Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I don't even know where to start with this one....
Zapp and Roger.....

Just the name of the group alone and that special someone that brings the best out of them puts butterflies in my stomach that I cannot describe. *Whew*
I watched a documentary on Zapp & Roger during Thanksgiving Break and ABSOLUTELY fell in LOVE with their music.....Especially the leader and creator of the band....Roger Troutman...*Lord, knows I love him*...

This band was based out of Dayton, Ohio by the way of Hamilton, Ohio (only 45 minutes away from my hometown!) and was started by one little boy that wanted to just play music....Roger Troutman. Roger wanted to master every instrument that was presented to him at an early age guitar, harmonica....You name it, he played it! His family took notice of his talent, so his father began to take him to clubs and different events and would bet money that no one could out play his son and indeed no one could!

By 1978, Roger and his brothers Terry, Lester and Larry and a few other musicians had created a group and would perform locally and earned a name for themselves in Southwestern Ohio as a great group with an amazing sound and tight stage show. Bootsy Collins, another great funk artist who played guitar for Parliment Funkadelic and also an Ohio native, heard about Roger and his band. He invited the band to Detroit to hear of their music at first hand and loved what he heard. At this time, the band was called Roger and The Human Body but the Godfather of Funk, George Clinton, convinced them to change their name to Zapp (Terry's childhood nickname)....And the rest was history.

What was so special about this group was the driving force behind the group's music: Roger. He could play damn near any instrument and master it. He loved to incorporate all kinds musical genres into his sound: blues, soul, r&b, jazz...He loved it all and wanted it to be heard in his music. But the most important instrument and driving force behind Roger's sound was the talkbox. It was the first time that a voice that sound so robotic yet melodic and soulful had been heard and recorded......Mentally and musically he was before his time. He wrote and produced most of Zapp's hits and would often tell his band members "Whatever you do, don't ever make my fans bored"...But there was no way that we could ever be bored with songs like "More Bounce to The Ounce", "So Ruff, So Tuff", "I Can Make You Dance", "Computer Love" and the many other songs that Zapp blessed us with.

I have a new found respect for this band and Roger in particular. I feel that he is not credited enough for how much of a genius he was. He was a great composer and musician and created a new sound that had never been heard of before. RIP Roger Troutman, thank you for inspiring the world with your creativity and dedication to making people feel good about themselves through the message in your music.

And in these videos you will see why he was so ahead of his time...Look at the performances....You got singing, dancing, playing of instruments...You have interaction with the audience....Every key is on point....Just simply amazing!




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