Afros are back, so it figures that the best of the 1970s' music should also make a welcome return. The funky jazz stylings of Maceo Parker, the Crusaders and Galactic are taken to a new level on this excellent disc by the Boston Horns. Douglas and Saviuk, alumni of the Heavy Metal Horns, rock the house with a suitably powerful rhythm section.
"Head in the History" tips us off as to what we should expect from this fun ride: a deep Nawlins-funk groove with a group vocal chant and scattered quotes from Bird, Miles, Dizzy, et al. But it's Buckridge's ganky wah guitar tone and Rush's impeccably fluid bass figures that really sell the product on tracks like this one and "Chez Buckway". A wild modernization of Charles Mingus' title track comes off like an ecstatic combination of road-race and gang fight.
This style of music always runs the risk of falling into sameness, but the BoHos avoid that pitfall with countless creative turns. "Medicine Man" is purest swamp boogie; "Next Time" picks up the pace with a speedy riff melody that takes off at the bridge; and "Maybe 2 Nite" is a Latin-inflected hoot. Rush and Buckridge shine once again on the uplifting township vibe of "Afro Soup", showing off yet another side of this multifaceted unit. From jazz to funk and well beyond, the Boston Horns have it goin' on!
Personnel: Henley Douglas, Jr., tenor and baritone saxes, vocals; Garret Saviuk, trumpet, fl