Dang, right off the bat this album hit me in the face, with a locked in rhythm section, powerful horns, and a unique singer. The group hits funk bangers, neo-soul grooves, occasional raps, and rock guitars under trip-hop beats. The album boasts an impressive cast of guests from New Orleans legends such as Ivan Neville and the Soul Rebels Brass Band to amazing R&B singers such as David Shaw and Dexter Gilmore. Horn players solo with effects pedals over spacey funk landscapes laid down by the rhythm section on this LP and tasty hornlines lead to stripped down verses with a loose feel. Listen to this record if you like: D'Angelo, Snarky Puppy, Bilal, The Internet, Erykah Badu
The problem of today’s jazz scene is that no one is expressing the primal self anymore. It’s become polished, feel-good jazz. And there’s nothing wrong with that to those who like that kind of jazz, but there’s also nothing interesting about that. And that’s the problem with Sonny Knight & the Lakers in this live album. Although the vibe given off in this record is reminiscent of James Brown, it lacks the wildness of James Brown, that fire that he ignites in his shrieks. Everyone recorded in this album are talented individuals, but they’re also doing nothing new. The backing band sounds like those pretentious music majors who think pop music is repetitive and “killing music”, but they go on playing the same solos with the boring modal scales and repeatedly playing old numbers and charts from the fake book. And at the end of the night they go “Wow! Good job, Hunter! You really saved music tonightwith that insane mixolydian solo”. This music brings out an excessive amount of feel good vibes that it wouldn’t bring the listener to pay attention to the album unless you were either: in the audience of that live taping, drunk, or pursuing to be or are a music major.