on 26 February 2014
Like many of the other reviewers I have always rated Joe's playing and choice of material highly. This time I have found it very difficult assess. Firstly, I am sure that the playing and general musicianship of all those involved on this CD is top notch however they are playing material which is in a 70's funk style - a style I do not like. Having played the CD at home it did nothing for me. I have since played it in the car where I was a captive audience for an hour or so but with the same results. I cannot even think of anyone to give it to.
I do not think that Joe shines very well with his playing as it is not particularly the dominant instrument. I thought that the bass playing, where it was the dominant was interesting and the drumming was crisp and quite inventive considering the style of music. The main sound seems to be produced by keys of some sort.
I don't like giving this only 2 stars as it is obviously not the style of music for me and therefore I am perhaps unqualified to judge it. I prefer Joe playing with any of his other rock/blues bands showing me what a virtuoso he really is on his chosen instrument.
on 28 January 2013
Joe's no slouch - that is self-evident with his regular releases, guest appearances and live performances - but what impresses above and beyond this is the sustained quality of what he does. The instrumentals on this album will rock your funky socks off, or as with fifth track 'We Want Grooves', simply soothe and soothe and soothe. It is almost unbearable, the precocious talent Bonamassa exudes [he is such a key player here]. Recorded live over ten funked-out, 70s/80s time-warped days, the collective also features Tal Bergman [drums and production and great opening solo on 'Animal Work'], Ron DeJesus [guitar], Mike Merritt [bass], and Renato Neto [exquisite keyboards]. Put on your shiny suit, push the sleeves up to just below the elbows, and funk the candy.
on 28 January 2013
We all know that Joe can do Blues pretty well,as well as Blues Rock with Black Country Communion. Now he's shown us another string to his multi-talented bow: jazz/blues/funk just like John Mayall did back in 1972. I recommend you watch the DVD first, as it gives you a feel for the music as well as explaining the concept behind the album.Lock 5 massive musical egos in a studio for a few days, let them jam, and see what comes out.It could be a flop, but the chemistry between them makes it a massive success.As Joe puts it, it's a throwback to the 70's (Think Isaac Hayes/ Shaft ).
The band comprises Joe and Ron DeJesus on guitars,Renato Neto on keyboards,Mike Merritt on bass, and Tal Bergman on drums,who also produces the CD and DVD. The DVD also includes the Official Music video of the opening track.The DVD has a very amateur feel to it, which adds to it's appeal.
The C.D comprises 9 instrumental tracks, all between 6 and 10 minutes long.I recommend you listen to it on headphones to appreciate it in it's full multi-textural glory. The first two tracks come out all guns blazing,then the next track pulls the tempo right down,starting with an ethereal space-traveller mood,which develops into another jam.The title track gives everyone a chance to shine.It's the sort of track which could be indefinitely extended in a live gig.Track 5 starts reflectively before establishing a repetitive bass riff over which everyone gets a chance.This would be ideal to de-stress after a bad day at work. Track 6 (Animal/Work) is the drummer's spotlight (Animal=Muppet drummer),with some excellent guitar work from Joe.Track 7 can best be described as a guitar-duel between Joe and Ron. Track 8 is very Isaac Hayes influenced.After a roller-coaster ride we are brought back down to earth by the final track, which is wind-down music.I don't get why it's called New York Song,unless its New York in the middle of a power-cut. My only complaint is that track 9 stops after 6 minutes, with 4 minutes of silence,before resuming, with another 6 minutes of music Worth waiting for?- not really. Why do they do that?
Hopefully this will appeal to a younger audience who will then turn onto the blues.I can't wait for Joe's next offering- Joe Bonamassa does reggae? Worth the money? Absolutely, unless you're a blues purist.
Yes! This album is just what I have been waiting for. For years I've wanted to make a retro 70's porno, but there has been a paucity of new music to provide the soundtrack. Thankfully, now I have this album, I can grow my moustache, go out and buy some brown corduroy flares and cast the buxom, permed leading lady. I have my old camcorder, I've hidden all the lady shaves and I think we're all ready to go! With the exception of the track with the drum solo (Animal/Work), which would probably confuse and frighten the "actors", there is a great mix of funky sounds, schmoozy grooves and classy instrumental lounge cuts, perfect for every "getting it on" mood. I'm thinking we should probably avoid the schoolgirl scenario, given the current public mood, but the bored housewife/plumber scenario is always a classic. What do you think?
This is an excellent album, by the way. Love it.
on 7 May 2013
A rare piece of new music that takes you back to the seventies and Jeff Beck 'Starcycle' style of music. If you only like Bonomassa blues stuff you may want to check it out first before buying.
Remember the late 60's / early 70's when jazz/rock fusion was the new music? When concerts were principally for the benefit of the musicians rather than the audience, and a number could go on interminably? Remember the likes of The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Soft Machine et al and of course, the great Jeff Beck - well, hit the buffers, wind the clock back 40 years and what you get on this here album is precisely what I am talking about - but in more manageable time signatures and more manageable track lengths!
BUT, and it is a rather large "but", how does it warrant Joe Bonamassa....most of what comes out here is a million miles from where JB normally plays (indeed, even his Black Country Communion albums established that he's no shredder or heavy rock guitarist - he is, frankly, a rather superlative blues player) and I do feel at times that he's actually lost among this company of musicians and indeed the choice of numbers!
However, forgetting the fact that we do have such a great guitarist among this band of musicians, the sound they make is very, very good indeed with "Ode To Gee" / "We Want Groove" / "Dope On A Rope" and "New York Song" demanding several repeat listenings as you storm through this collection of instrumentals.
The recording is reminiscent of the 70's style too which does bring an even greater listening pleasure to the whole proceedings.
