When I was coming up, my folks did what ever they could to make sure that I had the instruments that I needed. I’m not sure how they classified “needed” but that didn’t seem to change the fact that “needed” was the operative word. My folks’ house already had a piano that I “needed” from when I was quite small. I’d have to say that I still don’t know how they managed to get this gigantic upright piano into the basement (my lair) but somehow they did. “Mom, dad, I need a guitar.” Somehow, it would show up. Blessings on them.
Having said that, one day, after listening to Booker T and the MGs on WDAO, it occurred to me that I needed an organ.
Now, I must say that I was not spoiled, nor could my folks afford something that a spoiled brat would ask for. Somehow they believed in and trusted me when I would request something to be creative with.
Once again, shortly after my request and upon returning home from school, I discovered an organ in our living room. Not my basement lair mind you but the living room. ( curiously so ) Right, I thought. Now the magic can begin. To make a short story long, I sounded a bit like Aunt B from Mayberry on that bad boy… and I knew it.
“Mom, Dad, I do not need an organ after all.” As if the reverse of my magic words would have an effect, and on my return from school the next day, said organ had magically disappeared. To this day I don’t know how they managed to do these things but the evidence is clear.
I secretly vowed to one day, tame that beastly organ and emerge victorious after my ghastly and costly defeat.
Just as those particles flowed from the past, gaining momentum, now in the future, I present to you: Tacheon Flow. Hope you like!
Tacheon Flow by The Algorithm Written, Produced and Performed by Junie Morrison
Sizzling jazz-funk from the JunieFunk vaults. We’re rockin’ tha house with a nod to the organ led jazz and blues musings of Jimmy Smith, Brother Jack McDuff, Booker T and Bill Doggett, seasoned with that Junie vibe.
Tacheon Flow is an instrumental track which captures a time-honored feeling of R&B and jazz fusion, releasing the tachyons, as “organic” funk flows from the past into the future.After all, if you recognize not the past… you should be fearful of the future.
I like all kinds of music. Mm-hmm, my taste is pretty wide, mostly thanks my uncle (I’ll call him “Uncle Bob” for now). Y’all know that one uncle you had as a kid, the one who had that huge collection of vinyl records that he played on a record player you weren’t allowed to touch. That thing was his pride and joy, it played 7 inches and 10 inches, 12 inches and albums. Uncle Bob had a special duster for his vinyl. Just cleaning and fussing. All this stuff about the turntable and stylus. Needle quality by grade? I tell you, I had no idea of what he was talking about, or why it mattered so much.
I realized later that he was what some people call an audiophile. Yeah, I know that might sound weird, but it just means he was enthusiastic about his records and the type of equipment he played them on. Loved ‘em. Plus, he was really knowledgeable about the artists we were listening to.
All kinds of music got played at Uncle Bob’s house, jazz, reggae, funk and soul music were his favorites, but he might throw on a little ol’ fashioned rock and roll every now and then. Depending on the day, and, of course how much he’d had to drink, his tastes would vary from Ella Fitzgerald or Duke Ellington big band stuff, through Fats Waller, Billie Holliday, Dorothy Dandridge, Jimmy Cliff, Coltrane, Miles, Nina Simone, Lena Horne, Aretha, a smidge of early Motown, seasoned with some Chuck Berry or Tina Turner. I think if he’d had the chance to learn an instrument, he would’ve played in a band, probably as a drummer.
My generation though, yeah, most of my friends kept to one type of music, staying in their safe zone, already set in stone at a young age. But I learned from my uncle that it’s okay to like whatever you like, and to not let yourself get locked in a box that limits you or your taste. I liked a lot of popular music, underground stuff, venturing into techno, house, garage, grime and so on.
Raves were not really my thing, but I liked the music.
Technological. Electronic. It called to me.
I find the electronic music that Junie Morrison makes fun and interesting because it comes from some other place on the sensibility scale. More so than anything that you might get from the currently popular EDMers out there. Not to take anything away from DJs dropping mixes, or button pushers and splicers, better known as beat makers, cos those guys get some biiigazz crowds, but to me, the Junie vibe’s kinda more about combining technology and musicality than about cake-in-your-face hype.
