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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

CD Review: Thundercat Presents "Drunk"

(Review by Steve T)
I wanted to review this ahead of the Gateshead International Jazz Festival where Miles Mosley, the other 'West Coast Get Down' bass player, is playing the Northern Rock Foundation Hall late Saturday night. Some may say it isn't Jazz but when did that ever stop me! Others may claim it's the very future of Jazz.
Kamazi Washington is the most easily recognisably Jazz, nephew of Trane, Flying Lotus is the innovative producer, Kendrick Lamar the rapper but it's the Jazz end of hip-hop rather than the punkrock look how rebellious I am. Thundercat is the funk end.

It's actually rather low-key for an album by a bass player called Thundercat. It's reminiscent of the Brothers Johnstone and Alphonso Johnstone (unrelated).
When Quincy Jones unleashed the brothers he nicknamed them thunder thumbs and lightning licks and they were essentially a funk band who arrived at Jazz funk from the other end. Louis was one of the most revered bass players in funk but it's the weakness of guitarist brother Michael’s vocals which bear comparison to those of Thundercat.
These are beefed up on Show you the Way by guests Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins and you may have heard this on BBC Radio. Other tracks feature Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and Pharrell Williams and, as with Lamar’s last album, there's an Isleys cover though here it's barely recognisable.
A review in one of the broadsheets took the opportunity to compare the inclusion of McDonald with Jaco playing with moany Joni, but this sounds more like the disappointing solo albums of Alphonso Johnstone, bass player in Weather Report before Jaco, considered by many, Santana included, to be their finest ever line-up.
If you aren't already, you should keep an ear on the 'West Coast Get Down' and Miles Mosley would be a great way to start, but once those tickets have gone, if three CDs of Kamazi Washingtons Epic seems a bit much, you could do worse than this.  
Out now.

Steve T.
S Bruner (vocals, bass, programming).
M McDonald (vocals, keyboards); K Loggins, K Lamar, C Thomaz, P Williams (vocals); K Washington (sax); D Hamm (keyboards); C Dickerson, T Graves (keyboards, programming); S Ellison (synthesiser, programming); Z Zekoff (programming); Z Carney (guitar); L Cole (drums, keyboards, programming); D Parks (drums); S Burris (synth bass); M Atwood-Ferguson (strings). 

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