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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Live in Berlin

ACT 9675-2



1. Slingshot (Tobias Fleischer & Matti Klein) 6:50

2. No Particular Way (Pat Appleton & Matti Klein) 4:36

3. Ray (Matti Klein) 6:18

4. Ricky The Lobster (Felix Falk) 6:02

5. Along Came Mag (Mo’ Blow) 5:13

6. Rolling In The Deep (Adele, Paul Epworth) 6:00

7. Count XVII (Felix Falk) 8:07

8. Fried Chocolate (Mo’ Blow) 6:11

9. Call Me Milory (Felix Falk) 10:02

10. Gimme The Boots (Mo’ Blow) 6:39

Felix Falk (saxes, didgeridoo, percussion): Matti Klein (Rhodes piano): Tobias Fleischer (bass):

André Seidel (drums): Special Guests: Pat Appleton (vocals track 2): Adam Bałdych (violin, track 3): Franz Bauer (vibraphone, track 5): Nils Landgren (vocals, trombone, tracks 6 & 10):

Kacper Smoliński (harmonica, track 8)

Recorded live at A-Trane, Berlin August 2015 [65:59]

German Funkateers Mo’ Blow know how to please their fans and this live Berlin set pushes all the right buttons to launch a groove fest. Funky Fender could be the subtitle of Live in Berlin, a ten-track meister-blow led by Felix Falk with Matti Klein on Rhodes, Tobias Fleischer (bass) and André Seidel (drums) with a veritable phalanx of special guests to add sonic spice to the occasion.

The vibe here is raunchy. Falk’s baritone sax playing is hard driving, Klein’s Rhodes consistently galvanizes the audience to whoops of excitement and the tight bass and drums drive the music still further forward. Ray features the violin of Adam Bałdych, as sax-like in this performance as I’ve ever heard him, a shape-shifting performance complete with Rock beat. Falk’s own Ricky the Lobster – which sounds like something out of Damon Runyon – is a loosely funked opus complete with some not-so-satisfying drum exchanges but Nils Landgren sings on Adele’s Rolling in the Deep and then unleashes a trombone chorus of nifty, hard-hitting design.

Most funk masters don’t have recourse to the didgeridoo but Falk is a man apart, a wielder of the Aborigine instrument, who unleashes it on Count XVII in particular to generate an even greater aural sound world in his teeming, augmented band. Given this, one shouldn’t be too surprised that the band includes guest Kacper Smoliński whose harmonica blowing on Fried Chocolate, a collective opus, is full of verve. Though the Rhodes is once again raunchy on Call Me Milroy, by some distance the longest track, this 10-minute opus is taken at a more leisurely tempo. It provides reprieve from the heat and sweat heard elsewhere. For a closer, though, we have a grandstanding front line including sax, trombone, didgeridoo – plenty of sonic density to fatten the fun attack.

Well, a hard-hitting and funk-drenched night in A-Trane in Berlin, that’s for sure. I’m not certain what the temperature was like in August but inside the club it must have been hot and sweaty.

Jonathan Woolf

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