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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Mama K and the Shades

Honey Made

Review by Gary Hill

This feels in a lot of ways like it could have come out of the 1970s. The horn-soaked fusion on this disc is classic stuff. Still there is kind of a modern element to it. Most of the vocals are female, but the male vocals take the lead here and there. If you dig some fiery funk, this is for you.
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Track by Track Review
Too Wide

The horns really bring the magic. The soulful, powerful vocals manage to stand up amidst that arrangement. This is a funky kind of jazz based cut. It has some tasteful guitar soloing, and just rocks. The horn solo later just screams "retro cool."

Main Squeeze
While there are still horns here, they aren't as out front as they were on the opener. That said, there is a solo section where horn comes to fore. This is a fun kind of energized groove. While this isn't quite as retro or magical as its predecessor, it's no slouch, either.
The Shades

Now, this has some killer funky jazz in the mix. In contrast to the first two songs, the lead vocals here are male. This cut is all about the backing band. I can't imagine a cooler way to introduce the musicians. The drop back groove instrumental section is so classy.

Good Things
A stand-up bass opens this in style. The cut works from there to a mellower, jazzy kind of treatment. This is classic and classy in sound and powers up for the chorus. There is some killer horn soloing, too.
Like A Fool
Guitar leads this out of the gate. Male vocals drive this number. It has a bluesy kind of feeling to it. It's mellower than some of the rest. It's not as effective as the competition, either. That said, there is still plenty of funky, jazzy magic to be found in this mix. The bluesy guitar solo on this is purely on fire.
Midnight Train
Organ leads this out with a really retro sound. This grows out to a seriously soulful, rocking slab of funk. It's a powerhouse, really.
Baby Got Away
This is fast paced and has some major funk in the mix. The opening vocals are male, but the female vocals dominate. There is a spoken bit on the cut. I love the instrumental break with the call and response soloing between the horns and guitar. This is really energized and quite cool.
Love Machine
The bass starts this thing. The drums join and the rhythm section holds it for a time. The main vocals on this are male. This feels so much like something James Brown would have done that it's scary. That said, there is a bit of a Latin excursion later in the track. This is one of my favorite tunes here.
Fast paced funk is the concept here. This is fun, but not a standout.
Nnedi's Song

Here's one that's more of an "also ran." It's just not anything special.

This is funky reggae tune based seduction. It's risque and has some more stuff that feels like James Brown. The vocals on this are of the male variety. There is some screaming hot instrumental work in a jam later in the tune. The horn laced section near the end is on fire, too.
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