Max Stowers: Elements of Funk (bandcamp)

 |   |  1 min read

Max Stowers: Elements of Funk (bandcamp)

Anyone who doesn't know of New Zealand bass player Max Stowers clearly hasn't been paying attention for the past few decades.

Here is a very short list (taken from a very long one) of the bands he has been in and people he's played with: Te Vaka, Moana and the Tribe, Annie Crummer, King Kapisi, Emma Paki, Strawpeople, Lisa Hunt, Nathan Haines, Mark Williams, Manu Katche, Leo Sayer, Tina Cross, Taisha, Bella Kalolo, Ladi 6, The Yandall Sisters, Billy T James, John Rowles . . . .

I believe he lives in Queensland these days but Stowers had such a high profile here -- and is one the great bass players, anywhere -- that this album high on bass-funk with its roots in the Seventies and Eighties updated, will have many in New Zealand gravitating to it quickly.

He can punch down like twanging Stanley Clarke or make his instrument sing (he does both on Gimme Five here), or hold down the bottom on synth-rock which owes a dollop to melodic George Benson (Maui). 

There's also some classy hip-hop influenced soul-funk (City Slicker with rappers Sabath/Buddy Siolo and the Brown Wunda aka Christian Lauofo).

The coordinates for this are between classic Stevie Wonder, mid Seventies jazz fusion (Jan Hammer, Clarke etc on the caffeine-fueled Take It) and the sweeter sounds of Poly-funk (Sunday Morning with vocalist Ben Sekali).

There was a television series set in Miami that could have used a lot of these tracks.

Max Stowers has always been a cornerstone of any band he's been in, and here he is a magnet for new, younger talent.

In many ways this is old school cool . . . but that has the emphasis on "cool".

Elements of Funk is available for streaming or download from here

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Various Artists: The History of Rhythm and Blues 1942-52 (Rhythmandbluesrecords/Southbound 4 CD Set)

Various Artists: The History of Rhythm and Blues 1942-52 (Rhythmandbluesrecords/Southbound 4 CD Set)

If the previous collection in this excellent series -- which went from country blues in the Twenties to swing, boogie and jump jive in the early Forties -- laid out the ground, this equally fine... > Read more

Whitey Morgan and the 78's: Born, Raised and Live from Flint (Bloodshot/Southbound)

Whitey Morgan and the 78's: Born, Raised and Live from Flint (Bloodshot/Southbound)

If there's any honkytonk, rockin' country cliche missed by this post-Waylon longhair wildman, it's probably only the one about the dog up'n'dyin'. With his hard rockin' band recorded live... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE REGGAE QUESTIONNAIRE: Etana

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE REGGAE QUESTIONNAIRE: Etana

By happy chance, we received a reply from Etana to our Famous Elsewhere Reggae Questionnaire . . . and a year ago she had answered our Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire. But she's a star and the... > Read more

TOUGHER THAN TOUGH: The 1994 box set of Jamaican music considered

TOUGHER THAN TOUGH: The 1994 box set of Jamaican music considered

One of the most exciting things about popular music is that you can never anticipate where the next wave will come from. Could you have predicted Chicago in Forties, Memphis in the Fifties,... > Read more