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Smoke Signals by Kerbside Collection

Written by Dennis van Leeuwen

Jazz funk and gritty rare grooves ensemble from down under – Kerbside Collection – return with their third record Smoke Signals! Continuing in a down home, instrumental approach, but this time combining updated ideas and flavours into their spectrum of warm, analogue, dusty grooves from more frequent fender-rhodes electric jazz elements, to New Orleans sprinklings alongside their 60’s inspired West Coast style. Smoke Signals continues the wilder tones, textures and ‘library’ sounds of extra instrumentation where previous ‘Trash or Treasure’ left off, whilst introducing hints of fusion and cinematic analogue electric colours into the mix – bringing things into slightly early 70s territory.

Opening with the lush, chilled, palate of Waiting Game, remeniscent of some classic Air ‘Moon Safari’ grooves, before the album properly begins with a fresh rendition of the rhodes heavy Cedar Walton 70’s jazz funk classic ‘Jacob’s Ladder’. Then straight into the street-styled jazzbongo breaks and funky-flute of ‘Traffic’, a skankin’ New Orleans reggae homage to one of its finest Creole dishes, featuring funky hammond organ curtosy of guest Jake Mason (Cookin’ on 3 Burners/Jake Mason Trio) and tasty piano work from multi instrumentalist Andrew Fincher who handles both guitar and keys on the whole record. The middle of the record comes with a steaming afro funk workout, and a low slung N’awlins styled blues ‘n’ soul groover, both featuring the fruity, low-end brass action of Papa Joe on baritone sax, before taking a gentle, restfull breather with the delightful, soulful, rhodes ballad ‘Little Mountain’; and a ‘waltz-jazz-wig-out’ attributed to their label’s A&R Mr Mellow (remeniscent of some humerous UK acid jazz ala Corduroy and James Taylor Quartet) featuring some beautiful jazzy flugelhorn, and acoustic double bass.

The album wraps up with another cover – a grittier reinterpretation and arrangement of a Bob James 80s jazzfunk classic ‘Westchester Lady’ complete with funky flute and soaring guitar solo, before closing with the explosive rock-funk workout and title track ‘Smoke Signals’ (another car reference)…….. rounding out a record with a full spectrum of handmade raw jazzfunk, soul, funky reggae, library and gritty rare grooves….enjoy!

About the author

Dennis van Leeuwen

Music lover | Radio host | Promoter of what I believe is great music | Minimalism