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 was first exposed to jazz as a baby. When I was a child, my parents regularly played classic jazz, i.e., Fitzgerald, Hawkins, Holiday, Davis, Coltrane, Monk, Montgomery, Silver, etc. I vividly remember sitting in front of the stereo as a kid, rocking back and forth to jazz, so the music is embedded in me
I was first exposed to jazz as a baby. When I was a child, my parents regularly played classic jazz, i.e., Fitzgerald, Hawkins, Holiday, Davis, Coltrane, Monk, Montgomery, Silver, etc. I vividly remember sitting in front of the stereo as a kid, rocking back and forth to jazz, so the music is embedded in me. As a life-long jazz lover, I eventually became a jazz educator and producer/host of a very popular jazz radio program in Los Angeles, California.
I love jazz because it is so free. I can think, feel, and dream to jazz, and it allows my mind to flow and expand, musically and otherwise. I also love jazz because it, much like other forms of music, allows opportunities to bring people from all walks of life together. What makes jazz more significant to me, though, is its historical significance; that is, how jazz served, in part, as a method of bringing communities together, a cultural/social/spiritual conduit.