Thursday, 5 February 2009

Down To The Bone - Supercharged - Narada Jazz

Down To The Bone are a hugely popular UK soul-jazz-ensemble featuring players of the calibre of Tony Remy, Neil Angilley and Shilts Weimar. Their music’s right in the lineage of Tower of Power, Average White Band and even good ’ole Booker T and the MGs. ‘Supercharged’ is the outfit’s seventh album and its title is most appropriate. From the opening title cut through to the closer ‘Make It Funky’ the pace never lets up with variation coming in the different shadings of jazz-funk and the inclusion of two big vocals. Let’s talk about those first. ‘Smile To Smile’ features the mighty voice of Hillary Mwelwa of Hil St Soul and the busy tune rides a mighty, bumping bass line – think a heavy version of Incognito. Then, there’s ‘Shake It Up, with Corrina Greyson on lead – very jazzy with her vocal duelling with the trumpet of Jon Radford. Of the instrumentals, ‘Funkin’ Round’ is just that, reminiscent of AWB at their Scottish, collective best; ‘Cosmic Fuzz has a hint of electro to it; while ‘Parkside Shuffle’ offers the mellowest moment – piano-led, but never bland. The real big one though is ‘Electric Vibes’ for which the team have enlisted the legendary Roy Ayers. It’s no cop out to say it’s just as you’d expect – big, bouncy, with delicious vibe injections and Roy’s trademark scatting, Recommended - for those who like their soul, jazz-flavoured and groove-laden.

Bill Buckley

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