus Pablo’s trademark instrument, the melodica, played by Black himself.
Add to these original cuts from Studio One’s heavyweight session players, including Leroy Sibbles, Jackie Mittoo, Leroy Sibbles, Eric Frater, Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace, Richard Ace, Vin Gordon and more, and you have one of the finest selections of reggae and funk you will ever hear.
“An absolute treasure trove for the collector as well as being great for the ears and feet. Jackie Mittoo's 'Hang Em High' is worth the price of the album on its own.” - Echoes
“A superb collection that shows how much many Jamaican musicians were influenced by the heavy funk belting out of American studios from the early seventies onwards.” - Touch
“The most satisfying listening experience so far in the Studio One series.” - The Wire
Cedric Im Brooks - Shaft
Alton Ellis - African Descendants
Pablove Black - Poco Tempo
Lloyd Williams – Reggae Feet
Jackie Mittoo - Hang ‘Em High
Cedric Im Brooks - Idleberg
Prince Francis - Beat Down Babylon
Lee Arab - Now
Soul Bros - 007
Prince Moonie - See A Man’s Face
Im And Sound Dimension - Love Jah
Leroy Sibbles - Do Your Thing
The Sharks - Music Answer
Underground Vegetables - Melting Pot
Devon Russell - You Found Heaven
Vin Gordon - Steady Beat
Alton Ellis - It’s A Shame
Roy Richards - Another Day
Delroy Wilson - Funky Broadway