Title - 'Truth'
Artist - Mrs. Fun
For those not in the know, Mrs. Fun plays complex, sophisticated and adventurous nu jazz.
A unique blend of off-center jazz, ultra-funk, spoken word rap, and their own brand of neo-cabaret, also incorporated are highly intelligent lyrics, stellar musicianship, and a dynamic stage presence.
The Mrs. Fun sound is derived from Connie Grauer's funky bass-driven keyboard playing, combined with Kim Zick's skillful in-the-pocket drumming.
Voted Best Contemporary Jazz Group by the Wisconsin Area Music Industry(WAMI) three consecutive years, Grauer and Zick have also received WAMI awards for Best Instrumentalist: keyboards and drums.
Given that improvisation is the driving force of Mrs. Fun, Grauer has also received awards for Best Female Vocalist and Best Stage Entertainer.
Their new album, Truth is out now via Funtime Records and is a quite magnificent 13-track set that lovingly envelopes all the troupes noted above, and yet still manages to discover new ones along its expressive way.
2. 'Process In The Purpose'
3. 'Tula's Turnaround'
5. 'Silent Mist / How Insensitive'
6. 'Soulful Strutt'
8. 'I Don't Want to Know Your Name'
8. 'Light My Fire'
9. 'House Party'
9. 'Orange Grove'
10. 'Space Port / Pinocchio'
11. 'Let Me Live My Lie'
12. 'Calm Before The Storm'
The album kicks things off in fine style with the layered, drum-led '19' which is backed by both the spoken word 'Process In The Purpose' and then the more frenetic 'Tula's Turnaround.'
That fast-pace bleeds seamlessly into 'Silent Mist / How Insensitive,' but is culled somewhat for their dulcet rendition of Young-Holt Unlimited's 1968 hit 'Soulful Strut' (which in turn was the backing instrumental track from Barbara Acklin's 'Am I the Same Girl,' if you were ever curious!).
The heated pace is turned back up again for the pacey, yet orchestrated magnificence of 'Zawinul' and then we get the lush jazz-pop demeanor of 'Don't Want to Know Your Name.'
Their upbeat and fun rendition of The Doors' infamous 'Light My Fire' also makes this one of my own personal favorites and that's backed by both the controlled, yet clearly maniacal 'House Party,' and then the vibe of foreign espionage in the air for 'Orange Grove.'
This vibrantly magnificent album then rounds out with the tremendous, foot-tappin' urgency of 'Space Port / Pinocchio,' the spoken word, mid-tempo lo-fi 'Let Me Live My Lie,' and then comes to a close with their harmonious coming together for 'Calm Before The Storm.'
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