Foundation of Funk feat. George Porter, Jr. and Zigaboo Modeliste (of the Meters) with special guests John Medeski and Eddie Roberts @ OPHELIA'S ELECTRIC SOAPBOX

Ophelia's Electric Soapbox & Cervantes' Present

Foundation of Funk feat. George Porter, Jr. and Zigaboo Modeliste (of the Meters) with special guests John Medeski and Eddie Roberts @ OPHELIA'S ELECTRIC SOAPBOX

Fri, February 10, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm (event ends at 1:00 am)

$30 - $45

This event is 21 and over

Foundation of Funk
Foundation of Funk
Featuring George Porter Jr. (The Meters), Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters), Eddie Roberts (The New Mastersounds), & John Medeski ( Medeski, Martin, & Wood).
George Porter, Jr.
George Porter, Jr.
George Porter, Jr. is best known as the bassist of The Meters, along with Art Neville, Leo Nocentelli and Joseph Zigaboo Modeliste. The group was formed in the mid 60's and came to be recognized as one of the progenitors of funk then called R&B. The Meters disbanded in 1977, but reformed in 1989. Today the original group still plays the occasional reunions but the Funky Meters, of which Porter and Neville are still members, most prominently keeps the spirit alive.

Few bass players in the history of modern New Orleans music are as storied as George Porter Jr. During the course of a career spanning more then four decades, Porter has not only made a deep impression with his work in the Meters, but he’s notched session work with artists as diverse as Paul McCartney, Jimmy Buffett, David Byrne, Patti LaBelle, Robbie Robertson, Tori Amos, Taj Mahal, Ryan Montbleau and live performances with Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Warren Haynes, John Scofield, Steve Kimock, Eric Krasno (and including recent studio releases with Warren Haynes and Bill Kreutzmann) just to name a few. Early in his career, Porter worked with seminal New Orleans artists like Allen Toussaint, Earl King, Lee Dorsey, and Johnny Adams, Irma Thomas, The Lastie Brothers again to only name a few.

Porter is also the band leader of his own unique long term project the Runnin’ Pardners, well respected not only as a quintessential New Orleans band, the touring band continues to receive accolades on the jam band and festival scene. He has assembled some seasoned and talented musicians to join him on this project. Familiar Pardners - Brint Anderson (guitar) and, Michael Lemmler (keyboards) and rising stars on the New Orleans music scene Khris Royal (saxophone) and Terrence Houston (drums). George Porter Jr. plans to keep a smile on his face. “I feel like I am working towards something that will be remembered.”

Porter has proven to be capable of the ultimate fusion of rock, funk and R&B, and has gained recognition as one of the industry’s elite bass players. He continues to be not only an in demand performing artist but an accomplished studio musician and producer.
Zigaboo Modeliste
Zigaboo Modeliste
Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste is a Master Drummer, Rhythm-Innovator, Percussionist, and a New Orleans Legend, the most highly acclaimed drummer ever to hail from the Crescent City. Ziggy’s creativity has been a wellspring of Funk Influence for Three decades of all musicians and a great many Hip-Hop samplers. His innovative work as a member of the Internationally Acclaimed R & B group, “The Meters” as well as his side work with artists like Keith Richards, Robert Palmer, & Dr. John has garnered him an unparalleled level or respect among musicians and fans. Ziggy’s style is unique; he is a master of creating Funk Grooves and new concepts of Funk drumming. He is especially known for his syncopated rhythms and his unique second line Funk styles, which has been sampled, imitated and copied many times over.

Ziggy recorded on all the Original LP’s with “The Meters” and is sampled many times over from artists such as Musiq, Queen Latifah, Run DMC, NWA, Ice Cube, Salt N’ Pepa, Cypress Hill, EPMD, Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, Beastie Boys, Naughty by Nature, & Tweet just to name a few. Ziggy is a BMI award winner for Young Gunz, “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” and also Ziggy’s drum sound provided the main loops for Amerie’s “1Thing” nominated for 2 Grammy’s which also reached the R & B charts at Number 1.

Ziggy has written over 200 songs individually and collectively with “The Meters” that display his songwriting genius and distinctive Funk Styles. This collection of songs has been released on over 36 albums nationally and internationally. His tunes have also been in movies such as “Two Can Play That Game”, “Jackie Brown”, “Drum Line”, “8 Mile” a Nike Commercial for Footaction and most recently the TV show, Ludicris VS Tommy Lee on Planet Green and the movie “Hancock”.

