NEW RELEASE – THE WHITE BLINDS
If you like your groove hefty and in-your-face, try Get To Steppin’ by The White Blinds.
Carey Frank (organ), Matt Hornbeck (guitar), Michael Duffy (drums)
in 2018 at Rich Uncle Records
as FSPT 2001 in 2018
A Walk Through Echo Park
Get To Steppin’
Ask a random passerby if he knows who is Zigaboo Modeliste. In all likelihood, he/she’ll raise an eyebrow. Obviously, serious music lovers will answer that he was the drummer of The Meters, the legendary New Orleans Funk outfit whose greasy and clever funk had a pervasive influence on popular music, inspiring a diversity of acts from The Rolling Stones to hiphop posses. The White Blinds KNOW their Meters, as well as music akin to it, like late 60s/early 70s soul and funk jazz. Underlined by the sustained energy of punk rock, the tight-knit trio from Los Angeles is off and running. The White Blinds are drummer Michael Duffy, organist Carey Frank and guitarist Matt Hornbeck, fixtures on the Californian soul and funk scene. The trio has released its debut album Get To Steppin’ on F-Spot Records in the summer of 2018.
Even if soul jazz may not be, as it was in the sixties, music for Afro-American folks to have an exciting evening after a day of hard labor, the contemporary audience can relate to high-quality jazz meant for relaxation. It ideally includes a certain kind of sexy vibe, capable of making people feel loose and receptive for their surroundings, not necessarily for orgasm, instead for playfulness, desire, communion. Erotica then, instead of sex, is the word in this respect. Tailor-made for inhabitants of Erotic City, this set of White Blinds soul jazz and jazz funk is uplifting, the pull of the sleazy Hammond organ, spicy guitar and roaring rolls and tight pocket of Michael Duffy’s Idris Muhammad-meets-Bernard Purdie-drums rather irresistible. Lurid grooves mark tunes as Chico, Hip Hugger, The Hustler and Get To Steppin’.
The old-school Hammond/Leslie speaker-sound of Blinded is underscored by a healthy cluster of screamin’ phrases by Carey Frank. He showcases a variety of sounds throughout the album. Matt Hornbeck, a relaxed architect of concise funk-blues stories, utilizing sly bending of notes and the occasional chickin’ pickin’ lick, gets a chance to stretch out during Jimmy McGriff’s blues line Blue Juice. ‘Jazz rockabilly’ might be the appropriate term for Little Giant, which is distinguished by varied opposing rhythm and tacky breaks. The Doc is the kind of soul tune Quincy Jones could’ve written in the early seventies for young couples to slow dance to nervously, bereft of swag and sweating like pigs.
A bit of transpiration never hurt anybody, not least the customers of the good-ol’ soul jazz genre, which Get To Steppin’ is a fine expansion of.
Check out the album and website of The White Blinds here. Also available on vinyl, including a 45rpm single.