alumnus and is best known as bassist for the Miles Davis Band
for the last several years of Mile's life. Clinton and Foley
were on a mission to showcase "the jazzier side of Parliament-Funkadelic",
to quote "Sir George," as K.C. Jones knighted him.
course, Clinton was also there to promote his 2008 CD release,
George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love. Gangsters of Love
is mostly a set of lovingly covered R&B classics, including
Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar" , Curtis Mayfield and
The Impressions' "Gypsy Woman" and Ruby and The Romantics'
"Our Day Will Come." The widespread esteem in which Clinton
is held by music industry superstars is reflected in the A-listers
who agreed to be his "gangsters" for the album. Sly Stone,
Carlos Santana, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, El DeBarge and
Kim Burrell can all be heard on Clinton's latest effort.
Marchbanks asked Sir George what inspired him to do what is
basically a "cover album," Clinton responded in an eyeblink
that it was his love of "doo wop" that motivated him.
was simply LOUD doo-wop, man. I grew up singing doo-wop (in
Newark, NJ). When I moved to Detroit, Motown was just the
new doo-wop to me," Clinton said.
the most arresting track on Gangsters of Love is not a cover,
but a new Clinton composition entitled "Mathematics of Love."
Gospel star Kim Burrell delivers an impassioned vocal performance
of Clinton's witty but romance-wise lyric.
George hasn't lost any of his shaman-like aura. Clinton exudes
a mirth born of keen observation, but you get the distinct
feeling that you better not cross him. In person, he's a bigger
man than he seems onstage. He's about 5-11 and has the barrel
chested physique of a past-his-prime pro running back.
shocked both Jones and Marchbanks was that Sir George and
Foley decided to stay for the ENTIRE three hour program. Usually,
artists show up, plug their latest release and leave. Foley
had brought several compilation CDs of their favorite r&b
and jazz tunes. That Clinton directed K.C. Jones to play James
Brown's "There Was A Time" was to be expected. But, Clinton's
fondness for Sam Cooke was surprising. "I'll Come Running
Back To You" was the Cooke number Sir George recommended.
He commented that Sam was the coolest cat he'd ever seen and
that Cooke could send a crowd into paroxysms simply by snapping
his fingers and crooning.
was eager to play "In A Mellow Mood" by Duke Ellington, "Cottontail"
by Ella Fitzgerald and "Butterfly" by Herbie Hancock for the
listeners. The "funkier side of jazz" was evident in the songs
they selected, too. Clinton turned out to be a big fan of
Rahsaan Roland Kirk and was pleased when Marchbanks suggested
they play "Volunteered Slavery." When Sir George was running
his barber shop in Newark, NJ and just starting out with his
doo-wop group, The Parliaments, he got to know Kirk, who had
lived in Newark since the mid-1960s. Clinton was surprised
to learn that Rahsaan was born and raised in Columbus.
6pm, a husband-wife catering team, who had been listening
to Sir George hold forth on Jazz Sunday, showed up with a
soul food banquet worthy of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross's
"Home Cooking." This church-going couple confessed they were
rabid Funkadelic fans "back in da day." Clinton welcomed them
into the station and thanked them for their generosity. He
even drew a cartoon version of the "Atomic Dog" character
and autographed it for them. Sir George then led the feast
on their mouth-watering fare.
good to be king , LeBron. But, it's more fun to be the pharaoh
"We have returned to claim the pyramids. . ." from the song,
"Mothership Connection (Star Child)."
Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic are scheduled to perform
January 16, 2009 at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion in
the Arena District in downtown Columbus.
this website for more public radio specials from "Jak and
subscribers can listen to WCBE on 90.5-FM. Far away friends
can listen on the web at www.wcbe.org.
here to listen now!