Ziggy released his first solo CD in 2000 entitled ”Zigaboo.com” which was reviewed as one of the most outstanding comeback records of the year. “I’m on the Right Track” released in 2004 included appearances by special guests like Dr. John and Bernie Worrell. The album demonstrates that “Zigaboo Modeliste is the most brilliant American Funk percussionist of the Contemporary Era!”. This year, Zigaboo will release "Funk Me Hard" which is a live recording of his 1980 performance with Gaboon's Gang at the Saenger Theater in New Orleans.
John Medeski
John Medeski
Keyboard master John Medeski thrives on the unpredictable, a trait that has kept his work with the trailblazing trio Medeski Martin & Wood (MMW) fresh and surprising for more than twenty years. With A Different Time, his first solo piano project, Medeski once again takes his sound in a completely unexpected direction – unexpected even to him.

“I had a more eclectic record in mind,” Medeski says. “I wanted to put out something that would be more representative of what my live solo concerts are like.”

Instead, A Different Time (out April 9 – the first release on Sony Classical’s newly-revived OKeh Records imprint) is a far more introspective, meditative collection than fans of MMW’s lively, groove-driven music might expect. Consisting mostly of Medeski’s own compositions and improvisations, with a familiar spiritual and a Willie Nelson song added into the mix, the album presents a different side of Medeski’s prodigious artistry, one which he was initially reluctant to display.

“In all honesty, it was a little scary to put this out because it’s so meditative and contemplative,” Medeski admits. “I know it’s not what anybody’s expecting, but it’s a side of me that exists. It’s really raw and open, stripped of all hipness. But it’s made me a little less afraid to just drop into the moment and play what’s coming to me as opposed to something that I know will work, something that I know is cool, something that I know will have a certain effect. The whole point is to get lost in the music.”

Not just a first for Medeski, A Different Time also marks the return of the historic OKeh label, once home for such jazz pioneers as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, King Oliver, and Sidney Bechet. Sony Classical has revived the label as an outlet for new jazz releases by artists like Medeski, Bill Frisell, David Sanborn, and Bob James, among others to be announced. “At this point,” Medeski says, “after everything that’s gone on in the music business, it’s exciting that Sony has come around to releasing new creative music again. I like the energy of being part of something new.”

While he’s become better known for a more buoyant, organ-centric approach that melds free-wheeling jazz with jam band eclecticism, Medeski says that sitting alone at a piano feels natural, returning him to his earliest experiences at the keyboard. “I grew up playing piano my whole life,” he says, “so it feels like home to me.” He began playing more solo concerts in recent years, and decided it was time to document that aspect of his playing.

The album was recorded at Waterfront Studios, producer Henry Hirsch’s recording studio built within a 19th-century church in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley. For his solo debut, Medeski wanted to aim for a sound quality that approached his personal “Holy Grail,” the recordings that classical pianist Arthur Rubinstein made for RCA Records. Hirsch shared his admiration for those sessions, so Medeski spent several days recording on Waterfront’s nine-foot Steinway piano.

But Hirsch also encouraged Medeski to try the studio’s other piano, a 1924 Gaveau – a French piano made in a pre-modern style, akin to Chopin’s preferred model, the Pleyel. The instrument, as it turned out, was a revelation and made a profound impact on the music that came to be A Different Time.

“The Gaveau required a very delicate, controlled touch,” Medeski explains. “It is much harder to get a good sound out of it than it is on a regular piano. You have to use a lot of control; touch makes a huge difference and when you play delicately you can get a lot of nuance and really make this instrument sing. I tried a lot of things that had never worked for me before, and when I went back and listened to all of the recordings, that stuff stuck out as the most unique.”

The entirety of A Different Time was recorded on the Gaveau, with minimal electronics in order to capture the instrument’s full dynamic range. The sessions were undertaken late at night, when outside noise was at a minimum and a more crepuscular mood settled over the church. As Medeski writes in his liner notes, he hopes that listeners approach the album in the same atmosphere, at a time “when social responsibilities are over, when the political questions of the day have been dealt with, when all gossip has come to an end, when all needs and wants have been put to momentary rest, when all plans have been made, when you are tired of words, and you are ready to yield to the sounds of these simple contemplations for the Gaveau.”

