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02/19/2020
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Brooklyn Funk Essentials: Stay Good

Back in the day, jazz bands like Roy Ayers' Ubiquity and soul bands like the Ohio Players played more than jazz and soul. Jazz and soul were their main ingredient, but only one ingredient among others stirred in from R&B, funk, pop, Latin and other music. You might have heard them on different radio stations, but they shared that same groove back in the day. Somehow, Brooklyn Funk Essentials have stayed back in the day and stepped it forward into a new old school sound on Stay Good. "In many ways," muses Swedish bassist and producer Lati Kronlund, "Brooklyn Funk Essentials has morphed into something completely new. But we're all committed to stay good, to continue developing and improving as musicians."

Stay Good brings Brooklyn Funk Essentials (BFE) full circle. Kronlund first teamed with London-based singer-songwriter Alison Limerick on "Where Love Lives," a 1990 danceclub hit so successful that it prompted Kronlund to move to Manhattan and put together the band that eventually became BFE. In 2016, Limerick accepted Kronlund's invitation to sing at a BFE gig in London, and then the band's invitation to join them in the studio to record Stay Good.

"Stay Good" kicks things off with just the sneaky, snakey rhythm track, then blossoms like a flower into a more colorful and Prince-like funk sound. Falsetto vocals flutter and sing, "I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna do it..." as bassist Kronlund and drummer Roma Hux Nettermalm illustrate cool dexterity in the international language of funk. "Stay Good" honors the classic soul and funk sound of the 1970s without getting stuck back there; it would have filled a dancefloor decades ago and could fill one tonight.