Tag: South Bronx

R.I.P. Clyde Stubblefield, 73, James Brown’s Legendary ‘Funky Drummer’ 

Clyde Stubblefield (photo via nytimes.com)

article by  via nytimes.com

It took only 20 seconds for Clyde Stubblefield to drum his way to immortality. They came near the end of James Brown’s “Funky Drummer,” recorded in a Cincinnati studio in late 1969. Brown counts him in — “1, 2, 3, 4. Hit it!” — and Mr. Stubblefield eases into a cool pattern, part bendy funk and part hard march. It’s calm, slick and precise, and atop it, Brown asks over and over, “Ain’t it funky?”

It was. That brief snippet of percussion excellence became the platonic ideal of a breakbeat, the foundation of hip-hop’s sampling era and a direct through line from the ferocious soul music of the civil rights era to the golden age of history-minded hip-hop of the 1980s and 1990s.

Though Mr. Stubblefield wasn’t enamored of the song — “I didn’t like the song. I still don’t really get off on it,” he told Paste magazine in 2014— its mark became indelible. Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power,” LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out,” Boogie Down Productions’ “South Bronx,” Sinead O’Connor’s “I Am Stretched on Your Grave,” George Michael’s “Freedom! ’90” and Kenny G’s “G-Bop”: Mr. Stubblefield’s “Funky Drummer” break appeared as a sample in all of those songs, and over a thousand more, from the 1980s to the present day. It made Mr. Stubblefield, who died on Saturday in Madison, Wis., at 73, perhaps the most sampled drummer in history.

The cause was kidney failure, said his manager, Kathie Williams.

Mr. Stubblefield was born on April 18, 1943, and grew up in Chattanooga, Tenn., where he was drawn to the rhythms of local industrial sounds, from factories to trains. “There was a factory there that puffed out air — pop-BOOM, pop-BOOM — hit the mountains and came back as an echo,” he told Isthmus in 2015. “And train tracks — click-clack, click-clack. I listened to all that for six years, playing my drums against it.”

By his late teenage years, he was already playing drums professionally, and he moved to Macon, Ga., after playing with Otis Redding, who hailed from there. There, he performed with local soul acts, and was introduced to Brown by a club owner. Soon, he was flying to join Brown on the road, and became a permanent band member.

He performed with him on and off for about six years, one of two key drummers — the other was John Starks, who was also known as Jabo — playing on the essential James Brown albums of the civil rights era: “Cold Sweat,” “I Got the Feelin’,” “It’s a Mother,” “Say It Loud — I’m Black and I’m Proud” and “Sex Machine.” He performed at some of Brown’s most important concerts, including at the Boston Garden after the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and for United States service members in Vietnam.

His sharp funk provided the anchor on anthems like “Cold Sweat,” “Say It Loud — I’m Black and I’m Proud,” and “I Got The Feelin’.” Always, his playing was complex but collected — his flourishes between beats were as essential as the beat itself. Brown demanded a lot of his band, and Mr. Stubblefield, with playing that had punch, nimbleness and wet texture, never appeared to be breaking a sweat.

To read full article, go to: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/18/arts/music/clyde-stubblefield-dead.htmlrref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Farts&action=click&contentCollection=arts&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=9&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=0

Bronx Firefighter Danae Mines Becomes 1st Woman Featured In FDNY Calendar of Heroes

firefighter

Danae Mines is an 11-year veteran with the FDNY and is one of New York City’s few female firefighters. Next March, Mines will also be the first woman the first woman featured in the FDNY Calendar of Heroes, even though she was initially told the calendar honor was only for men.

“I was told that it was all guys,” Mines, who is assigned to Engine Co. 60 in the South Bronx, told the Daily News.  “They said if I made it in the calendar, I would look like a pinup girl.”

But that didn’t stop her from attending an open call and breaking the gender barriers.  “I wasn’t going to let anyone tell me I couldn’t do what I wanted to do,” she said. “I was determined.”

Mines was surrounded by 100 men at the audition, and admits to feeling intimidated.  “I was a little scared,” said Mines. “I was the only female.”

Mines’ dreams of becoming a firefighter began when she was just 10 years old after one of the city’s Bravest visited her school to talk about the job.  But her family told her that she should consider another career, because only men joined the FDNY.  “I had absolutely no support from my family when I wanted to come on the job,” she said.

Mines became an EMT and, despite her family’s requests, accepted a promotion to become a firefighter in 2003. And she hasn’t been able to stop her relatives from gloating about her ever since.  “Once I graduated (from the Fire Academy), it was the complete opposite,” she said. “They could not stop bragging.”

Despite being one of 41 women firefighters in the department, Mines said she’s faced with no more challenges than any other man on the job.  Mines didn’t end up looking like a pin-up model, as you can tell from the photo. The proceeds from the calendar goes directly to the FDNY Foundation to promote fire safety education for city residents, as well as new equipment for the firehouses. But Mines said she had a bigger reason in doing the calendar.

“I wanted my picture in the calendar so that young girls and young women can see me and know that they can do this job,” she said.

article via clutchmagonline.com

Afrika Bambaataa Gets Vinyl Record Collection Archived for Cornell University Library

Afrika Bam

One of the most important vinyl record collections in the history of hip-hop will be on display to the public when archivists sort, organize and even play music from the crates of DJ Afrika Bambaataa – the godfather of hip-hop culture and an instrumental figure in the rise of electro funk. Gavin Brown’s enterprise and Johan Kugelberg/Boo-Hooray Gallery, together with Afrika Bambaataa, the Universal Zulu Nation and Cornell University Library are organizing the records for the Afrika Bambaataa Master of Records vinyl archive, which will permanently live at Cornell University’s Hip Hop Collection in fall 2013.

From July 11 through Aug. 10, Kugelberg and his team will be organizing, cataloguing and documenting Afrika Bambaataa’s peerless vinyl collection on business days between noon and 5 p.m. at Gavin Brown’s enterprise, 620 Greenwich Street, Manhattan. Visitors are encouraged to stop by, hear some great music and see how the cultural artifacts of this important strand of American history are preserved.

Please join the Afrika Bambaataa vinyl archive mailing list at afrikab@gavinbrown.biz and follow Gavin Brown’s enterprise on Facebook and Twitter for announcements of visiting DJs playing selections from the archive during the sort.  Originally from the South Bronx, Afrika Bambaataa is among the most influential American DJs. He is considered the godfather of hip-hop culture and was instrumental in the rise of electro funk and break-beat deejaying beginning in the 1980s.

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