- About Us
- Visiting Toronto
- Contact Us
What's so hip about Tower of Power?
I joined the Tower of Power party late. I had heard about them for years, but for whatever reason hadn't checked them out. Once I did, I was hooked. Their high-energy funk, soul and R&B recordings were impossible to resist. When I finally saw them live in Detroit in 2010, I was floored - they sounded even better in person.
To me, the secret to the success of Tower of Power (TOP) is their dedication to authenticity. For more than four decades (they are in their 45th year as a band), they have performed hardcore funk. While other musicians have sought to blend a variety of styles (some more successfully than others), TOP has stuck to what they do best. Here's a clip which shows off their sound, and also features the musicians talking a bit about what they do:
Of course, a band can't be successful without outstanding musicians. With a funk band, it's especially vital that everyone is on the same page musically - every nuance of the music has to be consistent across the band. This is what people mean when they talk about a band being "tight"...and TOP is definitely tight: from top to bottom (lead trumpet through baritone sax and bass guitar), each musician understands his role and helps to create TOP's incredible sound. Here's a clip of "You're Still a Young Man" which, as a trumpet player, makes me either want to return to the practice room or sell my horns. Check out this opening:
That four of ten musicians currently on tour with TOP are founding members speaks volumes, I think, to the band's dedication to its musical mission. Plus, the group has produced a number of tunes which, when you hear them, you might recognize as funk classics: "What is Hip", "Down to the Nightclub", "Squib Cakes" and many more. This is no funk cover band; TOP is the real deal. Still not convinced? One more funky clip - check out the rhythm section groove, the unison horns, the great singing:
When looking for videos for this entry, I noticed that not one featured an audience in seats. When Tower of Power takes the stage, you're sure to be up dancing too.
Tower of Power hits the Mainstage at Nathan Phillips Square on Sunday, July 1. Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars kick things off at 8 pm, with TOP on at around 9:30. For complete information visit the Tower of Power concert page.
P.S. - I couldn't resist including this clip from the band in 1973, just a few short years after it was formed: