Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The City Champs Safecracker
I love instrumentals! One CD which has receieved nearly daily blasts from me since my old mate Scott Bomar dropped me a copy is the City Champs The Safe Cracker.
The City Champs are the latest in a long lineage of Memphis musicians to grab the mantle of funky, soul-jazz instrumentals pioneered by acts like Booker T & the MGs, Willie Mitchell and The Bar-Kays. “The Safecracker” features 7 prime cuts of Stax, Hi Records and Blue Note inspired soul-jazz and funk, produced and engineered by Memphis producer and film composer, Scott Bomar (the Bo-Keys, “Hustle & Flow” & “Soul Men”) at his Electraphonic Recording studio. The sessions were tracked and mixed entirely on analog tape—Bomar used his Scully 1” 8-track machine, which was the same model used at Stax,Muscle Shoals Sound, and Chip’s Moman’s American Studio.
The City Champs are led by guitarist, Joe Restivo, who also penned the original material on the album. Joe is one of the premier R&B/Jazz guitarists in Memphis and holds a BFA in Jazz Studies from the prestigious New School in New York City, where he studied with jazz greats Jack Wilkins, Junior Mance, Cecil Bridgewater, and Phil Markowitz. Organist Al Gamble, hails from the Muscle Shoals, Alabama region, and has performed live and on recordings with such notables as Rufus Thomas, Syl Johnson, Alex Chilton, and the Memphis Horns. Drummer George Sluppick is a native Memphian who has spent most of his life on the road performing live and recording with may notables, including Albert King, Robert Walter's 20th Congress, Melvin Sparks, Ruthie Foster and JJ Grey and MOFRO.
Mastered straight off analog tapes, directly to disc by mastering engineer Larry Nix on the same equipment he used daily at Stax Records.
Go out and buy this album - one of my faves of the year so far!
Get over to Dusty Groove for a copy - you won't be disappointed!
Take a listen to a sample track Poppin'