Sunday, June 07, 2009

Tower Of Power - Oakland Zone (2003)

Artist: Tower Of Power
Title Of Album: Oakland Zone
Year Of Release: April 22, 2003
Label: Or. Music
Genre: R&B, Funk, Jazz, Soul, Blues

Tower of Power's 28th CD (according to their Web site) just may be their best ever. This CD marks the return to the studio of legendary T.o.P. drummer David Garibaldi. This is his first studio CD with the band in many years. Garibaldi and bassist Francis Rocco Prestia are unquestionably the best 1-2 punch in music. With Jeff Tamelier on guitar and the great Roger Smith on keyboards, this is about as talented a rhythm section as you will find anywhere in the music business.

Larry Braggs brings a vocal talent to this CD that is absolutely superior! His vocals will invite comparisons to many of the greats, past and present. He has a phenomenal range, especially in the upper registers.

The legendary horn section is as strong as ever with Iron Mike Bogart and Adolfo Acosta handling trumpet/trombone/flugelhorn chores, Stephen "The Funky Doctor" Kupka on baritone sax, newcomer Tom E. Politzer producing some mighty fine solos on tenor and alto sax, flute, and clarinet, and bandleader Emilio Castillo providing 2nd tenor sax and vocals.

In addition, six former Tower of Power members collaborated on this CD: Santana's Chester Thompson, Saturday Night Live's Lenny Pickett, original member Skip Mesquite, Herman Matthews, Brent Carter, and Norbert Stachel. Huey Lewis also contributed to this CD.

The music consists of classic funk grooves and one soulful ballad. The horns are right up front, very crisp, the execution perfect--tighter than a mouse's ear! The rhythm section propels the groove and the instrumental soloists add the icing to the cake, all providing the backdrop for Larry's talented vocals.

This is a powerful in-your-face CD! Ain't no sissy stuff here. Not for wimps! Pure funk and soul as only Tower of Power can do it. On a big stereo, this CD will knock you out!

Tower Of Power:

Emilio Castillo (vocals, tenor saxophone);
Larry Braggs (vocals);
Jeff Tamelier (guitar, background vocals);
Tom Politzer (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute, clarinet);
Stephen "Doc" Kupka (baritone saxophone);
Mike Bogart (trumpet, flugel horn, trombone);
Adolfo Acosta (trumpet, flugel horn);
Roger Smith (keyboards, background vocals);
Francis Rocco Prestia (bass);
David Garibaldi (drums)


1. Eastside
2. Give Me Your Love
3. Get What You Want
4. Could've Done It Better
5. This Type Of Funk
6. Pocketful Of Soul
7. Remember Love
8. Oakland Zone
9. Life Is What You Make It
10. Happy Bout That
11. Stranger In My Own House
12. Back In The Day
13. Page One
14. Eastside

- Clique Aki:

1 comment: said...

Pretty effective piece of writing, thanks for the post.