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Tropicology

Episode 65: Funk in Jazz

12:00pm, 10-11-2020
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Today is a Second Sunday episode of Tropicology featuring music from the black community in our own country. The musical theme today is funk in jazz; I am playing music from the 60s and 70s that blurs the line between jazz and popular music. Part of the reason this line is so blurry in our minds is that so much of this jazz music went on to become the foundation for popular songs throughout the 80s in the form of sampling by hip hop artists. Half the songs on today’s show provided well known samples for hip hop acts ranging from The Beastie Boys to A Tribe Called Quest. Today it would be unthinkable to release a full hip hop LP using nothing but samples, but that was exactly the way it always was for the first 10 years or so of the industry. 

As you hear the original versions today, it’s interesting to note that the hip hop DJs generally did not do much to augment this music with added drum or bass… in the days before digital samplers it was a full time job for the DJ just to keep a pair of records in the loop with the mix. So it’s not like the hip hop versions were putting any special sauce on these breaks… the funk you hear was baked into the original recordings.


  • 12:00pm Hola Muneca by Lonnie Smith on Mama Wailer (Kudu)
  • 12:05pm Hummin' by The Cannonball Adderley Quintet on Country Preacher (Capitol)
  • 12:10pm Inside Straight by The Cannonball Adderley Quintet on Inside Straight (Capitol)
  • 12:14pm Funky Broadway by Jimmy Smith on Respect (Verve)
  • 12:19pm Mama Wailer by Lonnie Smith on Mama Wailer (Kudu)
  • 12:25pm Confusion by Ivan Boogaloo Joe Jones on Sweetback (Luv 'N Haight)
  • 12:31pm Spank-A-Lee by Herbie Hancock on Thrust (Columbia)
  • 12:37pm North, East, South, West by Kool & The Gang on Kool Jazz (De-Lite)
  • 12:40pm Put On Train by Gene Harris & The 3 Sounds on Gene Harris & The 3 Sounds (Blue Note)
  • 12:45pm Get Down by Gene Russell on Listen Here (Ovation)
  • 12:50pm Sookie Sookie by Grant Green on Alive! (Blue Note)
  • 12:59pm Groove Waltz by McCoy Tyner on Nights of Ballads & Blues (Impulse!)
  • 1:03pm Down Here on the Ground by Grant Green on Alive! (Blue Note)
  • 1:09pm That's the Way I Feel by Johnny Lytle on Done It Again (Pacific Jazz)
  • 1:13pm Viva Tirado by The Gerald Wilson Orchestra on Moment of Truth (Pacific Jazz)
  • 1:17pm Loran's Dance by Idris Muhammad on Power of Soul (Kudu)
  • 1:26pm Dujii by Kool and the Gang on Kool Jazz (De-Lite)
  • 1:31pm Black Gravity by Herbie Hancock on Future 2 Future (Transparent Music)
  • 1:35pm Honky Tonk by Miles Davis on Get Up With It (Columbia)
  • 1:39pm Jasper's Country Man by Bobbi Humphrey on Blacks and Blues (Blue Note)
  • 1:43pm Mango Meat by Mandrill on Just Outside of Town (Polydor)
  • 1:49pm We Gettin' Down by Weldon Irvine on Spirit Man (BMG)
  • 1:54pm Goodtime Ride by Ronnie Laws on Friends and Strangers (United Artists)
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