Seattle's premier soul jazz ensemble has released a new single, "Sunday Afternoon," moving its world-class horns to the front of the band's powerful rhythm section engine. Tune in for Friday night's New Cool to hear The True Loves' hip soundscape for relaxing and recharging for a new week, or a new year.
"Sunday Afternoon" is The True Loves' debut for Color Red Records, joining fellow Seattle groups Polyrhythmics, Proud and Nasty, Cecil Moses & the SG's and Pulsations on the label started by New Mastersounds guitarist Eddie Roberts. The single marks a fresh start for the all-star octet, after its 2017 debut album, Famous Last Words, and a few hard-to-find 7-inch singles.
Driven by two members of the original Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio - guitarist Jimmy James and drummer David McGraw - The True Loves go without keyboards on the new single. The move surprised me, but the sound on "Sunday Afternoon" is pure True Loves.
The horns get the well-earned spotlight on "Sunday Afternoon." Trombonist Jason Cressey co-produced this song with bassist Bryant Moore, and the second trombone of Greg Kramer brings a brassy, confident vibe to this smartly arranged melody.
Booming eighth-notes lead the song, the trombones linked with Gordon Brown and Skerik on tenor and baritone saxophones. The rhythm section joins in, and we hear the swaggering trombone-led theme.
The horns make a meal of the bridge, a slightly melancholy tune that quickly leans into the song's overarching laid-back, backyard-party warmth. A growling baritone sax solo from Skerik brings the familial feeling to an apex and makes me miss seeing these fellas live all the more.
We return to the verse and bridge, and The True Loves close the song as they opened, with those punchy horns that will have your head bobbing with joy.
I connected with saxman Gordon Brown for his thoughts on the new single, and he didn't disappoint.
Brown calls his band's latest song, "hip-hop-influenced soul that makes you scrunch your face! This tune could easily be set in the era of Steve McQueen car chases and features a savage bari solo from Skerik. Out of our entire songbook, it's ending always leaves me wanting more." Right on, right on.
Not to worry, The New Cool brings you much more outstanding modern jazz styles every Friday night from 9 to 11 - our new time! Thanks for sharing.
The New Cool airs Fridays from 9 to 11 p.m., hosted by Abe Beeson and produced by KNKX Public Radio in Seattle, Wash.