The Bar-Kays ‎– Gotta Groove


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In the wake of the tragic plane crash that claimed the lives of four of their bandmates and soul legend Otis Redding, trumpeter Ben Cauley and bassist James Alexander formed a new edition of the Bar-Kays to cut Gotta Groove, a celebration of life and music that ranks among the funkiest, hardest-driving LPs ever released under the Stax aegis. The record’s immense debt to Sly & the Family Stone is repaid via the two-part “Don’t Stop Dancing (To the Music),” which galvanizes the Bar-Kays’ trademark deep-fried soul grooves with an infusion of psychedelia. Even further out is the blistering “Street Walker,” with its shrieking guitar licks and organ fills. But most of all Gotta Groove serves as a showcase for the ferocious drumming of Roy Cunningham and Willie Hall, whose relentlessly funky rhythms push cuts like “Humpin'” and “Jiving ‘Round” well past their somewhat pedestrian melodies — little wonder the album’s proven a fecund source of samples for acts including Cypress Hill, Ice Cube, and GZA.