Original P-Whats Dat Shakin?

The Original Parliament can best be described as the "soul" of Parliament Funkadelic. Having provided the vocal backbone of the early Parliaments in the60s on through the various mid-70s incarnations of the ParliafunkadelicmentThang, they were an integral part of the well defined sound of George Clinton's budding P-Funk empire. When you attempt to evaluate the p-funk vibe throughout the seventies its hard not to pinpoint the departure of Fuzzy Haskins, Calvin Simon and Grady Thomas after 1977's funk opera, the 2 record "Parliament Live" set ( Ray Davis would actually stay with the George Clinton troupe well into the 80s before joining up with Roger Troutman's Zapp multitude). The aforementioned trio first resurfaced with 1981's "Connections and Disconnections" lp on Greg Errico's fledging Lax label. Although commonly dissed in the current new school p-funk fan base, this album was probably closer to the true, old funk sound of pre-75ish Funkadelic than anything Clinton had done since then. Unfortunately the album is best remembered for it's controversial, sarcastic jabs at George on songs like "The Witch" and "Phunklords".

They resurfaced in the music industry again in 1997 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony where they shared the stage with William "Bootsy" Collins and George Clinton and the P Funk All-Stars for the first time in over20 years. The group pounded out a rollicking medley featuring Parliament's"Give Up The Funk" and Funkadelic's "Free Your Mind". The Original Parliament then hit the road with the addition of Ray Davis' bass vocals and a backing unit that includes Ray's son Derrick on bass, Grady's son Gene-O and Billy Mimms on guitar as well as drummer/bassist Ben Powers, Jr. According to Fuzzy,the group's objective is to "perform these songs the way they were meant to be, with super tight arrangements and clear well-defined harmonies".

The show has turned out to actually be a review of Parliament's legendary Mothership Connection Earth Tours (sans the flying saucer of course). Now busting out of the studio comes "What Dat Shakin'". a 7 song collection of party jams and mixes. The whole vibe of the project is not only that life is for the living but that love is for the giving. Cuts like "35 Years"- a spellbinding ballad paying homage to the journey thus far, with lyrics like "we were born to be together long ago, George, Calvin, Fuzzy,Grady and Ray" and "we landed the mothership a thousand times along the way", the song has areal bluesy, gospel feel all over it. This is a darling of the live shows, too. On the studio version Ben Powers provides an almost Bootsy-like bass sound as the fellas harmonize "we love you and we thank you" over the fade out. The title track appears on the cd as 3 separate mixes. Its the best tribute tothe 'big black ass' since James Brown's "Take a look at those Cakes" and Sir-Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back". You get the regular studio mix, a 'live' in the studio mix and the remix. They all feature solid drum programming, some interesting percussive strokers and clangers over a straight ahead dancefloor assault. Shades of Funkadelic's "Undisco Kidd" (as in " the girl is sooo badd!") as the "queen of jeans" as Calvin describes her, steps on past the boys in the club and leaves them "looking dazed in a trance/while this lovely lady that God created asked each one if he wanted to dance".

Calvin is not only an outstanding singer but a damn good rapper too, he shows his chops on these various mixes. The live studio version is the fave here though, it really has the 'nothing but a party' vibe on it plus they let the guitarists Gene-O and Billy Mimms really crank it and go for theirs, its a rocking mutha funker. On "Funk for You" the group combines some Funkadelic style layered guitar rythums with hip hop raps and the results are pleasingly invigorating. "Party Down People", co-written by long time p funk bass master Rodney "Skeet" Curtisis just that, a permit to party as hard as you want tonight, ya'll can be cool when its your turn, excellent guitar work from Billy Mimms with a hard rock stroke on it. The song continues the flavor of the whole cd and puts you back in the barbershop days of the early harmonizing between these guys. Its a reallaid back earthy kind of flow and we gonna have a good time tonight no matter what anybody says.

"Hot Fudge Brownie Girl" closes out the set with a tribute to that super fine,pretty black-skinned honey of all your fantasies. With "lips so smooth, mouth so round, skin so dark/like the night, eyes like stars, bright as the sun", "thats the way I like my hot fudge brownie girl". Calvin Simon leads the vocalassault as he does on most of the selections on this cd. Sounds like he has not missed a beat since the early Funkadelic work on songs like "I'll Stay", "Open our Eyes", "Fish Chips and Sweat", "Qualify and Satisfy", "Can't Shake it Loose" and "Baby I Owe You Something Good". So its the soundtrack for Saturday Night Old Skool Basement parties across thenation and beyond. The contributions of the Original Parliament to George Clinton's thang cannot be overstated, they got their own thang now though. These cats aren't just some come lately baking vocalists,but are seasoned veteran performers who know and take their craft and talent seriously and still want to "Tear the Roof Off the Sucker'. So don't pop "What Dat Shakin'" into the cd player unless you and everybody within earshot is ready to get up offa that thang and try to release some pressure to this finger-popping beat
~~Reviewed By P-Funk Fan&Atlanta Radio Personality~"Bustin'"Bob Mitchell

1.What Dat Shakin'(Studio) ....3:45 ~ListenNow
2.What Dat Shakin'(Remix)....4:00
3.35 Years....4:46
4.Funk For You....5:56 ~ListenNow
5.What Dat Shakin'(Live)....5:54
6.Party Down People....6:50
7.Hot Fudge Brownie Girl....5:18 ~ListenNow

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