Plunky Drops Cold Heat CD– Cool Horns over Hip-hop Fire
Cold Heat, the new CD album by J. Plunky Branch, is a 14-song collection of soul, R&B and jazz percolating over hip-hop beats. On Cold Heat Plunky makes it phunky, playing with fire and keeping it cool.
Plunky is a world-class saxophonist, songwriter, and producer who for over 35 years has been making some of the most avant-garde Afro-jazz funk on the planet. His recordings are collections of the widest range of progressive Black music, like John Coltrane jamming with George Clinton and P-Funk.
On Cold Heat, his 21st album, Plunky is blowing his horn and singing his songs about life, love and the pursuit of the groove. With lyrics that teach, soar and inspire, Plunky’s songs on Cold Heat elevate, caress, and inform slamming hip-hop rhythm tracks produced by Setworkrz, the Virginia-based production duo with the Dirty South address and the international flavor.
Setworkrz is composed of Plunky’s son, Jamiah “Fire” Branch, and his partner, Al Dokes. These two young producers prolifically generate hip-hop beats so hot that rappers, singers, writers, moviemakers, and television producers all clamor for Setworkrz tracks and the krunk grooves they embody.
It was Fire who suggested that he and Plunky should do a father and son project and essentially Cold Heat is the result of that idea and lots of collaborative production work. Plunky wrote or co-wrote the songs and all the lyrics, then produced the recordings, soliciting the assistance of his longtime band mates: vocalists Tonya Lazenby-Jackson, Charlayne "Chyp" Page, Monica Jackson; bassists P. Muzi Branch and Ken Friend; keyboardists Howard Boisseau and Devon Jefferson; guitarists John Jackson, Ras Mel Glover and Carl Lester El; and drummer of Corey Burch; in addition to hip-hop producer A. Danja Mowf Maples
Plunky is a jazzman known for his multi-faceted musical interests and he has often ventured into the realm of funk to become the life of the party or to explore the politics of the times. Like those who’ve inspired him, including Carlos Santana, Maceo Parker, George Duke, George Clinton, Herbie Hancock, and so many others, Plunky is a veteran in the mold of the ageless bluesmen who continue to play as long as they have something to say.
Versatility and boundless energy is reflected in his output. Plunky continues to tour, performing in festivals, clubs, concerts, studios, schools, on television, and church. Ways2Move of France has released the Plunky & Oneness of Juju Live in Paris concert and documentary DVD. Plunky regularly lecturers on the history of Black music, runs his own record label, oversees his son’s hip-hop productions, travels internationally and he produces music videos and film, including the award-winning documentary, Under The Radar - A Survey of Afro-Cuban Music.
Like much of Plunky’s ongoing work, Cold Heat rolls right along the cutting edge. It is a compilation of songs about love, aspirations and time shifts between yesterdays, tomorrows, and enjoying the moment.