Hot Ice LIVE’s City Winery Music series continues Thursday, December 7th with James Brown vs. Fela Kuti vs. Roy Ayers with music from Mausiki Scales and The Common Ground Collective.
Mausiki Scales & The Common Ground Collective have headlined the International stages of The Atlanta Jazz Festival and The National Black Arts Festival performing as a self-contained band along with the likes of Roy Ayers, Les Nubians, Julie Dexter, Brenda Nicole Moorer and more. The Common Ground Collective is easily recognized as the premier Atlanta authority for the Roots of African American Music based on active participation with Spread Love Felabrations, leading New Orleans-style second line process for the City of Atlanta Beltline events, and working with African American History and Music Education programs across the city.
— James Brown — In the 1960s an already established Brown had begun developing the foundation of the Funk Sound bringing together elements of R&B and Jazz and even Afro Cuban influences. Obtaining more commercial success with Georgia native and partner Bobby Byrd with The Famous Flames, he eventually emerged as a band leader and a more fully established the funk sound began with the formation of the JBs. Brown began amassing a string of R&B and Top 40 hits. As “Soul Brother #1,” syncopated drums, horn sections, and Brown’s distinctive vocals became more of the signature. James Brown restructured his band in the 1970s with members including saxophonist Maceo Parker, saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, trombonist Fred Wesley, guitarist Catfish Collins, bassist Bootsy Collins and Funky drummers Clyde Stubblefield, John “Jabo” Starks, and Melvin Parker. It was during this timeframe that “The Godfather of Soul” released four more #1 hits including “Get On The Good Foot”, “The Payback,” “My Thang,” and “Poppa Don’t Take No Mess.” With a career of more than (17) #1 hits and an even wider discography hitting the Top 100, James Brown’s influence completely set the trajectory for artists across the Funk, Jazz, Rock, Afrobeat and Hip Hop genres of music.
Fela Kuti — Fela Anikulapo Kuti was a Nigerian musician and activist credited as the pioneer of Afro Beat music. In the late 1960's, he traveled to Los Angeles in the U.S. where his interactions with Sandra Izsadore and branches of The Black Panther Party provided a political charge to his music. Throughout the 1970's, Fela's music grew in popularity as it's timely criticism of the Nigerian government and military became smash hits. The Afro Beat genre was born of a fusion of jazz funk, Ghanaian/Nigerian horn-driven high life, and traditional West African chants and rhythms. Fela's drummer of 20 years Tony Allen is credited for the locked down cadence that drove the music. In the 1970's when James Brown toured Nigeria, bassist Bootsy Collins commented on how the experience changed his life and how the Tony Allen rhythm became an huge influence to James Brown's music. Fela later developed his own political party called Movement of The People and mounted a failed campaign for President of Nigeria. He continued to record music throughout the 1980's until his death from HIV complications in 1997.
Roy Ayers — Recognized as the God Father of Neo Soul and one of the quintessential drivers of Jazz Funk music along with James Brown and Bob James, LA native Roy Ayers is a pillar across R&B, Hip Hop, House, Latin and straight-ahead Jazz genres. Receiving a pair of vibraphone mallets from Lionel Hampton as a young child, set Roy Ayers on a music career eventually playing with Herbie Mann until the 1960's. Ayers formed his own band in the 1970's gaining recognition for his music in the Blax-ploitation film «Coffy» starring Pam Grier and for his own self-titled album hit «Everybody Loves The Sunshine.» Ayers's music crossed over most Urban music genres with several of his hits charting the Billboard Disco Music Charts. In the late 1970's Ayers also toured Nigeria where he collaborated with Fela Kuti on the album «Music of Many Colors.» Ayers music has become a cultural mainstay across generations with scores of popular R&B, Hip Hop and Neo Soul artists from Erykah Badu to Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige and so many others crediting the influence and cleared music samples from Mr. Ayers to help them hone their own sound.
— Join Hot Ice LIVE Ken Rye and Lisa Lee host a show spanning the best in Global Jazz Funk. Doors at 6 p.m. Showtime at 8 p.m.