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Take You Higher

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Album Review

Robert Walter revisits his Clinton Administration project, but with wholesale changes this time out. First off, the only players remaining from the first album are Walter and percussionist Chuck Prada, who team up with fusion jam band Garaj Mahal, drummer Stanton Moore (Galactic), and additional guitarists Michael Lee Firkins and Charlie Hitchcock. Secondly, rather than doing more George Clinton tunes, they shift the focus to the songs of Sly Stone. There is no doubt that Sly & the Family Stone delivered some fantastic tunes, but they were never the nonstop party band that the P-Funk All-Stars are, and it's that difference that sets Take You Higher apart from One Nation Under a Re-Groove. "Everybody Is a Star" and "You Can Make It if You Try" may be uplifting songs, but it's due more to the lyrical sentiments than the music itself, and divorced from the lyrics, the songs just don't stand up the same way. Another thing is that as these songs get stretched out so the bandmembers can strut their stuff a bit, they tend to lose the focus of the tune, and sort of devolve into jamming. Case in point: "Everyday People" sounds more like they were trying to play "Shhh/Peaceful" from In a Silent Way, with the melody for "Everyday People" dropped in sporadically. It's all well played, to be sure, and there is some great soloing, but this album would probably appeal more to folks who are already Garaj Mahal fans rather than those who picked up the last Clinton Administration set.

Customer Reviews

exceptional

the songs of Sly Stone are used as a template for some absolutely insane and inspired jamming. Drummer Stanton Moore keeps it cooking, and the slide guitarist just shreds. "Take you Higher", "Simple Song" and "Everybody is a Star" stand out, and Family Affair is just lovely -- beautiful changes and spare, restrained playing.

Take You Higher, The Clinton Administration
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Customer Ratings

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