In a day where lots of instrumental horn based collectives are popping up left and right within the jam scene, it seems as if the formula doesn’t ever change. Not so with the Budos Band and their debut full length, which showcases the true art of the groove in the 21st century. The one thing that renders this eleven-piece Staten Island collective so truly funkified is that the tracks don’t dribble on, as they are recorded in an organic way, which lends them the quality of resembling newly unearthed recordings from the ’70s. It keeps a true old school flavor while going across the spectrum of raw funk, Afrobeat, and Latin sizzle that goes into an exciting new dimension. It is a perfect party record as well.
“Up From the South” opens up the album with a dash of a Tex Mex trot while the more urban mambo of “Ghost Walk” will heat up your dancing shoes for sure. Meters fans will get their rocks off with the pimp groove in “T.I.B.W.F.” as the elastic organ lines are peppered with a muffled conga beats. And the more Afro-minded “Budos Theme” will have Fela looking down with a smile when he hears its hot rhythms. The Budos Band also do a cover of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Sing a Simple Song” that contains a more psychedelic and druggy resonance hovering overhead, whereas some pretty stunning jazz flute lights up “Eastbound.” Eat that Ron Burgundy! If you think you know funk, but haven’t heard the Budos Band, then you, my friend, are a jive turkey.
The Budos Band doesn’t just have a specific sound but a unique feel as well. It’s perfect for reminiscing about coming of age in an urban setting or shooting the shit in a barbershop all day. Most of the tracks are under five minutes in length, which is good because they don’t lag on. The solos may be short but are ample enough to amaze the listener. If you can’t shake your ass to the Budos Band, you might as well just turn in your cheeks daddy-o!
Antibalas – Talkatif
The J.B.’s – Funky Good Time: The Anthology
The Bar-Kays – Soul Finger