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 and Muhammad 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.
Personnel: Grant Green (guitar); George Marge, John Leone, Phil Bodner, Romeo Penque (woodwinds); Claude Bartee (tenor saxophone); Joe Newman, Joe Wilder, Victor Paz, Blue Mitchell, Jimmy Sedlar (trumpet); Jimmy Buffington (French horn); Harry Divito (trombone); Dick Hickson (bass trombone); Emanuel Riggins (electric piano, Clavinet, organ); Clarence Palmer (electric piano); Shelton Laster (organ); Gary Coleman, Willie "Yambo" Bivens (vibraphone); Chuck Rainey, Jimmy Lewis, Wilton Felder (bass guitar); Greg Williams, Idris Muhammad, Stix Hooper (drums); Bobbye Porter Hall (congas, percussion); Joseph Armstrong, Candido Camero (congas); Richard Landrum (bongos); King Errisson, Ray Armando (percussion).
01 Ain't It Funky Now
02 Ease Back
03 It's Your Thing
04 Love on a Two-Way Street
05 Let the Music Take Your Mind
06 I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open Up The Door, I'll Get It Myself) / Cold Sweet
07 Betcha by Golly Wow