The Whitefield Brothers | In the Raw

Now-Again (2009)
By GUSTAVO TURNER  |  March 30, 2009
4.0 4.0 Stars


The key to any funk produced after the hip-hop revolution of the '80s is that it's deeply aware of the breakbeat. If the original funketeers opened up the arrangements to "give the drummer some" as a special courtesy, their descendants are all about the hypnotic, repetitive drumwork.

The good folks at Now-Again have done the world a favor by re-releasing this 2001 gem by Munich-born Afrobeat nuts Jan and Max Whitefield, a disc long out-of-print and impossible to find. An amazing tour through the best flavors of the soul-funk-jazz continuum, In the Raw offers in one tidy package the fuzz-drenched eroticism of "Prowlin'," the post-Miles brujería of "Witch Jam," and the glorious "Eji," a piece that updates the revered early-1970s Blue Note sides and takes a step beyond in the progression from Horace Silver to Mulatu Astatke.

Whether you decide to lose yourself in the groove of "Thunderbird" or luxuriate in several moments that feel like the Platonic ideal of the Deep Throat soundtrack, "this, my friend" (in the words of Howard Moon from The Mighty Boosh) "is jazz funk." And in the words of Vince from ShamWow, "You know the Germans always make good stuff." Bottom line: you really want to pick this one up. 
Related: Live! — sort of, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears | Scandalous, Various Artists | Those Shocking, Shaking Days: Indonesian Hard, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock and Funk 1970–1978, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Munich, Horace Silver, funk,  More more >
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