Nobody can claim to make funky music and deny the influence of Godfather of Soul JAMES BROWN, who practically invented the term. Of course he worked with the best musicians he could find, which in the early 70's meant MACEO PARKER and FRED WESLEY, the Horny Horns, and BOOTSY COLLINS, JB's bass player, who went on with GEORGE CLINTON to make all those magical PARLIAMENT, FUNKADELIC and BOOTSY'S RUBBER BAND records. Conscious lyrics, amazing sounds, good times.
Speaking of "Good Times," that CHIC classic has supplied the track to many a hip-hop, soul or funk outing and Parisian Living incorporated it gleefully into their curtain-raiser and statement of intent "PLO" from their earliest days. The stunning power and musical oomph of BERNARD EDWARDS' basslines and NILE ROGERS' cutting guitar parts are still benchmarks Parisian Living try to reach.
Another strand of musical history the Parisians dip their collective hat to is that of improvisational jazz, with CHARLIE PARKER standing out as an example of how to wow in the coolest possible fashion; and the proto- r'n'b of CAB CALLOWAY and LOUIS JORDAN also provided us with insights into how to confabulate our jazz songs.
A major ingredient of a funky aggregation has to be a maggot-brain ("Flashy or Hendrixian"- from the glossary of funk terms on "The Best Of Parliament" LP) guitarist; JIMI HENDRIX has much to atone for in sending a million guitarists over the top, but he learnt his art with THE ISLEY BROTHERS and passed some of his soul on to ERNIE ISLEY who proved that wild guitar improvisation over a funky setting is both exciting and stylish.
Keyboard maestros like BOOKER T., STEVIE WONDER, and BERNIE WORRELL, vocalists- well, where to start? THE TEMPTATIONS, STEVIE WONDER again, OTIS REDDING, CURTIS MAYFIELD, MARVIN GAYE, LUTHER VANDROSS, CHAKA KHAN, ALEXANDER O'NEAL, WHITNEY HOUSTON, and simply great bands like EARTH, WIND & FIRE, THE COMMODORES, THE GAP BAND, THE BROTHERS JOHNSON, THE OHIO PLAYERS, ROSE ROYCE, the list goes on...
We listen to them still. We dig them all.