Righteous Buddha is an organ trio of Louisiana natives that produces a brand of funk jazz that is a bit hard to define. One simile might be if you took Sly Stone's brain and transplanted it into Jimmy Smith's head you would have Righteous Buddha. Or, Righteous Buddha might be considered the love child of MM&W and the Reverend Horton Heat. But actually, I think the best simile might be Ray Manzarek meets Brother Jack McDuff on the Jam Band Circuit. Righteous Buddha has a more focused funk that MM&W and is a bit closer to the bone than Soulive. Defined as such, they have a sense of humor and never take things to seriously. This results in a relaxed, insistent groove that reminds me of UB40's first release, Signing Off (Virgin 88261, 1981).
John Smart's Wurlitzer is standout cool, particularly played through a wah-wah. Dave Hinson's double bass is throbbing and unrelenting and Chris DeJohn's trap set so funky you have to open the window. The disc winds through songs of simple motifs before culminating in the show stopping "Grease House". These guys play widely though out Louisiana. Their funky website is http://www.righteousbuddha.com/ . Now, go check them out.
Track Listing: BWA; Thanks A Lot Ron; Jimmy C; Double Duce; Junk; Spooky; Dave's Seven; More Flavor; Grease House. (Total Time: 51:25)
Personnel: John Smart: Hammond B3, Wurlitzer; Dave Hinson: Upright Bass; Chris DeJohn: Drums.
I was first exposed to jazz while working overseas in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I would listen to the Voice of America on the radio and they had a nightly jazz program on at 10:00pm. I learned a lot about jazz listening to this program. I also had a friend who listened to real jazz by artists like Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Archie Shepp. On my way home from Africa I landed in New York and had the opportunity to see the George Adams/Don Pullen quartet at the Village Vanguard as well as Kenny Barron and Ron Carter at another club, and was in heaven.