Earl Winston has had a wealth of musical experience having worked with the great Barry White, Donna Summers, Coolio, CeCe Winans, El Debarge, Jody Watley, Angela Bofield, Otis Day & the Nights, and many others. His career started at the age of 8 when his parents bought him his first drum set. He went on to play in his father’s church choir, before steadfastly progressing towards learning the bass, piano and eventually the xylophone. Earl went on to form his own band and played at jazz gigs around Los Angeles. Today, his music is influenced by jazz-fusion, and artists such as, Parliament, Gap Band and Roger. Not only is Earl a talented musician, but he can also sing.
Earl Winston & The Funky Big Band have recently released the single “Funky Big Band”. This track is a masterpiece not because it is groundbreaking or absolutely innovative in any way, but because it is so consistently and undeniably good. There’s a delightful atmosphere of shared, mutual gratification emanating from the musicians involved that seeps right out of the music directly into the heart. It’s a one of a kind track, in a sterile pop music scene that will appeal to, and entertain your progressive ears, even if you don’t usually venture anywhere near jazz fusion, funk, or instrumental music.
“Funky Big Band” resonates with vibrant energy and groove. Immediately, without hesitation or restrain, the music erupts with the passionate dexterity of its musicians. Apart from his brilliant drumming, Earl Winston selected excellent collaborators for the recording of this track.
These include A-league players: Bruce Boulanger (Lead Guitar), Rob Mcdonald (Bass Guitar), Edell Shepherd (Keyboards), Tateng Katindig (Keyboards), Chuck Phillips (Barry Sax), Ed Wynne (Tenor Sax), Paul Navidad (Tenor Sax) and Jeff Lewis (Trumpet).
Rather than write the kind of complex and difficult-to-assimilate tunes that usually characterizes Jazz Fusion, Earl Winston & The Funky Big Band optioned to string together a powerful, energized instrumental that placed a heavy emphasis on the groove dimension of the genre. Earl Winston aimed for emotional spontaneity mixed with adrenaline and the result is a joyous, unbridled track full of great playing and solos.
Seeing as this project most definitely sprang from the mind of the drummer, from the time you are treated to the opening bars, Earl Winston shows off his meticulously fine-tuned kit. Earl’s tightly synchronized drums rumble like a freight train, as the track’s in the pocket rhythm pulls you in without a struggle, and sets you up for the full brunt of the fierce, fire-breathing horn section. The song has a contagious funky feel and some of the coolest dynamic brass lines around.
The trumpet and saxophones storm “Funky Big Band”, fueling the already incendiary arrangement. Earl Winston brilliantly and tastefully holds it all down, together with the fluid basslines, as they underscore the cascades of feel-good sound. The sheer quality of the musicianship all round, veers straight into the awesomely insane.
This is one captivating song, where Earl Winston & The Funky Big Band have cranked the funk to the max, and the results are simply compelling. The group just sound like they are totally enjoying the music they are making. Hence, it’s a treat to listen to. Music rarely gets much more essential than this!
OFFICIAL LINKS: https://earlwinstonthefunkybigband.bandcamp.com/releases