Bernard Wright

Funky Beat

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Retaining the services of veteran producers Dave Grusin, Larry Rosen, Lenny White, and Wright himself, this album explores several subgenres of music. Being as gifted as he is, Wright obviously did not want to limit himself by recording just one style of music. With the popularity of breakdancing and the rise of video arcades, Wright's pioneering vision is witnessed on "Funky Beat" and "Video Generation." The former made the Billboard R&B charts, peaking at number 39, but the latter was never a release. These compositions are not breathtaking recordings, but do offer an alternative to the routine rhythms normally used; they verge on pre-techno. Wright slows it down with a more contemporary sound on "Keep on Doing That Right Thing" and "Won't You Let Me Love You." The latter is a skillfully written, highly underrated song that made the Billboard R&B charts at number 88 after only a two-week run. Wright further displays his versatility on a remake of the Clifford Brown jazz classic "Joy Spring," a melodious, soft, and easy jazz composition that features Lenny White on drums. However, no selection is more noteworthy than "Mr. Clean," a funky, jazzy, soulful instrumental driven by improvised keyboard solos and a pulsating electric bass.

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