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High Noon

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Album Review

The second outing from the Funk Ark shows a band full of confidence and willing to take more risks. In some ways, they've turned into the Santana of Afro-beat, mixing it up with rock and soul, the way that Carlos and his boys did with Latin music at the end of the '60s. There's even a fair amount of guitar soloing from Greg Loman, backed up heavily by Will Rast's keyboards. But it's the horns that dominate, as well they should, with plenty of room for blowing (and kudos to Matt Rippetoe for his excellent sax work). Everything builds from Afro-beat, however, the funky pieces and riffs locking together to build a rich, grooving structure. There are only vocals on "Funky Southern," but guest singer Mustafa Akbar brings plenty of soul to the party. This album is a huge leap forward from their debut — free-wheeling and bright — the product of plenty of live performance. It's still tight as a tick, but with ample space for the musicians to express themselves. Simply by being who they were, the members of Funk Ark have created something fresh and very exciting.

High Noon, The Funk Ark
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