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Instant Funk
 

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Click below for an Instant Funk sample:

It Ain't Reggae (But It's Funky)

Crying

 

 
Philly's second best band behind MFSB, Instant Funk was the unofficial backing band for Bunny Sigler's productions.  Instant Funk provided the rhythm for classics like "Free Man" (South Shore Commission),  "Life On Mars," (Dexter Wansel) and "Shame" (Evelyn King).  Originating from New Jersey, Kim Miller (guitar), Scotty Miller (drums) and Raymond Earl (bass) billed themselves as the TNJ's and gigged throughout the 1960s. 

Sigler met up with the band, now calling themselves Instant Funk, during a concert and introduced them to Philly's studio scene.  Their debut album, Get Down With the Philly Jump, was released on TSOP in 1976.  The single "It Ain't Reggae (But It's Funky)" was a modest success and laid the foundation for their future stardom.

Gradually adding members George Bell (guitar), Charles Williams (percussion), Dennis Richardson (keyboards), John Orderline (saxophone), and Larry Davis (trumpet), the group continued to sharpen their skills by playing on tracks from Loleatta Holloway, Archie Bell and the Drells, and the O'Jays, adding a rough and tough funk base to counteract the sleekness associated with Philly soul. 

After backing Sigler on a couple of Salsoul albums, they earned their own deal with the label in 1977.  Bringing in James Carmichael on vocals, they scored big time with "I Got My Mind Made Up."  The funky groove, complete with that trademark "say whaaat," rose to the top of the charts.  The self titled LP boasted another underground classic in "Crying."

The winning streak continued with "Bodyshine," "No Stopping That Rocking," and "The Funk Is On."   Their single "Witch Doctor" raised suspicions about whether they were involved with voodoo, which were reinforced with the tribal African look the band adopted for the record's cover.   They recorded an album a year until breaking up in the wake of Salsoul's dissolution.  

Instant Funk's Deepest Grooves

Get Down With the Philly Jump (TSOP, 1976)

Instant Funk (Salsoul, 1978)

Witch Doctor (Salsoul, 1979)
Fearsome album delivers on the promise of the Salsoul debut with the classic "Slap Slap Lickedy Lap," one of the more clever odes to oral sex, and "Bodyshine."  Be sure to check for the limited edition double LP with Larry Levan mixes of these tracks.

The Funk Is On (Salsoul, 1981)

Looks So Fine (Salsoul, 1982)

Instant Funk V (Salsoul, 1983)

Kinky(Salsoul, 1984)

Greatest Hits (Capitol, 1996)
A long-deserved collection of Instant Funk's best work.  But the omission of well-liked songs "Slap Slap Lickedy Lap" keeps this from being definitive.

Anthology (Salsoul, 2006)
A long overdue double-disc retrospective of the group. 29 cuts in all.

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