Let Lettuce ‘Resonate’ with You!
Premier funk sextet Lettuce have just unleashed their eighth studio album on us, and, like the last seven, it is a monster! Resonate is more of what we have come to expect — and crave — from this amazing collective; it is the follow-up to last year’s knockout Elevate.
RESONATE IS HERE! Thank you for joining us on this journey, we can’t wait to see how this one resonates with YOU. Download/stream NOW: https://fanlink.to/_resonate
Posted by Lettuce on Thursday, May 7, 2020
The album launches with the mid-tempo funk of “Blaze.” There are few rhythm sections that can match what Erick ‘Jesus’ Coomes on bass and Adam Deitch on drums deliver on ever song, on every album, and at every concert. The groove is relentless. Nigel Hall is on Hammond B3 here, and Eric ‘Benny’ Bloom (trumpet) and Ryan Zoidis (alto saxophone) color every track with their unison playing. Zoidis has a funky solo here.
The group shoves it into overdrive for “Good Morning Mr. Shmink,” very uptempo. The horns shimmer, and Adam ‘Shmeeans’ Smirnoff is his funky chunky self on guitar, so good.The horns shimmer, and the pace almost approaches frantic (in the very best way). They are on fire!
“NDUGU” is presumably named for the late great drummer Leon Ngudu Chandler. This was the second single from the album, and pure dynamite, incorporating Afrobeat into the groove. Shmeeans’ guitar is proof positive, and the horns just kill, Bloom with a fine solo.
The go-go tune that was the first single released from the album is “Checker Wrecker,” featuring Big Tony on vocals and Jungle Boogie on chorus. Hall (B3) and Shmeeans solo on top of killer funk from the rhythm section.
Now serving straight-up ’70s fusion! “Silence is Golden” is lovely, Hall evoking Thrust-era Herbie Hancock with the shimmering electric piano and synths and Zoidis on a fine solo. It’s a delicate tune with a deluxe bass line and a great false ending!
The addition of Indrajit Barerjee at once recalls other similar collaborations with sitar players, including Miles Davis, John McLaughlin, and Fareed Haque. Zoidis’ alto sax is tweezed the way Michael Brecker used to do it. And Shmeeans and Barerjee intertwine guitar and sitar in a loving dance, synths a-swirlin’.
OK. Stop right here. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the shit. This groove is so smooth, so sweet, with Hall on synthesizer. Coomes’ bass undulates. Hall also gets that great electric piano groove going, while Bloom plays wah-wah trumpet, and Zoidis plays alto. Great guitar from Shmeeans once again. Did we mention that Coomes and Deitch are absolute masters at this game? Because WOW.
“Remember the Children” is a fine R&B vocal by Hall in that Earth, Wind & Fire vein, while Zoidis again plays alto through a cool distortion pedal. Deep, deep grooves.
There is a brief inter-“’Lude,” a quick 48 seconds of quiet funk.
And then DAMN. “House of Lett” was single number three from the album, and this is pure Lettuce, simply amazing. Coomes and Deitch are Pied Pipers, leading us all down the funk highway. Coomes comes by his wizard hat honestly. Deep house/acid jazz from Lettuce; this too is the shit. When Bloom plays like this, you expect to see him wrapped up in a smoky nightclub.
Finally, the nice and spacy title track closes out this superb new album from Lettuce. It’s a very mellow groove, everybody locked in. Synths, trumpet, guitar, and sax wash over bass and drums, the perfect way to end it, reminiscent of their fine work on Witches Stew.
Let this new album “Resonate” with you until we get to hear Lettuce play live again. Listen to it hear on this Spotify playlist.