Review by Frank Griffith, LondonJazz
Sax Appeal’s latest CD Funkerdeen (the title track inspired by “a long night in funky Aberdeen hotel”) provides a tasty mix of funky sax soul from the dean of this genre, leader and saxist, Derek Nash.
The repertoire includes a wide ranging bevy of post 1970 soul and jazz-derived grooves. There are also a couple of swingers in evidence that lean towards to the boogie blues shuffley end of things. While the leader’s solo work screams and pops throughout, he doesn't hold back from letting his sidemen flourish as well. The hog callin' tenor sax cries of Brandon Allen on Funkerdeen contrast well with the raging and soulful pulsations of Scott Garland’s alto on Draggin' on the Ground.
Tenor man Simon Allen’s cool but funky improvisations score highly along with drummer Mike Bradley’s polyrhythmic finesse on his solo break on Voodoo Rex.
Bari boys, Bob McKay and guest Appealer Alan Barnes, blow up a storm on Blue For You. Bob’s sinewy melodicisms effectively contrast the blustery boptimisms of Barnesy in a good old fashioned battle of the bari good. Just as a side note, McKay has often credited fellow West Country lad, John Surman as a major influence as both of the Cornwall-bred multi-octavists have gone to great lengths to extend the natural range of the instrument, a musical ladder which they in turn have inspired and motivated many up-and-coming baritonists to climb.
A snappy cameo from boogie woogster and longtime Nash employer, pianist, Jools Holland sprinkles a welcome dollop of ex-Treme grit to the proceedings on Sticky Finger Boogie.
To resume, just a super duper sesh celebrating the joys of saxys to the maxys. Celebrating their 35th year above ground, Sax Appeal must be doing something right as the fruits from this most recent offering clearly prove.