London-based soul funk outfit Crowd Company will drop their new album, Live at the Jazz Café, April 12, on Vintage League Music. Recorded live at the legendary Jazz Café in London, the album parades the dynamism of a Crowd Company performance.
The eight-piece band features Esther Dee and Jo Marshall (vocals); Rob Fleming (guitar, vocals); Robin Lowrey (drums); Emil Engstrom (bass); Henry Spencer (trumpet); Claudio Corona (keyboards); and Chris Rand (saxophone).
Crowd Company’s sound takes archetypal soul funk and gives it contemporary interpretation full of edgy pizzazz, infectious hooks, and magnetic rhythms. The band pulls this musical magic off by amalgamating dazzling brass, expressive vocals backed by yummy harmonies, and the retro flavors of a Hammond organ.
Comprising eight-tracks, the album sets the stage with “Takes Off The Crown,” riding a grinding funk groove full of radiant horns, skiffing guitars, and the delicious quavering hues of the Hammond organ. The vocals deliver scrumptious soul flavors on glowing surfaces.
Entry points include “Can’t Get Enough” with its brilliant horns and bluesy-flavored melody topped by sensuously oozing vocals, swelling and surging on gloriously viscous tones backed by luminous harmonies. “Are You Feeling It” features pure, raw funky jazz colors propelled by a rolling contagious rhythm composed of tight drums and a throbbing bass line. The combination of braying horns, organ and sweet vocals infuses the tune with grand energy. A searing sax solo, followed by a sizzling trumpet sends the song into the harmonic dynasphere.
“Summer” feautures a funky R&B flavored melody full of compact riffing guitars and nickering horns, along with a tasty and spectacular saxophone, filling the music with cool savors expanding to tight wailing tones.
“Long Way From Home” opens on skiffing riffs riding a funked-out rhythm featuring a slapping bass line. The rising simmering blush of the organ sends luscious waves of dripping sensuality through the harmonics, as the sax and trumpet trade scorching tones.
Live at the Jazz Café is a wonderful album of visceral funk and soul. Chock-full of potent melodies, pulsating rhythms, delicious smoldering harmonies, and bravura brass, this album really lays it down.