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Stone Jam

Slave

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Album Review

The funk of the late '70s and early '80s can be divided into two main categories: hardcore funk (Parliament/Funkadelic, Cameo, Rick James, the Gap Band, the Ohio Players) and the type of smoother, so-called "sophisticated funk" associated with Rufus & Chaka Khan, Average White Band, Chic and Teena Marie. Slave first made a name for itself nationally playing the sweatiest, hardest funk, but when singer/drummer Steve Arrington's role in the Dayton, OH outfit increased, Slave shifted to more of a "sophisti-funk" approach. Except for "Sizzlin' Hot" and the title song, there's little on Slave's fifth album, Stone Jam, that can be called hardcore funk. From the laid-back hit "Watching You" to addictive jams like "Dreamin'," "Feel My Love" and "Let's Spend Some Time," this sleeker, consistently melodic Slave is every bit as appealing as the Slave that gave us such aggressive gems as "Slide" and "Screw Your Wig on Tite." Arrington's lead vocals played a major role in the success of this gold album (which Rhino reissued on CD in 1997), and the sexy lead singing of Starleana Young (who would soon make Aurra successful) certainly didn't hurt things either.

Biography

Formed: 1975 in Dayton, OH

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '70s, '80s

Arguably the hottest of the '70s Ohio funk bands, Slave had a great run in the late '70s and early '80s. Trumpeter Steve Washington formed the group in Dayton in 1975. Vocalist Floyd Miller teamed with Tom Lockett Jr, Charlie Bradley, Mark Adams, Mark Hicks, Danny Webster, Orion Wilhoite, Curt Jones, and Tim Dozier. Vocalists Steve Arrington and Starleana Young came aboard in 1978, with Arrington ultimately becoming lead vocalist. Their first big hit was the thumping single "Slide" in 1977 for Cotillion;...
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Stone Jam, Slave
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