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Tower Of Power|50 Years of Funk & Soul: Live at the Fox Theater – Oakland, CA – June 2018 (Live)

50 Years of Funk & Soul: Live at the Fox Theater – Oakland, CA – June 2018 (Live)

Tower Of Power

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Time waits for no one…right? While times and tastes change, every so often a group fine tunes a durable mix of musical firepower and showbiz glitz and manages to defy the years. This first call, horn section-turned-band, has solved the aging issue with a practical formula: get in a groove, write punchy horn charts, consistently whip up a high-energy funk revue where the jams blend together and viola, you have a band that is now celebrating the almost unheard-of milestone of a half century together! Tower of Power has a tradition of marking every passing decade with a live album and for their 50th anniversary in 2018 they brought the house—17 musicians and a full string section—to the Fox Theater in their original stomping ground of Oakland, CA, and filmed and recorded over 20 tracks in front of a partisan crowd that sounds appropriately stoked.

Though more than 60 musicians have passed through this band over the years, the first key to the band's longevity is the continued presence in their signature two trumpet-three saxophone attack of the group's two founding saxophone players, tenorman Emilio Castillo and baritone sax player Stephen "Doc" Kupka. Another essential element to the relentless tempos is the return of original drummer David Garibaldi, who deserves an ironman award for setting a lethal pace throughout. A special treat is that the other half of the band's classic original rhythm section, bassist Francis "Rocco" Prestia, appears on four tracks—his final live recordings with the band before his death in September 2020. Of the guests, it's good to hear SNL band director Lenny Pickett back in the fold and B-3 organist Chester Thompson adds several animated solos.

While many of these hard funk horn jams are mixed together without a break, this long set contains many outstanding instrumental highlights. ToP, who have appeared as a backup band on records by artists as diverse as Little Feat, The Meters, John Lee Hooker and Elton John, slide comfortably into supercharged versions of their early hits like 1973's "What is Hip" and near the end, 1972's "You're Still a Young Man." A new tune "Stop" from 2018, vividly keeps the band's sound vital. Working hard to be an asset in a horn band, guitarist Jerry Cortez, makes his presence felt in a solo in "Can't You See (You Doin' Me Wrong)" And the band's best sweet soul number, "You're So Wonderful, So Marvelous," reappears here in a new, near-definitive version.

At times, strong-voiced lead singer Marcus Scott's vocal enthusiasm verges on being obnoxious—not every tune needs multiple screams or a "Make some noise!" shout between verses. And while it may be time to retire the band's well-worn JB medley, "Diggin' on James Brown," the smooth professionalism here is terrific and it's impressive that the band manages to keep up a full-bore, whirlwind energy level throughout these 22 tracks. While viewing the accompanying video would undoubtedly add to the enjoyment, this is one fiery soul set: proof the horn-driven funk has a thousand variations and so perhaps…an eternal life. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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50 Years of Funk & Soul: Live at the Fox Theater – Oakland, CA – June 2018 (Live)

Tower Of Power

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1
Stroke '75 (Live)
00:02:40

Stephen Kupka, Composer - Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Stephen Kupka Songs/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

2
Ain't Nothing Stopping Us Now (Live)
00:02:36

Stephen Kupka, Composer - David Bartlett, Composer - Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Bob-A-Lew Songs (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Stephen Kupka Songs/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

3
You Ought to Be Having Fun (Live)
00:03:21

Stephen Kupka, Composer - Hubert Tubbs, Composer - Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Stephen Kupka Songs/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Tubbs Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

4
Soul with a Capital S (Live)
00:06:07

Stephen Kupka, Composer - Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Stephen Kupka Songs/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

5
Stop (Live)
00:04:34

Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Jerry Cortez, Composer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Jerry Cortez Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

6
You're So Wonderful, So Marvelous (Live)
00:03:06

Stephen Kupka, Composer - Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Frank Biner, Composer - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Stephen Kupka Songs/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Bob-A Lew Songs (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

7
On the Serious Side (Live)
00:04:17

Stephen Kupka, Composer - Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Stephen Kupka Songs/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

8
Just When We Start Makin' It (Live)
00:07:24

Stephen Kupka, Composer - Lenny Williams, Composer - Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Stephen Kupka Songs/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Len-Lon Music Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

9
Soul Vaccination (Live)
00:05:04

Stephen Kupka, Composer - Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Stephen Kupka Songs/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

10
What is Hip? / Soul Power (Live)
00:09:25

Stephen Kupka, Composer - Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - JAMES BROWN, Composer - David Garibaldi, Composer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Bob-A-Lew Songs (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Stephen Kupka Songs/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Crited Music, Inc./Warner Chappell (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

11
Do You Like That? (Live)
00:03:36

Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Bob-A-Lew Songs (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Mark Dolin, Composer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

12
Drop It in the Slot (Live)
00:03:12

Stephen Kupka, Composer - Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Stephen Kupka Songs/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

