May 14, 2009

Down To The Bone -- Future Boogie

Here we go again! After granting us a “breather” from the happily exhausting Supercharged, Down to the Bone, one of the heaviest, funk-laden, and groove-smart groups in modern time, is back with yet another relentless funk-in-motion smash in Future Boogie. These guys just know how to get folks to dispose of the chairs in a party room! With guests appearances by Hil St. Soul and the iconic master vibraphonist Roy Ayers (who should be a candidate for the eighth wonder of the world), the return of the absolutely coolest keyboardist in the U.K., Neil Angilley, and produced by the group’s “rock,” Stuart Wade (who writes a majority of the tunes here), one has to wonder what else could have possibly been done to ensure another over-the-top smash project by these "dancemongers."

Future Boogie has all the tastiness of a juicy filet mignon with all the trimmings and misses no opportunity to stomp and thunder through with all of the funk it can muster in any given tune. As is always the case with DTTB, you get a generous dose of each tune (nothing under 5 minutes and a handful well in excess of 7 minutes). I can imagine these guys just chuckling with joy as they envision what they’re doing to folks the world over. Imagining a gyrating, dance-crazed global party prompted by their thick music has to be one sensational high. No wonder they’re never in danger of being toppled as one of the absolute finest in acid jazz, or jazz/funk, or whatever you care to deem this high-energy concoction.

Track after track has its own personality, and Hil St. Soul’s appearance on “Should’ve Been You” and “The Brighter Side” as well as Ayers’ funky contribution at track 4 with “Good to Me” only stoke the flames of an already raging blaze of sound. Add to that such selections as “Spiderlegs” and “Get On It,” both of which feature some of the baddest collection of horns in the business, as well as the ingenuity and command of the Neil Angilley touch on keys, and you instantly know that Stuart Wade remains one of the most “in-touch” and prolific maestros around. The other cuts here are also of equal heat, and none takes a back seat to any of the others.

While “funk” and “dance” always come to mind as appropriate adjectives when referring to this supergroup, much credit has to be given to the professional and sharp manner in which they present melodies, hooks, rhythm, and, of course, soul on each of their projects. Future Boogie is no exception to that steadfast work ethic. Bring your dancing shoes-- and your appreciation for high-end quality—to this funk ball.

Posted by Ronald Jackson at May 14, 2009 5:06 AM