Check out this review from Something Else of Rock Candy Funk Party’s sexy, funky, cool new album Groove Is King:
Rock Candy Funk Party – Groove Is King (2015)
BY S. VICTOR AARON
JULY 30, 2015
Coming out on July 31, 2015 via J&R Adventures, Groove Is King is the second batch of songs coming from the instrumental funk collective Rock Candy Funk Party. The first RCFP disc We Want Groove was pretty damned good — no, make that really damned good — making me salivate over the second helping.
Groove Is King doesn’t change the mission of delivering hand-made, jam-inspired funk, but does tweak it some to distinguish it from the debut, avoiding letting this groove to become just a rut. Joe Bonamassa, one of the two guitarists in the group (Ron DeJesus is the other) offers up his explanation for what’s different this time: “It’s definitely way more modern and it’s definitely based less on jamming.” Tal Bergman, the drummer, leader and producer allows that “he took the liberty of producing it a little more and put more layers in it.” DeJesus would also tell you that it rocks a little harder.
The continuity comes, of course, from carrying over the same core players: joining Bergman, Bonamassa and DeJesus are bassist Mike Merritt and keyboardist Renato Neto. Having two guitarists doesn’t make things heavier, it makes it funkier because DeJesus and Bonamassa come up with some creative counter-rhythms that only accentuate what the Merritt/Bergman rhythm section is doing. But now, Bergman beefed up that rhythm section with a percussionist (Daniel Sadownick) and also going the James Brown Way of making it funky: with a small, nimble horn section.
Though they aren’t on every track, the horns add a whole ‘nother dimension, and it’s led by a trumpet player who has been on many crucial funky recordings going back to the late 60s: Randy Brecker. Joined by his wife Ada Rovatti (saxes) and James Campagnola (baritone sax), they’re a highly seasoned, slick addition who Bergman wisely left space for, and also handed off the horn arrangement duties to Brecker and Rovatti.
As we already witnessed on the advance single “Don’t Be Stingy With the SMPTE”, the trio amped up the soul factor quite a bit. But also consider how the Brecker/Rovatti/Campagnola team deftly works around the hard rockin’ DeJesus/Bonamassa duo on “Don’t Funk With Me” (which also boasts one of Brecker signature wah-wah trumpet solos) And also how they swap the de-facto vocal role with a acoustic and electric guitars on top of a massive bass groove for Peter Gabriel’s “Digging In The Dirt.” “Low Tide” might have the nastiest funk riff out of this batch of songs, and a Neto’s succulent synth solo steals the show…