The L.A. Weekly, under the direction of music editor Gustavo Turner, doesn’t miss a beat. Well, of course we’d say that, as the scribe got our California Funk anthology – and a well-written peek into the life of Edward “Apple” Nelson” – onto the cover of the magazine this week. Included in the story – a never-before-seen picture of Apple And The Three Oranges, courtesy of soul and funk historian Dante Carfagna.
“…as a new compilation makes clear, California has a rich, largely untold history of under-the-radar soul and funk music. California Funk: Real Funk 45s from the Golden State, just issued by Now-Again and Jazzman, chronicles music previously relegated to the memories of those who attended small clubs with live bands trained in the lost art of making crowds get down, a world largely decimated by the advent of the DJ, and it bears witness to the quality of musicians from those days.
Old publicity shots and a few rare records — most of them singles on obscure labels with names like Stanson, Sagittarius, Love, Stage Music, Igloo, Uptight and Watts USA — miraculously survived being lost to history through the loving care of collectors and obsessives on both sides of the Atlantic. For example, the U.K.’s Northern Soul dance scene (and the British appreciation for arcane cultural minutiae) would treasure one of these “holy grail” gems for a couple of decades, passing it on to the current generation of crate-diggers and beat-makers, who would sample them and drop them on DJ sets.
California Funk is the latest link in this chain of survival. This collection of the best recovered funk tracks from Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Sacramento, San Diego and places in between showcases the work of bands and the inspired leaders who gigged the local circuits in the “sock it to me” era. Every track is a highlight, from the easy, smoky barroom groove of opener “All Bundled Into One” (where Water Color makes Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” smoke a big fat one) to the closing cover of “What’s Going On” by the mysterious Mr. Clean & the Soul Inc.”
Read the full story here: Golden State Funk on the cover of the L.A. Weekly.