Rock Candy Funk Party – We Want Groove

J&R Adventures

J&R Adventures

So chances are you’re going to look at the cover of We Want Groove and say, “Wait – haven’t I seen this somewhere before …?” And you have, of course: trade the lady in her underoos squatting over a wicked cool old Fender amp (I like amps, myself) for a Black cat with his head down, digging deep into his horn; change the lettering to read We Want Miles and ::: whizzo bango ::: it’s 1982 and that’s ol’ Miles Davis you got there, all cool and funky.

Which is exactly what Rock Candy Funk Party wants, you see: to take you back to those times – and even earlier – with an album of jazz/funk instrumentals that blur the lines between then and now in the coolest of ways. Dig the lineup on We Want Groove: Renato Neto on keys; Mike Merritt on bass; Joe Bonamassa and Ron DeJesus on guitars; and Tal Bergman on drums (and production).

Bonamassa may be the big name here, but make no mistake about it: Bergman is the ringmaster, driving these players live within the four walls of his own LA studio. Merritt is the ideal rhythm foil for Bergman, laying down big ol’ syrupy sweet bass lines that swing as fierce or as chill as needed.

As far as that goes, RCFP is actually more a funk democracy than anything else. The jams are passed around with everyone partaking … you’ll find no bogarting of the grooves nor grandstanding here. Solos come in hot and smooth, but the handoffs between the players are equally as cool. Just put an ear to this and remember: these cats were laying this stuff down live, burrowing into the music as it happened and letting it fly. A raised eyebrow; a nod; a smile – course corrections were made on the fly with the jams driven by energy rather than ego.

Click HERE to read the rest of my Rock Candy Funk Party review on

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