Music journalist and DJ David Dacks has created a fascinating and multi-layered portrait of the iconic American funk and soul band Funkadelic with his documentary "Funk Getting Ready to Roll." He has written a blog about it for CBC Music's R&B/Soul community that gives some great context to his documentary.
Dacks explores the time and experiences of key band members who moved to Toronto for a short period in the early '70s. It became an important musical juncture for the band. Leader George Clinton, bassist Bootsy Collins and keyboard wiz Bernie Worrell (all were interviewed for this doc) were experimenting with new sounds, incorporating different instrumentation to create something uniquely P-Funk.
Quite a number of Toronto musicians have a connection to this career-changing time in the history of the influential collective. (Toronto bassist and producer Prakash John, for one, is an important voice in this documentary.) Members of the Toronto Symphony string section did a number of sessions with the band (often very long sessions) as well as top studio brass and horn players.
When Dacks first pitched the idea more than a year ago (maybe it was two) I remembered that my own husband, Steve Kennedy, had a dubious link to this time capsule. Along with the great Toronto singer Dianne Brooks, he has background vocal credits on the album America Eats its Young. (You can hear their distinctive voices throughout the track "I Call my Baby Pussy(cat)") Unfortunately, he wasn't much help to Dacks. True to the period, he can't remember much of the sessions except that they "went on forever," "no one seemed to be in charge," eventually he and Brooks walked out and (he remembers this part pretty well) he didn't get paid.
Listen to Inside the Music on Radio 2 on Sunday 3 p.m. (3:30 NT) and Radio One on Sunday 9 p.m. (9:30 NT)
CBC Music R&B/Soul
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