There are a few instruments in the Funk/Jazz-Genre, which are very unusual as a lead-instrument. One of them is definitely the electro-violin, here played by Darrell "D-Funk" Looney.
In 1998 Looney founded 'Da Phatfunk Clique', first as a project with different musicians on every processing step. In 1999 he released his first album called "Pandemic Love". In 2000 'Da Phatfunk Clique' became a steady band, utilizing local talents in support of the new album release.
The violin, almost always in the lead on every track, gives the whole sound of the album an exotic touch.
The musical style is an entertaining mixture of Funk, Pop, and Jazz. Looney himself names some of his
influences, such as violinist Jean Luc Ponty, John Mc Laughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra, George Clinton, Herbie Hancock and George Duke.
The current release called "Phat Jazz" is their fourth CD with 11 new tracks.
It starts with ANYTHING BUT..., a song, with a grooving rhythm, cool guitar riffs, a funky slapped bass and fat background-strings, followed by In THIS MOMENT, another up-beat song.
In KICKIN' BACK Looney added some spacy keyboard sounds, while FOR SAKE OF THE ART features well-known Pianist Bob Baldwin on keyboards with a short but nice Fender Rhodes solo.
In the more quiet DA PERFECT RUB, Looney uses some kind of a chorus-effect on his e-violin, which gives it a softer sound. In contrast to that, JAZZY TIMES is one more classic Funksong with an extended synthesizer-solo in the middle.
KARAITE MOON with soft piano-chords and an acoustic guitar lets the listener take a rest from the funky stuff while MAD MAN is more a brisk Pop song.
The grooving PHAT JAZZ, the title-track, features some female vocals in the background. I consider this to be the most 'radio-compatible' song on the album, followed by YOU STILL LOVE ME, a song with lots of Latin percussions and a acoustic guitar on the lead.
The up-beat LOW RIDE finally marks the end of a diversified and professionally made record, although one has to remark, that the melodies in all tracks played by the violin could be a little bit more sophisticated. There might be still a way to go for the violinist to reach the mastery of some of his role models.
© Markus Michel 2014
Da Phatfunk Clique - Fat Jazz
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Label: Musically Inkligned Records
01. Anything but . . . (feat. Darrell D-Funk Looney, Cecil Hodge & M Je')
02. In This Moment (feat. Darrell D-Funk Looney, M Je' & Cecil Hodge)
03. Kickin' Back (feat. Darrell D-Funk Looney, M Je' & Cecil Hodge)
04. For Sake of the Art (feat. Bob Baldwin)
05. Da Perfect Rub (feat. Darrell D-Funk Looney)
06. Jazzy Times (feat. Darrell D-Funk Looney, M Je' & Anthony Atkinson)
07. Karaite Moon (feat. Darrell D-Funk Looney)
08. Mad Man (feat. Darrell D-Funk Looney)
09 Phat Jazz (feat. Darrell D-Funk Looney, Corean Strong, Carleese Latimer & Vicky Smith)
10.You Still Move Me (feat. Darrell D-Funk Looney)
11. Low Ride (feat. Darrell D-Funk Looney, M Je' & Cecil Hodge)