O'Donel Levy

Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky

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Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky, O'Donel Levy's follow-up to his excellent Simba, is something of a letdown in comparison. Simba featured a bunch of solid tunes, written and dynamically arranged by Manny Albam. Although both albums were produced by label head Sonny Lester, without Albam's input these sessions seem somewhat lost. The title cut is not a direct ripoff of the Allen Toussaint tune, but it is fairly derivative. The second tune is a direct ripoff. "Marbles," credited to Levy, is actually a John McLaughlin tune, from his album Devotion, and it's downhill from there. Billy Preston's "Will It Go Round in Circles" is taken at breakneck speed, and let's just say Levy is better off sticking with instrumentals. "Livin' for the City" gets a heavy wah-wah makeover, but is one of the better tracks on the album. The rest is just unremarkable. "Sideshow" shows the ballad side of Levy's playing, and the standard "Willow Weep for Me" is treated as a pretty straight blues. None of this is awful; it just lacks the great tunes and arrangements of its predecessor. Unless you simply can't get enough O'Donel Levy, skip Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky and stick with Simba.

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