Some might say that we live in dark and troubled times, and, maybe those people are right. While a good funk-soul album may not cure all the world’s ills, it certainly can boost the mood for even the gloomiest of the doomy types–especially if it’s a live album like the latest from eight-piece British funk machine Crowd Company.
Live At The Jazz Cafe embodies all those elements that make funk and soul great–healthy doses of groove, irresistible rhythm, sizzling organ, wailing sax, and powerful backing vocals. You just might find yourself singing along to track “Away with You” as you imagine live audiences who are compelled to bust a move. The album’s strong start with opener “Are You Feeling It” begs the question; loyal reader, if you can listen to this song and answer no to the title question, I fear you’re probably dead inside. Do yourself a favor: when the band asks “Are you feeling it?” go ahead and shout “Yes!” Especially if you’re at work. Or in a library. Or driving with the windows rolled down.
Like most great live albums, you feel as though you’re in the room with the band and working up a sweat as you get funky with your bad self. The only problem with tLive At the Jazz Cafe–with only 8 songs lasting 36 minutes, it’s far too short. But, maybe that’s just Crowd Company observing the old show-business axiom “Leave them wanting more.” This album definitely does that. - Gary Schwind