Menahan Street Band: The Crossing (Dunham)

 |   |  <1 min read

Menahan Street Band: Keep Coming Back
Menahan Street Band: The Crossing (Dunham)

Released late last year so lost between Rod/Buble Christmas carol albums and non-stick reggae vibes, this all-instrumental outing by the house band for Brooklyn's Dunham Records (a subsidiary of Daptone) – who did the honours on Charles Bradley's retro-soul gem No Time for Dreaming in 2011 – is a quietly smoldering outing treading lightly between ensemble jazz, slo-soul and late night moods which steams with humid horns and organ grooves.

This anonymous supergroup – members of the Dap Kings and Antibalas – offers mood pieces which win by stealth and repeat play rather than deliver king hits. Many of these 11 pieces – the desert amble of Three Faces, deft funk and Oriental weirdness on Sleight of Hand, film noir on Bullet for the Bagman, beach-friendly guitars on Driftwood – have a cinematic quality which refers back to the Fifties as much as the streets of today's New York.

In places you can almost hear how a vocalist might ride across the top – notably on the chipping funk and strings of Lights Out and the liquid Everyday a Dream – and some might feel that absence.

But this is a quietly maturing winner for the summer days and nights ahead.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Ringo Starr: Ringo 2012 (Hip-O/Universal)

Ringo Starr: Ringo 2012 (Hip-O/Universal)

It's a shame the most interesting Beatles at the time of their 1970 break-up – Lennon and Harrison – are no longer with us, because the post-Beatles legacy is carried into the second... > Read more

Freda Payne: Band of Gold/Contact/Reaching Out (Edsel/Triton)

Freda Payne: Band of Gold/Contact/Reaching Out (Edsel/Triton)

Although it was slightly ambiguous about who had failed on the wedding night, it is Freda who says her new husband should come back and "love me like you tried before". And so we... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Quantic presents The Western Transient: A New Constellation (TruThoughts)

Quantic presents The Western Transient: A New Constellation (TruThoughts)

Will Holland -- aka Quantic (among other pseudonyms) -- is a facilitator as much as musician and here gathers a number of his LA jazz pals for an enjoyable collection which works a line between... > Read more

THE POINT by HARRY NILSSON (MVDvisual DVD through Southbound)

THE POINT by HARRY NILSSON (MVDvisual DVD through Southbound)

Despite the very best efforts and intentions of critics and writers -- Elsewhere among them -- the wayward genius of Harry Nilsson still goes past most people. His work has been occasionally... > Read more