Project Grand Slam: Made In New York, The Queen’s Carnival

Lead by bassist Robert Miller, Project Grand Slam puts the fun back in funky with this recent pair of albums. Miller uses a core team of Marcello Casagrandi/key and Joel E. Mateo for each release while using the sax of Nathan Cepelinski and guitar of Ben Sher on the former and the Mario Castro and Yasser Tejeda respectively on the latest session.

Both releases include covers of 60s boomer hits, with Kat Robichaud greasing the vocals to a back beating read of Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire” and Lucy Woodward taking The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” on the soul train. Miller himself has got funkified fingers as he lays down more licks than a Tootsie Roll on “Slap Shot,” “Beyond Forever” and “New York City Groove.” The saxes and rhythm section sound hot and sweaty, as if the AWB just rolled into town, and the sax players howl with smoky delight. All of the songs are succinctly between 2-5 minutes, just enough time for you and your dance partner to work out your moves on the floor without bumping into anyone; you’ll be wearing out your Bass Weejuns on these tunes!

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