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Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | Narada

No bones about it, the latest offering from the popular British funk ensemble Down to the Bone, reveals the inner workings of its creator Stuart Wade's collaborative efforts with Paul "Shilts" Weimar, the D.C. Horns, vibist Roy Ayers, vocalists Hill St. Soul and Corrina Greyson, and a dynamic rhythm section to perfection. Supercharged features 11 new songs that sizzle with energy, soul and a hard-edged funky groove. Hill St. Soul's delivery is so sincere on "Smile to Shine" that you know she's singing rote and not from sheet music. With dynamic vocals from Corrina Greyson elevating "Shake It Up" to a thrilling showstopper, this song is sure to get you out of your seat. The signature vibes are from Roy Ayers, one of the definitive modern jazz vibraphonists on the scene today. Ayers is at the top of his game on "Electric Vibes." Shilts increases the hard-edged horn funk throughout his soloing that has amazing power, range and creativity, while the rhythm section provides the perfect atmosphere for the set. The D.C. Horns are reminiscent of the funk and groove heard in a lot of Maceo Parker's bands but their musical prowess is more reminiscent of Tower of Power. All of Stuart Wade's arrangements are well conceived and offer both the group and soloists great songs that have melodic virility and room to stretch. If you're bored with the mass- produced sound of some of the contemporary jazz on the scene today, give a listen to Supercharged. The music goes right down to the bone! ~ Paula Edelstein

Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | Narada

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Jazz - Released April 26, 2019 | Trippin N' Rhythm Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2002 | GRP

Down to the Bone set the stage to expand beyond their jazz-groove scene beginnings on Crazy Vibes and Things. Producer/arranger Stuart Wade leads the same tight community of musicians featured on Spread the Word, including Neil Angilley, Shilts (a best-selling artist in his own right), Paul Turner, Adrian Revell, and Tony Remy. Wade also wrote or co-wrote the CD's ten compositions with Angilley and Shilts. The recording opens with the radio hit "Electra Glide," a smooth, soulful track that features the grooving interplay of Tony Remy's wah-wah techniques and Shilts' smoky alto and tenor saxophone riffs. Neil Angilley adds the finishing touches with his strong melodic keyboard improvisations, giving the song a more soulful resonance. Top dance picks are the title track and "Searching for a Simple Groove," while "My One and All," which features Hill St. Soul vocalist Hilary Mwelwa, is a midtempo song full of energy and fresh grooves. "Searching for a Simple Groove" is fresh and fun. Every listener's choice here is a nice surprise and is ripe with Down to the Bone's trademark horn riffs, breezy guitar licks, smooth jazz, and groove. ~ Paula Edelstein
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Funk - Released October 4, 2019 | Dome Records Ltd

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2004 | Narada

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2005 | Narada

With Spread Love Like Wildfire, Down to the Bone gets back to the original musical vision its leader, Stuart Wade, had for the band. This 2005 release is much funkier and more energetic than Cellar Funk, the 2004 hit offered by the jazz/groove collective. The music -- jazz-funk fusion combined with modern retro/club/dance influences all grooved up -- is documented on 11 great tracks that feature the group's core members enhanced by a dynamic horn section, the jazz flute of Jeremy Steig, the organic soul sound of vocalist N'Dambi -- formerly of Erykah Badu's group -- as well as live drumming incorporated with the programmed grooves. "Memphis Groove" kick starts the set. It is a funky set that pays homage to Herbie Mann's jazz flute style on Memphis Two-Step and Memphis Underground. "Wildfire Woman" has that West Coast groovy funk and folk feel that came out of the '60s and '70s San Francisco scene. "London Life" reflects the cityscape of the English city and the band's creative base, while "Mystic Samba" has exotic Brazilian and samba flavors. Overall, this diverse recording with its funky beats and hot dance tunes should keep listeners entertained and definitely entice others to hit the dancefloor. ~ Paula Edelstein
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Jazz - Released April 29, 2014 | Trippin N' Rhythm Records

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Jazz - Released April 21, 2009 | Shanachie

