Thursday, July 30, 2009

Funky! Funky! FUNKY!



Oh, Nina Simone -- where have you been my whole life?

As this sultry summer keeps rolling along, I figured I would rub a little funk on this blog in a big way.

Not only is this track a ferociously funky stab at a triflin' fool of a man , but "Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter" also bears one of the most fantastic song titles that I've ever run across. 

So expressive, don't you think? ;)

Anyway -- Nina (who recently passed away in 2003 at the age of 70) commands the mic and growls the lyrics with an urgency that lets you know that she's walked down that road too many times (and seriously -- what woman can't relate?).

However, she didn't originally pen the tune.

This track originated with Allene Bollock  -- who is the sister of Anna Mae Bollock.

For the uninitiated, Anna Mae Bollock is the birth name for the equally fierce, foxy n' funky diva in her own right: Tina Turner! 

Ike and Tina would be the first ones out of the gate to record this track in 1971. It first appeared on their album "Workin' Together" (and later on the 2002 Ike and Tina compilation disc entitled "Funkier than a Mosquito's Tweeter")

You can check out the Ike and Tina version HERE. 

 I have incredible love for Tina Turner (Ike?  Not so much ;).  

 Tina Turner certainly lent a fine level of sass and soul to "Funkier than ...".  (How could she not? She's Tina Turner! )

However, I believe that it wasn't until Nina Simone released the above live version of the track on her 1974 release "It is Finished" that it really started living up to that wonderful song title.

Nina's version just drips with disgust and frustration, and FUNK.   As I mentioned before, you get the feeling that this track is just saturated with personal experience.

I'm sure that it was to some degree.

I feel that Nina's version also swing's a lot harder than the Ike and Tina version.  The groove sits on an African rhythm section that just makes me want to take off my shoes and dance around my living room with the blinds open.

Now what could be better than that? :)

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