106

Galactic: Nothin' Coolin' Off

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
Galactic: Nothin' Coolin' Off Galactic is a New Orleans jazz-funk unit that transports us back to the '70s, the decade when jazz-funk was at its zenith. This band owes a great deal to the Meters, the seminal New Orleans funk outfit that was always more popular with the critics than the public. The fact that Galactic is able to emulate the sound of New Orleans' finest funkifiers is itself a worthy achievement. But this group actually extends that sound, bringing in subtle touches of jazz and soul. Unusual for a crew of twenty-something funksters, there are no rappers or turntablers to muck up Galactic's sound on this debut.

Recorded in 1996 by Fog City Productions and re-released on Capricorn, Coolin' Off grooves along with an easy assurance. All 14 tracks are solid. "On The One" features some great organ work by Rich Vogel and steady drumming by Stanton Moore. I've always loved the echoey sounds of an electric piano, and Vogel uses one to fill in the grooves on "Doo Rag." "Go Go" could be a '60s hit by the Meters or Booker T, while "Everybody Wants Some" is a three-part song featuring jazzy solos and in-the-pocket drum work. The production by Dan Prothero is superb.

Galactic may not be as jazz-oriented as Medeski, Martin and Wood, but they groove just as capably, and unlike most acid jazzers, they don't resort to much technological gimmicry. Their sound is more soul than jazz, but I'm talkin' authentic Stax Volt and New Orleans-style soul, not your antiseptic '90s dub-club variety. Moore and Vogel join forces with Jeff Raines (guitar), Robert Mercurio (bass), and Terry deClouet (vocals on a few tracks) to form a very tight ensemble. Throw in guests Erik Jekabson (trumpet), Mark Mullins (trombone) and Eric Traub (tenor sax), and Galactic's sound gets even phatter.

Coolin' Off also includes some extra tracks, interviews, a magazine article, and maybe a kitchen sink. This extraneous stuff can only be played on a CD-ROM. I haven't checked out the extras yet, but I hear they're pretty cool, and the CD won't cost you any more because of them. Delivering more for your money is something other artists should take notice of, because $15 is way too much to pay for any CD.


Title: Nothin' Coolin' Off | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Capricorn Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Inerrant Space" CD/LP/Track Review Inerrant Space
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 17, 2016
Read "The Dead Man" CD/LP/Track Review The Dead Man
by James Nadal
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Without All the Chatter" CD/LP/Track Review Without All the Chatter
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 7, 2017
Read "Honey For The Biscuit" CD/LP/Track Review Honey For The Biscuit
by James Nadal
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "E.S.T. Symphony" CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 26, 2017
Read "The Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix" CD/LP/Track Review The Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: August 23, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.