New Mastersounds – Masterology

January 01, 1970



Masterology does
more than just compile sides from the New Mastersounds – it positions the U.K.
group as the “Pioneers of New British Funk” (which is apparently what they’re
calling acid jazz these days). This sound may be innovative in Great Britain, but in America anybody with a few LPs by
Soulive, the JB’s and/or Booker T. & the MGs will have heard this brand of
funkybutt instrumental soul before. Fortunately for the ‘sounds, one can ignore
the issue of whether or not this is anything new and just dig into the music
itself. Led by guitarist Eddie Roberts, the quartet dig deep into greasy
grooves that sound more suited to smoky clubs on the wrong side of town than
supper clubs or even concert halls. Roberts leads the charge with funky
melodies and jazzy comping, while organists Bob Birch and Joe Tatton color in
and out of the lines. As with any funky soul outfit, though, the real engine is
the rhythm section, and drummer Simon Allen and bassist Pete Shand hardwire
themselves to your hips and feet within a couple of bars. There’s no need for
vocals to enhance any of these tracks, but Corinne Bailey Rae drops by for
“Your Love is Mine” anyway. There’s nothing by way of originality here, but a
dedication to soulful grooves keeps the New Mastersounds from being just
another jazz/funk lounge act on Masterology.



in the Bag,” “Thermal Bad,” “Dusty Groove,” MICHAEL TOLAND       

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