Groovopolis: Groovopolis (2002)
With their inaugural effort, this New Orleans based crew lives up to their group moniker! Guitarist Chris Cortez composed many of these works amid two pieces by keyboardist Dean Fransen and covers of Stevie Wonder’s “Go Home,” and Marvin Gaye’s classic, “What’s Going On?” The quintet along with guest musicians purvey a toe-tapping, finger-snapping potpourri of pop buttered funk, soul and contemporary jazz topped off by in-the-pocket grooves and memorable hooks. Cortez, who currently serves as the music director for the “Grand Casino” in Biloxi, Ms has performed with Herbie Mann, Les McCann, and many others. Meanwhile his band mates have performed with a legion of artists spanning trumpeter Randy Brecker, the late Rosemary Clooney, Mike Stern, and groups such as “The Platters.” To that end, the gist of this outing comprises punchy New Orleans style rhythms coupled with sleek jazz and funk type motifs. Trumpeter Jay Webb and Cortez render appealing unison lines and cheery lyricism on “Jammin With Jay,” while reworking “What’s Going On,” into a hip, soul/funk-drenched jazz vibe. They don’t reinvent the wheel here. However, the soloists are afforded lots of space to expound upon themes often flourishing with melodious passages and counterbalancing pastiches of sound. Ultimately, this group has concocted a tasty brew that should enjoy wide-ranging appeal. Recommended...
Track Listing: 1.Go Home 2.Mr.Noom 3.Jammin With Jay 4.Moon Walk 5.What
Personnel: Jay Webb: trumpet, flugelhorn