Tower Of Power
Times change, but true funk holds its ground. The syncopation machine of California’s Bay Area has been in business from the late 60’s without stopping. The current incarnation has four
original members, including the rhythm section, and the very able Larry Braggs on vocals.
Tenorist Emilio Castillo was a teenager when he moved from Detroit to the West Coast, where he started the Gotham City Crime Fighters. They evolved into the Motowns, who changed their name into Tower of
Power, when they started writing original material. The band – who have often loaned their tight horn section to other artists, like Santana, Little Feat, Jefferson Starship, etc – became the godfather
of fast-paced, lean and tough, Latin- influenced Oakland funk. Early albums, like East Bay Grease, Bump City, Urban Renewal, In The Slot and the big time breakthrough Tower of Power, including the hits So
Very Hard To Go and What Is Hip?, are now classics.
Later on the band has recorded steadily, although on a much slower pace. The latest albums are The Oakland Zone (2003) and the live Soul Vaccination (1999). Saxophonist Lenny Pickett, the musical director
of Saturday Night Live, who plays Pori in two settings, is en ex-member of Tower of Power.