Show #288 – Dennis Coffey (1/24/17)

Legendary Motown Guitarist Talks New Archival Jazz Funk Release

Dennis Coffey is truly one of the unsung heroes of the guitar.  In the late Sixties, he became a member of the famed “Funk Brothers” – the backing musicians that played on all the Motown hit singles.  His unique style can be heard on “Ball of Confusion” by the Temptations, “War” by Edwin Starr, and  “Someday We’ll Be Together” by the Supremes,  just to name a few. He also had a solo career, scoring the million-selling instrumental “Scorpio” in 1971.

Resonance Records, usually known for their excellent jazz releases, has just issued “Hot Coffey in the D: Burnin’ at Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge,” a previously-unheard live album from 1968, featuring Coffey, plus Lyman Woodard on organ and Melvin Davis on drums.

We talk why it took so long for this fantastic recording to see a proper release.  Plus, he tells us how he first got involved with Motown Records, and how he helped discover the enigmatic singer, Rodriguez.