342

Candy Dulfer: Funked Up!

Jeff Winbush By

Sign in to view read count
Candy Dulfer: Funked Up! Let's get something straight. Candy Dulfer is not a jazz saxophonist. Candy Dulfer is a funk saxophonist who can play jazz, but her preference is playing funk.

If you're going to call your new album Funked Up!, you had better bring the funk loud, proud and strong. No worries here. The Dutch-born saxophonist delivers 11 tracks of pure funk on wax (or highly polished plastic, to be exact).

From the incandescent lead-off "First In Line," and through the next five tracks, Dulfer makes it clear she's not messing around. Pure funk bands have disappeared from American radio airwaves, and are pretty much confined to reunion tours in small clubs. Dulfer pays homage to Parliament-Funkadelic, James Brown and Rick James without sounding like a pale imitation of any of them, which is a pretty neat trick.

"My Funk" sets it off with Dulfer's sax squeaking and honking—over, under, sideways and down Pete Philly's rapping. "Still I Love You" has a hot Latin tinge provided by Frank Stukker's inspired guitar work. "Step Up" struts like a rooster first thing in the morning, as vocalist Leona throws in some reggae-inspired rhymes. "Don't Go" is more conventional smooth jazz, but rises above the standard fare propelled by Dulfer's soaring sax.

On "Bliss 2 This," guest Joseph Bowie alternates between rapping and talking, which may please some and annoy others. It's a slight distraction from Dulfer's powerful alto sax playing, but it's not a deal-breaker.

Funked Up! boasts an eclectic group of American and European talent such as drummer Kirk Johnson and bassist/keyboard player Chance Howard—both of whom, along with Dulfer, have played with Prince. Producer and keyboardist Thomas Bank and guitarist Ulco Bed have worked with Dulfer for years, and ably assist in making sure the grooves never turn into a rut.

The Candy Dulfer catalog is scattered across 12 albums and half a dozen labels, but with Funked Up!, she sounds more confident and focused here than 2007's slightly scattered Candy Shop (Heads Up), which came following a four-year hiatus from recording.

Dulfer knuckles down and zeroes in on creating some fast, furious and always funky beats that are big enough to live in. The result is proof positive that some of the best funk n' soul is being imported from Europe to America, where once upon a time it was the other way around.


Track Listing: First in Line; My Funk; Still I Love You; Step Up; Don't Go; CD 101.9; Bliss 2 This; Finger Poppin'; Be Cool; On & On; True & Tender; Roppongi Panic.

Personnel: Candy Dulfer: alto saxophone, vocals, horn arrangements; Chance Howard: bass, keyboards, programming, vocals; Kirk A. Johnson: drums, shaker; Thomas Bank: keyboards, programming; Frank Stukker: guitar; Leona: vocals (4, 11); Pete Philly: rap, vocals (2); Russ Davis: recorded voice (6); Ulco Bed: guitar (7); Joseph Bowie: rap (7); Manuel Hugas: bass (11); Jan Van Duikeren: trumpet; Louk Boudesteijn: trombone; Guido Nijs: tenor saxophone (Special Request Horns) (7).

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Heads Up International | Style: Funk/Groove


Related Video

Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Michael Brecker Michael Brecker
sax, tenor
Marcus Miller Marcus Miller
bass, electric
Spyro Gyra Spyro Gyra
band/orchestra
David Sanborn David Sanborn
saxophone
Bob James Bob James
piano
Jeff Kashiwa Jeff Kashiwa
saxophone
Wayman Tisdale Wayman Tisdale
bass, electric
Peter White Peter White
guitar
Brian Culbertson Brian Culbertson
keyboard
Maceo Parker Maceo Parker
saxophone
Dave Koz Dave Koz
saxophone

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis" CD/LP/Track Review Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "With Due Respect" CD/LP/Track Review With Due Respect
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 23, 2016
Read "Young" CD/LP/Track Review Young
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 25, 2016
Read "Anthology - Bigger Than Life" CD/LP/Track Review Anthology - Bigger Than Life
by Doug Collette
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Storyteller" CD/LP/Track Review Storyteller
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 5, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!