IN THE TRUNK: “Graham Central Station” (Audio)

The voice singing “Tis your kind of music” is the blast off point for me on “Graham Central Station,” from the interplanetary LP Release Yourself. Graham Central Station was founded by bass guitarist and funk legend Larry Graham. Widely known for his contributions to the Bay Area Funk band Sly and the Family Stone, Graham connected with several bay area musicians (Willie Sparks, Patrice Banks, David Vega, Robert Sam, and Hershell Kennedy) after he left Sly’s group during the early 70’s. Graham would play in several funk and rock bands, went on to release many solo LPs. The album Release Yourself was released in 1974 on Warner Brothers music label and was the second LP from the group, which consisted of band members from Sly and The Family Stone, Hot Chocolate, Azteca, Hot Tuna, and Santana. It would also feature the horn section from the Bay Area group Tower of Power. The group would record from 1973 up until 1998, with seven studio albums, a live LP, and one record Larry Graham recorded with Prince.

Graham Central Station starts off with a grimy synthesizer that digs deep into my skin. All the songs on the LP are funky. They coat morning pancakes with a buttery mix of soul, rock, gospel, and psychedelic jazz that are bound to get a head nod from any of today’s contemporary hip hop producers. Like an intergalactic church, the synthesizer welcomes like an organ introducing you to vocals, drum patterns, and bass that could be godly or sinful. I love the sound of these musicians together. The vocals of Larry Graham and Patrice “Chocolate” Banks are both sensual and dream inducing. Turn the light off and pick a good position.

“Graham Central Station”

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Parent, illustrator, author, owner of Come Bien Books, muralist, activist, and self-proclaimed believer in the power of music and its infinite sonic vibrations. Follow him @RobertTres

4 Comments

  1. coloredhoney or honey for short

    December 30, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    i love this! that's how drake prospers because although he's utterly commercial he's got that larry graham in his blood and larry graham is all classic material. happy new year, mama!

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