Tuesday, December 09, 2014

New Releases: The J.B.'s - These Are The J.B.'s; Emma Donovan & The Putbacks - Dawn; The Coolin' System - Refrigerate After Opening


A stunner of a record – the first-ever album by The JBs, never issued back in the day – and lost for years until it recently resurfaced on a test pressing! The set features a leaner, more stripped-down version of the group – one that features Bootsy Collins on bass, and which doesn't rely as much on the horns as it does some very upfront playing by the rhythm section – who really set fire to the extended instrumental solos on the album's very long tracks! Group members include Robert McCullough on tenor, St Clair Pickney on flute and baritone, Bobby Byrd on piano, Catfish Collins on guitar, and James Brown himself on organ – and the mighty Clyde Stubblefield handles drums, as well as Frank Kash Waddy. All tracks are very long – quite different than the shorter single-type cuts on Pass The Peas – and the record features the first recording of "The Grunt", plus the long jams "I'll Ze", "These Are The JBs (parts 1 & 2)", and "When You Feel It Grunt If You Can". (Also comes with a great book – detailing the album and its rescue from obscurity!)  ~ Dusty Groove


Richly soulful vocals and gritty funk backdrops from singer Emma Donovan and the funky Putbacks band – an great little set from the Australian scene! We had a pretty good idea of how strong the Putbacks are, thanks to a stellar couple of singles – but their stylistic breadth comes into full display here, in backing an excellent singer. Emma is an indigenous Australian with a voice that can pull off gritty psych funk jams and more gentle, if still nicely raw soul with equal skill – and as the primary songwriter here, she shows us just how strong she his as both a singer and songwriter. Solid work all around! Includes "Black Woman", "My Goodness", "Dawn", "Mother", "Daddy", "Keep Me In Your Reach", "Come Back To Me", "Voodoo" and "Over Under Away".  ~ Dusty Groove


No need to refrigerate this great little set – as room temperature's only going to make the whole thing even funkier over time! The Coolin System are hotter than ever here – not only tighter on the instrumental tip than we remember, but also picking up some much deeper influences from the 60s – including a touch of trumpet inspiration from Blue Mitchell, killer keyboards from Cedar Walton, and a blast of Brazilian funk from Som Tres! These guys use all the best elements to rework a small combo funky sound way past the usual – and the all-instrumental set unfurls some sweet lines on Fender Rhodes, Hammond, trumpet, tenor, and flute – on cuts that include "Beyond Mobius", "Homenagem A Mongo", "Blue Juice", "Soul Village", "Funky Mule", "Soul Thing", and "Jungle Juice". (Includes digital copy.)  ~ Dusty Groove

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