We are happy to distribute this release on Royal Potato Family, the US label of The New Mastersounds.
From their inception nearly two decades ago in Leeds, UK, The New Mastersounds have wholeheartedly embraced the “old school” label—their sound rooted deeply in those classic soul jazz, boogaloo and funk albums on labels such as Blue Note and Prestige by artists like Wes Montgomery, Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff and Lou Donaldson. The New Mastersounds’ latest LP, The Nashville Session, takes that devotion one step further by recording in the same tradition that many of those rare groove gems were made. The 10-track collection, cut at Welcome To 1979 studio in Nashville, was multi-tracked live onto one-inch tape in a single evening session in front of a small studio audience. Following the performance the recording was mixed down to quarter-inch stereo and then cut direct to vinyl lacquers. There are no guests and no overdubs, just bass, drums, guitar and organ—essentially pure New Mastersounds. Hitting the studio at the tail end of their Fall and Winter 2015 cross country U.S. tour, the band was razor sharp and vise tight. They selected material to record from across their 16-plus year career and ten studio albums. The lone exception being their take on legendary jazz guitarist Grant Green’s arrangement of James Brown’s “In The Middle.” The results from top to bottom are gritty, greasy and funky to the bone. The effort will be released exclusively on vinyl via a limited edition 1000-piece pressing and will not be available in any other formats upon initial release. The Nashville Session presents The New Mastersounds at their finest, utterly unadulterated by modern digital technology, full-on analog and unapologetically doing it old school……
From the band’s inception nearly two decades ago in Leeds, UK, The New Mastersounds have wholeheartedly embraced the old school label, their sound rooted deeply in those classic soul jazz, boogaloo and funk albums on labels such as Blue Note and Prestige by artists like Wes Montgomery, Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff and Lou Donaldson. The New Mastersounds’ latest LP, The Nashville Session, takes that devotion one step further by recording in the same tradition that many of those rare groove gems were made. This 11-track collection, cut at Welcome To 1979 studio in Nashville, was multi-tracked live onto one-inch tape in a single evening session in front of a small studio audience. Following the performance the recording was mixed down to quarter-inch stereo and then cut direct to vinyl lacquers. There are no guests and no overdubs, just bass, drums, guitar and organ-essentially pure New Mastersounds.
Hitting the studio at the tail-end of their Autumn 2015 cross-country U.S. tour, the band was razor-sharp and vice-tight. They selected material to record from across their 16-plus years-and-ten-studio-album career, the lone exception being their take on legendary jazz guitarist Grant Green’s arrangement of James Brown’s In The Middle. The results from top to bottom are gritty, greasy and funky to the bone. The effort was originally released in April 2016 as a limited-edition 1000-piece vinyl pressing which sold out within a few weeks. Now the digital release gives everyone else a chance to hear these classy grooves. The Nashville Session presents The New Mastersounds at their finest, full-on analog and unapologetically doing it vintage style.
The band’s USA tour throughout October, November and December 2016 is punctuated by a 3-night residency at Zürich’s JazzNoJazz Festival, November 3,4,5………………
Over the last 16 years, Leeds’ instrumental funk quartet the New Mastersounds have amassed a sizeable catalog: Ten studio albums, two live dates, two remix collections, and a compilation. Their records are so consistent in carrying the torch for driving, jazzy, retro funk, that it can be daunting to know where to start with them. The Nashville Session provides an answer to that quandary – with a catch. At the end of a 2015 tour, the band entered Nashville’s analog-centric Welcome to 1979 studio. In front of an invited audience they performed ten tracks from their catalog, as well as a cover of Grant Green’s arrangement of James Brown’s “In the Middle.” The single-session evening was multi-tracked live to one-inch tape. Immediately following, the recording was mixed down to quarter-inch stereo and cut direct to vinyl lacquers. And therein lies the catch: There are 1,000 copies on wax. Period. No other formats. It’s not a gimmick. And the evidence is in the record’s sound. Instruments bleed through the channels into one another to provide a level of immediacy and even clarity unmatched by their other offerings. Musically, The Nashville Session finds the New Mastersounds tighter than ever, and at a creative peak. Improvisational elements from previous versions of these tunes have become hardwired into the charts, leaving room for new directions. As a result, while the funk never takes a back seat, and jazz