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Sugarman 3

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Biography

New York City retro-funk combo the Sugarman 3 were formed by saxophonist Neal Sugarman in the spring of 1996 following his return from New Orleans, where he backed artists including Eddie Henderson and Mike Longo. Teaming with organist Adam Scone (a one-time protégé of Ben Dixon) and longtime Brother Jack McDuff drummer Rudy Albin, the trio — inspired by the vintage jazz-funk sounds of the '60s — quickly emerged as a club favorite, and with guitarist Coleman Mellett, the Sugarman 3 recorded their 1998 Desco label debut Sugar's Boogaloo. A single, "Cherry Pickin'," preceded the release of the combo's second album, Soul Donkey. Sweet Spot, a compilation of the previous two albums, appeared in spring 2001. That fall the band met with former Desco Records owner Gabriel Roth and producer Bosco Mann to form Daptone Records, the label that would reflect their interests and act as a platform for Sugarman 3 albums. The first of these projects appeared in the summer of 2002, when Sugarman 3's Pure Can Sugar arrived in stores. In the ensuing decade, the band's members were busy with various side projects (most notably Sugarman who is also a member of the Dap-Kings and has toured with everyone from Amy Winehouse to Eric Clapton). They released only three singles — all of which were collaborations with vintage soul man Lee Fields. Sugarman 3 finally returned to active recording on their own in 2012 with the release of What the World Needs Now.

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