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Issue 1099

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Review

The New Mastersounds : Shake It

Nms1

8

6.2

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UK release date 13.09.2019

Deep Funk faves The New Mastersounds celebrate their 20th anniversary treating us with a mighty fine horn section and special guest vocalist Lamar Williams Jnr,a welcome addition, bringing us a mainly a vocal album and jolly good it is too!

'Shake It' kicks off proceedings in sharp effect with a tough groove and a pumping rounded sounding bass topped with creamy vocals and a punchy horns exemplifying the great song writing in glorious evidence on this sterling platter.

Followed swiftly by the bluesy 'Let's Go Back' the signs are looking exceedingly good,giving way to my fave 'Love They Deserve' a spacious sounding gem which sees them sticking to the old Quincey Jones addage ('leave space for God to walk through') Hallelujah, this is good stuff! Somewhat less frenetic than some of their previous albums.This groove is slower but twice as heavy!

It also shows NMS can be the best backing band too i.e. serving the song and the singer.Of course Eddie 'Boogaloo' Roberts gets let off the leash to display his virtuosic and soulful runs to wondrous effect all perfectly bolstered by the best deep funk rhythm section in the business, drummer,Simon Allen and bassist Pete Shand.

'Take Me Down' sees further explorations developing.It has a quirky afrobeat vibe about it with a cheeky nod to an old Daft Punk tune and again it's adorned with a blistering guitar solo that gives way to Joe Tatton's groovin' high hammond this is without doubt bone deep stuff!

The party continues with 'Too Late To Worry' showing another of level of sophistication altogether! A dreamy yet breezy summer soul slice of blessedness and awash with harmonic depth, full of blaxploitation overtones and to top it off some dope flute and tell me who doesn't like a bit of Jazz Flute ?

'Permission To Land' sees them delving into The JB's territory a funky little potboiler replete with a 'Maceo' solo, A fine slice of drumming too, peppered with timbales a great addition and so is 'On The Up' which breaks the mould with some fine Ernest Ranglin type Ska.

The soul factor goes up a notch with a classic old sixties stylised penny banger entitled 'lovely Daze' epitomizing the luxuriant and majestic nature of this whole album.Bringing it all to a close.

Their versatility shines through as does their sterling musicianship.NMS have excelled themselves with this peach of an album finding Lamar Williams Jnr not necessarily as a lost piece in a missing puzzle but a wonderful addition! if you love that slightly wet yet compressed and warm 70's sound this is just the ticket,dripping with insouciant cool.NMS have plainly surpassed themselves and like a fine single malt whisky they are ripe and ready for opening,take a sip,kick back and dive in.Witness a class act in their prime.
Words Emrys Baird

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