Soulful Detroit Archives - July 2004 ~PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC FB'S~ Previous Next

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~medusa~ (~medusa)
5-Doyen
Username: ~medusa

Post Number: 306
Registered: 3-2004
Posted From: 68.79.91.244
Posted on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 10:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have a question regarding the writing of the music that the Funk Brothers played at Hitsville/Motown...
I know that the lyrics were written, by Holland Dozier Holland, Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield, Smokey Robinson, Others and some of the singers themsleves.
Did the Funk Bros. put their own MUSIC together or did someone write their music for them to play ??
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Chi Drummer (chidrummer)
3-Pundit
Username: chidrummer

Post Number: 32
Registered: 5-2004
Posted From: 24.14.41.10
Posted on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 2:42 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

From what I gather from film and listening to them in interviews the music came from several sources. Sometimes they were given lead sheets with just the chords, sometimes fully written scores and sometimes nothing at all was written out. In any of these cases they also seemed to use their own judgement to either follow what they were given or make up something on their own. They also worked in conjunction with the songwriter and/or producer to get the sounds they wanted.

Each musician seems to have had his own set of patented licks that were used over and over again which probably made the process of recording so much material move along quicker. What they did best is work together as a team to make some remarkable music. The vast majority of the hits of the '60's and early '70's are carved up between the Funk Brothers, The Wrecking Crew and the Muscle Shoals Group and Booker T and the MG's. It's almost a crime that most people don't anything about these talented musicians.
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Eli (phillysoulman)
6-Zenith
Username: phillysoulman

Post Number: 693
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 68.236.49.239
Posted on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 9:27 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In Philly, we usually got xeroxed chord charts usually with some important figures to expound upon.
G&H dont read music so one of us would write a chart, and as the track evolved it tok on another dimension.
Love I lost was originaly a ballad for the Dells ala Oh what a night but as the session progressed, Huff got bored and said,"f it, lets pick it up.
Earl, put it right here..1-2-1-2-3-4-....
and I automatically started playing that guitar intro as by osmosis and... Bam!!!!!
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~medusa~ (~medusa)
5-Doyen
Username: ~medusa

Post Number: 309
Registered: 3-2004
Posted From: 68.249.45.248
Posted on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 9:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanx Bobby, and maybe I have to watch the Movie again (ALONE), to catch everything that was said.
..and where is that Guy Jack Ashford when you need him ? (LOL)

(Message edited by ~medusa on July 16, 2004)
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Gary (gary)
4-Laureate
Username: gary

Post Number: 75
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 172.135.219.145
Posted on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 4:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Medussa...I notice the SITSOM book (pp.33, 34, 39) has some copies of typical Motown rhythm charts through the years. They illustrate how the arrangers progressed from using very basic chord charts in the early days to much more detailed charts in later years.

I know that Gil Askey, Paul Riser, David Van de Pitte, etc. were incrdeibly talented arrangers, but from what I've read and from what I've been told by those who would know from first-hand experience, the Funks did considerable arranging themselves (as Chi-Drummer pointed out). I don't know if this is also true of the horn and string arrangements, but I would certainly have to believe it's true of the rhythm section; especially with regard to Jamerson.

(Message edited by gary on July 16, 2004)

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