Across a career that stretches thirty years & seven albums, Brooklyn Funk Essentials have established themselves as an audacious project, combining soul, hip hop, spoken word, jazz, Latin & of course, THA’ funk. The band have built up a loyal international cult following on every continent since inception in 1993 by iconic producer Arthur Baker and bassist Lati Kronlund. BFE was born out of New York’s buzzing hip hop, jazz & slam poetry scenes in the early 90s, rotating some of the finest musicians, DJs, poets, rappers and singers. BFE’s celebrated debut album ‘Cool & Steady & Easy’ (Dorado/RCA 1995) scored an underground hit with the version of Pharoah Sanders & Leon Thomas’ ‘The Creator Has a Master Plan’, while tracks like ‘Take The L Train’ & ‘Big Apple Boogaloo’ became DJ favorites. Brooklyn Funk Essentials have just served up their 7th long player ‘Intuition’, as they tour the UK & Europe. It is a master-crafted collection of R&B, discofunk, poly-riddims, infectious funk stompers with pop-laced hooks & the true, real, good vibes as we’ve come to digg, on Dorado Records. Brooklyn Funk Essentials’ first long player since 6th album ‘Stay Good’ in 2019, ‘Intuition’ sees BFE lay out their new ‘all killer no filler’ collection across 8 tracks of laid back grooves & arrangements that still remain cool, steady & easy. Alison Limerick (vocals), Desmond Foster (guitar, vocals), Ebba Âsman (trombone, backing vocals), Hux Nettermalm (drums, percussion), Kristoffer Wallman (keys, vibraphone and synths) and bandleader Lati Kronlund (bass, guitars, keys and producer) deliver a confident and vibrant set of originals. The release day focus & title track ‘Intuition’ is a hook-laden jam with hints of Brubeck, Chaka Khan & Nino Rota, featuring Alison Limerick and guitarist Desmond Foster on soulful vocals and Hux’s funky drummer beats It follows up the recent 4th single from the album ‘Rollin’, which was playlisted by Jazz FM for four weeks. Both of which, Lati & Alison discuss in our below conversation.
I had the honor of chatting with Alison and Lati about the creation of this perfectly timed new record. A little notice. Brooklyn Funk Essentials has been a mainstay on my person turntable for years – just a sound that stuck with me early and never let go. We got into how the natural flow of the sound sort of took over when this album was born and raised up. We dissect a couple of tracks and that’s where the real insight almost always lies finding out some of the hows and what went downs that only those who are in that know, knew. I found the discussion on how these new tunes are being playe dlive, and where the nuances are showing up and what the audience does to enhance an already really cool experience. And, Lati builds a setlist that Alison totally agrees with. What a time, what a band, what an album.