Soul collective BROOKLYN FUNK ESSENTIALS have just launched their 7th album, ‘Intuition’ – a top flight, concise collection of contemporary soul and, as their name implies, funk. In the modern way, the album release has been flagged up by the release of a series of “taster” singles There have been four I think… ‘Scream’, ‘AA Side’, ‘How Happy’ and ‘Rollin’ (Love Will Be Here)’. All were energetic, up—tempo items perfectly suited to London-born vocalist Alison Limerick’s committed style. Remember, Ms L has a wealth of experience in this business and it really shone through on those four tunes.
Indeed her consistency is apparent on three of the album’s four “new cuts”. They are the up-tempo title track – cut from the same vibrant cloth as the early single, the funkier ‘Sho-Nuff’ and the gentle ‘Unkissed’ which shows that Alison’s just as comfortable and convincing on slower material as she is on the up-tempo. That one closes the album, by the way, and is a great finale. The track that doesn’t have Alison out front is the penultimate cut, ‘Mama’. This is something of an oddity – odd in that it offers something different. It’s a spoken word piece delivered by Everton Sylvester in a laid back Caribbean fashion with that flavour enhanced by the horn interplay and reggae flavoured beats. The band are particularly tight on this one… especially trombonist Ebba Âsman.
And that’s one of the attractions of the album. Although Alison Limerick is out front most of the time, the band are a true collective – all contributing to a fluid sound that at times recalls the best of people like Ohio Players, the SOS Band and Roy Ayers. For information, the band is Hux Nettermalm (drums, percussion), Kristoffer Wallman (keys, vibraphone and synths), Lati Kronlund (bass, guitars, keys and producer), the aforementioned Ebba Âsman and guitarist Desmond Foster who also adds vocals throughout the set – most noticeably on the ‘Intuition ‘ track itself. The song is all about people being intuitively in tune with each other. Brooklyn Funk Essentials clearly are.