Certainly if you like this genre of music, then you will be well rewarded for parting with your hard earned. BUT if you think that you're buying some more ear candy from Joe Bonamassa, sadly, you are going to be mightily disappointed!
Is there any music style that Joe Bonamassa can't do? We all know he can do the blues, he knows his way around prog, then there's classic hard rock with BCC, his collaboration with Beth Hart and now this, jazz funk straight from 1972. One of the other reviewers has wittily written about how this could be the soundtrack to a 70's German porn movie. Now of course I have no idea what one of those looks like (The wife might be reading!!!), but to me this seems to be the perfect accompaniment to a 70's blaxploitation movie. Remember those? Movies like Shaft. If you close your eyes whilst listening to this you can just see New York city, back in the '70's with those huge cadillacs driving down the street, and Richard Rowntree chasing the bad guys. Joe has clearly been listening to Herbie Hancocks Headhunters, Grover Washington Jr. Miles' 70's output and Isaac Hayes. Not only has he been listening to it but he's got it down perfectly. Ok there might be a slightly more 'rock' edge here than those 70's recordings but nothing that takes the funk out of it, you'll be hard pushed not to want to shake your 'thang' when listening to this.
I'm finding it hard to stop listening to this album at the moment, it is an excellent example of 70's jazz funk and very infectious. If you're familiar with those artists and recordings I've listed above you'll have a very good idea of how this sounds. And if you like those recordings you will like this. Give yourself a treat and get this album.
on 20 April 2013
Great album and the vinyl sounds really nice as well. Its 2 heavy grade LPs that have plenty of bass and good fidelity sounds. If you like 70's jazz-funk-groove then you'll enjoy this.
There's one thing you can never do and that is put Joe Bonamassa in any one particular style. Started out playing some great blues on one of my all time favourite albums' Blues De Lux', since then we've had rock, some Greek tpe material, folky type, the live album covered all bases and very well too, since then more live things from the Beacon Theatre (not bad0 and the Royal Albert Hall( by and large great stuff), then Driving which got us back on track with a superb return to form and material. On the side there's also been BCC three albums and a live set ,all very good indeed, now we get a wholly instrumental set of pure and brilliant funk. The rate this guy puts stuff out it's a wonder his fans don't go bust, with another live album almost here of his acoustic show in Vienna last year ...Phew ! We Want To Groove for me is a major success, the whole band are just rock solid and Joe's been brought inrto his drummer's other band,I'm talking here of Tal Bergman,mind how he fits it in is beyond me as Joe seems to be on tour forever. Add Renato Neto on keyboards,and boy he's good,Ron DeJesus on guitar as well,Mike Merritt on real funky and pretty awesome bass and you have a band that grooves all night.You won't sit still to some of this stuff I'll guarentee. Tracks such as the opening Octopus -e , We Want Groove, Animal/Work and Dope On A rope are funk art it's absolute best. The whole wonderful album grooves as music this great should, nine tracks that pure listening pleasure. Some might find it strange that there's no vocals from Joe , fear not this is grooving awesome guitar playing from one of today's master's, the typr of guitar groove set by the likes of Joe satriani and Matt Schofield. Rock Candy Funk Party is a great name for some of the best funk you'l have heard in a very long time. The local record shop were raving about it,and quite rightly too.Absolutely recommended for all groovers and funksters, and fans of great music!
on 3 March 2013
Here is where I show my ignorance. I'm not really a great devotee of Funk, though I've heard some of the classics, but I do love good instrumental music, played with passion, and thats exactly what we get here. Frankly, I like anything Joe Bonamassa is on because he seems to be the sort of old fashioned guitar hero who can turn his hand to any style and make it sound well... really good.
The album contains nine songs and a bonus track, all instrumental, and pulls off the neat trick of feeling relaxed but tight all the way through. It must have been a brave decision, fashion seems to have turned against the instrumental in recent years, as was Joe's decision to play with the band, rather than solo heroically as we have come to expect. Instead, he keeps his playing brisk and focused, leaving space for Tal Bergman, Ron DeJesus, Mike Merritt and Renato Neto to showcase their talents too. And they don't disappoint. A quick a look at their bios shows why. A history of successful bands, production and session work, so really this is a group of professionals making the music they love.
Nowhere is this better showcased for me than on The Best Ten Minutes of Your Life, a relaxed ten minute track that knows it doesn't need to be in a hurry to get anywhere, so it just builds, then ebbs, then builds again, with gentle rhodes piano and funky guitar rhythm. The single Octopus E is also a standout with a driving riff that gets everything off to a fine start. But to be honest this isn't the sort of album that makes you want to skip around, anticipating the thrill of hearing your favourite song. Its the sort of album you listen to in one sitting while it sculpts your mood.
This 180g double LP pressing blessedly free from any crackles and skips (a relief to a member of the digital generation like myself). I don't know whether it was recorded on analog tape or digitally, but the mix sounds clear and tight with a nice stereo field and a good punchy bass. Whatever they did, it works. The artwork is suitably bright with track info and photos of the band on the inside panels. Now for my two complaints. The minor one is that I would have liked to see an voucher code for digital copy of the album in with the LP, as many labels are doing, though at least RCFP are giving away one of the tracks, Octopus E, from the band's website, something Joe does frequently with his other releases as well. Perhaps for the price I shouldn't complain, as for two platters of vinyl it is a bargain. My major complaint is that the running order of the mimics the CD and includes a long a silence between the last song and the bonus track. I guess this is one place vinyl has an advantage, as it's easy to see where you need to skip to!
If you are a fan of Joe or of good instrumental music, this is well worth picking up. Its the sort of music you can either have on in the background or simply lose yourself in depending on your mood. Its great to know people still care enough to release stuff like this. I hope there will be another, and I hope Joe will keep doing these side projects and surprising us.