Junie Morrison is a musician, a producer, arranger, writer, and technologist. Truly, he’s a technomage for our time. He sets his own rules. Creates his own tonal reality. He understands harmonics. For Junie, technology is simply a tool, another instrument to be mastered and bent to his will. He did this with his creation of the Funky Worm sound, using the Arp Soloist, and then with other tracks like Techno-Fréqs, etc., which had a technological feel, but were actually created, and got that real Detroit techno buzz, way before anyone had even heard of the 808.
Good For U by Tekadelic
Created, Produced and Performed by Junie Morrison
Written by Junie Morrison and B. Sheriff
Cover Artwork by Anna B. Sheriff – Ki Shomen Project
Released January, 2014
Take Good For U by Tekadelic, for instance. I understand that this track was entirely composed on an iPad. Oh, hell yeah! But, d’you know how hard that is? I can’t stress enough just how hard it is to make something that good on an iPad! But Junie doesn’t care. He kicks total ass with gutsy keyboard synths on the leads and he’s pushing out some butt-shakin’ bass lines and drums with a cheeky funk beat and that oh so distinctive hand clap. To make it even better, man, he’s giving it up to the techno-funk gods with his throaty vocals and those live guitars riffin’ and shredding my speakers, and it’s like he does all this without breaking a sweat.
Now, see, this is the kinda thing makes Junie my favorite artist. His productions spell freedom, feeling and fun. So, y’all need to stop playin’ and get this track. Oh, and please, somebody give this man his doctorate, he’s more than earned it.
Sometimes you just want someone to understand how you feel. Your world has just caved in around you and you can’t breathe. Your chest is in knots, feeling like it’s filled with lead. And, each heartbeat pumps out new tears, falling hot and blistering into the empty space that was once where your love belonged.
Sometimes you just want to talk to someone about your lost romance, but you see that nobody understands, and the words won’t come. Then that song plays, and you hear it, as if for the first time. And, maybe it’s saying everything you’ve been unable to express. It talks to you. Maybe the understanding you’ve been looking for is in the music that’s playing. At first, you just listen. Then you join in, singing the words, finding your own way to heal, finding your own way back to where your smile lives.
The ballads created by Junie Morrison, have a way of affecting us this way, communicating on a personal level. Each note rings out with a longing to be acknowledged by the heart, to be felt by the soul and recognized by the mind. His melodies are unrestrained genius, his lyrics are electrifying and his arrangements masterful, revealing, perhaps, something of the real, human sensibilities behind the music.
Pretend (I Don’t Love You) written, produced and performed by Junie Morrison, draws unreservedly on deeply felt yearning. Originally created in 1995, it is a passionate combination of Soul, R&B and Country, blending heartfelt lyrics and electric guitar with rousing string accompaniments. Junie’s voice is clear and expressive, brimming with rich melodic tones.
Drawn in the summer of 2014 from Junie’s vault of previously unreleased tracks, Pretend has the impact of an intensely gorgeous classic. This song is a testament to lost love, memories and heartbreak. Pretend is also a wonderfully uplifting and ultimately satisfying song to listen to, especially when you sing along to it, real loud, country style.
In the days before electronic downloads had reached such a frenzied state of popularity among internet users, Junie Morrison was already doing his thing; computer programming, building his online presence, developing websites, not only for himself, but also for others. He put a lot of time into creating forums to connect with his fans and making fun interactive music devices for his visitors to play with, teaching and sharing ideas, among a ton of other projects.
Meanwhile, Morrison was also making music. And, true to his nature as an innovator and creative force in the music industry, he has built an extensive and diverse catalog, having written, produced and performed projects that venture across a range of genres, including, Afrofuturist-funk tracks like, Funky Party Time, EDM in the form of Copying Atlantis, techno-funk; an early example being, Techno-Fréqs, and experimental R&B songs such as, Loving Arms, not to mention country songs like, Pretend and many more that surpass the impeccable standards of output expected from any single professional, multi-instrumentalist in the business. As such, Morrison always stays relevant, releasing many of his projects under various pseudonyms, each one crafted to suit the style being presented to his audiences.
So, this brings us to the present.
Fresh outta Junie Morrison’s vault of previously unreleased songs, all of which are jostling for position and ready to burst onto the scene, comes The Daydreamers.
