Friday, August 8, 2008

All About Jazz review of "Life Is Loud"

Review by George Harris
Appears in All About Jazz
July 2008, Vol. 6 No. 6
LA/Bay Area/Chicago editions

Guitarist Cameron Mizell leads a trio with keyboardist Brad Whiteley and drummer Mike Fortune that is joyously reminiscent of the classic groove/funk rhythm sections of the '60s. Think Booker T. & The M.G.'s or The Famous Flames, and you are walking down the right street, probably somewhere in Memphis. The Stax Records/soul groove is deep and rich on compositions like "Fearless" and "Pungee." Mizell is able to let out some Beale Street ("home of the blues") style guitar chords as on "Soulfunksticat," as well as layout some clean guitar picking ("Get Out" and "Thursdays"). His workout with Fortune's snapping high hat on "Los Bandidos" is ultra hip (think an uptempo Marc Ribot Y Los Cubanos Postizos). James Brown's "Cold Sweat" has some great shifting grooves, with Whiteley's playful keyboard solo that keeps your feet moving. All that's missing is Maceo Parker's alto saxophone. The cover of Blood, Sweat & Tears' "Spinning Wheel" is tight and in the pocket, while "Let the Music Take Your Mind" has some real kinetic interplay between a string wizard Mizell and the hard hitting Fortune. You might build up a sweat just listening to this one! Turn Life up real loud.

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