Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Brooklyn Funk Essentials: Jazz Cafe London 10/10/21

Brooklyn Funk Essentials: Jazz Cafe, London 10/10/21
Brooklyn Funk Essentials: Jazz Cafe, London 10/10/21 Brooklyn Funk Essentials: Jazz Cafe, London 10/10/21 REVIEW Brooklyn Funk Essentials: Jazz Cafe, London 10/10/21 REVIEW Brooklyn Funk Essentials: Jazz Cafe, London 10/10/21 REVIEW

I was both chuffed and thrilled to be back in front of a live band again and who better to see than these guys? Across a career that stretches 25 years, Brooklyn Funk Essentials have established themselves as a unique project fusing soul, hip hop, ragga, spoken word, jazz and, of course, da funk!

Established in the early 90s by Arthur Baker and Lati Kronlund, Brooklyn Funk Essentials were regulars of New York’s vibrant club scene by the time their debut album Cool & Steady & Easy hit the shelves. Not bad considering that it all got started waiting for an Al Green session that never happened! Without a doubt, this outfit is the definition of a cult band. The musical interplay was superb and the PA sound too at the Jazz Cafe was the best I'd heard. Tonight was special as the vanguards of acid jazz unfolded majestically.

Funk is what you make it and funk you can never fake it. Lati Kronlund’s round and deep melodic bass was a delight to hear underpinned by Mr Super chops Hux De Lux – Drums and the wonderfully jazzy sounding Desmond Foster – guitar proving easily that these guys are the real deal. They understand dynamics, when to bring us up and when to gently take it down to the bare bones. On top of this, there was the tight horn section comprising of Anna Brooks – saxophone, who was blowing up a storm with her imperious tenor playing backed by a sprightly trombonist equally adept at sharp improvising.

Good to see Alison Limerick, now as a full-time member, she was enjoying playing in her hometown and was on top form vocally too. The choice of material was masterfully interwoven into a long set which seemed to go quickly as the set was so varied. "Big Apple Boogaloo" and "Take The L Train" being particular highlights for me. This was a schooled lesson for all those groove-orientated bands out there who get stuck in a dirge halfway through... lesson over! BFE got their boogie on and they won’t be giving up their boogie shoes just yet. This was a ferocious funk fest of the highest order and I'm still reeling from it!
Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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