Funk Tunes

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Farin, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. Farin


    Oct 19, 2004
    Akron, Ohio
    So I'm playing a gig this Thursday, and the owners of the pub asked to play more funky stuff. I'm looking for some good funk tunes that might be in the Real Books, or Standards that work well as Funks. I'm playing Moose The Mooch as a funk and Take the A-Train. Any Other Ideas?

    PS. If anyone cares, the gig is at the Cashmere Cricket in Cuyahoga Falls, OH, if anyone is close. Heres Directions:,-95677068,6036024983298826923
  2. tunes with more angular melodies usually work well as funks, as do modal tunes...
    some suggestions:
    bemsha swing
    evidence (ok, so i'm a monk junkie)
    impressions/so what
    yes or no (watch out for the 14 bar A section)
    inner urge (works really well if you have a horn player that can hang)
    nostalgia in times square (think of like a half time shuffle-funk groove)
    passion dance
    freedom jazz dance

    get creative...make sure your drummer has a bunch of pocket!

    then there are actual funk tunes/groove oriented tunes:
    red clay
    tell me a bedtime story (a nice mellow tune with a subtle underlying groove)

    best of luck
  3. Chrix


    Apr 9, 2004
    In no particular order:

    Lonnie's Lament
    Chameleon (duh)
    Bemsha Swing
    Maiden Voyage
    Little Sunflower
    God Bless The Child

    Those are just a few of the ones I do. Just go through some fake books and try playing some tunes with a backbeat and see which ones work.
  4. Farin


    Oct 19, 2004
    Akron, Ohio
    Hey Billy,
    I will be playing with Steve Renko on this gig. It should be fun I haven't played with him in quite a while.
  5. The Real Book tune we always fall back on for funk is "Tough Talk" by the Crusaders. Basically an F blues.
  6. Funk?????????​
  7. Chrix


    Apr 9, 2004
    Funk 12/8 ballad? Eh? It could work.
  8. What about my funky Valentine?
  9. I'll give it a try, let you know how it flys
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Mercy Mercy mercy - Zawinul
    The Sidewinder - Lee Morgan
    Red Clay - Freddie Hubbard
  11. Chrix


    Apr 9, 2004
    Man. I totally just played that tune at a jazz/hiphop gig this past weekend. Went over huge.

    We also did a funky version of So What/Impressions. I think most modal tunes can work really well.
  12. Yep, Mercy mercy mercy's on our funk list along with 4 on 6, Nostalgia, Footprints, Sugar, In Crowd, Chicken and anything by Herbie Hancock. We've been also known to toss in some reggae, crowds’ love it.
  13. I'm curious, is there a reason that you're limiting yourself to real book tunes?
  14. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Horace Sliver wrote a lot of tunes that can get real funky.


    The Jody Grind (check out Tyrone Davis on the tenor Sax Solo)
    it's easy and it probably defined funk, back in the day

    The Preacher (yeah, I know it's a shuffle, but what the heck!)

    Gregory Is Here (it's latin but it will adapt to the Funk)

    Sack O' Woe by Cannonball Adderley ( just don't swing the bridge)

    oh yeah and Listen Here by Eddie Harris

  15. Chrix


    Apr 9, 2004
    Remembered another one...

    Cissy Strut by the Meters is a funk tune that works well, plus it's rediculously easy to learn.

    Also, if you're ambitious enough, transcribe some Medeski Martin & Wood or John Scofield (particularly from Uberjam).

    Oh yeah! Syeeda's Song Flute and Well You Needn't. They sound good with a backbeat.
  16. hmjuice


    May 20, 2000
    Austin, TX USA
    MMW and Scofield is right on. We do Green Tea and Hot 'n Tot from A Go Go.
  17. datbassmon


    Jan 24, 2003
    dude, some skunk funk is in the real book...its a little involved, though
  18. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
    Check out the album Hip Bop Essence. All the tunes are pretty funky but still jazzy. Ron Carter plays bass.
  19. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    ....and of course "Opus de Funk"
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