This is another one of those little gems that you give a listen too, then do a double take when you realize the band comes out of Winnipeg. MB. This is sweet modern funk jazz, a style that crosses the tried and true of jazz with turntable scratches and funk lyrics. It's rather impressive.
Younger music fans often shy from jazz, but Moses Mayes has created a CD that is likely to open some doors for jazz to a younger audience.
There is enough jazz here for the open-minded traditionalist too. For example the saxophone work of Paul Metcalfe and trumpet of Miron Rafajlovic on songs such as Tell Me give you the roots of the music.
On Full Moon Moses Mayes goes more into pure funk, relying on the vocals of Phatt Al and Sherry St. Germain to carry the song, aided in no small part by the turntable work of Grant Paley, who adds in his unique sounds on most cuts here.
This CD was recognized at the 2007 Western Canadian Music Awards taking Best Instrumental Recording honours. It would seem an excellent choice as winner given the way this effort connects to two musical worlds so nicely.
And, yes this is fundamentally instrumental, although vocals are added on a song or two, which is a nice break in the pattern for the listener.
Of note, the band also won the 2001 WCMA award for top dance/urban album.
This is a CD that should gain a large audience, although the material might be such too that jazz fans on one side, and younger funk affectionados on the other shy away. That would be a bad choice on their part. Open the mind and give this one a try. You will be glad you did. Check them out at www.mosesmayes.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper April 2, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada