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Free Form Funky Freqs: Urban Mythology, Vol. 1

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Audio CD, February 12, 2008
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. A Tale of Two Brdiges11:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Don Cheadle 5:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Ghost Sign Crossroad 7:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Over and Under 3:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. A Lost Way Found 6:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Nappy Hour 4:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Chump Champ Chunk 5:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Get Your Legs On 4:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Doing Within 4:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Street Corner Prophecy 4:39$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 12, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Thirsty Ear
  • ASIN: B000X1BK0A
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,651 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Get fready for the "freq-y" power trio from the future, melding the talents of Vernon Reid on guitar, Jamaaladeen Tacuma on bass and G. Calvin Weston on drums. This extraordinary meeting of the minds and souls breaks new ground in the definition of the timeless trio sound using the best elements of improvisation, modern dsp, and good old-fashioned funk. Groups are often touted as having "natural chemistry", but few if any would attempt a recording like this, putting these often used words to the test. Despite their long personal association, Reid, Tacuma and Weston had never before played together.

A Brief History of the Freqs

The birth of the free form funky freqs is intertwined with the untimely death of Tonic, the legendary underground center for jazz, rock and experimental music in lower Manhattan. In it's waning days, a number of performances were commissioned from artists associated with the venue. Enter Weston, who called two long time friends to share the stage. Due to traveling and production circumstances, the trio had not played a single note together. The success of their spontaneious performance at Tonic came as a surprise and revelation, to the members of the trio. What started as an impromptu gig, now begged further consideration. Shortly after, Weston invited Reid and Tacuma to come to the Rhythm section's native Philadelphia, playing the underground haven Tritone. Once again, with no prior planning, the three took the stage and had yet another remarkable evening.

Willing to take a risk, Reid booked time at a little-known but professionally appointed studio near his home in Staten Island. These three musical innovators went into the studio wanting to explore the organic energy and excitement they felt from the live performance. What you hear on this recording is their third performance. Electrified by Reid's thought and riff provoking guitar work, matched with Tacuma's inventive bass playing and locked down by Weston's deep in the groove drum treatment, "Urban Mythology:Volume One" is a chapter in it's own book.



That's right. Urban Mythology Vol. One deals not with 'out' jazz of any sort, but with undiluted, heavy-duty funk. Take those early Funkadelic records and let them marinate in some Prime Time/Jimi Hendrix/Are You Glad To Be In America? sauce. This is no cosmic slop, this is deep funk.

Reid clearly thrives playing with such a muscular rhythm section. Tacuma's powerful bass (check out Over and Under<b/>and Weston's polyrhythmic rumble push him in many inspired directions. Ghost Sign Crossroad; is a fabulous and slinky blues. Nappy Hour; swings from Hendrix-esque scorch to Sonny Sharrock scrabble and back again. On the at-first nervous but ultimately explosive Don Cheadle Reid shows off some of his tangled-shredding style. Eddie Hazel would be proud.

None of this is to say that this is merely a Vernon Reid record with Tacuma & Weston providing backup. No, the Freqs appear to be far more diplomatic. Yes, Reid does have some spectacular moments here but there are just as many tossed out there by the rhythm section. Weston and Tacuma scare up some incredibly locked-in interplay (Chump Champ Chunk, Doing Within,A Lost Way Found) that are every bit as engrossing as Reid's funk blasts. Definitely a team effort.-Mark Saleski --Blogcritics- February 19th, 2008

There was a time when you'd say power trio and every rock fan knew what you were talking about: bands like Cream and ZZ Top, which used the basic setup of guitar, bass, and drums, added a splash of blues, and then let it all rip with tons of guitar solos. Punk practically put an end to all that, until indie-rock groups like Dinosaur Jr. made fret-shredding cool again. Free Form Funky Freqs a power trio fronted by Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid summarizes the history of the genre on Urban Mythology Volume One, but with more jazz licks and less show-offy excess. Reid's speedy soloing and chunky riffing recall Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix in their primes. He also unleashes noises in Street Corner Prophecy;that could warm the heart of Sonic Youth fans. Jamaaladeen Tacuma's funky, rippling bass and drummer G. Calvin Weston's slam-bash action provide rhythmic momentum while keeping Urban Mythology grounded. - Mark Keresman --Cleveland Scene- February 13, 2008

The album, Urban Mythology, Volume One, is a futuristic journey led by Reid s thoughtful, decisive guitar playing. The session, which was laid to tape live with no overdubs, is divided up into tracks and comes across more like a carefully composed project. The songs themselves are strong, some with a minimalist stripped down feel, and others like the rocker Over and Under dominate with a screaming guitar sound more akin to Reid s work with Living Colour. --Glide Magazine

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Oberst on February 14, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I gave this album five stars just to counteract the reviewers who unfairly docked it points solely based on sound quality. What's up with that? The sound isn't perfect, but it's very much 'in your face' and fits with the overall intent. A harsh, uncompromising funkiness that makes one think of an unholy union of Albert Ayler and the PFunk.

Vernon, Jamaladeen and Calvin lay down some seriously amazing stuff on this album, and I think anyone who loves the instrumental side of Funkadelic or appreciates the wilder parts of '70s fusion jazz would love this. I'd like to see this guys work together again, and maybe even play some shows outside NYC (hint hint!).
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JahHannibal Abba-Ra on March 18, 2011
Format: Audio CD
of sensations
tonal relations
infinite interjections
galactik communication
star system to star system
impulse vibrations
beyond orbit
into Spirit
of the enlightened void
divine calling
ghost notes
station to station
righteous sign crossroad
no outer bounds
lost ways found

the forward projection
vision justification
i am flying
Spirit funk
slam dunk

museseek conducted
from outside of the body
sound frequencies
beyond mysteries

hole notes
Soul notes
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By L. R. Marks on June 18, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
just not very brightly on this work. maybe it's a cultural thing, just sounds dated and a bit indulgent to me. could there have been a little too much inhalation of the vegetation during the process? well, it's ok, I do not mind supporting this amazing artist. hopefully there will be brighter things to come.
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By Millertron on September 16, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Vernon manages to top himself on this one. This is a great, loose album. Vernon is having fun here and it shows. Any fan of his work with Masque will love this as it exemplifies all the reasons we listen to Vernon. You get what you pay for and what a bargain that is!
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