Mental Combat: Issue 742
Get ready for the supergroup of contemporary deep funk with the new release on Now-Again (Creative Vibes/Basement Digs) by the name of Connie Price & the Keystones with their superb album, Wildflowers. Containing members from more than six well established groups such as Breakestra, Antibalas, Dap Kings, etc… it truly is a supergroup in every sense of the word. As an added bonus is that the current tradesman of drumming, the extraordinarily gifted and prolific Malcom Catto is on the sticks as well. It’s down and dirty with a massive lineup of musicians involved who really do surpass themselves in a shapes and forms. Melodies, rhythms, atmosphere, vibe, are all sophisticated yet parallel a world of 30 years ago in the most truest of fashions. It’s the lack of pretence and the love of funk that propels if far above those who fail to see the alkaline & focus on the acid. Alkaline funk as opposed to acid jazz. The title track & the only one with vocals, is a prime example of bringing the old with the new. It features the vocals of two members of the early ’70s obscure funk outfit LA Carnival and it pretty much sounds like a never before released track from that era. If those guys can hook up with new fellas for such a project then the least one could do is put this on the shopping list. Highly memorable and rewarding. LINK
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We here at TOFLO.com like to think that we are for the most part “up” on new music and that not too much gets by our ears. But then we’re thoroughly gorilla-slapped back to reality when we find out about music like this, months after it’s initial release. Wildflowers is an album that will almost instantly bring you back to an earlier time (namely the early 70’s) when music was lush and could single-handedly bring you to another level. Combining elements of funk, jazz, soul and rock, Wildflowers is able to effortlessly capture the essence of what made that era so great. A live instrumental album by some extremely talented musicians, fifteen in total, it makes for an excellent listen when you just want to sit back, zone-out, and not do a damn thing. Very cool.
Rewind Worthy: “Get Thy Bearings,” “Sucker Punch,” “The Shadows Of Leaves” and “Wildflowers.”
L.A. Weekly – July 8, 2005
Connie Price & the Keystones, Egon at Temple Bar.
Stones Throw Records’ estimable arbiter of good taste Egon throws two parties to celebrate the release of Cold Heat — Heavy Funk Rarities, the funktastic follow-up to the label’s justly acclaimed The Funky 16 Corners compilation, a veritable mine of unheeded funk gold by ’60s and ’70s combos from all over the U.S.A. The new disc uncovers further great stuff from some of the bands featured on The Funky 16 Corners and brings on several previously unheard others, in a memorabilia-packed set complete with a 28-page booklet and tons of priceless period pics. Tonight, L.A.’s crucial Connie Price & the Keystones perform songs from the comps as well as their own originals, and Egon will deejay. At Star Shoes on Saturday, renowned Northern Soul DJ/compiler Keb Darge flies in for his first-ever set in California. (John Payne)
Vol. IV, issue #17 (March/April)
Connie Price and the Keystones
There’s been a second coming among underground funk lovers, with new labels popping up faster than you can say James Brown. And while a good portion of the revenue upstarts like Now-Again bring in is due to re-releasing hard to find classics, it’s also inspired a new generation of musicians to embrace the funk. Drummer Connie Price and Breakestra guitarist Dan Ubick have assembled a cast of characters that can create aural landscapes using live instruments nearly as well as Ubick has with the help of technology in the past. Lot’s of wah-pedal guitar and thumping bass are what drives Wildflowers, but this isn’t straight funk JB’s style; it’s heavily infused in Jazz, Afrobeat, soul, and, according to Ubick, late 60s/early 70s movie soundtracks. The trumpet work of Daptone recording artist Todd M. Simon is nothing short of amazing, displaying a range from the swing to psychedelic era’s of jazz. The Wurlitzer, Moog and Rhodes laid down throughout sets the perfect ambiance for every mood shift, but never feels forced or worse yet, incompetently played like often is the case when working with such distinctly toned instruments. The soundtrack quality will be evident once you put on the record and realize every beat is following you closely no matter what the scenario. It slowly becomes background music for your ride; it doesn’t matter where you’re going, because no matter where, you won’t stop bobbin’ your head. –DE