Monday, May 27, 2013

Beat Funktion Moon Town Do Music 2013

The title combined with the cover art alone was reason enough to give Beat Funktion a spin...

I was not disappointed!

Take the intense funk of British acid jazz and add a dash of 70's and 80's fusion from the Bob James school of improvised music and you wind up with an eclectic ensemble from Sweden that takes on a conceptual idea of a fictitious night time is the right time mysterious jazz city called Moon Town and seal the deal with live strings, a percussive pop and vocals that don't have you looking for the stop button and you get Beat Funktion. Running the point for this retro jazz collective is pianist David Lantz who also contributes on rhodes, organ and moog. Lantz has the uncanny ability to pull from that western fusion vibe from the 70's and come up with some delightful original compositions with a fresh appeal and addictive attitude.

The opening tune "Kareem" is a launching pad for the groove infused pulse pounding work of guitarist Johan Oijen. Funk rules but is not to be outdone or out classed by the dialed down all most smooth jazz spin on "Women In Neon" which could easily have come from the Bob James songbook complete with a sound scape of strings and funkified bass line that hits you not between the eyes but goes right to the heart of the soul living within each of us. "City Lights" is an ambient interlude and prime example of the sonic diversity offered up on Moon Town. The sound, vibe and attitude are nothing new but the flawless execution and ability to make old school new cool again certainly is! The cover of the classic John Coltrane tune "Impressions" is a soulful and soul filled funk with a kicked up arrangement that may have jazz purists looking for an open window but the best advice is to sit back and enjoy the groove!

Two words best sum up this release and they are energy and imagination. An organic funk that would make P-Funk proud, Beat Funktion is indeed the real deal and perhaps the perfect summer album you have been searching for.

Tracks: Kareem; Women In Neon; 125th Street and 7th Avenue; City Lights; Mastermind; The Great Escape; Moon Town; Impressions; Driver's Seat.

Personnel: Karl Olandersson: trumpet; Olle Thunstrom: tenor sax; Johan Oijen: electric guitar; Daniel Lantz: piano, rhodes, organ, moog; Pal Johnson: bass; Jon Eriksson: drums.

Additional guests: Ola Bothzen: congas, bongos and triangle; Peter Plynning: congas, bongos; Viktoria Colonna, Susanne Ottebring, Anna Moberg: vocals and breathing; Lina Soderholtz: 1st violin; Malin Thuren: 2nd violin; Katarina Bengtson: viola; Emeli Jeremias: cello.