Heavy hitting organ boogaloo from the heart of the Bluff City, Memphis, Tennessee. The City Champs second studio effort, The Set-Up, finds these deep-rooted, southern, soulful cats dropping meaty grooves with full-on flavor. Lead-off track and album title cut gets things off to a nice start with interplay between guitarist Joe Restivo and organist Al Gamble. "Drippy" finds the Champs hitting that familiar ‘60s soul sound in stride, and Gamble lays down some heavy organ while George Sluppick drops it behind the kit, proving why he still remains one of the best beat-masters on the scene.
What would a soulful jazz album out of Memphis be without a little Stax/Booker T influence. "Crump St" slows the vibe down and swings. Joined by The Bo Keys horns on On "Crump St" and again for "Local Jones," this big, full sound transforms the band into a different beast all together, fully capable of entertaining as a jazz trio or accommodating a horn section. These guys play with complete respect for one another, finely tuning the recipe and offering a supremely tasty final product.
The cover of RJD2’s "A Beautiful Mind" also shows that these old school funksters not only know their roots, but also have an ear for the present. Hopefully this will provide for a big future.
The Set-Up is out now on Electraphonic Recording.