For The Funkdawgs, advanced Internet technology is the digital glue that brought the members together from diverse locations around the globe. This connectivity provides a magical interaction of seasoned jazz musicians who share a passion for jazz funk. As a virtual band they exchange their individual creativity through wav files. The dynamic result reflects a spirit and freedom to explore and express. With The Funkdawgs, the energy of jazz funk provides a musical pulse you can feel, a rush of excitement you feel the first time and every time you listen to these innovative artists. Their collaborations and musical horizons are indeed borderless. Members ... Filippo Bertacche (Vicenza, Italy) - drums Bobby Brewer (Nashville, USA) - guitar Bob Johnson (Ottawa, Canada) - tenor saxophone, WX11 Bill Lawrence (Albany, USA) - bass Kerry Lytle (Ottawa, Canada) - keys ... And Many More Special Guests =========== Here's what jazz funk aficionado RamBro at the Incognito forum said about The Funkdawgs and Borderless (this is a fabulous Internet hot spot in the fusion world with many knowledgeable contributors): 1st Impressions....Funkdawgs - Borderless Funkdawgs? Who dey, you ask yourselves? Well, my main Canuck Stephen...yup, that one in Canada..tells me a few months ago about a concept that was coming together...like-minded musicians, worlds apart geographically, that were going to do a little project... via the internet!!! Ok, doable I thought...knock out a little EP with some easy-going ditties on it, everyone throwing in their part, mix it down and burn it to a disc. WELL, was I ever in for a rude awakening! I dutifully read Stephen's accompanying letter (handwritten no less...I'm impressed), instructing me to listen when I know I'm not going to interrupted (shoo! I interrupt my own damn self, so I knew this was going to be tough...being honest, I thought I'd just listen to a track or two and then 'track' my way throuh whatever was left. So, I take the CD out of the package...shit! It's got a plastic wrap on it a la CD's you buy in the store...woooah, this could be serious (how I get that from a plastic wrapper I'll never know, but then, that's why I'm me, right!?...right!). On to the music. First off there's 10 tracks...definitely not an EP. Secondly there's Mr. Hards' wicked and inventive cover and sleeve designs (for those of you who bailed on the 3rd Degree Burn non-project, but saw his CD design for that, you know that this guy don't play...by the way that was a dig, I don't think anyone's bailed out...just sleeping on it a bit...remember, Holiday gift giving time is coming, we can still DO THIS!). Liner notes courtesy of (again) Stephen giving you some inside scoop on some of the technologies that the individual muscians used (and Stephen, I've got a ton of questions to ask, so I'll e-mail them to you). Ok, half hour ago I said and now the music (or something like that)... The band consists of Drums (Filipo Bertacche) located in Vicenza, Italy; guitar (Bobby Brewer, Nashville, USA); Sax (Bob Johnson Ottawa, Canada...Stephen's neck of the woods); Bass (Bill Lawrence Albany, USA) and Keyboards (Kerry Lytle also form Ottawa, CN) and some guest musicians. Jazz, Jazz-Funk, Blues, Fusion bluesy Jazz, Jazzy Blues, you name it, these guys got it locked in the pocket. I couldn't help thinking that these cats never were in the same room (I guess this happens a lot in the music world, especially with vocalist, but it still seems strange). The first track - Rio Pup got my attention straightaway...groovin jazz-funk number wit some serious fusion over tones (why does Mr. Lawrence have me thinking, Alain Caron? Hmmm). Track two - Maltese Dawg - I love this track, got them chords that just do me in...neck snapping to this mid-tempo groover, band locking tighter than a prison gate. Mr. Johnson's sax solo is on the money adding the right 'colouration' to the track, ditto the guitar solo from BB..rhythmn section holding it down throughout...Mr Lytle throws in an apropos piano solo...this is what I call 'cool Jazz'...(it got to much soul to be called Smooth Jazz..you ain't hearing none of this CD in an elevator!!) Track 3 - Chillin' Joe - now da blewz starts to come out..tasty guitar working over a blues coda jammed nicely Track 4 - La Perla - latin-like groove here..guitar with heavy dose of chrous leads on a merry trip to the sax solo (by guest Chris Hicks..let me know if I'm right or wrong on that one Stephen)...ok, this could take forever..so I'll get a bit more to the point. Track 5 - Borderless (title track)...definetly got som mid-tempo Phewshun going on here...I hear Alain again...also brings to mind a funky-mooded Tribal Tech...maybe that's Gary Willis I hear..what ever, vibes, guitar...all of it..sounds good to me Track 6 - Walkin' The Dawgs - this one got it's mojo workin'! Kind of a down home swamp funk thang happenin' here...with some spacey pad-ed synths..twelve bar walkin bass givin me the blues Track 7 - You Tell Me- Another one of those 'luv it' groove tracks ( I can hear Maysa scatting over a break in this...that's cos I got a wild imagination...no vox on this record peeps, but it's all good anyway. Track 8 - Malibu Howie - The beginning of this reminds me of something else, but can't think what...got the Earl Klugh-ish nylon stringed guitar sound going on (wathc they'll reveal it wasn't even an acoustic much less nylon stringed). It's a slightly more mellow track than those before it, also a little more loosely put together. This is a good thing, as you don't want everything sounding alike, right? Track 9 - Bop Chorale - this is just downright swingin' jazz dude. Mr. Lytle's piano figures, sax defntely in that post bop mode...bass walkin up and down the track, with that classic ride cymbal work rounding out the sound (if I was a little heavier into straight jazz, i could probably tell who these cats indiviually and collectively remind me of, track to track, because there is a definite air of familiarity to a lot of the offerings here (not saying they're copying, they definitely got their own sound. Track 10 - Axle Grease rounds out the set, and what a way to finish up. Jauntingly grooving, got some organ going on in this one...jazz-blues, blues jazz you name it, this track swings! Are their any bad points...musically, no. Some spottiness to the 'finish' in some cases you can tell where the 'joins' are in this patchwork quilt, there's even some great hummy hissy sounds in one track when the bass is soloing alone...but f*** all that.... ...Great job guys...and thanks for running it by me Stephen, I appreciate that. Got soul? RAMBRO.
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