Saturday, July 14, 2012

fo/mo/deep A Beautiful Bang RH Media 2012

The Declaration of Independence via Wikipedia:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
I see nothing mentioning a major label deal but if there are indeed exceptions to a rule then fo/mo/deep may indeed be the Independent band to start with as A Beautiful Bang is as good as any major label contemporary release I've heard this year. Why?

Simple: According to leader Ron Holmes
"I'm not a fan of synths or drum programming - I love real sax , real drums, real percussion and real keys.
So no programming stuff - We play that whole CD live and in the same room in some cases. We did stack the horns on 2 cuts."

There are no production crutches used to wake those from the sonic coma some contemporary records seem to magically induce or to aid the rhythmically challenged. A real working band. Cats that can play, play well and pull from a variety of influences and make their own sound that smashes barriers including the musical glass ceiling that most contemporary acts can not come close to crashing. Jazz/Funk/World - call it anything you want. A Beautiful Bang kills on every possible level. Tower of Power meets old school Afro-Cuban with a cosmopolitan neo-soul and occasional Brazilian back beat and you have that new sound contemporary jazz has been looking for over the last few years. Two years ago two label executives told me this side of the contemporary street had to flip totally urban to survive. Wrong. Take a band with the chops to do a cross-cultural riff on modern jazz but with a funky global spin and that is the sound of the tomorrow. That sound is fo/mo/deep! A funky jazz collective.
The flash fried funk of "Jawjacka" coupled with the an intense blues infused "Martini Blues" are but two of the highlights here and there are many! A eclectic surprise pulled off with finesse and flavor to burn is the reggae twist placed on the classic Freddie Hubbard tune "Red Clay." Old school continues to morph into new cool with a saxophone piano duet of the John Coltrane standard "Naima." The spoken word funky is as funky does "Gentleman" is beatnik chic with attitude. Normally I would run the other way and be reaching for the mute button on anything remotely close to spoken word but the groove grabs you. Infectious. A spoken word history reminder, nothing polarizing it simply is what it is...
"One nation under a groove"...P-Funk.

5 Stars. If this release does not hit a musical sweet spot deep inside you then hang on because your autopsy report should be ready soon!

Tracks: Jawjacka; Martini Blues; Montara; Mama Said, Mama Said; Da Ba Di Do; A Beautiful Bang; Red Clay; The Wanting; Gentleman; My Baby Got's the Blues, Blues; Naima; A Plethora of Pleasant Thoughts; The Road.

Personnel: Ron "Fatkat" Holmes: 6 string fretted, fretless & electric upright basses; Kevin Jones: keyboards; Andre Scott Drums; Keith Newton: soprano, tenor, baritone saxes & flute; Kenneth "Pounce" Pouncey: all percussion.
Additional musicians: N. Michael Goecke: rombone & vocals (9); Matt "Stylie" Steidle: guitar (4,6,9); Vickie Saunders, Tia Harris Roseboro, Debra James Tucker: vocals (5,13).

"Red Clay" via You Tube