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  Dennis Coffey
 
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Click below for a Dennis Coffey sample:

Son of Scorpio

Theme from Black Belt Jones

 

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This longtime Motown session guitarist scored his own funky hits in the early 1970s with "Theme from Black Belt Jones," "Getting It On" and especially "Scorpio," which is one of the all-time breakbeat cuts. He worked with virtually every Detroit act from the late 60s through the late 70s, including the Dramatics (that's him on "In the Rain"), the Invictus stable of artists (Honey Cone, 8th Day, Chairmen of the Board),  and Funkadelic (uncredited on the first album). As the decade progressed, he scored with the jazz-funk "Wings of Fire." 

As a producer/writer, he helped discover Rare Earth and the pop group Gallery.  In tandem with his partner Mike Theodore, he produced several acts for the Westbound label, including King Errisson, CJ and Company and the Detroit Four.

In 2004, Coffey's autobiography, Guitars, Bars, and Motown Superstars was published.  It is recommended reading. 

 Dennis Coffey's Deepest Grooves

For a sampling of the pre-solo days, look for late 60s/early 70s Motown albums by acts like Undisputed Truth or Temptations.

Goin' For Myself (Sussex, 1971)
Debut album puts his playing firmly in the spotlight. Includes covers of "It's Too Late," "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "Never Can Say Goodbye." The best songs are those with the Guitar Band, providing a hint of what was to come.

Evolution (Sussex, 1972)
Very interesting concept. Aside from the percussion, everything else you hear is performed by the Guitar Band (members: Bob Babbit on bass, Joe Podorsek on baritone, Ray Monette on tenor and Coffey on alto guitar). Home to "Scorpio." "Getting It On" was sampled by Public Enemy for "You're Gonna Get Yours."

Electric Coffey (Sussex, 1972)

Instant Coffey (Sussex, 1974)

Finger Licking Good (Westbound, 1975)

Back Home (Westbound, 1977)
Inconsistent but hard-hitting disco-funk grooves like "Wings Of Fire."

Devil's Gun - CJ and Company (Westbound, 1977)
Writing and production credits on the classics "We Got Our Own Thing" and the title cut.

Big City Funk -- Original Old School Breaks & Heavy Guitar Soul (Vampi Soul, 2006)
Long-overdue collection of Coffey classics.  Includes "Getting It On," "Theme From Enter the Dragon," "Son of Scorpio," and many many others. 

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