Groove Theory traces the concept of funk from the beginning of the blues era around 1890 to its manifestation as a full-fledged genre in the 1970s. This chapter provides an introduction. In the chapters, Bolden examines the development of blue funk in a multidimensional discussion that engages songs, fiction, memoirs, interviews, scholarship, and more. The discussion proceeds in two parts. Side A presents a conceptual introduction to funk aesthetics, an historical overview of funk during the blues era, and a chapter on Sly Stone that examines his foundational role as an architect of funk. Side B includes chapters on Chaka Khan, Gil Scott-Heron, and Betty Davis, whose recordings and aesthetics exemplify distinct variations of blue funk and the black fantastic.
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