Monday, 1 February 2010

Funk Filharmonik - Everybody Get Down - 2010 - Funk Filharmonic

If you listen to this CD and not think 'Tower Of Power' then maybe you're not on the right pages! The powerhouse ensemble from New York, Funk Filharmonik certainly more than deserve their sound paying homage to the legendary TOP. This outfit is fronted, no less, by two ex-TOP alumni, Tom Bowes and vocalist Brent Carter. The brass is polished, powerful, strident and the funk is powerful. Fans of the Average White Band and the Dazz Band circa their "Makin' Music" period will also find great strengths in this album. Even though this album contains 9 tracks, this album is nothing short of excellent and the horn-drenched funk should more than make up for this small trifle. The live, raw and tight nature of this combo is one of their real attractions. Able to turn out a funky slammer such as "Everybody Get Down", or a soulful ballad such as "You Never Left", Funk Filharmonik cannot and does not disappoint.

One could easily forget that it's 2010 listening to sets like this. Having said that we live in an age where the wheel appears to be turning, and away - hopefully - from the trash that mainstream RnB has denigrated into, and back to the basics. The more albums that I hear like this the more faith I shall have in the folks stateside. I cannot fault the album. The sheer energy-driven "Gimme Lovin'" takes me back to the great releases of the recent past such as Unified Tribe and ALS. My favourite cut though, is the aforementioned "Everybody Get Down". This is a groove that hits you in the solar plexus and gives power to every funky bone you have in your body. If like me, you can sit and pull what Prince calls 'the funky face' to this, then the band have done their job. This is sheer class. "Don't Wanna Say" would appeal to fans of 70s funky soul, and the very TOP-ish "We Got The Notion" takes no prisoners! Yet another worthwhile release, dear readers. Get shoppin'!

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe