Album Mini-review: The New Mastersounds — Made for Pleasure
File next to: Soulive, The Meters, Sugarman 3
For a bunch of British lads, Leeds’ The New Mastersounds sure do have American-style funk nailed down tight. Across more than a dozen albums, they’ve bult and expanded on a solid foundation that folds in James Brown-flavored funk with a New Orleans flavor that recalls The Meters. And in the process they’ve become darlings of the noodle-dancing jam band scene, without making any concessions in that direction. An instrumental foursome (guitar/bass/drums/organ), The New Mastersounds often branch out, adding auxiliary/guest vocalists and brass. All of their strengths – groove, versatility and variety – are on display here. There’s jazz, soul, even reggae (“Fancy,” featuring toasting vocals courtesy Denver’s celebrated Spellbinder); there’s pretty much something here for all tastes; booty-shaking music all. Eddie Roberts‘ tasty guitar is a highlight, as is Joe Tatton‘s supremely soulful Hammond work. Made for Pleasure is classy, yet full of verve and (generally jubilant) emotion.
An edited version of this review appeared in the Colorado Springs Independent.
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About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.