Across 135th Street

Plunky and Oneness of Juju

60 minsFirst aired 14 May 2019
Max Schiano

Chairman Mao welcomes Plunky, the esteemed saxophonist and bandleader, to discuss his forays into spiritual jazz and dancefloor funk.

Oneness of Juju has been described as the missing link between Pharoah Sanders and Kool & the Gang. Originally known as Juju, it began as a collective of musicians traversing the politically active, spiritual and free jazz communities of the Bay Area and New York City. By the mid-’70s however, under the formal leadership of saxophonist James “Plunky” Branch and re-christened Oneness of Juju, the group partnered with Washington, DC, independent label Black Fire Records and began to brilliantly emphasize the funk underpinnings of their sound. Albums such as Chapter Two: Nia, African Rhythms and Space Jungle Luv have long been coveted by record collectors and DJs. On the occasion of these recordings’ reissue, Plunky joins Chairman Jefferson Mao to discuss a career that is both a study and a celebration of creative independence.


Produced by Jordan Rothlein
Engineered by Ryan Woodhall

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