Ain't It Funky Now! Various Artists (BGP Various)


Catalogue Id:
BGP2 149

This product is also available in these versions:
Ain't It Funky Now!, CD (£12.56)

In the late 60s there was a panic going on at jazz record companies. Records just weren't selling - sure Ella or Miles were shifting units, the big international stars, but new acoustic talent was having a hard time. Soul and funk was what was being danced to in the clubs. There was one ray of hope shining through. Since 1967, when Lou Donaldson had scored a Top 10 R&B album with Alligator Bogaloo his band had developed a hybrid of funky jazz that was selling units and filling the clubs. Donaldson's band, built upon Idris Muhammad's drumming base, played a mixture of originals and covers of hits by artists such as James Brown and Lee Dorsey.

Donaldson's label Blue Note might have been expected to work this trend and to a certain extent they did with Grant Green, but it was across the river in New Jersey that Prestige's new staff producer Bob Porter really took advantage. Using Lou's band as both a talent pool and a rhythm section he signed Muhammad, Charles Earland and Melvin Sparks. And once he'd done that he rounded up some more - Sparks' friend Leon Spencer, Grant Green with Jack McDuff's recommendation Funk Inc. He then got funky with a whole host of acts that included Rusty Bryant, Gene Ammons and Charles Kynard, who were already signed to Prestige.

This merry band then started creating records that made jazz fun and made you want to dance. The albums charted and the funkiest tracks were edited down on to 45 so that you could have some fine three minute slices of groove on the neighbourhood juke box without your beer drinking being confused by intricate solos. These singles weren't especially aimed at selling through shops and are now quite hard to find. With this in mind BGP has decided to round the best of them up, put them alongside some of the funkiest Prestige album tracks and create one of the funkiest albums you are EVER likely to get your hands on.

Classic cuts such as Gene Ammons' Jungle Strut, and Rusty Bryant's Fire-Eater take on a whole new meaning as they are edited down to 7 inch size. Idris Muhammad's covers of James Brown and Charles Wright are incendiary pieces of funk and it sounds as if Funk Inc's Sister Sadie was recorded about two minutes after hearing Sex Machine on the local radio .....

AIN'T IT FUNKY NOW! is an entry into a parallel jazz universe where Donaldson is more important than Coltrane and getting a groove counts for more than your solo. It's not that you necessarily want to live there, but it's certainly where you would want your night outs!

By Dean Rudland


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Fire-Eater - Rusty Bryant

  • 02 Preview Who's Gonna Take The Weight? - Melvin Sparks

  • 03 Preview Super Bad - Idris Muhammad

  • 04 Preview Sister Janie - Funk Inc

Side 2

  • 01 Preview Don't Knock My Love - Idris Muhammad

  • 02 Preview Jungle Strut - Gene Ammons

  • 03 Preview Right On - Boogaloo Joe Jones

  • 04 Preview Black Talk (Pt 1) - Charles Earland

  • 05 Preview Thank You (Pt 1) - Melvin Sparks

Side 3

  • 01 Preview Express Yourself - Idris Muhammad

  • 02 Preview Message From The Meters - Leon Spencer

  • 03 Preview Son Of A Preacher Man - Gene Ammons

  • 04 Preview Reelin' With The Feeling - Charles Kynard

Side 4

  • 01 Preview Sing A Simple Song - Charles Earland

  • 02 Preview Listen Here (Pt 1) - Freddie McCoy

  • 03 Preview Girl You Need A Change Of Mind - Charles Earland

  • 04 Preview I Want You Back - Harold Mabern

  • 05 Preview Son Of Man - Houston Person

Delivery & Returns


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In the event that any products supplied to you by us are damaged or defective, we agree to replace or repair the damaged or defective products or refund the amount you paid for such goods (including postage & packaging) providing you notify us (either via post at or e-mail: ) and return the goods within 28 days of purchase. Physical goods should be sent back to us in the same condition you received them to: “Returns” Ace Records, Such Close, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1JF, United Kingdom. Music downloads should be returned to us via the e-mail address above including a copy of your notification.

You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Ace Records, Such Close, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1JF, United Kingdom. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

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