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Taken from BroadwayWorld (Jun 27, 2024)

Brooklyn Funk Essentials Releases Reimagined Double Single

Over 30 years and seven albums, Brooklyn Funk Essentials have established a global following for their music that fuses soul, hip-hop, spoken word, jazz, latin and funk.

by Josh Sharpe

Blow Your Brains Out. Video snapshot

Celebrating 30 years to the date since the release of their pivotal debut album Cool And Steady And Easy, cult acid-jazz ensemble Brooklyn Funk Essentials are back with the release of a new double-single comprised of reimagined versions of two classic songs from the Arthur Baker-produced LP: 'Blow Your Brains Out' and 'Brooklyn Recycles'.

"This f**ker's nine minutes long?!" "Yeah, just long enough to blow your brains out!" This was the recorded exchange between funk legend saxophonist Maceo Parker and drummer Skip McDonald in Arthur Baker's studio - a piece of candid dialogue that can be heard in the opening moments of the song's original 1994 version - just before they jammed the track that years later would become the debut Brooklyn Funk Essentials song. Naturally entitled 'Blow Your Brains Out', the song was re-recorded and produced by longtime bassist and producer Lati Kronlund along with new vocals from UK singer-songwriter Alison Limerick.

Cool And Steady And Easy was produced by prolific producer Arthur Baker (Afrika Bambaataa, New Order) and Lati Kronlund, a duo who met in the 1990s after Baker was captivated by the Alison Limerick single 'Where Love Lives,' which Kronlund wrote and produced. In a twist of fate, Limerick later joined Brooklyn Funk Essentials, and has been the lead vocalist since 2016. A sonic trip of brass, courtesy of trombonist Ebba Asman and Loïc Gayot on tenor sax, the new rendition of "Blow Your Brains Out" includes vocals and guitar by Desmond Foster, congas by Rickard Valdés, keyboards by Kristoffer Wallman, Lati Kronlund again as producer, bassist and additional keys, plus Maceo Parker's original alto sax parts in the mix.

On the flip side is 'Brooklyn Recycles' which was initially a Maceo feature, but is now wholly rewritten by BFE's original trombone player Joshua Roseman, with trumpet by Bassy Bob Brockmann, saxophone by Paul Shapiro, and the inimitable spoken word of Everton Sylvester. The title comes from a billboard poster outside the entrance to a Brooklyn subway station, where Kronlund lived at the time of recording Cool And Steady And Easy. Aptly, the band started out initially by reusing old recordings from Baker's studio basement and now once again find themselves remixing again three decades later.

Over 30 years and seven albums, Brooklyn Funk Essentials have established a global following for their music that fuses soul, hip-hop, spoken word, jazz, latin and of course funk. Their celebrated 1994 debut album Cool And Steady And Easy scored an underground hit with the version of Pharoah Sanders and Leon Thomas' 'The Creator Has a Master Plan', while tracks like 'Take The L Train' and 'Big Apple Boogaloo' became DJ favourites. Upon its US release, the LP was awarded Best Alternative R&B Album of the Year by Billboard and has achieved over 16 million Spotify spins to date. Next followed 2nd album 'In The Buzzbag' in 1998, 'Make Them Like It' in 2000, 'Watcha Playin'' in 2008, 'Funk Ain't Ova' in 2015, 'Stay Good' in 2019, and most recently 'Intuition' in 2023.




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