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The Crossing

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iTunes Review

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.

Customer Reviews

Daptone is #1

album is meant to be listened to as whole experience, and a good one at that. You don't pick songs out as the "good" ones like t-ray d suggests. that's not the way this album is meant to be listened to. All the daptone artists are fantastic, and this is another great addition to a fantastic line of albums.


sick new material. check esp. #s 4,6, 8, 9, 10

Work of Art

Man, I really can't say enough good things about this album. The full spectrum of emotions are explored throughout this piece and not one is ever too intense. Sometimes when I'm listening to this, there are parts where I'm like "Oh yea! What a groove!" and then it proceeds to something else--but I think that's the point. These guys are masters of subtlety. They keep the listener's attention the entire ride and get you to experience the bigger picture without even realizing it.

I think, more than anything, that these guys value listening over playing. Tons of people can shred at their instrument, but few really have that strong ear. You can tell that listening to each other is first priority here, and consequently, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts... by a lot.

Five stars. Easily.


Formed: Brooklyn, NY

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A loose-knit group of musicians drawn from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings (Dave Guy, Homer Steinweiss, Fernando Velez, Bosco Mann), El Michels Affair (Leon Michels, Toby Pazner), Antibalas (Nick Movshon, Aaron Johnson) and the Budos Band (Mike Deller, Daniel Fodder), the Menahan Street Band was assembled by producer Thomas Brenneck. Recorded in Brenneck's Menahan Street. apartment in Bushwick, Brooklyn, the conglomerate band blended a whole array of influences into a fresh approach to instrumental...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Menahan Street Band

The Crossing, Menahan Street Band
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