The New Mastersounds
Quixote’s True Blue Cafe
June 1, 2007
There is no doubt about the indelible impact the late James Brown left on the music world. His legacy inspired countless musicians to explore the world known as funk. From early soul to disco and hip-hop to acid jazz, funk has endured decades of musical fads and changing styles.
So it is no surprise that funk would jump the pond and inspire a few boys from England to take that groundwork and produce some intensely groovy, modern instrumental music. The New Mastersounds brought their soul-funk and jazz experience to a nearly sold-out crowd earlier this month at Denver’s Quixotes True Blue Cafe, and proved that substance has no boundaries when it comes to music.
The group, comprised of guitarist Eddie Roberts, bassist Pete Shand, drummer Simon Allen, keyboardist Joe Tatton, and newcomer Rob Lavers on horns ,seemed eager to show off their skills by ripping through energetic renditions of songs from their latest release, 102%.
The first set sounded very reminiscent of early Meters funk. Heavy guitar licks by Roberts and precision drumming by Allen carried the group. Each jam was very tight and cohesive; it quickly became obvious that these boys are definitely on the same wavelength.
After a short break to cool the jets, the band returned to the stage to perform the final set of the evening. With a still-reeling audience in tow, the group progressed through their jazzier catalog. This side of New Mastersounds sounded quite similar to what the Greyboy Allstars have been doing the last decade, very fitting as the last time they played in Denver they were opening for them.
This set gave newcomer Lavers his time to shine, and he showed that although he is no Karl Denson he can certainly play. Silky flute solos complimented his already smoky saxophone sections. Since he joined the group earlier this year, he has certainly proven to be an integral part of their sound.
The remaining sections of the second set were mostly highlighted by the undeniably astonishing guitar work by Roberts. At times he is just as good as or better than his funk counterparts Elgin Park (Greyboy Allstars), Jeff Raines (Galactic), or Brian Stoltz (Funky Meters).
The New Mastersounds continue to win over American fans with their exceptional abilities and high-energy performances – evident from this Colorado performance. With the momentum they are gaining through their relentless touring, they are sure to capture fans of the funk, old and new.