Brooklyn Funk Essentials
Since 1993, Brooklyn Funk Essentials have been presenting their unique brand of eclectic funk to ecstatic audiences around the world. Made up of musicians, singers and poets from around the globe, the group is an all-star-team famously mixing styles like soul, jazz, latin and house - all rolled into one ferocious funk fest. If it grooves, they will funk it!
BFE have released six studio albums, that along with massive critical praise, have earned them Grammy nominations and ‘Album Of The Year’ acclaim. Their songs have also been used in several films and TV-shows, such as ‘Starsky & Hutch’, ‘The Sopranos’, ‘The Blacklist’ and ‘The Basketball Diaries’. But perhaps most notably, their amazing live shows have given them a worldwide loyal fan-base.
The 2019 all-star line-up features the talents of:
Anna Brooks - Saxophones & vocals
Desmond Foster - Vocals & guitar
Lati Kronlund - Bass
Alison Limerick - Vocals
Hux Flux Nettermalm - Drums
Iwan Van Hetten - Trumpet, keyboards & vocals
Stay Good - the new album by Brooklyn Funk Essentials
Stay Good - A tribute to frankie
‘Stay Good’ is Brooklyn Funk Essentials’ sixth studio album - but it’s the first with Alison Limerick as their lead singer. BFE founder and bass player, Lati Kronlund, was the writer and producer of Limerick’s seminal house anthem ‘Where Love Lives’, so the connection was already there since way back. It was also that single that first brought Kronlund together with Arthur Baker, who was the other original Funk Essential, as well as with Frankie Knuckles, who’s remix of the track is legendary.
Frankie’s spirit is highly present on the album - The band has done a remake of the song ‘Whadda U Want (From Me)’ - originally a single from Knuckles’ 1995 ‘Welcome To The Real World’ album featuring Adeva and co-written by Kronlund. Brooklyn Funk Essentials give the song a funky boogie disco make-over and have tweaked the lyrics to reflect the seemingly never-ending plight for universal human rights. They are calling it ‘Watcha Want From Me’ and it is a duet between Limerick and BFE’s guitarist/singer Desmond Foster.
Alison & Desmond
The duet-arrangement with Limerick and Foster is prevalent throughout the album, such as with the titles ‘No Strings’ and ‘Ain’t Nothing’ which were released as singles in December of 2018 and May 2019 consecutively, both of them picking up record breaking spins on streaming services and support from DJs globally. Blues & Soul’s Emrys Baird wrote of ‘No Strings’ - “…this dope slice of disco boogie brilliance… Fresh sounding with great ensemble playing these guys are back with a bang! It oozes effortless style.”
Wood & Steel
The album recordings were done “live-in-the-studio” with the band set-up in a circle to maximise contact and interplay. The band chose to work at Atlantis Studios in Stockholm, famous for its huge selection of vintage recording gear and great vibe. “We were hoping to get some of that smell of wood, steel, skins and glowing tubes on the record”, says Kronlund, who produced the album along with Iwan Van Hetten, the band’s long-time keyboard and trumpet player.
The album opens with the title track, ‘Stay Good’ which someone described as a love affair between Sly Stone and Soul ll Soul. “For us as a band, it’s about continuing to challenge our musical venture and make great songs. But on a global level, it’s also about staying on the side of compassion and equal justice for all in an increasingly troublesome world”, explains Kronlund.
Musically, the album follows BFE’s tradition of mixing several musical styles into one with funk, soul and jazz being the basis. On the steamy slo jam ‘Breeze On Me’ we float into midnight soul balad territory - a first, both for the band and Limerick. Co-written by Leena Conquest and Kronlund, the song also features the mellow vibraphone moods of Roy Ayers. The song’s laid back minimalism is countered by the full on funky dub jazz jam of ‘Y Todavìa La Quiero’ - a cover of the Joe Henderson classic featuring solos by VanHetten and the bands sax player Anna Brooks. Her whirling tenor inflections also carry the melody of ‘Miss Mess’, where drummer Hux Flux take us on an adventure in syncopated rhythms echoing kraut-rock and spacey eastern themes.
The album closes with BFE’s rendition of ‘Where Love Lives’ - a version inspired both by the Knuckles & Morales remix, Kronlund’s original and the band jamming, it was described by Mindy McCall as “a stunning slab of funky psychedelia” (No Depression, June 16, 2018).
‘Stay Good’ drops internationally on Dorado Records on September 20 on all digital platforms, with special editions on CD and vinyl that will feature extended versions of many of the songs. Buy it here in our webshop.
The ‘Stay Good’ album will be supported by a tour starting on September 26 in Istanbul, Turkey. See info on all tour dates here on our tour page.