Body Party

November 16, 2009 § Leave a comment



A swedish-assyrian family gave me a hitch from Stockholm to Jönköping this weekend, and we talked so much in the car that my cheeks were aching when I got out after the 300 km ride. Deniz on the front seat really liked funk. I admitted that I had listened intensely to cheesy funk jazz like Tower of Power through my teenage years, but have gotten very tired of polished funk jazz. He had a long lasting fanship of Red Hot Chili Peppers, so I told him about this rather unknown band Action Figure Party, where Flea from RHCP played bass in too, and which coincidently plays a funky variant of jazz fusion. Multi instrumentalist Greg Kurstin gathered the group, and they only released this one album, but it is a gem in it’s genre. A corrupted genre, since everything from television shows and second hand fashion stores have colonized jazz fusion to the point of annoyance (the same ol’ Pavlovian conditioning at work again), but this record resists colonization! Maybe that is actually the lakmus test of any piece of music, that nothing, no matter how horrible, will corrupt it by association?

There’s a japanese godzilla size turtle called Gamera, but I don’t know if they had that in mind when they made this track. Anyway, yummy:

Action Figure Party – Gamera

Besides the cheesy lyrics (for some reason, funk music always contain cheesy lyrics, and I’m not sure what this should tell us??), this is sooo mmmmmmmmm:

Action Figure Party – Clock Radio

I love the screaming guitar riff in this track

Action Figure Party – Pong Baby

Another stellar and more well known act in jazz fusion is virtuoso guitarist John Scofield. He sometimes gets labelled as acid jazz because the great amount of looping psychedelic sounds and strange guitar effects. His characteristic guitar sound is the chorus effect, that gives a dissonance by adding dissonant tones to every note, making Scofield sound like a drunk person. This track is from the eclectic record Überjam, which features a four-armed Sco in lotus position on the front cover.

John Scofield Band – Snap Crackle Pop

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