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Suzie Thundertussy and Bass Players

SUZIE THUNDERTUSSY

Fender Jazz BassJunie’s Fender Jazz Bass

Social commentary has always been one of my main goals inside the music I create.  Lots of times, at my age, then, it was very hard to discern what was proper in the eyes of the public and what would be considered “in bad taste”.  Back in the day, what I may have flirted with and deemed to be racy and somewhat bad in taste would pale by comparison to what the average listener hears today.  Having said that, deciding to tackle the aspect and impact of the “groupie” was one of those delicate commentaries that I chose to explore.

Therefore, doing most of my early recordings in Detroit required that I, as a solo musician, would ultimately have to compete with pianists, drummers and bass players etc. from that city. Detroit had some great bassists, most notably, James Jamerson Sr.


Suzie Thundertussy by Junie Morrison
on Bandcamp

As a Detroit “bass player” I felt it was important to know the techniques of the other players in that great city in order to tell the musical stories I wanted to tell.  So it was, with Suzie Thundertussy.  This track represents, to me, the most fun I’ve had playing bass on a session.

Having had the good fortune to work with the great bassist and teacher, Marshall Jones, of the Ohio Players, provided a fantastic opportunity to learn other aspects of my passion for what great bass players do.  Having said that, I hope I also contributed something to our association through adding my own desire and techniques to the mix, as well.


Marshall Jones of The Ohio Players

In the years before I actually could afford my own bass, it was Mr. Jones who provided me with first class bass instruments to practice with. Marshall would always say “Sure, you can take this bass home with you for practicing, but bring it back within two days!”  I’d be like…”Ok.”

Marshall would be like…”Take this book of progressions with you and be sure to practice them!”  I’d be like…”Ok.”

Give and take is really important.

So, I now present to you Suzie Thundertussy a mixture of techniques from two of my favorite bassists, Mr. James Jamerson Sr., and Mr. Marshall Jones.

Enjoy!
JM

Suzie Thundertussy
Written by W. Morrison
Produced by Junie Morrison
@1974-1975 Juni Morrison Songs/Bridgeport Music Inc. (BMI)
Cover Art by Ki Shomen


Marvin Gaye – Whats Going On with James Jamerson on Bass

“Detroit had some great bassists, most notably, James Jamerson Sr.” -JM

James Jamerson, Bass Player

“As a Detroit “bass player” I felt it was important to know the techniques of the other players in that great city…” -JM

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The Harder We Fight (The Sweeter The Love) Junie Morrison Remix – Susanne Alt

susanne alt

From Saxify by Susanne Alt
The Harder We Fight (The Sweeter The Love)
Junie Morrison Remix

In the late summer of 2015, P-Funk sister and extremely talented saxophonist, Susanne Alt approached my studio with a request to produce a remix on one of the tracks from her new studio project, Saxify.

Both Susanne and I were in agreement that the track, The Harder We Fight (The Sweeter The Love) featuring vocals by Mavis Acquah was a good candidate for a club style remix and here is the result, released today.  Check it out on Venus Tunes!

– JM

From Saxify by Susanne Alt
The Harder We Fight (The Sweeter The Love)
Junie Morrison Remix

More on Susanne Alt at: www.susannealt.com
Get the Music:  Venus Tunes
@susannealt

mavis-acquahFeatured Vocalist Mavis Acquah
The Harder We Fight (The Sweeter The Love) Junie Morrison Remix
from 
Saxify by Susanne Alt

More on Mavis Acquah at: www.mavisacquah.com
@mavisacquah

@JunieMorrison
J
unie Morrison Facebook Page

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What It Meant To Inspire A Song On Solange’s New Album

Funk Artist Junie Morrison Explains What It Meant To Inspire A Song On Solange’s New Album

by Lakin Starling – The FADER

The legendary musician dropped gems about the power of Solange’s creativity on A Seat at the Table and the song “Junie.”

junie-morrison-interview-breadalone2

On Solange’s new album A Seat at the Table, the singer beautifully pares the layers of black identity while giving respect to legendary black musicians. The day before the album was released, Solange revealed via Twitter that the “great” funk musician Junie Morrison was the inspiration for the song “Junie.” Morrison’s own impact on the world of funk starts with his role in the 1970’s as a writer, arranger, and producer for the soul-funk band Ohio Players. Later in the decade, Morrison wrote and produced music for the pioneering cosmic collective Parliament Funkadelic.

