On a chilly mid-December Wednesday night, Turkuaz and the New Mastersounds (above) brought the heat to the Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh, NC.
TEXT & PHOTOS BY TODD GUNSHER
This was one of the last dates on the co-headlining tour they have been on since early October and it was clear that they two bands have been having a good time together.
First up was Turkuaz (photos above) whose nine members filled up almost every square foot of the stage. This was my first Turkuaz experience and I immediately got into the groove and wondered how I’d not seen them earlier. Funky grooves, horns, great vocals and even the occasional talk-box made it impossible for anyone in the audience to stand still. Sure, I could throw out song titles like “20 Dollar Bill”, “M’Lady”, or the closer “Monkey Fingers”, but the entire set was a highlight. While each musician had their time in the spotlight, it’s the tight ensemble playing that puts this band over the top.
After the stage was cleared, the New Mastersounds (above and below) were on, with all four members right up front, drums, bass, guitar and organ in a tight line, straight across the stage. Where Turkuaz brings the funk, New Mastersounds are more firmly rooted in the soul-jazz world. Filling in on drums was Soullive’s Alan Evans, he and bassist Pete Shand were locked in so tight you’d think they’ve been playing together for years, a sign of true masters of their craft. The playing of Eddie Roberts (guitar) and Joe Tatton (organ) is some of the best I’ve heard in a while, loosely tight, with plenty of energy.
Midway through the set, Greg Sanderson from Turkuaz came out to add some sax to ”I Am Somebody”, and then all the horns joined the band along with local vocalist Charly Lowry to lead the primarily instrumental group in a “Enough Is Enough” and “Joe”.
For the encore, all the members of both bands filled up the stage to play “On The Border” and “The Rules” to close out an excellent night of funk, soul and jazz.