||Down To The Bone
(CD Narada Jazz)
Producer and composer Stuart Wade presents his fifth album, Cellar Funk, and proves that he’s still riding high on the groove. All thirteen tracks on this funk ridden groove driven LP prove that the unmistakable Down To The Bone sound is still going strong. The kings of the UK jazz fusion scene have returned with some truly delightful cuts, and under a new label, have delved even deeper into the box to produce a heavenly concoction of all things soulful and jazzy.
It seems that the flavour is spiced up some more with some fantastic guest vocalists: Portuguese charming chanteuse Guida de Palma graces Dancing To a Samba with her propulsive signing style, perfect for this latin jazz number. The Flow belongs on the dance floor, with its four to the floor beat and the Brazilian gem Flora Purim displaying her vocal ability, whilst Neil Angilly (keys) has a fusion lead Hammond solo that further deepens the impact of this carnival jazz track.
It seems that Wade has recaptured some of the wholesome sounds of foot tapping head nodding jazz tunes. The Hammond, with master musician Brian Auger taking the lead in I’ll always hold you close, the intros reminiscent of blacksploitation movies and Jbs sound, the solid beats born in Chicago, and the infectiously catchy piano and flute melodies, make this essential listening.
"I have tried to change things slightly with this new album, but without being too radical as I feel that subtlety is very important. I am trying to take the new release back to the first and second albums, but in addition I have used the skills and the knowledge that have grown with me." says Stuart Wade.
With previous albums achieving top positions in the Billoboard Contemporary Jazz Chart stateside, it is only a matter of time before Wade’s ensemble are given more radio play here (if there was a station worthy of such jazz jewels). They are, undoubtedly the UK’s most flavoursome fusioners. More treats are in store, with an Agent K 12” remix of The Flow due for release soon.
Cellar Funk is a beguiling collection of unadulterated fine cuts, beautifully polished, produced and complete with some delectably funky bass-lines and choppy guitar riffs. If you dig jazz that gets you going, then you’ll love this. It’s been a phenomenal couple of years for Down To The Bone, so check them out for real and catch them live.
(For more information and sound snippets visit downtothebone.com and narada.com and read the review for the 12" release The Flow here)