Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1094

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Review

Crowd Company: Lowdown (Vintage League Music)

Crowd Company

9

7.6

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UK release date 31.01.2020

London-based funksters Crowd Company are back with a cracker of an album. Recorded in the States, "Lowdown" is an instant classic, conjuring images of old-style American funk outfits such as The Meters.

The album's opener "A New Direction" sets the tone and the groove is never to disappear. Along with driving beats, there's slick Hammond, serious horns and a solid rhythm section. "On This Love, You Can Count" takes the tempo down but not the intensity. Perhaps the standout track is "Free To Choose", a gorgeous funk-infused soul offering.

Vocal duties are split between Robert Fleming, Joanne Marshall and Esther Dee, Fleming plays guitar and the lineup is completed by Emil Engström on bass, Robin Lowrey on drums and the US horn section from Lettuce, Ryan Zoidis on sax and Eric Bloom on trumpet.

The CD version comes with a couple of bonus tracks, including "Express 76" which steams along frantically like the aforementioned express train.

This is vintage funk with soul and a modern slant, tight riffs, catchy hooks, jangling Hammond and dynamic horns. It's a well-paced album which will grow and grow.

The legacy of old-style soul/funk is in good hands with Crowd Company. Funk aficionados should buy the album. If you get the chance, catch them live.
Words CHAZ BROOKS

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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