DOWN TO THE BONE: Supercharged (Label: Narada Jazz)

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DOWN TO THE BONE: Supercharged

Down To The Bone are a well-known to UK soul and jazz fans and rightly winning a big reputation Stateside. Featuring players of the calibre of Tony Remy, Neil Angilley and Shilts Weimar, their music’s right in the lineage of Tower of Power, and Average White Band. ‘Supercharged’ is the gang’s seventh album and its title is most bob on. From that opening title cut through to the closer ‘Make It Funky’ the pace never lets up with variation coming in the different shadings of jazz-funk and the inclusion of two big vocals. First there’s ‘Smile To Smile’ featuring the mighty voice of Hillary Mwelwa of Hil St Soul. It’s a busy tune riding a mighty, bumping bass line. Then, there’s ‘Shake It Up’, with Corrina Greyson on lead – very jazzy with her vocal duelling with the trumpet of Jon Radford. Of the instrumentals, ‘Funkin’ Round’ is just that; ‘Cosmic Fuzz has a hint of electro to it; while ‘Parkside Shuffle’ offers the mellowest moment – piano-led, but never bland. The real big one though is ‘Electric Vibes’ for which the team has enlisted the legendary Roy Ayers. It’s no cop out to say it’s just as you’d expect – big and bouncy, with delicious vibes and Roy’s trademark scatting, Recommended – for those who like their soul, jazz-flavoured and groove-laden.
(BB) 4/5