Funky Friday: Horns Times Two

There’s been a lot of conversation here in the blog about horn sections. It started with the beginning of Funky Friday, and has carried on through some of my other posts. I’ve made mention of how horn sections played a big part in the birth and growth of funk music. Like many things funk related, James Brown played a large part in proving the importance of a great horn section. With players like saxophonist Maceo Parker and trombonist Fred Wesley, among others, Brown’s horn sections were always razor sharp. In time, other bands built their own horn sections. Some of them even had names. Earth, Wind & Fire had the Phenix Horns. Parliament had the Horny Horns. Tower of Power had…well, the Tower of Power horns. You get the idea.

Today, rather than put the title of one song in my blog post title for Funky Friday, I’m going to feature two songs that make horns the focal point.

First of all, saxophonist David Sanborn has been playing R&B-flavored instrumental music for well over 40 years. He is one of the most popular and recognizable horn players in music; not only on his own releases, but he did lots of session work with many other artists. In 1991, he released the album Upfront, which contained what I felt was a tribute to James Brown’s band with the song “Hey.” If you press play, you will find a full on horn section, with Sanborn acting as Maceo, Marcus Miller giving the funky bass lines, Ricky Peterson offering some tasty organ licks and so much more. You have eight and a half minutes free? You should check this out.

The second example comes from the Hot 8 Brass Band out of New Orleans. I first heard of them on a podcast I listened to some years ago, called Soul Sanctuary. The “vibemistress” or host of the show, Stephanie Renee, was a big fan of brass bands, and often featured music from them on her show. This song I didn’t hear on the podcast, but in one of my forays at the music site Bandcamp, I found the Hot 8 version of Marvin Gaye’s classic “Sexual Healing.” If Gaye’s version was a come-on for the bedroom, this version is a call to move and groove. I’m sure my friend sonofabeach96 can testify to that New Orleans sound. I also consider this a very funky, yet different take on the song. And while the Hot 8’s singing will never be confused with the silky smooth Gaye, I can’t remember ever wanting to dance and move to Gaye’s version of the song.

I hope you enjoy Horns Times Two, and I hope it meets your funky expectations! As always, thanks for reading and listening. I hope these tunes start your Friday and your weekend off on a good note!

You know what? In case you want more horn blowing by the Hot 8, here’s a longer version of the song.

20 Replies to “Funky Friday: Horns Times Two”

  1. LOVED both of these! Being from the Godfather’s hometown, I love his sound and Sandborn’s song definitely feels like a tribute. I cannot wait to share both of these with my firstborn..the musician. He plays a lot of Marvin Gaye music. Think he will really like this version!
    Have a fantabulous, FUNKY Friday, my friend!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Tessa! I am very glad that you liked both of these. Both of them became favorites for me from the first listen. I hope your son enjoys them too!

      You have a fantastic funky Friday too! ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽท๐ŸŽบ

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I did indeed. Tomorrow is our day of heritage. Not an easy one since we’re so diverse but I’d like to share this song with you – it will be a different sound for you but hey, maybe you can do a special two step to it ha!ha!
        On a serious note though – this song has been celebrated here this week because it got black and white folk onto the dance floor and introduced a local genre of music called Kwaito. Sad thing to this though is that the musician – Mandoza (aged 38) was buried today after passing on from brain cancer on Sunday, on his wife’s birthday. So in memory of him, I give you a much loved song which is part of our heritage.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Chevvy, I appreciate the gesture…and I like this song! I was humming right along with the bassline after about a minute or so, so I think I can move a little something to it! LOL!

    It’s unfortunate that he has passed on, but his music will live on, much like so many artists that have gone before. I hope you have a peaceful and enjoyable heritage day!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Tracy. You’re comment didn’t come through but I’m glad a come through.

      I’ve been eavesdropping on your conversation with Lady G. about New Orleans. She once wet my appetite about visiting there. There is new TV series that started here the other day which has some scenes of New Orleans which reminded me of Lady G’s encouragement to go there one day. She made it feel like it’s my kind of place, so if ever my wings fly me there. I would love to check it out (not with boring people she says)- ha!ha!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha! Yes, not with boring people she says! it’s a fabulous place; the little I did get to experience it on my trip there has made me want to get back again, but it just hasn’t happened. It is on a bucket list of mine to go back and really experience the music, the food and the atmosphere way more than I did before.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, it does sound intriguing. I have a friend who once stopped by in New Orleans and said that a band played “Aint no Sunshine in the middle of the street for him” I think Lady G also gave me the impression that it was a place of magic and mysticism. I guess we just gotta figure out the definition of boring. I think that if you go with someone who enjoys the same things – that’s the ideal.

        Like

  3. Do my ears hear what sounds like dat Nawlins second linin thang? Hot 8 Brass Band? Whaaa? I gotta check them out some more ๐Ÿ™‚
    YAAASSS. NOLA is one of my favorite places in the world. You already know how I feel ’bout that brass Twin.
    You jamming this funky Friday thing. I really dig this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Twin! I’m doing my best to bring that funk every Friday!

      New Orleans is a wonderful place; I hope to go back one day; this time to really enjoy it. I went before as part of my job, so I didn’t get to explore as much or listen to as much music as I would have liked.

      Yes, I know how much you love that brass…I hope you liked the David Sanborn track too. But yes, the Hot 8 is rockin’!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yeah! You know I like ANY David Sanborn.
        I really hope that you get back to NOLA because when it comes to eating dancing and having a good time it’s hard to beat. I love going to the garden district; that’s the other part of New Orleans that some tourists don’t see. The homes are just beautiful –they also have lots of quaint eateries and shops in that area too.
        It feels like home to me.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve only been three times but I was there for 4 days or more each time so I was hell bent on seeing all I could each time. And I did!
        When I first went we passed by Audubon Park which is another ‘must do’ the first time I went. I kept saying, “If I ever go back I will have to go back to that park.” Well the next two times I went I was right up in there. It is magnificent.
        Go back with somebody that you can have a good ass time with. No boring folks!

        Liked by 2 people

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