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Funky Donkey Parts 1 & 2 by Luther Thomas

The title is most accurate because this is one Funky Donkey indeed. Released as part of Atavistic's Unheard Music Series, this is in interesting blend of funk, fusion and free jazz. Think of one of Ornette Coleman's harmolodic funk ensembles with the Ayler brothers thrown in and you have an idea of what's going on here. This was recorded live and the musicians bring a lot of energy to the table taking brief themes and blasting them into the stratosphere.

Thomas is joined by a great band, with Lester and Joseph Bowie on trumpet and trombone, J.D. Parran on reeds, Marvin Horne on guitar and Clerence "Bobo" Shaw on drums. The funk involved in the music is of a very organic, bluesy, electric-Miles nature, and Allmusic guide compares it to going to a stomping gospel church.

Regardless, labels don't really do this music proper justice. It may not be the most immaculately played or cleanly recorded, but it's music with heart and soul, and it's a lot of fun.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Luther Thomas
  • CD Title: Funky Donkey Parts 1 & 2
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2000
  • Reissue Original Release: 1982
  • Record Label: Atavistic
  • Tracks: Funky Donkey, Una New York, Intensity,
  • Musicians: Thomas, alto; Lester Bowie, trumpet, Joseph Bowie, trombone, J.D. Parran, reeds, Marvin Horne, guitar, Clerence "Bobo" Shaw, drums.
  • Rating: Four Stars
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