The album begins with the title track, a stark “spontaneous composition” improvised by Medeski at the Gaveau. The name has several connotations, evoking that night-time ambience but also harkening back to a time when records occupied a listener’s full attention, before the multifarious distractions of the modern world. “There was a time when people used to sit down and listen to music, when it wasn’t just the soundtrack to your life,” Medeski says. “I remember sitting in a room with a group of people, experiencing music together, at a time when we as human beings really got lost in the sound.”

A Different Time offers a sustained opportunity to become lost in Medeski’s deeply personal sound, presenting an intensely focused experience of keen emotional virtuosity. The selection ranges from the tender Willie Nelson ballad “I’m Falling in Love Again,” a piece which Medeski has long wanted to record and which finally found its best expression through the Gaveau; to “His Eye Is On the Sparrow,” a traditional spiritual that Medeski approaches with a lush reverence.

“Ran” is another tune for which Medeski has long sought the proper context, the album’s sole through-composed piece. The wistful “Otis,” which closes the album, was originally recorded on Notes From the Underground, MMW’s 1992 debut album. The sing-song “Waiting at the Gate” dates back even further, to a musical Medeski wrote in his teens. “It’s just a little tune that I wrote when I was a kid and never played for anybody,” Medeski laughs. “Ever.”

The heart-breakingly gorgeous “Luz Marina” was written for Mama Kia, the founder of an orphanage in Peru who passed away in 2010. Luz Marina was the name of her first adopted child, who died at a tender age. Medeski sought to depict Mama Kia’s inspirational and generous spirit through the piece. The final two pieces are both improvisations: “Graveyard Fields,” which shares the deceptively morbid name of a bucolic area in North Carolina, and the darkly tinged “Lacrima,” more aptly named for the Italian word for “tear.”

The fact that he didn’t try out the Gaveau until he thought he’d already gotten a full album in the can took a considerable amount of pressure off of Medeski’s shoulders, opening him up to the more naked, vulnerable sound of the album.

“I was just playing music,” he says. It was just about dealing with the instrument and the room and making the music that felt good. I just got lost in the sound, and that’s really the ultimate goal anytime you sit down to play.”
Eddie Roberts
Eddie Roberts
Eddie started his music career proper in 1989 aged 18, having left his Welsh homeland to study Jazz at Leeds College of Music. More interested in live performing and getting his own thing going than in college work, he quickly rooted out the best players in town and set up his first band, The Jazz Mailmen, dedicated to playing the golden era of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. After transcribing all the parts and enforcing a dress code of Bop suits, he set about taking the UK Jazz Dance scene by storm. During this time British Hard Bop legend Tommy Chase asked him to relocate and join his band, but Eddie had other ideas...

Around 1991 Eddie's love for Grant Green inspired him to put a Hammond-based line up together. With the sound of Big John Patton, Lou Donaldson and Ivan Boogaloo, his band The Eddie Roberts Organisation toured UK and managed to get its first European dates at the 'Queen's Birthday Celebrations' in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The next step in 1993 was to downsize to a Hammond trio - this happened after meeting two guys who nailed it down more than the seven-piece that the Organisation had become. The Three Deuces were born. After a live album was released, (recorded at Leeds' legendary Jazz dance club The Yardbird Suite) great reviews ensured extensive touring opportunities: headlining Italy's Jazz festival in Bari with Greg Osby as well as many UK festivals, and the start of a regular slot at the Jazz Cafe, London. ?Down at Art?s? was playlisted on Jazz FM for most of 1996 - Art?s Caf� in central Leeds being the place where it all started and ran weekly for 3 years.

