Frank Mead ~ Shout It Out

With and over abundance of sax players looming in and around these days one should proceed with caution before taking the plunge into purchasing new music by up and coming artist. Let’s set the record straight here, saxophonist Frank Mead isn’t your everyday horn man by any means, teamed with co-producer musician Peter Muller this dynamic duo armed with talent scored the dynamic “Shout It Out”, Frank’s debut on Mullennium Records 2003.  

The Players: Frank Mead ~ Alto, Soprano Saxes, production, slide guitar, harmonica, voice samples, Martell and Penny whistle, Peter Muller ~ Co-producer, Bass, Synthesizers, Samples & FX, Voice Samples, Loops and Percussion, Tobias Neumann ~ Wurlitzer, Fender Rhodes, Organ and Keyboards, Tim Cansfield ~ Guitars, Oliver Spanuth ~ Drums & Percussion, Ullie Rode ~ Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Christian Kappe ~ Trumpet & Flugelhorn, and Steve Wieters & Dave Ital ~ Guitars 

On the first spin “Drop The K “ takes you back in the day too the mid to late 70’s with an infused Tom Scott and LA Express groove coated with heavy dose of Meadology. Frank jumps in too assure you that the party is about to get started. The player’s chemistry is confident; the level of energy is cultivating passages but never straying far for the core of the groove, trading solos effortlessly like expert marksman turning up the heat! 

“Check In” solidifies its presence at the second spot with a groove that is indeed what this record is all about, having a funky good time! Mead and the crew are about the business of having a good time as musicians and friends jamming together making creative, listen able music.   

Keyboardist Tobias Neumann opens with a tasty Rhodes solo on “Hey It’s Me”, this track captures the essence of and intimate setting with relentless Sanborn attributes by Mead, as a soloist Frank Mead is one to watch out for now and in the future.  

Mead suddenly takes dive exploring the heat of the Mississippi Delta with a tune entitled “The Charmer” (Intro); Frank showcases his slide-guitar, harmonica, voice and Martel skills on this bluesy number. The band summons your attention on “The Charmer”, as they’re in pursuit of getting down, dirty and funky. Franks’ plays some seriously mean harmonica solos, as they are very much inline with his exuberant alto phrasing jazz-n-blues context. 

“Phat”, is up next! The evidence is clear much like the footprint that came before Shout, Frank & his co-hort Peter Muller are guilty of mirroring the images of where Peter’ record (M-Vibez) left off. These cats are restlessly shifting gears with a sense of keeping the beats and hooks tight with head bopping grooves and rhythms in sequence. Fender Rhodes and Organ solos by Neumann and Kappe on the Trumpet play a pivotal role bringing the groove into its desired climax.  

Frank changes direction with “I Wish I Could” (Live), his skills delivers the frequency that should eventually make him a household name (This track captured Live gives the listener a feel for the real Frank Mead). 

“Shout It Out” the title track falls in at the 8th spot. As one would expect the title track kicks with a proper dose of pulsating funk-n-groove. Mead plays soprano sax here giving you a little extra bite that you might be looking for. 

Mead’s passion for ballads rise to the forefront this time around with the pop classic “A Whiter Shade of Pale”, his tone and pitch evokes expressions of quietude, a state of remembrance of a classic. 

“All God’s Children” as you can imagine has Gospel feel to it yet wrapped with flavorings of Jamaica therefore; evolving into colorful composition that the band thoroughly enjoyed performing.  

Frank’s voice is warm, and the lyrical nuances fueled with passionate, on “Life Class”; revealing melodies that soulfully caress your appetite for intimacy with each alluring note.  

Frank Mead’s decision to diversify the flow of material on “Shout It Out” was without a doubt a wise choice; this alone separates him for the overly crowded legend of saxophonist in contemporary jazz. His voice is distinctively soulful, he plays with heartfelt passion, and the quality of production is simply outstanding. As I see it Frank Mead has every reason to glow these days, his debut “Shout It Out” on Mullennium Records is another monster hit from the production team of Muller & Mead is about to make some waves globally! 

Recommended to and for the contemporary jazz lovers everywhere!