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10 Great songs that feature funky flute performances

Ah, the sweet serenade of the flute – an instrument that has captivated hearts and minds for centuries with its enchanting melodies and ethereal tones. From classical symphonies to contemporary pop hits, the flute has found its place in a wide array of musical genres. But today, dear readers, we’re going to dive headfirst into the world of funk, where the flute takes center stage and adds a unique flavor to groovy tunes that make you want to dance the night away.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most iconic songs that feature funky flute performances, showcasing the instrument’s ability to infuse rhythm, soul, and funkiness into the music. So, grab your dancing shoes, get ready to nod your head to the beat, and let’s explore the world of “Songs with Some Funky Flute.”

The Best Songs with Some Funky Flute

  1. “Just the Two of Us” by Bill Withers

Our journey into the world of funky flute begins with the smooth and soulful sounds of Bill Withers’ “Just the Two of Us.” Released in 1980, this iconic track features the incredible saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. on flute, saxophone, and vocals. The flute in this song is like a gentle breeze on a warm summer day, effortlessly gliding through the melody and adding a touch of elegance to the groove.

Grover Washington Jr.’s flute solo is a testament to his virtuosity, as he effortlessly transitions from the laid-back verses to the upbeat chorus, infusing the track with a sense of playfulness and joy. The combination of Withers’ velvety vocals and Washington’s flute magic creates a musical experience that’s nothing short of delightful.

  1. “Walk on the Wild Side” by Lou Reed

Now, let’s take a walk on the wild side with Lou Reed’s iconic 1972 hit, “Walk on the Wild Side.” While this song is primarily known for its unforgettable bassline, it also features some funky flute work by jazz musician Ronnie Ross. The flute adds a whimsical and jazzy element to the song, perfectly complementing the song’s storytelling lyrics.

Ronnie Ross’ flute solo is like a musical conversation, punctuating the narrative with its sassy and cheeky tones. It’s a prime example of how the flute can inject personality and flair into a song, making it an indispensable part of this classic track.

  1. “Do That Stuff” by Parliament

When it comes to funk, Parliament is a name that can’t be ignored. Their 1977 track “Do That Stuff” is a masterclass in funk, and it’s made even funkier with the addition of flute solos. The flute, played by bandleader and mastermind George Clinton himself, weaves in and out of the groove, giving the song an extra layer of funkiness.

George Clinton’s flute work is both playful and intricate, showcasing his undeniable skill as a musician. It’s like a musical game of hide-and-seek, where the flute pops in unexpectedly, tickling your ears and making you move to the rhythm. “Do That Stuff” is a party anthem with a funky flute twist that’s impossible to resist.

  1. “Spill the Wine” by Eric Burdon and War

In 1970, Eric Burdon and War delivered the infectious and psychedelic “Spill the Wine.” This song is a fusion of rock, funk, and Latin influences, and it features a prominent flute part played by War’s harmonica player and flutist, Charles Miller. Miller’s flute lines in this song are nothing short of enchanting, creating an exotic atmosphere that takes you on a musical journey.

The flute in “Spill the Wine” dances gracefully alongside Burdon’s distinctive vocals and the Latin-inspired percussion, adding a touch of mystique to the track. It’s a perfect example of how the flute can transcend genres and transport listeners to different sonic realms.

  1. “Pick Up the Pieces” by Average White Band

If there’s one song that immediately gets people on the dance floor, it’s “Pick Up the Pieces” by Average White Band. Released in 1974, this funk classic features an unforgettable flute riff that serves as the song’s signature hook. The flute, played by the band’s saxophonist and flutist, Malcolm Duncan, takes center stage right from the start.

Malcolm Duncan’s flute in “Pick Up the Pieces” is infectious and impossible to ignore. It’s like a musical call to action, urging you to move your feet and groove to the funky beat. The song’s instrumental section, where the flute takes the lead, is a true highlight and showcases the instrument’s ability to lead the charge in a funky jam.

funky flute performances
  1. “Brick House” by The Commodores

If you’re looking for a song that embodies the spirit of funk and groove, “Brick House” by The Commodores is your answer. Released in 1977, this funk classic is known for its catchy bassline and, of course, the funky flute provided by the band’s woodwind player, Thomas McClary.

The flute in “Brick House” is like a secret weapon, adding an extra layer of funkiness to an already groovy track. It’s the kind of song that makes you want to strut your stuff on the dance floor, and the flute plays a vital role in creating that irresistible vibe.

  1. “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty

Now, it’s time to explore a song that combines rock, pop, and a healthy dose of funk with a touch of melancholy. “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty, released in 1978, features an iconic saxophone riff played by Raphael Ravenscroft. While the saxophone is the star of the show, the song also includes a subtle yet effective flute part.

The flute in “Baker Street” adds a haunting and ethereal quality to the song, enhancing the overall atmosphere. It’s a perfect example of how the flute can be used to create emotional depth in a piece of music. While the saxophone takes the spotlight, the flute’s presence is undeniable and contributes to the song’s unique charm.

  1. “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire

“September” by Earth, Wind & Fire is a timeless funk and R&B classic that never fails to get people on their feet. Released in 1978, this song features a fantastic flute solo played by the band’s multi-instrumentalist, Larry Dunn. The flute solo in “September” is like a burst of sunshine, radiating joy and positivity.

Larry Dunn’s flute work is impeccable, and it adds a sense of celebration to the song’s lyrics about dancing in September. It’s a reminder of how the flute can be a versatile instrument that can seamlessly fit into the vibrant and dynamic world of funk music.

  1. “Peg” by Steely Dan

Steely Dan’s “Peg” from their 1977 album “Aja” is a fusion of rock, jazz, and funk that showcases the band’s meticulous attention to detail. The song features an iconic flute solo performed by jazz flutist Hubert Laws. Laws’ flute work in “Peg” is a masterclass in precision and creativity.

The flute solo in “Peg” is like a rollercoaster ride, with intricate twists and turns that keep you engaged and eager for more. It’s a testament to the band’s commitment to pushing musical boundaries and incorporating diverse elements into their sound.

  1. “Fantasy” by Earth, Wind & Fire

We return to the funk powerhouse that is Earth, Wind & Fire with their 1977 hit, “Fantasy.” This song features another fantastic flute performance by Larry Dunn, and it’s a prime example of how the flute can take center stage in a funk composition.

In “Fantasy,” Larry Dunn’s flute takes on a dreamy and hypnotic quality, creating a sonic landscape that transports the listener to a world of pure imagination. The flute’s role in this song is nothing short of magical, and it adds an otherworldly dimension to the already captivating music of Earth, Wind & Fire.

Conclusion

In the world of music, the flute often takes a backseat to more prominent instruments like the guitar, piano, or saxophone. However, as we’ve explored in this article, the flute has a unique ability to infuse funk, groove, and soul into songs, making it an indispensable addition to the world of funky music.

From the smooth and sultry sounds of Grover Washington Jr.’s flute in “Just the Two of Us” to the infectious hooks of the flute in “Pick Up the Pieces” by Average White Band, the flute has left an indelible mark on some of the most iconic funk tracks in music history. It’s an instrument that can be both elegant and playful, adding depth and character to any composition.

So, the next time you find yourself grooving to a funky tune, take a moment to appreciate the often-overlooked but ever-so-important role of the flute. It’s a small instrument that packs a mighty punch, and it’s an integral part of what makes these songs so irresistibly funky. So, let the funky flute be your guide as you explore the world of music, and remember that when it comes to adding a touch of soul and groove, the flute is always up to the task.

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