"Bad, Bad Simba" changes the pace into real funk with reminiscent of the early 70’s, after soul jazz took a turn for the modern. Versatility? You bet. This is Hammond laced-electric groove stuff that could fit in exploitation films, new day cocktail lounges, and those evenings chillin’ out with the friends at home with red or blue lights keepin’ it real. You get the picture. I have to stop myself here, because Malcolm MacFarlene kills on guitar and Spiller’s on top of his game.
Forgive me, but while the next track sports joyful vocals, the groove underneath is sexy. There’s a heat that perhaps you should judge on your own. "Skindo Le Le" is exotic and hypnotic with a subliminally seductive layer that feels good. Sax is the star in "Burn It Up," with that old-style smoothness that’s not too common these days. If you remember Stanley Turrentine’s "Sugar," it’s got an update on that type of funk.
"Each & Every Day" is perhaps the smoothest, while hitting heavy on the rhythm, to prevent "drowsiness." Mellow, yes, but awake! Spiller "tightens up" in Gene Ammons’ "Jungle Strut," offering the quick, hot pace to the dancers out there. The workout on sax here will take you to that rent party, ripe with misbehavior. Oh, what the young folk have missed!
Ahh, "Ocean Dance" has quite an opening that travels to another funky spectrum. This particular tune is indicative of real creativity. The bossa-drum intro in "Boss Tres Bien" reminded me of several soul-jazz tracks from the 60s (i.e. Richard "Groove" Holmes, Jack McDuff, and Don Patterson). The exception is the piano, instead of the heavy B-3 influence. "Mellow Mellow" moves like a "Rufus" track, which is a real winner historically.
The supporting promo materials read truthfully in that it’s not a "mere exercise in nostalgia." However, it’s a great nod to the past that doesn't get stuck. Musically, it’s the best of both worlds. Take it in!