Country : United States Label : Knowledge Room Genres and styles : Boogaloo / Funk / Soul Jazz Year : 2020

Como De Allstars

· by Rupert Bottenberg

It’s been over a quarter-century since The Greyboy Allstars released their first album, heralding their musical intentions clearly with the title West Coast Boogaloo. Digging into the mash-up of mambo and R&B that originated back east in NYC in the ’60s, they set at it with a certain soul-jazz savoir-faire, setting a standard of quality early on. They’d assembled as a house band – first at a weekly club night, then in the studio – for San Diego’s DJ Greyboy, a kingpin in California’s corner of the ’90s rare-groove revival, and kept at it since then – slowly but surely.

Maybe it’s that they’ve been pacing themselves, spacing their albums out a half-decade apart (this is their sixth), but The GBAS hit the ground running, with energy and inspiration to spare. The basic-model boogaloo jams like the lively “Catalina” are certainly satisfying. “Executive Party” is a suave little shuffle, while “Complete Breakfast” is a heavier excursion, lifting off into cosmic territory as it concludes. The C&W/psych-pop detour “Warm Brass”, though, is even stranger in its own way.

Band leader (and powerhouse session man – what a resumé!) Karl Denson’s sax, and sometimes flute, generally lead the march here, though Robert Walter’s organ steps up at key moments (no pun, I swear!), owning the show on the punchy closer “Rebounder”. Indefatigable to the end.

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