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Thursday, May 29, 2014

The New Mastersounds: Therapy (Dumaine Records)

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The name of Britain’s New Mastersounds is deceiving; they’re now in the 15th year of their career. For the past decade the quartet has performed regularly in the U.S. and this new release was recorded in Denver. Fans of Medeski, Martin and Wood, George Benson, Average White Band and Head Hunters-era Herbie Hancock will find plenty to like. But instead of Hancock’s sprawling funk jams, the Mastersounds opt for shorter bursts a la The Meters; in fact, the track “Monday Meters” pays homage. While the majority of tracks are instrumentals, guest vocalist Kim Dawson co-wrote and sings on “I Want You to Stay” and “Soul Sista.” The rock-solid rhythm section drives the Benson-style guitar licks and great Hammond B3 organ fills, and with a lighthearted cover of Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” closing the set, it’s a percolating session guaranteed to keep the dancefloor moving.