Funk, Afro-Latin and jazz come together with The New Triumph’s Keep on Push’n (2017).
The musicians are Camilo Estrada, bass; Marc Hager, keyboards; Arie Pytel, guitar; Adam Kessler, drums; Ahkeenu Musa, percussion; Robby Beasley, trumpet on five tracks; Scott Morning, trumpet on three songs; Ariel Chi-Linh Nguyen Loud, saxophones.
“Intro Cut” is a sensational opening track. Imagine you’re at a concert, and anxious for the show to begin. Then, when the curtain finally opens, a dramatic swell, not unlike the production company fanfare that introduces a movie. That formality aside, the band shifts into a free-for-all jam. The blended horns carry the lead. Or do they? There’s so much going on from the other instruments, the bass line, the wah-wah guitar, the keys, drums and percussion. Everybody gets in on it.
File under: Quirky Song Titles. “Count Dracula’s African Vacation” is exactly what you expect it to be. Fun. With a sharp Latin edge, this is ideal for an outdoor celebration, whether a backyard, a municipal park or the beach. The horns carry the lead, but it’s Loud’s spirited soprano solo that’s the high point. Then, unexpectedly, the music shifts to neutral. After an eerie transition, it becomes more of a funky, soul tune without lyrics. Think War back in the “World Is a Ghetto” days. Here, the electric bass and percussion run things, augmented by Hager’s Zawinul-meets-Hancock-meets-Duke work on the keys. It’s like two different songs – a difference of, say, night and day.
As titles go, it’s in the same class at the Chick Corea Elektric Band’s “Cool Weasel Boogie” and Fattburger’s “Who Put the Meat in My Bed.”
The New Triumph is based in Seattle, Washington. But their sound is universal, drawing on 1970s’ style fusion, a hint of reggae, and other genres that work well with jazz. A few other highlights from Keep on Push’n are “Dem Donuts Tasty,” “El Sapo De Culiacan” and “Do It!”