Bootsy Collins: World Wide Funk
Trends come and go, but William “Bootsy” Collins ever remains on “The One,” or somewhat more colloquially, “on the good foot,” as James Brown might have put it back in 1969 when he hired young Bootsy and his brother Phelps “Catfish” Collins to hold down the bass and guitar gigs in the original JB’s. Since then, from his ‘70s heyday as one of the driving (and surviving) forces behind Parliament-Funkadelic, through his various supergroups and solo projects, Bootsy has kept the funk flame burning, always with his distinctly upbeat and star-toonish persona intact.
World Wide Funk doesn’t break much in terms of new musical ground—but then again, it doesn’t have to. “I’m a put it on your body like cheese on grits,” sings Musiq Soulchild on “Hot Saucer,” an infectious disco-funk workout that signifies the prevailing MO (let’s call it the moodus operandi): Just have yourself some fun, and never forget that cheese can be quite tasty. It’s the main ingredient in “Ladies Nite,” which also reminds us, thanks to guest raps by MC Eiht and Cincinnati’s Blvck Seeds, how the P-Funk sound transformed modern hip-hop. Things get a little spicier on “Bass-Rigged System,” a bass conference with Victor Wooten, Stanley Clarke, Manou Gallo and up-and-comer Alissia Benveniste, and on the title track, where longtime cohort and guitarslinger Buckethead steps out in full shred. Strangely, there aren’t any real Bootsy-style bedroom ballads to speak of (cue up 1977’s “Munchies for Your Love” for a classic taste, if you dare), although a big-hearted Bernie Worrell tribute (“A Salute to Bernie,” with the man himself channeling Jimi Hendrix’s “Bold as Love”) and a lively closer with Chuck D and Buckethead (“Illusions”) more than make up for the absence. Bill