July 29, 2016

Parliament - Chocolate City (1975)


Chocolate City was the turning point where George Clinton decided to make Parliament his primary creative outlet and Funkadelic the secondary jam band. At this point, the band was right on the cusp of the deeper, more conceptual music that would become fully fledged on Mothership Connection. CC features more developed compositions and a deeper mix which brings the world its first real taste of Bootsy Collin's bassy funk knots. Bernie Worrell is obviously finding his groove in the larger band atmosphere and, like the previous album, completely dominates clavinet and piano lines. He also gives a little more of his recognizable synthesizer flavor on the title track also. George is as weird as always, all these tracks are humorous, but I can still identify it as legitimate and highly skilled attempts at dopeness. The song I Misjudged You is one of the greatest examples at George's serious-comedy skill. The band obnoxiously imitates The Delfonics and other Philly soul artists like Smokey Robinson and it makes me crack a smile, but I still engage my emotions with the song. Most of the other tracks are straight up quick paced funk jams which, on top of the emerging combo of Worrell and Collins, introduce more members of James Brown's horn section. An insanely funky advantage that plasters this stanky mix to your ears. I would talk about the legendary opening track, but I wouldn't do it justice, just go listen.

Sample

Chocolate City