Apr 8th, 2022
German multi-instrumentalist and composer YORK releases his second solo album The Vintage Funk Vol. 1 – a hip, danceable, and groovy work of 13 tracks that present themselves immersed in the impeccable sound of 70’s funk. Although YORK’s jazzy style is immediately recognizable, the tracks awaken memories of the “Godfather of Funk” James Brown, as well as being reminiscent of Disco-Funk in the style of Maze, Sister Sledge or Chic.
Cause what else can a musician do during the Corona pandemic if not make music! A process that can best be described as “making a virtue of necessity”, which also explains why the Hanoverian musician is already releasing the next long-player just six months after dropping his highly acclaimed debut solo album The Soul Jazz Experience Vol. 1! Even more remarkable is that the former live and studio sideman for heavyweights such as Randy Crawford, Phil Collins, Mousse T., Jazzkantine, Bahama Soul Club, or Spice doesn’t just play the flute and saxophone on this album, but also records instruments like Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Hohner Clavinet, B3 Organ and – just recently acquired – the electric bass.
In album opener “Ain’t No Love”, singer Josephine Nightingale waxes lyrical about the situation in anonymous big cities. Olvi Dean from England and rapper Liv from the USA on the other hand, evoke a funky disco feeling on “I’m Not Ready To Go Home”, in which YORK engages in a battle between his flute and rapper Liv, fuelled by R.T. King‘s “James Brown guitar”.
In “Boogie, Boogie, Boogie” with its funky groove, Pete Simpson woos the lady of his choice – the outcome of his efforts remains unknown, but given the danceable number, a good mood is guaranteed! “Funky 12” is bluesy in style but is hardly recognizable as such due to the massive funky vibes. If there were a film for this song – it could be set in a stylish club in France where Yves Saint Laurent and Brigitte Bardot meet on the dance floor.
“Big Love For ‘C'” takes a quieter approach: YORK’s delicate flute tones are in the foreground and give the track its very special charm. “I Don’t Care” sees a reunion with Catherine Nightingale, who makes clear with soulful intensity how important it is in life to go your way. The danceable “Feel The Groove” with the tight vocals of Selena Evan is also available a few beats faster and slightly shortened as a hit single radio version and with the ballad “Fine Crime” the listener witnesses a real “crime in the head”.
“Mr. Woofer” presents cool midtempo soul: the song is about a bad guy whom Josephine Nightingale successfully keeps away from her house. This is followed by “No Masterplan”, in which Pete Simpson addresses the fact that you don’t always have to – and can’t – plan everything out in life. Instead, it’s off to the dance floor!
“Walk At Night In SFO” brings back memories: the track is pure crime music and could have served excellently as a soundtrack for an American crime series from the 70s. “Move Ya Body” is once again danceable – just as the title suggests – but US rapper Pablo has a lot to say here! The album terminates with ballad “Joy” with the catchy vocals of Olvi Dean.
A trip back to the funkiest dancefloors of the 70s, with impeccable musicianship and inspired compositions!