Solange channels some of Morrison’s musical liberation in the song “Junie,” an ultra-groovy jam that confronts the appropriation of black culture. She sings: You want to be the teacher/ Don’t want to go to school/ Don’t want to do the dishes/ Just want to eat the food.

In a recent conversation, Morrison shared his reaction when he learned that Solange named the song after him. “I believe that Solange has a great talent for representing and promoting freedom,”Morrison told The FADER over email. “Freedom to be outwardly and inwardly creative.”

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
When did you find out that Solange was going to name the song “Junie” after you?

To be honest with you, I found out about that particular song just a few days before it was released. She kept it very close and wanted to surprise me with the news. When she informed me about her song, I was a bit taken aback by the surprise but very appreciative that she wanted to put time and energy into creating it. She indicated that she had written a song around my vibe and inspiration, and also indicated that it was very long and called, “Junie”. Suffice it to say, I was like, WHAAAT???!!!

She communicated to me that she wanted to tell me the story of how much my track “Super Spirit” made an impression on her and inspired her to name her creation, “Junie”. She wanted me to hear her creation and speak to me about it. My initial reaction to hearing the song itself was the same as I had while listening to the rest of “A Seat At The Table” –– Wow! This young person has a whole funk load of talent. It’s all good.

Solange Knowles - A Seat at The Table

Solange Knowles
A Seat at The Table

Had you known Solange before the song was recorded?

I instinctively knew Solange, only through the connection we all have as beings on this planet. Strangely enough, it was almost akin to what one would call fate, especially since her brother-in-law started his career by sampling one of my early creations called, “Ecstasy.” Fate is funny that way because I have also been a fan of Solange’s music for years. I liked, among others, “T.O.N.Y.” and “I Decided” quite a lot. In fact, my good friend and great music aficionado, Melissa Weber a.k.a., DJ Soul Sister, formally brought us together, earlier this year.

a-seat-at-the-table Solange Knowles

In what ways do you think Solange channels you and your spirit in “Junie”?

I believe that Solange has a great talent for representing and promoting freedom. Freedom to be outwardly and inwardly creative. In a lot of ways, she resembles me, without a doubt. Being female, however, her talents are very intuitive and have a certain depth of expression, not withstanding the fact that I do have a tendency push the envelope inside of my own diversity.

In your solo projects, you’ve addressed some controversial topics. “A Seat at the Table” is deeply aware of our current moment and directly confronts feelings surrounding black identity. How does that speak to your legacy and music career?

It speaks volumes. Aside from it being a great compliment, it also alludes to the fact that we spend a great deal of time, as beings on this planet, asserting our individuality and uniqueness as if we wear those attributes as a badge of honor. I believe Solange intuits that this type of attitude is the only attribute needed to keep our world from changing. Our awareness is as wide and varied as there are stars in the sky. So I ask, which one of those stars will say that the other does not belong there? Imagine, if you will, the universe acting in as anti-social a way toward its stars, galaxies, and nebulae as we do with our diversity here on earth. There would be real problems in the cosmos.

solange

She showcases a variety of sounds on the album. What struck you about her choice to use a funk-inspired instrumental to address cultural appropriation?

By cultural appropriation, I believe you mean “What happens when stuff gits stole.” If so, I would consider it a perfect way to illustrate the point. One should only remember, however, that to sample a piece of fruit pie need not be the only experience. There will always be more pie to fruit.

