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Jazz Cafe host music royalty with legendary funk, rock, and psychedelic soul pioneers The Family Stone

If you are well versed in the world of groove you will be familiar with Sly & The Family Stone, you’ll know the songs, their iconic sound, and the influence they’ve had on the world of music, having pioneered styles for funk, rock, soul, psychedelia, and everything else in between.

 

See our gallery at the bottom...

 

© Ryan Taylor & Trouve la Groove

 

However, the history books have not been quite as kind to the legends who have been writing and performing for over 50 years. Sly & The Family Stone are musical icons whose approach to compositions, culturally significant lyrics, and energetic performances changed the world of music. Yet, the band are not as often remembered by a younger generation for their historical importance, these guys are up there with The Rolling Stones, Prince, Bowie, Parliament-Funkadelic, and so on - they were also one of the first successful American bands to be racially integrated with a line-up of both men and women

 

Therefore, getting the chance to see such an important band in the intimate setting of The Jazz Cafe felt like a golden opportunity - the 60s/70s generation would have given a limb to be there during the bands prominent years. As expected, the venue was filled up with people (a mixture of ages) ready for an evening with The Family Stone, a band made up of two original founding members - Jerry Martini on saxphone and Greg Errico on drums - along with Sly and Cynthia Stone’s daughter Phunne Stone (flying the family flag) on vocals, complete with an incredible ensemble of renowned session musicians and award winners.

Before the main act took to the stage, we were treated to support artist AGĀMA, a project led by Cassandra Gurling. The Birmingham singer, composer, and producer played a dreamy set with her band, fusing the sounds of jazz with soulful electronica. We were teased to some new music, so keep an eye out for a new release later this year and checkout her tour dates here.

 

Follow AGĀMA on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

When The Family Stone aptly kicked their set off with ‘Are You Ready?’, we knew this would be a special performance. The musicians on stage were well versed in their stage craft, so how could you possibly not dance to (and not be in awe of) a band full of such energy, love, style, and next level talent. There was a nostalgic adoration from the crowd, reminded of the bands classic hits like ‘Dance To The Music’, ‘Everyday People’, and their set closer ‘Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin)’, all of which were uplifting movers full of gorgeous harmonising and skilled solos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Ryan Taylor & Trouve la Groove

 

Our favourite live track was ‘Family Affair’, this was the song that allowed the whole band to show off, turning it up to 11 with Swang Stewart bouncing rapidly along the keys and impressing as lead vocalist - he is a worthy successor to Sly Stone. Alongside Swang, the astounding Nate Wingfield providing an insane guitar solo reminiscent of classic rock and Blaise Sison dancing around whilst crushing the band's iconic basslines.

 

Every single person in that crowd got to see why these legendary icons are so admired around the globe. The whole place erupted with applause, after stepping back in time to various historical evolution's in the music industry, through witnessing the incredible sounds of The Family Stone. The legacy of this mammoth musical group will be immortalised through the influenced artists of the future and generations of fans. Nostalgia is a powerful thing and Sly & The Family Stone truly are like no other, imagine how much fun it would be if they performed the Glastonbury tea time slot in 2019...

 

Checkout TLG's Sly & The Family Stone Gems on Spotify and Apple Music.

 

© Ryan Taylor & Trouve la Groove

 

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