Saturday, February 10, 2007

The music of Eddie Hazel

This past week I've finally added some new music to my library. One purchase was the result of a review I read in the surprisingly good English music magazine Mojo, while the others were from recent deals that BMG has offered its online customers where it seems that they are practically giving music away to get me to buy. BMG has also dramatically improved their catalog, especially in vintage jazz, so it is not hard to find good music to purchase at the incredibly low prices being offered.

The first CD I want to encourage you to buy (I found it for less than $9 on is the recently re-released solo album by Parliment Funkadelic guitarist Eddie Hazel titled "Games, Dames and Guitar Thangs" from 1977. This incredible record is a wide ranging work featuring the accompaniment of the entire P-Funk crew including George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell and the Brides of Funkenstein. The sound and style of this disc stirs together a rich and heady brew of Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone, and sixties psychedelia driven by the funky bopping bass lines of Bootsy Collins. It has even caused my stiffly un-rhythmic white man frame to break out into wild hip gyrating funk dancing (please don't tell my wife). The strongest cut is a cover of the Beatles "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" which has several extended solos and lots of groovin' background vocals from the Brides of Funkenstein. This is a record that I can listen to over and over again.

Unfortunately a fast life and drugs caught up with Eddie Hazel and he died in 1992, but luckily for posterity this resurrected masterpiece bears bold testimony to a brilliant guitarist and the life affirming power of funk.

I'll get to the rest of the music later this week.......stay tuned.

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