Ladies and Gentlemen, Dolls and Cats, Mommas and Papas… As the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina came and went, several displaced artists were and are still struggling to find their way. However, the world-renowned Big Sam and his Funky Nation are back and funkier than ever and are still funkin’ around New Orleans, Louisiana and other places. BSFN’s second independent release is Take Me Back and its right here in… The Hot Seat.
Big Sam, a New Orleans native, graduated from New Orleans Center for the Creative arts in 1999. Other famous names to attend this institution include, Branford, Wynton and Jason Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, Harry Connick Jr., Irvin Mayfield, Terrance Blanchard, Christian Scott, and many others. This trombone player along with his nation recorded their first release, Birth of a Nation, in 2003 in New Orleans. This current project, Take Me Back, was released in 2006 and features the New Orleans historical “second line” music.
Many songs on this project include lyrics that promote dancing, shaking, happiness, and getting down right funky. One song in particular would be BSFN’s personal invite to New Orleans. "Come Down To New Orleans" includes all of the most popular Cajun phrases and invites listeners to partake in Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. While in another song, "Funky People", BSFN wants to help you free yourself.
More than half of the tracks on BSFN’s latest project are funky without Big Sam‘s vocals. Instead, they feature Big Sam’s gruff trombone riffs, electrifying electric guitar solos from either Matthew Fricke or Elliot Cohn, funky bass from either Nori Naraoka or Kenny Green, and rockin’ drums from either Ian Hodge or Eddie Christmas. Also featured on this project is trumpet player Andrew Baham, saxophone player Jim Mara, and Josh Paxton and Adam Matasar on keys.
One funky instrumental track is "Funkin’@ The Butt". This song references to The Funky Butt, a jazz club that was located on N. Rampart Street in downtown New Orleans prior to Katrina. This particular club was where many big names were able to come by and let loose in a comfortable environment. It just so happens that the current owner, Shanekah Peterson-Williams, is the recent bride of Big Sam (9/3/06). It has been heard that The Funky Butt will return.
For more information on Big Sam’s Funky Nation visit www.bigsamsfunkynation.com
1. Shake Yo Thang (3:38)
2. Party (3:24)
3. We Gon Do It (4:15)
4. Bah-Duey-Duey (3:23)
5. Funkin' @ The Butt (3:49)
6. Come Down To New Orleans (4:22)
7. Funky People (2:44)
8. Get Down (2:11)
9. It Is What It Is (2:34)
10. Hey Buddy (3:20)
11. Thank U & Farewell (3:53)
After only having this CD in the player for ten seconds, you might find yourself wondering what kind of music you just purchased. Maybe you purchased it because Billboard Magazine named Christian Scott as one of the “Faces to Watch - Hot in 2006”. As the CD continues to play, you’ll understand why Christian Scott is truly a face to watch and this is why he is in… The Hot Seat.
In the opening track, “Rewind That”, Scott identifies himself as an individual. The lead guitar begins with a sense of urgency while the drum plays a hard and heavy back beat. Scott and keys come in with a more relaxed feeling. Unlike many current trumpet players, Scott often uses breathy and subtle playing for his softer sound. While his loud statements are played with intensity and stellar articulation.
Christian Scott is a 22 year old New Orleans native and the nephew of Grammy Award winning alto saxophonist Donald Harrison, Jr. Scott attend the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts for high school. Scott independently released his first album (self-titled) in 2002. Concord Music Group signed him at the age of 22, the same age his uncle, Donald Harrison was signed to the same label.
Playing with Christian is Walter Smith III on tenor saxophone. Smith plays on all songs except for “Rewind That“. On guitar is Matt Stevens. Stevens does not play on “So What“. On most of the tracks, Zaccai Curtis plays the keyboard and Luques Curtis plays bass. Curtis plays the electric bass on “Rewind That” and “Like This“, but otherwise plays the acoustic guitar. On the drums is Thomas Pridgen. On four of the tracks, “So What”, Suicide”, “Kiel”, and “Paradise Found”, Donald Harrison is a special guest.
Notable Tracks on this project are “Like This” - a very romantic slow groove inspired by an R&B song, “So What” - a 1959 Miles Davis composition with a serving of funk, and “Kiel” - a melody for Scott’s twin brother Kiel Scott.
Putting Scott’s music in any one particular genre is near impossible. There is this much Rock and that much Re-bop and this much Funk and that much R&B…. Contemporary Jazz is the safest label to put on Rewind That. Scott chose not to make a straight-ahead album saying that him doing so would be “like meeting a woman and trying to be like her last boyfriend.” Christian Scott’s Rewind That is a “debut” album that does not disappoint. For more information about Christian Scott visit www.christianscottmusic.com.
Chillin Vibes for the Hot Summer
Euge Groove - Chillaxin’ from Just Feels Right 2005 (Narada Jazz)
Marion Meadows - Dressed to Chill from Dressed to Chill 2006 (Heads Up)
Dayve Stewart - Lay Back and Chill from Feel Me 2005 (no label)
Eric Darius - Chillin’ Out from Just Getting Started 2006 (Narada Jazz)
George Duke - Chillin’ from Face the Music 2003 (Jj Tracks)