Read the original interview at The FADER website.
Lakin Starling @lakinimani is a staff writer at The FADER
@JunieMorrison

@solangeknowles
More on Solange:
Solange Music.com
Saint Heron
Get the music: A Seat at The Table
Melissa Weber @ djsoulsister

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Abstractia by BoyInSea

Abstractia A/B Flip
 (Abstractia and Shaker Song)
by BoyInSea

Buy Abstractia on Bandcamp

Released June 29, 2016
Written, Produced and Performed by W. Morrison
Produced by Junie Morrison
© 2016 Juni Morrison Songs/BMI
Label: JunieFunk Recordings
Cover Design by Anna B. Sheriff – Ki Shomen Project

It’s the summer of 2016 and there are, as always, major events going on in the world. Negativity is at an all-time high in the news media and it appears that frustration is driving the populace to the brink of post-industrial insanity, causing one to think, surely nobody really wants to live an apocalyptic nightmare. It’s like, one hundred degrees of crazy out here.

With this in mind, a week after the release of his contemporary, ambient EP and audio-visual project, Contemplating: Sound For Mind And Body, Junie Morrison decides that it’s time to take the idea of soothing, perhaps healing music, to another level.

As Morrison puts it, “I wanted to conceptualize an escape from the tensions and atmospheric pollution, even if it’s only a temporary psycho-acoustical one.”

Donning his BoyInSea persona once more, in order to re-establish calm both in his own mind and in the air around him, Morrison sits down at his recently purchased Roli Seaboard to cut a new album. Aided by his trusty Korg Minilogue, his hardy Push 2 and a crap-load of modular synths, he spends the next few weeks composing an album reminiscent of African Spirit Music infused with a distinctively futuristic vibe entitled, Abstractia.

Morrison says, “My thought is that, it’s okay to have positive thoughts. A positive vibe is just that, it doesn’t have to be comedic or silly, it can be serious and profound. Musicians, if they choose to, can drive a tonal wedge though the noisome pestilence; the stench that often accompanies our contemporary societal lifestyles, before it’s able to feedback on itself. Because, part of the problem in our society is the feedback loop. Once we get caught in that loop, it’s almost impossible to find a way out. At times like these, we need a pause, a moment to stop and consider where we’re going, maybe check out the direction we’re pointed in, and make a decision that’s best for us, personally. Music with a positive tonal structure provides us with the opportunity to create a platform that we can use as a springboard into visualizations which, if used correctly, will bring us closer to clearer thoughts. Once there, we have access to a kind of clarity that helps us logic things out.”

BoyInSea - Abstractia

These ideas are definitely reflected in this project. Morrison has conceptualized an even deeper afrofuturistic vibe with his latest BoyInSea offering. He has drawn on tribal influences from around the world, both ancient and progressive and has recreated them on Abstractia, weaving them into intricate patterns throughout his melodies. Let’s face it, Morrison has created a new world here, a world in which you can sense the magical presence of nature; the elements of water, fire, air, earth, and where haunting voices call out to you from a distance, chanting their messages of peace and tranquility. The tracks are beautifully arranged, abstract at times, all the while communicating with you through zen-like meditative tones and atmospheric highs and lows, even animal sounds, some of which are reminiscent of whale song, echoing over squishy beats, funky bass-lines and slippery synths. Abstractia is harmonic bliss, it is music for the soul.

Released on his indie imprint, JunieFunk Recordings, Junie Morrison presents you with the first two tracks from his latest BoyInSea release Abstractia, as an A/B Flip; the title track, Abstractia and Shaker Song.

– Anna B. Sheriff

Buy Abstractia on Bandcamp

Dam-Funk Interviewed by LA Record

DAM-FUNK: DON’T STAY IN THE DARKNESS

dam-funk

Dam-Funk –  Invite The Light
(Album due to drop, Fri., September 4, 2015 on  Stones Throw.) 

