Thursday, October 1, 2015

Jazz Funk Unit - 1994 "Beauty Is Only Knee Deep"

The Band: Ivan Bodley and Jazz/Funk Unit
The Cats: Ivan Bodley-Electric & Acoustic Bass, Julian Coryell-guitar, Adrian Harpham-drums, Deji Coker, Jr.
-Alto Saxophone, Peter Adams-Keyboards.

The Guests: Corey Glover-vocals (on "Nature Boy"). Platinum and Grammy award winning singer from the band Living Colour. Raphael Cruz-Percussion (tracks 1-6). Percussionist extraordinaire, Grammy nominee, alumnus to stars like Dr. John, McCoy Tyner, and George Benson.

The Music: Bebop with Bump! Jazz standards redefined with modern funk, Latin, and swing beats: Nefertiti (by Wayne Shorter), Nardis (Miles Davis), Nature Boy (Eden Ahbez), Fee Fi Fo Fum (Wayne Shorter), Stella by Starlight (Victor Young), Anthropology (Charlie Parker, Walter Bishop, Jr.
, Dizzy Gillespie), Just Blues (Kenwood Denard), Blue in Green (Miles Davis).

The Project: Recorded "live in the studio" (mostly), June, 1994 at Loho Studios, NYC. Produced and arranged by Ivan Bodley. Recorded by Victor and Ed Luke. Mastered by Tony Dawsey.

The Deal: In the Swing Era, jazz was to popular culture what Saturday Night Fever was to the 1970s. It was a wild dance craze, outrageous fashion statement and the popular music of the 1920s and 30s. Neo-traditionalist automatons are now regurgitating the rhetoric of fossils and charlatans, claiming that the only true jazz is that played to a swing beat with certain traditional instruments, denying most rhythmic innovations since about the late 1950s. It's time we all got on with our lives! And who said serious music can't be fun?

The Jazz/Funk Unit are educated musicians, disproportionately talented, who play like all hell. The melodies and harmonies navigated here are largely post bebop, beyond the scope of what Bird and Dizzy were dealing with at the time. And the rhythms? Well, suffice to say this music is designed to vigorously stimulate any part of your body that you care to wave at it.

These cats are the new breed, the young lions, Berklee College of Music graduates with a plethora of professional credits ranging from Larry Coryell and The Osmond Brothers to The Blue Note Club House Band, Harry Connick, Jr.
, and The Shirelles. They know the score.

Reviews of Ivan Bodley and Jazz/Funk Unit:
With Jazz/Funk Unit: "Bassist/bandleader Ivan Bodley lives up to the description of his sound: bebop with bump. He gives backbeat to modern standards." -Billboard

"Bassist/producer Ivan Bodley gets to make syncopated groove music out of jazz standards. It's feisty and fun." -Nelson George, Playboy

Jazz Jackpot! Review: "Impassioned and equally intelligent, featuring Bodley's buzz-like bass work. Hats off to the Jazz/Funk Unit." -CMJ

"**** [four stars]. Jazz/Funk Unit tight and swinging, delightfully different." -The Music Paper
"Ivan Bodley, producer, arranger, and bassist!.

I'm happy to inform you the record is at least twice as interesting as the accompanying story." -Jazziz
Ivan Bodley Biography

Bassist Ivan Bodley is a Magna Cum Laude Berklee College of Music graduate with diverse music industry experience. Specializing in acoustic, electric, fretted, fretless, four-string, five-string, eight-string, and piccolo basses, Ivan is a creative and versatile bassist, performer, producer, musical director, composer, arranger, vocalist, and instructor. He has solid professional experience in diverse musical genres from hip-hop to bebop.

Originally from Chattanooga, TN, Ivan has resided and worked in: New Orleans, Los Angeles, London, Boston, and is now based in New York City.

Ivan has performed in 23 countries to audiences of up to 30,000 people. He has toured and recorded with diverse artists such as (alphabetically): Solomon Burke, The Chiffons, The Coasters, The Crystals, Spencer Davis, Bo Diddley, The Drifters, Gloria Gaynor, Ben E. King, The Marvelettes, Sam Moore (Sam & Dave), The Platters, Buster Poindexter, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Santana, The Shangri-Las, The Shirelles, Percy Sledge, Rufus & Carla Thomas, The Tokens, The Uptown Horns, and Peter Wolf.

Ivan has a BA in Psychology from Tulane University, where he was Musical Director of college radio station WTUL, New Orleans. He was also a publicist with Epic Records/Sony Music.
Ivan endorses and uses Warrior basses, Hartke amplification, Dean Markley strings, Digitech and Line 6 signal processors exclusively. Ivan eats only Little Debbie snack cakes.

Track listing:

1    Nefertiti            
2    Nardis            
3    Nature Boy            
4    Stella by Starlight            
5    Fee Fi Fo Fum            
6    Anthropology            
7    Just Blues            
8    Blue in Green


 Julian Coryell - Guitar
 Deji Coker - Sax (Alto)
Adrian Harpham - Drums
Ivan Bodley - Arranger, Bass (Electric), Bass (Acoustic), Producer
Peter Adams - Keyboards
Raphael Cruz - Percussion
Corey Glover - Vocals



  2. The choice of tracks draws my attention, and the presence of this unknown alto player excites my curiosity too. Otherwise I wouldn't have taken it. Thanks a lot, CrimHead, for which is a novelty for me.