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Green Man

Do Music Records DMRCD 045

  1. Steampunch

  2. Tomorrow

  3. In Love In Vain

  4. Jack The Ripper

  5. Paper Girl

  6. Rewind

  7. Over The Ocean

  8. Lorelei

  9. We Are Young

  10. Green Man

    Karl Olandersson - Trumpet, echoplex (track 4)

    Olle Thunström - Tenor Sax

    Johan Öljen - Electric guitar, talkbox (track 4)

    Daniel Latz - Fender Rhodes, clavinet (tracks 2, 10), moog (tracks 3, 9), wurlitzer (track 6), organ (tracks 1, 6, 7)

    Pal Johnson - Electric bass

    Jon Eriksson - Drums

    Ola Bothzén - Congas (tracks 1-3, 6, 7, 9, 10), bongos (track 5), ibo (track 2), darbouka (track 2), Brazilian guiro (track 1), reco-reco (track 4), shekere (tracks 1, 2), triangle (tracks 3, 7), tambourine (tracks 6, 10), spin spark shaker (track 7), cabasa (track 9), bells (track 4), shaker (tracks 2, 3, 5, 9)

    Folke Lahtz - Cowbell (track 9), vibraslap (track 5), vibraphone (track 4), electronic percussion (track 9), mark tree (tracks 2, 9)

    Lina Söderholtz Florén - Violin (tracks 2, 5, 6, 9)

    Ĺsa Harald - Violin (tracks 2, 5, 6, 9)

    Tomas Ebrelius - Viola (tracks 2, 5, 6, 9)

    Emeli Jeremias - Violoncello (tracks 2, 5, 6, 9)

    Guest Performers:

    Viktoria Tolstoy - Vocals (track 2)

    Alicia Olatuja - Vocals (track 3)

    Adée - Vocals (track 5)

    Claes Janson - Vocals (track 6)

    Damon Elliott - Rap vocals (track 7)

    Jasmine Kara - Vocals (track 7)

    Matilda Gratte - Vocals (track 9)

    Deodato Siquir - Vocals (track 10)

    AFRO: Arvid Callin Nerdal, Hannah Myrberg, Lena Cederholm, Ida Maipambe, Peter Ekengren, Andrea Callin Nerdal - Vocals (tracks 2, 10)

    It appears that funk is alive and well and owns a second home in Sweden. Not only can that country boast as part of its music scene the inimitable Nils Landgren and his Funk Unit, a consistent presence over the years there, but now can also take pride in Beat Funktion. Made up of a core of six musicians but augmented on occasions like this recording by a cohort of singers, four string instruments and a couple of percussionists, they were founded in Uppsala in 2007. Fearlessly eclectic, they draw on jazz grooves, funk, R&B, disco, afro-beat, rock and soul. They have now released six albums beginning with The Plunge in 2010. In 2014, they toured the United States and topped the jazz radio charts there and in neighbouring Canada. Daniel Latz, who plays a variety of keyboard instruments, provides most of the music for the band. The singers involved range from the American Damon Elliott (Dionne Warwick's son and a rap singer) via one of Sweden's finest, Viktoria Tolstoy, to the African, Deodato Siquir. There is a vocal chorus, AFRO, featured on a couple of tracks. It's perhaps pedantic to draw the boundaries too tightly but I felt that there was more of a soul, gospel or even disco feel about a number of vocal contributions, rather than jazz, as such. No complaints - Beat Funktion are primarily a jazz fusion band so anything goes.

    Four tracks stand out. Steampunch offers a groovy rhythm and a catchy theme. The group provide an infectious beat and music to dance to, for those so inclined. Tomorrow, although perhaps a tad too long (over thirteen and a half minutes) showcases Viktoria Tolstoy and her versatile voice, backed by strings, AFRO and the band, with Karl Olandersson prominent on trumpet. Olandersson also shines on Rewind, a soul ballad with a gentler flavour than some of the other tracks and sung with relaxed authority by Claes Janson. Another ballad, Lorelei, is a minor triumph for the core musicians. Melancholy trumpet, yearning tenor, melodic guitar, all underpinned by a responsive rhythm section. Johan Öljen deserves special mention for the quality of his guitar playing throughout. Other tracks of note are In Love In Vain and Paper Girl.

    The disc runs for about 77 minutes. The music, for the most part (exceptions noted above), carried a relentless and hypnotic beat. If you like classic funk, redolent of the 1970s, this is for you.

    James Poore

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