World Premiere: Lance Ferguson jazzes up classic "Summer Madness"

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    (January 18, 2022) “Summer Madness” is a song that represents the diversity of soul and funk music. An instrumental by Kool and the Gang, “Summer Madness” was not handicapped by the fact that it had no vocals. These days, it would be rare for an instrumental to get play on radio stations that play R&B, pop or rock music. However, this was a regular occurrence in the 1970s when the “Summer Madness” shared the R&B airwaves with the songs like “Sun Goddess” and “Outta Space.”

    “Summer Madness” had a hypnotic quality. It was laid back, yet funky and it evoked the image of summer nights hanging out with friends on hot nights and that has inspired filmmakers to include the tune on movie soundtracks and artists to cover and sample it. The most famous “Summer Madness” sample is the sample used in Will Smith’s 1991 hit “Summertime.”

    (January 18, 2022) “Summer Madness” is a song that represents the diversity of soul and funk music. An instrumental by Kool and the Gang, “Summer Madness” was not handicapped by the fact that it had no vocals. These days, it would be rare for an instrumental to get play on radio stations that play R&B, pop or rock music. However, this was a regular occurrence in the 1970s when the “Summer Madness” shared the R&B airwaves with the songs like “Sun Goddess” and “Outta Space.”

    “Summer Madness” had a hypnotic quality. It was laid back, yet funky and it evoked the image of summer nights hanging out with friends on hot nights and that has inspired filmmakers to include the tune on movie soundtracks and artists to cover and sample it. The most famous “Summer Madness” sample is the sample used in Will Smith’s 1991 hit “Summertime.”

    The latest reimagining of the 1976 classic funk song comes from the Land Down Under and is a track on Lance Ferguson’s Rare Groove Spectrum Vol. 2 project. Ferguson is the leader of the Melbourne based funk band The Bamboos, but he’s also made a name for himself with his two albums that feature newly recorded versions of classic funk, soul, jazz and rare Latin vinyl grooves.

    Ferguson’s version balances his admiration of the Kool & the Gang original with some original flourishes like having the brass section counterbalance the jazz influenced improvisation on the keyboards and an easy groove on the bass line. Check out Lance Ferguson’s take on “Summer Madness” here.

    By Howard Dukes

    World Premiere!
    Lance Ferguson - "Summer Madness"

     

     
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