Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Brothers already worked it out...

Released this past May, the self-titled effort from the Colman Brothers seriously could have been released in 1965 on Fania and I wouldn't have been surprised; it sounds that timeless. It also sounds alive, as the energy of the percussion pulses through it.
"Mr. DG" shuffles into the frame first, a laid-back stroll through the neighbourhood before "Another Brother" dashes down the street with a muted cornet in hot pursuit. I'm not sure if it's brother Andrew or brother Mat on the horn, but kudos to whichever brother is responsible (my guess from this picture is it's Andrew...). While the horn line is the call, the organ line is the response, giving a real point/counterpoint interplay between the instruments on this number - kind of like sparring partners in the ring, roped in by the drums.
Organ is traded for piano at the beginning of "MOMO" and a Grant Green-esque guitar joins the brass section (now augmented by trombone) before the organ reappears. There's a lot going on within this track and it really starts to show just how talented at spinning plates the brothers Colman are (and leaves me to wonder just how many musicians they employ to take this show on the road).
"Sem Amor" is credited to Sara Colman as well so this family affair isn't just a bro-mance. The song is also the first to feature vocals, with Sister Sara and without love.
"The Chief" (a personal favourite) feels like it could have come off a mid-period Jimmy Smith Blue Note record - particularly a record like Home Cookin' where the dynamic between Smith's organ and Kenny Burrell on guitar vacillates between partnership and duel with each showing up and showing off while the rhythm section just underpins and undersells - it's a dynamic "The Chief" has in spades.
"She Who Dares (Remix)" is a bit of a departure from what has come before it on the album, but still walks with the funky strut "Mr. DG" first displayed.
Speaking of remixes, it's actually because of Detroit producer Tall Black Guy that I got hip to this UK act in the first place. After connecting with him on Twitter and checking out his great Hollyweird records and his remix of Maylee Todd, I happened upon his "On A Better Day I'm Dreamin'" remix and decided to burrow deeper into the source material.
I'm so glad I did, and I'm pretty sure that after listening to Colman Brothers, you'll be glad for serendipitous journeys and discoveries as well.

You can listen to the Bandcamp stream of the album below, and a special edition vinyl is available for order that features the Tall Black Guy remix that got this post started.

Thanks for reading, now start listening...

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