BROOKLYN FUNK ESSENTIALS
New single – Rollin’ (Love Will Be Here)
Out today – Listen here
+ Announce 7th Album ‘INTUITION’
Out May 5th – Pre-save Link here
Two UK shows: Jazz Café, London, May 10th & Blues Kitchen Manchester May 11th Gig tickets here
This seasoned, well-honed unit is yet again, on the money” Blues & Soul
(March 10th 2023) Brooklyn Funk Essentials are on a roll as they release their feelgood, rollerskating jam ‘Rollin’ (Love Will Be Here)’ today on Dorado Records.
‘Rollin’ (Love Will Be Here)’ is the 4th single from ‘Intuition’, Brooklyn Funk Essentials’ seventh album of stellar, master-crafted R&B, discofunk, poly-riddims and pop-laced hooks, which will drop on 5th May, ahead of two UK shows at Jazz Café London May 10th and Blues Kitchen Manchester May 11th.
This ’70s soul inspired roller romp and sinewy thump with the luscious vocals of Alison Limerick has its roots in the forever earworms of Ohio Players, Mary Jane Girls and Roy Ayers, complete with Brass Construction-esque horns and a Chuck Brown-inspired go-go break thrown in for good measure. The infectious tune was co-written with original Brooklyn Funk Essentials member and creator Hanifah Walidah (aka Sha-Key), who combined the hooky groove with lyrics capturing the relief when lockdown was finally over and we could party again.
BFE also have made ‘Intuition’ available today for their legions of fans to pre-save. The album is Brooklyn Funk Essentials’ first long player since 6th album ‘Stay Good’ in 2019. It sees BFE lay out their new ‘all killer no filler’ long player across eight tracks of laid back grooves and arrangements that still remain cool, steady and 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.
From the roller disco-esque Brass Construction meets S.O.S. Band-like stomp of party selects like ‘AA Side Single’ and ‘How Happy’ to jams like the signature horn-fuelled arrangements, chunky grooves and vox fierceness of ‘Scream!’, ‘Sho’Nuff’ and the hook-laden title track ‘Intuition’. The album also welcomes dub poet Everton Sylvester from the original 1993 BFE band line-up. Sylvester’s honeyed contribution ‘Mama’ celebrates single mothers and was originally written for the band’s 2008 ‘Watcha Playin’ long player, but now fused with a sinewy jam lead by Ebba’s dreamy trombone. BFE closes out the 8-track with the quiet storm-ish ‘Unkissed’, a reflective R&B paean about the difficulties of expressing love to those we care about the most when everyday life gets in the way.
BFE received a huge welcome when they returned in summer 2022 to release new material and tour Europe. Of the first single ‘Scream!’, Jazz FM said “I’m a little bit addicted to it” and “Here is a tune that we’re all loving, it’s just so good”, and Blues & Soul called it “A stonking cut of Afro Funk blessedness”. The follow up ‘AA Side Single’ was equally well received, Jazz FM said “It sounds particularly good on a Friday!” and Blues & Soul called it “A funk behemoth”. Most recently, BFE shared 3rd single ‘How Happy’ to blow the January blues away, for which Jazz FM gushed “Alison Limerick sounding sublime on that choppy, funky tune!”.
Across a career that stretches 30 years and seven albums, BFE have established themselves as an audacious project, fusing soul, hip hop, spoken word, jazz, latin and of course, 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 and 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 and Leon Thomas’ ‘The Creator Has a Master Plan’, while tracks like ‘Take The L Train’ and ‘Big Apple Boogaloo’ became DJ favourites.
BFE released 5th album ‘Funk Ain’t Ova’ on Dorado Records in 2015, and during touring the band were joined by UK soul singer Alison Limerick, for whom Lati Kronlund had originally written and produced the stone-cold classic house anthem ‘Where Love Lives’ in the early 90s. Limerick took over as the band’s lead singer in 2016 and eventually became co-writer, debuting on vocals on the ‘Stay Good’ album.
BFE Bandleader and founder Lati Kronlund says “The organic approach is part of a confidence in our own groove and sound. We don’t need technology to sound good. BFE’s identity is in the way we play and the songs we write. This trust is the basis for the intuition that we experience when we are playing together. To let the music lead the way and not technology. I feel like I used to hide behind computers and drum machines, but 30 years in, we just jam until we feel the groove and then we record it. Old school. We get there almost instantly with no effort – just flow. In the time since we started BFE, so many musical trends have come and gone. So many sounds that were the ‘hot new thing’ are now old hat. We know that the music that inspires us to play is still stuff like classic Isley Brothers, Grace Jones, Sly Stone, Patrice Rushen and Roy Ayers…that’s where we’re coming from and we stay true to that.”