Album review: ROCK CANDY FUNK PARTY – The Groove Cubed


J & R Adventures [Release date 20.10.17]

A quick glance at the track listing and you get the impression that the assembled musical heavyweights don’t take themselves too seriously.  There’s also a sense of relief that this is nearly all instrumental: who knows what they would make of the lyrics with songs entitled ‘Two Guys And Stanley Kubrick Walk Into A Jazz Club’ and ‘This Tune Should Run For President’.

Following our highly regarded ‘Live At The Iridium’ in 2014, Rock Candy Funk Party again brings together Tal Bergman, Ron DeJeus and fellow musical adventurer, Joe Bonamassa.  They are joined by Vintage Trouble’s Ty Taylor and Mahalia Barnes on the two vocal tracks.

‘In The Groove’ is  a good summation of what this band is all about, straight-ahead jazz funk propelled by Renato Neto’s Rhodes and Bonamassa’s guitar ably supported by Bergman (drums) and Mike Merritt on bass.

This album would delight anyone who liked that 1970s spawning of commercial fusion practised by the likes of Herbie Hancock, Lenny White and George Duke.  The only dip in continuity standards is the drum-driven ‘Mr Funkadamus Returns And He Is Mad’.

Joe Bonamassa is particularly impressive, you may not even notice his presence as he subjugates his muse to “the groove”.  This is, therefore, a marvellous ensemble piece and an album of real highlights such as ‘Mr Space’ and ‘The Token Ballad’. The jazz-funk revival starts here.  ****

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.

Album review (Live At The Iridium, 2014)

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