elements come to the fore – check Joe Tatton’s organ solo and Pete Shand’s bass breakdowns in opener “One Note Brown” – Eddie Roberts’ chunky guitar vamp in “Burnt Back” draws a straight line through Muscle Shoals, NOLA groove, and Blue Note soul-jazz. “The Minx,” with its mix of wah-wah lead guitar, rave-up bassline, Simon Allen’s cracking rim-shot breaks, and swelling organ, makes it the spikiest, meanest tune in the set. The verse-chorus-verse structure in “102%” bridges the Meters’ “Cissy Strut” to Jimmy McGriff’s “Keep Loose.” Roberts proves his mettle on the Green chart in the James Brown cover. His unshakeable rhythmic invention is matched only by his precision. Single-string leads sting and bite; they get twinned and build on one another while Shand’s bassline sidles up underneath with juicy fills, and Allen’s drums punch through the bottom while Tatton’s B-3 bubbles and then soars. The Nashville Session is abundant in groove quotient. At under an hour, it’s the perfect length for a listening session or to kick off a party. If you find yourself sitting still while it’s playing, it may be well past time to get your pulse checked….by Thom Jurek………
The New Mastersounds are no strangers to Funkatopia and you can hear them online via the FUNKEDUP app as well as revisit interviews we’ve done with them in the past. The Nashville Session is a superb collection of their funk fare and it’s just as great as it’s always been. They took specific selections from their many years together, got a small listening audience together and recorded their live performance in one grand evening at the Welcome to 1979 studio in Nashville, recording it onto 1 inch tape and limiting its release to a mere 1000 vinyl pressings. Luckily, you can also get it digitally……………
In the last five years, funk has made a resurgence to the music scene in seemingly endless variations. There is the explosivity of Lettuce, the grooves of the Motet, and the thrill of Turkuaz – all of which boast impressive brass sections. Then there is The New Mastersounds who, without horns, are providing a sophisticated and perhaps jazzier version to the beloved genre for a new generation of funk feigns.
With 16 years under their belt, the British four piece has released nine studio albums, two live albums, one remix album and three compilations released in the U.K., United States and Japan. On April 22, they will release The Nashville Session, recorded at Welcome to 1979 studio right in music city. The album contains 10 tracks from throughout their catalog. There are no overdubs or guest collaborations, leaving the listener with The New Mastersounds in their purest form. It’s an ideal introduction to the band for anyone who recognizes their name but has yet to dive in.
After recording to one-inch tape and then mixed down to quarter-inch stereo tape, the album was then cut directly to vinyl lacquer. They have released 1,000 limited edition vinyls before the digital version becomes available on May 27. There is a certain level of clarity you get on each instrument that you don’t necessarily hear on their studio albums. Most notably each note of that quintessential funky bass line is crystal throughout each track. Like staring at a top spin on a flat table, Pete Shand lays down the foundation for what is a reliably fast paced and mesmerizing experience.
New MasterSounds-0234Eddie Roberts brings audible precision to the guitar, a clear indication of their jazz influence. On several occasions, the listener may become hypnotized by the steady rhythm only to be jolted back to reality by the pure skill of his craft.
“Burnt Back,” is bursting with mood-lifting energy and includes the only noticeable lyric on the entire album – a faint “woo!” during an appropriate pause. Though it’s not clear whether this originated from the band or one of the handful of guests having the pleasure to witness the recording.
“Drop it Down” is probably the most unique of all the tracks. It begins with a stagnated and heavy bass that hops throughout the intro. It begins dark and mysterious before swirling back to a smooth groove.
During “The Minx,’ Roberts delivers the familiar “bow chicka bow wow” modulation like the “Shack” theme song. It pairs nicely with his own style, often referred to as “roughneck.”
The only song not their own is the last track, James Brown’s “In the Middle.” Roberts provides a stellar take on jazz guitarist Grant Green’s arrangement. The finished product is fast and sassy. Dance to this in front of the mirror and watch yo sly self start to move to the perfected rhythm and groove!
The Nashville Session should be listened to in its entirety. While some could say all their songs sound similar, this consistency will make for a fun Friday night happy-hour in a dimly lit bar, while suitable for a sophisticated yet cheerful dinner party at home…..BY ERIN CLARY………….
Tracklist A1 One Note Brown A2 Coming Up Roses A3 Burnt Black A4 Drop It Down A5 The Minx B1 102% B2 Carrot Juice B3 The Vandenburg Suite B4 Made For Pleasure B5 In The Middle