All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

6

Beat Funktion: Moon Town

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
"Swedish Vintage Jazz-Funk-Disco Band." That is the auspicious description of Beat Funktion, an inventive band of Scandinavians intent on teasing the worthwhile parts of disco away from the not-so-worthwhile parts. But disco is but a small part of the alchemy arranged on Moon Town. This is more funk-jazz updated to the contemporary. Heavily back-beat laden, driven by bass and electric piano. The band was formed in 2007 to present jazz in an environment that also catered to a young dancing audience.

Groove-oriented in the extreme, Beat Funktion puts together a book that includes the 2010 release, The Plunge and the present recording that updates fully and without irony the floor music of the late 1970s. Say what one will about the period, it was infectious and fun. The opening "Kareem" is vintage Maceo Parker by way of James Brown and spun through the Average white Band, the grove is complex and viral. "The Great Escape" Isaac Hayes by way of Chic, infused with Chicago horns with over-the-top solos by guitarist Johan Oijen, trumpeter Karl Olandersson, and tenor saxophonist Olle Thunstrom. The music is arranged to support open solos of any length, making this music well-suited for the dance floor.

In the hands of lesser musicians, this music would be dicey. But Beat Funktion is a crack ensemble with a James Brown-attention to the almighty beat that makes these grooves what they are. Moon Town is less a nostalgic recapitulation than a concerted creative effort to mine all that was good in late-'70s popular music and using it as a vehicle for their own contemporary composing. In this, the band succeeds well, making Moon Town a fun listen, whatever else it might possibly be.

Track Listing: Kareem; Women in Neon; 125th Street and 7th Avenue; City Lights; Mastermind; The Great Escape; Moon Town; Impressions; Driver’s Seat.

Personnel: Karl Olandersson: trumpet; Olle Thundtrom: tenor saxophone; Johan Oijen; electric guitar; Daniel Lantz: keyboards; Pal Johnson: electric bass; Jon Eriksson: drums; Ola Bothzen: congas ( 1, 2, 6, 8), bongos (3, 7), triangle (1); Peter Plynning: congas, bongos (5, 9); Viktoria Colonna, Susanne Ottebring, Anna Moberg: vocals (2, 6, 9), breathing (2); Lina Soderholtz: first violin (2, 4, 7); Malin Thuren: 2nd violin (2, 4, 7); Katarina Bengtson: viola (2, 4, 7); Emeli Jermias: cello (2, 4, 7).

Title: Moon Town | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Green Man

Green Man

Do Music Records
2017

buy
Mandy's Secret

Mandy's Secret

Self Produced
2015

buy
Olympus

Olympus

Do Music Records
2015

buy
Moon Town

Moon Town

Self Produced
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Grime Scene CD/LP/Track Review
Grime Scene
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 20, 2018
Read (Willisau) 1991 Studio CD/LP/Track Review
(Willisau) 1991 Studio
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 20, 2018
Read Tradition CD/LP/Track Review
Tradition
by Chris May
Published: June 20, 2018
Read Life Anthem CD/LP/Track Review
Life Anthem
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 20, 2018
Read Closer To Home CD/LP/Track Review
Closer To Home
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 20, 2018
Read 1538 CD/LP/Track Review
1538
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 19, 2018
Read "First Impressions" CD/LP/Track Review First Impressions
by Chris May
Published: March 29, 2018
Read "Passin' Thru" CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "Rhapsody" CD/LP/Track Review Rhapsody
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2018
Read "The Other Side of Time" CD/LP/Track Review The Other Side of Time
by Kevin Press
Published: January 31, 2018
Read "Humanities" CD/LP/Track Review Humanities
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "A Humdrum Star" CD/LP/Track Review A Humdrum Star
by Phil Barnes
Published: February 8, 2018