Excerpt from interview by LA Record:
This album begins and ends with that transmission from Junie Morrison. On the first instance, it says, ‘If we invite the light, it will surely come to us. If we invite the funk, it will never let us down.’ But at the end, he adds the line: ‘Therefore, we must invite the light, in order to survive.’ That raises the stakes—is this album about life and death for you?

Dam-Funk: I appreciate you asking. In order to survive … it’s supposed to be almost like a blueprint, in the way it starts out optimistically and then goes deep into the darkness and then comes out. I’m telling you right there, in the record, that if you just free your mind of all negativity … like ‘Virtuous Progression,’ I’m saying if you get to that point that you can actually calm down the voices in your head and whatever distractions you have, to live this kind of life. Yeah, we can laugh, we can play—and also do some devious things as well, because it’s just human nature—but at the end of the day, you have to realize, ‘I still want to invite the light in my life and walk through that door.’ There’s a promo—a little 15-minute thing that I’ve done on my Instagram—and I’m walking towards a door and I open it and I walk through the door, and there’s a big light shining. That right there is summing up the record. It’s a choice. You don’t have to stay in the darkness all the time…
Read the entire article on:  LA Record

Leave a comment because what you think matters.

Dam-Funk is at:  Stonesthrow.com/DAMFUNK

Mom, Dad, “I need…”

ripe organ

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!

JM


Tacheon Flow
by The Algorithm
Written, Produced and Performed
by Junie Morrison

©2009 JunieFunk Recordings, Juni Morrison Songs (BMI)

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.

Buy Tacheon Flow at The Junie PopUp Store on Bandcamp

In case you want to check out the afore mentioned organ maestros, here you go:


Jimmy Smith
 


Jack McDuff
 

Booker T 

Bill Doggett
Buy Tacheon Flow at The Junie PopUp Store on Bandcamp
Leave a comment because what you think matters to the future of the funk.

Oh No! Not Guitar Center Too!!!

guitar centerIt looks as though Bain Capital i.e. Romney and Co. are about to lose control of one of the nation’s stalwart musical instruments retailers, Guitar Center.

For instrumental musicians, both professional and otherwise, this news may be of greater importance than the recent news surrounding Avid ( ProTools ) made public a few days ago.

Guitar Center seemed to begin having difficulties soon after they were acquired by Bain Capital in 2007.  Since then, in my opinion, digital audio solutions like Avid’s ProTools and others, have seen much more of an upswing.

Just to hit you with a few numbers, GC has reportedly amassed over $1.6 billion in debt.  The Wall Street Journal suggests that most of this debt stems from the $2.1 billion leveraged buyout orchestrated by Bain in 2007.

What does all this mean for music instrument manufacturers?  One source suggests that guitar makers may be greatly impacted.  GC keeps so much inventory on hand that the company’s financial problems may be forced onto instrument makers themselves.  This may also mean higher prices for that trusty Fender Strat you’ve been eyeballing.

JM

Pro Tools Parent Company Avid Delisted From NASDAQ

Avid

Many people can consider themselves “avid listeners” when it comes to music but the company that many in the business consider to be the “go-to product” for music production, may be hitting sour note.

Avid, the company that the majority of musicians know for their very fine product “Pro-Tools” has been de-listed from NASDAQ.  This news is not good for producers and musicians who use this longstanding product.

The financial site known as The Street was said to have reported recently, that Avid received a letter from NASDAQ, delisting them from the stock exchange.

Most insiders consider that the company, which also owns the music notation program, Sibelius, as well as other Avid hardware and software products, believe that this delisting is perhaps “not entirely about the company’s products alone.”

This is comes as quite a shock to most in the industry as the company sports a long list of Grammy award winners and technical awards, as well.

I expect that in the next few weeks, we will hear from many loyal Pro Tools users, about this most crucial news.

J