Other projects in tandem with the Deuces included Gaucho - inspired by Joe Henderson, Chico Hamilton, Gabo Szabo, Sam Rivers &c., comprising percussion, double bass, guitar, tenor sax & flute - and The Mastersounds with Simon Allen, Dan Brown and percussionist Sam Bell. In 1999 Eddie's focus shifted towards Deep Funk, and hence The New Mastersounds who started out performing a mix of Eddie?s quirky Meters-inspired funk ditties and covers of Jimmy McGriff and Grant Green tunes in clubs and bars around Leeds and Manchester. Soon after, the first 7" was released on Blow it Hard Records (?One Note Brown? is now a rare collectors' 45) they gigged at Jazz Cafe alongside Funk DJ & collector Keb Darge. This meeting proved to be a fruitful one - 3 singles and 1 album on Keb?s label Deep Funk Records earned them the dubious title 'Best Funk Band in the World at this Moment'. 2001/2002 saw some heavy international touring for the extended 8-piece band which featured Cleve Freckleton and The Haggis Horns. Late 2002, whilst various options for a second NMS album were being considered, Eddie's own Cooker Records teased fans with a couple of new 7" singles, as well as re-releasing the highly sought-after debut album.

Eddie's love for 60's Blue Note & Hard Bop, however, didn't waver despite the media hype of the Deep Funk scene, and after a conversation with Adrian Gibson (Booker & DJ at Jazz Cafe/Messin? Around) Eddie was commissioned to produce a Hard Bop track for the Jazz dancers to go on a 'Messin Around' compilation. Eddie had ulterior motives at this recording session - to record a number of 'old-school' tracks with re-arranging & remixing in mind. This project is called Roughneck (a term often used to describe Eddie?s dynamic guitar style) and over the course of 2003 the multi-tracks were fed into Eddie?s creaking mainframe. ?Diggin' Around?, the first 12", was released in February 2003 and a wave of positive responses hit Cooker's shores. ("Pure & genuine, double bass monster. Strong heavy Jazz elements. Very, very good!" said one Espen Horne).

In Spring 2003 Eddie was approached by UK DJ & producer Mr Scruff to play on his remix of the Ramsey Lewis classic ?Do What You Want? for the Verve Remixed series. Then in April the original New Mastersounds quartet (bass, drums, guitar, Hammond) took matters into their own hands and set up a dedicated label for the band, One Note Records, with drummer Simon Allen at the helm. The second NMS album, ?Be Yourself? was written, recorded and mixed over summer 2003 and released in the UK that October. A much broader project than the first album (which had been, to a degree, constrained by the demands of Keb Darge's Deep Funk dancefloor crowd) ?Be Yourself? reflects more truly the scope of Eddie's musical influences and experience, hence the title.

The proceeds from ?Be Yourself? were used to finance stage two of Eddie?s Roughneck project - the double vinyl LP and CD of Roughneck was released summer 2004 on One Note Records and licensed to P-Vine Records in Japan six months later. After that there were select live shows Jazz Festivals and clubs, one of which yielded the live album ?Roughneck: Live in Paris? (P-Vine 2005). The band - which features Gordon Kilroy on drums, Neil Innes on bass, Bill Laurance on piano, and guest performances from ex-NMS horn players Rob Lavers (sax) and Malcolm Strachan (trumpet) - was the obvious choice for Eddie?s 2006 recording project "Trenta". This album, released early 2007 on Salvo?s Records features Eddie?s instrumental arrangements of traditional Neopolitan songs. Eddie decided it was time to give the Americans a taste of Roughneck so he flew them over to perform at High Sierra Music Festival last summer, where fans lapped up the soulful jazzy sounds.

Also in 2007 Eddie paid his first visit to New Orleans, with The New Mastersounds. The band played three shows over the first weekend of Jazzfest, but while the others went home, Eddie stayed on for an extra week and found himself guesting with a host of jazz and funk artists at late-night shows around the city including Galactic, Papa Mali, Johnny Vidocavitch, Idris Muhammed, The Greyboy Allstars. Later that summer Eddie joined Stanton Moore?s trio for a festival gig, alongside keyboard wizard Robert Walter.

At time of writing Eddie has recently completed ?Plug & Play? the The New Mastersounds? fifth studio album, and has just been hired to produce an album for French funk/afrobeat outfit Shaolin Temple Defenders.

Never one to sit back and put his feet up, Eddie tells us that the follow-up to Roughneck ? provisionally entitled ?Volume 2? ? can be expected later this year, and will feature collaborations with vocalists Leigh Kenny and Rhianna Kenny, vocalists with stadium techno act Faithless.

Is that all?
Venue Information:
Ophelia's Electric Soapbox - Denver
1215 20th Street
Denver, CO, 80202
http://www.opheliasdenver.com/