Thursday, May 23, 2024

Introducing: The Rare Sounds' feat. Eddie Roberts & Members of The Greyboy Allstars

It all started at The Yardbird Suite in Leeds, UK in 1996. The legendary jazz-funk revivalists, The Greyboy Allstars, embarked on their maiden voyage to the UK with a stop at the legendary jazz club hosted by Eddie Roberts and a supporting set from his organ trio, The Three Deuces. That night sparked a mutual admiration between both groups as they had met their cross-continental counterparts who were reinvigorating 60s boogaloo soul-jazz. It was a once-in-a-lifetime connection between devout loyalists of exploring vintage tones, digging for records, and forging paths as trailblazers of the funk and soul revival in the late 90s and early 00s.

Roberts would later form the international funk group The New Mastersounds’ in 1999 whose expansive career has issued 12 studio albums, earned coveted appearances at international festivals, and even made headway on the Billboard contemporary jazz albums charts with the release of their 2019 studio album ‘Shake It’ that celebrated the group’s 20th anniversary. Meanwhile, The Greyboy Allstars continued to preserve the heritage of jazz-funk giants while cultivating timeless music of their own as individual members of the group would flourish into sought-after collaborators, notable film composers, and studio standouts.

With Roberts residing in the US, collaboration with members of The Greyboy Allstars became frequent, especially between him and keyboardist/organist Robert Walter. Using his own record label and music platform, Color Red, as a springboard, they could now travel back in time to their initial meeting 26 years ago and assemble the dream team of funk enthusiasts and analog recording devotees featuring Roberts on guitar, Walter on keyboards, GBA’s Chris Stillwell on bass, and GBA alum Zak Najor on drums.

Despite being a brand new project, all four members of The Rare Sounds have played in numerous projects with each other over the years and have automatic chemistry and musical shorthand. Everyone gets all the references and shares a common language and love for the traditions of the music. The group recorded 10 tracks for their debut LP at Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco, CA in August 2021 and made their live debut at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver, CO for two packed-out nights leaving listeners in eager anticipation of what’s to come. The group is excited to share their debut album release with soul jazz quartet tunes that are as classic as a 1970 El Camino.

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