An Electric Night with The New Mastersounds.

Last night myself and longtime denizens/friends/contributors John Makarewicz & Will Mason caught a performance of funk/soul outfit The New Mastersounds as they played here in Atlanta with opening act Entropy, a local band. The Mastersounds hail from Leeds, England and are amazing in their studio releases but like many bands that play in the jazz/jam/funk circuit they blow the doors off their CD’s as a live act.

Thanks in large part to Johnny Mak’s suggestions I’ve been getting deeper into the scene and Particle, The Greyboy All-Stars, Medeski, Martin, & Wood, Stanton Moore, Galactic, and Robert Walter’s 20th Congress join these guys at the top of the heap in my opinion though the bands mentioned above all have their own distinct contributions to the growing world of jazz and its periphery.

What’s amazing is how these four guys can fill a room with the tightest and most intricately delicious music with what superficially seems like nothing fancy. There’s no smoke and mirrors with these boys. They’re normal looking chaps with guitarist Eddie Roberts playing a big-bodied Gibson, keyboardist Joe Tatton sitting at one organ using a very limited amount of sounds, bassist Pete Shand grooving away in the background, and drummer Simon Allen [who we didn’t know was with the band and were laughing our ass off at as he danced in front of the stage for the opening act] doing his thing tight as anyone’s business but without theatrics.

Which makes these guys even more amazing in my book. They just are so deep in their music and so electric in how they own it wholly and do it without any crutches.

I can see how some folks [hey there Steve Murphy] can dismiss this kind of stuff as just similarly sounding noise [Steve, it’s more than Max Rebo music] or be scared away simply because of the funk or jazz moniker [hey there Devin] but this isn’t just heartfelt musical bliss and virtuosity but something that represents a rare movement in music that isn’t regurgitating the past.

John also turned me on to Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and they’re great but they feel like they’re more emulators of an old style while these guys pay their respects to the greats that preceded them and add their own flavor to it without any sense of emulation.

Seriously, check them out and if they come to your town bring someone who you care about and be knocked the fuck out.

- Nick Nunziata doesn’t understand how anyone could listen to this stuff and not fall in love with it.