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If you like big thick slabs of funk with fat backbeats, heavy bass lines and a strong dose of the blues, then you will find much to like on John Cleary's CD Pin Your Spin. New Orleans-based John Cleary And The Absolute Monster Gentlemen rock on with sounds that bring to mind 1970s keyboards of Billy Preston and Sly Stone, bass lines of Bootsy Collins, and vocals of Maurice White that float almost effortlessly over the thick-textured funky rhythmic stew. Cleary is also a witty songwriter with lines such as "license to chill" in the refrain of the song "Agent 00 Funk."
There are a variety of sounds on Pin Your Spin with downtempo pieces like "Smile in a While," a gospelish a capella piece "Best Ain't Good Enuff," and the Latin-inspired "Oh No No No." Then there are the phat, funky pieces like "Doin' Bad Feelin' Good," "Funky Munky Biznis" and the title cut, "Pin Your Spin," that hit you below the belt and shake your booty. "Got To Be More Careful" brings to mind the style and sound of Dr. John, and the tune "Zulu Strut" that concludes the recording reminds the listener that this is a band from New Orleans and they have the Crescent City's special brand of boogaloo in their music.
This recording offers spice to listeners who like fat, funky sounds infused with fun and New Orleans musical sensibilities.
Track Listing: Pin Your Spin, Agent 00 Funk, Oh No No No, Ain't Nuttin Nice, Smile In A While, Doin Bad Feelin Good, Best Ain't Good Enuff, Funky Munky Biznis, Is It Any Wonder, Got Be Be More Careful, Caught Red Handed, Zulu Strut
Personnel: Jon Cleary (vocals, keyboards, lead guitar, bass), Derwin Perkins (vocals, guitar), Cornell C. Williams (vocals, bass), Daniel Sadownick (percussion), Raymond Weber (drums)
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.