If you set out on a mission to find the ultimate melting pot, the perfect blend, the finest amalgamation of diverse and eclectic talent in world music, then I guarantee you’ll struggle to find a group that delivers and produces from more influential corners of world music than the Brooklyn Funk Essentials. According to world famous American producer Arthur Baker, known for his work with Al green and New Order, the group were formed on somewhat of a whim. Back in the winter of 1993 when Baker was recording for Al Green, a session drummer never turned up, meaning that the recording couldn’t get under way. Instead, Baker, armed with one of the most impressive archives of samples in New York, invited some of the biggest names in the city’s club scene to come and freestyle, jam and experiment over some of his expertly hand-picked compositions. As you can imagine, they hit the ground running and Baker couldn’t believe what he was hearing. They were far too good for this to be a one-off jam, and it was thanks to this spontaneity that the Brooklyn Funk Essentials were formed.
This week’s track is arguably one of the groups most popular and successful records. ‘The Creator Has a Master Plan’ was released in 1995 on one of, in my opinion, the freshest sounding albums to come out of nineties New York. ‘Cool and Steady and Easy’ can best be described as ‘Acid Jazz’ and really takes the melting-pot mentality to a new level. Funky twangs, exotic interludes and rhythmic beat patterns all play a part in the exciting and explosive album. As great as the album may be however, there must only be one track of the week and ‘The Creator Has a Master Plan’ stands head and shoulders above the rest. The song believe it or not, is actually a revamped, reworked rendition of the 1969 Jazz classic by Pharaoh Sanders under the same name. This version however contains that kick, that beat and those undeniably addictive lyrics. It has been a long, long time since I have heard a hook more addictive than this. The sweet juxtaposition between the angelic voice of the singer and the ruff and rugged voice of the MC creates a completely unique harmony and one that leaves you craving for more.
I’ve always upheld a mixed opinion when it comes to musical collectives. On one hand, their sheer size can mean that some of the talent is overlooked and the benefits of their success doesn’t reach every corner of the group, henceforth leading to an unfortunate demise. However, on the other hand, having such a large group that possesses so much raw musical talent provides you with more resources than you can imagine. The depth, the ability and best of all, the creativity are all bottomless and never ending. The Brooklyn Funk Essentials are a fine, fine example of a serious collective with a serious amount of talent and ‘The Creator Has a Master Plan’ is proof of that.
Listen & enjoy here –