‘Permutations’ is the latest release from intriguingly named Aussie band PICKPOCKET. The nine piece – Craig Strain – Bass; Matthias Edwards – Drums; Neil Boland – Guitar; Jason Liacos – Guitar; Alex Howroyd – Trumpet/Sax; Phill Binotto – percccussion; Miles Izzo – Trumpet/Flugelhorn; Brett Evans – Sax and Andrew Boyle – Keys- describe their music as “Contemporary instrumental groove music for dancing to (mostly — there are some tunes for the brain, too)”. By the way, for the album, Pickpocket are joined by Nils Landgren and Tom O’Grady.
Listening to the six tracker that is ‘Permuations’ that is about right. Pickpocket Funk make a big sound and with a horn line up like theirs in places they come on like Earth Wind And Fire crossed with , say, smooth jazz legends, the Rippingtons. Take the tune ‘Break Dog’ as an example… big brash and brassy, there’s a clever mood change after about a minute and half – see what they mean by “tunes for the brain”!
Elsewhere the opening cut, ‘Slam’, is a lovely, slinky soul/funk groove while to prove that they can “do mellow”, things slow right down on ‘The Croft’ which comes complete with a somewhat sinister bass solo.
If we tell you that Pickpocket Funk cite amongst their key influences Idris Mohammad, Joshua Redman, Grover Washington Jnr, Joe Zawinul, Jaco Pastorius, Parliament, The Bar Kays, Azymuth, Larry Carlton, Miles Davis, Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Charlie Hunter, and the Headhunters you’ll know just where they’re coming from.
Find out more @ www.pickpocketfunk.com