Dr. Brookenstein Reviews Original P

Original P At Tramps – New York City 
(w/ Fuzzy Haskins, Calvin Simon, Grady Thomas & Ray Davis) 


I arrived an hour early to witness the historical coming of the Original
“P” to the Big Apple.  If you don’t know, Original “P” is headed by four
of the five original Parliaments (Fuzzy Haskins, Calvin Simon, Grady
Thomas and Ray Davis).  The group also consists of “sons of the P”,
Derrick Davis (son of Ray) and Gene Thomas (son of Grady and one-time
member of Plainfield’s new-generation funk group, Funk-Kin).

At 9:20pm, a funk-rock group My Brother’s Dream started the show with 50
minutes of heavy-duty, slamming rock music laced with a taste of funk.  I
can’t say what they performed because I am not familiar with their
material, but they were very, very good!  Their set ended at 10:10pm.

At 10:40pm, the Original “P” took it to the stage.  The band members
stepped onstage, followed by the “Big 4” themselves (Fuzzy, Calvin, Grady
& Ray)!!  The band members included Derrick Davis (bass), Bataan
(keyboards, sax, flute), Douglas Knight-Smith (keyboards), Billy Simms
(guitar), Gene Thomas (lead guitar), Ben Powers, Jr. (drums), and Pete
Pisarczyk (keyboards).  The ladies of the group are Jackie Love, Sonya
Holmes and Emerald Davis.

The band performed an amazingly soulful version of the Parliament’s hit
“I Wanna Testify”, a funky-%#$ version of “The Goose That Laid The Golden
Egg”, and a really smokin’ version of “Standing on the Verge of Getting It
On”. “Cosmic Slop” was so good that the walls began to melt from the hot
guitar licks & sweet vocals of Gene Thomas. Ray’s vocals on “Cosmic Slop”,
“Tear The Roof Off The Sucka” and “Pumpin’ It Up” sent a seismic wave
throughout Manhattan of magnitude 7.0!!!   But the best came when the band
performed “Red Hot Momma”…their rendition was so hot that the sprinklers
went off in the building and everyone was more than thoroughly
soaked…..especially hot was the LONG guitar solos by Gene Thomas and
Billy Mims…..YEAH!!!!

They performed some new tracks from their upcoming debut album, among them
a funky song called “Party”.  They performed a new slow song about their
journey from the early beginnings of the Parliaments to Original P, called
“35 Years”….it was lovely!  They performed two more funky songs from
their new project called “Funk For You” and “What’s That Shakin’ Behind
You Right There”, of which the latter will soon be released as a single.
Fuzzy mentioned that the new album should be out in the next few days, but
I wish that they had copies of the new CD at the gig! Original P performed
a rousing version of “Flashlight” and “Bop Gun”. “Maggot Brain” was nice,
but the flute makes the song sound somewhat weaker!

By the way, Douglas Knight-Smith has a funky-^&%* voice, somewhat in the
vein of Garry Shider….he sang the $%#* out of “Bop Gun (Endangered
Species)” and his scatting/singing in the middle of “(Not Just) Knee Deep”
was superb!  Oh….one more thing, did I already say that Billy Mims can
REALLY play the guitar……%^&*$!  Grady was fanning his towel at Billy,
to keep him from being overheated during one of his amazing solos.  ‘Twas so
funky in the club that it was getting to be too much for me….I almost
broke out a can of air freshener to neutralize the heavy-duty smelly
funk!!  Okay….one LAST thing, every @#$$# in the club went crazy when the
group did a nasty version of “Music For My Mother”!!!

The track listing:

Night of The Thumpasorus Peoples
Standing on the Verge of Getting It On
Pumpin’ It Up
Up For The Down Stroke
Tear The Roof Off The Sucka
I Wanna Testify
The Goose
Cosmic Slop
Atomic Dog
Party  (new song)
Maggot Brain
Bop Gun (Endangered Species)
Knee Deep
One Nation Under a Groove
Stomp  (originally by Kirk Franklin)
35 Years  (new song)
P-Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up)
Funk For You  (new song)
What’s That Shakin’ Behind You Right There  (new song)
Flashlight

ENCORE:

Mothership Connection (Starchild)
Music For My Mother

The set ended at 1:15am, but the 10-minute encore began at 1:20am!!

If Original “P” is coming to your area, rush to the venue to check them
out!!!