Ain't It Funky Now!
is the third of three thematically organized Grant Green
compilations in the Blue Note Original Jam Master Series
-- all of which focus on his final period recording for the label, between 1969 and 1972. Green
was deeply interested in popular Black music in his late period and that is reflected in these seven cuts taken from six different albums. The title track, of course, is the a read of the James Brown
classic and also features Blue Mitchell
on trumpet and Idris Muhammad
on drums, among others. At nearly ten minutes, it's a deep-stretch groove piece with Green
's guitar playing gritty and dirty center-stage. Other highlights include "Ease Back," a Meters
cover from Green
's Carryin' On
outing, and a nasty version of the Isley Brothers
' "It's Your Thing," with Chuck Rainey
in the rhythm section. The set closes with a decidedly non-funky yet very soulful cover of the Stylistics
' "Betcha by Golly Wow" with Wilton Felder
on bass, Hall Bobby Porter
on congas, and fine soprano and tenor work from Claude Bartee, Jr.
. Most Green
-o-philes will have all this stuff, but these comps are cheap and sequenced wonderfully.