Stones Throw Records | The Funky 16 Corners 2001

ROLLING STONE MARCH 14, 2002 | Previous Page

The Funky 16 Corners
(3 1/2 Stars)

Unearthed soul-funk killers from the late Sixties and early SeventiesA FORMER INDIANAPOLIS HIGH school jazz band led by a Ford Motor Co. employee with a James Brown soul yelp; a Los Angeles community activst whose positive raps presage the Native Tongue crew by two decades; a South Carolina trombonist who backed up Diana Ross and the Temptations and can give Fred Wesley a run for his money. These are just a few of the performers you'll find in this compilation of overlooked soul-funk artifacts from the late Sixties and early Seventies. The tracks on The Funky 16 Corners were excavated by producer Egon and his partner, Peanut Butter Wolf, the head of the underground hip-hop label Stones Throw Records, after the two set out on a cross-country pilgrimage to meet these sixteen undiscovered funkateers. The influences on these twenty-two tracks are obvious (Billy Ball and the Upsetters' "Tighten Up Tighter" is the somewhat unnecessary sequel to Archie Bell and the Drells' "Tighten Up"; the James Brown references are all over the album), but they all stay relentlessly in the pocket. 16 Corners is a victory for everyone looking to preserve America's precious funk resources.
-ANDY GENSLER