On "Go Dissaway," the first thing to stand out was Greg Beck’s hard-kickin’ drums setting the pace for Jones and company to jam fiercely. While it’s certainly a new-groove, it carries a 70’s funk-jazz vibe. Somebody other than Isaac Hayes has injected some strong funk and depth into Burt Bacharach’s classics. This "Alfie" isn’t a melancholy tribute, but a deep background track to Jones’ tribute to today’s youth. Bernard Wright’s haunting keyboards seem to speak to the listener and invite them to think, rather than lament over love. Stevie Wonder may be the influence for choice of material in "Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing," but I believe Donald Byrd speaks a little louder. While Jones isn’t imitating, he’s got that tasteful, thought-provoking jazz sense that Byrd always exhibited. I also think of Chuck Mangione’s material when hearing this track.
While turning up the quiet, "Woven Into My Heart," speaks loudly of romance that goes beyond flowers and candy. It’s pensive and steady, filled with emotion. One of the best old-school love jams is tastefully covered and given new spice. The Isley Brothers’ "For The Love Of You," has a different spin I’ve not heard given to it. Great! Wright and Jones stars shine brightly as Beck contributes a hearty rhythm to an otherwise soft, but soulful tune. "That’s The Way Love Goes," matures with Jones’ help. Wright comes back with some beautiful piano and the rhythm section of Steve Curry (guitar), Barri Pearson (bass) and drummer Beck take this one to new heights as they’ve done with other remakes. Pearson’s writing and vocals are featured on the mellow "I Care For You." The overall track is quite soothing and appropriate for any "Quiet Storm" night. "Tashia," is sensual and hypnotic, with Jones and Wright doin’ it all over again. The vibist-sound is such a great accent to this beautiful piece.
Well, the funk is back and the title tells it as being "Too Urban for JH." It won’t be too urban for many others. Pieces of it resemble some of Parliament-Funkadelics' relics, and Curry’s guitar gave me a slight flashback to Dennis Coffey. While not quite understanding the title "Mad Coffee," it’s an awesome gem, peaceful and stimulating at the same time, which is to pretty much describe many tracks included. Seems like Mr. Wonder would appreciate this one perhaps even more than his own composition. I’d prefer to call this "Mood Coffee," but who cares about titles, really.
This is a strong CD and that may be an oversimplified statement. If you like contemporary "classic," get your hands on this. The Freddie Jones Jazz Group gives a great nod to the past while taking us to the future. If music be the food of love.... . Play On!