11 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Brooklyn-based instrumental ensemble Menahan Street Band was one of the more interesting and eclectic acts to emerge from the Daptone stable in the late ‘00s. As the backup band for veteran soul belter Charles Bradley, the group summoned the punchy syncopation and streamlined arrangements of soul and funk luminaries like The JB’s and The Hi Rhythm Section, but on its solo albums it stretches out and incorporates a wider range of influences. The Crossing is Menahan Street Band’s second proper full-length, finding bandleader and arranger Thomas Brenneck taking the group through a set of airtight instrumentals that evoke everything from the melodramatic soundtrack work of Luis Bacalov to the tricky rhythms of Ethiopian jazz. The Crossing is formidably diverse, but its rich horn arrangements and persistent air of slinky minor-key menace lend coherence to the album’s many stylistic digressions. It's the group’s most consistent and rewarding effort to date.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Brooklyn-based instrumental ensemble Menahan Street Band was one of the more interesting and eclectic acts to emerge from the Daptone stable in the late ‘00s. As the backup band for veteran soul belter Charles Bradley, the group summoned the punchy syncopation and streamlined arrangements of soul and funk luminaries like The JB’s and The Hi Rhythm Section, but on its solo albums it stretches out and incorporates a wider range of influences. The Crossing is Menahan Street Band’s second proper full-length, finding bandleader and arranger Thomas Brenneck taking the group through a set of airtight instrumentals that evoke everything from the melodramatic soundtrack work of Luis Bacalov to the tricky rhythms of Ethiopian jazz. The Crossing is formidably diverse, but its rich horn arrangements and persistent air of slinky minor-key menace lend coherence to the album’s many stylistic digressions. It's the group’s most consistent and rewarding effort to date.

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