Down to the Bone have been, since the late '90s, a wildly inventive funk, groove, and jazz outfit led by composer, producer, and arranger Stuart Wade. He’s had an ever evolving cast of musicians and creative characters and has stuck very closely to his idea of music that feels good. Future Boogie, released in 2009 on Swanky in the U.K. and Shanachie in the U.S., is in many ways an extension of the sound on Supercharged. There is a gorgeous late-‘70s funk sheen on the production that makes the band on this set really shine instrumentally. The grooves are accessible, but tough and street simultaneously. Take the spacy intro to the title track that opens the set: just a cowbell, some synths, a guitar, and then the popping bassline funking it up, setting the listener -- and the dancefloor -- up for a horn section that’s right up in your face with the way-up-high-in-the-mix bassline. Handclaps -- à la Chic -- and percussion complete the ensemble sound, but the charts feel more like melodic fragments written from the groove rather than as the primary lyric motif. When solos by a Rhodes piano with choppy guitar comps filling in the backdrop occur, it’s "surrender Dorothy" time. This is followed by “It Should’ve Been You,” a track that in many ways is a mirror image of the sound. It’s one of two cuts here recorded in collaboration with Hill St. Soul, with the vocals of Hilary Mwelwa (who also wrote the lyrics); it’s a soul-ish funk ballad with a pronounced melody stretched by the horns. “Good to Me” features the vibes and vocals of Roy Ayers and it’s a floor monster with the spacy sound of those vibes creating a separate riff countered by the horns. While there isn’t a weak track on the set, other notables include the cinematic “Smash and Grab” (which can and should be used in action flicks), featuring a killer alto saxophone solo by James Knight, as well as “Spiderlegs,” which is as raw and crash-and-burn funky as anything on Supercharged. Wade’s conceptual ideas for Down to the Bone become ever more canny and nasty as the years go on, and Future Boogie may be the best of the mess yet. ~ Thom Jurek
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Jazz - Released December 12, 2018 | Cutmore Records

People who complain that today's contemporary jazz is a bit too smooth need to get the word on this outfit and in particular its third disc, which follows in the tradition of British acts like Brand New Heavies that blend acid jazz, jazz, pop, retro soul, modern R&B, and (dare we discern) a little disco? The funky and bluesy bounce and throb of the opening cut, "Keep on Keepin' On," is hard to resist. Mixing brass and the piano riffs of Neil Angilley creates an hypnotic effect over a punchy retro soul guitar flavor by Tony Remy. But the core tune is driven by the alto sax of Adrian Revell. So many elements, a simple description can't contain them all. "Sound as a Pound" opens with some modern synth effects and a croaking bassline combined with Remy's retro rhythm guitars; the lead is given to Angilley's playful jazzy piano melody, and a horn section comes in after a few bars to echo his jumpy spirit. "Bridgeport Boogie" is like a classic Crusaders tune, all dancing horn melody over Rhodes and electric organ for that perfect simmering '70s sheen. Interesting that the tune named "Righteous Reeds" begins with such a dramatic percussion jungle; the horns are fine, but the least dynamic part of the song! "The Backburner" begins the same way, giving percussionist Satin Singh a dramatic showcase for himself. "Downtown Shuffle" is all wah-wah guitar, pounding bass energy, and whimsical brass that soars to the heavens. A lot of instrumental albums these days take a breather for a radio-ready ballad, but these guys might consider such a break unimaginative or downright blasphemous. So might the listener who keeps on boppin' along. ~ Jonathan Widran
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Jazz - Released July 19, 2011 | Trippin N' Rhythm Records

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Jazz - Released December 12, 2018 | Cutmore Records

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Jazz - Released December 12, 2018 | Cutmore Records

The cover and inside booklet of Down to the Bone's second album shows a variety of rare-groove record stores (both inside and out), displaying racks of records by Weather Report, Lonnie Liston Smith and Donald Byrd. The music itself is a delicious update of those same sounds -- yes, the grooves are tighter and have a bit of hip-hop bounce, but the soloing is far and away superior to most acid-jazz releases. Programmers and group frontmen Stuart Wade and Chris Morgans have the irresistible knack of translating their influences into an instantly familiar yet radically different style of music, and the results are uniformly excellent. Original Blue Note recording artist Reuben Wilson guests on Hammond organ for "Vinyl Junkie." ~ John Bush
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Jazz - Released February 18, 2014 | Trippin N' Rhythm Records

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Soul - Released September 27, 2019 | Dome Records Ltd

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | Narada

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2004 | Narada