From the opening notes of "The Menace" to the closing notes of "The Brinx," Family Style has given us a good old American jazz album. Chris Neal playing Rhodes organ and laying down a vocal so smooth that it does not do him justice to say it is smooth, especially on the song called "Cheap Thrill." Drummer Jess Birch could possibly be the tightest drummer one has heard in awhile. He forays into 5/4 and 7/4 are great!
Don Tisch adds some rock guitar lines in "Five Down" that one would not expect in the jazz idiom. He takes a solo on "Five Down" sharing the spotlight with Joshua Quinlan on saxophone.
Song number five is called ‘Funky Licks." The title could not be more perfect. Organ and Rhodes here bring us back to Jimmy Smith. This is a jam, but it is planned jam. Written by Neal this jam could possibly be the best song on the album. Family Style slows it down with "Feed The Fire" with Chris Neal taking lead vocal duties along with Rhodes and tenor saxophone.
The last song called "The Brinx" has a rock guitar intro by Tisch. This one slides along, a little funk combined with some rock styling with Chris Neal on vocals telling his people to get off their throne and satisfy. Family Style’s debut album titled Why You Wanna is a great testament to the jazz coming out of Chicago. Adeptly titled Chicago soul does apply but with the rock, jazz fusion.... Family Style has a winning debut, all kept in the family but ours to share.