Magazine article The New Yorker

Hot Funk in the Summertime; Pop Notes

Magazine article The New Yorker

Hot Funk in the Summertime; Pop Notes

Article excerpt

When the weather gets warm, the various roots and shoots of George Clinton's spacey, soulful Parliament-Funkadelic empire appear. The Mothership is landing at the Apollo Theatre for a pair of shows in late June; in the meantime, there are also a couple of new P-Funk-related records.

Bootsy Collins, who was a P-Funk regular before striking out on his own, has the same rubbery voice, irrepressible personality, and virtuoso way with a bass guitar that he did in 1969, when he was a member of James Brown's legendary band. On "Play with Bootsy" (Thump Records), Collins collaborates with such hip-hop and dance-floor stars as Snoop Dogg, Fat Joe, and Fatboy Slim. (If the guest list seems slightly behind the times, that's because the record was originally released in Europe in 2002.) While the Young Turks all acquit themselves admirably--Snoop Dogg's drawl pulls nicely against Bootsy's cartoonishly sweet vocals on "Love Gangsta"--the most affecting moments are courtesy of old-timers. The soul legend Bobby Womack contributes vocals to "Groove Eternal," which sounds uncannily like an early Prince single, and George Clinton himself shows up for a brief but wonderful demonstration of abiding chemistry on "Funk Ship. …

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