Greyboy: Shades of Grey (2005)
It's almost impossible to tell what records, or even how many, Greyboy loops, scratches or spins in and out at any point. It is clear, though, that Shades of Grey features several previous Greyboy offerings. His remix of "Genevieve" melts into his remix of "Got to Be a Love," and he later throws down the original version of "Gotta Stand for Something," all of which appeared in one form or another on his previous studio effort Soul Mosaic: A Case Study in Beats, Soul and Funk. Cool vibes like crystal water droplets send refracted basslines and backbeats shimmering out into the night in "Bath Music" (from Mastered the Art, the album before that), which drips out slowly to end the set. Surprisingly, "Genevieve," where the music and vocals don't quite seem to match up in key, is the only wet blanket tossed on this crackling fire.
The fat hits the fire right away with his opening scratch-up dust-up of "Finger Licking Good" (Richard "Dimples" Fields). Scratches and loops drop the beat completely out, then pull it back in, morphing "Finger Licking" into "Sad Chicken" (Leroy & The Drivers), and later propelling the barrio-style "Laid Back Funk" (Darkness of Evilthink classic War with a fat dollop o' P-Funk in its stanky bottom) into the funk bucket like a rubber band slingshot.
Jazzheads should check The Messengers' "Hancok's Hideaway," which thumps through bumping beats like a big-nosed hound dawg lumbering always one step behind a wabbit in the shade of Blue Note horn charts, plus the tribute to Jobim's classic by Roy Porter, cleverly titled "Wavering," a fusiony exploration of one of Antonio's more popular melodies (perhaps the most recognizable song here, and easily the longest) on keyboard, saxophone, and electric guitar.
Even if you don't care much about how Shades of Grey splices together different sounds and styles, you can still throw this down and let it roll through your next party. Just act appropriately humble when someone compliments your exquisite collection of underground club and soul classics.
Track Listing: Finger Lickin' Good (Richard "Dimples" Fields); Sad Chicken (Leroy & the Drivers); Laid Back Funk (Darkness of Evil); Genevieve Remix (Greyboy); Got to Be a Love (Remix) (Grayboy); Hancoks Hideaway (The Messengers); Bad Luck (Hank Carbo); Ms. Fatback (Saundra Phillips); U Blew My Mind (Vernon Garrett); The Turner Brothers (Sound of the Taurus); Fell Into a Bag (River City); Wavering (Roy Porter); Scorpio (Johnny Frigo Sextet); Hot Pants (Hank Carbo); Want Your Man (Julia Dewitt); Gotta Stand For Something (John & The Efficiency Experts); Bath Music (Greyboy)
Record Label: Ubiquity Records