DISC 2

1
Can't You See (You Doin' Me Wrong)? (Live)
00:03:54

Stephen Kupka, Composer - Lenny Williams, Composer - Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Stephen Kupka Songs/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Len-Lon Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

2
Maybe It'll Rub Off (Live)
00:03:12

Stephen Kupka, Composer - Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Chester D. Thompson, Composer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Stephen Kupka Songs/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

3
Don't Change Horses (Live)
00:06:28

Lenny Williams, Composer - Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - JOHNNY WATSON, Composer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Len-Lon Music Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher - Booty Ooty Music (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

4
Squib Cakes (Live)
00:06:24

Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Chester D. Thompson, Composer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Cheson Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

5
On the Soul Side of Town (Live)
00:05:13

Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Leo Sacks, Composer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Lew Bob Songs (BMI), MusicPublisher - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

6
Diggin' on James Brown (Medley): Diggin’ on James Brown / It’s a New Day / Mother Popcorn / There It Is / I Got the Feelin’ / Diggin’ on James Brown (Reprise) (Live)
00:09:20

Stephen Kupka, Composer - Ken Kessie, Composer - Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - JAMES BROWN, Composer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Stephen Kupka Songs/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Ybarra Rd Music/Lew Bob Songs (BMI), MusicPublisher - Dynatone Publishing/Warner Chappell (BMI), MusicPublisher - Bro 'N Sis Music/Trio/BMG Bumblebee (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

7
So Very Hard to Go (Live)
00:03:59

Stephen Kupka, Composer - Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Stephen Kupka Songs/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

8
Knock Yourself Out (Live)
00:08:37

Stephen Kupka, Composer - Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Stephen Kupka Songs/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

9
You're Still a Young Man (Live)
00:06:01

Stephen Kupka, Composer - Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Stephen Kupka Songs/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

10
Souled Out (Live)
00:04:36

Stephen Kupka, Composer - Marlon McClain, Composer - Bernie Grundman, MasteringEngineer - Tower Of Power, MainArtist - Emilio Castillo, Composer, Producer, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Joe Vannelli, Producer, MixingEngineer - Dave Eskridge, Arranger - Mark Hornsby, RecordingEngineer - Nathan Heironimus, RecordingEngineer - Jimmy Blankenship, RecordingEngineer - Arikat Music/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Stephen Kupka Songs/Kobalt Music Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Macman Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music. (P) 2021 Tower of Power under exclusive license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. Marketed and distributed worldwide by Artistry Music.

Album Description

Available exclusively on Qobuz

Time waits for no one…right? While times and tastes change, every so often a group fine tunes a durable mix of musical firepower and showbiz glitz and manages to defy the years. This first call, horn section-turned-band, has solved the aging issue with a practical formula: get in a groove, write punchy horn charts, consistently whip up a high-energy funk revue where the jams blend together and viola, you have a band that is now celebrating the almost unheard-of milestone of a half century together! Tower of Power has a tradition of marking every passing decade with a live album and for their 50th anniversary in 2018 they brought the house—17 musicians and a full string section—to the Fox Theater in their original stomping ground of Oakland, CA, and filmed and recorded over 20 tracks in front of a partisan crowd that sounds appropriately stoked.

Though more than 60 musicians have passed through this band over the years, the first key to the band's longevity is the continued presence in their signature two trumpet-three saxophone attack of the group's two founding saxophone players, tenorman Emilio Castillo and baritone sax player Stephen "Doc" Kupka. Another essential element to the relentless tempos is the return of original drummer David Garibaldi, who deserves an ironman award for setting a lethal pace throughout. A special treat is that the other half of the band's classic original rhythm section, bassist Francis "Rocco" Prestia, appears on four tracks—his final live recordings with the band before his death in September 2020. Of the guests, it's good to hear SNL band director Lenny Pickett back in the fold and B-3 organist Chester Thompson adds several animated solos.

While many of these hard funk horn jams are mixed together without a break, this long set contains many outstanding instrumental highlights. ToP, who have appeared as a backup band on records by artists as diverse as Little Feat, The Meters, John Lee Hooker and Elton John, slide comfortably into supercharged versions of their early hits like 1973's "What is Hip" and near the end, 1972's "You're Still a Young Man." A new tune "Stop" from 2018, vividly keeps the band's sound vital. Working hard to be an asset in a horn band, guitarist Jerry Cortez, makes his presence felt in a solo in "Can't You See (You Doin' Me Wrong)" And the band's best sweet soul number, "You're So Wonderful, So Marvelous," reappears here in a new, near-definitive version.

At times, strong-voiced lead singer Marcus Scott's vocal enthusiasm verges on being obnoxious—not every tune needs multiple screams or a "Make some noise!" shout between verses. And while it may be time to retire the band's well-worn JB medley, "Diggin' on James Brown," the smooth professionalism here is terrific and it's impressive that the band manages to keep up a full-bore, whirlwind energy level throughout these 22 tracks. While viewing the accompanying video would undoubtedly add to the enjoyment, this is one fiery soul set: proof the horn-driven funk has a thousand variations and so perhaps…an eternal life. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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