The Stone Foundation is a band driven by an unrelenting passion for a gorgeous fusion of original jazz/soul/funk music, which
"There's a big difference between an artist who's trying to be seen, and one who's trying to be heard," says Jonathan Meacham
It's P-Funk royalty in the shape of George Clinton, a musical totem who, since his doo-wop days as a boy in the 1950s through to the funk, soul, psychedelia and rock of Parliament in the '60s and '70s, has woven P-Funk into an enduring message that sounds as fresh today as it did in 1970 when his band Funkadelic released Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow.
The 'Rare Groove' movement as it was branded (70's funky music in the main) was created by Sharpe and friends at London's coolest night spots, and the clothes sold at the Duffer store were all part of a fusion of music and style that became a defining trend for so many designers and artists.
"Soul music is the adhesive of the human spirit," says Lee Fields, as we look out across London's West End and watch the sun set.
Now in its 16th year, the Seabreeze Jazz Festival now attracts close to 25,000 spectators, to groove beside the white sands of Panama City Beach, Florida.
Picture it. The kitchen radio, a glistening hunk of bakelite, its alignment of valves producing a sound that commanded attention. You're a kid busy hanging onto your mother's skirt as she cooks the evening meal. It's a moment of inspiration.
Take a look in HMV and tell me what you see. For while the conveyor belt of the craven book publishing world rolls on, the art world preens and lumbers in search of the next concept, and our once glorious world of music has had its guts ripped out by the internet. Yet the musician persists in his efforts to have the cloth-eared hear his songs.
It is here in Milan, far north in the Bel Paese [Italy, the "beautiful country"], that a cultural pragmatism has attracted those of a more refined musical streak. And it is at Biko, a club not far from the throng of the city centre, that Trio Valore has convened to play to a Milanese crowd intent on devouring live music as would they their mammas' pasta e fagioli. It's a crowd of stylists who want to dance, and they do.
Think of Sly and the Family Stone, Dexys Midnight Runners and The Specials. Then think again, because the clue's in the name. Their sound is a fine blend of all that has come to pass, from the blues and early R'n'B, all the way up through to soul and ska and the new wave, so theirs is a solid musical grounding.