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Good God - Born Again Funk


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Good God - Born Again Funk


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Numero finally deliver the follow up to “Good God – A Gospel Funk Hymnal”! “Born Again Funk”: not a resurrection, but a rebirth. The starting point for this new collection is the Father of Gospel himself, Thomas Dorsey, a bluesman who came to Chicago to play with folks like Tampa Red and Ma Rainey, recording bawdy numbers like 'Tight Like That' and 'Eagle Ridin' Papa'. With his 1932 composition, 'Take My Hand, Precious Lord', Dorsey, utterly disconsolate after the death of his wife and newborn son, suited his blues in the armour of faith. From the river of pain where he stood, he saw salvation as clear as day. Like Dorsey, the performers on both 'Born Again Funk' and 'A Gospel Funk Hymnal' no longer sound so confl,icted. They're boldly assured. So is their music.

The success of Dorsey's gospel originals fl,owed from their fresh everyman simplicity, the way they'd jump to life from the deep Delta or the bustle of Tin Pan Alley. With Mahalia Jackson as a saleswoman for Dorsey's songs, gospel music became a booming enterprise. And Chicago became the company headquarters.

Most of the records collected here came from Chicago, and not by accident. Dorsey's cottage industry caught on, leading to no less than twelve gospel publishing concerns in the Bronzeville neighbourhood alone. The post-war boom of recording technology advances was good for a new breed of small-time entrepreneurs running little labels and willing to give anything a go. It was common in Chicago for R&B and blues labels to record spiritual groups in hopes of taking advantage of a small, committed market. Chance, Parrott, and VeeJay all dabbled in gospel, setting the stage for the next generation of underground operators.

If the central premise of “A Gospel Funk Hymnal” was to grapple with a funky trend in gospel, “Born Again Funk” focuses on the collision of sacred and profane unearthed on the albums and 45s Numero discovered. This music was always sacred, and decidedly so. “Born Again Funk” lends new ears to a joyful strain of American composers and performers unafraid of expressing their devotion with both inspiration and invention. They were faithful to a spirit, not to an ordained sound.



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