Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1089

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Crowd Company: Stone & Sky

Crowd Company



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UK release date 18.10.2017

London's melodic funkateers CC move up a league by partnering with a new American label formed by Soulive's Alan Evans and it's a spirited platter joyous, vibrant and as crisp as a bright winter's morning.

All too often bands in this field have a tendency to drag out musical ideas beyond the point of diminishing return but not here as the whole thread is well honed with exceptional ensemble playing and impressively sleek arrangements exemplified by opener ''Take Off The Crown" dressed in fuzzy wah clav blessedness and scintillating horn flourishes really cut the mustard.

Singer Esther Dee (who takes the lead on four cuts) has a piercingly strong voice thankfully devoid of melismatic noodling - she cuts to the chase with a musically refreshing vocal style.

"Can't Get Enough" is as good as anything you'd hear on Daptone and the earthy breathy vocal of Joanne Marshall really is the icing on the cake too on this barnstorming/anthemic soul belter. And have I mentioned the big sound they get? Drums as raw as a steel trap, taut bass making a heavy rhythmic bed that gives the record its energy, bolstered by Claudio Corona's bristling keys, bigger and bolder they do not come!

Bandleader, singer and top guitarist Rob Fleming has assembled some red hot tuneage on this the band's second album and Vintage League Music have put together a solid shot at record production - which basically fizzles with excitement. Packed full of grooves - pretty deep too - Crowd Company have upped their game big time with this absolute gem, chock full of soul/funk slinkiness which listeners will find rather damn persuasive.
Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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