Released today on Bandcamp, under the alias, The Algorithm, The Daydreamers is Morrison’s way of letting us in on the secret; that music, complete with orchestration and live vocals, is still as relevant today as it was back in 1999 when he first crafted this smooth, jazz-funk masterpiece.
The Daydreamers is an exciting listen. It’s mostly instrumental, with creamy free-flowing acoustic guitar lead lines offering a hint of latin rhythms, accompanied by atmospheric strings and clean vocals on the choruses. The exhilarating organ solo at the bridge mashes so hard it hurts, while the energetic horn section sparkles brightly, lifting your spirits to new heights.
There is no doubt that The Daydreamers by The Algorithm is a beautiful piece of music. It takes you gently by the hand and leads you through a land of yearning, love and fulfillment. It’s a romantic journey, riding on a foot-tapping groove. It doesn’t judge you, it reaches out to you, hoping to remind you that at heart, we are all daydreamers.
Suddenly I was alone in the studio. Accustomed as I was to organizing productions around groups, this was the first time in my professional career that I would be solely responsible for not only the writing and performance of a project, but also for securing financing for this massive experimental endeavor.
Loving Arms, which was my first recorded track as a soloist, was to represent one of the most difficult compositions I had ever produced. I remember that upon embarking on a solo career in music, the greatest unknown factor was “how to get started.” My recollection of being in the studio the first day, without anyone to talk to, or to bounce ideas off of, was completely uncharted territory for me and an unexpected eye opener. When you consider that I was alone in the room; it wasn’t like being a lead singer that got placed in another band. For instance, my version of going solo would not be anything like Diana Ross leaving the Supremes, or John Lennon who may have had the company of supporting musicians and writers etc. I was responsible for everything and had faith that I could actually pull it off, as scary as that was.
Knowing that I wanted to make a project that was both funky and orchestrated, due in part to my time producing Ohio Players and my music studies/experiences acquired while at school, I was faced with the problem of what came first, the chicken or the Eggo. *smile*
I was around 18 years old at the time and found myself immersed in one of the most challenging musical experiments I had ever attempted. One of the reasons for this being the case, was that MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) had not even been imagined yet, so my end result had to be completely understood by me and translatable to others before I even began. Nevertheless, there I sat, alone in a massive studio, amongst the sound baffles, microphones and instruments that I would ultimately use to begin my solo career.
Even though my recording everything from scratch, in studio, was not a very lucrative idea (no preproduction capabilities as in existence today), I had no choice but to approach the project in that manner. And, since there was only one of me, only one track could be recorded at a time.
After some thought, I decided to start with the drums and percussion for tempo. I then added piano and organ, several guitar parts, bass and sang the lead and background vocals before getting anywhere near adding a 50 piece orchestra to the track. For the orchestration, I enlisted the talents of the great Motown orchestrator David Van Depitte, of “What’s Going On” fame, to orchestrate my arrangements. Once he knew what I needed, the rest was history.
The album was recorded over a 5 week period at Artie Fields’ studios, in Detroit. Westbound Records and Armen Boladian, who believed in my ability to pull off this massive undertaking, were extremely supportive and loaned me the funds necessary to begin and finish this unprecedented event, in its entirety.
As a result, the album “When We Do” became a reality.
“Dam’s partnership with Stones Throw has now included everything from his 2009 LP Toeachizown, to an anthology of early productions, Adolescent Funk (2010), to 2013’s Higher and 7 Days of Funk. Invite the Light isn’t just Dam’s first solo full-length since ’09, he thinks of it as his first fully-realized effort – a “concise, beginning-to-end vision – that’s resulted in a loosely autobiographical concept album inspired by the trials and tribulations of his personal and professional life of the last six years.
“As always, Dam flexes his multi-instrumentalist talents by handling all the production but still makes time for guests including rapper Q-Tip, the father-son duo of Leon Sylvers III & IV, and funk giant Junie Morrison of the Ohio Players, who opens and closes the album with dire warnings of what could happen in a world without funk. Rest assured, Dam is here to make sure that never comes to pass. As he puts it, “funk is the underdog, the black sheep of black music,” and if that’s true, Dam-Funk is its shepherd…”