Review Don Braden and Karl Latham’s Big Fun(K)

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Don Braden​ And Karl Latham - Big Fun(k) Live The duo Don Braden and Karl Latham, as band Big Fun(K), recently released their same titled Live album Big Fun(k). The album has been recorded at Cecil’s Jazz Club and Restaurant on May 13-14 2009. The album includes ten instrumental jazz funk tracks. Don: The tunes on this album will be played different during other live sessions because our repertoire is still evolving.

Track #1 ‘High Rise’ starts with a slappin’ bass guitar followed by the Hammond and Sax. This tune is written on a flight home from the Netherlands where Don often performs. Don, when you are in the Netherlands give me call. The slappin’ bass is also starting on the second track ‘Deja Vu’. This 8:45 minutes long track which is based on Beyonce’s ‘Deja Vu’ from 2005 is very funky and energetic. Great Hammond and a bass solo at six minutes. Track number three ‘A Foote in the door’ starts with, i think, a well known melody line. Can’t figure it out what/who it is. It’s probably Don Braden and Karl Latham. ‘Having A Ball’ is a sax solo. ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ is a down-tempo instrumental jazz tune from The Beatles with the sax in the lead. At 4 minutes the style changed to a very funky groove with great reeds solo. Don’t need to write anything about the track ‘The Funky View’ because it’s in the name. Slammin’ funky Hammond cords, sax, bass play. Don wrote this track during his days as composer for Bill Cosby and CBS from 1995-2000. ‘Heads Up’ is an example of evolving music. This tune was written as a ‘Smooth Jazz’ piece. My colleague listened to track #8 ‘Confusion’ and recognised some fragments from ‘Chick Corea’ and from Miles Davis his song ‘Jean Pierre’. ‘Song For Mother’ is a slow tempo jazz tune that Don dedicate to his mother. My favourite tune is the last track on this album ‘Grover Miles’ is very funky with fabulous synth sounds/cords, superb bass play and luckily last nine minutes. This tune is dedicated to the late Grover Washington Jr. and Miles Davis. The bass line is related to Miles’ Tutu, and the melody has elements of classic tunes from Grover’s recordings of the late 1970’s, early 1980’s.

Don Braden grew up in Louisville, Kentucky in the 1970’s. He has toured the world and recorded with many Jazz giants, including Wynton Marsalis, Tony Williams, and Freddie Hubbard among others. Karl Latham grew up in Northwest New Jersey. He broke on the NYC jazz market with an RCA/Novus artist in the late 80’s, played in many groups including the Fantasy Band. Since 1993 his career makes a move in the European Jazz scene.
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