What they say…
Funk and jazz-fusion veterans The New Mastersounds are a four-piece band originally from Leeds in the UK that can boast… (hmmm, hold on as we do the math, 1, 2, 3….), 13 studio albums, 3 live albums, 1 remix album, 3 compilations and over 20 7″ singles released variously in the UK, USA and Japan, where they continue to tour extensively (did we get it right? gee it’s hard to keep up).
As a band, and as individuals, guitarist and producer Eddie Roberts, drummer Simon Allen, bass player Pete Shand and keyboardist Joe Tatton have collaborated or jammed with an impressive array of musicians, DJs and producers, including: Lou Donaldson (Blue Note), Corinne Bailey Rae (EMI), Quantic (Tru Thoughts), Carleen Anderson (Young Disciples / Brand New Heavies), Keb Darge & Kenny Dope (Kay Dee Records), John Arnold (Ubiquity), Mr Scruff (Ninja Tune), Snowboy (Ubiquity), Fred Everything (2020Vision), Andy Smith (Portishead), James Taylor (JTQ), LSK (Faithless), Lack Of Afro (Freestyle), Page McConnell (Phish), Karl Denson (Lenny Kravitz / Greyboy Allstars), Melvin Sparks (Blue Note Records), George Porter Jr (The Meters), Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker (JB’s), Ernest Ranglin and Art Neville (Neville Brothers, The Meters), and many, many more.
By 2014 the band was already on its ninth studio album, “Therapy“, a stunning collection of 12 tracks that go from luscious jazz-funk-fusion to full-on funk mode that was released on Légère Recordings. A little over a year later it was time for “Made For Pleasure“, another delicious set of tunes recorded in New Orleans and drenched with Meters-like vibes. This album was followed by “The Nashville Session”, 11 tunes recorded live onto one-inch tape in a single evening session in front of a small studio audience. No guests and no overdubs, just bass, drums, guitar and organ-essentially pure New Mastersounds performing some of their most recent tracks.
By 2018, the band decided to self-produce, and “Renewable Energy“ was released on their own imprint One Note Records, once again providing a heavy dose of mostly instrumental, guitar-driven grooves developed into a rich tapestry of textures. That same year they released “The Nashville Session 2” another live set recorded in one take, but this time instead of playing the organ, keyboardist Joe Tatton plays various pianos and a vintage analog synthesizer.
In the meantime guitarist Eddie Roberts had made the permanent move to Colorado in the US, and with that move came… more moves! Eddie founded Color Red Records, and brought the rest of the band over to his newly-built studio to record “Shake It“, a departure from the jazz-funk-fusion meanderings of their recent releases that saw a new entry in the form of singer Lamar Williams Jr. guesting on almost all tracks. Celebrating 20 years as a band, this full-length delighted fans and critics as confirmed this band is a guarantee.
As an example of the respect this band commands, Peter Wermelinger – DJ, collector, and author of the crate-diggers’ bible The Funky & Groovy Music Lexicon – places the 2001 NMS track “Turn This Thing Around” in his all-time top-ten tunes, along with the likes of Eddie Harris, Funkadelic, and Herbie Hancock to name a few. The New Mastersounds are at the very top of an elite selection of acts that bring the true soul out of funk.
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