1) Tom Scott: Today (from “Honeysuckkle Breeze”)
I know a lot of folks think this album sucks majorly and hey, they’re probably right but how can you front on “Today”? It’s beautiful, laid-back and reminds me of picnics out in the country and I ain’t never been on a picnic in the country.
2) Donny Hathaway: Jealous Guy (from “Donny Hathaway Live”)
I played this on my radio show a few weeks back and I just keep going back to it over and over. It reflects both the brilliance of the Beatles’ songwirting but also Hathaway’s incredible, emotive voice. It always makes me sad to remember how devestating his depression was but my god, could he sing.
3) Ray Barretto: Together (from “Together”)
When it comes to late ’60s Latin, Barretto was the MFin’ man. Sometimes, he makes songs like this and “Soul Drummers” that are so fucking good, it seems criminal. This song combines funky, hot boogaloo rhythms with social consciousness lyrics – unstoppable.
4) Arlean Brown: Impeach Me (45)
This combines two genres I love: female funk and funky blues. It’s not hyper-than-a-heart attack energetic but gets by on being sly, slick and wicked. I think I like it better than the Otis Redding/Carla Thomas “Tramp” call-and-response.
5) Lord Finesse w/ Big L: Yes You May Remix (12″ only)
“I bend a rapper like a fender/I’m slender/but from from tender/killing ni99as like a Klan member.” Hot damn it’s the return of the funky men.