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Editors’ Notes

This exciting English ensemble recycles the time-tested sounds of gritty funk, silky soul jazz, and bustling boogaloo and emerges with a refreshing and electrifying bag of their own. With drummer Simon Allen and bassist Pete Shand propelling the rhythm section, the ample grooves don’t plod, they pop; the beats are heavy but snappy, grounded but nimble; the music just seems to leap out of your speakers. “Witness,” originally by London hip-hopper Roots Manuva, has a Meters-on-acid feel, with Eddie Roberts’s guitar scratch calling to mind that of Leo Nocentelli while organist Bob Birch dances between funky Art Neville-like fills and otherworldly explorations. Thanks in part to Rob Lavers’s floating flute, “Carrot Juice” offers a bright, bluesy, psychedelic-‘60s vibe, while the full-speed-ahead “Talk Is Cheap” gets a big boost from Lavers on sax. “Thirty Three” builds on an insistent groove that allows Roberts to dig in and Birch to soar. “Hey Fela!” with Lavers again on flute, adds a tinge of African flair to the mix, while “L.A. Root Down” moves things in a dub direction. Remarkably, they’re able to reconstruct in the studio the exhilarating feel of their live shows, no small feat indeed.

Customer Reviews

Great Band, Great Album

This is a great new band from Europe, very funky, with a MMW feel at times. I have really been enjoying these guys, very fresh.

Who'd a-Funk it?

This highly talented quartet-plus-one from Great Britain has hit the States with a much-needed shot in the funky bone with its latest album 102%. With grooves channeling the likes of Grant Green, the Meters, the Greyboy Allstars, James Brown and his band, the lads from Leeds create an original take on an old American classic form with a little spice from across the pond. PS, their live shows are non-stop energy.

102%

You have to buy this one. I have not heard music this good in a long time. It is right up there with MMW and uberjam by Scofield. Check it out. You won't be disappointed.

Biography

Formed: 1999 in Leeds, England

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s, '10s

One of the cornerstone acts of the U.K. retro-soul scene, the New Mastersounds play taut, old-school instrumental funk with a contemporary energy and an enthusiasm that has earned them rave reviews and led them to collaborate with a number of major acts in Britain and the United States. The New Mastersounds were formed in 1999 by guitarist Eddie Roberts, who was DJ'ing at a weekly club night in Leeds devoted to classic soul and funk. When the event moved to a new venue that covered two floors, Roberts...
Full Bio