Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Now what got me thinking of those sexy men on sax was a blast from the past from our old friend Wayne Sulc who played with Jr. Cline and the Recliners for many years in several clubs here. Most of you know that Darryl (aka Jr.) had some health problems that prevented him from performing but he’s back and better than ever. Wayne told me they have played a few dates and are working on a return to Fager’s Island - maybe. Let’s hope, right? Anyway, Wayne has continued playing with several groups over the past few years doing everything from jazz to salsa, and now has assembled a group of superb musicians to produce a CD of Urban Funk titled Heroes and Legends. I can tell you I am really enjoying this collection of songs, most of which are arranged by Wayne Sulc with vocals recorded by another person with whom we are quite familiar, Tommy Lepson. The CD opens with the jazzy cool instrumental “Urban Phunk,” one of the originals on the CD, composed and arranged by Steve Long, that immediately captured my attention. Next is “Josie,” by Walter Becker & Donald Fagen, a superb arrangement by Mr. Sulc that is mostly instrumental with vocal tags by Lepson and Jennifer Smith. Following is “Mercy Mercy Me,” composed by Marvin Gaye, that is another combination of arranging genius and musicians’ triumphant performances. Another highlight for me is “Lourdes From Heaven” written by Wayne Sulc. So, you get the picture. Homage is paid to artists who helped shape the preferences and styles of these musicians; hence the name Heroes and Legends. This is a magnificent studio collaboration that spanned a few years to its completion. I doubt that we will ever hear these musicians assembled live, so go to saxman productions or request it from your local music store to hear what I’ve been happily listening to.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Urban Funk’s debut CD is why I am so determined to get my words heard, so I can spread the word out about our music. “Heroes and Legends” is easily one of the best pieces of music I have ever heard. There is nothing really bad about this release. The best of the best are in this group. These creative energies have created the masterful release. Heroes and Legends were born by the love of the saxophone. Probably, that is one of the reasons (our) Music keeps me dreaming of getting my energy and spirit back, and Music Monthly (albeit) with a new name. Heroes and Legends is brilliant. Title tells it all, and when you hear the best we have lay down tracks and create magic. On the disc are Steve Long, Wayne Sulc, Jeff Bonk, Don Junker; John Thomakos, Tim Cututrona, Chuck Underwood¸ Tommy Lepson ,and Jennifer Smith. If you get off on great, funky music, with amazing vocals, licks to die for, and freaking awesome drums, excuse me, I mean percussion. I am sure the release is available wherever you can get good and bad music. Thank you so much for the gift of this CD. The first cut knocks me out, and it just keeps getting better from there. The fact that this record is all covers, doesn’t alter my opinion of this record—these guys picked some great tunes. I imagine it was really fun laying down tracks for it. Phenomenal listen!