After winning 2011 and 2012 awards for Best Band in the Weekly Volcano's Best of Olympia reader's picks, as well as Best Funk/Jazz/Blues Band in the 2012 Oly Music Awards, it's high time funk masters Brown Edition made an album.
Enter Soulpocalypse, a 12-track masterpiece from the 13-piece lineup featuring Miguel Pineda on lead vocal and guitar, Thomas Pell on bass and vocals, Tarik Bentlemsani on guitars, Jeff Brooks on sax, Ivan Gunderson on drums, Aaron Wolff on sax, Nathan Geyer on trombone, Miguel Lopez on congas, Brent Pendleton on keyboard, Joe Doria on organ, Brian Briggs on trumpet, Christopher Foerstel on viola and violin, Joey Walbaum on piano and Ninee Wolff on flute.
The CD release/Halloween costume dance party is Friday at The Eastside Club Tavern in Olympia. A $3 cover will give you access to The Brown Edition's stellar live show, more beer on tap than you can shake a pint glass at, and first dibs at brand new band merchandise, including the CD.
Nearly a year in the making, Soulpocalypse has a way of transcending the typical ideas of what jazz, funk, fusion or soul should or can be.
Instead, it is a collaboration of influences from around the world - and around the Puget Sound. The result is more than toe-tapping feel-good music, it's a shining example of what can transpire between technically advanced musicians and down and dirty party animals.
"Soulpocalypse is not hinting at the end of the world, it's more like a new beginning," says Lee Brooks, manager and executive producer of the CD. "It's the progressive nature of the funk - you can't really say its funk or jazz - it's a whole new sound."
For me, track two, "Chicken Shack," was particularly fun to listen to, with a lot of grooviness and feeling. There were highs and lows of a myriad of instruments - layers of trumpet, sax, drums and melodic vocals, melding with bass lines and keyboards - that just kept coming. I found myself wondering what the next lick, lyric and song would sound like.
After satisfying my curiosity and giving the rest of the album a good listen, it was clear I, as a listener, was deliberately led down that path of curiosity, that each piece of the song was a teaser for the next.
"As one of the producers, I was very concerned with giving each song its proper amount of time and attention to develop in its own right," says Tom Pell, vocals and bass. "Too often when you buy a record these days it's clear the production team focused most of its resources to the few potential ‘hits,' leaving the rest of the album as filler. We worked extremely hard to have a ‘no filler' album. We are very pleased and hope you are as well."
Find out for yourself Friday, and if you can't make it, you can buy a copy of Soulpocalypse at Rainy Day Records or online at www.thebrownedition.com.
[The Eastside Club Tavern, Soulpocalypse, Friday, Oct. 26, 8 p.m., 410 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, 360.357.9985]