Playlist: Super Soul Banned
According to drum icon and leader of the all-star funk group Super Soul Banned Steve Jordan, “the only requirement for seeing us live is you’ve got to dance!” And that won’t be hard considering the band’s lineup, which takes the idea of a supergroup to a whole new funktastic level. Here’s a Spotify introduction to who will be playing at Damrosch Park for their Lincoln Center Out of Doors show (a double bill with Peter Wolf) on Friday, August 3.
1. Steve Jordan – drums and bandleader
Cited by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 all-time greatest drummers, Steve Jordan started playing with Stevie Wonder’s band when he was just a teenager. He went on to play for the original Saturday Night Live band, was the main drummer for The Blues Brothers, and has since played with everyone from Neil Young and Eric Clapton to Alicia Keys and John Mayer. He’s also a Grammy-winning producer.
2. Ray Parker Jr. – guitar, vocals
Another alumnus of Stevie Wonder’s band, Detroit native Ray Parker Jr. got his start as a member of Bohannon’s house band at the legendary 20 Grand club. A hitmaker in all senses of the word, Parker Jr. has had numerous top 10 pop and R&B singles with his band Raydio, as a solo artist, as a songwriter, and a producer, working with the likes of Marvin Gaye, Chaka Khan, Barry White, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, and New Edition. His most famous song: the Ghostbusters theme.
3. Mix Master Mike – DJ
Best known for his work with the Beastie Boys, American turntablist Mix Master Mike won three consecutive DMC World Championships in the 1990s and was awarded The Grand Wizzard Theodore lifetime achievement award from the International Turntablist Federation. Among his other collaborators: DJ Qbert, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie, and Fela Kuti.
4. Ronald “Khalis” Bell – tenor sax
As a founding member of Kool & The Gang and a major songwriting force, sax player, songwriter, and producer, Ronald Bell has been behind some of the most popular songs ever released, including “Jungle Boogie,” “Celebration,” “Ladies’ Night,” and “Joanna.” Enough said.
5. Isaiah Sharkey – guitar
Only in his late 20s, the virtuosic guitarist Isaiah Sharkey won a Grammy for his contributions to D’Angelo’s 2009 album Black Messiah, and his riffs and solos are favorites among internet transcribers. He’s also collaborated with Patti Labelle, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Paul Simon, Corinne Bailey Rae, Raphael Saadiq, and many others. He released his debut solo album, LOVE.LIFE.LIVE., last year.
6. Jamaaladeen Tacuma – bass
A Philly free jazz hero and the backbone of Ornette Coleman’s band Prime Time, Jamaaladeen Tacuma has redefined what is possible for the bass. He’s also a bandleader, composer, arranger, and unmatched improviser.
7. Clifton Anderson – trombone
Bronx native Clifton Anderson is best known as the longtime trombonist for Sonny Rollins, but he's also shared the studio and the stage with musical luminaries from McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie, and Lester Bowie to Stevie Wonder, Keith Richards, and the Mighty Sparrow. He’s a composer, arranger, and producer, too.
8. Clark Gayton – trombone
A trombonist of choice for Bruce Springsteen and Levon Helm, Clark Gayton has also shared the stage and studio with Sting, Whitney Houston, Rihanna, Prince, Stevie Wonder, and Wyclef Jean. His own band, Explorations in Dub, performs a hybrid of jazz, reggae, trip-hop and techno.
9. Wayne Cobham – trumpet
The musical director for Wilson Pickett’s band The Midnight Movers for many years, horn player, producer, and consummate entertainer Wayne Cobham has performed alongside Ben E. King, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Ray Charles, Taylor Dane, Lou Reed, and Kool and & The Gang. As if that’s not enough, his production credits include Michael Jackson (Dangerous) and Stevie Wonder.
10. Eddie Allen – trumpet
In addition to leading a quartet, a quintet, a Latin/Brazilian project, a large electro-acoustic ensemble, and a big band, the critically acclaimed horn player, bandleader, and composer Eddie Allen has played with the likes of Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Henry Threadgill, Jon Faddis, Benny Carter, and many others.
Amanda MacBlane is Senior Writer/Editor at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.