Monday, November 19, 2007

High Steppin'

The Pimps of Joytime do make a joyful noise on this very fine, very funky CD. The Pimps cook up a heady musical gumbo that throws choice influences like Prince and Curtis Mayfield, the Neville Brothers and the Meters, Sly and the Family Stone and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and War and then they spice it up even more with potent dollops of Afro-Caribbean pop, hip hop, and punchy rock & roll. The result is almost too soulful, too funky, and too delightfully engaging for words….but only “almost” :-)

The Pimps hit the ground running with the jamming, mostly instrumental, title track and then they slide smoothly into the percolating love jam “My Gold” (featuring falsetto vocals that would do Curtis proud and some fine guitar work.)

The band keeps it in a solid groove from the mid-tempo strut of “She-Do” to the solid funk shuffle of “Long Ride” to the old school funk of “Workin’ All the Time” (featuring some great vocals, keyboards, and horns) to the extended jam “Street Sound” (with chanted vocals that remind me of War back in their prime and some nimble guitar and bass playing)…and they keep the musicianship up at that superlative, utterly infectious level throughout the entirety of the disc.

The yearning ballad “Be Good” slows down the tempo to nice effect and then the Latin-flavored “Bonita” kicks things back into sweet danceable groove.

The Pimps are tight and in the pocket all the way…on the haunting “San Francisco Bound” and the joyful reggae of “Tea Time” and the raucous, gospel tinged, guitar and organ driven finish to “Hey Mr. J” and onto to “H2O”, the funkiest eco-friendly song you’re likely to hear :-)

By the closing uplift of the hopeful “We Shall Find a Way” (buoyed by some great guitar and organ work and featuring a grand harmonica solo), I was completely hooked. The Pimps of Joytime are the real deal and High Steppin’ is a real fine…funky, soulful, rockin’, jammin’, enormously entertaining…CD. ‘Nuff said. :-)

Below is a video of the Pimps of Joytime jamming live.

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