Monday, 30 July 2018

Tower of Power - Soul Side of Town, album review

Empathetic Shout-Out

The title track is a tower of funk and strut and, naturally, soul, the horns making the fifty years of this consummate ensemble such a blast, Doc’s baritone sax laying down pulses and Castillo’s tenor drawing structural lines as solo and overall support, these two the remaining members of the original incarnation.

I’m no expert on the history of this powerhouse band, but cannot fail to know of them and to revel in this exposition of all before and continuing now. Ray Green and Marcus Scott provide great vocals, from the sass of Hangin’ with My Baby to the prettiness of ballad Love Must Be Patient and Kind.

I saw them recently on Later….with Jools and, as I recall, on a programme not particularly igniting by newer acts [rare, and no criticism of those then] Tower of Power live stonked a stonking couple of numbers, old-school and schooled in sublime horn-funked, organ-pumped, guitar-ripped, sax-sassed and vocal-ripped strut [I’m listening as I write and the words spill out in empathy, I trust].

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