The Jimi Newton Project consists primarily of Jimi on guitar and a number of fellow indie musicians, friends and talented vocalists. The group is known for combining Edm, Funk and old school Disco rhythms with strong vocals. Jimi has brought together some of the most talented indie artists from across the world on his recordings and his latest album release, “3.0: Uptown Funk”, is no exception. It hosts a collection of musicians from Spain, The Philippines, Jamaica, USA, & Italy, including female singer Marri Nallos, a critically acclaimed artist in her home country of the Philippines who also had a spell as backing vocalist with rock’s legendary super-group TOTO.
If I didn’t know that “3.0: Uptown Funk”, was released in 2015, I would have said that “they just don’t make them like this anymore…” The Jimi Newton Project’s brand of driving funk with sweet melodies and stellar vocals takes its cue from the golden 70s Funk era. Without a doubt the most grooving funk era of them all!
There are very few groups these days making good funk music like this. The Jimi Newton Project is a collective that balances having an identifiable sound with also creating music that never devolves into sounding repetitive. The ever-rotating roster of musicians brings a different sound to every arrangement and the band benefits from Jimi Newton’s knowledge and comfort with operating in a variety of groove genres. The payoff for fans is a project that is familiar as it is fresh.
While I am not very familiar with the music of The Jimi Newton Project prior to this, their 3rd album release, they clearly have established a high bar with a successful hybrid dance formula here. There are a number of standout vocal powerhouse performances by Marri Nallos on tracks like ‘Make A Better Place’, ‘Hope’, “Standing Here Tonight’, ‘Uptown Funk’ and ‘Reflection’. It seems there is some amount of both intuitive and creative genius on the part of Jimi Newton to continue to assemble a host of top-drawer contributors, matched with unique retro-styled compositions that set this apart from anything else on the market right now – absolutely outstanding.
The music and lyrical arrangements and production are superlative. They come right out of the gate slamming with “3.0: Uptown Funk”. The whole album is smooth, funky and energetically driven. The reggae instrumental ‘Reggae Gig’, the mid-tempo soul –influenced ‘Make A Better Place’, the bass-driven ‘Hope’ and the electrifying guitar strumming of ‘Uptown Funk’ are just a few of my stand out favorites.
The Jimi Newton Project never disappoints on this 13-track album. Not only do you get the funky big-band sound and the dance-floor anthems, but also some soulful tunes sung by an extremely talented vocalist. “3.0: Uptown Funk” is an amazing collection of songs, the range of styles is broad and at times astonishing, the talent of the musicians and singer so exceptional you wonder why they aren’t all household names already.
The Jimi Newton Project is one of those bands that fill the heart with Jimi’s excellent music. “3.0: Uptown Funk” takes us to warm place in music where you have that live feel of funky music.