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Rodney Jones: Soul Manifesto

C. Michael Bailey By

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You've got to funkafize...

Guitarist Rodney Jones departs from the mainstream fare of his most recent recordings ( The Undiscovered Few, Blue Note 96902, 1999 and My Funny Valentine, Timeless 162, 2000) and testifies his funk philosophy on Soul Manifesto. Joined by Funk/R&B specialists Maceo Parker, Arthur Blythe, and Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jones weaves a hypnotic tapestry with a limbic collection of originals and standards so funky the listener might have to leave the room or succumb to the groove.

The foundation of Jones's Soul philosophy is grounded in Gospel, Funk, and the Blues. He began playing guitar at age 6, beginning formal lessons age 8. He saturated himself with the Funk-forefront of the day: Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone, and the formidable James Brown. "You have soul that was created by God, and you have soul created by James Brown. I've always been fascinated by that connection," says Jones. Jones joined the James Brown Mythology when he linked up with Brown alto saxophonist Maceo Parker for Parker's breakthrough Roots Revisited (Verve 843 751, 1992). Jones went on to work with the funkmeister for five years (and that definitely shows on this recording).

Jones bookends this recording with the original "Groove Bone, Parts 1 and 2." He establishes the mood of the recording with these pieces while jamming through the other funky tone orgies "Soul Makossa," "Mobius 3," and "One Turnip Green." Standards include a soulful "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Soul Eyes." The band was well chosen, particularly Maceo Parker and Arthur Blythe. They truly reveal the soulfulness of the alto saxophone. Makes one wish King Curtis was on hand for the tenor chair.

Is this Jazz? Quoting Mark Corroto in his primer on funk, "As the tee-shirt sez, 'F*** Art, Let's Dance."


Track Listing: Groove Bone, part 1; Soul Makossa; Wake Up Call (interlude); Soul Manifesto; Roll Call (interlude); One Turnip Green; Ain't No Sunshine; Mobius 3; Soup Bone; Soul Eyes; Groove Bone, part 2; Last Call (interlude).

Personnel: Rodney Jones- guitar; Maceo Parker, Arthur Blythe- alto saxophone; Dr. Lonnie Smith- Hammond B-3 organ; Lonnie Plaxico- electric bass; Idris Muhammad- drums.

Title: Soul Manifesto | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


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