1. Fried Chocolate
2. Eleven Feels Like Heaven
3. Along Came Mag
4. Mac Tough
5. Grandpa's Fairytale
6. Volkman's Van
9. New Meditation
10. Ricky the Lobster
11. 75 Percent in Love
Felix F. Falk - Saxes, didgeridoo, percussion
Matti Klein - Fender Rhodes
Tobias Fleischer - Bass
Andr‚ Seidel - Drums
Nils Landgren - Trombone (tracks 1, 3, 6)
Torsten Goods - Guitar (tracks 4, 9)
Magnum Coltrane Price - Vocals (track 3)
Magnus Lindgren - Tenor sax, flute (tracks 3, 8)
This band's press information says "Germany is not exactly known as the home of soul and funk". But these young Berliners seem very much at home in this genre and its jazzy connections. I know jazz-funk is out of fashion but I still like it, and this quartet do it very well.
The group is led by the various saxophones of Felix F. Falk, who
in 2002 studied in Liverpool, where he founded a band called Sahnefunk.
Returning to Berlin, he assembled Mo' Blow, which has since toured
extensively and appeared at many festivals. Falk even plays the Australian
didgeridoo on Mo'bilé‚, which also a swirling flute
solo from Marcus Lindgren.
Some tracks are based on simple riffs but a tune like Eleven Feels Like Heaven has a complex structure, twisting and turning in unexpected directions. The sounds are varied by the presence of several guests - notably Swedish trombonist Nils Landgren, who was also producer for the album. He contributes a nice solo to Volkman's Van which starts unaccompanied. Torsten Goods' guitar also adds an extra dimension to Mac Tough, using both wah-wah and straightforward styles. But I could have done without Magnum Coltrane Price's rapping on Along Came Mag. One of my favourite tracks is Groomsman, a chattering theme containing a sequence of energizing drum breaks. I also like Ricky the Lobster, driven by Tobias Fleischer's slap bass and featuring Matti Klein's dexterity on the Fender Rhodes.
I wouldn't claim that this music is the height of sophistication or even inventiveness but it has some attractive tunes, includes interesting solos, and keeps the feet tapping, as jazz-funk should. It is good to know that these Germans are keeping the funk flag flying so convincingly.